Tag Archives: Love

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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Beautiful Eulogy – Beautiful Eulogy

Lyrics:

There used to be a time when we were fine living life with
no particular religious bend. Pretending to be our own Gods
inventing our own system of belief so as to not depend on
anything other than our own self governing consent. Defending
an impending doom with no perceived need to concede
or repent. Presuming our innocence in a sense dissent. The
sting of death was only the inevitable end of everything
we could never rightly understand or comprehend. We used
to fear the unknown until God made himself known and atoned
mending the relationship between God and men. Giving his
life as a ransom for many when he died and ascended and in
that one event the certainty of eternal death was circumvented.
Making a way for the day when history stops and
time suspends. Spending eternity in fellowship that never
ends. We see the greatest expression of God’s love extended
in the moment when those who were once enemies instead became
God’s friends.
How sweet the Gospel sounds to ears like mine. Well acquainted
with pain and strained relationships. Friendships
that suffer from long distances, or even worse they get
severed from something more severe. And He still hasn’t
wiped away all my tears yet. My cheeks get wet every now
and then. Even when I give my best, I know I fall short.
I get scared when the balls in my court. Focussed on, my
performance, wretched and poor. It makes the message more
real when I preach it. I’m not there yet so I’m reaching,
reaching for a goal, to stand before my King and be speechless.
Then, never again, will I question if his grace is
sufficient to cover my sin. Cause death is gone, and all
the effects of, evil and wrong will be conquered when His
kingdom comes. So this is my hope and my prayer. The air
that I’ll breath in eternity with lungs that never fail
me. If it pleases my Lord, and only by Your grace, use my
life till it’s poured out for Your sake. Until then I’ll
remain where You have me, with joy when I feel unhappy. And
a peace that surpasses all my understanding, my life is in
the hands of Your love everlasting.

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“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Living with grace can be a difficult thing. I find in some modern churches a setiment of going “old testament” on the lost. How often we forget that Jesus, “had compassion” on them. In our zeal for holiness we have neglected that which is holy.

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

This is a crucial. Sometimes we take convicting into our own hands. How soon we forget that convinction one of the duties of the Holy Spirit. As an example I have found people around me cursing up a storm who suddenly apologize to me for their salty language, as if I was hugely offended. Honestly I never told them to stop cussing around me. Was it me that they were apologizing to? Was it anything in me that they were convicting by? No. It was the Spirit of God that they suddenly found themselves convicted to. Since I was young I’ve pleaded to God for him to keep me from cursing and by his Spirit He has made this possible. Honestly, I can’t own this achievement because I know my nature and I know how often I’ve wanted to say something curse worthy but was prevented somehow.

Lets think about this: Which person has obeyed the commandments? A preacher who takes every moment to slam homosexuals? Or a person who shows love to people who don’t agree with them, or even hate them?

As Jesus was on the cross he uttered the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” We know not what we do. We need God’s strength to live the lives he wants us to. We can’t turn a blind eye to sin but we can turn our eyes towards compassion. They will know we are Christians by our love.

Jake

As a final note we need to read the old testament again. As harsh as somethings can be, there are many, many more places where God shows his mercy.

Micah 7:18 “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.”

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Relationships are complicated. Better yet complicated relationships are complicated.

This is dedicated to the second most important decision one can make in their life. Just some thoughts, nothing more. You don’t have to read into it, just read it. 

(Words will now begin assaulting your conscious.) 

Adam was the only man in history to have his wife created for him; the rest of us have the frustrating challenge of choosing a wife out every single living female on the planet. To make this even more difficult we often don’t know what we’re looking for. Somehow amid all the complexity we find the answer to be much simpler.

We want to be known.

At the core of every human heart we find a desire to be, or attempt to be, as fully known as one is by God. Its a process designed to take a lifetime.  

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. They go out and then proceed to tell each other every random detail about themselves. Ultimately as the relationship intensifies so do the heaviness of the shared secrets. And when couples break-up or divorce what do you find?

“Why did you guys break-up?” 

“I don’t know…”

Isn’t it true that at then end of the day, when the emotions have faded and bodies have aged that having our soul’s pursued is enough? Isn’t pursuing someone in itself desiring to know them? Its possible to look into a mirror a thousand times and never see yourself but one glance into another soul can tell us the most about our self; the image we were created in. 

My observation has been this: What is beautiful on the outside, but not the inside can over a period of time appear ugly to me, while what is grotesque on the outside, but beautiful on the inside can just as well appear beautiful to me and there are those rare occasions when what appears beautiful on the outside is just as beautiful as what is in the inside and an unspeakable beauty results.

It makes sense doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we search for somebody who is best suited to navigate the passageways of our hearts? Equipped to plunge into our depths? And take delight in the treasures they find there? 

Hmm…

-Long Jack Lobo 

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Living on the Bare Essentials

Today for the internship we got a chance to do some outreaches. The one our group was assigned to was called “Bags of Love.” Essentially we filled plastic bags with items that homeless people may find useful and proceeded to pray about whom God would have us give them to. 

To make a long story short we found these two homeless guys named John and Spider Tom. John had some sort of bi-polar condition, heard voices was married and divorced twice, had three kids, his parents were divorced and left him when he was fifteen and his dad beat him without reason. Spider Tom was a Special Forces Recon veteran who had definitely spent some time in war. 

We got to talking and one of the girls named Queen in my group asked John, “So what do you think are the three essential things somebody needs to live.” 

After sorting out his thoughts verbally John came to the conclusion that to live one needs: 

1.  Your faith

2. Water

3. – (“Umm? That was only two!)

Food was eliminated because humans can live for quite awhile without it and air was also implied. 

This experience really got me thinking because I’ve been so used to living in plenty that I’ve really lost sight of what’s important in life. 

Matthew 4:4 NLT

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,‘People do not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

I think its important to realize how crucial the presence of God is to our lives. Think about it, 

every 

thing

comes 

from 

God.

Scientists don’t believe in cold, rather a lack of heat. They also don’t believe in darkness rather a lack of light. The bible tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. That means everything! In the end our source of life is God. Boom.

Marinate.

Long Jack Lobo

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