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When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law.     Matthew 7:28

Jesus’ teaching was a whole lot different than the other teachers’ teachings.

The crowds were amazed because it was more powerful - he spoke as one who actually had authority!

Do you realize that Christ is in you, if you are a believer and have made him Lord? The same man who AMAZED crowds by his authority is in - you.

Yet so many believers walk around acting powerless. We walk and let situations in life trample over us. We let heartaches drown us.

No, the one who has authority over everything is in you.

Believe it. See it. Let your life show you believe this. Say to your problems, “You won’t overcome me. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

So there, now you can stand firm. Standing, realizing you have access to His Power & Authority changes everything. You now have access to Him!

And as believers, it is now our calling to be what the Bible displays we should be. Stephen Furtick says it beautifully,

“I am a connector to the current of the power of Christ.”

We connect people to Christ’s power. Our lives, our love, our eyes, our hearts, our words - connect others to the current of the power of Christ.

RECOGNIZE the access, through Christ’s death and resurrection, you have to the power & authority of GOD.
CONNECT others to that power.

As a believer, YOU are a connector to the current of the power of Christ.


When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law.     Matthew 7:28

Seeing His authority and power, they (and we) will be amazed! Because it is unlike any other.

RECOGNIZE and CONNECT! These best take place when quiet time with God has taken place!

Do you recognize the access we have to God’s power?
How can we connect others to the power of GOD?

Always remember: HE loves you :)
 
LIONS. And tigers & bears - OH MY!

There’s a story in the Old Testament of the Bible about this guy named Benaiah. Have you seen the movie 300?

Yea, it was great. This is cooler.

“Benaiah…on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.”   2 Samuel 23:20

Why is this story so amazing?
    1) Benaiah chased a lion on a snowy day. A lion would have much better reflexes and fighting skills on a snowy day than any human.
    2) Benaiah chased a lion. Normal people run from lions, but Benaiah chased one.
    3) Into a pit. Benaiah chased a lion into a pit on a slippery, snowy day.
    4) He killed it. Not with a gun. Probably with some mad karate-kid skills that Jackie Chan's ancestors taught him.

Rather than running from the lion like a scaredy cat, Benaiah took this amazing opportunity to be a Lion Chaser.

What appear as our great problems are often our greatest opportunities.

Why do so many Christians seem like scaredy-cats rather than Lion Chasers? We don’t take awesome risks - risks that give God awesome room to show His miraculous power. Why do we always focus so much on playing it safe? Why do we buckle up in fear so easily?

Mark Batterson addressed this beautifully:
“Most of our problems are not circumstantial. Most of our problems are perceptual. Our biggest problems can be traced back to an inadequate understanding of who God is. Our problems seem really big because our God seems really small…”

Benaiah didn’t see a huge problem - he saw a huge opportunity.

What you see as your biggest problem - realize it’s a HUGE opportunity. Chase it. Allow room for God to show His miraculous provision!

What lion do you need to chase?
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Today's message based off this book by Mark Batterson!
I highly recommend it!
Click the pic to buy it!
 
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Image from Threadless.com
The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as “verb delay or postpone action.” I actually find it very funny that procrastination is a verb. That brings procrastination into a new light.

We feel tired. We don’t feel like doing what we have to do; need to do. Rather than focusing all of our energies on completing what we have to do (and therefore doing it well), we do something else: procrastinate.

The fact that procrastination is an action shows how ridiculously crazy we are: we delay doing something we have to do which makes us stress out and worry about it. Ah! Sounds like fun!

Hello, I’m Jared. I’m a procrastaholic by nature (I know, I’m ashamed…). Let’s be honest, procrastination isn’t something that’s rare with people our age. I think that’s why God made me hate it. Now, when I say hate, I’m delivering a Simon Cowell –style “dis” right there. It is appalling. A monstrosity. If I could kill it, I would – and then I would kill it again (the second time being pure pleasure). OK, I’m getting carried away; back on track!

God recently healed me of my procrastination. He gave me a new, “Get er done!” mindset that I LOVE! Rather than stressing, I now complete tasks on time & beautifully (it’s a sin to lie, so I had to be honest there J).

GOD wants to heal you of your procrastination problems, too. So, what do you do?

PRAY. I did a lot of this about my procrastination and time-wasting.

Talk to God. Tell Him your problem and how you want to overcome it for His Glory. And keep praying. Oh, and keep praying. Believe.

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When you feel like procrastinating – delaying or postponing an action – do what I do: remember the Nike slogan: “Just Do It”!

Oh, it feels really good when you just do it!

One area we especially don’t want to procrastinate in is our relationship with God. Even now, I procrastinate in certain aspects of it. For me, it’s often reading the Bible (God’s been helping me!).  What we especially don’t want to procrastinate in is the securing of our eternity. Don’t procrastinate by just thinking about it. Our years are short!

Hebrews 3 says, ““See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
 do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion.”
"

Please decide, TODAY, to SECURE your place in Heaven.   If not now, when?

If you want to know more about how to begin a relationship with God & Jesus Christ, please read this & this and this and message me through “Contact Us” above!

What have you been procrastinating from recently? Let’s have an open discussion so that we may help each other!
 
"Everyone ends up somewhere, but few people end up somewhere on purpose." - Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor//LifeChurch.tv
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Free Growth template below!

The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no vision, the people will perish."


