A couple of tunes from Jesus Culture is today’s picks.
Well it was my mom’s birthday today and I can’t help but reflect on all of the ways she shaped me into being who I am today. Almost every memory I have of my mom is me being on the other side of a sacrifice she made for me. There were the numerous doctor visits, hospital runs, and sleepless nights where she literally fought for my health. She made sure I made it to practices, games, and tournaments. She wouldn’t just drop me off she would stay and cheer me on and encourage me with her favorite slogan of, “Go get ‘em Tiger!” My mom was the champion of laundry, keeping house, and preparing meals. She created traditions and valued family. She was the first and last one to say I love you. She taught me to pray and encouraged me to trust Jesus.
I love you mom!
I don’t know if there has ever been a song that has stuck in my head as long as Unstoppable God. On a trip to Charlotte my wife and I attended Elevation Church and the message ended with this song. It has been a song that I have sung in my head nearly every week since that trip in October. It was finally released on an EP recently and I was able to hear it again for the first time since that trip this past Saturday. Here are a couple versions of it.
I took a message for a test run this past Wednesday at Ignite. Tommy assigned me the message title Jesus is Grace which has been something I have wanted to teach on for a while. In my upbringing the definition of grace was pounded into my brain, UNDERSERVED LOVE. I spent most of my college years resistant to such good news and though I still can’t comprehend it I have chosen to believe it (That Jesus LOVES me even though I don’t deserve it) as best I can.
In trying to understand how to best articulate this concept to students I took a stab at trying to get them to understand the exact opposite. That being undeserved ridicule. How often students and adults suffer the verbal onslaught of negativity. A trashed reputation, hurtful words, peer discrimination, and attitudes of I am better than you. These are the concepts that make up this idea of ungrace. It is being made fun of for your height, weight, lack of athletic ability, or parental situation. It is being the target of others who are mean to you about something you can’t do anything about. It is in the place that we can relate to what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 71:1-5
“O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. My God rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood.”
When we start to understand ungrace. The idea of being disgraced for no reason – it is then that we start to understand what Jesus did. How he lived through the greatest ungrace on our behalf. We have been the ones who have rejected him and in the end he is the one restored us.
How about you? How have you experienced ungrace? How might it be a gateway into better understanding God’s grace?
I’m getting really excited about this Sunday. Week 2 of our How Come series is taking on the topic of God’s Will. As I continue to work on all of the different thoughts related to this subject I am feeling very small. This entire series has been very humbling. I originally thought doing a series on tough questions would be easy. Silly me – they are called tough questions for a reason.
I believe this Sunday will be very encouraging for those who are sincerely desiring to walk in the ways of God. I believe God is far more helpful and less vague then what we think. One of the scriptures that I have been pondering in preparing for this message is Psalm 119. Seriously there are so many secret and not so secret nuggets in this Psalm. Most known may be verse 105 which states, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Yet it is verse 1 that I have memorized, “Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.” that is packing the most punch for me. The message version translates it like this, “You are blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.” God is revealing your next step. Will you take it? Or said another way from one of my readings, “Blessed is the person who finds out which way God is moving and then goes in that direction.”
Join us Sunday at one of our three services – 9:00am, 10:45am, and 6pm – gathering at the BridgeView Center.
If I would have seen this sooner I would have ended this past weeks message with it. I think it does a great job capturing one of the reasons why/how we can get past our past. In Christ we are unconditionally loved.