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Sunday Blog

How to study the Bible (SOAP Method)

How to study the Bible (SOAP Method)

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE (SOAP METHOD)

So you may have seen one of our other videos where I give my 5 tips on how to study the Bible and if you haven’t, I’ll put that link below. This week we are going to look at what’s called the SOAP method.

Soap stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer, and it’s one of the most popular ways to study small portions of scripture.

So in the first section, you have the Scripture that you’re going to study for the day, which can be found in a reading plan, a daily devotional, or just a random set of verses that you choose to focus on. When diving into Scripture, it’s important to stay consistent with studying specific books instead of jumping around, reading one verse from the Old Testament, one verse from the New, one from Proverbs, etc because by doing that it’s much harder to understand what’s going on in the passage.

For our example we will choose Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.”

Some people will write it out, which is a great practice and reinforces what you’re reading. Others will read the same verse from different translations of the Bible, which is also great to get it from different perspectives.

So now that we have the scripture chosen, the next step is Observation.

This is where we observe the scripture and ask yourself questions about The Who, what, why, when, it was written. Who wrote the passage? Who was it written to? What is the theme? What words or phrases stand out to you? Was this written before or after Jesus lived? Timeline questions are huge.

Write all of the observations out below the verse. So for our example, looking at this verse in Proverbs, we know it was written by Solomon in the middle of his reign as he’s sharing his wisdom with others, because we know that Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. The themes here are trusting God and allowing Him to guide your life. And it was written way before Jesus, in the Old Testament.

So the next section of SOAP is the A. The application. Where we see how to apply the Scripture to our lives. We can be asking God, how can I apply this to my life? What changes do I need to make in my life after what I read today? And what actionable steps do I need to take to get there? Sometimes you will have a list of ways to apply it but focus on 1-2 and stick with those for now. The key is to not get overwhelmed.

So how do you apply Proverbs 3:5-6 to your life? Remember, it says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.” So instead of making immediate decisions in the heat of the moment, I should be taking time to slow down and ask God what His plan is for me. And then listen, because He’s always wanting to talk to us.

And then you end it off with Prayer, the most important part. Asking God for His wisdom, understanding, and a heart to learn - to grow closer to Him. Pray the verse back to God, thank Him for speaking to you through His Word, and ask for guidance as you apply the Scripture to your life.

That’s it! That’s how you study the Bible with the SOAP method. Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

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Timeline of the Bible

Timeline of the Bible

TIMELINE OF THE BIBLE

The Bible is based around about two thousand years of history, two thousand years of Israel’s history, God’s people, our history essentially.

Now at the beginning of the Bible you have this pre-historic history of Israel and we aren’t going to put a timeframe to that because it’s an incredibly debated topic. But during this time we learn about how God created everything. We learn about the Fall of Man where sin gets entered into the world. We see the great flood and Noah’s Ark and the Tower of Babel with everyone getting spread out all over the earth.

Then right around 2000 BC we get introduced to a man named Abraham and this is the start of Israel’s history. You see, their history can basically be split into 4 parts of 500 years each. The first section right around 2000 BC, the second section around 1500, the third around 1000, and the fourth around 500.

We learn about the 2000 BC section in Genesis 12-50. This is where the people are led by what’s called the Patriarchs. Abraham to Joseph. It’s a family of God’s people that’s beginning to build out into a large community. Then all of a sudden we have a 400 year gap in history where God was silent. There aren’t any records of what happened during this time in the Bible.

Beginning in Exodus we learn that the Israelites are now in slavery in Egypt and there’s a lot more of them than before. Whereas 70 Israelites entered into Egypt, during that 400 and maybe 30 year period, that number grew to over 2 million people! And during this 1500 BC timeline is when we see Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery and first into the wilderness and eventually the Promised Land.

Instead of being led by the Patriarchs, like before, the people are now being led by Prophets. Moses to Samuel. And we can learn all about it in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth.

Now the third section is around 1000 BC. This is the empire, led by princes, from Saul through Zedekiah. It was the golden age. One of the main people at the beginning was King David. And all Jews have looked back to that time period where everything was glorious. The Messiah was said to come from the line of David. This was the peak. But as time went on, everything began to go downhill. The Israelites split into two groups: You have the northern kingdom of Israel consisting of 10 tribes and then the southern kingdom of Judah consisting of 2 tribes. And everything falls apart for hundreds of years.

