Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

God’s Grace

Posted: July 30, 2018 in Bible, Jesus, Religious, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

It has been a while since I’ve been on here, but I think I’ve missed doing this more than I realized.

 

I came across an album on my cell phone that has a track that featuring Jentezen Franklin.  He is talking in a track on the album about Exodus 32:32.  As I read the entire 32nd chapter; I began to weep.  For I imagined myself, in Moses shoes, going before God on Mt. Sinai to ask God to forgive the people of Israel of the horrible sin they had just committed. Moses asked God “Now if You would only forgive their sin.” Moses has nothing else to say, just stops. Then changes gears and begins to talk about something else.  I believe as Moses was asking God to forgive them, he didn’t have the words to describe the amount of grace he was asking God to show.  At that moment, we see such a large amount of grace extended by God. God wanted to destroy the Israelites for their sin. Moses became the interceeder for God’s people, and asked for that Amazing Grace to be shown and forgive them.

 

What we can take away from this is: we can total blow it with God, and miss the mark totally. God can become angry and want to destroy us like He did with the Israelites. God’s Grace was shown because of one person asking for a whole nation for God to forgive. We ourselves still face the consequences of our decision, but we can rest assure that God’s Grace will be extended to us. God will welcome us, and forgive us with open arms.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your grace is beyond any words, we can begin to fathom in our small finite brains. We ask that you forgive us O’ Lord. Whether our sins are great or small, we deserve the eternal damnation. Yet, you sent your Son Jesus to be our savior, who died, was buried for 3 days, rose, and ascended to heaven to be at the right hand of Your throne.  We thank you for your forgiveness, and let us be able to extend that same forgiveness to others.  Amen

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Greeting Blogger,

This is a little different Blog today, I am going to be answering the question in “The Comeback Series” by Louie Giglio, and thought I would share it with each and every one of my fellow bloggers. Hope you enjoy

Session One:

[Scriptural Text]Exodus 2:11-15, 3:1-12

Pre-Video Question:

1) What was one thing that stood out to you from the Scriptures?

What really stood out to me was, how Moses really had two different approaches to handling problems. The first problem we have is Egyptian is beating a Hebrew, and Moses killed the Egyptian. The second problem was two Hebrews were fighting and Moses question them why they were fighting. I found that to be quite interesting because of the difference in people involved between these two groups , and the way Moses chose to handle it.

2) In what ways did that represent a new insight?

The new insight was that people in general are going to handle situation differentially depending on which group is involved. Even if the situation are the same. This may have been because Moses had compassion for it being his own people and wanted to protect them from an outsider causing harm. While, trying to makes sure that his own people worked it out among themselves.  We really don’t know what thoughts were going through Moses head during these two days while these events were happening. Only that he feared for his life from Pharaoh for killing the Egyptian.

3) Do you think this part of the book of Exodus casts Moses in a good or bad light? Why did you answer the way you did?

I would have to say a “Bad Light”. The reason I answer this way is; we see Moses having killed an Egyptian, running away from his problems, and now is a wondering within wilderness to the land of the Midian. Moses was running away from His problems instead of facing them head on. Showing us to run away is better than, moving forward at this point of his life if we are just focusing on this portion of scripture.

Video Question:

1)Finish this sentence: “After watching the video, one question I now have is…”

what happens now?

2)Even if you have felt like you’ve done too much, gone too far, or God has lost track of you, the truth is God has not forgotten you. God see you right where you are. In what ways do you agree or disagree with this statement.

As I’ve been on this life journey of mine, I will have to agree with this statement. For the very fact that I’ve gone through many life struggles, and have been reminded time and time again God has always been by my side each every step of the way. Even when I felt like I blew it in a major way. God has alway been there to wrap his loving arms around me to remind me that He has me, or shower me with a blessing when I felt like I didn’t even deserve it. God showed up and showed out.

3)Does this idea sound too good to be true? Why or why not?

This idea is true, just continue from the pervious question that I answered. God has shown Himself to me during times of struggles. Making provision when there was not a way. God laid it on people hearts to provide things in my life that they had no clue I needed, but they came either to provide monetary provision in the amount that was due, provision of food when it was needed, and they had no clue that I was struggling. God shower his blessing in only a God manner way.

4)Have you ever seen God restart someone’s story? if so, when?

