Today is a day to rejoice, for He is risen! I wanted to share with you today's sermon by Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church. This message was truly incredible! I am so blessed to go to this church! Pastor Robert has a real gift for hearing the Lord, and I'm more than thankful that he shares it with thousands and thousands of people. I hope this message touches you the way it touched me. It is about the very first evangelist, Mary Magdalene. Here it is:
It was He who knew no sin. He gave His life so that we might have life and have it abundantly. Abundantly. The Creator of the heavens and the earth, the one to whom all principalities bow down. None can stand before. None can comprehend just how much He loves us. The ultimate symbol of His love. The Cross, that is. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21) He paid the ultimate price. He died so that we could all spend eternity with Him in Heaven. How glorious the day to come will be! The day when we can look back on our lives and say we lived a life centered around Christ. There will be no more sadness or sorrow. Only joyfulness and peace will abound. The love of God is perfect. It's truly perfect. There is no love even close to the vastness of His. Bask in the wonder! Embrace the comforting peace! For He alone is the One true living God! He sent Jesus to die an awful, excruciatingly painful death. And He did it all out of love. On this day, many gathered around the cross and spat upon Jesus's face. They tore His clothes up, and cursed toward Him. Whip after whip, Jesus endured pain that none other has ever encountered before. "So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing his head, He gave up His spirit." (John 19:30) But, this was most certainly not the end of the story! John chapter 20 talks about how Mary Magdalene found Jesus, and the tomb was empty. He is risen! He overcame the grave! Hallelujah! Thanks and glory to our Heavenly Father! Happy Easter/Good Friday to you all! God bless! -The Introverted Evangelist
If you know me, you know that I love all of the fantastic songs we sing at Gateway Church. So when you read the title to this post, you were absolutely not surprised by what I called it. This post was obviously prompted in my head this morning whilst listening to "Every Day I Live" written by Klaus Kuehn and Thomas Miller. The song got me thinking. The more I listened to the words, the more I realized that it was exactly how I feel about telling others about Jesus. The song goes, "Every heartbeat wants to know You Now I live to make You known I wanna show the world You are the god that saved my soul". Just like that! There is really no other way I can think to say it. God did indeed save my soul! He deeply desires an intimate relationship with all of us, so I want to tell everyone! Thankfully, the opportunity to illuminate one of the darkest, most fallen places has come. West Hollywood. I haven't brought up the matter here, but let's just say that there's a mere week before me. I personally believe that Los Angeles, or the City of Angels, is not so angelic at the moment. Yes, California is absolutely gorgeous, but think about how corrupt it is. Don't think too hard it's quite heart-breaking. My point is, I'm going to be there in the midst of many lost souls, and I want to do something. I want those Californians to see the Light in me. I want to share this thirst I have, thirst for the Lord God Almighty! There is one problem, unfortunately, I'm a tad shy, hence the name "The Introverted Evangelist". What can somebody as timid as this do? Well, just as the song says, "I will sing for Your glory, shout out Your praises Every day I live, every day I live 'Til the world hears Your story, I'll shout out Your glory Every day I live, every day I live for You". I was made a vessel. I am a vessel of God's love, or at least, that's what I strive to be. So, I'm going to have to sock my sheepish ways and go be the extroverted evangelist for a few days! -The Introverted Evangelist
Let me tell you about my best friend. He is magnificent and incredibly awe inspiring. He is my Savior and my Healer. He is my Teacher and my Father. Yes, I'm talking about Jesus. Lately, my mind has been filled with fantasies of being with Him. Gallivanting about, smothered in happiness and sunshine. He bring me joy and peace. I long for His presence, and the astonishing thing is, He longs to be with me as well. What a glorious feeling to know that just as much as we adore Him, He adores us even more! The love of God is beyond our comprehension. It leaves me speechless in the most beloved way. Once you come to understand that nothing stands between us and the love of our Lord and Savior, your world will change. I know for a fact that just a mere moment in His presence is life changing! Romans 8:38-39 says this, "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Spend some time sitting in His presence, and you'll be filled with tranquility and jubilation. Go in peace. -The Introverted Evangelist
It's nine o'clock in the morning and you're already flooded with bitterness and worry. The things that need to be done swirl about inside your head. You're trying to carry this load on your own, but deep down you know you are not able. In a moment like this, when every hope seems lost and you're ready to give up, call on the name of Jesus. Just say His name and you're day can be turned around completely.
He is more than happy to take all the stress away. When you say His name, Jesus, mountains move, and demons flee. Proclaim it with victory, "Jesus!" There is no other name like His, Jesus. He is mighty to save.
