The Lamb’s Agenda by Samuel Rodriguez

When we grasp the vertical and horizontal nexus of the cross of Christ, we understand the full implications that Jesus had intended us to capture when He said “take up your cross, and follow me.”  What does following Him really look like?  The result should be righteousness and justice clashing in an explosion of reactions from man’s relationship to God that spills over into our responsibility towards humanity.

 Having already taken the apolitical stance that I’ve taken, it’s nice to see a book that reinforces my philosophy that politics will never be the change our country needs.  The burden of social justice, redemption and reconciliation will continue being the burden of God’s people.  As long as the church is responsible for ushering the healing of a nation, the individual Christian will be the building blocks of that restoration process.  That leaves each of us with Jesus’ question that we must answer, “Who do you say that I am?” 

In a society so stricken with moral relativism, cultural decadence, spiritual apathy and lukewarm churches, we have to decide if our lifestyles reflects an authentic experience with the old rugged emblem of suffering and shame.  I’m not promoting the martyr syndrome, but Jesus assured us that if we truly follow Him, that we will have troubles.  If we truly follow Him, we won’t fit in with a society that so obviously rages war with His remaining influence on humanity.

I really appreciate Rodriguez’s heart to motivate the next generation to mesh the evangelistic efforts of Billy Graham with the social justice battles of Martin Luther King, Jr.  We need more like-minded freedom fighters.  I highly recommend the book to anyone struggling to make a difference, and hoping to find your place in an obviously faulty political system.  Thanks to booksneeze.com for supplying me with a really important book that our generation needs.

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‘gods at war’ by Kyle Idleman: Review

“Your heart is the battlefield of the gods.”   It’s an odd tagline for a book aimed at helping Christians get closer to the one true God until you realize how easily we get distracted and construct our own golden calves.  I’d like to think that there’s no way I could possibly be as easily swayed to worship other idols like the Israelites did while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments.  It’s sad, but true.  If I were honest I’d probably admit that it rarely takes me forty days to give in to those lowercase gods.

As a Kyle Idleman fan, (if you know, you’ll get the pun) I was really eager to get “gods at war” from Booksneeze.   I had high expectations after his last book convinced me to buy the shirt coinciding with the book!  I really enjoy the humor and wit, and really hated how my toes were stepped on so many times by the revelation of things I’ve allowed to infiltrate my heart.  Idleman asked a question that hit me hard when he said “why would God bless his competition?”  I don’t want anything to take the place of God any longer, even if it’s something as seemingly normal as entertainment.

There were times when I fought my way through chapters that I felt weren’t relevant to me, but they’d surely hit someone else who may need to read those topics.  I must say that I highly recommend the book to everyone interesting in a more intimate, personal relationship with God.

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A Word From Your Chief

‘This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – Paul to Timothy (1 Timothy 1:15)

Paul held the title but when he passed away, he passed it down to me.  I am now your chief.

I’ve been a horrible sinner, I’m still a miserable sinner and I’ll continue battling my flesh to be less of a wretched sinner in the future.

If the attitude of our hearts towards sin is not a continual, daily battle and struggle to become less of a sinner, then we may need to reconsider the faith we put in God.  It takes more than just believing since the demons of Hell even “believe.”  Salvation comes from a faith that is founded and built upon repentance.  If you’re okay with repeatedly crucifying Christ with your sin, then maybe you should ask God to show you where your heart is really at.  If 80% of Americans claim to be ‘Christians,’ then how can our President admit that we are NOT a Christian nation?  There has obviously been a tragic disconnect from Scripture within the way the American church has been selling salvation.  You can check the status of your salvation by your attitude toward sin.  Make sure you aren’t one of the many people that will end up like the poor souls in Matthew 7:21-23.  Look it up.

And I’ll keep fighting until I can get rid of this Chief title.

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Becoming a Follower

“If you don’t learn to pray, if you don’t hear the Gospel and you don’t read the Scriptures, you can’t experience God.”—Eric Metaxas

There are many people that offer credit to God, yet they don’t spend any time getting to know Him. 

God is a concept that has been heavily embedded in the American culture. Yet, knowing God is something that is far less common.

Leaving things to chance is not the same thing as placing them in God’s hands. Placing your life in God’s hands requires faith, which requires communication and relationship with God. 

Have you taken moment to pause this morning, or afternoon, or evening to acquaint yourself with the Truth about God written in the Scriptures? 

Have you taken time to pause in prayer and express awe, wonder and resect to God the Father? 

