Friday, May 31, 2013

What Jesus Thinks About You

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. — Matthew 9:22, ESV

I have preached this account so many times. It is one of my favorites. And every time I love to focus on the fact that Jesus calls the woman, “Daughter.” When everything seemed against her and a whole community and society would have seen her as cursed by God, Jesus calls her daughter. As she struggled with her own self-worth, Jesus called her daughter. As she struggled with her thoughts of inadequacy and was tortured by her insecurities, Jesus called her daughter.

So what about me? Doesn't that sound selfish if you're really being honest? Absolutely. For twelve years this woman had struggled with a discharge of blood, making her unclean in society, but did her identity in Jesus' eyes change on that day of healing or had she always been “daughter” to Jesus? And so what about me? How often I am struggling with thoughts of inadequacy and insecurity. It is so easy for me to actually believe that I am a waste or that I am not measuring up. It is so easy for me to live in my failures rather than to live in Christ's freedom. It is so easy for me to be plagued with thoughts of failures and insults coming from within or from an Enemy who wants me to doubt Jesus and my identity in him. It is so easy for me to believe that I am cursed by God because of the thoughts that I so often fight against, truly believing yet never publicly admitting that I feel like God loves me based on how well I battle the motivations of my heart and the thoughts of my mind. And this mind game has been going on since I started ministry, now about 20 years ago.

So what about me?

Take heart, MY SON, your faith has made you well. This is what I hear this morning. This is what I want to receive in full faith and assurance. This is what my Jesus thinks about me: I am a son of the living God, adopted and grafted in to the family of God because of faith in Jesus. I am a son of God, dearly loved and adored by my Father in heaven who loves me enough to discipline me when needed, gently and meekly dealing with me every moment within the process. I am adored by a holy and ferocious Jesus who is not ashamed to call me his own. I am liked by a God who is proud of me as I strive to live for him, but who's liking of me is not based on my conduct of that day. I am loved. I am his and he is mine. That's the truth, no matter what I hear or think later in the day. That's it.

So: what about you?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Changing To Wordpress

This is just a quick post to let you know that I'm going to be changing over to wordpress for my blog. So, for those that will follow this one, you will have to go to and click the follow button on the top right.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"He Has Done All Things Well"

And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak." — Mark 7:37, ESV

He has done all things well.

Really? When you read those words do you really believe that? Do I? That Jesus has done all things well? What about during the times when it seems like Jesus forgot to show up? What about the times when he seemed to have failed? What about when it doesn't seem like he really finished a work, leaving you and/or I hanging in the process? What about when he was late?

Here's the thing: all of those "what abouts" are valid, but they aren't true. When I say that they are valid, I mean that from our perspective they hold validity to our experiences of reality. But are they true reality or merely our perspective of reality?


We can claim this when things seem are good. We can push this when things go as planned, or when God "shows up and saves the day." But can we claim the same thing when Jesus uses the inconvenience or crisis to usher in the miraculous? Of course our answer is, "Absolutely, yes." But now I ask: can we claim that Jesus does all things well even when we have to sit in the inconvenient and crisis for a long time without seeing any hope for rescue? Do we trust Jesus enough to allow pain into our lives to bring us deeper into a relationship with himself? Do we trust Jesus enough to love us beyond ability to comprehend while we experience the storms that are beyond our ability to endure?

Jesus is the God of all. All times. All seasons. All. And in whatever "season" you and I are facing, Jesus is still the God of it. And no matter what we face, we need to ask Jesus for his perspective of his reality. As he does that, he will bless us and show himself faithful once again. This will cause us to proclaim boldly, and without hesitation:

"He has done all things well."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

From Mountain Top to Valley Below

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. — Matthew 4:1

The event that Jesus just finished with was his baptism. And what an incredible "cloud of witnesses" showed up to be part of his special day.

"And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV).

What an incredible event, followed by a horrifically and horribly painful forty days as Jesus was tempted by the Devil. And the key point to notice in this is right in Matthew 4:1 - "Then Jesus was let up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted..."

You see, this was not a "chance" meeting between Jesus and Satan. This wasn't Satan luring Jesus away from the baptism to meet him unknowingly in the desert to be tempted. Rather, Jesus was led up by the Spirit. This was all in the plan of God.

But how can this be? I see a main reason as being this: Jesus can now relate with us in temptation, for he has been tempted in every way yet was without sin. Jesus experienced a mountain top experience as he went down into the water. He then experienced the valley floor as we he was led up by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil.

