Category: Rambles & Rantings

Welcome Home

Wooh! It's been awhile since I posted anything!
This is a short bible study that I recently prepared for my small group in our young adult ministry. Be blessed!

As I write this, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with someone a few days ago. She was telling me about how she felt that she was done with the young adult ministry in our church, and I was encouraging her not to miss out on the special portion that the Lord has for her.

Today, I want to tell you the same thing. That The Lord has a special portion for you, and He’s waiting for you to come receive it with open arms!

Our verses today start with Luke 19.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
– Luke 19:8-10

We all know the story: short man climbs tree, sees the Messiah, gets called down, dinner ensues, pharisees are scandalized, his life is changed forever.

But have we ever considered it from the ‘Zacchaeus Perspective’? He’s physically disabled, definitely not as strong, or even considered handsome by those around him. A social outcast – possibly slighted, he ran to the Romans (I imagine him to be something like Elphialtes in 300) and they gave him what might have been a semblance of hope. But what he found in the wealth and riches that followed was that while he could afford a house, good food, servants…etc, he could never afford happiness.

But one day, this miracle worker came along. A man who others say can open blind eyes and raise the dead. “Perhaps he can heal my heart and raise my dead self-esteem?”

But Jesus did so much more than that. “Zacchaeus quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today!”

Zacchaeus climbed that tree to take a glimpse at a Man hoping to see a miracle. God came to Jericho to seek out a short guy hated by the world so He could heal his broken heart.

Friends, sometimes we go to church, to youth ministry, or to a care group or cadre meeting…etc to catch a glimpse of God. But I want you to know, that God goes to church, to youth ministry, or to your care group or cadre meeting to SEEK YOU OUT, and provide for your every need!

But could you imagine if Zacchaeus didn’t climb that tree? Or stayed home to count his money?

What do we experience when we plant ourselves in church?

1. His Presence
2. Worship
3. The Word
4. Community

Friends, with His PRESENCE comes healing

#zacchaeus

Through WORSHIP we find intimacy, a GREAT BIG GOD becomes accessible, tangible and relatable.

“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” 
– Luke 19:40

By HIS WORD, the revelation of His sacrifice is made real to us

And what about COMMUNITY?

While our plans go awry without Godly counsel, in the multitude of counselors they are established. A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season (I wonder by who?) how good it is!
– Prov 15:22-23

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
– Ecc 4:9-12

In 2 Chronicles 29 – Hezekiah “opened the doors to the house of the Lord and repaired them”.

And in that house, the sacrifice was made real, bringing His promises down.

Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. And they brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord.
– 2 Chron 29:20

Worship was brought forth

And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for thus was the commandment of the Lord by His prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
– 2 Chron 29:25-26

And the people experienced His presence

Then Hezekiah answered and said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near, and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
– 2 Chron 29:30

And IN THAT HOUSE – the Gospel was preached to the Freedom Generation (because of the Passover, they were freed from Egypt) 

So the children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing to the Lord, accompanied by loud instruments.
– 2 Chron 30:21

But check out the result!!

And Hezekiah gave encouragement to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord; and they ate throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers. Then the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast another seven days, and they kept it another seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the leaders gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep; and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. The whole assembly of Judah rejoiced, also the priests and Levites, all the assembly that came from Israel, the sojourners who came from the land of Israel, and those who dwelt in Judah. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem.Then the priests, the Levites, arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard; and their prayer came up to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.
– 2 Chron 30:22-27

When you spend time in His house, not only will you find yourself partying with a great community, you will find that BLESSINGS abound, and y’know what, you will find joy unspeakable, a peace that will guard your heart, and a soul that will not sink.

The devil might do all he can to make you think that “I’m not wanted here”, “I don’t belong here”, “I don’t deserve to be here”, or even “my time here is done”. But I want you to know that your Daddy God’s house is ALWAYS open! And when you go to church, He’s going to be there too, with every answer that you need, every healing that you want, and every miracle that He bought on the cross for you.

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
– Psalm 92:13

~Welcome Home~

Gloriously Inadequate

How do I start a blog!?

Do I write about who I am? Brag about what I’ve done? Jump in headfirst, hurling my thoughts at everyone who will listen?
I have to admit, I’m not sure I’m ever going to be good at any of this.

It’s been a little more than ten years since I last put myself out here. I’ve changed, grown up a little, chased my dreams, and got my heart broken, mended and broken again…
Y’know, stuff that happens to the everyman
stuff that happens to every one of us

and that’s just who I am

So what’s my story?

I’m just a boy, on a journey with Jesus
I’m nothing special, but He loves me
I’m broken, battered and beaten up, but He’s healing my soul and making me whole again
I’m a sinner, saved by grace. Nothing more and nothing less, but it’s the most privileged position I could ever have

I’m the last person you’d expect to want to change the world

But I do, I truly do…
My heart bleeds for a generation of young people, who’ve never found freedom or raised their hands in worship
For whom salvation comes in bottles, shots, and syringes
And success involves cash, cars, and getting laid

I dream of a day where His love permeates every home and every heart, where the lost are found and the broken sheltered.

Where Jesus is preached on every street and in every corner
And lives are transformed by grace from glory to glory

Where sinners and saints alike can worship side by side
Where our helping hands and kind hearts outnumber our judging eyes

Where hope is found in the house of God and real life begins

Perhaps I’m the last person you’d want to change the world…

A potty-mouthed wannabe preacher who’s struggled with depression and sexual sin
Whose insecurities nag at him and threaten to overtake him every single day
I’m a reject, a loser, the very definition of a misfit

And truth be told, with the stuff I’ve done, said, and the people I’ve hurt
I don’t deserve
Anything He’s done for me…

But 1 Corinthians says he uses the foolish, the weak, the low born, the insignificant, the nothings

Me…

Maybe all this sounds familiar

Maybe you look in the mirror every morning and see the very person that you just read about
Maybe you struggle with your own inadequacies, fears, failures
Maybe you’ve been fighting demons that you’ve never told anyone about
Maybe He’s placed dreams in your heart that seem too big for your hands
Or maybe, in all this, you’ve been wondering, can God ever use someone like me?

But maybe… Just maybe…
Despite the fears, failures, and fallings
Despite the brokenness and bitterness
Despite everything you hate about yourself

He’s telling you
“I want you anyway…”

Ephesians 2:10 says that
You’re God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship)
Recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew]
That you may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for you [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time
That you should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for you to live]

You’re not average. None of us are.
Neither are you too tiny or insignificant, although sometimes we feel like that

You and I have been created, called, destined and anointed to be more than just an everyman
To live a life of greatness, to be more than conquerors coz He loves us…
And His strength is made perfect in our weakness

We’ve been called to be
Gloriously Inadequate