Monday, January 6, 2014

Counting the Cost

Luke 14:28-33

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Don't stop midway. Finish your tower! (photo credit -

Christianity isn't always easy. It's very restrictive. It's criticized for stopping people from having fun. The gift of salvation is free but it will cost you everything. In the wise words of Jay-Z*, it ain't for everybody. 

*Jay-Z is evil. Don't listen to his music. More on that in a future post.

I once heard a pastor say that when he preaches the gospel to non-believers, he doesn't tell them their life is going to get "better" in the way that most people assume it will - for example - Jesus is going to heal your sickness, help you pay your bills, find you a spouse and get you a house.  That of course doesn't mean those things are not in your future, but that's no reason to turn to Jesus. When we come to Jesus, it is for our soul's sake. Nothing else. The pastor instead tells people that life is about to become more difficult because it's hard to follow Jesus.

Repenting is easier said than done. We have to decide what is more important to us - the temporary pleasures of sin, or our eternal salvation. The answer is obvious when on paper, but in reality it's not that simple. This is where counting the cost comes in.

In reality, it's hard to give up certain things. For example, how many people would be willing to give up a relationship in the name of Jesus? Whether its a friend, significant other, or what have you. All of a sudden, your life changes, you have "seen the light" and now have a decision to make. Your boyfriend/girlfriend is still a non-believer (what the Bible calls "darkness") and what relationship hath light with darkness? They might not have told you this at the altar call. So who stays? Jesus or your boo? Now one of you has to change. Either you go back to the old version of yourself to continue the relationship (some would argue that you never changed but let's not go down that road) or your boo finds* Jesus too.

*For the record, I realize that we, as spiritually dead beings, cannot find Jesus as if it were in our power to choose salvation. It is only by the grace of God and him choosing us that anyone would come to faith. I just want to keep my phrases short. Plus it sounds funny. But you get the idea.

You cannot continue that relationship with a clear conscience because you would now be in sin. (Not to mention, your choices on who to date just got way smaller. No more non-Christians. Fun stuff, huh.) 

This is one of my favorite memes.

In reference to the verse above, you "laid the foundation" by "converting" to Christianity, and probably told all your friends how great it is to be part of God's family and updated your Facebook status accordingly. But when the rubber meets the road, tough decisions are ahead. And it's not just about boyfriends and girlfriends, that is just an easy situation to relate to. The point is, there are things we consider very important, and Jesus has to be the priority above those. Above our family and above our career. In fact, when we put Him first, it could mean our family might suffer because of our new priorities. Remember, Matthew 10 Jesus didn't come to bring peace, but a sword...

"34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.' 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."

Are you ready to "lose your life"? Your exciting, brand-new faith could separate you from your family and friends. Can you handle that? Prayerfully, it doesn't happen that way. But it might! What is more important? What if your job forces you to lie every day to customers? Does that mean it's time for a more God-honoring career? Maybe! (salespeople and marketers, I'm talking to you...but not all of you. There's a difference between advertising and false advertising so don't go and quit your job just yet). Are you ready to tell that really nice non-Christian guy or girl (whom you have great chemistry with) that it will never work between the two of you because they aren't down with Jesus? The point is, can you turn away from things that have been part of your life for as long as you can remember, just because this old book tells you to? Are you "able to finish"? 

As you move through life as a Christian, you'll increase in knowledge and as a result you'll learn what pleases and displeases God. You will not learn this all at once, but eventually you will come across something that isn't easy to give up on a moments notice. I hear that upon conversion, most people are able to immediately stop the "big sins" such as drugs, rampant alcoholism, and physical adultery (not mental). Certain things will be very difficult to rid yourself of, and no one will ever be sin free due to the weakness of the flesh. But are you willing to put in the effort to to purify yourself of all of these things that the world considers normal? Because the struggle is real. Once again, It ain't for everybody. And if you aren't struggling, there's a problem. Paul struggled and he's like top 5 people ever. We all have some area in our lives that we haven't surrendered completely to God.

The last part of the verse, talking about your army with ten thousand and the opposing army with twenty thousand, pretty much sums it all up. We, in all our power and might, cannot handle the all-powerful God. We are at war with the King and we are outnumbered. The most rational choice would be to make peace with this King, on His terms and not ours. Because we are in no position to negotiate. So while we still have time, we must make peace. We never know how much time we have left, we could be the next victim of the next random shooting (which seem to be the new hip thing nowadays). By then it's too late - no deathbed conversion for you because you didn't make it that far. 

