Tag Archives: Christ

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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Untitled Poem

Can we say that the world is dark,

A society without light?

Whose hope demands a light come down,

To show us all what’s right?

In darkness it did find me,

And swirled with a clash:

It’s tongue did burn,

It lashed out worst.

It’s truth revealing

A wicked curse.

The fury swore,

To take no more,

And gazed its eyes beyond me.

And there stood a man.

As tall as I.

He took my blows, the licking flames to dispel the dusk around me.

I saw his ghost.

For a moment just shadows like me.

Then His fire swelled as it unveiled,

A way to make things true.

It lit me up with the flames it tossed.

An ember lit inside me.

“Go and spread and die no more,

A wildfire you must be.

Illuminate your world,

And that’s how you will find me.”

So as a light in the darkest places I take the place of He,

With blaze unfurled

Always to refine me.

My brothers: coals, keep the fire alive,

My sisters: candles, constantly remind,

That this must go on ‘til final hours.

Do not lose sight young ember.

On that day burst in to flames,

For the light will last forever.

-Jake

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Cross Cultural

This week we had a message brought to us called Christians and Culture by Brent Homcy. I thought was interesting to see how Christians often times respond to culture. He gave a three main ways. 

1. Condemn: This is a reaction to culture that causes Christians to fear and disrespect world views and retreat into a “Christian only” club. 

2. Conform: This is a reaction to culture that causes Christians to adhere to culture in such a way where they are no different then the people around them. 

3. Cultivate: This is a proactive movement where Christians are involved in creating a new culture. 

Confession Time: I think I’ve tried the first two more than enough times to realize that they don’t help the end goal of sharing Christ with others. My new goal is to stop reacting to culture and instead begin to proactively create it. Its interesting in Acts when Paul gets to Greece he hangs out at all the marketplaces-places where culture is bought and sold-with a regular presence, so much so that he was aware of all of their culture norms and lifestyles. This is especially remarkable when he’s sharing the gospel using Pagan poetry and art to convince people of the message. We can see from Paul’s model that he wasn’t merely adopting culture but creating a new meaning around it. 

To give me an idea of what are cultures top influences are I checked out Google Zeitgeist to find out what the top searches where. 

The fastest rising in 2010 were:

  1. ipad 
  2. chatroulette 
  3. iphone 4 
  4. world cup 
  5. justin bieber 
  6. myxer 
  7. facebook 
  8. grooveshark 
  9. glee 
  10. mocospace 

In 2010, in the United States, the ipad, chatroulette and the iphone 4 were the top searches. It seems that Apple is having a HUGE effect on culture. So what does this say about our culture? What does this say about what were into and where were going? I challenge us to be cultivators and innovators not merely reactors. 

Long Jack Lobo

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