Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bold Enough to Love

"I am acting with great boldness toward you; I have great pride in you; I am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy." — 2 Corinthians 7:2-4, ESV

Last night I had to preach a message to the FLOOD community that I described on my Facebook status as such:

I just finished my prep for tonight's message at FLOOD. OH MY GOSH!!! This is a warning: tonight is a not a message for the faint of heart. I'm convinced that tonight is a night for the Holy Spirit to break us down to bring us back up again. Come expecting to see the miraculous and be prepared to be changed. Staying the same is not an option!

And I came out with both barrels. The thing is that I can say this with all honesty, sincerity, and integrity: I spoke this message out of love for the FLOOD community.

But then I woke up today and kept hearing this in my head: But what if I was too hard on them. I don't want to come across as arrogant. What if I said something that would cause some to not come back. I couldn't get those words to stop.

The motivation behind my preaching is simple: to exalt Jesus as the greatest. That's what it's all about. So my ultimate desire is to please him and bring him glory in every message I preach. But I do not ever want to be lead by one of my own personal agendas, smashing specific individuals by way of the pulpit, leaving grace and love out of the picture entirely.

And so as I kept thinking through this morning, and for part of the rest of the day into the evening, I came across this verse in my time with God. And the Holy Spirit comforted my soul, bringing peace to my mind because I was faithful to proclaim his message.

PREACHERS: God will not always ask you to preach the message that is nice and well received by each and every single person who hears it. Rather, he will ask you to preach the message that is according to his design and desire. Because of that, there will be times of great comfort and sympathetic preaching, but also times of having to boldly confront in order to see them move on into more of the Greatest Good: Jesus. We do not have the calling or the right to preach for the applause of men. We only have the privilege to preach for the applause of heaven. The only thing is this: sometimes gaining the applause of heaven will come with the heers of those on earth. Just be prepared.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Prayer for this Week...

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

  • This Wednesday night at FLOOD I am continuing with our "OVERWHELMED" series. This week we are look at the attitude of gratitude, and how if we would live in a constant state of gratitude, we can truly be thankful in any and all situations. I know that it's easier said than done, but I'm curious who was it that said that the process of becoming more and more like Jesus would ever be easy because Jesus would disagree with them. Please be praying for me as I prep, pray through, and preach this message.
  • Tonight is our second planning meeting for IGNITE (Sept. 8). We just added an incredible young guy to the lead team (Justin Knowles [@justinknowles3] from Saddleback Church). I am so excited about this next IGNITE. Please be praying as meet and try to figure out God's desire for the September 8th event.

That's it for this week. Thank you for praying.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm NEW!!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. — 2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV

Tonight I read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 and came away with this conclusion: this passage of Scripture is one of the most profound passages in all of the Bible. Because of that, I want to share thoughts on each verse over the next few days. This is just me sharing my time in God's word, trying to understand and to be enamored by the love of God and what he has actually done for us.

Because of the fact that I am in Christ, I am a new creation. If you are reading this and you are in Christ, you are a new creation. How do I know this? Because Paul uses the word anyone. He is not speaking of only himself, or of Christians during that time. Rather, he sharing a universal truth for every person who is in Christ.

But what does it mean to be in Christ? It means to be in a surrendered relationship with Jesus, where you have exchanged your sinfulness for his righteousness (imputed righteousness). And because of this surrendered life, I am a new creation. I am no longer the same. The old ways of life have passed away and the new life has taken over.

This doesn't mean that I won't struggle with sin, but rather just the opposite. Before Christ I was not aware of my need of a Savior. I was held captive by sin. I was not free to not sin, but rather in bondage to sin. But because of the fact that I am in Christ, I AM CHANGED! Because you are in Christ, YOU ARE CHANGED! We are not the same. We are different. Free to not sin. Free to honor Jesus. Free to enjoy God. Free. New.

