August 28, 2017 |You are QUALIFIED! Don’t disqualify what God alone qualifies.

God The QualifierWhen you hear that God has purpose and a plan for your life, do you accept it or do you begin making a list of excuses? Are you willing to boldly step into the will of God or are you timid and insecure? If you’re not quick to jump at the opportunity to be used by God for His eternal purpose, then you’re not alone.

Naturally we want to live life where we’re familiar and we tend to avoid anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. And when God leads us to take step out of our comfort zone into a faith-stretching opportunity to serve Him, we may want to resist.

While there are certain gifts, talents, and passions that ought to serve as an indication for where God wants to use us, I think what often keeps us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives is fear, or guilt, or shame.

Fear is the emotional mechanism used to warn us of an impending threat. We know that the Lord is likely not going to lead us into a situation that will cause us harm; so, what is the fear that cripples us from freely giving ourselves to the service of God? Paul encouraged a young man named Timothy with this truth in 2 Timothy 1:7 — “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Guilt and shame are the consequences that result because of sin. When we’ve sinned, we know that we’ve disobeyed God which leads us to feel like we’ve let God down; thus rendering us inadequate or disqualified from serving God.

I am acutely familiar with the feeling that I’m unworthy to be used by God. Just about every Sunday before I preach, I have to remind myself that God has saved me, rescued me, forgiven me, qualified me, and purposed me to preach His Word. And the same is true for you — through Jesus, God has saved you and purposed you.

Psalm 130:3-4 — “If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You.”

God, your creator, knows you, defects and all. Your limitations don’t disqualify you because God is the one who qualifies you. He forgives your sin and gives you His Spirit to live within you — He’s given you everything you’ll need to fulfill the purpose He has for your life. Don’t disqualify what God alone qualifies.

In Christ,

Ashton

 

August 21, 2017 |If we’re supposed to be excited about going to heaven, what do we have to be excited about?

Today the world awaits the highly anticipated solar eclipse; an event which our generation will never again experience. And with our protected eyes gazing toward the skies, I feel slightly akin to the eleven disciples who starred heavenward in Acts 1:10-11, “They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

I understand the ascension of Jesus and today’s solar eclipse are unrelated; however, it’s our gaze that is reminiscent of the longing those followers of Jesus felt in Acts. Even with so much brokenness, hatred, and division that fills our world, we will all stop to marvel at a celestial event together as one. There is coming a day when the world will stop everything and gaze their eyes toward the skies once again. The apostle John foretold of this moment in Revelation 1:7, “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him…”

Much like the solar eclipse that we’ll experience today, the coming of Jesus is a future event that is going to happen. God promised His second coming in the Bible and He has always been faithful to His promises. And for followers of Jesus, His coming marks the beginning of our eternity in which we “will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” (Psalm 23:6)

As the Church has been anticipating the second coming of Jesus since His resurrection, what are we anticipating? Have you ever wondered what we will do with our eternal lives? If we’re supposed to be excited about going to heaven, what do we have to be excited about? For everything the Bible says bout Heaven, does it say anything about what we’ll do for forever?

I’m happy to share with you that the Bible has much to say about Heaven and there even a few glimpses into what our eternal to-do list will look like.
Here are ten things I’ve discovered from the Scriptures that we’ll experience when we get to Heaven.

1. We’ll join in with the worship of God in His full GLORY. The Apostle John describes his sneak peak into eternity in Revelation 5:11-14. God is worthy of worship and we will certainly worship Him a lot in Heaven with undistracted, full-hearted praise.

2. We’ll be entrusted with responsibilities determined by our stewardship while here on earth. Jesus explains in a parable that we’ll be rewarded with more responsibility if we handle well the responsibility given initially given to us while living life here and now (Luke 19:26). We discover “work” for the first time in the book of Genesis when God gave Adam the responsibility of caring for the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). In the next chapter (Genesis 3:17) we discover that as a result of sin, work is cursed for man and will be come difficult, stressful, laborious. Work is not a consequence for sin; moreover, we were made to enjoy our work. So manage well your responsibilities now, and the Lord will reward you will glorious heavenly responsibilities when you get to heaven.

3. We’ll rest. Revelation 14:13 tells us that “they will rest from their labor…”.

4. We’ll eat. Revelation 19:7-9 describes a great wedding feast that we’ll get to celebrate! We’ll eat, although it won’t be because we’re hungry for it says in Revelation 7:16, “Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.” Jesus even said we’ll sit with Him and celebrate the Lord’s Supper with Him (Matthew 26:29).

5. We’ll no longer be married. Jesus mentions in Matthew 22:23-33 that we’ll no longer be united in marriage in heaven. Instead, our current marriages are an illustration of the perfect union we’ll enjoy with Jesus as His bride (Ephesians 5:23-32).

6. We’ll reunite with loved ones. While we will no longer be united in a marriage relationship, we will certainly enjoy heaven with those we love who are in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). What a great adventure it will be to worshipfully inhabit and explore the New Earth and new universe, together with old friends and new ones.

7. We’ll experience unending joy. Jesus promised in Luke 6:21, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” The word “blessed” literally means “happy“. It will be in heaven that the ultimate joy will be finally fulfilled (Isaiah 65:18).

8. We’ll enjoy renewed minds and bodies. We will be whole people, full of energy and vision, eager to undertake new projects for God’s glory and our enrichment. The Bible indicates that our new resurrection bodies will be modeled after Jesus’ body upon His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 49). In John 21:1-14 we see Jesus walking, talking, and eating. In Heaven, we will enjoy bodies like His (1 John 3:2). And those bodies (unlike our current body) will never suffer, break down, or die (Revelation 21:4).

9. We’ll no longer battle with sin. The spiritual war that we’re all waging will cease and Christ’s victory will be ours. We’re given a foretaste of that day when in Revelation 21:4 the effects of sin are done away with as “the old order of things has passed away”. You’ll not be tempted in heaven; so, there will be no more guilt, shame, or regret. Sin will be gone. Jesus has won!

10. We’ll enjoy GOD in Heaven. We will see God in all of His splendor. He will be our God and we will be His people. We’ll enjoy His presence. We’ll even see His face! (Revelation 22:4).

I know that I missed some of the things we’ll experience as we “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. I hope this is just enough to encourage you to hold fast to God’s “goodness and love” that “follows you all the days of your life”.

In Christ,

Ashton

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26