Archive for March, 2009

Call to serve…

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by rylanreed

One of my posts a little while back talked about service and who we should look to for guidance, Jesus Christ.  I dug a little deeper into His word and found some verses giving us some guidelines,  for a service here on earth.

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…” Deuteronomy 10:12

We are required, in a commandment from God, to serve Him with everything that we have. This is not a have too, this is a get too, something that we can do to give glory to our Maker and the one that has given us all that we have and need.

“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the spirit.” Romans 7:6

Through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, we don’t have to live under the law of the Old Testament.  Instead, we can live in Him and Him in us as our Lord and Savior, who can do all things through those who believe in His name and have faith for which they cannot see.  Being used by the Spirit, we can serve in a way that will be a blessing to God as He watches from His place on High.

“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mystries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1

‘Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” Ephesians 6:6

We are to serve Christ above all else, and be one with what the will of God is for our lives.  We should look to Him first, before we turn to others to serve and help in anyway possible.  Sometimes the two go together and God is wanting you to serve exactly the way that those you are serving, want it done.  Other times, it can seem like they are the same, but the call on your heart from God is stronger than what you have been told to do and you should follow in what God says.  Again, I do not intend to sound like the position of ‘we should not follow in what our leaders or those in authority over us say, because we don’t like what they are doing.  God calls us to honor those in authority and respect and follow those that He puts over us.  What I am saying is that sometimes God has a different plan than of those in authority and we are to politely and respectively decline in what they want because of what God has placed on our hearts to do.

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my father, I have made known to you.” John 15:15

A friend of mine has somewhat of a different perspective on service.  He believes that when one says that he wants to serve others, then that person should do exactly what the other person wants them to do.  To me that seems like slavery instead of serving one another.  There is no give or take, not saying that it has to be like that all the time, but when one person doesn’t budge, there might be a big problem.  I believe serving is exactly what Jesus was saying to His disciples in John, where they were working alongside of each other for one purpose and one along, to glorify God (and bring people to the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ).  Both are giving their stances and both are taking different things that will help in spreading the gospel to all reaches of the world.

“…and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5

“10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strenth that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”        1 Peter 4:10-11

Fallen into a pit

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God, Music, South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by rylanreed

Lecrae: Rebel — Desperate ft. Cam

Verse 1:  (Lecrae)
Woke up this morning too depressed and shamed to leave my bed / Can’t stand to see my own reflection so I hang my head / feel like a disappointment like the scum of the earth / I’m so hurt I know you see I can’t cover my dirt
my souls dying hearts weak and I cant even cry / I’m sposed to run to you but WHY I’m such an evil guy
The sun’s shining but for me it’s the darkest of days / Try to pretend it never happened but the guilt remains
I leave the house it feels like everybody knows I did it / Feel like they reading my mind and know the sin I committed
Through your blood I’m acquitted but my heart doesn’t get it / Oh God I’m desperate for Help cause I’m grieving your Spirit / I couldn’t sing in the sunday service, Lord I felt fake / and when they started communion I just made an escape / I’m in need of your grace/ feels like you hid your face / Lord Lead me back to cross and show me my sins erased

Hook:  (Cam)
I’m so desperate; I can’t believe I’ve sinned against you
Create in me a clean heart (I’m so sorry)
Your mercy is what I need

Verse 2:  (Lecrae)
I’m waste deep in my pity/ Is Satan tryna trick me and tell me you wont forgive me
cause it’s startin to get me/ Jesus help me quickly I hate the wrong I’ve done/ I know we all fall but I feel like the only one/ Feels like I should be shunned/ should I punish myself/ I know it’s dumb cause by your death all my sin has been dealt/ But my sin is been felt/ I didn’t want to do it/ but what I want to do I don’t/ I swear I’m goin through it/ I’m tryna open up my bible need to read your pages/ need you Lord but my guilt has got me feeling so faithless/ Help me see where grace is/ take me back to the basics/ help me find my joy in you and not people and places/ my sin is ever before me I turned my back on you/ Oh father break and restore me to bring me back to you/my sin is ever before me I turned my back on you/ God break and restore me to bring me back to you

Hook:

