Some Resources For You!

I decided, because I had to go and update my auto insurance (which took a decent chunk out of my normal writing time) to give you all a list of awesome resources I have found invaluable in my walk with Christ, below are links and pictures, enjoy!

(click on the pictures for the link)

Desiring God
-For everything related to The Bible and life, plumb the depths of their many articles and sermons!
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Bible Gateway
-A great resource for looking up and reading scripture!

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Plugged In
-When it comes to new movies, it’s hard to tell how crude it’s going to be. Plugged In gives you every instance of Sexuality, Cussing, and anything else before you even watch it!

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Downcast (APP)
-The BEST podcasting app i’ve ever found, though it’s only on iOS, the interface is clean and easy to use. I found ALL of the sermons I listen to and easily download them daily. I great tool for sermon and teaching consumption.

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“Married Young”?

It’s Tuesday, March 18th.

I woke up this morning at 7am, ready for the day. Though a little tired I got out of bed immediately, finding that getting dressed and making your bed the moment your alarm goes off is a far superior way to wake up rather than snoozing every 9 minutes. Speaking of which, does anyone know why alarms snooze for 9 minutes? My pastor was curious.

So, as for the title my Fiance and I started Pre-marital counseling this morning! After eating breakfast and getting my coffee ready I drove the 8 minute drive to her house, all the way listening to the Newsboys.

I enjoy having a car. I find it a very peaceful place to think and pray. Even if it’s for a few minutes I still get that alone time that’s just me and the Lord talking and praising him. I’d highly suggest everyone make time for prayer and sharing your heart to Christ on a regular basis because, as I’ve been learning: “when our vertical relationship with Christ is thriving, our horizontal relationships greatly benefit”.

So when Christ is the center, when we trust in Him to provide and give us the love we need then we have the strength to thrive and grow throughout all of life.

So back to counseling.

After picking up my beautiful Fiance we drove a few houses down to Pastor and his Wife’s house where we parked and headed inside. We were greeted cordially with hugs all around and welcomed to sit at the dining room table where our books were waiting for us, having come in sooner than expected!

The first session, lasting over 2 hours was such an encouragement. Many people have had doubts (and complete disapproval) of us getting married young. Though I completely understand why many have their doubts, the disapproval that we’ve come across have proven to me to be un-scriptural and unfounded in reality. The doubts not even being clarified by asking us about it. (So ask if you’d like to know anything!)

Got that covered.

Anyways, counseling went so well! We have a ton of homework to go over, everything from our family life, to our spiritual lives, to why we’re attracted to each other, etc.

So it’s quite a bit to do in a week. (49 pages!)
But I’m so excited.

So besides the encouragement of our families, the affirmation of our pastor and church family, you’re probably interested in the big question, summed up perfectly by a song we’re practicing for choir: “Why?”

So why did we decide this? Well, as we said this morning, it seems like the next logical step. We’ve been together a total of a year and a couple of months, have similar interests, convictions, and life directions. We both believe in the biblical marriage and what must wait for marriage and the progression of a dating relationship that has a purpose of pursuing marriage.

There’s quite a bit of other reasons (more like “sub”-reasons) for moving forward, but I would sum it up by saying that “I want to”.

If there were something Biblically wrong with young marriages then we have problems with Mary and Joseph, as mary was most likely between 16-18 (approx.) And that would also mean that all those in the 1950’s (and any other time) were in sin just for marrying the woman he loved when they were 18. (or the man she loved!)

That makes no sense to me. I find not an emphasis on age, but rather an emphasis on maturity in the scriptures. (c.f. Eph 4:13, Phil 3:15, Col 1:28, Col 4:12)

So what we find is that we as believers are called to maturity in Christ. So if you’re 25 with lots of money yet still lacking godly maturity, then what business do you have bringing a wife into your life? Same thing goes for 18 year-olds. You must get things straight with Christ before you even think about pursuing marriage.

If you disagree and are thinking of marriage to someone not committed to Christ, or are yourself a professed believer not taking Scripture seriously, then check out those verses aforementioned and tell me whether God is for His children growing in maturity in Him. After all, it’s not about my opinion. It’s about God’s word.

As I read the Bible I think about maturity not just before marriage, but in marriage. In Ephesians 5:23-25 Paul clearly lays out the mans role as head of the home, laying down his life in sacrificial love for his wife is whole life.

That’s not a task for the immature. Nor will money get you there.

Laying down my life for my future wife means that today I work hard, pursue purity, and pursue her heart in a godly way that both blesses and encourages her. Though this is no small task, I know that in Christ “all things are possible” and that He will give me the strength to prepare to lay my life down.

