Last Post For Awhile

It has been a joy and a privilege to bring blog posts to you for the last 5 years.  I have come to a place in my life, family, and ministry where I am going to need to take a break from some things.  One of those is making blog posts.  This does not mean that I will never blog again, and it doesn’t mean I am going to take down the blogs off my site.  If you desire, all of my old blogs will be there to read or reread.

My ministry will stay the same.  I will keep taking the Gospel to men, students, and families so they can tear down idolatry.  For this season that will just not involve blog posts.

Thank you to so many who read these posts, champion what our ministry is about, give to us, pray for us, and support us.

Until my next blog post (whenever that may be),  God’s Many Blessings!!!!!!!

Josh

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Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Mission, Part 3)

This will be my last post in the Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission series.

I have been blogging about this for 9 months.  Let me give you some recaps from previous posts.

Read Isaiah 6.

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted,seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

And he answered:

“Until the cities lie ruined
    and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

We get a glimpse of the vision that God gave to Isaiah.  Wow!  What a vision indeed!  The text says that Isaiah saw the Lord lifted high and exalted, seated on a throne.  Visualize this in your head.  Isaiah continues to describe the vision. He said the train of God’s robe filled the temple.  Let that sink in for a minute.  God is so big that He wears a robe, and the train of that robe fills the entire Old Testament temple.  This is the temple that Solomon built.  That temple was huge. Translation:  God is BIG!  He is HUGE!  Isaiah catches a glimpse of this!

In this same vision, Isaiah sees angelic beings above God, and they are singing to Him.  They are singing “Holy, Holy, Holy”. Who are they singing to?  They are singing to the One who is so BIG and HUGE that the train of His robe fills the entire temple, and when they sing, they sing about the Holiness and Glory of God.  What a sight to behold!  While they are singing, the doorposts and thresholds of the temple begins to shake, and smoke fills the temple.

Try to picture this in your mind.  Imagine what Isaiah must have been thinking and feeling.

Look back at verses 6-7  in Isaiah 6.  They help us to see that the God who is MAJESTIC is also MESSIAH.  Isaiah experiences forgiveness for his sin.  Amazing!!!

This is what we can experience as well.  We have all fallen short of God’s Glory because of our sin.  We need a Savior, and Jesus is that Savior for us.  He died on a cross bearing the weight of all the sin of all of humanity, and He drank in God’s wrath so you and I wouldn’t have to experience the wrath of God.  He died, but on the 3rd day He rose again.  He ascended back into Heaven, and one day, He will return to set up a Kingdom and rule and reign for all of eternity.  As I type this, I say come quickly Lord Jesus.

Question: Have you received the free gift of Jesus by surrendering your life to Him?  If you have, then you are no longer subject to God’s wrath.  You, like Isaiah, in Isaiah 6, have been completely forgiven.

Isn’t that an incredible thought.  If we have surrendered our lives to the MAJESTIC, MESSIAH Jesus, then we are completely forgiven of everything we have ever said, thought or done that is sinful.  This forgiveness covers all past, present, and future sin.

Since God is MAJESTIC and MESSIAH, we are compelled to declare Him to be MASTER.  That’s what happened to Isaiah in Isaiah 6. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, saw the MAJESTY of God, saw how He was MESSIAH, and Isaiah declared God to be MASTER.  Go back and look at Isaiah 6:8.

Isaiah says, “Here am I, Send me.”  He is really declaring this:  God, You are my MASTER!  I will do what you tell me to do, and I will go where you tell me to go.

Isaiah was given a MISSION by God that was very hard.  Isaiah was willing to do this because He had declared Him to be MASTER.

God has given me a MISSION.  I think He wants me to take the truth of the Gospel to Men, Students, and Families.  He specifically wants me to point men, students, and families to the truth of the Gospel so they can walk in freedom from the idol of sexual sin.  There are times fulfilling that MISSION is very hard.  Why do I do it?  He is my MASTER.  Why is He my MASTER.  I have seen that He is MAJESTIC, and I have confessed that He is MESSIAH.

What is the MISSION God has given you?  What is the MISSION God has given His church?

The last several months I have gotten to be the interim preaching pastor for Grace Covenant Church in Arlington, TX.  If you want you can take a listen to the sermon I gave Sunday.  It was my last one as their interim preaching pastor.  That message encompasses everything in this blog and in this blog series.

