God Knew, But Still Did

2 Timothy 1:9

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

That was His plan from the beginning of time. Before He created us, He knew we would fail Him.

I want to look at this verse backwards.

I look at the words, “to show us His grace” and I can’t help but be reminded of a child. A child who loves his family, draws them a picture during school, awaits all day to go home and show them this picture, and then most importantly, the joy and excitement the child has when showing their parents the picture. The parents naturally love the drawing, not because of the artistry of the photo, but because they can see their child’s love and joy through the photo.

I feel like this is God. He’s so excited to show us His grace, He loves to love us. Why? What have we done to win God’s approval? We haven’t done anything, He just naturally deeply loves us and invites us into His shelter. It’s like the kind of love and joy a child shows to its parents, but God’s love goes even further. That’s pretty neat.

Accepting that by the words “beginning of time” refers back before creation (who knows this could simply mean a long long time ago) God knew we would fail Him. Even if “beginning of time” doesn’t mean what I think it does, we can agree that God can do all things, and therefor there’s no reason He wouldn’t have known we would fail Him. So God knew we would fail Him, He knew what it would cost, but He still went through with it. Why? I’m always asking, why God. I can’t grasp the simply why. That love is simply so great. But I don’t have to be able to concept it for it to be true, it is whether or not I/we/you understand it or not. What I think is also super cool is that since God knew we would fail Him 1) He still created us, 2) He made a plan according to our failure, 3) God used what was closest to Him to fix our failure. God already gave you what was closest to His heart to save you. He will use anything He has to, to bring you into His kingdom, you just have to accept Him. We have a hard time sacrificing our comforts and needs/wants for God, but God went right ahead and sacrificed His Son for us. Wow, God is so much greater than I. It’s really cool to sit back and reflect about everything you’ve done, all your short comings, all your failures, all your sins and realize God knew about them before He created you, but He loves you so much He want on ahead and created you anyways AND He gave you a chance at redemption. And to give you this chance, He went ahead and did the hard part for you and sacrificed His son, He knew you wouldn’t be able to upkeep the law, He knew you wouldn’t deserve it, so He went ahead and did all that for you, and in return asks for your heart. Giving Him your heart is the greatest thing you can do, because this is a God so full of love for you. That’s beautiful. In short, God knows about whatever shameful thing it is that you’ve done, but He saw it before you wore born, but He asks for you anyways.

We don’t deserve this. Not even in the slightest. But God knows that and and saved you anyways. In the end, your past is God’s trophy. Not because your past is pretty, but because it’s a place you can look at and be thankful for all that God has done for you and what He has saved you from.

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. You didn’t save yourself, God saved you. And now calls you to live a holy life. Devoted to God. Why? Because on our own, we tend to find ourselves chasing wind, never satisfied. But being devoted to God gives you access to His love and peace into your life. Knowing what God has done for me, I can’t help but think of a better way to live my life.

Psalms 91:1

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.


The Magic of God.

Proverbs 8:1-11

Does not wisdom call out?
Does not understanding raise her voice?
At the highest point along the way,
where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.[a]
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Something I have been very fascinated with is magic. Not the hocus pocus magic, not real wizardry magic, not even the magic with cheap tricks and illusions. The kind of magic I speak of us, is the the magic in the belief of a greater good beyond ones self. The magic that happens when a child says their first words, or when a man asks a woman to marry her and she says yes. The kind of magic that I am fascinated with is the magic that brings happiness to others.

I believe I am not alone. The laughter of a baby brings great joy to anyone that hears it. This laughter not only pleases the baby, but it fills the heart of the one who made the baby laugh, and all those that can hear the happy giggle.

It’s priceless.

Cheap tricks and illusions can only fill our hearts for so long, but this magic I speak of, I believe is in the core of everyone. We all desire for something that is greater than ourselves.

But in life we become temporary satisfied by other things. As students, we find peace when we have no homework or tests. As workers, we find peace when our bosses aren’t demanding of us or maybe when we get that promotion. As athletes, we find peace when we win our games. But is this peace going to last with us for a life time? Is real peace found in having nothing to do, or winning games? If not, why do we let ourselves think that?

Deep down inside we crave for something big, but we have become illusional in thinking our peace comes from clearing our schedules, winning trophies, and gaining more money. In the end where does this stuff leave us?