Around 500 BC we have the lowest part in Israel’s history. They were just getting out of being in exile and finishing up the second temple but it was nothing in compared to the first one. It was a fresh start but things weren’t looking good. The people were now being led by priests. We learn about this time in Daniel and Esther and a lot of the Major and Minor prophets. It can be tough to even read.

And then all of a sudden we have another 400 year gap where God is silent. During this time, the world is introduced to Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Alexander the Great. A bunch of major thought leaders in history.

But then the New Testament comes around. And God begins to speak again. We meet John the Baptist first then Jesus enters the scene and everything changes. This is the Messiah that everyone was waiting for since the time of King David. He was here to bring restoration. To bring the Kingdom of God to earth. But it looked a whole lot different than people expected. If you remember, the Israelites tried to be led by the Patriarchs, prophets, princes, and priests, what they didn’t realize is that they needed someone who could embody all four types of leadership. And the only person who could do that was Jesus.

So for the next hundred years, the New Testament was only written in around 100 years or less, but during this time we see the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We see Paul go on his first missionary journey around AD 44, followed by 3 other missionary journeys. And we see the birth of what we know as the church today.

So if you want to see a full detailed timeline where you can plug in each book to know what’s happening in history so that it makes more sense as you’re diving deeper, you can find it in the Bible Study or in our Bible Made Easy download in the free resources section of our website.

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Names of God explained

Names of God explained

NAMES OF GOD EXPLAINED

In Jewish tradition, a name is much more than a name as we see it today. They believe that a name transforms a person’s identity, which is why so many of the names in the Old Testament describe the character of the person.

And the same goes for the names of God. We see name after name explaining His different characteristics and nature throughout the Old Testament. Then once you hit the New Testament, we get to know Him even more through the life of Jesus.

But what do all of these names of God like YHWH, Adonai, El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, really mean?

THE NAMES OF GOD

We’ll start with Yahweh because that’s the personal name of God and it appears 6,500 times in the Old Testament. There’s this story in Exodus 3 where Moses is out in the wilderness for 40 years. He actually ran away from Egypt and was hiding out there.

One day God shows up to Moses in the form of a burning bush and tells him about all of these miracles He’s going to perform through Moses. And Moses asks Him, “Who should I say sent me?” And God said to tell them my name is “Yahweh” in Hebrew, which is translated as “I Am Who I am.” So he essentially said, “Tell them that ‘I Am’ sent you.”

Now this is the personal name of God. And when you see the name LORD in all caps in the Bible, that’s this word, Yahweh.

But the Jewish people wanted to show their respect for the sacred name Yahweh so over time they changed the name throughout the Hebrew Bible to the name Adonai, which in Hebrew means Lord, not all caps. And we see this name a lot throughout the Old Testament as well.

MORE NAMES OF GOD THAT DESCRIBE HIS CHARACTER

King of kings and Lord of Lords and Ancient of Days.

In Hebrew we have El-Shaddai, meaning God Almighty.

And Elohim, showing the 3 persons of the trinity in one name.

And Jehovah Jireh, meaning "God will provide."

And Jehovah Rapha, “The God that heals.”

Or Jehovah Nissi, "the Lord is my banner.”

And my favorite, “Father.” Because we are His children and He loves each and every one of us more than anything.

WHAT DOES YOUR NAME MEAN?

If you don’t know, look it up online this week. Is it an accurate description of your character? Or were you named after someone else? Maybe a family member or a significant person? Spend some time looking into it! You might be surprised by what you find out.

ENCOUNTER GOD IN FRESH WAYS

New to The Brand Sunday? Be sure to check out our free downloadable resources, including the free PDF download of the first five books of The Bible Study - our bestselling guide to the Bible. Test it out and see what you think!

Or dive right in and count the names of God you see as you use The Bible Study during your daily Bible reading.

So many people want to grow in their faith but feel overwhelmed by the Bible. At The Brand Sunday, we create resources to make it easier for you to understand the Bible and to grow in your relationship with God.

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What does it mean to hear God's voice?

What does it mean to hear God's voice?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE?

So hearing the voice of God. What does that mean? How do we hear from God today?