MAJESTIC, MESSIAH, MASTER, MISSION Message

May we live on MISSION for the KING of kings and LORD of lords.  He is worthy of nothing less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Mission, Part 2)

In my last post I talked about how God gave Isaiah a very specific MISSION.  You can read about this in Isaiah 6.  This MISSION was very hard. Why would Isaiah accept this MISSION and follow God in obedience.  He saw God as MAJESTIC.  He experienced Him as MESSIAH.  He declared Him to be MASTER.  He chose to live on MISSION for God!

God has called us to live on MISSION for Him as well.  What does that MISSION look like?

Read Mark 12:28-31.

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

This is referred to as the Great Commandment.  God wants us to love Him and others.

Read Matthew 28:18-20.

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

This is referred to as the Great Commission.  God wants us to make disciples.

In Mark 2 you see 4 men fulfilling the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Read Mark 2:1-12.  This tells the story of these 4 men.

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man,carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

We all know people who need to get to Jesus.  If we are followers of Jesus, this is our MISSION.

Listen to the following sermon and ask God: “God, who in my life do I need to help carry to Jesus?”

Mark 2 sermon

May we live on MISSION for Jesus, who is our MASTER, because He is MAJESTIC and because He is MESSIAH!

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Mission-Part 1)

This will be my first post of 2018.  I have been spending some extended time resting.  This has really helped me in my battle with depression.  I have really sensed that God is with me in this.  He has shown me a couple of things during my extended resting time.  One of the things He has shown me is that if I am not careful, bitterness can sneak into my heart.  During this time, I feel like the Lord has cleansed my heart of this.  What I really desire is to make sure I stay so connected with Jesus and abide in Him that I don’t let bitterness sneak into my heart in the future.  The other thing He has shown me is that I don’t need to destroy what I hate or He hates (idolatry).  I just need to honor Him and be empowered by Him to fulfill what He has called me to do.  God doesn’t need me to defend His Holiness.  He wants me to have joy living on the MISSION He has called me to.  What is that MISSION – Tearing Down Idolatry through the Truth of the Gospel.  I think He is encouraging me to focus more on the truth of the Gospel and less on the tearing down part.  This helps me stay motivated to fulfill the MISSION He has given me, and it gives me His joy as I accomplish the MISSION.

All of this leads me to this blog post.  Over much of 2017, I blogged about this:

God is MAJESTIC!  God is MESSIAH!  God wants to be MASTER!  God wants us to live on MISSION!

This week the focus is on MISSION.

God wants all of us to live on MISSION for Him.  Read Isaiah 6:1-13:

1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted,seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King,the Lord Almighty.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
    be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
    make their ears dull
    and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “For how long, Lord?”

And he answered:

“Until the cities lie ruined
    and without inhabitant,
until the houses are left deserted
    and the fields ruined and ravaged,
12 until the Lord has sent everyone far away
    and the land is utterly forsaken.
13 And though a tenth remains in the land,
    it will again be laid waste.
But as the terebinth and oak
    leave stumps when they are cut down,
    so the holy seed will be the stump in the land.”

Isaiah was given a MISSION by God that was very hard.  The MISSION God has given me is hard.  The MISSION God has given all of us is hard.  He wants us to love Him and love others.  He wants us to make disciples of all nations.  He wants us to proclaim Him as we admonish and teach others about Him.  He has gifted all of us in unique ways to each carry this out differently.  But the bottom line is this – God’s MISSION is hard, if not impossible (at least in our own strength).  What motivates us to do that?  What empowers us to do that?  What gives us joy in the midst of doing that?

It’s simple.  He is the one who empowers us!!!!!! We live on MISSION for Him because we have declared Him to be MASTER.  We do what He tells us to do because He is MASTER.  We declare Him to be MASTER because He is our MESSIAH.  He rescued us.  He can be our MESSIAH because He is MAJESTIC God.  He is Holy, Awesome!!!!!!!!!!  Therefore, we worship Him with joy in our hearts as we live on MISSION for Him, no matter how hard it is.  And we don’t do it in our strength.  To accomplish His MISSION, we must let His Spirit fill us, control us, and empower us!

For more encouragement to live on MISSION for Him, take a listen to this recent message that I did:

MISSION Message

Let’s worship the One who is MAJESTIC, MESSIAH.  Let’s declare Him to be MASTER.  Let’s live on MISSION for Him!!!!!!

2017-End of Year Giving

It is indeed a privilege to get to do the ministry that God has called us to.  Make no mistake, it is hard and has its challenges, but there is nothing better than doing exactly what you know God has called you to do.