So, in conclusion, count the cost of faith. I pray that you are willing to give up the "pleasures" of this world that we are called to abstain from. Make no mistake, you will slip up and fail. And you will probably fail often enough for you to question whether or not you are a true Christian. But that is the struggle. Thank God you are at least struggling.

Next post coming soon!

If you like what you have read, dislike it, think I'm wrong on my doctrine, etc., leave a comment! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

I'm back! Well, not yet. But I plan on getting back into blogging very soon.

I actually had a post made up about 2 months ago, but I shut down my computer and clicked "Don't Save" on my file before I ever put it online. That annoyed me and I haven't felt like typing up a new post ever since. But I'll try to summarize what I said in that post the best I can.

I now have a lot of respect for people who write/blog on a regular basis. It's hard to stay consistent and it takes awhile to actually finish my thoughts on a topic. I end up leaving out a lot of what I want to say because I want my post to be short enough as to not turn away readers. I know that before I read a blog post or article, I scroll to the bottom to make sure it won't take too long, especially with blog posts on Christian topics (I don't feel like reading an entire sermon all the time). I like to keep my ramblings short enough to read within a few minutes. So to those who are able to do this and still get their message across, props to you.

I also wanted to give the few people who read this something to look forward to, so here is a preview of my upcoming topics (in no particular order).

Topic #1 - "Counting the Cost"

This topic is based on Luke 14:28-33. Jesus tells the crowd who should and should not follow him. I've always liked these verses and want to give my commentary on it.

Topic #2 - "The Great Commission...and that part of it we usually leave out"

This is based on Matthew 28:19-20. Perhaps due to the big debate on whether baptism saves you, we seem to always stop reading the Great Commission right after "baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit". And of course, the verse 19 conveniently stops right there. Verse 20 is important though, and I will go over it in the near future.

Topic #3 - "You're Going to Hell"

This one has to do with "pushing" our beliefs on others. Not sure what verse I will base this on but I want to talk about it anyways.

I have a few more topics that people have requested I cover and I will be doing those as well. So I have plenty of topics. Now it's just a matter of sitting down and doing them.

Anyways, that's pretty much it. I'll be back. A dedicated Facebook page is also on the way. Be on the lookout for my new posts!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Christianity and Social Media

If God saw your Instagram profile, would he follow you? Better yet, if God already followed your Instagram, would he consider deleting you based on what you post? (BTW, considering he is omnipresent and omniscient, he's already seen everything you've posted and liked)

Christianity and Social Media

Social media is great. You can connect with old friends, share your thoughts, photos, etc. It's also a way to get to know what people are interested in. You can get a feel for what people like based on what they've posted and "liked". But enough of that, I doubt any of us need a lesson in social media 101.

Realize I am now talking to Christians. This doesn't apply to you if you are not a Christian...because it's about to get judgmental up in here.

I once heard someone say that they prefer to not put a "Jesus fish" or any type of Christianity-based symbol on their car because they know they drive like a maniac. By not doing so, that person would avoid making Christians look bad with their speeding, lane-switching-without-a-signal, red-light-running, impatient tendencies. Fair enough. I see their logic; it prevents themselves from giving Christianity a bad name.

This was so fitting. Its social media and the Jesus fish in one picture!

Sometimes, I wish people would follow this logic on social media. All too often, I see too many examples of people with a metaphorical "Jesus fish" on their Facebook and Instagram profile, but are out there posting what is not characteristic of a Christian.

I see profiles that say "child of God" or "I love Jesus" but you scroll through their picture feed and see pictures of them doing drugs, in strip clubs, degrading men or women, or those weird pictures of words saying all kinds of odd things. (Type the number of what you think about me! 1 = you're cute! 2 = let's make out, 3 = I can't live without you, 4 =...use your imagination where this eventually leads, and I've seen it go up to the number 18).

And it's not just what you post. It's also what you "like". There's a big inconsistency when instagram user Joe4Christ's last 8 likes are of a Bible verse and pictures of naked women. (To my knowledge, Joe4Christ is not a real person.) You can tell a lot about a person based on the pictures they like. What are you telling people about Christians when you like things that you shouldn't?

 Part of the problem is that you actually like those things in which you need to examine yourself and figure out why you are enjoy these certain sins. But even if you do truly like those things, you don't need to tell the world that the self-proclaimed Christian on Instagram/Facebook enjoys what the Bible calls sin.