Have you asked for His will, and searched the Scriptures so you can…

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Jesus: A Theography

Jesus: A Theography is a magical realm where the biographical account of Jesus meets  an extensive theological expression of the Sovereignty of our Lord.  Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola have given us a mind-blowing account of the purpose of Jesus from the very creation story of the world to the second coming of the King of Kings.  Explaining the depth of Old Testament prophecy, a picture is painted of the Bible that leaves no doubt that this book is so intricately woven together around the character of Christ, that you can’t pretend to deny His supremacy.

 

As I was blessed to receive this book for review from BookSneeze, I was a little intimidated at it’s size.  However, I was so intrigued by the concept that I couldn’t resist breezing through the depth rather effortlessly.  I can’t recommend reading it however, instead I highly recommend studying it.  I was incredibly excited to see the weaving together of the historical aspects of Scripture and the prophetic nature of each allusion in the Old Testament.  There is a biblically-sound, gold mine wealth of information in what has become a resource that I will be using quite a bit in the future.  It’s books like this that make the job for pastors and teachers much easier!

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Faith without action is merely belief.

Faith without action is merely belief.

 

Even the demons of Hell have achieved that level of spiritual maturity.

 
Please don’t die there.

 

If you are at a place in life that only requires faith in the restaurant you’re going to eat at tonight, then it may be time to change your environment.  Faith without action (works) will spiritually and literally bore you to death.

 

Every new year, I’m reminded of the hymn that proclaims “I am resolved no longer to linger, charmed by the world’s delight, things that are higher, things that are nobler, these have allured my sight.”  It’s more than just a hymn.  It’s a proclamation that things MUST be different.  It’s a solid first foot down in the direction that God is sending you.  It’s a completely determined focus on the end result.

 
Then it’s the leap.
 
The reckless jump.
 
It’s the uncertainty of the landing that makes it so much fun.

 
Change is terrifying to people.  Change is even more terrifying to death.  Change is the antithesis and antagonist of death.  Change is the beautiful essence of a life well-lived. 
 
As scary as change may be, it’s even moreso liberating.  I believe we too often enslave ourselves to comfort.  Jesus spoke some incredibly difficult words quoted in Matthew 16:24 when He said “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  Does your spiritual walk resemble the denying of yourself, or the refusal to face your challenges and fears instead?  Do your spiritual aspirations set you up to achieve the lightest cross possible?  How heavy is the cross you bear?  Our answers easily expose wether or not we can adequately claim to “follow” Jesus.  Jesus knew how heavy His cross would soon be.  Yet He gladly bore my sin and shame.  By contrast, my cross is nothing.  Jesus had just explained to Peter that he was actually a hindrance to God’s’ purpose since he had been so concerned with the issues of the world instead of the things of God.  
 
In 2013, I resolve to grab my cross and dive head first.
 
I resolve to never be content to simply grow, but to let God position me to thrive.
 
I will settle for no less than a life considered epic.
 
Nothing eases the fear of change more than the comfort and rest of landing in the very Hands of God.

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I Used To Be Political.

I used to be political.  I used to partake in the debates, sport the bumper stickers, and get heated when my friends supported the guy I was against.  I passionately campaigned my convictions all the way to the polls.

I’m no longer political.

One of the convictions that I held strongly is that abortion is murder.  (Jeremiah 1:4-5, Psalm 139:13-14, Isaiah 49:15, Psalm 22:10)  I believe in the woman’s right to choose.  I believe she should either choose to take responsibility for her actions, or offer the child for adoption.  So I voted for the candidate that shared my views.  I was duped.  I felt foolish afterwards.  I was completely swayed to offer a political vote on an issue that my candidate shared.  Yet NOTHING was ever changed.  Nothing ever happened.  After 8 years in office.

I hate that I am missing out on the exciting heated online debates about who to vote for in this election.  However, I know that the political puppets in this race will never fix the issues that they use to sway our votes.

I wholeheartedly believe that the only American hope to combat moral issues like abortion rest solely on the shoulders of the Church.  The only way we will ever change the statistical monstrosities is by engaging our churches to actively disciple and get involved in assisting the choices of these young Mothers.  Until we walk alongside of our family members, neighbors and even church members, and help them see the truth of the Biblical responsibility that they hold within their pregnancy, we will continue being duped by a government that has no moral backbone at all. (One survey claims 570,000 abortions in 2000 were made by proclaiming Christians.) Only a life changed by grace through faith in Jesus can change a heart.

Feel free to continue debating and arguing the issues.  When it’s all said and done, and nothing has been done, just please don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Instead, be the church God intended.  Stop secluding yourselves from the influence you were called to have over people that desperately need God through you.  You are called to be followers and disciples that make disciples, not political figureheads.

Go out and vote your convictions, I did.  But let’s stop being foolish, and know we can only expect the change to come from thriving, healthy, discipling churches, and not the actions of any government.

I’m no longer political, but I strive to be Biblical.

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