i wanna live like that

So far, this has been a killer to say the least. I picked up a job, my classes are much more work intensive than last semester’s set and all the extra time I have during the day I spend with friends or at other activities (but don’t get me wrong, it’s also been a huge blessing). The early mornings and late nights have n’t been very conducive to my ability to post anything but I felt compelled to take some time out of my day to write a lil sumthin sumthin for y’all today. I think I felt today I feel especially motivated to post here because before I even got out of bed I was excited about what today had for me. I woke up with a few messages on my phone about potential plans for today in addition to plans I had already set out. Basically, this day was pretty locked up from the start to be a good one. The reason that this is motivating to share with y’all is that it is just one small glimpse at how much the Lord had been blessing me and teaching me since I’ve gotten back from break. I’ve been growing so much this term and want to share with y’all the joy the Lord is bringing to my life and what he’s been teaching me.

our ministry

In all of the fellowship groups and bible studies I’ve been participating in, the main theme they’ve all been running through is the idea of ministry. The spiritual leaders in my life have been teaching me a lot about how to minister to people and what that looks like practically. It’s been an invaluable season to me in realizing how the Lord has been pushing me to act and think. I’ve been meditating on why I’ve been learning and have there’s been a few ideas that I personally feel really convicted about as it relates to ministry.

working alone, together

As a student on a college campus I have begun to identify the cliques and specific groups that have formed within the entire community, how people are drawn together by common interests and how they enjoy each other’s company. I have noticed on my campus, that the Christian community itself is generally a smaller representation of the community as a whole. Ideally, I think that all of the Christians want to be one body fighting for Christ on campus working to spread his love to nonbelievers without buffers between groups of people. Do I think this should be our vision for campus? Yes, but I also think it’s unrealistic. We’re still people and prefer the company of some people over others regardless of if they’re following Jesus or not. Also, people are usually part of a ministry group on campus and whether it be Young Life, Intervarsity or any other group there are distinctions in the nature of each ministry that contribute to the divide between groups of Christians. While I think it is not practical for all Christians on campus to expect to be best friends with one another, something the God has put on my heart is that we should make an effort to bridge these gaps between groups. I feel like the largest faction we feel we’re a part of is the group we identify with. We say “I’m in Young Life/Intervarsity/Rho Iota” or “I go to Commonwealth/Redemption Hill/WEAG”, when in reality we should first say we’re Christians before we might identify ourselves with a group. The real team we’re fighting for in the end is Christ’s church as a whole. I think a lot of times we act like we’re on different teams and, in a lot of ways, we act like we’re fighting against one another. But we need to realize we’re all on the same team we’re all fighting for Christ together, all over the world, to make his love known to everyone that hasn’t felt Him in their heart. Just like cliques on a sports team tear them apart and prevent them from growing and eventually winning competitions in the end, I think that cliques within the body of Christ can’t work to our maximum capacity if we’re divided. With that said, I am still learning everyday what this looks like practically and how we can each do out part to grow together.

On the other end of the spectrum, the smallest ministry we can be apart of is also not our campus ministry group or small group but ourselves individually. I want my life to be a ministry in and of itself. In Matthew 28 Jesus outlines what ministry should look like in The Great Commission. He says in verses 19 and 20 “Therefore, go and make disciples of of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you until the end of the age.” This starts on a personal level in each one of us. Our lives have to be a reflection of the freedom we have received from Jesus and the happiness we have experienced in our lives as a result of Him. And, because I think in song lyrics, whenever I think about what I want my life to look like, the song “Live Like That” by The Sidewalk Prophets encompasses my thoughts. They say in the chorus: “I wan’t to live like that, and give it all I have, so that everything I say and do points to You, your love is who I am, and this where I stand, recklessly abandoned never holding back.” This starts with each one of us individually. This what each one of us should want for our personal ministry: to live like we have nothing to lose because we have gracefully and mercifully received more than would could ever need; we have received the love of Christ which can never be lost. I can’t imagine what it would be like if we all desired for our lives to look like this at an unreal level. I can’t honestly say that I’m even living this out as well as I could and should be, but can you imagine what progress would be made for the Kingdom of God if we all really did “Live Like That”?

give it a listen, my taste in music is pretty much better than everyone else’s so you won’t be disappointed

we’re privileged

Sorry y’all I got a lot to say and I’m just getting started baby. But actually, I apologize.

Another thing that I’ve been thinking about a lot is why we minister to people. I think we all would probably have the same answer to this question. It seems pretty obvious, really. Some of y’all might say, “Jesus changed my life and I want the people I love to experience this change too,” like I probably would. We all have our own testimonies but, for those following Christ, I think that’s generally the bottom line. And let’s be real, the news of the Gospel is the greatest love story we could ever hear. We have been ransomed through Jesus and we were made to be in a relationship with Him and glorify and worship Him with everything we’ve got. Sometimes I feel like my heart can’t even handle this news, it’s truly unfathomable. While I think this is definitely an engine behind why we minister, there’s also another reason for spreading the Gospel that’s been on my heart lately.