That is why I developed the SSGP - Summer Spiritual Growth Plan.

It may sound like homework, but trust me it is most definitely not. This  tool will help free you, actually, to do what we all long to do: Grow closer to God.

When we don't have vision for our relationship with God...we'll end up somewhere...but most likely somewhere further from God. The SSGP will help you cast a vision for what you want your relationship with God to look like this summer (through your alone time) - and it'll help you keep it. Now, that's pretty sweet, huh? :)

Go ahead and download and print the SSGP below! It is a very simple 1 page document! (I included a 2nd page describing what to do on the 1st page if you need some help!)

What is your Vision Statement from your Growth Plan?
summer_spiritual_growth_plan.doc
File Size: 52 kb
File Type: doc
Download File

 
After prayerful consideration, I will be taking a 2-week break from the blog :) June 7th will be the restart date!

After prayerful consideration, what is something from which you need to take a break?
 
Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.   Jesus, Acts 10:15

I often call myself impure. I sin - I mess up - and I look at myself as if I'm filthy. Dirty. Unclean.

BUT NO. In Jesus Christ I am clean.

As a believer in Christ, although I may do something impure or unclean, I am not impure or unclean.

I am forever clean because I believe in the love of Jesus Christ and make Him Lord!

"Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

Has anybody else been in this same boat with me? What are your thoughts? There is complete freedom in Jesus Christ! So much love :)

If you are more interested in how to be clean, I encourage you to read Matthew 8:2, John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 (make sure to read each of them :)!
 
 Are you trying to overcome something? Depression? A sickness? An addiction? A sin?

A personal issue? Family?

Does it seem hopeless? Does it seem like what you’re going through will never end?

Well I want to remind you that Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Son of GOD, can bring healing. In His Name there is HOPE. Yes, even for you and me!

Jesus isn’t just some regular guy who may be able to pull some strings. He CAN - it doesn’t mean He will because He may see something better on the other side of this sickness, but He may if it’s His will.

So, pray for healing.

Pray, “LORD, I (we) need healing with _________…heal me (us)…I trust You and Your plan either way…”

All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What is this teaching? With authority and power (Jesus) gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!        Luke 4:36

Jesus has power and authority over all evil.

Remember who Christ is.

So, if you’re dealing with evil - He’s the One to talk to.

Go ahead and pray, simply talk, with Him now! Don’t make a complicated prayer, but simple conversation.

Would you like me to pray with you? Leave a quick comment or send me an anonymous message through “Contact Us” above!
 
After God healed a crippled, 40 year-old man through His Son’s Name spoken through Peter & John…

What are we going to do with these men…everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn these men to speak no longer to anyone in this name.                      Acts 4:16-17

The Pharisees and Sadducees thought that they were right. They truly thought that they were following God’s way and that everything else was wrong.

What they didn’t see was that maybe God was going to work in a new way. A different way. Maybe God could work in more than one way. The Pharisees believed that anything different from what they did was not God.

And that’s what many churches believe.

Look at them. They have lights on stage…electric guitars – they’re so wrong – WE’RE for GOD!
Look at them. They don’t have lights on stage…electric guitars – they’re wrong – WE’RE for GOD!


Do you know what’s interesting? Since the Pharisees didn’t believe God could work in a new, or different, way than what they had been doing, they tried to stop the new movement of God.

…we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the peopleActs 4:17

See this is the thing: We find it hard to believe God can work in a different way that what we are doing. But that’s where we are all wrong – that’s where we can often be full of pride and self-righteousness.

Did you ever think that maybe your church’s traditions are your idol?

Because if we praise what we do and condemn what others do, although God may be working through both, then we are not worshiping God, but tradition.

This is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

Are you allowing yourself to perceive life, to live life, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction?

We must recognize that if we deny something that could possibly be God, we are possibly denying God. That’s not being led by the Spirit. The Spirit recognizes where the Spirit moves, because it is the Spirit.

Is the Spirit in you?

If deep down you can’t deny that God is working somewhere, yet keep finding yourself talking badly about that church or that person…then it’s time to get closer to God.

Because if the grass looks greener on the other side then it is time to water your own lawn. Come near to God and he will come near to you.   James 4:8

Let us not hold unswervingly to our traditions, but “…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.        Hebrews 10:22-25

Break the habit.

Meet together. And hold unswervingly to what? THE HOPE. Not our traditions. But meet together and hold unswervingly to the Hope.

Unready for change? Well maybe God is ready – and that’s all that matters.

 
Opa!

This week I have finals so I’m going to keep the post short today by asking a simple question.

What process / way / mind-set do you find helps you best manage your time?

I think this can be helpful for all of us to exchange this info!

I’m looking forward to posting my response this Thursday and look forward to reading over yours! (I'm excited - even if yours sounds simple - these are going to be very fruitful for us all to add to our lives~!)

What do you find helps you manage your time the best?


 
And we urge you, brothers, … be patient with everyone. - 1 Timothy 5:14

It is so easy for us to freak out on other people. ESPECIALLY when WE are stressed out.

Like finals week. Like when we are in the middle of something that isn’t even that important, but that requires our full attention.

Yet the Bible says to be patient with who? Everyone but your sister? Everyone but your mom and dad? Everyone but the people you hate?

No…the Bible, GOD, says to be patient with everyone.

And remember - GOD is somebody too.