Many of you know this, and many of you do not.  The vast majority of our income comes from the financial generosity of those who give to our ministry.  We have churches and families and businesses who believe in what we are doing, and they contribute financially to our ministry monthly, quarterly, or annually.

I said the following last year, but I feel the need to say it again.  When it comes to giving money to a ministry, people think all kinds of different things.  I know that there are many who have abused this, but this is not how we do things at all.  Our ministry falls under the umbrella of our local church, and we have financial accountability on what our salary, etc. looks like.

We are trying to raise more ministry money for 2018.  God continues to use our ministry to help men, students, and families experience freedom from idolatry (specifically sexual sin) through the truth of the Gospel.  As you consider your 2017 end of the year giving, we would ask that you prayerfully consider giving to our ministry.  Please note it will be a 501c3 tax deductible contribution.

If He does lead you to give, then simply click on this link:

Ministry Giving (If you do this, please email terry@remedy-church.com and indicate specific purpose.)

You can also make a check out to Remedy Church (Please note specific purpose in memo line) and mail it to:

Remedy Church, PO Box 2925, Waxahachie TX 75168

Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings for 2018!

Josh

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Master-Part 8)

I have been blogging about this for a large portion of 2017.  Quick look at the main points of what I have blogged:

God is MAJESTIC!  God is MESSIAH!  God wants to be MASTER!  God wants us to live on MISSION!

Last week we looked at this:

If Jesus is our MASTER, then we will walk in a worthy manner.  Colossians 1:10 tells us this:  “Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”  If He is MASTER, then we will indeed walk in a worthy manner.  We will please Him.  We will bear fruit.  We will grow in knowledge of Him.  How do we walk in a worthy manner?  Answer=By Grace Through Faith  Ephesians 2:8 tells us we received Jesus by grace through faith, and Colossians 2:6 tells us that just as received Jesus, continue to walk in Him.  If I want to walk in a worthy manner of Jesus (MY MASTER), then I must do it by grace through faith.  What happened to us when we received Jesus by grace through faith?  Understanding this helps me let grace reign and rule in my life.  When grace reigns, Jesus will be My MASTER.

Romans 6, 7, and 8 helps us understand this.  Romans 6 is the believer’s new identity in Christ.  Romans 7 is the believer trying to live out their new identity in Christ on their own.  Romans 8 is the believer letting grace reign as the Spirit empowers them to live out their new identity in Christ.  Instead of me writing more about this, just read Romans 5:20-6:14 and Romans 7:1-8:13 on your own, and you can listen to a sermon I did on this recently.

Here is the message:

Walk in a Worthy Way Message, Part 2

If you just want to look at the Roman’s passages, I provided links for them below:

Romans 5:20-6:14

Romans 7:1-8:13

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Master-Part 7)

I have been blogging about this for most of 2017.  Quick Reminder:

God is MAJESTIC!

God is MESSIAH!

God wants to be MASTER!

God wants us to live on MISSION!

If Jesus is our MASTER, then we will walk in a worthy manner.  Colossians 1:10 tells us this:

“Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”

If He is MASTER, then we will indeed walk in a worthy manner.  We will please Him.  We will bear fruit.  We will grow in knowledge of Him.

How do we walk in a worthy manner?  Answer=By Grace Through Faith

Ephesians 2:8 tells us we received Jesus by grace through faith, and Colossians 2:6 tells us that just as received Jesus, continue to walk in Him.

If I want to walk in a worthy manner of Jesus (MY MASTER), then I must do it by grace through faith.  What happened to us when we received Jesus by grace through faith?  Understanding this helps me let grace reign and rule in my life.  When grace reigns, Jesus will be My MASTER.

Romans 6 helps us understand this.  Instead of me writing more about this, just read Romans 5:20-6:14 on your own in conjunction with Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 2:8, and Colossians 2:6, or you can listen to a sermon I did on it recently.

Here is the message:

Walk in a Worthy Way Message

If you just want to look at those passages I provided links for them below:

Colossians 1:10

Ephesians 2:8

Colossians 2:6

Romans 5:20-6:14

I Have Depression

I am taking a break from my Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission blogs just for this post.

I have gone back and forth about whether I should write this post or not, but I really believe the Lord has led me to write this.

I believe this blog can provide hope for some others who might be battling depression.

I battle depression.  This may surprise you.  It may not.  I don’t know.  When I first started battling it, I was surprised to hear that Charles Spurgeon also struggled with depression.  I was even more surprised to hear that Tommy Nelson had a season where he wrestled with it.  Tommy Nelson is the pastor of Denton Bible Church, and he is one of the best communicators I have ever heard.  He did a message on depression at Dallas Seminary that I think could bless you, and it could also give you some insight into what I am battling.  Here is that link:

Tommy Nelson Depression Message

Here is my story.