Thanks for reading! Make sure to follow if you’d like to read more posts like this and make sure to share if you found it encouraging! Or just leave a comment disagreeing if you’d like, i’d to have some good dialogue!

 

 

Theology Thursday #2 – Romans: Paul, The Apostle

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God”
-Romans 1:1

On this week’s Theology Thursday we’ll be looking at the beginning of Romans.
Now, the historical context for this incredible letter was set in circa 56 a.d. Rome. ImageThe original recipients for the letter was the church in Rome, and it was most likely sent from Corinth due to Paul’s references to people such as Phoebe (the deliverer of the letter), Gaius, and Erastus who were all associated with Corinth in that day.

Now, enough of the history, let’s get to the verse.
The first word of this letter clearly indicates the writer, “Paul” who, as many believers and scholars alike know, wrote a great portion of the New Testament including Ephesians, Galatians, and many more.
Paul is well known not only for his inspired writings (through the Holy Spirit), but also for his insane devotion to Christ. Having been imprisoned on many occasions, shipwrecked (Acts 27:39-44), beaten by an angry mob (Acts 21:30-31), and eventually martyred during the reign of Nero.

In the next part we see Paul as a “Servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle”.
The Greek word used here, “Doulos”, was the common New Testament word for servant, but Paul, using it in it’s more Hebrew sense, elevates the word to mean a “servant committed to a master he loves and respects”. So Paul identifies Himself as one who is committed to His Lord and Savior, out of love and deep respect.
Now, “apostle” is a widely debated topic, whether they’re still for today, and whether they theoretically can do anything through Christ’s power supernaturally.
But, all controversial thought aside, we’ll look into the context:

“an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God” (v.1)

I believe “set apart” to be the key two words. Because it indicates an exclusivity not easily gained. The definition of it literally being to “select something or someone for a specific purpose”.
In Acts 9:15 we find the answer to whether Paul was an exclusive apostle to be used by Jesus or not:

“But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”
-Acts 9:15

Other references include Acts 22:14, 26:16, and Gal. 1:1. You can also read the account of Paul (or, Saul at that point) on the road to Damascus in Acts 9.

So clearly Paul was set apart by God to do great things in his name, and to write inspired scripture, and to be arguably the single most greatest missionary of all time.

An interesting thing to note is that all of the New Testament was written by or under the auspices of an apostle. (John 14:26)
So clearly, the office of someone writing inspired scripture was very explicitly and unarguably chosen and verified by God in that day, so no one could go running around claiming they had a “new revelation” that would contradict God’s chosen servants and His word.

So clearly, Jesus had exclusive followers who were “One’s who were sent” as the Greek word for Apostle means. And they did incredible things for Christ: lived lives of bravery, but also lives of torture.
But ultimately, they sought Christ to be glorified so others would see how incredible He is and how much better he is than anything this world could ever offer, a forgiving savior who seeks and saves the lost.

Thanks for reading and make sure to follow if you’d like to read more in the future!
Feel free to comment sharing your thoughts!

Making the most of it. One monotonous day at a time.

So anyone reading this will probably know who i am. I’m a christian, a senior in high-school, an avid guitarist, and someone who has no clue what he wants to do with his life.

I’m sure most teens reach the same point i’m at, feeling unsure about the future, wondering whether they’ll “be anyone”, and just doing their best to figure life out.
Like some my age i have a job that i work around 12 hours a week and a smaller job at home working with wood and the such. My “real” (i use that word loosely) job is basically doing the same thing for 6 hours while listening to various music, podcasts, sermons, etc. which is really nice considering the work is so boring.

But something i was considering as i worked one day was “how can this be what i’m ‘supposed’ to do?” like how can this be all that Jesus has for me? Can such a monotonous life of school, work, and everything else be all there is? Will i go through life always wondering if there’s something better? Or will i choose to take what iv’e been given NOW and use it for God’s glory?

One verse that encouraged me was 1st Cor. 10:31 which says: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” So i guess i can put instead of “All” i can put in whatever i’m working towards, however monotonous. “Put beehive frames together for the glory of God.” Doesn’t have quite the ring to it, but still, it gets the point Paul was making in his letter to the Corinthians across, WHATEVER i’m doing – sipping a glass of water to sharing Christ with someone, it ALL needs to be done for the glory of Jesus.

Gotta redeem the time and “hustle while ya wait” as one of my favorite authors wrote in one of His books.
“making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16)

Jesus doesn’t want me to waste my life, he wants me to glorify Him in everything, nothings too boring for Him to redeem! Now THAT’S encouraging!