Say in the Light. Proclaim on the housetops

Our world is in complete denial of the truth. I think many can agree to this. Many people believers and nonbelievers have buried their heads in the sand and have refused to confront the lie with the truth. Just last Friday, I had the honor of preaching from John 14:6, where Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” For some, this may seem like a very exclusive statement from someone who is supposed to be all inclusive. However, his statement points us to this truth…no one wants to be told there is only one way. We like to think that there are multiple ways to do things; in this instance, coming to the Father.

What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.

Matthew 10:27

If you and I believe the lie that there are many roads that lead to heaven, we will be chasing our tails, like a dog chases its tail. We can easily stop the confusion by accepting the truth that is found in Jesus and that is Jesus!

In our culture, where innocence used to be priority, has now taken a back seat. With LGBTQ+ gaining more traction, with drag queens taking over Nickelodeon and Chipotle, our world is being inundated by that which is a lie. The lie is this…you are free to be whoever YOU think you should be. As soon as you buy into this lie, YOU become your own god, and YOU become your own idol. When you and I allow our desires to dictate how we live life, we are deciding and demonstrating, that our ways are better than Gods way. Let me tell you this, you will never experience lasting joy and pleasure outside of walking with the Lord. You will come up empty and unsatisfied, always wanting more of what cannot satisfy you.

So…what do we do with the lies we have been exposed to? We expose the lies with the truth from Gods Word. Jesus said, “whatever I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.” Whatever Jesus tells us is truth, and that truth will put out the flame of the lies around us.

Christian, we cannot sit silent anymore, it is time to speak up with the truth of who Jesus is, what Jesus taught us, and how we are to combat that which is cornering us. Now is the time to say in the light and proclaim on the housetops, this one truth..JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY! Everything else is a lie.

Grace and Peace…

Swamped by the waves.

Just by reading the title, Im almost sure this is relevant to you with what you may be facing in life. Maybe you dont have literal waves beating up against, or maybe you do, at any rate, the waves in your life are no match for the one who can bring them to a still.

In Matthew 8:23-27, we find the disciples in a predicament as they are following Jesus to the next place of ministry. Jesus had just cleansed a leper, healed a servant of a Roman centurion, took a fever away from Peter’s mother-in-law, told others he had no place to lay his head and now jumps to the next scene. Does Jesus ever slow down? The answer; yes, he does and it goes to show in this passage before us.

The waves in your life are no match for the One who can bring them to a still.

The disciples had just gotten into the boat after they saw their Master make his way onto it. Upon arrival, “there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves...“(Matthew 8:24).

This says it all in regards to how the disciples were feeling in the moment of a storm. Remember most of these men were experienced sailors, yet there was something different about this storm they were faced with. They knew their master was on the boat, yet they were still afraid of what may happen. They were still human in the midst of being swamped by the waves.

I know in my life, when I am being swamped by the waves of life, it’s not that I have forgotten that Jesus is with me, it just seems as if in the moment Im being swamped by the waves, the waves of life are bigger than the Master of the waves. When the waters beat against the boat, when the wind whistles through the darkness and my sight becomes blurred, I become easily discouraged and overwhelmed with what I may be facing.

Whether it’s a financial wave, a relational wave, a health issue wave, we tend to think that Jesus is not able to hush the storm, not around us, but inside of us. Let’s be honest, we often pray that Jesus would take the storm completely away, however, the storm He wants to silence is the storm inside of us. The storm we have allowed in by thinking, “Jesus, this storm may be too big for you.”

The rest of verse 24 says, “but he was asleep.” Listen, the truth is this, Jesus wasn’t asleep because he didn’t care about his friends. Jesus was asleep, because He already knew the outcome of the situation they were in. You may feel like Jesus is asleep in the midst of the storm inside of you, which is the farthest thing from the truth.

Jesus was asleep in the midst of the storm, because He knew who was in control of the storm.