In John 10:27, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Every single believer knows the voice of God, it’s just whether or not they actually attribute it to God.

For most of my life I’ve heard the voice of God very clearly, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I knew it was Him. But once I had that understanding, everything shifted and it provides you with a new level of confidence in your decisions even if they may not make sense in the eyes of society.

God wants a relationship with you. He wants a relationship with me. But relationships aren’t just on Sundays, he wants a relationship all the time. I heard this great example the other day about how relationships work. You begin as an acquaintance with someone, then you become their friend, then you become best friends. And it’s the same with God.

Right when you get saved you’re in that acquaintance category. Ok I believe in you, I give my life to you, I know a little bit about you, but I’m willing and ready to learn more. Then you hit the friend level, you’re spending more time with him, you’re getting to know His heart, you’re building a connection. Then finally you hit that true intimacy with the Lord, that best friend level, you understand his emotions, you know what He is feeling in situations, and you know how He would respond to the situations around you. That best friend, intimate level is what we were created for. It’s how we bring heaven to earth in all that we do.

So, how do you get there?

Well you spend time with Him. Spend time in the Word. Knowing the Bible is crucial. Spend time in worship. Spend time in prayer. Spend time in silence. Expecting for Him to speak.
And then listen. Half of communication is listening.

In the Old Testament God spoke audibly a lot of the time and He still can today obviously, but things are a little different. Now we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and he’s constantly wanting to be in communication with us.

In the Bible there are two Greek words for the word “word”. The first is logos, which is the inspired Word of God and also a name for Jesus who is the Living Word. Then this other, second Greek word we see in Scripture is rhema. The rhema word of God. This is more of a whisper from the Holy Spirit on what we are supposed to do and how Scripture relates to the here and now. It’s God speaking in the moment. So sometimes you may receive a rhema word from God that directs you to a certain passage of Scripture that applies to your current situation.

So the way that God speaks is different for everyone, but a lot of the times it’s a still small whisper, it’s a gut feeling, you just know in your knower. For some people it’s a thought that just rushes in and it’s nowhere close to what you had been thinking about. Sometimes it’s a dream. Sometimes it’s a picture that you see either with your eyes open or your eyes closed. Sometimes it’s a sense of peace or joy that covers your body in a moment of chaos. Sometimes it’s wisdom in a situation.

And sometimes God speaks to you for your, for what you’re going through, sometimes He speaks to you for someone else, sometimes He just shares things that He wants you to pray about.

One thing I will say is that when sharing with others about what God has shared with you, a great way to phrase it is, “I feel like God told me” or “I’m sensing that God is saying” dot dot dot. Because if you make claims that God said something and you’re wrong, well that could mess up someone else’s relationship with God. And you don’t want to be accountable for that.

At the end of the day what all of it boils down to is that He just wants to be in communication with you the way that He originally intended for it to be. It’s not a weird thing. It’s literally what you were created for.

So spend time with Him, spend time in the Word, spend time in prayer, spend time in silence. And listen. He wants to speak to you.

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What are spiritual gifts?

What are spiritual gifts?

WHAT ARE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?

So you might have heard the term before called spiritual gifts. And you’re like I’m gifted this way and that way but how am I gifted spiritually? What does that even mean?

Well first off there are four main views on spiritual gifts today:
Cessationist: Spiritual gifts were only for the early church and are not relevant today.
Continuationist: Spiritual gifts are for today, but the “sign” gifts need to be looked at and tested with caution.
Charismatic: Spiritual gifts are for every generation, and they should be practiced today. This view is limited by scripture with no additions to the Word.
Hyper-charismatic: Spiritual gifts are for every generation and contemporary revelations are equal to Scripture.

But ok what is a spiritual gift?

Well spiritual gifts are kind of like your talents or things you’re gifted with, but they are given to you by the Holy Spirit and you receive them throughout your walk with God. Every believer has at least one spiritual gift, but many people have more than one. Typically spiritual gifts are always active in your life, but sometimes the Holy Spirit equips you with a specific gift for a specific moment. God chooses when and which gifts each of us receive.

The main places in the Bible that we learn about spiritual gifts are from 1 Corinthians 12-14, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4. From that scripture we can begin to build a list of spiritual gifts. They are words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, interpreting tongues, apostleship, evangelism, pastor, teacher, service, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy.