A few years ago I experienced something that I had never experienced before.  It was what I would call an emotionless time.  For me that had never happened in my life.  After consulting a Christian Counselor and Medial Doctor, I was diagnosed with depression.  I didn’t want to tell anyone.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  I had to go on meds to help regulate the serotonin (chemical in the brain that helps regulate happiness and mood) levels in my brain.  Those meds worked very well, along with rest, expressing gratitude, exercise, and spending good time with the Lord (as directed by my counselor).  It took several months, but I felt like I got my life back.  I was myself again.  After a year on the meds, I was able to ween off of them slowly over time, and everything was fine.

Everything was fine until this fall.  What I have since learned is that high stress can really mess with my serotonin levels or anyone’s levels for that matter.  For me, I think stress messes with my serotonin levels worse than others, and I will explain why later in this post.  This fall, I had come off of a very busy summer with life and ministry.  I was loving what I was doing, and I still do love it.  I was seeing high highs in ministry and low lows.  The lows were weighing on me more than normal.  We have had some very stressful health stuff with some of our children, and my wife has been sick for almost 2 months with various infections.

I just came off one of the most fulfilling ministry speaking things I had ever done.  I really saw God move.  Shortly after this, it felt like my brain was hijacked.  It was similar to what happened a few years ago, but this one was different.  A few years ago I slipped into this depression over time.  I vividly remember the event that triggered this latest episode.  Something very stressful happened that day, and it was like a shut down.  I don’t know what happened, but I can say it very much felt like some demonic attack was involved.  I went and sat down.  I couldn’t get up, and I couldn’t really speak.  It was SCARY!!!  My wife was finally able to get me up, and we went for a walk.  This helped me function the rest of the evening.  The next day I made an appointment, and I have been diagnosed with depression again.

I was able to rest well last week, and I have some built in, extended rest coming in a few weeks.  This will help a great deal.  My schedule for the spring is pretty full, and I will need to build in good rest moving forward to help with my stress levels, etc.  Please pray for this extended time of rest, and please pray that I will consistently make good rest part of my weekly schedule.  Rest helps.  Connecting with people I love helps.  Exercise helps.  Working in the yard relaxes me, and that helps.  Spending time with Jesus helps, and being on meds is without a doubt a huge help.  I and my family covet your prayers as I battle this.

I believe the Lord wants me to share this blog for many reasons.

Maybe you are battling depression, and it would give you hope to know someone else battles it as well.  If this is you, go see a doctor and a Christian counselor.  Get the appropriate help that you need.  Jesus will be with you in the midst of the struggle.  He may take depression away.  He may not, but He will be with you in it.  I know this because His Word says it, and I have experienced this personally.

Maybe you think all you need to battle depression is time in prayer and the Word, and you need to read this to know that is not true.  Don’t be offended as you read the previous sentence, or at least try not to be offended.  If it makes you feel any better, I used to think that way.  I even remember preaching a sermon against taking medication for mental health issues.  I was so arrogant for preaching that, and I was so wrong.  I now know that is not true because I have lived this!!!  We need medicine for lots of things, and we take them for physical health things with no problem.  For some reason, in the Christian community, we don’t have the same attitude towards mental health meds as physical health meds.  Praise God He has changed my attitude towards them.

Believe it or not, one of the biggest reasons I think God wants me to write this blog is related to pornography.  Let me explain.  There are studies out there that show serotonin levels in the brain can be reduced when you abuse drugs (like cocaine or heroine).  There are other studies out there that show the brain scan of a porn addict looks the same as the brain scan of a cocaine or heroine addict.  In essence, porn is a drug, just like cocaine or heroine.  I believe that one of the consequences of my sin of abusing pornography is how it has impacted my brain’s ability to produce serotonin.  When I have high stress, I don’t have enough serotonin to fight the onslaught of depression that comes.  Hear me!  Without the meds that onslaught of depression is miserable!!!!  I asked my doctor if my theory about porn and my brain was right.  He would not say definitively “YES”, but he did say it was certainly possible.

This has just made me more passionate about telling people to run away from porn.  It has made me more passionate to tell parents to protect their kids from porn.  Porn messes you up on so many levels.  It distorts God’s purpose for sex.  It produces huge amounts of shame.  And I believe it has radically impacted my brain.  We must tear this idol down!!!!!