To me, it gives me emptiness. Why do we feel emptiness when we start chasing the things the world has us do? All we are trying to do is to get that education, to get that job to pay for college, and then to get the family, then to get that promotion to be able to support our family, and it’s just one thing after another. But in the end, what does that even matter? When we are on our deathbeds, what does it matter how far up we made it in life, because in just a few moments, when we take that last breath, all of it goes away, and for what?

This is why I have to believe in magic. I believe in the magic of God. He renews my soul. He forgives me of my sin. For what? Just to be with me. To give me new life beyond earth, beyond what we can imagine. It is all a very magical experience. He gives me purpose. He gives me life that is never ending.

God is the magic I believe in. If you don’t believe in God, fine. But I promise you, His experience is like nothing else. His experience not only finds your heart and soul, but He discovers it and makes it new. He fills that deep hole inside of it. When you become filled with God, your learn to be content with everything else. You learn that God is the only thing that can provide you true peace. Just let it all go. Clear your heart and mind and give it to Him.

Why? Because He loves you beyond your imagination.

Now that’s magic.

It’s greater than all the gold, rubies, silver and knowledge in the world.

That is something bigger than myself.

And that is something I can believe in.

God Created Colors!

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I wonder how God did it. I am completely amazed. This week I have two anatomy exams and a psychology exam. Averaging at least three hours a day for the past two and a half weeks studying just the cells, what they are made of, different types, their functions, sizes and etc(I won’t bore you with all the real details of the cell). However I can’t even come close to being able to grasp all that information into my head. God however instantly thought it all up, and made it! Here I have been studying weeks just on the basic cell and can’t even come close to understanding it all, and God thought it up and made it in a split second. That is so amazing! Just the human body itself is fo vast and complex, there is no way I can imagine it being the way it is, without some sort of creator. This creator can’t just be any old ‘engineer’ though. The knowledge and power that this person would need to have is way beyond anything my mind can even come close to grasping! I am so happy to say that this person is my God!

The other thing that is just blowing my mind away right now, is colors. The past few days in psychology we have been discussing how the eye works. Today we got into cones. To keep it basic, cones in the eye is what helps us identify different colors. Humans have three cones, on average. Those who are color blind only have two cones, and can not see all the colors that we can. What blew my mind away is that there are some animals, I believe the gold fish was one of them, has four cones. There are  more colors out there, than our eyes can even see! Thinking about that for a while just blew my mind away! I can’t even make up another color, no matter how hard I try! So there being a whole another color out there is just baffling to me!  As I was trying to imagine another color in my head(I encourage you to try to think of a color that you have never seen before) I thought about where all the colors came from, God. God created all these colors! God created color out of nothing! Just thinking about that completely  baffled my brain! What does it take to have the ability to create colors?

So in all this, I just wanted to say how awesome my God is! I couldn’t concentrate on steadying anymore, this is all that is on my mind now! The Creator of the Universe and everything in it, is on my side! He is helping me out on the path of life. What do I have to fear? This makes me eternally grateful! It really makes Romans 8:31 come alive.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

When learning about the body, this song just constantly replays in my head.

Memory Verse of the Week:

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

The Jesus Thought

This morning I woke up with an amazing picture in my mind. The thought was I had found Jesus after He rose from the dead, with some blood stain still on Him. The moment I see Him I started sprinting to Him, and He ran to me. When we met I was freaking out just telling Him all my problems, but He told me “Stop Josh. I am here. I will carry you through.” and than He hugged me. Jesus the man who died because of me, just hugged me and told me it’s alright! That whole thought just really wowed me, comforted me and has helped me a lot this morning. I love knowing that Jesus is always there for me. Knowing that Jesus has faced all the problems of this world and that He can help me. I really enjoy the fact that Jesus tells us to bring our problems to Him and He will comfort us.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Something I realized a little later in the day about the thought I had this morning is, I ran to Jesus after He rose from the dead and told Him my problems. It made me think that Jesus had just risen from my biggest problem, and that is death. That He just got done saving me from Hell and all of my sins. So no matter how hard life is going to get, in the end I will get to enjoy eternity with Him in Heaven. That thought really helps me through anything. Knowing that Jesus has given my free eternity with Heaven. Nothing gets me more excited than that thought!