The rest of the passage goes on to say, the disciples woke him up and cried out, “Lord, we are going to die!”. I wonder how long it took them to finally wake Jesus up? I wonder how long it took them to remember that the one who could silence the storm was in the same storm.

Here’s two things I want to leave you with.

Jesus is bigger than the storm you may be facing. Jesus is more concerned of your character and mine, being refined in the midst of the storm.

Jesus is in control gang, so much so that he can sleep in the midst of storms.

God is good. Jesus is real.

Chuck it. Leave it.

I have a strange tendency to be a spiritual Indian giver. Let me explain.

Do you remember when you were a kid and the idea of sharing something you had came up? Do you remember the feeling you had when you let go of whatever it was to the recepient? You gave it, however, almost immediately you wanted it back. This is the epitome of an Indian giver, manifesting itself in a little child. Yet I would venture to say, when it comes to our relationship with God, we have not grown up much.

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burdens on the Lord, and he will sustain you.”

Many of us will read this, agree, and even proclaim, “God here’s all my stuff, it is all yours. My worries, cares, anxieties, burdens; God take it all.” This is a phenomenal prayer to pray, however moments after this, I tend to find myself taking back what God is calling me to give to him completely. The Spirit dwelling in me says, “yes! Give it all, don’t take it back, you don’t want it anyways”, yet my mind and my heart tells me “why don’t you try to figure it out on your own, you know you can fix it, and God knows what You can handle, so why not just try to handle these things on your own?”.

C.H Spurgeon said “We labor to take our weary burden on ourselves, as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us.”

You and I need to make it our aim to chuck it and leave it. If I could translate the Psalm 55:22 in my own words, it would read this: chuck your worries, cares, anxieties, burdens, everything that weighs you down, and watch God do more with it than you can.”

I’m not sure what you are dealing with in your life today. I don’t know what burdens you have, however I do know this; God is faithful to not only carry you through the seasons, He is also able to carry your burdens and manage your life better than you can. Don’t be a spiritual Indian giver! When you give God your burdens, leave them with Him. The only reaction we need to have towards the cares of this life is this, “God you take them! You deal with them and I will trust you for the outcome. I don’t want them back, I am leaving them at your feet.”

Make today, the day where you decide to relinquish your cares and worries over to the one who can still the storm with just a hush.

Grace and Peace

Austin

Dogs, Pigs and Pearls; oh my!

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give to dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”


What do dogs, pigs, and pearls have in common? Its a very simple answer…NOTHING!

Let’s talk about dogs and pigs for a minute. In our culture today, dogs and pigs have been made out to be domestic, obviously. You may have one of these creatures roaming around in your home. For our culture they have become more than pets, they have become family. Yet when Jesus taught this when giving the greatest sermon of all time, he wasn’t thinking family pet. He wasn’t thinking about how in 2021 people would be pushing dogs in strollers and dressing pigs up in tutu’s.

To the Jewish community, if someone were to call you a dog or pig, it was highly offensive. The Jews viewed the Gentiles at one point as dogs and pigs. Jews believed that the Lord’s supper was for the Jews only, which presented an exclusivity to those who believed in Jesus, however not being Jews. Yet it doesn’t make a ton of sense for Jesus to say this, when put up no wall or barrier between himself and gentiles. Remember, Jesus was the one who would go to the samaritan woman and even share the parable of the good samaritan.

So what is Jesus saying then, because at this point Im confused and you may possibly be as well.

Right before this verse, Jesus is talking about judgement. Which gives us some insight into what he is saying…

If we were to sum up this verse, we might hear Jesus saying, “Don’t be judgmental, but don’t throw out all discernment either.” We could totally stop here and say, “Oh, I get it now.” This though needs a little explaining…

Dogs and pigs dont care about that which is holy. Pigs definitely don’t care about your pearls. The pearl in this text is the Gospel, it is the good news that Jesus came to save sinners by dying on the cross and bearing the weight of all the worlds sin, past, present and future. The dogs and pigs represent those who are hostile towards the kingdom of God, those who reject the life changing message of the Gospel.