Have I truly accepted this? Have I allowed this to become a reality in my life that leaves me changed in every-day life? Am I living in the newness of life? This passage screams to me that I am no longer the same. My old ways of life are dead. I don't enjoy sin. Rather, I despise it. I am a new creation. I no longer live my life, but rather it is Christ living in me by his Holy Spirit (see Galatians 2:20).

God — You don't add on to my life when I surrender to you. Rather, you get rid of me completely and start over to build something new. You have made me brand new. For this I can never say thank you enough. I cannot believe that you did this for me. Thank you. Now please help me, by your Holy Spirit, to live in the reality of my new identity and personhood in you.

And as I was writing this blog, "Carried to the Table" by Leeland came on. The lyrics of this song touched me heart and ministered to me in such a powerful way. I pray that they do the same thing for you:

Wounded and forsaken
I was sheltered by the fall
Broken and forgotten
Feeling lost and all alone

Summoned by the King
Into the Master's courts
Lifted by the Savior
And cradled in His arms

I was carried to the table
Seated where I don't belong
Carried to the table
Swept away by His love

And I don't see my brokenness anymore
When I'm seated at the table of the Lord
I'm carried to the table
The table of the Lord

Fighting thoughts of fear
And wondering why He called my name
Am I good enough to share this cup
This world has left me lame

Even in my weakness
The Savior called my name
In His Holy presence
I'm healed and unashamed

You carried me, my God
You carried me

— "Carried to the Table" —
— by Leeland —

Monday, May 14, 2012

Repenting of Disgraceful Ministry

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:1-2; ESV

First off, notice this: the ministry of the new covenant that Paul had received was because of the mercy of God. How often do we look at our "ministries" as something to offer to the Lord and for him to say "thank you" for, rather than something for us to constantly be in anguished gratefulness because without God's mercy in giving it to us, we would not be involved in it. The reason I have anything that I can do "for" Christ is because of Christ.

Secondly, however, notice that Paul had standards in the ministry that he would be involved in. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. And then he gives two examples of these disgraceful and underhanded ministry practices.

  1. Cunning — | adjective | — having or showing skill in achieving one's ends by deceit or evasion.

    Paul would not engage in this type of ministry. The goal was not to get people to raise a hand or say some prayer that someone else told them to say because they would only told the attractive parts of God. It was about making disciples — people who actually FOLLOWED Jesus because they had actually encountered him. So he would explain the truth to them. Which lead to the next one...
  2. Tamper with God's word. God's word is truth, even the parts that we don't like. This is the part that is fascinating to me. I'm convinced that pride is the catalyst in the hearts and minds of people when the validity of God's word is attacked instead of esteemed as perfect. We are all broken people, and yet for some reason we honestly believe that we can come up with a "healthy alternative" to the truth in God's word without the help of absolute truth, relying upon our own limited and short-lived experiences. We cannot see transformed lives if God's word is not used, for God's word is truth that shows us what is wrong with us, then introducing us to the One who can actually turn everything around for his own glory.
Am I above reproach in the ministry that I've been called to? Am I playing with the things that God has spoken about truthfully so that I feel better about my sin, or am I remaining sensitive to the hideousness of my sin, seraching God's word, listening for his Spirit, to diagnose the problem and to see the problem remedied?

Father —
I pray that my ministry would be done is such a way that you could describe it as graceful and honorable. I pray that you would continue to increase my faith in your word, and then anoint me as a proclaimer of your truth every time I open my mouth to preach.

Prayer for this Week...

Hi all,
First of all, we have to praise Jesus together.
  • Last Wednesday night at FLOOD we saw a young lady stand to surrender to Jesus.
  • On Thursday afternoon, I was speaking at Western Christian High School. I called students to stand and surrender to Jesus. THREE STOOD!!!! It was AWESOME!!!
Thank you so much for praying.

Here's how you can be praying for me this week:
  • This Wednesday night at FLOOD I am continuing in the series, "OVERWHELMED." The title for this week: "How To Change Your Life in an Instant." The topic: repentance. Please be praying as I pray through, prep, and preach this message.
Thanks again for praying.