Verse 3:  (Lecrae)
have mercy on me God according to your steady love / wipe away my transgressions and wash me in your blood
Create in me a clean heart renew a right spirit / Don’t hide your face from me God/ your Presence keep me near it
I’m waiting patience on you Lord i know you hear my cry / Restore your Joy in me/ for you alone I live and die/
It’s you I Glorify cause you don’t want my sacrifice/ you want me broken and contrite trusting in the Christ/ I confess to you my sin and you show me mercy/ I turn away from it demonstrating that you are worthy/ over lust, over pride, over all sin/ is my affection for Jesus who died for all them/ I was lost now I’m found I was toss to the ground/ My sin weighed on me heavy but I am no longer bound/ As sure as Christ wear the crown/ I know that grace will abound/ And even when I feel lost I know in You I am found/

I feel this a lot, and I think that others do as well.  This STINT year has really opened my eyes to some sins that I commit, that I never really saw before until now.  It’s God’s way of bringing us back to Him, we just need to realize that we do sin, that it is our human nature to do that, and only by repenting of our sins and turning full and complete attention to Christ, will we come out of the rut that we are in.

“14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14-15

I have heard from some that Satan is really battling with us as we are on STINT, and in countries that God is trying to start a work in for His glory.  Satan does tempt us, but it is our acceptance of the sin and our human nature to tend to lean towards those things that gets us into trouble.  If we would just realize that it is a sin and that we commit it, we would be trusting in Jesus and relying on His blood.  Instead, we “lean on our own understanding” and let Satan take control and so, do not let Jesus be the one and only that controls our lives.  Let us pray today that God will continually show us more of our sins, and that we would be repenting more and more, as we turn our hearts and eyes towards Christ!

What is service?

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2009 by rylanreed

What does the word service really mean? Why do we serve and where does that term come from?  There are many different ways of looking at service, but I think the main thing to do is to look to Jesus! He came to serve those around Him, not to glorify Himself, but God His Father.

Jesus served, but he didn’t do everything that people wanted him to do, only things that were good in the site of God.

Jesus came to earth to serve a human race that didn’t really want his service or help.  “…but made Himself nothing, taking the form of  a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7 It was only afterwards, from the things that He did to the miracles He showed, that people started to realize the significance of what happened.  “But when He (Jesus) heard it, He said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’.” Matthew 9:12-13 He served us by His preachings,  told us and the people in the time of Jesus, that He was the only way to God and when we beleive in Him, we will have eternal life.  He served through the miracles that He showed:

“17On one of those days, as He (Jesus) was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20And when He saw their faith, He said, ‘Man, your sins are forgiven you.’ 21And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sing but God alone?’ 22When Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered them, ‘Why do you question in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sons‘ — He said to the man who was paralyzed — ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.’ 25And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26And amazement seized the all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen extraordinary things today.” Luke 5:17-26 (can be found also in Matthew 9:1-7, and Mark 2:1-12)

Those people sitting near Him, probably thought that He was just going to do a miracle and impress everyone, didn’t see the point of His saying to the man that his sins were forgiven.  Jesus Glorified God first, in that he healed the man of his spiritual body and gave the man a cleanness that only can come from Jesus and then he healed him of his earthly body.

“1And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Him they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered them, ‘When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance if the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So He left them and departed.” Matthew 16:1-4

All they wanted signs and miracles, but they didn’t see the greatest miracle standing right in front of them.  One who would take all of their sins up on a wooden cross and shed His pure cleansing blood, so that they and ourselfs today, could have eternal life with our God and father, if only we would belive in Him and turn from our sinful ways.

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

We should serve Jesus in what we do, and make sure that it is He who we are working for, not people around us.  I know it also says in the Bible that we should respect our elders, summit to authority, but Christ is our savior and we should serve Him first and foremost.

Jesus was a Rebel

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by rylanreed

Rebelling against the rules doesn’t mean that you’re free. You’re still a slave to sin. REAL freedom is knowing the truth and then obeying!!!….John 8:36….”So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!!” This is a song by Lecrae called Rebel:

Rebel – I’m in rebellion (to all my rebels out there / rebellin against the culture / being transformed / not conforming to the ways of this world or the age / welcome to the revolution!)