Some people look at those lists and limit the gifts to them. Since we do not have a complete list it can be fairly unclear as to what all of the gifts are, which in turn, creates much disagreement in the church. One big mistake is to deny spiritual gifts all together. Another is to pick one and think that it’s better than the others because God’s will is not accomplished if love is not the main motivation behind the gifts.

We don’t have time to break down every gift there is, but if you want to learn more, we talk about it in the Bible Study, or you can just Google it. There are a bunch of amazing spiritual gift tests available for you to take and show you which spiritual gifts you have most likely been equipped with. Once you know your top gift, or gifts, research them, dive in and learn how God has set you apart specifically to fulfill His plan for your life.

My spiritual gifts are giving and faith, sometimes it’s teaching. And once I figured those out I was able to focus my attention more on how I can impact the kingdom of God. And that’s my goal for you too. So have fun with it.

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What does it mean to "follow Jesus"?

What does it mean to "follow Jesus"?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “FOLLOW JESUS”?

In the beginning of the New Testament you have four books that look like chapters and they’re called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are known as the gospels and all four books document the life of Jesus from different perspectives. At the beginning of each gospel we see Jesus calling the disciples, building his crew that he was going to run with and change the world.

These disciples that follow him are almost all teenagers, working in their family business, growing in their craft to make a living and create a family.

One of the wild things we see is that when Jesus walks up to them and says “come, follow me”, they do it. They drop everything in the moment, leaving it all behind, just to follow a man that they don’t know.

Huh? Why would they do that?

You see, back in that day there was no such thing as the New Testament portion of the Bible yet. It was just the Old Testament and at that time it was actually just called the Hebrew Bible, which was 37 books about the history of Israel. The first 5 books were written by a man named Moses and that section was called the Torah. Jewish people at that time lived and breathed the torah. It was their instruction manual on everything. And by the time you were 10 years old, Jewish kids would have the entire torah memorized. Beginning to end. Genesis through Deuteronomy, memorized. Every chapter, every verse, every word, memorized.

Now that this point a lot of kids would go and work in the family business, making an okay income, getting by and supporting the family, but kids who were really bright and passionate about learning more would continue in the synagogue and they would end up memorizing the entire Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament that we know today. And they’d only be like 14 or 15 at that point.

Whoa. What were you doing at 14 or 15? Haha

So from there if they still wanted to keep going, to learn more and more and more they would find a rabbi and try to convince him to let them be his disciple. The amount of people that made it to this level were extremely slim, but to get accepted by a rabbi was even slimmer.

BUT if the rabbi did allow you to be his disciple, he would essentially say to the student, “Come, follow me”.

And if you were up for it you would literally leave everything behind to follow that rabbi. Your job, your family, everything. And during your time with the rabbi you would learn everything that he did, said, taught, and mimic it. Each disciple would be a walking, talking direct replica of their rabbi. It was the most sought after honor that any kid could ever dream of.

So when we see Jesus, a rabbi, coming up to these teenagers that are working in their family business and says “come, follow me”, of course they are going to drop everything and go. They had already missed their chance once, but even though they weren’t smart enough or talented enough or driven enough in societies eyes, Jesus looked at them and said they were.

And he looks at you and says the same thing. “Come, follow me”.

So to follow him means to study his movements. Doing what he does, saying what he says, responding how he responds, loving how he loves. It means building the kingdom of God instead of our own.

It requires obedience and surrender, but through it all he looks at me and he looks at you, and he believes that we are good enough to follow him, to be used to change the world for the better.

So go, follow him.

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What is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?

What is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit?

WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

You may have heard the phrase “fruit of the Holy Spirit” brought up during a message or a small group. But as a new believer, what in the world does that mean? Haha

So in Galatians 5:22-23, Paul says that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

What he means by that is that as we become more holy, more Christ-like in our nature every day then our output should be all 9 characteristics of the fruit of the spirit - people should know we are believers by the “fruit” that our lives produce.

By the love we have for others, the joy we can’t contain, the peace in the midst of chaos, our patience with frustrating people and situations, our kindness towards others, our goodness - if we’re good people, how faithful we are in relationships, how gentle we are, and how we control our actions towards what we know is right and what we actually want to do sometimes.