Understand my point here. Every time you post and like a sinful status or picture, you are misleading all of your followers/friends on what it means to be a Christian. You are effectively saying, "Hello world. I am a Christian and I approve of this status/picture." When Christians approve of things that God doesn't approve of, that's sin.

Romans 1:32 - And knowing the judgment of God, that those who commit such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but have pleasure in those who do them.

Here is the above verse in the New Social Media Translation: And knowing the Judgment of God, that those who post such pictures are worthy of death, they not only post the pictures, but like other user's pictures who post them. (no, that Bible version does not exist. But if it did, it would probably say that.)

Let's think through the scenarios of what can happen when you post or like something you shouldn't have. One of these two results will probably happen:

  • Non-Christians will see hypocrisy on the Christian's part, and further dislike the church
  • Non-Christians who are curious about Christianity and not very educated on doctrine (or new Christians, or anyone who looks up to you such as your younger siblings) will assume that kind of behavior is okay because you posted/liked it, misleading them as to what Christians actually believe and leading them down the wrong path

Please realize this is not me condemning you bunch of hypocrites out there. I'm guilty of this too. I have posted things for vain reasons and liked what I should not have. I'm as guilty as anyone, but I've repented of that. I stopped doing these things and I'm urging you to stop as well. As ambassadors of Christ, we have to be very careful of what we are telling the world with our actions. An ambassador for Coca-Cola wouldn't be caught dead with a picture of Pepsi on their daily Instagram lunch photo. An ambassador for Nike wouldn't have pictures of Adidas shoes in their feet picture. 

In a nutshell, what I'm saying is...If you are going to like those posts, then it might serve the Christian community better if you don't have a "Jesus fish" or whatever type of Christian symbol you have on your profile. In Joe4Christ's situation, maybe he should change his name to something else without Christ in it. Just like how the bad driver, knowing his tendencies, does not put the Jesus fish on his bumper.

Paul says in Romans 6, "We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" and in the same chapter, also says "Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. "

I think that our social media accounts can be considered "instruments" in this verse. And our accounts can either be instruments of wickedness or righteousness.

After saying all of that, I guess an appropriate question would be, "what is a 'righteous' social media profile look like?" I guess its easier to explain the negative aspect of this than the positive, because I don't really have an answer to what your profile should look like. I think as long as you are wary of what you post and like, you have freedom in that realm of your life to use it however you want. Go ahead, post pictures of all your meals, take another sunset shot, and lets see your feet picture again. (Easy on the selfies though, that might be a vanity issue).

Let's leave it at this - we as Christians simply should never take pleasure in sin, whether it's on social media or in real life.

My guess is there will be someone who reads this and thinks to themselves, "why are you judging so much? The Bible says don't judge. He that is sinless shall cast the first stone!"

I plan on answering that question in my next post. But I have yet to stick to my posting plans...

Until next time. Stay holy, my friends.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jesus Never Sinned: Part One - The 10 Commandments

I think we don't completely appreciate the sinless life that Jesus lived. He never committed those "little" sins that we don't really think about or we may not even consider to be a "real" sin. Think about the most menial, tiniest, expected, common, "least-damning" (sarcastically speaking) sin you could imagine, and realize that Jesus never did it or even came close.

I was going to try and make a mini-series out of this and post in detail about one particular sin he never committed every day for one week, but that causes me to, dare I say, dive so deep into scripture that I would not come out on a timely basis. Because then I have to define each sin, find the Greek and Hebrew meaning of words and what they translate into today, find out what is and is not included in certain sins, etc. So I may not give each act he never committed its proper spotlight, but I think a list will suffice in getting my point across.

Let's start with the 10 Commandments:
No, that's not Jesus...that's Moses. But you know all those Bible characters look alike....

1. Jesus never put anything before God. Yes that sounds weird since he is God. But remember, the Bible says even when he was 12 years old, he was always "about His Father's business". (Luke 2:49). We are a long way off from this. A very long way off. The first thing I do in the morning is check my Facebook and Instagram...

2. Jesus never worshiped an idol/graven image. I wasn't sure what to say about this one, but it just occurred to me. Jesus has seen the Father. He is the only person who knows what he looks like who lived on Earth and could, in theory, erect an accurate statue or some sort of depiction of God the Father while He was here on Earth. But he didn't.