If y’all don’t know already, I’m all about America. Like really, a lot, like freedom and stuff, I’m all about that, like a whole lot. #MERICA In this country freedom is a right, but in the world we live in freedom is a privilege. There are people all over the world that are oppressed and don’t enjoy the simple luxuries like freedom that we take for granted. We, as Americans, are lucky enough to live in a country where we don’t have to worry about these things. So we gratefully receive the gift of freedom and exercise our freedom and our appreciation for it by voting (which I would encourage everyone to do, regardless of your political allegiances, if you don’t already), practicing whatever religion we want (I suggest Christianity but I won’t hold it against you), and enjoying the other freedom’s given to us in the Bill of Rights (Privledges). My point is this, it’s been weighing on me that I stop considering my ability to share the Gospel as a right but more of a privilege. I really think that’s what Jesus was giving us when He told us to “go make disciples.” We have been saved by Christ, and he gave us the privilege to share with the world what He has done for us. Some people don’t have the privilege to share Jesus with the world because they don’t know Jesus themselves. Just like we exercise the privilege of freedom in this world, we should also exercise the privilege to spread the more-than-good news of Jesus Christ.

P.S. I didn’t once type “privilege” correctly the first time, I threw down “priviledge” every time. Sorry I’m stoopid, I’m working on it.

#blessed

This privilege we have to share the Gospel truly is a blessing to each of us, and it’s a big one. I think next to the actual death and resurrection of Jesus this is the greatest blessing we have received. The true question we all answer when we hear about these abundant blessings is “How will I react to them?” When I first heard about these blessings my reaction was to give my life to giving glory to the One who poured them down on me. But buckle up, there’s even better news (if that was possible), God isn’t a “one and done” kinda guy. He continues to bless and bring joy and peace to my life, and all our lives, every day. He blesses each of us more than we can even imagine whether we believe it or not. I tried counting how many times God has blessed me today and, after losing count a few times, I stopped after I ran out of fingers (that means there’s a whole boat load of blessing happening). However, I know this isn’t by coincidence.

I can see that I have grown a lot in my faith even over the past few months and even over the course of these few months I feel like God has been blessing me now more than he was before. It this true? I don’t think it is. God doesn’t love me any more now than he did, yesterday, a few weeks, months or years ago. He loves me, and all of His children (head up, that’s you too), more unconditionally and more abundantly than any of us can possibly imagine. So how do explain the extra dose of blessings? I think it is because, as I have been growing closer to Jesus, and closer in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, my heart is becoming more and more like that of Christ and the desires of my heart are becoming more in tune with that of Christ (even though I’m still not close at all, like different area codes, which still isn’t that far in comparison). I don’t think it’s that he’s blessing me more, it’s that my heart wants more for me what Christ wants for me. In Matthew chapter 6 Jesus tells us to not worry about what to eat or drink because God knows we need them, which is pretty neat. But what’s neater is that in verse 33 Jesus says this, “but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Will he throw a ton of billz in my pocket or mad whips in my garage? Probs not (that’d be real nice though). But Jesus promises that we’ll be given what we need if we first run after him. When we first seek his face he provides for us what we need, and as a result he shapes our desires to be more like his. I mean, God loves to bless us, and it’s be pretty sweet if I recognized all of the ways he has blessed me because I guarantee while I’m on this earth I ain’t gonna see all of them. But I’ve seen, that as I grow closer to Jesus, I begin to notice more and more of his blessings, and how sweet they are. If someone randomly gave you a hunnit bucks you’re not gonna be sad (unless you’re just like that, in which case let’s not be friends #jk). And I can guarantee that each one of God’s blessings is worth a little more than $100.

Imma wrap up now, so you can go back to doing productive things with your life like eating, or sleeping, or doing work (probably not though) or maybe you really need to pee or something (I feel your pain), I don’t know, I don’t know your life. God’s blessing you with an end to my rambling.

But on the real, Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” If I love God and live according to his purpose for my life, God will work in my life for my good. What I think my good is, may not always align with what God thinks is good for me but I can be pretty confident in the fact that He’s right and I’m a dummy. If I do this, He’ll bless me throughout my life. Right now I’m all like, “I get blessed with Jesus saving my life, and He blesses me until I die? Dang, that’s pretty awesome.” Well good news y’all we got more blessings coming our way. In our salvation, we have received not only freedom on earth but eternal life in heaven too. And hey, I’ve read some stuff in that Bible thing about heaven, and let me tell you it sounds DOPE, like that’s where I’m trying to be once I kick. Just think about everything that God has done for you so far in your life! I know, that’s a lot of stuff. God promises us, that he’ll keep ’em comin’ as long as we keep after Jesus and letting him lead our lives.

So let’s bring this thang full circle, cause I’m all about that. What the Lord has been teaching me is that His purpose for my life is to share Him with as many people as I can. That’s the purpose for all our lives if we look at Matthew 28 again. If we do that we will be able to enjoy the blessings God has poured out on us, and life, my friends, is so much sweeter when we enjoy what has been freely given to us. Our practical way to live out God’s purpose for our life is our ministry. What we say and do should all be glorifying to the Lord. Jesus has given us everything we could ever need by taking our burden upon himself so that we might receive freedom. I have responded by giving my life to the purpose He has set aside for me by my ministry. I wan’t to act like the blessings I’ve received have changed my life and that I’m privileged enough to share that with others to the best of my ability. Yup, (finger point/head nod) I want to live like that.

I mean, Jesus y’all, that dude’s pretty awesome #understatement.

#blessed #hashtag

I got mad tunes… y’all don’t even know

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One thought on “i wanna live like that

  1. John Matthew, I am writing a sermon on Luke 9:20 -23 dealing withJesus’ question…”But who do You say that I am?” I want the congregation to seriously think about that as we are traveling to Jerusalem with Christ in this season of Lent. Can you help me with some thoughts. Thanks.

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