I met Jesus when I was 18 years old. I am 36 today. I am 50/50 in life with Jesus and life without Jesus. Recently I was reading a book called Humility by C.J. Mahaney and reflecting on the last 18 years. I know there is a whirlwind of spiritual activity in our life when it comes to the works of the Holy Spirit, but when I look back on my relationship with Jesus I noticed there are a number of different attractions to Jesus throughout my life.
The first attraction was stability. I was 18 years old. A season of life that contains a lot of transition. I had been raised to be independent and at an early age and I felt a lack of stability. I wondered if Jesus could bring that stability. What if He was real? What if He was true? It was a blind leap for me, but I kept coming back to, “What if?” It was those two words that radically changed the rest of my life.
As I continued to mature spiritually I was drawn to Jesus because of the character He would bring into my life. I could learn responsibility. I could mature. I could have discipline. I was in my early 20’s and my life felt like an endless roller coaster. I saw other men in my life that had a relationship with Jesus and I was impressed by their character. I wondered, “What if I could have that type of character?”
As I continued into my mid 20’s my attraction to Jesus continued to evolve. I had experienced some stability, some character; not a lot, but some. I began to become attracted to Jesus because of leadership and influence. I saw that there were truths in Scripture that were beneficial to the lives of other people and if I could communicate those truths it could lead to leadership and influence.
Recently I was talking with a friend as he was wrestling with some decisions in his life as a Christ-follower and it reminded me of some good council I once received:
1. Pursue Holiness: Our holiness only comes through faith in Jesus Christ and because of that relationship we get to walk in holiness. Although this sounds like a really big religious word for people who shave their head and go by names like “Guru Joe” it really just means we are set apart to live for His glory and His purposes. Pursuing holiness simply means to repent of our sin and run to Jesus. We will deceive ourselves with thoughts like, “I have been working really hard, I deserve it, it isn’t that big of deal, some people do a lot worse, nobody will ever find out”, and instead of making excuses for sin we would do better to run from sin, run to Jesus, and repent.
2. Read the Bible and do what it says. Sounds simple enough but it is easy for our hearts and mind to drift from Scripture. We can be stubborn and rely on our own strength and our own ability, but if we are allowing Scripture to touch our heart it will make a difference.
3. Open your life. It is easy to be private. We tell ourselves other people won’t understand. We don’t want to look stupid. We are suppose to be leaders. What will people think. Those are all thoughts that keep us from opening our life to other people. We would do better to open up our life so that people can speak into it and sometimes tell us things we don’t want to hear.
Tucker and I were driving in the car the other day and he started to sing a song. I am not completely sure what he is saying, but to some degree he is saying the same thing over and over.
It had Kennedy having so much fun I couldn’t help but to record his singing. So turn up the volume and jam out to the future of rock-n-roll’s greatest hits, “What’s the big idea?”
Tuck’s Big Idea
This weekend my family and I made a trip to Lockhart, TX to try their BBQ. It was a lot of fun. There are three places in Lockhart that are known for their BBQ and we tried all three. We went into each place and tried 1/4 Brisket, link of sausage, and beans.
The three places are:
All three were awesome and had a ton of character. Kreuz’s Market looked like it had been remodeled recently. Huge parking lot and easy to spot when you are driving into Lockhart. I was a little concerned when I walked in and was greeted by the heat in a large open room, but it was where you would order your meat right out of the smoker. Fortunately they had an air conditioned room to sit down and enjoy your meal. They wrap your meat in paper, give you a knife (no fork, no sauce), some bread and you go inside the next room to order your sides. We just ordered some beans and actually they were the highlight of the meal. The brisket and sausage was good, but the beans had chunks of tomato and green bell pepper. It was awesome. Tons of spice and flavor. The brisket was a good, and the sausage was a little gritty for my taste, but overall it was a good start.
My wife and her mom are getting together to write a new blog. It’s called Mom and Mom. Check it out!
Raising children is one of the greatest experiences and exhausting experiences all at the same time. It is something that can get discouraging at times, but Scripture gives us some direction on raising children and it teaches us to go after their heart. We tend to chase after obedience, moralism, comfort, distraction, performance, but Scripture teaches us to connect with their heart and Ephesians 6 gives us 3 simple principles to connect with their heart:
Pray For Your Children: Pray with your children and pray for your children. I love to hear my children pray. Sometimes their prayers are really simple and they just say, “Dear Jesus, thank you for today, thank you for taking care of me. Amen.” We want our children to learn to pray and they learn to pray by watching their parents. Prayer is caught not taught and they need to see mommy and daddy praying.
Praying over dinner, praying through conflict, praying through disobedience, praying in spiritual devotion, and there will be times when Tucker will walk in my study while I am praying and I will just pull him close to me and start praying out loud with my arm around him. Sometimes he sticks around, sometimes he just hugs me and leaves, but we want our children to see and hear us praying. We want them to see that we are not the ones that are keeping this family together and that we are desperately dependent upon Jesus.
In Ephesians 5 we see husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church and this is a ridiculously high calling. Jesus loves the church (all those who place their faith in His death, burial, and resurrection throughout history) by chasing after us, initiating with us, listening to us, serving us, sacrificing for us and it wasn’t because we were pretty, smart, funny, or enjoyed His hobbies. It was just the opposite. All the while we wanted nothing to do with Him, ignored Him, hated Him, and yet Jesus chases after us, pulls us toward Him, dies for our sin and shame, and through faith we are clothed in His righteousness.
Scripture is teaching us as Christ loved the church so the husband is to love his wife.
Below are a few gauges to help us respond to this challenge:
Physically: I want my wife to know that she is protected and cared for in our marriage. I want to initiate physical touch, hugs, affection, holding hands to let her know that I am looking after her best interests.