Verse 1:

Jesus was a rebel, a renegade, outlaw/ A sanctified troublemaker but He never sinned, naw/and He lived His life by a different set of Rules/ the culture ain’t approve/so you know they had they had to bruise em/ that’s the way they do/ man, they swear they so gangsta but everyones the same/ everybody do the same stuff/ tattoo, piercing/ smokin’ up and drinking/ money and sex plus them extravagant weekends/ if that’s the high life/ I’ll puff puff pass that/ you leave evaporated like you missing a gas cap/ I guess I’m passed that/ cause I am in rebellion/ I’d rather have a dollar in my pocket than a mill-ion/ I’m scared to worship money, and my wants over Elyon/ I’ll remain a rebel while the rest of them just carry on/this is what I live fo/ this the hill I’m buried on/ if Jesus is the truth/ that means one of us is VERY wrong/ think about it

Mark Driscoll in the back ground (I know in our state rebel means sinner / everyone is sinning, so its no longer rebellious to sin / Jesus was a rebel / who was counter culture)

Verse 2:
No glory in me/ all glory to the King on the throne (Jesus)/ you either love Him or leave Him alone but you cant do both/ yeah, you probably heard that once in song/ I pray you hear 10 mo fo ya gone/ yeah listen up, holmes/ The stage is my corner and my crowd is the streets/ That’s why I rap the bread of life cause they dyin’ to eat/ I’m a rebel you know the kind that die in the street/Cause you refuse to conform, won’t eat the kings meat/ look, if Christ rebelled by shunning the cultured/ He eatin’ with sinners/ givin Pharisees ulcers/ He never got married, was broke and plus homeless/yeah that’s the God I roll wit/ ya boy gotta wife and no I neva cheated/ I’m prayin for humility whenever I get heated/ forget about the drugs/ rebel against pornography/ this ain’t how it oughta be, homie/ this is how it’s gotta be/ A rebel

Mark Driscoll ~ (you’re just a conformist / if your drunk and naked / driving around on a loud motorcycle /  smoking cigarettes and breaking commandments / getting pregnant out of wedlock /  everyone has done that / that’s so tired / if you really want to be a rebel / read your Bible / because no one is doing that / that’s rebellion! / That’s the only rebellion left!

Enough Said!

Unequal Yokes, what?

Posted in following Jesus, Love with tags , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by rylanreed
Unequally Yoked….-T.D. Jakes *
“The Apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 6:14….’Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?’ Why this admonition? Because the faith that we live by is the measurement that we use as a guide, the counselor that we seek in a crisis, and the values that affect us sexually, emotionally, and spiritually. If we are not using the same measurement of faith, problems often become insurmountable because one doesn’t respect the other’s yardstick of beliefs. It creates a dynamic similar to the one you find in a marriage counseling session where one partner comes and the other refuses. While it may be helpful to the one attending, the session cannot restore the wholeness of the marriage without both partners’ participation.”
* I want to point out that I do not believe in everything that T.D. Jakes believes in, mostly the Trinity and his beliefs about baptism. I posted this quote by him, because I think it speaks well into marriage and being one with someone that (if you believe in Christ’s death of the cross) follows in the same beliefs.

He Knows you best!

Posted in God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by rylanreed

1″O Lord, you have searched me and known me! 2You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. 5You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 7Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 11If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ 12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is a light with you. 13For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”                    Psalm 139:1-16

My God knows me even when I don’t know myself. He can see inside of me for who I really am even when I’m not acting like it…..God you know me!! You’re the only one who will ever know me fully inside and out. People can try, but there’s no absolute, possible way that they ever could. Please bring out ME in my life so I’m not playing a fool of somebody else! So I can live the way you have designed me to live!! Bring out my talents and my abilities so I can honor you in every possible way!!….To you be all the Glory!!!

things put on high…

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by rylanreed

This goes along with Driscoll’s quote, I posted earler, but I wanted to sort of focus on this part as well.

“People buy things they do not need with money they do not have to impress people they do not even like.”
— George Fooshee

It says in God’s word, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 and Deuteronomy 5:7 both have God saying this to His people.  I believe Today that money is a HUGE god of so many people and even those that call themselves Christians.  I even fall into this sin every once in a while, but God always reminds me that it is His money first and He can do with it what He wills.  This quote also talks about impressing people and the want for friends, which has the result of people trying to get a lot of money to have people think better of them.  People can be a god for us as well, putting them and their importance infront of God and His importance and what He has done for our lives.  I know that is one thing I use to struggle with, and maybe every once in a while now as well, but God has helped me realize how much He has done in my life and through it and how I haven’t done a single thing to deserve anything that God has done.  He brought me to Himself and is using me to bring others to Himself as well.  All I need is Him and I will truly be satisfied.  So will you, if you place Him at the top of everything else!

Song in a little box

Posted in Music, Video with tags , , , on March 23, 2009 by rylanreed

I found this on someone else’s blog, and after watching it, all I could do was say WOW!  It’s an interesting video, but that song is really good.