As you read this, you may agree with my perspective, and you may not.  The purpose of this post is not to convince you that I am right.  There are lots of purposes of this post, and I just mentioned three of them in the paragraphs above.  The last purpose I want to give is that DEPRESSION is REAL!  It sabotages you!  If you are battling this, you are not alone!  The good news is that there are ways to battle it.  My battle plan was already mentioned above, but I will say it again:

  • Meds (SRI-serotonin reuptake inhibitor)
  • Expressing Gratitude (look it up, gratitude helps increase serotonin)
  • Exercise
  • Working in the yard
  • Deep relational connections with people I love
  • Consistent time with Jesus where I am real and raw with Him and He loves on me.

This is hard for sure.  I really am ok, but it is a daily dependence on the Lord that helps me.  Pray for me as I battle this.  Pray I would be disciplined to do all that I need to fight it.  Pray I would see Jesus in the midst of it!  I know He is with me!

If you feel like this would help someone else, email them the blog link, or post the blog link on social media (twitter, facebook, etc.)

Whatever you are battling, know that Jesus is with you in the midst of it.  I know this because His Word promises it, and I know this because every day I experience Him being with me in whatever I am fighting.

May God be Glorified through this post!  I covet your prayers!

 

 

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Master-Part 6)

Reminder!

What have I been blogging about for several months?

God is MAJESTIC!

God is MESSIAH!

God wants to be MASTER!

God wants us to live on MISSION!

If we see God’s MAJESTY, then we know we fall short of it and are in need of someone to rescue us.  That is why God is also MESSIAH.  He is the one who rescues.  Once He rescues us, the only option is to make Him MASTER of all aspects of our lives.  If we are honest, we would say no one can do that 100%.  Even if He is MASTER, we are going to sin.  The issue is what do we do after we sin.

If God is MASTER, then I believe these things will be true:

We will sin because we are human.

We must listen to rebuke after we sin to get us back on the path of God being MASTER.

We must accept the consequences of our sin.

What helps us accept the consequences is experiencing the forgiveness that God has for us.  What motivates to make Him MASTER of all every day is the forgiveness He has for our sin.

Take a listen to this message I recently did.  It talks about all the things I just mentioned.  If you find yourself reading this and don’t know Christ, my challenge is to surrender control of your life to God by receiving the free gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.  If you already know Jesus, may the truth of God’s forgiveness motivate you to make God MASTER today.

Here is the message:

Sin, Rebuke, Consequences, Forgiveness

Majestic, Messiah, Master, Mission (Master-Part 5)

For several months I have looked at this idea that God is:

  • Majestic
  • Messiah
  • He wants to be our Master
  • He wants us to live on Mission

In this particular post we will look at the idea that if He is Master, then we will submit to all authority He gives us, even if it means enduring suffering.  1 Peter 2 tells us that all authority is given by God, and we are to submit to that authority, even if it means suffering.  Why?  We follow the example Jesus set when we do this.

Take a look at 1 Peter 2:13-24.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority:whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Best I can tell we are to submit to all authority, unless that authority asks us to go against God and His Scripture (See Daniel 3).

Jesus can use submission to harsh authority in our lives to conform us into the image of God.  This is what Romans 8 teaches.  Suffering can conform us into His image, if we let God use it in our lives to do so.

I believe that God has used circumstances like that in my own life, and I believe He used circumstances like that in the life of David.  I believe with all my heart that as David suffered at the hands of Saul, God was helping David be molded into His Image.  Only if David looked more like God could he lead God’s Nation (Israel) the way they needed to be led.  This required David to submit to Saul and entrust Himself to the Lord.

We can only do this if God is Master of our lives.  I let Him be Master because He is Majestic, Sovereign, and in complete control of all (even the suffering I walk through).  I let Him be Master because He rescued me from hell, and He rescued me from myself.  He is Messiah!  That rescue didn’t stop the moment I said “yes” to Him.  He continues to be my Messiah.  Sometimes He puts me in rough circumstances and rescues me.  Sometimes He puts me in rough circumstances and allows me to endure them, but this is still rescue!  How?  His rescue of me is letting that circumstance cut away the stuff in my heart that is not yielded to Him.  To let Him cut that stuff away, I must see Him as Majestic.  I must let Him be my Messiah.  I must give Him complete control and say He is Master!

You can click on the link below to listen to a recent sermon I did teaching/preaching about these very things.  May He be Master of my life!  May He be Master of yours!

Life of David – Heart, Submission, Suffering