3. Jesus never misued God's name in vain. Yes, also a weird one because He is God. But if you think about it, he was human and did not give into the many temptations he dealt with. If he did, the name of Jesus would have no significance because he would have had sin in him, thereby making all of his efforts to save mankind in vain. So, by staying true to who he was and what he came to do, everything he did was not in vain. (kind of a stretch on describing this one)

4. Jesus kept the Sabbath holy. This one is interesting because the Pharisees gave Jesus grief for healing on the Sabbath, which was considered "work", but Jesus challenged their views on it and showed mercy to people any day of the week. Not much else for me to say on this one. If you want more explanation, check out

5. Jesus honored his father and mother. Both his earthly father and mother, and his Heavenly Father. He never made his parents look bad. Most children begin a rebellious phase around their pre-teen years but he was in the temple teaching the teachers. That's the only written record we have of Jesus' youth, but we still know he never dishonored his parents. I wonder if he ever corrected his parents on what they thought was good advice for Him. In fact, I wonder if Mary and Joseph just stopped trying to teach him how to live because He already had his life in order.

6. Jesus never murdered anyone. Moving on...just kidding. Jesus said himself that anger with someone without cause is the equivalent of murder in God's eyes. That without cause part is important, because the first thought that came to my head was "Hey! Jesus flipped those tables in the temple because he was angry! Why can he do that?". He, of course, had proper cause to be angry. They turned His Father's house into a market. He even flipped over the money table! I'd be scared of angry Jesus...he was a carpenter! People who build things are usually pretty strong...Could you imagine? You just pissed off the creator of the universe! And he can beat you up! But He didn't...

So he was never angry at anyone without proper cause. Again, we cannot relate. If anything, we can probably instantly think of people we dislike for no apparent reason. I know I can.

The more I type all of this, the more I realize how bad we really are...

7. Jesus never committed adultery. Ahh...good old adultery. The sin that all churchgoers say "well...yeah I've done that. I think everyone has" as if that makes it any less sinful. And I'm not talking about cheating on your spouse. Of course Jesus never did that, he was never married. Im referring to "looking with lust". We know he dealt with "sinners" on a regular basis and interacted with prostitutes a few times. We can assume at least some of them were good-looking. And although its not said specifically, I doubt when Jesus told them, "go and sin no more", he was staring at their backside as they left, thinking to himself "check her out, I want me some of that...". I can safely assume this never happened because if we know that Jesus never sinned, these thoughts could have never entered his mind. Plus, would it make sense for the creator of the universe to be tempted by his own creation?

8. Jesus never stole anything. 12-year-old Jesus never stole a piece of fruit from the open-air markets. (I'm picturing Disney's Aladdin right now). We also know that we can "steal" from our employers by not doing our jobs while on the clock. So while Jesus was a carpenter, its safe to assume that he was the best employee anyone could ask for. He probably showed up on time every single day, worked his butt off, and never complained about work.

9. Jesus never lied. Every single thing that came out of his mouth was true. He made some big claims and bold statements.

10. Jesus never coveted. He never coveted the fact that maybe another carpenter in his city might be getting more business than he is. He never coveted another man's wife; he was happy being single and serving God. He knew His life was going to end in agonizing pain, separation from God and ultimately spending time in Hell. With all of this, he never coveted someone else's comparatively easy life. He did ask that there could be some other, less painful way, but in the end dealt with what he came to do.

Another way to think of this is almost the inverse. Jesus never did the things he wasn't supposed to do. But he also did everything he was supposed to do. He said that the commandments are summed up into "Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself." By not doing these, we are sinning. And since Jesus never sinned, he never stopped doing these; he never stopped loving God or his fellow man/woman. Everything He did was a reflection of His love for God and a reflection of His love for us.   

I'm going to have to stop there because this could go on forever. I will do a part 2 to this topic at a later date because honestly it's kind of fun. This may have been discouraging to some because most of us have committed all of these sins, but the good news about Jesus' perfection is that he represents us when God judges us, making us perfect. But we must follow Him. More on what it means to follow Him (God-willing) in my next post. Who knows, I might feel like talking about something else, again. Just be ready to read the next post!

And please, if you enjoy this at all, let me know! Leave a comment, give me some positive/negative criticism, and share it with your friends.

Also, feel free to suggest a topic!

Until next time. Keep on keepin' on, readers. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christianity and Sports

It happened already. 3 posts in and I've already veered off of what I was going to talk about. Right Living will come, don't worry. But for now, I wanted to talk about something that I've been thinking about for a long time that no one seems to say when it comes to sports and the outcomes of competition. 

If you ask someone if God cares about who wins a sporting event (lets use football), you generally get one of two answers:

"God doesn't care about who wins a football game! He is concerned about more important things! Football doesn't really matter." 

"God wanted that team to win because (insert player here) is a Christian."