Complete Surrender

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by rylanreed

I talked a few weeks ago, for Campus Crusade in Pretoria, about time management and how we should be giving our time to God, since he made everything and everything centers around Him (or it should). I will get some of my ideas and what I talked about up here sometime soon.  A friend of my had this on his site and the first time I read it, I didn’t really read it fully, but the second time I can totally see how this fits with what I was talking about.  I probably could have used this and not anything I had worked on, but is good to remember again.

“The idea of complete surrender is amazing. This surrender is so much more then just giving God part of your time or part of a certain area of your life, but not other parts of your life. Sometimes we Christians hold onto something (or many things) and don’t give God control of our whole lives.

All of our life. / Completely. / Fully. / All our time. All our dreams, Fears, Worries, All of our life.

That is what God calls us to do. To give Him complete control of over every aspect of our lives Completely!

This act of surrender is quit the act of love towards God. Complete surrender calls us to humble ourselves. To surrender means to give control or rule over what is surrendered to someone in a higher place. (Webster’s)

As American’s we are very individualistic. It’s hard for us to give up every aspect of life to someone other than ourselves. We grow up chasing the ‘American Dream,’ whatever that means. This ‘dream’ has a great sense of “I’m doing what I’m doing for me” and “I do all the work” and “Me, me me!!!”

The complete surrender to God calls us to forget this idea of ‘me.’ Instead of doing a good work or deed to bring glory to ourselves, God calls us to do good works and deeds to bring Him glory. Instead of worrying about doing all the work ourselves and relying on our own strength, God calls us to rely on His strength and not our own.

This idea of needing dependence on someone to give us strength or the idea of giving glory for something we did (or at least we think we did on our own) to God is very humbling. In this humbling of ourselves, this removal of our own train of thought our own will replacing it with God’s thought process (or heart) God’s will.

This humbling act is an amazing display of our own love for the Father.

We become to love God so much and so deeply that we are willing to humble ourselves and place our will off to the side and embrace God’s will and rule over our lives.

That, is complete surrender!”

God asks us to give everything to him, not just bits and pieces, but the whole thing – our whole life – and leave it up to Him.  He knows exactly what we need because He made us and knows what is in our path til the end. Matthew 6 :33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. Jesus was talking about us worrying about what we should eat and drink and what we should wear, and how we need not to be anxious, but trust in Him fully.  A couple other passages I thought would go along with this:

16’And behold, a man came up to him saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17And He said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle that for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying “Who then can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27Then Peter said in reply, “see we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have? 28Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for My name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”  Matthew 19:16-30

24’Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  26For what will profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. 28Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”  Matthew 16:24-28

Let us summit our all, each and everyday to Christ as our Helper and Provider!

Jesus Film SA!

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God, South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by rylanreed

Saturday night was my first time helping out with the Jesus Film.  It was shown on the outskirts of Pretoria to, I guess you could call it a township, but it really wasn’t, more or less just people living in tin shacks trying to get by.  The place they lived was a grassy field, with a small area in the middle that someone had chopped down to the dirt.  One side had Zimbabweans living together and the other side had South African living together, speaking Northern Zutu, and they both hated each other.  There was also such a stark contrast from where these people were living and how they were living, to the surrounding area.  Up on a hill, there is a giant Church, Dutch Reformed, that can hold from 5000 to 7000 people.  We drove through their parking lot to get to the field where we set up the film, and you can see it clearly from where we were at during the night.  Behind this huge Church, from left to right, can be seen a very large suburben population, and I was told that it was the riches suburb in all of Pretoria.  On the other side of the Suburb, there were two malls that were both fairly expensive and were expansive in nature.

To see all of that and the money that was probably put into all of those structures, and then look at the men and women who were milling around in this field, not having anything to do except drink and smoke, made me think twice about the times that I complained about the smallest of things and not relying in God.  It also put a hurting on my heart thinking that these people could see all of the beautiful building and everything around them, but for the most part the people around them didn’t even notice or care about them.  I spent most of the night praying for the surrounding area, that God would put on some of the people’s hearts to come and be of service to these people that didn’t have anything at all.

Out of the 100 or so men and women that were there, probably 50 or so of them prayed the prayer and then we were able to share with them what they did and what to do next.  Please pray that they did not just pray the prayer becuase the person next to them prayed it.  Pray that God spoke through the video and them being there, so that they truly felt a call to become a child of God.  Pray that they would believe what they said and that others would be able to come to them and help them grow.  Pray that God was used in a might way that night and that those that prayed the pray would share with others about what God did to them and that they could get bibles in their native language or even in english, that they could continue to be taugh by God through His word.

Hopefully I can put some pictures up here in the next week or so…