Sunday, August 21, 2011

Little Jesus

When I was a little child my mom had a friend named Sister Smothers.

She was this older and wise African-American woman with a beautiful spirit about her and a deep yet child like faith in God.
Sister Smothers acted much like a spiritual mother to my mom.

Beginning the day I was born she would hold me in her arms and say, "Look at this baby. He's little Jesus."

As I grew older she would always ask my mom, "How is little Jesus doing today?" or "Tell little Jesus that I love him!"

From my earliest memories I knew that being like Jesus was a good thing.

Unfortunately in my teen years I would beat myself up over not being "Little Jesus."

After all, I thought, "Little Jesus" can't be gay.
"Little Jesus" wouldn't struggle with porn and sex addiction.
"Little Jesus" would not have these horrible secrets!

Every time I made mistakes I would say to myself, "Little Jesus would not have done that."

Now in my adult years, thank God I realize that showing Jesus to others is not about being perfect.

No, being "Little Jesus" to others means that we show the Love of Christ to everyone around us even when we don't think we measure up.

My life radically changed when I stopped focusing on myself and my shortcomings.
Instead I started focusing on Jesus and the power that comes by having Him living inside of me!

When I started looking outward and showing Jesus to those around me, God's grace and mercy, through His beautiful and gentle Holy Spirit, started cleaning up my life.

His light flooded into the darkest places of my mind and the secrets that once haunted me, the double life I once lived, melted away leaving behind a genuine and authentic person that God could use.

The addictions that once seemed so powerful, that bound me in shackles of fear and shame, fell away under the pressure of God's power! 

Okay John, that's a great story, but why does it matter to me?

It matters because as a Christian our first priority should be to show Christ to everyone we meet.

Our goal should be to live as the walking, breathing, ever reaching embodiment of Jesus here on Earth.
That is why the Christian Church is called the Body of Christ!

We are his arms stretched forth to rescue our brothers and sisters who are falling; His feet to run after the one lost sheep, leaving the ninety-nine behind!

Don't wait to be perfect before you show Jesus to others.

The word says that we are a New Creation in Christ!

As you focus on Jesus and showing His love to others and spending time in God's presence, He will transform you into the great man, woman, or trans that He has called you to be!

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 says, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into HIS image, with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord which is the Spirit." (NIV)

Surrender your life to Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you into HIS image.

Go out of your house each new day determined to Show Jesus to everyone you meet!

How do I show Jesus to others?

To answer this let's look at the greatest commandment in the Bible:

In Matthew 22:37, 38 Jesus Says, "Love the Lord your God with All your heart, and with All your soul, and with All your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself." (NIV)

Love your father God completely.
Trust Him with every part of your life.
He longs to be a friend to you.
Talk with Him like you talk with your closest friend.
The more time you spend with God, in His presence, the more like Him you will be.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
When you see a need that you can meet, meet it.
Instead of walking past the homeless, give them food. 
Offer them your coat.
When you know a friend is hurting reach out to them.

Jesus talks about this further in Matthew 25:

34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:
   I was hungry and you fed me,
   I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
   I was homeless and you gave me a room,
   I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
   I was sick and you stopped to visit,
   I was in prison and you came to me.' 
 37-40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me. (MSG)

Have you ever been the one who was overlooked?

Have you been the one who was hurting?
In need?

Remember the people that God put in your life to give you a shoulder to cry on or offer a hand when your car was broken down.

Those acts of kindness are an expression of Jesus and His Love for others.

By showing the undying, unfailing, unconditional Love of Jesus to those you encounter you could be providing hope for another day worth living or planting a seed for salvation, leading to eternal life.

It is that important.

You have probably noticed the quote from Mother Teresa that is on the top right hand corner of this blog.

She said, "If you judge people you have no time to love them.  Each one of them is Jesus in disguise."

Start viewing your neighbor, whether stranger on the street or your best friend since childhood, as "Jesus in disguise."

It will change how you perceive the people around you and cause you to Show the Love of Jesus to everyone you encounter.

Please join me in deciding every minute of every day to live as 
"Little Jesus."

As always Remember:

God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,


The Twenty-First Time- by Monk and Neagle

Monday, August 8, 2011

Your Testimony

We serve a God who takes your fears, 
your weaknesses, 
your shortcomings, 
things that try to destroy you, 
things that you are ashamed of, 
actions you wish you could take back, 
opportunities you have missed, 
areas of your life you wish you could change, 
wrong decisions you have made;

He Turns Them Into Your Testimony!

The things that once tried to destroy us become the very things that God uses in our lives to show others His Faithfulness; His Power; His Grace and Unconditional Love!

The Past

Are there areas in your past that haunt you?
Do those thoughts and memories, guilt and shame, weigh you down?

No matter what things you have done, surrender them to God.
He already knows all about them anyway!

Our loving Father God wants to take those burdens off of you.

Allow Him to use those mistakes to reach others who may struggle with those same issues today.
These parts of your life may be the most important parts of your testimony.

The price for your sins has already been paid.
The sacrifice has been made for them on a cross 2000 years ago.

Accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers you and move on!

Don't hold on to your past mistakes.  
Instead, give them to God so you can live each day in freedom!

The Present

Are there things in your life today that keep you from being completely authentic to others?
Are you hiding parts of your life because you are too embarrassed to share them?

What are your secrets?

Perhaps you struggle with an addiction.
If so, know this... 
You are not alone!

Use the tools that are out there, such as recovery programs, and stand each day in the scripture that "You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!" (Phil. 4:13)

Move that addiction from something that controls you to something that God controls so that He can use it as part of your testimony!

Are you having problems in your finances?
Your Relationships?
Your Self Image?
Your Self Confidence?
Your Health?

No matter what your weakness is, give that area of your life over to God.

In second Corinthians Paul talks about having a thorn in his flesh.

It is an issue that torments him.
He has prayed for God to remove it three times yet he still fights it.

You see, even the Apostle Paul had an area of weakness that he struggled with.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 God tells Paul, "My Grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in weakness..." (KJV)

Because Paul surrendered this to God it has become part of his testimony that still helps us today.

Accept this Promise from God that His grace is sufficient for you!

His Strength is made Perfect in Your Weakness!

Take a stand against the guilt and shame that torment you.
Decide that you are not going to give into fear or worry!

The Future

Now that you know the promises above, live each day in victory!

Remember when you stumble that we serve a God who will help you back onto your feet and transform that problem into another part of your testimony!

Walk each day knowing that it doesn't matter what others think of you.

The only opinion that should matter to us is that of God our Father!

Strive to live His plan for your life!
Nothing else matters!
No other opinion matters!

Come out of the closet!

I'm not just talking about coming out as being gay, lesbian, bi, or trans.

Throw the doors of your closet wide open and show the world ALL the things that God has brought you through!

You never know who you might be touching through your testimony.

You never know who might look into your closet and see encouragement, hope; even see the love of Jesus himself in your life!

You never know what lives you might be saving by sharing with others that you have been there too and it really DOES get better!

Be the beacon of light, the shining city on a hill, illuminating the world that is lost in darkness with the brightness of Christ's power for all to see!

"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary use words." 
- Saint Francis of Assisi

By living your life openly and honestly, living your testimony, you are reaching people around you when you don't even know it.

"We Triumph by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony!" (Rev 12:11)

Move forward, walking in victory, and living the life of freedom that comes from allowing God to use every part of you to His glory!

Let God take the good, the bad, and the ugly that is your life and transform it ALL into your beautiful Testimony!

As Always, Remember:

God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,