What a ride,

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Message from IGNITE: Forward

This is the message that God put on Megan's heart to share at IGNITE. Get ready before you push play. You're about to get jacked up.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Message from IGNITE: Forward

This is the message that God put on my heart to share at IGNITE: Forward on March 3rd, 2011. I share this as a resource to help those of you who feel like you just can't go any further. Things are tough. Things are difficult. BUT, God is able. I pray that this is helpful for you.

Mark your calendar for the next IGNITE ("Eclipse") on September 8, 2012. You can register and get all of the information for it at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gotta Love My Family

The family got together this past Saturday to honor my grandpa who went home to be with Jesus last year. My family is AWESOME!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Prayer Update for this Week...

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

1).  This Wednesday night I am continuing with our "OVERWHELMED" series at FLOOD. This has been such a powerful series. Please keep praying that the Holy Spirit keeps doing what he does best throughout this whole series so that lives are transformed.

2).  On Thursday morning I get to teach the junior highers at Crossroads School in Corona.

3).  On Thursday afternoon I will be speaking at the chapel of Western Christian High School.

4).  On Saturday morning I am speaking on the topic of fasting for a prayer and fasting day set up by some of the young adults of FLOOD. If you're interested in being of this day, click here and sign up.

5).  On Saturday afternoon, I get the honor and privilege of officiating at the wedding ceremony of Jeff Erskine and his lovely fiance Georgiana.

Thank you so much for praying.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

UNFORGIVENESS: One of Satan's Greatest Tools

"For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs." — 2 Corinthians 2:9-11, ESV

Think about it: what would be one of the greatest things that Satan could do your life to keep you from experiencing the life that Christ has for you. And yes, Jesus has a specific life in mind for you. He told us about it, and the life that Satan wants to steal from you, when he said, "The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10, ESV). Jesus has this "abundant life" in mind for you, and Satan's desire is to steal, kill, and destroy it.

So what would be one of the Enemy's greatest tools to see that abundant life that Jesus has in store for us never become a reality that we experience? Here it is: UNFORGIVENESS. To harbor unforgiveness is to increase in bitterness and anger. It keeps us from true reconciliation, left only to isolation and frustration which is the most fertile ground for the Enemy to work in. That's why Paul addresses this in the passage prior:

"Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him" (2 Corinthians 2:5-8, ESV).

Forgiveness is one of God's greatest gifts to us. That's right: it's a gift to us. When we forgive, we are being freed from the bitterness and anger that can build on the heart and soul when we are unwilling to forgive someone who has wronged us. It frees us to live in abundance of life rather than in bitterness of spirit. And I know that we all have been hurt in many different ways, and each of us could come up with a reason why we should or will never be able to forgive. But the truth is this: when we won't forgive someone else, we are then falling into the schemes of the Enemy, whose ultimately goal in our lives is to steal, kill, and destroy.

FORGIVE! Please forgive me, and others, for things in the future that I may not have even been done to you yet. Forgive those, including myself, who have hurt you in your past. Forgive and reaffirm your love for others, as this is part of Christ's abundant life in you. Live the life that Christ came to give rather than the one that the Enemy wants to destroy you with. Forgive.

Father —
Thank you so much for showing me, by your Holy Spirit, this passage on forgiveness. This reminder stood out so much this morning. Please reveal to me if there is any unforgiveness in my heart so that I might truly experience your abundant life today. I don't want the Enemy to have any victory in my life. I want to walk in total victory. Thank you for your forgiveness. Show me who I have not forgiven, and then give me the grace necessary to forgive them as you forgave me — completely.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Here is the message that I preached at FLOOD last week. I kept telling everyone that this was the most important message that I had ever preached at FLOOD. It's true. In fact, it may be the most important message, PERIOD!!! I put this on here not so that you hear me preach but so that you hear the most amazing message that God wants everyone to hear.