Life Happens pt. 1

Life Happens pt. 1

Today we begin a series about things that happen in our life that is out of our control.

Examples: Flat tire, water pipe busting, washing machine goes out, refrigerator stops working, someone passes away.

Many people are unhappy because they do not respond correctly to the things or circumstances that they cannot change or control, which leads to unnecessary frustration, disappointment, and suffering.

Now let’s talk about some things we can’t control.

1. The weather

Matthew 8:24-26 NKJV
24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

“Suddenly”—many times, the things we can’t control appear suddenly, happen suddenly… you didn’t see it coming. It was so sudden. Comments like: this is unbelievable… I can’t believe this has happened.

They had a positive attitude… they were positive they were about to die.

They didn’t realize Jesus had control over the wind and the waves. Note to self: even those things you don’t have control over—Jesus does.

The second thing we can’t control:
2. What other people do.

We have no control over what others do. Their actions are independent of our own. Despite this, some people spend so much time and effort trying to get their spouses, family members, and friends to act differently.

Don’t try to fix people that do not want to be fixed. The greatest thing you can do for them is to regularly pray for them.

To have the most influence on others, focus on changing your own behavior for the better.

Proverbs 18:24 NKJV
24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Stop focusing on your problems—or even other people and their problems—and how they affect you.

Start focusing on you getting better and becoming more like Christ in your own life.

You can’t control:

3. How people feel

We have to be sensitive and have empathy for others’ feelings, but ultimately, it is their choice to feel how they feel.

We can’t control:

4. What other people say

People can say whatever they choose and we have no control over that. We only have control over our own words. It is pointless to get upset over the words of others because it is not a reflection on us.

5. Your past

Dwelling on the past is one of the main causes of regret that many people feel.

Mistakes are worth celebrating.

If we don’t celebrate them, mistakes will have a negative affect on our lives.

Now, let’s talk about the great antidote to the “uncontrollables” of life: our attitude.

Philippians 1:27 NKJV
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,

No matter what unexpected interruptions, frustrations, or difficulties come our way, we are to respond with a Christ-like attitude.

Philippians 2:5 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

He also encourages us in Ephesians 5:1 to be “imitators of God as dear children”

Jesus maintained a perfect attitude in every situation. He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. His attitude was never to become defensive or discouraged. His goal was to please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda.

In the midst of trials, He was patient.
In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful.
In the midst of blessings, He was humble.
In the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility, He made no threats and did not retaliate.

When Paul said our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ, he was referring to having an attitude of selflessness, humility, and service.


   The Resurrection of Jesus

The Resurrection of Jesus
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:17

How do we become a Christian? Belief in the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ for our sins. The cross of Jesus justified our forgiveness and the resurrection of Jesus validated our forgiveness. The God ordained miracle of bringing Jesus back to life after three days in the grave is the foundation of our faith. The risen Lord is evidence of His life fully alive in His followers. A person who claims to be a Christian but denies Christ rose from the grave is still lost in his sins. He only deceives himself. Faith in Jesus is based on His miraculous resurrection.

Paul gives a compelling argument to the necessity of believing in the resurrection as foundational for our faith. Preaching without the forgiveness of the cross and the power of the resurrection is a farce, fake and hellish in its outcome. Faith without the resurrection is faithless, led astray by the most recent spiritual fad. If Christ is not risen from the dead we are false witnesses to what really happened and face no resurrection, no hope after we die. When we embrace the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection we are forgiven, alive and envied by evil doers.

“God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).

Have you settled in your heart and mind the reality of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection? If not ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to your soul the sweet love of Christ who is alive and ever interceding to His Father in heaven on your behalf. Don’t be dismayed by modern atheists who attack your faith by belittling your beliefs. There will always be those who seek to justify their conduct and convince their conscience that Christ was not who He claimed to be. The lost love company. Pray for those who dismiss Christianity to be drawn to Jesus. You know better, you know Him.

Prayer time with the risen Lord is an eternal investment. He reminds you what’s most important in this life and in the life to come. The more you are vulnerable with Jesus the more you will get to know Jesus and the more your trust in Him will grow. The more your trust in Him grows, the more faithfully and passionately you will follow Christ. The resurrection of Jesus is your solid rock of faith: unmovable, alive, miraculous, comforting and necessary to be a Christian.

“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).


Heavenly Father, keep me focused on faith in the resurrecting power of Christ to empower my life, in His name I pray, amen.


What area of my life can I better live out the resurrected Christ through my life?

Related Reading

Job 19:25-26; John 20:27-29; Romans 10:9-10; Revelation 1:17-18

Good Friday


So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him… John 19:16b-18a

Good Friday is really good for those who have come to the foot of the cross of Jesus in repentance and faith. It is a commemoration for Christians of the ultimate and final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Through a cruel and grueling death, Christ gave His life—His body wreathed in pain, so the sick could be healed. He felt abandonment so the rejected could be accepted. He knew no sin, but became sin so sinners could be forgiven.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Oh, what salvation and love—the Lord’s life consummated on Calvary. Oh, what forgiveness—His raspy voice reiterated. Oh, what compassion—His swollen face communicated. Oh, what grace—His nail pierced hands activated. Oh, what good news—His nail pierced feet initiated. Oh, what humility—His crown of thorns demonstrated.

It is Good Friday because the good news of Jesus Christ’s love and forgiveness has been proclaimed around the world for almost two millennia. Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is good on Friday, but He is great on Sunday—because on the first day of the week He rose from the dead. Friday is good—but three days later is better—for He lives! Indeed, some who killed Him instantly recognized Him for who He was—they believed.

