/// Come Back Home…

I had the parent of a former student approach me recently concerned about the spiritual health of their adult child. The child was a former student of mine in youth group, but was now grown, married, and starting a family. The former student stilled lived in the area with their now family, and was not connected to a church community. When the subject of church attendance was brought up to the student, they proceeded to tell their parents, “I can’t go back to church there because Charles will not be happy with the decisions I’ve made or how things have turned out.” This response has stewed with me for months and it has prompted me to write this in hopes that many former students can engage my heart on this matter.

/// COME BACK HOME ///

I say this with all conviction…

Do not let your church involvement be relegated to absence based on what YOU THINK someone else MIGHT THINK.

It breaks my heart when I see former students leave the church and not return due to a fear that is perpetuated to them by Satan himself. We have a choice to live a sanctified life before the Lord, and the foundation of sanctification starts with repentance towards redemption. God is in the business of redemption, and he desires that for all of us…myself included. Whatever decisions you have made, they do not bear enough weight to keep you from God’s good graces. Therefore, we should not choose to abandon Christ-centered community for fear of what others might perceive.

I am amazed that you are so quickly turning away from him who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!

10 For am I now trying to persuade people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:6-10 [CSB]

Many of us our believing a false Gospel, that Jesus and the church cannot actively forgive us of our unrighteousness or sin. We have convinced ourselves that our sin is to great for forgiveness and cleansing; therefore, we turn our head down as it comes to our faith, allowing shame and guilt to define the new Gospel of our life: “I’m unworthy of the love of Jesus, and I am unclean for the church.”

COME HOME. If you have a desire to live a right life before the Lord and lead your family into Christ Centered Community, then please find you a church home. The church exists to edify, encourage, love, and disciple all believers as they pursue a relationship with Jesus. Stop believing that you are unworthy of that community, and come home.

Late Night Musings…

/// The past several days have presented many challenges to our household. As we strive to maintain family order and peace, we are also humbly reminded of the limited control we have over the lives of the others living under our roof. Each one of us comes with our own set of challenges from the day, and each challenge proves to strengthen the relationships being built in our family. But nevertheless, it is in these times of challenge and growth that we become tired and weary.

I’m reminded of the many instances in Scripture where Jesus instructs us to lean all of our weight on Him, allowing Him to carry us through the loads of life that at times seem unbearable to carry. There is no doubt in my mind that God is showing me areas in my life that I cannot carry alone. I’m the type of person that looks at the shipping container clearly marked “Team Lift” and refers to it as a suggestion. I would regularly tell myself, “I work better alone.” Lies. I just like to be in control.

These past few weeks have taught me that standing on the promises of Jesus requires me to lower my position and posture. There are certain things that are simply out of my control. This lack of control does not negatively reflect God’s authoritative grace in my life, rather it gives meaning and purpose to God’s authority. God’s grace is best bestowed when I recognize my need for it.

Let me encourage you few who are reading to embrace the grace of God in your life by submitting yourself to Him; creating a position that is humbling and full of self-denial. We desperately need to release control and rely on Him. The word of God says that he will sustain you in your troubles, and when you grow tired and weary, Jesus will provide an avenue to help carry the load. ///

Still Writing…

/// I’m still writing. It’s just been a really busy season in life both personally and vocationally. Busy seasons can be long and stressful, and at the same time fruitful and rewarding. There is no doubt in my mind that the current season is one that bears much fruit for my life. God continually leads me down new avenues of faith and trust, forcing me to rely more fully on Him. I am finding that my faith in God’s ultimate sovereignty towards my life and family has given me a renewed peace as I pursue ministry. And at the end of the day, that’s what I hope for…renewal! I want God to continually make me alive in Christ Jesus. I desire that I can wake up new daily to the things that God has set aside for me, my family, and my church.

Today, you may need personal renewal in your life. A reminder that God wants to recapture your heart and draw you in closer to Him. This may mean that you have to start walking with intentional faith and pursuing His promises even when they are not in plain view. Either way, God is always doing a great work in the world around us. We must simply open our eyes to the wonders that He is preparing to show us. ///