Confessions of a Preacher

*preface* This may be too transparent for some of you. If you have an image of a crispy clean young man who’s “on fire” for God, read with caution if at all…

There are many times (really all the time) when I just pause at the idea of me being a Christian. I’m so much more morally bankrupt than those unsaved people around me. I stumble into pride, lust, hypocrisy, gluttony, laziness and foolishness often…there are folk who if they had my shoes would be doing much better morally, I know it. I know it because they are in situations much worse than me and are much more moral than I am. The fact that God’s mercy is new every morning is still not fully grasped in my heart, which is a lack of faith, another testament of my shortcomings and God’s grace in spite of myself.

I really don’t NEED to hang around folk. My desire and idolization of acceptance pushes me to hang around folk, but my other idol of self dependence and secrecy push me to be alone. Even when I play spades with folk, often my aim is to win and big up myself, not simply enjoy community. A thing as simple and seemingly innocent as spades becomes a prop to the idol of self preservation and improvement… I glory in being a winner, in being right, even in a stupid game of cards.

As much as I rail against the unloving self righteous pseudo Christian, I am extremely unloving to those people, or people I self-righteously judge to be so, making me just as bad as those I tweet/preach/facebook against. “Oh, I get on your nerves? Then don’t talk to me, it’s not like you’re adding anything to my growth. You don’t like how I preach? Well forget you then, if you knew the Gospel you’d like it. I don’t need your community or your love, I do well just by myself.” The same arrogant, entrepreneurial, hypocritical Christianity I preach against I myself find myself living in with sprinkles of “Gospel-centeredness” on top.

I work hard. Very hard. 3-5 jobs hard. I justify it by saying I’m giving it and saving it to plan for a family that will glorify God. I hardly give to the local church as much as I budget initially, and even when I do I battle a fierce beast of pride and self righteousness. I don’t look to the fact that Jesus has established me through His work on the Cross because I look at my own work and think I am established, or at least close. I fail to work out my salvation with fear and trembling and instead work to fill my pockets with fearless pride. I justify who and how valuable I am through the jobs and money I have saved, the things I can afford on my own, failing to realize God is the one who gave me everything to earn what I don’t even give back to Him.

….I could go on. But pause and think about this: God through Himself saved me knowing I would be where I am and loves me enough to continue to not leave me or forsake me, but in fact sanctify me. He continues to reign down on my life…mercies and grace. My life doesn’t make any sense in a karma sense. In fact, I deserve death, but God in the blood of my own menstrual rags of righteousness said live…I am so nobody. No..body. But Jesus is Somebody and was Somebody for me on the Cross dying and raising for me…freeing me from living up to the expectations presented by my parents, society, even the expectations set by myself. Those character flaws listed are not up to me to correct because they have been paid for on the Cross. Even me re-realizing my identity in Jesus and submitting to the Spirit is done through the mind of Christ given to me by Christ. Thankful.

Please pray for me. I want to love more, submit more, lead more….die more to live more.

I love you.

laugh now, cry (tears of joy) later.

i peeped an old journal rant entry (subject to error) from this summer and it read:

the LORD visited sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to sarah as He had promised. – genesis 21:1.

for a little backtrack, God said to abraham in genesis 15:4, that his very own son will be his heir. verses 1-6 are a part of a dialogue between abraham and God. at the end of verse 6 … abraham believes what God says, and it is counted to him as righteousness (by faith).

genesis 17:15-21 describes what God said and what He promised right here – that they would have a son. abraham was 99 when he heard the news, while sarah was 89 (i believe).

is anything too hard for the Lord?

even though abraham and sarah both laughed (no really, they laughed at almighty GOD) when they first heard God’s plan, God still did what He said, and did as He promised. i literally read genesis 21:1, and immediately shouted, laughed, and #lowkey cried – in awe and in worship. my God is not a man that He should lie. let God be true and every man a lie!

if i believe in what God said I will be (conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ) and in what He promised (eternal life for those who believe in Jesus’ work on the cross), i will be an heir to His kingdom. what He has for me on earth, i have to believe it – because it is essentially only to build His kingdom.

when God called me to proclaim his gospel, like sarah and abraham, i laughed. i was like, “no way.” me? shy to speak in front of people. hating the voice that God gave me. i was basically in fear and fearing man. but i grew to finally believe what He said.

faith.

the Lord will do what He said (give me His Spirit to be a witness for Him) and He will do what He promised, which is build His church and bring salvation to the elect!

SOLI DEO GLORIA.

Border Control

Arizona’s new law:

States that any person engaged in some form of lawful contact with a law enforcement officer may be asked to prove their lawful residence in the United States. If their legal presence cannot be determined then they may be subjected to fines, jail time, and action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

THE PROBLEM

United States Citizens will be subject to checks on their right to be in this country based on nothing more than racial suspicions.

This law is meant to regulate the seemingly unchecked influx of Mexican immigrants.

Meaning, one ethnicity will be subjected to this new law, not one group of law breakers.

Citizens with illegal non-citizen residents will be subjected to the same sort of invasion, not on the basis of their breaking a law, but on the basis of the suspicion that their skin color may cast.

My Problem With This Law As a Dual Citizen

In the other Kingdom that I am a citizen of, we operate under a different political philosophy.

We realize that the non-citizens who live among us often have the potential to be our greatest allies, even the ones who are downright inimical.

We seek to show them the Path to citizenship so that they may join our ranks, and until they do, we show them love, kindness, and patience – the products of being a citizen in this Kingdom.

We understand that not all will be receptive and friendly to our Kingdom, but we rely on the King to weed those individuals out, understanding that we don’t have the insight to be the judge of that.

Aslo, we know that our citizenship is not based on our actions. Citizenship was made possible by the Prince who paid and ensures that we may enter and remain forever.

We have relationship with the Prince, and through the Prince with the King, so we do things that please Him out of love; things that He’s indicated that He likes.

However, our ability to do those things has no influence on our standing as citizens. We stand secure by the work of the Prince, and are found approved as we have trust in Him.

In this kingdom there is no fear of the threat of deportation or aggression from the authority that granted us citizenship.

We have security.

You Can Join This Kingdom

You can join this kingdom where citizenship is secure and unquestioned, where growth is encouraged instead of doubt and fear.

The key to this kingdom is faith in the Son, namely, Jesus Christ.

Faith that:

  • He lives (currently)
  • He died: to satisfy the debt you owe God and to give you an excess of credit in God’s eyesight
  • He offers you eternal life (irrevocable citizenship) in His Father’s kingdom.