One More Question?

If you could ask one More question before you died, what would it be?  Maybe how is my family  going to survive without me? Where am I going? Is God real? Does God really love me?
If you could ask one last question, what would you would ask?
We read in the bible, that John The Baptist had one More question. In the book of Matthew, chapter 11. We find John in prison, awaiting execution. His crime.  Keeping true to his calling in life. Some think that John’s question revealed that he was doubting Jesus. Honestly, I don’t think it matters, why he wanted to know. I do believe that we can learn about John’s purpose and character through this question. So here’s John, awaiting death but one thing could make losing his life worth it. One thing, could make sense of his life time of obedience. One More question. John asked his friends to go and ask Jesus, “If He is the One or should we wait for someone else?
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples  to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2, 3 NIV)

Funny isn’t it, John already heard about Jesus’ good works. He just need clarification. So, Jesus affirmed what John knew to be true. Tell John, miracles are happening, the blind can see, the lame walk, the sick are being made clean and fully restored. Tell John, that the gospel is going forward with great Morementum . Yes, I have come John, I am the One, there is no other.
Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy  are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Matthew 11:4, 5 NIV)

John had a question, but he wasn’t questioning.  He simple wanted to know. Are you the one?  That question is the most important question that you will ever ask. Jesus are you real? Even as a Christian, a full devoted follower of Christ. Jesus, I am living for you but are you real? Are you really, My Savior?  I heard about your miracles Jesus, but are you real in my life? I know that I am no longer the person I use to be and  I’ve seen your hand in my life.  But Jesus, are you the one?
I believe you’ll ask this question with an open heart, that Jesus will reveal himself to you. Weather you are asking, Jesus for the first time or just need to hear him affirm what you know is true. He will always find a way to get His word to you.  Jesus didn’t go directly to John but that didn’t mean that he didn’t care. By not going to John, Jesus taught his disciples an importantant lesson. That the Mission is the main goal. He taught us that there is work that we can all do. Equipping not just himself but empowering others for the work of the ministry.
Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11 NIV)

John came to prepare the way for Jesus but we get to see the true fulfillment of His salvation. We get to serve  a risen Jesus and introduce Him to a world  that is dying for More. When John the Baptist was serving his ministry, it was from the hope of what was to come. We through the power of our risen Savior, get to tell others about a God that cared so much that he came down and saved us.
We are More because we have the power of a risen Savior!
Actually, it’s pretty simple, If you want to be More, ask the right people, the right question,believe their answer,  become less and make Jesus More. And don’t ever stop sharing that message of Jesus with others!
Everyone wants to know the answer to this question, the amazing thing is, that God has given us the answer!
Read More

A Second 1st Chance

Have you ever wished you could get a do over, a second chance? You said the wrong thing, You made the wrong choice. Maybe you thought, if I could just go back and do it over again? This time it would be different.

You look for the “do over” button but you’re unsure if you could ever get a fresh start.

In the book of Jonah, God gave Jonah a message to go to the people Of Nineveh.  Jonah didn’t want to go “there” and went  in the opposite direction. His get up and go, got up and went in the wrong direction. Because of his actions Jonah found himself somewhere that he never intended to be.  I’m pretty certain that  Jonah was praying for a second chance when he was in the belly of the whale. I bet he was ready to take God’s message to people of Nineveh. Did Jonah’s heart deserve a second chance? Good thing for you, me and our boy, Jonah, God doesn’t work the way we do. His mercy is extended to all not just us. Even “the least of these”.

I love that after we learn that the whale “vomited” Jonah up on the beach that God came to him a second time.

Jonah 3:2 ”Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Lucky for us, our God is a God of second chances

The reality is you can’t go back in time but you can always go forward and correct! You can’t do much about your past missteps, but you can change your steps moving forward.

If there is one thing you can count on in this life is you will mess up. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you are sinless, but what it does mean is that you do your best to sin less. Fortunately, our sin could never out duel God’s grace.

Jonah got a second chance to go to the city. The Bible tells us in Jonah 3:1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.

When it comes to God’s math a second chance is really just Second 1st chance.

God doesn’t build on a foundation of failure, He lets you start over again just as if you’ve never sinned the first time. It’s what is called a fresh start. I wouldn’t be here today if someone hadn’t given me a second chance and neither would you.

Where is it that you need a Second 1st chance?

Maybe it’s your marriage that could use Second 1st chance. Maybe it’s a relationship that needs a Second 1st chance. Maybe you just need to give yourselfSecond 1st chance.

Realize that God has forgiven you and offers you a Second 1st chance. Do you deserve one? Did Jonah? Did a people that turned their back on God deserve one? No, but the good thing for us is that God’s answer to these questions are, “Yes.”

Whatever it is, God can and will give you a “do over”.  You just need to hand Him over the things that have been tripping you up.

Often we refer to a second chance as an opportunity to redeem ourselves. Truth is you can’t redeem yourself but there is one who has already given the opportunity for you to start over, His name is Jesus. So cut yourself some slack and let Jesus get you back on track.

You can’t go back in time, but you can always go forward and make a fresh start. And with the help of God, You will find redemption.

Read More

What Did You Say?

I’m sure you remember this game from when you were a child. A bunch of kids in a line, and the first one whispers something to the second one. That one, in turn, turns and whispers what they heard to the third one, who then whispers to the fourth one, etc. The last one in the line then tells what they heard and compares it to what the first one said. Invariably, it is different. Maybe just a little different, but almost never exactly the same.

I believe that is what we hear from God at times.

God says clear as day, “I wanted you to call your family member, I want you to forgive your friend that hurt you, I want you to visit your neighbor, I want you to go to Nineveh and tell people about my salvation.”

Okay, maybe the last one hasn’t happened to you, but it did to Jonah.

Nineveh is modern day Iraq. Now imagine God telling you to go to there. Not just to visit but to tell the people about Jesus. The important thing to remember in this story wasn’t the where but the Who. God was very direct in his command.

If your like Jonah, you may decide to run when the Lord says, “ Get up and go.” Jonah got up and went, in the opposite direction. His Get up and Go got up and went!

Jonah 1:1-3  The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket (paid the fare) and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish.

When you hear from God is it just like the children’s game that we all played, when it gets to the end of the line,  you do something different?

The thing I love about the Bible is that it’s been saying the same thing forever. It’s the story of God and his goal to have a relationship with His creation. God is speaking to all of us at Shore Fellowship. He’s saying it’s time to get up and go. We can be like Jonah and run from God’s call on our life or we can run as fast as we can to accomplish the mission that has been given to us. To go and reach the those who are far from God. It’s so important as a Church that we take live out the vision and  protect the call that God has placed on our lives.

It’s time to just do it! Lets get up and go!

Read More