You knew I was talking about this guy...

Remember Tim Tebow? Remember when every single success on his part was attributed to divine intervention? That seemed to make sense considering how bad he is/was at the quarterback position. People credited God for his successes (partially because there really was no other explanation...he could barely throw a spiral), but what about now? He spent a season on the bench with the New York Jets, and then they released him. Sports commentators were discussing whether Tebow would ever play NFL football again. I'm sure some football fans sarcastically said, "Hey Tebow! Where is your God now?" (Yes, I know he just got picked up by the Patriots.)

So what happened? Was God a fan of the Broncos for one year and jumped off the bandwagon? What about all of the other teams with Christians? If Adrian Peterson and the Vikings plays against Tim Tebow and the Broncos, who does God pick? They can't both win. (yes, Adrian Peterson is a Christian too). Is God on a team's side when they lose? Does God even care about the result of a sports competition anyways?

Does God favor Adrian Peterson over Tim Tebow? That's only if stat sheets are indicative of God's favor
God's plan definitely uses the scoreboard, but I don't think He has a favorite team. I highly doubt that Jesus is sitting in Heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey right now. (Or a Miami Heat jersey...btw go Lakers)

Let's be real. God has a grand plan for humanity. His plan spans every single event that takes place on this Earth. And that plan does not include Christians winning every sporting event they participate in. Just because you say a prayer before the game does not mean you're guaranteed the victory. I cannot stand hearing coaches tell their players "they may be tough, but we have God on our side" like he is the invisible man on the field ready to help you win the game. Because I'm sure there are plenty of games where both teams are praying that same prayer. What if God's plan is that you lose the game? No one ever says that. Its always either "God gave so-and-so the victory and rightfully so because so-and-so is a true Christian!" or the Christian community goes silent on the topic of sports. 

It's like we think we deserve the victory, but what if there is a greater, more important victory waiting for us on the other side of that loss, such as an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who would not have heard it if you won the game because you would have occupied with other things due to winning? Don't get me wrong, its great to see the winners get down on one knee, point to the sky, and thank God on camera after the victory - there's no doubt that God gets the glory there.

But what if Tebow's new "position" on the bench gave him the opportunity to share the gospel to his teammates in ways he could not have before because he would have been too busy as a starter? God still gets the glory, just in a different way that isn't in front of any cameras. And which is better? Thanking God in front of millions on live TV, or leading a teammate to Christ? During one, Christians around the world are vibing with you, and you can bravely say that you are not ashamed of your beliefs on while secular TV (Romans 1:16 -  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes) For the Hypotehical Tebow situation, the angels in heaven rejoice over the new believer (Luke 15:10 - there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents...). God has legions of angels, so technically, the second situation will bring on a bigger "cheer from the crowd" if that's what we are going for. Regardless, both are equally importantmoments and a Christian in either situation should always remember to put God first and/or thank Him for the victory.

By the way, I'm not saying that backup football players are just sitting around all day with time to talk, I'm just making a point.

What if while I was playing golf this weekend, instead of doing great and reminiscing on all of my great shots on my way back to the car, I instead hit all of my golf balls in the water hazard (which I sadly almost did on the first hole). That causes me to end my round early and run into a staff member on the way back to my car. We get into a conversation because I have some extra time on my hands due to my short round of golf, and we end up talking about Christianity, and that leads him to read the Bible on his own and eventually come to faith. My horrible score on the course is now the reason that I got to interact with this person. While I understand that this too is a big hypothetical situation, I can guarantee that a similar story is behind hundreds of thousands of conversions. How many people did Jesus "run into" on his way somewhere?

1 Corinthians compares athletes to Christians, stating that "Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever" (1 Corinthians 9:25). Keep in mind, God did not put us on this Earth to win trophies or "crowns" as the verse says. Our victory is not always reflected by numbers on the scoreboard. However, our attempts to win these trophies are divinely intertwined with His will. We don't know His plan, but "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

So whether our favorite teams, our favorite athletes, or we ourselves win or lose a game, realize that there is something much bigger and much more important happening. God's will - His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2) - is taking place, and it includes so much more than sports victories. It uses sports victories, and He can use a win or a loss to forward his plan. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

For God So Loved the World...

My first real post! Starting things off positive.

I want to talk about the love we receive yet don't deserve - God's love for us. I tend to overlook  His love and take it for granted. 

