The Power of Love

“If the fCross-FSear of death is preventing Christians from showing love then ISIS (Satan) has already won”

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There is a physical war currently taking place as bombs kill thousands of lives and airstrikes obliterate everything into a pile of dust, but that’s only just the beginning. A spiritual war is beginning to unfold; one where evil looks to conquer and engulf us in a constant state of hate.

That last paragraph may seem a big dramatic, but that’s really what it is (and it shouldn’t be taken lightly). I saw what happened in Paris (on TV) and became angry and scared. However, I realized that’s what they want. That’s what the enemy wants. He wants us to lose faith, to be scared, to be angry and not be compassionate. Ultimately, he wants to spur hate.

All the talk of closing our boarders and not letting in refugees breaks my heart. Many probably think I’m a moron because I’m not being practical, but since when has Christianity been practical? We talk to a ghost…granted it’s a holy ghost (ok I kid)! The way we live our lives is based on faith and I have faith that love will prevail. This may sound idealistic and childish, but I’m an idealist. Not only that, but love is how I came to know Christ.

When did we become so comfortable with our life on earth that we lost all sight of its temporary state? We as Christians need to stop hanging on to life and living as if we’re going to be here forever because we’re not. Matthew 16:25 says, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” No matter the circumstances we are commanded to love. Despite dying on the cross FOR US, Jesus still loved us enough to ask God to forgive us yet we’re scared to fulfill his commandment because we don’t want to die?

I could step outside tomorrow and have a gun to my head. We don’t know what’s going to happen! I’d rather die showing the love of Christ than sit on my butt and worry about my current state of comfort.

Satan isn’t a moron. He knows that the whole world is watching us. He knows that non-believers are going to judge us based on our actions not the Bible verses we post on social media. How we respond is crucial. The enemy wants us to be afraid. He wants to us be angry. He wants as my friend Kellie said to desensitize us and have us build up walls and have us turn our backs on the helplessness. You know what though – I won’t give them that power. I will not let them have that kind of influence over me. The only one who can control me is Christ alone. We cannot succumb to hate. In Matthew 25:40 it says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” How can we chant All Lives Matter yet turn our backs on the persecuted?

Now, one argument that is valid are the vets and homeless. I understand that we can barely take care of ourselves, but to you complaining about the vets and homeless are you doing your part to help? After I got baptized, I made a commitment to God that I would help as many as I can and that means randomly asking homeless people out to lunch, buying them food/clothing or doing the various volunteer work. However, there are instances when dirty looks are directed my way because I dared to bring a homeless dude to Chick-fil-a with me. I’m not saying this to be all holier thou art or whatever, but to really help put things in perspective. I agree that we need to help our own, but if you’re not doing your part you really don’t have the grounds to complain.

Evil thrives on power. The more we show fear and hostility, the more power they get. Love and compassion is the only way to defeat the enemy.

For now I will leave with this (Luke 6:27-36):

Love for Enemies

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

 

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Living for God Alone

Seeking GodSo these past few weeks have been a whirlwind filled with the occasional ups and downs and the rare heartbreak, but during this time I realized how special it is to have a relationship with the Lord because while everything changes he remains the same faithful loving God and always will be! I mean WOW – when you really think about it, he remains constant despite all our shortcomings.  Even when we drift apart and are led into sin, he still loves us!

I was listening to a song and one lyric that always stood out was that, “We’re a product of grace.”  I started to delve into this and really thinking about what it means. While I could try to write this eloquent blog post to describe it, truth is there are no words to describe this kind of Love. He gave up his son for us – when we were his enemy separated by sin!

My time in NYC has been amazing, not because of all that is going on here or the job I have or other external factors, but because it’s where I strengthened my relationship with the Lord. I even got baptized (sorry I didn’t tell/invite y’all, I wanted it to be between me and God). I feel for the first time I’m all in and not going through the motions. That doesn’t mean I won’t stumble, but I will try my hardest to not conform to the world and live for an audience of one. I want everything I do – from my thoughts, what I eat, how I spend my time, working – to bring Glory to God because that’s all that should matter.

If you told me a few years ago that I would be where I am I would have laughed. Not because I didn’t believe in myself, but because God had much bigger plans than I had for myself. While working at a global agency was a goal of mine since I became a journalism major, I never would have thought that I’d be working at a global agency in their global tech department in NYC. That’s not to brag or boast about how great I am because without God I wouldn’t be here. It look lots of rejection (including 11 in Waco alone), waiting, persisting, crying and praying. There were moments of doubt, but God told me to wait so I did and the rest is history.

What’s the point of all this? It’s that God is SO good!! I mean If he’s able to do this for me, the one who is always overlooked and broken, imagine what he can do with you?!? Living for God has given me great joy and despite the ups and downs, the heartbreaks, the pain, the joyful moments, etc. On my way to work I started to think about why I wanted to do what I’m doing and it was mainly for status, money and power; however, none of that matters anymore. I remember even just a year ago I’d look down on missionaries or people serving in a church and now I commend them. They are doing what God has put them on this earth to do. Who am I to look down on others? I’m a nobody and the majority of the world doesn’t even know I exist.  What a humbling lesson that was.

God has placed me where I am for a reason, but that doesn’t mean I can’t minister to others through my actions if not directly through my words. How I treat my coworkers, my managers, how much effort I give on a certain task etc. matters because Jesus wants us to give it our all. At the end of the day whether it be good or bad, I want God to know that I’m here to serve him and not wasting the opportunity he provided for me. However, I know I can do more, which is why I’m founding Woven Hearts. I’m really excited about this ministry because it will give me the opportunity to minister outside of church or work and reach the unreached. There are so many broken people in the world, so I want to help. God gave me a servants heart for a reason.

The point of this is to let God use you! He gave everyone a different platform and while some might be bigger than others, each one matters because we’re all a piece of a puzzle for his greater purpose.

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P

Saved by Grace

There’s a void in all of us that only God can fill and sometimes it takes going down to a really dark place to realize that. After one year of almost going through with the unthinkable, God saved me. When we’re at our weakest, God’s power over us is at its strongest. God’s got your back always. Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not. God is guiding you. It’s not always going to be easy, but at the end God is always enough and he’s the only one who can fill that void. Know Jesus, know peace.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

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BTW – I would change happiness to joy 🙂

Cheers,
– The Real Swaggy P