I’ve seen many, but the most profound one is my friend Gabriel Martinez. I remember the first time I meet Gabriel was going to Godfest in 2012 I believe.  He was a very quite, broken young man. He had made a poor choice. He decided one night to consume alcohol, and drive afterward. In most cases when you drink in drive things don’t always turn out for the best.  Gabriel got into an accident, and someone else was severely injured. Gabriel was in a large amount of trouble with the law, had the pain of this person on had injured in the back of his mind, many days in court. Gabriel had literally hit rock bottom.  The transformation I seen in this young man has been amazing. God truly gave Gabriel such a comeback it is amazing to see. Over the last 4 years God has replace so much hurt that Gabriel had harbored toward life, himself, and what he had done. Now Gabriel is filled with so much joyous laughter, a servant’s heart for God, and just a powerful advocate to who God is in his life.  Gabriel is now happily married, his legal issue are no more, and is a tremendous leader within our student ministry impacting the lives of many students from His comeback story and friend around him that he encounters.  Gabriel’s Life has been an impactful one in my life and very grateful that I’ve met and gotten to know him.

5)God can “reach into our lives and make music play.” What does the “music’ playing in life sound like right now? What would God’s song sound like?

The music that has truly impacting my life has been two beautiful old melodies from when I was a child.  I have decided to follow Jesus, and Just as I am. Just showing me that no matter what is going on in my life that Just as I am; broken, bruised, battered, tired, and worn out that God loves me just the way I am, and I can follow him regardless if I go alone or someone comes along with me it my choice to follow Christ just the way I am.

6)In the video, Louie says he wished he could say his story ended with everything getting better quickly and easily… but it didn’t. It took time. Do you find this comforting or discouraging? Why did you answer the way you did?

I believe it is both, because I know myself along with others want things to get better quickly and be super easy. I know that isn’t the case, because in my life when I experienced a deep heart-break it took me many years to claw out of that painful experience. I was discouraged along the way, and didn’t feel anyone else understood what I was going through. It was a truly painful experience. It also comforting to know that Louie, a pastor, struggles with similar things that I have. Knowing what it feels like, and realizing I am not along in this struggle. It is comforting.

7)Can you think of a place in your life where you need a comeback? If so, are you willing to share with the group what that is?

This is hard for me to say at this moment, I know I needed one many years ago, but as of right now I am not sure. I found this book, and wanted to do the study allowing God to work on my heart. If there is something I ask God to help uncover it in my life to allow me to have a comeback to be someone who is willing to use it to be a testimony for someone else who may be struggling with a similar experience.

 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As I am writing this prayer. I give you praise for who you are. Without you, the very foundation of the earth would not be formed. You truly gave breath to every living being that lives and have orchestrated such a beautiful array of things in life to allow us to enjoy the things we have.  I ask you right now for those who are reading this to be open to your power in their lives to bring such a beautiful comeback story that impact lives around the profoundly. I also ask that you will allow them to hear your song that you place into their lives this week to show that you are the God of the comeback. Finally, I ask that you will comfort those who read this to allow them to feel your presence to know that you are with them through this journey called life. I love you Father, and ask these things in your Son, Jesus name. Amen.