Forgive yourself, Jesus Already Did

Something I have struggled with deeply in the past is forgiving my self from my sins, and believing the Lord would want to forgive me for my sins. Sometimes it’s just so impossibly hard to accept it. It feels like the Lord will always hold onto that one sin, that one that you suffer with the most. The one you commit day after day with full intention of it. Deep down it feels it feels He has to punish you for that sin! However Psalms says differently.

Psalm 103:9 -12

He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.

So yes we do deserved to be punished for all the sins we do, especially that one sin that controls you! However what we often forget is that the punishment has already been paid! Jesus paid the punishment for our sins on the cross, so that we wouldn’t have to! We sin to much to every be able to pay the punishment for our sins. There is nothing we can do for them. That is why Jesus had to sacrifice Himself on the cross for us, so that the ultimate sacrifice would rescue us from our sins. We just need to accept His FREE gift to us.
1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.

Jesus paid the full price of our sins! So yes you may struggle with that one sin day in, and day out, but you are forgiven for it.

Hebrews 10:12-17

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool for His feet. For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says The Lord: I will put My Laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.

Jesus forgives and forgets your sins. We just need to let go, and trust in Him. Remember He is always there right beside us, fighting for us. All we have to do is accept Him into our life, and ask for His help. When we ask for His help, we must know it will not be easy! But the Holy Spirit will help us in our struggles and be our comforter. We just need to trust in Him

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Daily Miracles

We often like to think to ourselves I wish Jesus was here to preform miracles for us. I was thinking of some of the miracles that is in my life, that I often take for granted.

Doctors – Giving us the miracle of healing. Keeping us free from dieses.

Glasses – The miracle of sight

Hearing Aids – The Miracle of sound

Holy Spirit –  What can’t it do

Airplanes – Giving us the miracle of flight

Cars – Giving us the gift of transportation

Cops/Fireman – The gift of protection from danger

USA – The gift of freedom of religion

Family – The gift of loved ones, of people who look out and care for you.

Grocery Stores, Jobs, Clothing, Homes, Comfortable life, School, Water, Technology

This list could go on and on forever. Take time to think yourself of all the miracles He puts through out your life that you don’t even realize. The Lord has really blessed us, and we often just forgot about it and ignore it. That’s all that is on my mind tonight.

Ultimate Love

Romans 3:23-26

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Now recite John 3:16 with me please. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son. That who ever believe in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. How many times have we had to repeat that verse? Countless times right? But how many times have you actually thought about them verses. We as Christians often take this verse, as well as many others for granted. But lets take a short look at what this verse is telling us. For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son. That who ever believe in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life. After reading this verse we should get super excited about Gods love for us! After all He sent his One and only Son to die for our sins! How amazing is that!
We as Christians often take for granted Gods love us. We know and believe God loves us, but I don’t think we truly understand His love for us. Let me help you think about this from a different perspective. Let’s pretend you are God. You have all the power in the world. Your power is unlimited. Your knowledge is unlimited. There is no one as great as you! You are completely holy in all your ways! Now lets pretend you were bored, and created man. All man does is wine about everything. Man completely rejects you. Every day man sins against you. Everyday man turns away from you. So man has completely rejected you. I don’t know about you guys, but if someone did all that to me as often as we do that to God, I wouldn’t love them, let alone even want them in my life… but how does God react to us completely just slapping Him across the face? He loves us all the more the same. In fact He loves us sooooo much He sacrificed His only Son for us to rescue us from Hell, because Hell is where we are headed with our sins. He continues to bless us everyday, we continue to fail to acknowledge Him, and reject Him. That is some serious love!! I don’t know about you guys, but with love like that, that just makes me want to praise Jesus all the more!! I know I don’t deserve it one single bit. I am a horrible sinner, but God forgives me for it. And He still accepts me into His family! I couldn’t be more blessed or happy about it!
I want to challenge all you to think about God’s love for us. Really get down and think about it. Realize how undeserving we are of it, how horrible of sinners we are, but still how much God loves us and forgives us. Its absolutely amazing!! We need to share this love!!

Dear Heavenly Father,
I want to thank you for everything you have down for us. You have blessed us all in so many ways! None of us deserve it. We have all sinned and fallen short of your glory. But yet you still love us so much that you sent your one and only son to die for all of our sins, so that we may live eternally with you. Thanks Lord! There is none as great as you. Help us to love others, as you have loved us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!