It’s within those characteristics that we should be growing constantly. So many Christians steer away from self-improvement because of the phrase “I must die to self”. Yes this is true but it also means we are going from glory to glory, becoming more like Jesus and if we don’t spend time improving ourselves to be like him, we won’t be. Just thinking about it isn’t gonna cut it.

When Michelangelo finished his statue of David, people were blown away by the beauty of it. They couldn’t comprehend how a man made something so BEAUTIFUL out of a large rock. It was mind blowing to them. And the story goes that when he was asked how he did it, he responded with,

“It was easy. I just chipped away the stone that didn’t look like David.”

I think God says that about us a lot of the time when we get caught up doing things that don’t honor Him or say things we shouldn’t or believe things about ourselves that are lies. We get put through the refining process where God does a deep work on our hearts even when it sucks. He says I’m just chipping away the stone that doesn’t look like David, that doesn’t look like Sarah, that doesn’t look like Ashley. I’m just chipping away the stone so that you can see who I made you to be. To live out your destiny the best way possible.

What if the searching to please others ended and you looked into who you truly are. Into the person that God made you to be. Flawless in His eyes. A perfect image representing a piece of Him. When you realize that, your entire world will become a beautiful masterpiece.

I would even go so far to say that I don’t think you can fully walk out in all aspects of the fruit of the spirit until you become confident in who you are and who God has called you to be. But as you become more and more like Christ, you won’t be able to contain what he has already placed inside of you. It’s then that your fruit will FLOURISH. And you’ll be more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, self-controlled, faithful, and gentle.

So look in the mirror this week. Does your life display the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Which areas do you need to work in? Spend some time thinking about it. Peace.

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Why is the Gospel considered "Good News"

Why is the Gospel considered "Good News"

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? WHY IS IT CALLED GOOD NEWS?

When we hear the word “Gospel” in the New Testament, it’s a word that means “Good News”. If you didn’t know, the New Testament was originally written in Greek. So this word “Gospel” in Greek is “Euangelion”. It’s where we get the word evangelist or evangelical from. But our focus today is the “Good News”.

I love doing these videos because even though I grew up in the church and then as a lot of you know I fell away for years, but even though I was raised around it Christians use a lot of “Christianese” if you will. There’s a bunch of words and lingo that you just say. But with these videos I want to ask the question “why?”. Why do we say the things we say? What do they actually mean? If I’m bringing someone new into church I want to be able to answer the basic questions that a lot of us may just have structured answers to, but we can’t truly explain the “why”.

So why is the Gospel “Good News”?

Well you gotta start by looking at the bad news.

Early on in the first part of the Bible called the Old Testament we learn about a man named Moses. Now at the time, the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, were in slavery in Egypt. And God ends up using Moses to set the people free from slavery through a bunch of different miracles, which is basically God doing something extravagant that doesn’t make sense to our minds in the physical realm.

Once the people were free, God gave them what we know as “The Law”. Yes, the Law was a bunch of rules to follow, but that’s because of our sin nature at the time and God wanted us to live to higher standards. So it was more of a manual on how to live a holy life. The Law stated that the only way to be fully cleansed from sin was through the sacrifice of an innocent life. To us that sounds crazy, but at the time, that was part of the culture.

Eventually the nation of Israel fell away more and more and lost sight of the Law.

Then we get into the second part of the Bible called the New Testament and a man named Jesus enters the scene. He was announcing that the Kingdom of God is here and that God’s reign over Israel was being restored.

And it was going to be through him. This was the “Good News”.

But the political people at the time didn’t like Jesus’ message because it threatened their jobs. He was saying that God’s kingdom was going to take over. So they killed him.

Little did they know that this sacrifice of an innocent, sinless life is exactly what needed to happen to cover the sins of anyone that believed in Jesus and the message that he preached.

But he didn’t remain dead. Three days later he rose from the dead, proving that he was the true king and God’s kingdom reigned supreme.

And the best news of all is that Jesus offers to share this victory with us. That we are no longer held down by the Law, but we can be free and we can live for eternity in heaven and eventually a New Earth. That we can’t earn our salvation, but it’s a free gift. That’s the best news ever. That’s the gospel. And you get to choose whether or not you want to believe it and accept it. One thing I do know is that it’s God’s heart for you to choose life.