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 Romans 5:8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 is, by far, the most popular verse in the Bible. Whether you read it yourself or saw the guy at NFL football games always holding up the sign, you've heard it somewhere. It sums up essential Christian doctrine in a few short words; it shows how much God loves us. But I think we have heard it so many times that we don't understand the magnitude of what this verse is saying because we don't realize who (or what) we are. 

We are "the world" that God loved. We are the reason he had to send His son to die a gruesome death. Jesus died for us because we failed to keep God's standard of right living. Even that statement cannot be fully appreciated because it has been said so many times within Christian circles that we begin to take it for granted. We don't realize how sinful we are. One slip up and you lose. I know I can't firmly grasp this concept, but I got a glimpse of it one day in church. Here is one of my stories...

At one of my old jobs, I was no stranger to workplace gossip (Proverbs 11:13 - gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.). One day while sitting in church, I received a text message from a coworker asking me if I had told another coworker about a rumor (which I knew to be true) that was spreading around the workplace. And I had.

Before you think "well that's not so bad, it was a small sin", remember God's standard. I was caught red-handed, In church of all places. Not only did I sin, I betrayed the confidence of my two good friends. Also, as a representative of Christianity and Christians all around the world, I failed my brothers and sisters in Christ and made us look even more hypocritical. After reading that text message, I came to the realization that I'm not as "holy" as I thought I was. I felt like I didn't deserve to be in church anymore because of that small slip up. I deserve hell just as much as the people I'd like to think I'm better than.

I heard the piano in the background at the end of the sermon, playing the children's song "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so". And then it hit me. I'm a complete and utter failure, but Jesus still loves me and died for me. The burden was lifted off of me and I, for once, felt truly grateful that my sins have been forgiven (I should note that I also apologized to both friends, and told them I understand if they no longer trust me. There are still consequences we have to deal with when we harm others, even though God sees us as sinless). 

This brings me to my next verse, Romans 5:8 (posted above). 

Jesus died to save a bunch of failures. God loves people who broke all of his rules, and sent His only Son to die for them. He didn't just die for the people who "weren't that bad". He died for the worst of humanity. Think about the most evil person alive. Whoever you think that is, Jesus died for them too. God will forgive ANYONE of their sins if they believe in Him.

It really doesn't make sense to us, to send our closest loved one or ourselves to die to give our enemies a chance to live. Because we can't comprehend the negative side of what happened, we cannot fully appreciate the positive outcome of Jesus's death. It's like a student with a 4.0 GPA gave away their perfect grades to the failing, slacking, partying student with a 0.0 GPA so that the bad student could have a chance to graduate (that's one of many metaphors used to describe what happened, but it still does not do justice to what Jesus did for us). No one in their right mind would do that, But God did. Which is why hearing about God's love for us should never get old. In fact, it should mean more and more every time we hear it because in between each time we hear it, we break his laws and disobey him, yet we are still forgiven and technically more forgiven than the last time as we keep racking up more sins.

I could go on, but I'll stop there. God loves us and we don't deserve it. 

It is because of this love that we should strive to keep his commandments, no matter how hard it is. This brings me to my next topic...

"Trying to Live Right".

Until then, God Bless...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Welcome to "Christianity and Stuff"

Welcome to "Christianity and Stuff".

I plan on covering a lot of topics that involve Christianity and how it relates to our everyday lives. I promise I'll have some very interesting things to say and questions to ask. Hopefully (I should probably say prayerfully or God-willing) you will find them interesting and thought-provoking.

A little bit about myself regarding Christianity --- I was raised in the church. I've literally been going to church all my life so I cannot remember a time when I wasn't a "Christian". There was also no drastic life-changing salvation moment that I experienced, which is common of the life-long church-goers. Outside of that, I am a marketing major, I love sports, working out, video games, and Corvettes. Each of these facts about me will become their own topics for posts in the future so stay tuned. You'll learn more about me if you follow my posts.

I am not a theologian. I know a thing or two about the Bible/theology, but I am open to the idea of being wrong and corrected when necessary - especially when it comes to Christian doctrine. So if you happen to be reading any of my posts and see something I say that is wrong (factually or doctrinally), please don't hesitate to let me know.

The concept for this blog has been in my head for a long time but I never got around to it because it never felt like the right moment to start. I kept waiting for that perfect moment where it "feels right", or when I had the perfect introductory post planned out. But thanks to some encouragement from a friend of mine, I think it's time to just jump in and learn as I go. I have much, much more to say but I want to keep the introduction short.

That's it for now. I'll start things off on my next post.

Next topic: "For God so loved the world..."

(photo courtesy of