In life, in ministry, in your day in and day out happenings, there will come a point where you have to decide if it’s time to shake the dust off your feet so to speak. You can plant the seed, but you cannot convert the soul. This is only done by the spirit doing a supernatural work in the individuals life.

Jesus has told us to go and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15), yet there is an example for us in the apostles who were met with a hostile multitude (Acts 19) that rejected the message, to which the apostles left preaching to them.

Here’s the thing I want you to know. By no means is Jesus discouraging us from sharing the Gospel with others, what he is saying is, have discernment with those you are sharing the Gospel with. Jesus told us to let our lights shine before the word. Jesus said this to call us to discernment, and to encourage us to look for prepared hearts that are ready to receive. When we find such open hearts, we can trust that God has already been working upon them.

Preach the Gospel. Use Discernment. Trust Jesus.

God is good.

Jesus is real.

Grace and Peace,

Austin

What did I just ask?

There’s a passage in 1 Samuel 22:2 that goes like this, “everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him.” Context when it comes to this verse is crucial so we know the reason why. Saul, who was king of Israel was on the hunt for David. So, David flees, he runs, he gets out of dodge and heads to Gath. Upon arriving, he is confronted by the King of Gath, Achish.

David was being talked about through out all the land, so Achish, noticing who had showed up on his shores asks, “Is not this David the King of the land?” (1 Samuel 21:11). Like any man on the run, disguise is key, not that I have personal experience in this, but from the stories Ive heard, this seems to do the trick most of the time. What does David do? David starts acting like a mad man, changing “his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard” (1 Samuel 21:13). To this Achish in short says, “Get him out of my sight”. To this David flees to a cave called Adullam.

What happens next is EPIC!

While David is in the cave, distressed, discouraged and on the run, he has the same type of people come into the cave with him! It wasn’t just a few men, it was a total of four hundred men, who David would become commander over.

Why do I bring this up?

Often times in our discouragement, in our distress and in our depression, we feel as if we are useless to the Lord. How could God use someone who is in a state like me? Everything around you feels as if it is going south for the winter, including your behavior, emotions, and personality.

God can use your discouragement to encourage another.

David was king of Israel, a depressed, discouraged and scared king, but did you notice who came to him in the state he was in? People just like him, because they knew he could relate to what they might be experiencing.

I’m not sure what you’re facing, what you’re feeling, what you’re fearful of, but I can promise you this, that no matter what you go through, as long as you entrust your life to God, He will not waste what you go through in this life.

I want to end with a true life story that just happened to me this past Sunday.

Sunday mornings, I usually get up at 4:45am, so that I can be prepared for the day. Getting up at this time allows me to study my notes for preaching and take care of whatever else needs to be done at the church.

This morning in particular, I felt off, I felt tired, I felt discouraged to be honest with you. Yes, pastors are human too. As I came into the office, spent time with the Lord, studied my notes, and so on and so forth, the time approached where the rest of the team would show up. However this morning another visitor had showed up…

Hold on a second…

My mornings in my car to the office are sacred, its me and the Lord driving to the office. That morning I had prayed, “God bring people to church”, not being specific in any way. I don’t think ministry can be specifically pinpointed towards any “type” of individual, every one needs Jesus.

Back to the morning as my team showed up…

Our visitor had been to church before, but he was much healthier, full of life, and was seeking the Lord, this time he was much different.

He was now homeless, addicted to substance, and hurting beyond my understanding.

What did I just ask? I asked for something without remembering this truth, “there is no such thing as a perfect person who has it all together.”

Here’s the point: even though he was in the state he was in, he knew he needed to get to church. Not for the sake of the church, but to meet with Jesus.

Listen, David is a picture of Jesus. When we are depressed, distressed and discouraged, the first place we need to run is to Jesus, not a substance, a relationship, only Jesus.

Run to Jesus today! Whatever cave you may be in, He will meet you there.

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