If you want to learn more about the Gospel, the first four books of the New Testament are actually called “The Gospels”. They’re from different perspectives of guys named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And then you can read the book of Acts to learn how other people began to spread this message of “Good News”. And now it’s on us to continue spreading it. So what are you going to do?

When we hear the word “Gospel” in the New Testament, it’s a word that means “Good News”. If you didn’t know, the New Testament was originally written in Greek. So this word “Gospel” in Greek is “Euangelion”. It’s where we get the word evangelist or evangelical from. But our focus today is the “Good News”.

I love doing these videos because even though I grew up in the church and then as a lot of you know I fell away for years, but even though I was raised around it Christians use a lot of “Christianese” if you will. There’s a bunch of words and lingo that you just say. But with these videos I want to ask the question “why?”. Why do we say the things we say? What do they actually mean? If I’m bringing someone new into church I want to be able to answer the basic questions that a lot of us may just have structured answers to, but we can’t truly explain the “why”.

So why is the Gospel “Good News”?

Well you gotta start by looking at the bad news.

Early on in the first part of the Bible called the Old Testament we learn about a man named Moses. Now at the time, the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, were in slavery in Egypt. And God ends up using Moses to set the people free from slavery through a bunch of different miracles, which is basically God doing something extravagant that doesn’t make sense to our minds in the physical realm.

Once the people were free, God gave them what we know as “The Law”. Yes, the Law was a bunch of rules to follow, but that’s because of our sin nature at the time and God wanted us to live to higher standards. So it was more of a manual on how to live a holy life. The Law stated that the only way to be fully cleansed from sin was through the sacrifice of an innocent life. To us that sounds crazy, but at the time, that was part of the culture.

Eventually the nation of Israel fell away more and more and lost sight of the Law.

Then we get into the second part of the Bible called the New Testament and a man named Jesus enters the scene. He was announcing that the Kingdom of God is here and that God’s reign over Israel was being restored.

And it was going to be through him. This was the “Good News”.

But the political people at the time didn’t like Jesus’ message because it threatened their jobs. He was saying that God’s kingdom was going to take over. So they killed him.

Little did they know that this sacrifice of an innocent, sinless life is exactly what needed to happen to cover the sins of anyone that believed in Jesus and the message that he preached.

But he didn’t remain dead. Three days later he rose from the dead, proving that he was the true king and God’s kingdom reigned supreme.

And the best news of all is that Jesus offers to share this victory with us. That we are no longer held down by the Law, but we can be free and we can live for eternity in heaven and eventually a New Earth. That we can’t earn our salvation, but it’s a free gift. That’s the best news ever. That’s the gospel. And you get to choose whether or not you want to believe it and accept it. One thing I do know is that it’s God’s heart for you to choose life.

If you want to learn more about the Gospel, the first four books of the New Testament are actually called “The Gospels”. They’re from different perspectives of guys named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And then you can read the book of Acts to learn how other people began to spread this message of “Good News”. And now it’s on us to continue spreading it. So what are you going to do?

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What is the meaning of life

What is the meaning of life

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

We got the age old question: What is the meaning of life?

For a lot of my life I’ve been surrounded by the American Dream. People that don’t need anything, but they’re still missing something and few have figured it out.

They have the money. The houses. The cars. The vacations. Everything imaginable.

So what’s missing?

For as long as I can remember I’ve asked people that are older than me a simple question: What do you wish you knew in your twenty’s that you know now?

When I started asking that question my intentions were to get some insight on how to become successful faster. The funny thing is that the answers were never that. The majority of them looked something like this:

Spend more time with family.
Spend more time in prayer.
Chase after my dreams instead of money.
And the list went on and on and on.

Not once was I taught to do whatever it takes to fulfill the American Dream. So what is the meaning of life? First you need to look at God. The Creator of life.

God is perfect. His being is flawless and His glory is indescribable.

The most selfless thing that He could have done was to create mankind in order to enjoy His glory along with Him. So that’s what He did.

You and I were created to love and to be loved.
To constantly live in joy.
To bring heaven to earth in everything we do and say.
And to live out the perfect plans that God has created for each of us.

We are sons and daughters. We are heirs to the throne.

Galatians 4:7 actually says we are sons and daughters of God and have access to everything He has because we are heirs of God through Jesus.