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth," (Philippians 2:9-10)
Today, out of nowhere, the song "Faithful God" popped into my head. Well, it wasn't really out of nowhere. Clearly God was telling me something, as if He was assuring me of His faithfulness. "If I call will you come? If I cry do you hear?" He gently whispers, "I am with you, My child." Every tear we cry He holds in His hand. Every plead and every sorrow; He listens to our concerns. Faithful God. He is the one Who holds us together and walks with us every step of the way. Never lose hope, because He's here with you right now. He is faithful and just to pull us out of the depths of hurt. He is our faithful God. -The Introverted Evangelist
I wake smothered in terrorizing fear. This is a sign of being disconnected. I feel disconnected from God. Why do I keep isolating myself? Why do I try to accomplish the day on my own? I know that I cannot, so why do I even attempt to be strong? As I have learned, I am a lifeless and frail body without the Lord powering me through. I must give Him my all, absolutely everything. I cannot "play it safe" anymore. I must take the giant leap of faith. I need to trust. I need to trust that He is standing on the other side of this storm. I need to trust that He will never, ever let me fall. He never let go of me before, and He won't let me go now. He's not going to let you go either. No matter how desperately I long to go home and be with Jesus, I must stay here. Just a little longer, then I'll be with Him. I dream of that day; when I can touch His face and hear His heartbeat. I cannot wait to hold His hands and skip with Him. Soon... Soon enough... Until then, He's got a map for my life. He knows the outcomes. When I try so franticly to see it, He assures me that it's perfect. It's going to be perfect when I've done all I'm destined to achieve through Him. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11) There is hope. I must keep faith that there is hope. Don't give into the lies. Jesus loves you immensely. He's preparing a place just for you. This place will be so lovely and astonishing. There is no sorrow or hurt in that place. Soon we will be able to enjoy this place. All you need to do is take His hand and be completely reckless! Go for it! Take the plunge! Go spread His word shamelessly! Be a warrior for Christ! -The Introverted Evangelist
On behalf of all the phenomenal things God has brought to light in our lives, I rejoice. I will speak out to the thirsty souls in this world, and tell them all about the goodness of the Great I Am. Through Him all things are made possible, even the seemingly absurdities we've all encountered. The recent hardship in my life was most certainly not a punishment by any means. I like to see it as more of a medal of honor, a trophy or plaque. I take this award and hold it high above my head and proclaim, "This is what the Lord got me through! This is how strong and powerful He is!" Acts 26:16 says, "But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you." You see, God does not want us to be sorrowful. He is delighted when we smile up at Him. Our praises are a symphony of admiration to Him. He listens to every word we say, and He genuinely cares for us. Be confident in His sincerity. When we allow ourselves to be vessels for His great, compassionate love, we receive joy unlike anything else. "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you." (John 16:22) Whatever it may be for you, let the sting of any battle wounds be transformed into victorious badges. You ought to be overjoyed to show it to everyone! Any being out there may be struggling to get through the day. When you tell him your story he will see that God is good, and there is always a light at the end of the dark tunnel. Don't just run the race, finish with triumph! "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1) -The Introverted Evangelist
Today, something sensational occurred. I experienced a miracle. I thank my Heavenly Father repeatedly for restoring me. Miraculous healing has blossomed within my being. There is one thing that must be done to receive such a blessing, though, and that is obedience. Persistent, pride-demolishing obedience. Often times almost always, obedience is painful. Not just painful in the fact that you must release your own prideful way of thinking, but also physically painful. For example, when you're led to eat, eat, eat, and eat until you feel like a balloon about to burst, it is ridiculously uncomfortable! But, certain things are to be done in order to reach a certain goal (which, by the way, is so close I can almost taste feelit!). Nevertheless, Jesus sat next to me the entire time. Ever painful stomach ache I was subjected to, He was holding me close and encouraging me to not give up. I am so blessed to call Jesus my friend! He feels your pain, too. God works in mysterious ways. For Him, nothing is impossible, and by nothing I mean nothing! His Son, Jesus, was born of a virgin. A virgin! How "impossible" does that sound? Not for God. He may be telling you to go do something that sounds totally absurd, but He knows best. He can also send confirmation in the most amazing ways! Our God is full of awe! Praise His glorious Name now and forevermore! Go out and achieve what you hear Him command of you. Be a warrior for Christ. Be a witness. You and I are living, breathing proof of His wonders. -The Introverted Evangelist
There's almost always a word-war inside me head. A battle consisting of many dos and don'ts. The voices whirl round and round about. I start to feel dizzy with worries. What action should I take? Do I want to do this or that? All the chaos is reminiscent of a blaring siren. Sometimes I just want to depart from myself. I want to be freed from the agony of uncertainty.
I know how hard it is to tune out the negativity of this fallen world; even more so to tune out the enemy's gunky, seething lies. Am I strong enough to ward off the temptations on my own? Not on your life! There is, however, someone who is 100% able to pull me out of the pit of despair. His name is Jesus. Precious, precious Jesus Christ. "Indeed it was for my own peace That I had great bitterness; But you have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back." (Isaiah 38:17)
Surely I have been to the doorstep of death, and it was solely the grace of God that I am saved. He undeniably carried me through the stormy, and He kept my heart beating during the seemingly eternal nights. When torment would swell inside my very body, His gentle whisper was the only thing that saved my soulpeaceeverything! I fully believe that if it weren't for the Lord's strength in me, I would no longer be on this earth. Exaggeration? Not a chance. I mean that.
To this day, the Lord still picks me up and lifts me through the muck. Jesus Christ talks with me. We talk during the day, in the middle of the night when I'm troubled, and just plain 24/7. His pleasantly sweet words chime in, and I cannot help but be satisfied by His abundance. I could go on for ages how much I love Jesus. He says that I'm special to Him. You know what, aren't we all? God desires an intimate relationships with each and every single one of us.
I consistently crave this relationship with Jesus. He is my joy and my strength, forever and always. "O God, You are my God; Early I will seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1)
His Word is the fulfillment for which we all deeply yearn. He never ceases to amaze. "Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases." (Psalm 103:3)
Take a moment to just lay in His arms. Embrace His everlasting love. You shall have great confidence in knowing that the Lord of lords wants to know you personally. He loves us so much. I wish I could tell everyone just how much He loves us. The greatest human love is a mere fraction of the love of our God and Savior.
For many it can be a difficult concept to grasp, especially those who have previously been scarred by the hurtful words of others. Come to the Well. The Lord wants to set you free from all your hurt. He wants you to come and rest in His peace. Come abide in His mercy. For the Lord is a loving God. He is not easily angered, nor will He hold your sins against you.
I pray that you all would come to truly know the Lord intimately and have the most refreshing relationship with Him. I will sing praises to the Lord my Savior all the days of my life and for all of eternity! Worship His great Name!