“And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the son of God” (Mark 15:39)!

Good Friday comes and Good Friday goes, but how is it with your soul? Does the cross of Christ move you to emotion—are you a grateful and engaged follower of Jesus? If not, embrace and celebrate the Cross. Ask your heavenly Father to restore the joy of your salvation, or maybe you are coming to Him for the first time in faith and trust. Surely, this man must be the Son of God—who came to save you and the world from their sins.

Make today a meaningful memory of what your master Jesus did for you. Linger long in reflection of the love that flowed down and mingled with His precious blood. See His hands, see His feet; oh what love that makes your joy complete. You serve a risen Savior, who’s in the world today—He walks with you—He talks with you—He gave His life just for you. Good Friday is good—because Jesus is good—and His cross is God’s loving gift.

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


Jesus, thank You for Your amazing love on the cross where You paid the price for my sin, in Your precious name I pray, amen.


How can I celebrate Good Friday as a sacrifice of praise and gratitude to God?

Related Reading

1 Corinthians 1:18; Colossians 1:19-20; Galatians 6:14; Hebrews 12:2

Spread the Word pt3

Spread the Word pt3

Final Part

Acts 13:48-49 NIV
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed. 49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.

Matthew 21:8-11 NIV
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

I. Am I willing to risk how people see me so that they
can see Jesus?

Matthew 21:8 NIV
8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.

I must be willing to sacrifice my appearance to secure their acceptance of Christ?

II. Has my shout been silenced by shame?

Matthew 21:9 NIV
9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Romans 1:16 NIV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

John 12:19 NIV
19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

A final question to ask ourselves today. . .

III. Have I forgotten the purpose behind my proclamation?

“…those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the
Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the
name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest

Psalm 118:25-26 NIV
25 Lord , save us! Lord , grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord . From the house of the Lord we bless you.

Luke 19:41-42 NIV
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.


Fully Loves

The Overview

Honesty is more than the words we say. It’s a posture of the heart. We weren’t made to try and be something we’re not. God never asks us to keep up appearances. He longs for us to have the courage to be vulnerable. He longs for us to be so founded in his unconditional love that we live honestly. May you experience new levels of peace and joy this week as we discover God’s heart for honesty.

The Scripture

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.”- Isaiah 54:10

The Worship Experience

Artist: Capital City Music feat. Dion Davis
Song: Lean Back

The Devotional

The ultimate result of honesty—the reason for being fully known—is that we might be fully loved. You weren’t made to live without a continuous, total revelation of God’s love for you. His love is the foundation. It’s the reason for being. Without his love we have nothing. And without honesty we’ll never fully experience his vast wealth of affection for us.

Isaiah 54:10 is God’s promise for you and me today. He says to us, “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.” The question today is not whether God loves us. And the question is not whether we have the ability to experience his love. Scripture commands us in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” The question is whether we’re receiving the love already made available to us.

You see, unless we come before God fully honest we only present part of ourselves for him to love. Unless we let him in to every area of our lives, we’ll live with a separated notion of God’s love. Most of us know that he loves us when we worship. We know he loves us when we serve. We’ve experienced his love when we engage in community, read Scripture, and pray. But do we know he loves us when we fail? Do we know he loves us when we say the wrong thing, doubt him, miss an opportunity to share the gospel, or run away from him?

God doesn’t just love us part of the time. He doesn’t just love us when we succeed. His love is complete and transcendent of us. He is love. He loves all the time. Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God has loved you at your worst. If he loved you enough to die for you while you were without one ounce of good, he will love you now.

If you want to experience the full depth of God’s love for you, you must come to him fully. You must let him in to every part of your day. You must let him in to your past, your present, and your future. You must live out of a revelation of his unconditional love for you rather than living a works-based relationship with him.

May you encounter the fullness of God’s love for you today as you enter into guided prayer. And may his love for you draw you deeper into the unhindered communion that’s already available to you.

The Prayer

1. Meditate on the unconditional nature of God’s love. Allow Scripture to paint the picture of who God is rather than our limited, worldly perspective.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

2. Come before God and be fully known. Open every part of your heart to him. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how God wants to love you today. Journal his response.

“But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8:3

3. Take some time to simply receive and rest in God’s love. Experience the unconditional nature of his love. Let his love lead you to a life founded on grace rather than works.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

To live by grace is to choose to believe God at his word. It’s choosing to live based on Scripture over everything we’ve known from the world. Grace isn’t found here. It’s a product of heaven alone. But God has ransomed us from a life based on the ways of the world. We belong to heaven now. And we have so much more available to us than the world offers. We are totally and fully loved regardless of our weaknesses and failures. May you live out of a revelation of grace and receive God’s love in every part of your day.

Extended Reading: Romans 8 or watch The Bible Project’s video on Romans 5-16.

Spread the Word pt2

Spread the Word pt2

John 17:18 NKJV
18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Luke 19:9-10 NKJV
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

We don’t ever want our conduct to cancel out our testimony.

In 1 Peter 2, PETER wrote, “Beloved, I beg you…to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles…”

1. Honorable conduct
2. Interaction with people using our words

Acts 1:8 NKJV
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

It is the Holy Spirit who will give us the key to the heart of the lost. He knows everything that’s going on in a person’s life, and of course, in ours as well.

It all goes back to the power of the Holy Spirit. There are many entry points to people’s hearts.

In conversation with people, look for open doors to turn the conversation to spiritual things.

Acts 13:49 NKJV
49 And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region.