Sometimes life looks drastically different that that though. Our circumstances make it seem like God’s hand isn’t on our lives at all, really, even though we know that’s not true.

But that’s what it means to have faith. To believe God is going to do incredible things even when it may seem impossible.

When we understand that we have access to everything that our Father has because we are heirs of God through Jesus, the possibilities for God’s hand in your life are endless. We are allowed to tap into heaven’s resources at all times. It’s part of our sonship, it’s our birthright now that we are a new creation, as long as our hearts are in the right place.

We are blessed to be a blessing. But if you don’t go all-in with what you’ve been given right now, you won’t be blessed with more.

So appreciate what you have.
Love the people around you.
Dream BIG.

So what’s the meaning of life? To love the Lord, love those around you, love yourself, and be obedient to the dreams that He has placed in your heart. Those dreams are your calling. It’s why you are here.

Once you find that, be obedient even when it doesn’t make sense.

And expand the Kingdom of God. Bring heaven to earth.

That’s it.

Love you.

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What is my role as a Christian

What is my role as a Christian

WHAT IS MY ROLE AS A CHRISTIAN?

So, once you have an understanding of who God says you are, what does that mean for your life? How are we supposed to act knowing that we are Saints, a new creation completely, priests in a holy nation.

It means we are to no longer live in the ways of the world. We have a purpose and a destiny because Christ is in us and our identity is now his. So when we act in worldly ways and contradict Christ’s character, we are actually contradicting ourselves and going against what is now natural for us.

And that can be many things: knocking people down, being prideful, hating others, talking crap behind someone’s back. The list goes on and it all contradicts who we now are as believers and, more importantly, who God says we are.

But so often we create excuses for why we aren’t living a certain way, ya know?

All of my friends are super negative so it just rubs off on me.

I’ve tried to stop drinking so much but this is just who I am - it runs in my family.

I don’t have enough time to focus on my relationship with God.

Guess what - the problem isn’t your situation or your friends or your family. Once you have accepted Jesus into your heart as your personal Savior you are now a new creation and he lives inside of you no matter what your external circumstances may say. The Holy Spirit lives inside of you. Heaven is inside of you. Your new identity is to love people even when you don’t “feel” like it, to be light in the darkness, to bless those around you without expecting anything in return, to ruin and destroy the works of the devil.

It’s who you are. It’s the life you were created to live.

So how do you become more Christ-like? You spend time with him. In prayer. In reading the Bible. In sitting and listening to His voice. You can’t live like Jesus if you don’t know Jesus.

And by reading about Jesus we learn what that lifestyle looks like. Because, yes, Jesus was fully God, BUT he was also fully man. So when he came to earth he left all of his power in order to show us what it is like to live fully dependent on the Holy Spirit and in line with God plan and purpose for your life. That’s the lifestyle we should passionately be pursuing whether or not we see the same outcomes in our current situation. We should expect for God to move in mighty ways.

You guys remember that prayer from growing up called the Lord’s prayer?

We have become so complacent to that prayer because it was such a large part of tradition in many denominations, but that prayer single handedly tells us what we are supposed to be praying for and experiencing in our lives.

It says, “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done.

On earth as it is in heaven. On earth as it is in heaven.

It is our role to pray heaven down to earth. What God’s reality is, coming down and impacting our reality. And we need to bring that heavenly reality into the circumstances of those around us that don’t know Him or His will.

1 John 3:8 literally says, “…the reason the Son of God came was to destroy the works of the devil.” That’s our role. To destroy the works of the devil by bringing heaven to earth. Plain and simple.

So what do you think of when you think of heaven?

I think of peace, joy, love, hope, healing both physically and emotionally, care-free, the word GOOD.

Because God is GOOD in everything He does.

So now you guys know who God says you are and what you are supposed to do, what your role is. So GO. You have the power and authority. You have the Holy Spirit inside of you, guiding your way, and you have the Bible - the living and breathing Word of God where you can study and grow and learn what it means to destroy the works of the devil.

Remember the Lord’s prayer, as it’s said in more of a modern lingo: “Our Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms, may the glory of your name be the center on which our lives turn. Manifest your kingdom realm, and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth, just as it is fulfilled in heaven.” On earth as it is in heaven. Peace.

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