Category Archives: life

My Testimony

I accepted Christ when I was 7 years of age on a Sunday night in Rota, Spain. I was apart of a kids program called Super Sunday Nights. On this evening we were memorizing verses and we happened to be memorizing John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” After getting familiar with the verse I declared to my teacher, “I want to have eternal life.” She informed me that salvation from our sins comes from Jesus Christ and when we invite him into our hearts he lives with us and helps us by his Spirit. She invited me to pray to God and to ask him to forgive me of my sins and invite Jesus into my heart. I did so as she guided me. It’s funny. I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with bible stories but this was the first time I had ever really understood anything I was hearing. At once it all made sense.

Since then I have battled through many things. I had moved seven times in my life because my parents were in the military. Each time I had to make friends and battle with loneliness and dread. I was the “perpetual new-kid.” Amongst this I sought out the wisdom of the world to confirm what I thought I chose to believe. After many books and articles I would keep searching. It wasn’t as though there weren’t good enough answers; the fact is that I was simply trying to reach God through my own human wisdom. At other times I would pray demandingly for God to come down and perform miracles. I was trying to support my faith with supernatural evidence as if that was enough to satisfy my veracious appetite for “the proof” instead of living John 20:29: ‘Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ Simultaneously I struggled with pornography which itself was more of a battle of trying to satisfy my physical cravings. It bled itself out and manifested its true head as a dark “me” attitude.

By the grace of God he has defeated and continues to defeat these enemies in my life. I realize now that my testimony was not so much “from here to there; black & white” but rather “from there and back again;” from innocent-child-like-faith to mature child-like-faith. The skeptic may be inclined to think that I have “regressed,” but in fact I haven’t regressed at all but “progressed.” When I was a child I had received an unimaginable gift from God but I hadn’t begun to grasp what I had received. It was when I was older and a little more foolish that I truly begun to realize just what God has done for me. Through all my doubt and poor decisions God was with me every step of the way. He continues to guide my feet and be my best friend. The truth is that the gospel is simple. In its very nature it weeds out those who would seek God by their own means. In my own life my pursuit for God was a tower of Babel that only after God had confused my efforts did he show me that the way to himself wasn’t through my own brilliance or effort but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Gently he reminded me what I was taught at first. My life now has been a constant pursuit after his Spirit and it’s been my pleasure to find him pursuing me all the same.

Maybe you’re looking for God in the evidence. Maybe you’re waiting for miracles. I would encourage you to stop. Put down the books. Quit waiting on what God could do for you and focus on what he did do for you. The fact is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough for us to praise him for eternity. On the cross he paid the debt of humanity, canceling our sins and earning us salvation, now and for eternity, ultimately reconciling us with God; when we deserved the full wrath of God he took it upon himself to pay the debt that so we may be called his friends. I plead to you on behalf of the Living God to accept his gift. Let your “knowledge” of God drip twelve inches from your head to your heart. A great quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums it up, “Defend the bible? I would as soon as defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.” Let God’s word fulfill its truth in your life. Quit trying to white-knuckle grace like I did and instead receive it with open hands. Have faith for He will defend himself.

Jake

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I’m Awake

Living for Christ is living for true freedom. I used to think that being able to do whatever I wanted was freedom. As long as I got what I wanted I was free. Lately I’ve been realizing how being a slave to Christ is true freedom. Let me unpack that.

The world has all kinds of lures. It has sex, drugs, gambling, etc. All of which seem so fun and entertaining. We are free to indulge in things though once we do we find ourselves ensnared. We’ve eaten from Eve’s apple. In a moment we’ve passed up our freedom for something that will drag us back to it, over and over and over again. If only we hadn’t taken the bite.

At first we chose our addiction. Then our addiction chooses us. In the beginning we weren’t a slave to it, but after we’ve tasted it we’ve become hooked.

I don’t want to live like that.

Living for Christ is like waking up everyday and choosing to be alive. When we enslave ourselves to Him, when we forfeit our shackles to Him, He in turn sets us free. When I first believed in Christ he took my sin and set me free. Like a slave who is unaware of his freedom I kept wandering back to my sin. We need to realize that we’re free. We need to renew our minds. We need to choose freedom.

I want to wake up alive each morning. I want to choose life. I want to suck the life out of life itself. Do not forsake this wonderful gift God has given us called life. Each moment passes and the more we bother with busy work or procrastinate from real work the more like a zombie we become. If we have any true realization as to what God has done our lives we should rip off our lukewarmness and passionately pursue Him with everything we’ve got.

Many people struggle to fall asleep each night. I don’t think that its because of our sleeping habits. I think its because we haven’t truly done enough with our day. We’ve taken our day and tried to just survive it, trying to hold out for whatever is coming to tomorrow. What we’ve actually done is act as poor stewards with our time today. We aren’t given much time as it is. Shouldn’t we do most we can with what we’ve been given?

Is the way your living your life keeping you up at night? Are you waking up feeling empty because your life is full of things that are far from God’s heart?

Jesus says to not live in our past because he’s freed us from that. He also says to plan for the future but don’t live in the future because He holds our tomorrows.

God wants to know us today.

You’ll be surprised what can happen if you truly give all of yourself to God each day. If you exhaust yourself for Him each day he will provide you strength and make you stronger but its people who try to hold onto their energy or passion and conserve it who are the ones who ultimately lose it. Before long the worries of stress and anxiety combined with fears and concerns expend all the energy we should have invested in God. Shouldn’t life be simpler then that?

It is.

We should give everything to God each day, knowing that he is faithful to provide what we need for tomorrow.

-Jake

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On The Last Day of Mine

I walk in a peaceful cemetery, as I gaze at each life remembered, the shade of the gentle oak trees prodes me further. I noticed how each stone diary, once standing tall, is soon eroded by earth and moss. With each row I pass, the screams echo louder, “Carpe Diem, Seize the Day, Carpe Diem!” Until at last the voices fade as I stumble upon a small stone. I examine it further if to find it was my own, my grave. I kneel down as if to think, or pray, –wondering if what I did was enough. Did I change the world, did I love God with all my heart, did I seize my day? These questions parade my mind like the ghosts dancing in our fears. Perhaps this was the genius, I think to myself, of Ebenezer Scrooge, seeing his own tombstone. I couldn’t help but fear! These thoughts continued when at last a familiar yet alien voice broke through the madness. Thats when I realized I wasn’t alone, I was never alone. My heart rushed with warmth, like the feeling you get when you meet somebody after along time has passed, and you still know them but now you see them in a different light, a brighter light. I was at peace in the presence of a well-known stranger. Thats when He spoke, “That will do son, that will do.”

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