Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Do You Really Love Me?

One of the beauties of marriage was that it made me a talker. I couldn't just show my love anymore, I had to talk about it...for hours! It was so foreign for me! My wife knows I love her, so why in the world do I need to keep saying it!!
It came down to the simple fact that she loves to hear it. If I truly love her, I will let her know in the way that she enjoys. It's not about me-it's about her. It was something that I was really bad at in the beginning and I would say that now I am greatly average at it. It is something that I keep working on as our marriage grows and also our love for one another grows.
When Jesus showed himself to Peter, he asked him an interesting question...3 times! Peter, do you love me? Now we know and understand how this conversation is supposed to go-just like I talked about before. Peter says, 'I love you', and we're done. Jesus asks Peter this question 3 times to remind him of the time he denied Christ 3 times. For Peter to be reinstated with Christ he needs to come to a place of repentance. Sometimes saying, 'I love you' is not enough. We need to repent.
But here's the incredible part-Jesus' answer. He then tells Peter to feed his lambs, take care of my sheep, and again feed my sheep. A process has taken place. Peter sees Jesus-is overjoyed so much that he jumps out of a boat into the water to swim to the shore to see him. He is hurt with grief and sorrow as Jesus brings to light his denial. Peter is reinstated because he repents. And then is given a mission-feed my sheep.
We give Peter a hard time because of his denials, but have you read what he did in Acts?? He plants churches, leads the disciples, he pastors-Peter is used by God!! Some of you are living Peter's legacy. You look at your past and no one would have guessed that you would love God and that God would use you for His glory. It's a shock to all of us. It's a shock to you, but that's how God works.
We need to get to work. If you've repented of your sin, love Jesus, have changed your life-there is one more step. We need to get to work. Jesus doesn't say, 'Great. I'm glad you love me. Make sure not to tell anyone. In fact, only hang out with people who know. You could even meet once a week in a building. It will be great.'
Hmmmm. No, I think He's calling you and me for much more...work.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Is the New Year Already Old?

How has your kickoff to 2014 been?? Feel a lot like 2013? Well, it makes sense-it was only a week ago that we were drinking an amazing amount of coffee to stay up for New Year's Eve. But what was going through your head? Were you pumped about being a new person in the New Year?
I think for most of us, we were hoping that just because it was a new year, life would become different somehow. Life might even get better. But there is something we must remember in our lives in 2014-nothing new will come without change. New growth can't come without an amount of change in our lives.
I really want to be a better husband to my wife, Kelsey. I want her to feel taken care of, I want to comfort her-especially now as we're expecting our second child in a few months. To do this I can't keep doing what I'm already doing. If I want to be a better husband, I need to change something in my life. I need to give her more of my time. I need to REALLY listen to her when she's talking to me.
Since I'm a Christian, I follow Jesus. In 2014, I want to be better follower. For this to happen something needs to change in my life. If you look in the Bible, in the Gospel of John (and the other Gospels), after Jesus was crucified, his disciples fled, and in John 20 we find them in a locked room for fear of the Jews. Now if you're holding your Bible, you know that the next book is Acts where the church exploded! With these very disciples! But wait...they've locked themselves in a room...so how's that going to work?
Something changed!! And where did it start?? Jesus!! He stood among them and they were 'overjoyed'. Then everything changed. They entered that room with fear, but left with joy, mission, purpose, confidence.
If you want that this year, start with Jesus. Look at his life, look at his death for you, look at his resurrection for you! And then know that he is with you with his Holy Spirit. He wants you to have an awesome year, not because it's 2014, but because this could be the best year of your life!
Put aside the conflicts, frustrations, the stress-before you do anything this year-focus on Jesus.