Saturday, April 2, 2016

Grabbing Hold Of Every Opportunity The Lord Gives Me

Luke 2:46
"Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions."
In this passage it is during passover, Jesus is twelve years old and Mary and Joseph couldn't find Him for three days. When they did locate Him, He was in the temple and was listening intently to those in the temple and sharing His own wisdom and understanding with them. When asked why He had done this, He answered, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's buisness?", and because of this He ended up increasing in the favor of God and of men.
Nothing stopped Jesus from talking about His Father in Heaven and trying to reach others. He demonstrated a heart of love and compassion for the people, even at such a young age. He was truly interested in what they believed and wanted so much to show them the right way. This is the same heart in which we should have towards everyone we come into contact with. Jesus came to save everyone, not just some. No matter who you are or what you have done Jesus came, died on the cross and bore all the sins of the world so that we may have salvation through Him. I know for me personally, I have done so many things wrong and lived a life of sin and bondage. There are times when the enemy tries to tear me down and tell me things like I am not worthy and there is no way that someone like me can be used by God, but these are all lies. The Lord has plans for me and wants to use all that I have gone through and use my past for His glory.
Jesus had wisdom and knowledge concering His Father and His Kingdom and had a burden on His heart to reach out to those who were lost. Likewise, I have a knowledge of drug addiction and how the Lord has set me free from that, and now the Lord will use my knowledge and experience in that to help others who are still in bondage to that. I truly have a love and compassion for these people and I feel that burden on my heart to reach out to them and help them.
Today I will pray that I will not quench the Spirit and grab hold of every opportunity to witness and help those which the Lord puts in my path. I will also pray that it would be Him speaking through me and that His Holy Spirit would give me the wisdom and knowledge of what to say.

Having A Hardened Heart

Proverbs 9:9
"Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning"
When you give instruction to a wise man he will increase is his head knowledge. When you teach a just (righteous) man, he listens not only with his ears, but with his heart as well and he will apply it to his life. There are many wise and intelligent people but sometimes I feel like that is all it is. They will appear smart on the outside but where is thier heart in it ? Are they truly applying what they are being told ? If you just listen to what you are being taught, but not putting any application to it then you are not truly learning.
While here in IGNITE, I have been taught so much from all the pastors and teachers which have come here. If I had just sat there in class, and listened to what they had told me but didn't take it to heart and let it change my life, then I wouldn't have grown at all. Some things were a lot harder for me to apply and hit my life harder than others, but I know that these things are necessary in order to grow closer to Him. For me, recently I have struggled with softening my heart towards people whom have hurt me in the past and truly forgiving them. For years I have harbored unforgiveness and resentment in my heart, and it has dictacted the way my life has turned out up until this point. I have had a hardened heart, and let the devil gain that foothold on my life, and in turn he was able to use it against me and it kept growing and catapulted out of control. What I have learned is that I must let that anger and resentment go and forgive others as Jesus has forgiven me. An amazing book that im reading here called On Being A Servant says that its not about what another person does to us, but its how we respond to it. Such a simple statement yet it hit me pretty hard. Although what the other person has done was wrong towards me, its ultimatley my own choice how Im going to respond to it and let it dictate my life. I've been responding to situations and people the wrong way for years, but I refuse to let the enemy have that foothold over my life anymore.
Today I will pray for the ones which I have harbored this anger and resentment towards and I will ask the Lord to continue to soften my heart and learn to truly forgive.


2 Timothy 2:2
"And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also"
This verse along with the context surrounding it is talking about discipleship. The past three months here in IGNITE I have been discipled by my teachers and the many pastors which have freely given up thier time to come here.
In verse 1 he says, "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus". I don't deserve to be here, but the Lord has has shed so much mercy and grace on me and has chosen me to be a part of this ministry. Also, 1 Timonthy 1:12 says, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry". That has become one my favorite verses since being here in IGNITE. After all the things that I have done, and the way I used to live, He still in all His love and mercy, has counted me faithful to be here and to enable me by learning from all the pastors and men and woman of God that have graciously passed thier wisdom onto me. The Lord is so faithful when we are faithless.
In the verses following, verses 3-7, we are given three illustrations which we are follow. First we are to be like a soldier. We are all enlisted in God's army and the world is a spiritual battlefield. Our motivation should be to please the One which enlisted us,which is Jesus Christ. Second, we are given the illustration of being like an athlete. An athletes motivation is to train to be the best, and recieve a crown. As christians, that should also be our motivation. To train and to do our best to obtain a heavenly crown. Thrid, he talks about being like a farmer during harvest. Likewise, we should want to participate in the harvest, which is ministry, because we want to see the fruit of it, and also to bless others. So alltogether, in a nutshell he is saying that we should want to please to Jesus, obtain our heavenly crown, and see peoples lives transformed and changed.
As I go into Browning to serve, it is now my job to teach others and to raise up disciples there. God has so graciously blessed me with this time of being coached and raised up, and now He wants me to pass that on so that I may bless others as well. I can not wait to share the love of God and share the infinite ways in which the Lord has blessed me.
Today, I will get my team together and pray specifically for our time in Browning, and that the Lord will fill us with His strength and His Holy Spirit in our to carry out the tasks which the Lord has set before us.