Spring Break…

///It’s no lie that most of us need a break at points in our life. Between work, church, counseling, etc., we find ourselves spread thin with responsibility.  Being overworked and under appreciated is a very common theme in our world.  It eventually causes us to have a moment where we feel like the only thing that’s we can do to overcome this burden is to escape.  Escape the struggles, problems, classes, frustrations, drama, and all the other junk we deal with on a regular basis

As I write this, I’m sitting in a Coffee Shop on South Padre Island, TX, for Spring Break 2015.  I have the honor and privilege to work alongside 700+ college students as they seek love “breakers” who are working towards escape.  We’ve spent the last few days driving in vans on this small island, picking up anyone who would take a free ride from one club to the other.  From one drunken night to another. From one mistake to another.  All along the way we speak with them, getting to know who they are, where they’re from, and what they love most about life.

What we’ve discovered is, many of them don’t love their life.  That’s why they are here.  Many of them know the Jesus of the Bible, but he hasn’t taken root in their life.  They can say the right language and do the right things, but inside they are hurting and broken.  And somewhere along the way, someone convinced them that forgetting meant to escape.  If you cannot remember what you did, then you cannot feel bad or guilty.

But at what point does the running away become the way to live?  When does the escape turn into the reality?  When does temporary forgetfulness become forbidden fruit?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (‭Matthew‬ ‭11‬:‭28‬ ESV)

What many of want more than a break is rest.  Rest from the frustration of life.  Rest from school and work.  Rest from social dependence.  Rest from the burden of sin in our life.  The Gospel is rest for the weary.  A call to persevere.  It’s freedom from the burden of guilt and shame that weighs heavy on each of us.

Maybe what we need is not a break at all.  Maybe what we need is rest.///

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Gospel Saturation…

///  I love coffee.  Maybe even a little too much.  It quite honestly ranks as high as water on my drink scale of life.  As a kid, my mother always told me that coffee would stunt my growth.  As a teenager, they said it helps grow hair on your chest.  When you get to college, you use it stay awake.  As a pastor, you use it for a conversation piece or spontaneous meeting.

Coffee is good.  In seminary I began my fondness to coffee through the french press brewing method.  I can say that it made my 4-Cup Mr. Coffee drip brew look like an old tire.  It changed my perspective on how to really enjoy a cup of coffee.

///Saturation///

…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…(Ephesians 4:13-15 ESV)

Saturation is the state of being soaked, impregnated or imbued thoroughly.  Gospel Saturation is the state of being immersed in the good news of Jesus, soaking it into every pore of your life.

The idea of being saturated with the Gospel was the french press of my life.  It moved me away from a mediocre faith to a faith that I can enjoy.  A faith that does not weigh me down or rely on tradition.  The Gospel changed my perspective on my life, my family, and the church.

When you combine ground coffee and hot water together to make a french press, you exchange the two elements identities to now make one thing: coffee.  After a period of soaking, you separate the grounds from the water, leaving a behind a delicious cup of coffee.  Before the ground coffee, the water was just water.  But after the grounds sat in the water for a period of time, it began to infuse the molecules of the water to produce a new liquid.

I realized that in my life, the Gospel should hold the same process.  I should become different after meeting with Jesus.  Something that is not old and tired, but something that I enjoy.  Saturation is a natural part of existence.  We tend to get overwhelmed in ourselves, our hobbies, our families, etc.  What we need is people who are overwhelmed by the Gospel; to move their affections towards Jesus, allowing Him to conduct their lives.

Make today a good cup of coffee.  Let the Gospel penetrate your very life.///