Greetings Fellow Bloggers,

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with someone who is very dear and near to my heart. Someone that looks up to me as an older sibling and I feel as they are a younger sibling in my life. They were discussing with me some life events that they were going through and struggles that they are facing. When I was reading my devotional, the day after, it reminded me of someone with whom I can relate to from the Bible over the last few years. I have read his story many times and it was just a powerful reminder that God has such a powerful plan that is beyond our greatest dreams. A plan that we can not even began to possibly fathom.
As I was doing a reflection from my devotional,l I was able to realize that I can relate to the story of Joseph.  I know I did not have some of the crazy events that had happened to Joseph; but, I can definitely relate to him. For a period in my life, every time I turned around something else was going wrong. It was like one blow after another.  When was this crazy roller coaster going to end? The story of Joseph had many things that were very prevalent throughout his entire journey.
The biggest thing was that God was always present. When it did not seem like He was there to Joseph and during these trials Joseph encountered along the journey that he was experiencing, God was there. God allowed one of Joseph’s older brothers, Reuben, to speak up to keep their other brothers from ending Joseph’s life. Later Ishmaelites came just in time to prevent the snakes in the pit from possibly killing Joseph. His brother sold Joseph for 20 pieces of silver to their extended family, the Ishmaelites. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was an officer for Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, bought Joseph. God’s hand was on Joseph when Potiphar bought Joseph. It was part of a bigger plan that Joseph did not realize as he was going through this hardship on his life’s journey. Joseph began to be very successful in his owner’s household and found favor in his owner’s sight. This led to Joseph being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. The punishment of Joseph’s crime should have been death; but, Potiphar, being a Captain in the guard, showed restraint and mercy on Joseph and sent him to the King’s Prison [State Prison]. God’s hand was on Joseph even when he was being sent to jail. Joseph prospered in jail. Joseph gained a tremendous amount of favor to the point that Joseph was made chief administrator of the prison. God’s hand of favor was on Joseph during all of these trials, sharpening his skills for the plans God had for him. God allowed people to cross Joseph’s path to impact their lives in such a way it would influence people in a position of power to take notice. The Pharaoh’s chief baker and cup bearer were just two of many people to cross Joseph’s path. These two particular people had dreams that needed to be interpreted.  The dreams were interpreted by Joseph. Both dreams came true, just as Joseph had interpreted them. The interpretation made an impact on the chief cup bearer’s heart. Yet, it was almost two years later before the cup bearer remembered a promise that he had made to Joseph.  God’s timing is sometimes hard to wait on. We expect things to happen in our timing. What we do not see is how God is using the place we are at to hone our skills for the position that God is going to provide in the future. The dream that Joseph interpreted for the chief cup bearer was so impactful that when no one else could interpret the Pharaoh’s dream, he remembered Joseph. The cup bearer spoke up to tell Pharaoh about Joseph.  Pharaoh had Joseph brought before him and asked if he was the one who could interpret dreams. Joseph was honest with Pharaoh. He told Pharaoh it was not him, but God that gave the interpretation. Pharaoh told Joseph his dream. Joseph interpreted and gave a proposal that not only pleased Pharaoh, but all of his servants. Pharaoh’s own words are “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has God’s spirit in him?” [a]  Pharaoh placed and exalted Joseph to have control of all of the land of Egypt and no one could out rank him, but Pharaoh himself. 
I have truly put in a nutshell about four to five chapters from the book of Genesis about the story of Joseph for a quick reflection. We could go into a much deeper and detailed endeavor of Joseph’s life. There is so much to learn from his life to apply to our own. With my life, the things that I have experienced over the last six to seven years have been a training ground for future endeavors that God has the foreknowledge of and I have not quite grasped hold of yet. These plans have not been revealed yet.
To all who may be having an experience like Joseph with things that just go wrong at every turn or things just seem to be happening, do not give up. Keep pressing forward. You will be surprised at the end of the journey how mature you have become. The struggles you face will in turn help someone else that may be facing a similar situation. Use your past experiences as a testimony and light for others that come after you. These experiences can point people to Christ and show a vulnerability within yourself to others who may be experiencing this struggle, also.
Life events do happen to us because life happens. We live in an imperfect world, with imperfect bodies, with imperfect people around us.  Things come up because of the imperfection of life.  We do have a choice to either take what happens as a learning experience to help us grow in maturity from that life event or we can choose to allow it to destroy us and those around us.
One final thought is that people are going to discourage you. They feel they still have control over you. They do not like seeing your success. They are a hurt person that goes around hurting people because that is all they know. Or perhaps it is just the enemy trying to stop your growth from happening. As hard as it is to tune these people out, some of them may even be love ones that you care about, put on noise canceling head phones bumping your Jesus Music to keep on track with your faith journey.

Very Respectfully,

Jonathan

[a]Genesis 41:38 HCSB

It has been 25 days since my last post.  It has been truly a difficult 25 days in my life.  It is no where as hard as someone who is struggling with an illness, a family member that has gone off to war, or even lost a love one who has been very close.

My struggles are very personal to me, struggle with finding a job, dealing with losing a vehicle, breaking off my engagement to be married, personal injuries, and even dealing with money issue because of a lack of employment.

During this time I have being questioning a lot of things these past 25 days.  Things that are far beyond my mind can even begin to understand.  My biggest question is why. I tell God in my post that I don’t understand what is going on, I don’t understand the purpose behind this struggle that I am going through. Why have you chosen me? These question I have asked myself repeatedly with these scripture that keep coming to mind each and every time.

Psalm 46:10 –

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Job Chapter 40-41 (Just put into retrospect of everything)

I am not going to lie, every time I am reminded, I do get frustrated, and I want to see the big picture.  Then I see what I am going through and I don’t see the bigger picture of what is going on in my life at this moment. The present situation that I am currently in is serving afor something greater in the future.  I am only seeing what is going on with me from right in the middle of the storm instead of from the sky box view of the one who created us. I can honestly say what I am going through absolutely sucks! I don’t like the current place I am in. I realize that God see things that we can only begin to even fathom with our minds.

If you have been going through an ordeal that is painful, you have been questioning things that have been going on in your life, you’re not alone.  Even minister at time struggle with hardship.  We are not perfect and struggle just like each and every person in the world.  The only different there is an amazing God who is there by our side to be able to pick us up when we least expect it, and bringing a peace that by no means should be with us when everything is going wrong in our lives.  That why I follow God, and His Son Jesus Christ, Because only through Jesus do we find that total peace, that perfect healing peace that only can be given by Him.

I tell you tonight, that it is worth it all to follow after Christ, even in time of hardship because I know that He has never left me or forsaken me. My entire life, He has been with me every step of the way.  He will do the same for you!