The key to remember in all of it is this: whether you're in a mountain top experience moment right now, or you're scraping you belly along the floor of the valley, God is the God of all of it. Mountain tops. Valleys. God is the good of them all.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

TONIGHT AT FLOOD | "From Trial to Triumph" | Acts 4:23-31

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. — Acts 4:31, ESV

As we face trials in our lives, we always have a choice to make in those times when it comes to our perception of Jesus. We can run away, declaring him to be impotent, out of touch and uncaring. So, instead of drawing near to Jesus and experiencing the reality of the Holy Spirit personally, we retreat experiencing nothing new except discouragement, disappointment, and bitterness.

However, we have this other choice. We can run to him and experience life from his perspective, which is true reality. And as we draw in to Jesus, he provides us with what is needed to continue to move forward in the mission that he has given to us.

If you're in the area tonight (Claremont, CA), join us at 6:30pm at Purpose Church Claremont for FLOOD, our young adult worship service as I teach on this from Acts 4:23-31 (472 N. Mountain Ave, Claremont, 91711). If you aren't, join us live online at If you can't make it live, go ahead and subscribe to the FLOOD podcast and download tonight's message.

Hang in there, friend, with whatever is going on in your life. God has a purpose and is in control. He adores you. And for those who are reading this and are experiencing so much pain that it is almost unbearable, hang in there. Jesus is coming. In him is healing and life.


May 3rd at Christ's Church of the Valley (CCV) in San Dimas. 7:30pm. DO NO MISS THIS!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meet One of My Heroes

Meet Cameron Mitchell. I have had the honor of getting to know this amazing teenager over the past many months. Because of him, my life is forever changed.

Love you, Cameron.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Grace Doesn't Make Sense

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. — 2 Corinthians 8:1,2 (ESV)

2 + 2 = 4.

A synonym for run is sprint.

Grass is green (when watered).

The sky is blue (at least the parts we can see without smog or overcast skies).

But God's grace — this makes absolutely no sense. So when John Newton penned the words to, "Amazing Grace", he was really on to something.

Amazing  |  causing great surprise or wonder; astonishing; startlingly impressive.

It just doesn't make sense. And it is obvious in this verse.

As the churches in Macedonia were experiencing "a severe test of affliction," something startling came out of it. The grace of God compelled them to move completely opposite and away from logical to out of bounds. The grace of God caused them to have overflowed in a wealth of generosity in the midst of severe testing. What was the key?


With their abundance of joy they faced their extreme poverty with overwhelming generosity, willing to give above and beyond so that others had enough.

What would happen if Christians actually lived like this? What would happen if I did?

It would truly be amazing. It would be by God's grace. And honestly: it just wouldn't make sense.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Prayer for this Week...

Hey all,
Thank you so much for praying for me last week while I was in Mexico preaching. It was ABSOLUTELY MIND-BLOWING to see God work. I'm speechless about it. Thank you.

Here's how you can be praying for me this week:

1). This afternoon (Monday) I am officiating the wedding for Jessica Grodeland and Brandon Anderson up at Lake Arrowhead. Please pray for me as I share and lead the ceremony.

2). On Thursday night I am back at FLOOD preaching through the book of Acts. Please pray for me as I pray through, prep, and preach this message.

3). On Friday I am officiating at a funeral at PFB Church. I've been told by the family that they are expecting between 400-500 people to show up to this. This is a huge opportunity to share Jesus with a large group of people. Please pray that people would surrender to Christ through this.

4). On Sunday afternoon I have the honor and privilege of officiating the wedding ceremony of Erica Wilson and Austin Tenney. This couple has become so dear to me and this is a huge honor to get to be part of their big day.

Thank you so much for praying.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are You An Idiot?

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. — Acts 4:13, ESV

"COMMON"  |  idiotes  |  layman, someone not an expert, untrained

The religious leaders were amazed by the following in Peter and John:

1). Their boldness.
2). The were uneducated.
3). They were common.

That word "common" there is the Greek word idiotes which is where we get our word for "idiot." As Peter and John stood before the 71 members of the Sanhedrin, Peter preached not as a victim in fear before these powerful men, but rather as one with power and boldness. These same members of the Sanhedrin had orchestrated the crucifixion just months before. In this passage they were confronted with one of Jesus' disciples. And their response to him: they were astonished. And why was this?  ...they recognized that [he] had been with Jesus.

Peter and John were considered to be "idiots", and yet the wealthy, educated and powerful stood amazed at them because of their boldness and intelligence. But the key to it was not Peter and John. Rather, it was that they had been with Jesus.

Tonight we look at this topic at FLOOD. It is vital to understand that the more that we hang out with Jesus, the more people will recognize by our lives that we have been with him. It will be obvious because of how different we are. We are adequately inadequate, and yet Jesus prefers this. We are not qualified to do his work, and yet he has declared us qualified and equipped us to do just that. Being used by Jesus has nothing to do with how well educated or how wealthy we are. Rather, it has everything to do with whether or not we have been with Jesus. It comes down to our relationship with Christ.

So, are you an idiot?