The Lost Boat

Being a teenager is tough. I think the years of highschool are some of the most trying years of a persons life.

When I was 7 years old we moved from the Kansas City area to a small town about two hours north called Chllicothe, MO. We attended a small town church with a congregation that ran about 50 on a good Sunday. Our youth group ran between 10-15 people, but out of the youth group there where only 2 people my age. Everyone else was much older than I was so I spent alot of time with the two that were my age. This was great, I had some on fire friends who supported me and worshipped with me, but as we got older, things started to change. These two friends of mine were pretty popular in high school, I was quiet and minded my own business for the most part, so I didn’t have alot of friends in school. These two friends started getting invited to parties, and things that if I went to, and my parents found out, would slaughter me.

Well, Long story short, the spirit of rebellion came into my youth group. I felt so uncool because I had never been to a party, My youth group offered me ciggarettes and alcohol which I had tasted, but never really partook in them. I was on the fence, not knowing what to do. I wanted to be a part of the world, My spirit had given up on God. I didnt know why living for God would be so embarassing.

Then one day, at a youth service, I heard a story that forever changed my life.

This story was about a young boy. It was his birthday, and his parents bought him a kit to build a model boat. He was so happy. He was going to make this boat the most beautiful boat in the WHOLE world. He opened the box, and pulled the pieces out slowly. He examined them closely making sure they were without blemish. After he has all the pieces sorted and organized, he slowly started to assemble the boat. In no time at all it was almost complete. He needed to paint it. He went and found some white and red paint, and painted the hull of the boat white. He painted a little red stripe down the side of it. This boat was looking PERFECT. Now came the last part, put on the sail. He searched and searched for the perfect sail, Finally, it was completed. Now came time to test his creation. He walked out to the lake, and set his little boat in the water. It floated. It looked perfect. As the little boy reached for his boat, a wind came, the little sails filled with air, and the boat was taken off into the distance. His boat was lost. The boy walked home devastated. A few days later the boy was walking hom from school, and walked by a local pawnshop, and when he looked in the window, he saw his boat. He ran in and picked it up. The ship’s hull had a hole in it, the mast was snapped, the sail was torn. EVEN through all the mess, the little boy found his boat. He walked up to the owner, and explained to him how he made the boat and then how he lost the boat. The owner explained to him how he purchased it off someone, so if he wants it hes going to have to pay for it. The little boy went home and worked so hard. He did extra chores. He worked day and night to earn the money for his boat. When he finally reached enough he ran back to the clerk and gave him the money. The boy picked up his boat and stepped outside. He held the boat up to the sun and said, “I made you, I lost you, and then I bought you back”

After hearing this story, I felt like I was that little boat.

Genesis 1:27 God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created he him; male and female created he them.

Gensis says we were made in HIS image. To me that means we were created beautifuly, God brought us up from the dirt. He got his hand’s dirty to create us.

I let the spiritual winds fill my sails, and it took me to a very dark place. However, I am constantly reminded of an event that happened about 2012 years ago, on a mount called Calvary. He paid the price. He made me, he lost me, and he bought me back.

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Jesus Name Baptism. Yes or No?

I was recently asked by some friends if I believe baptism is an essential part of salvation. To me that is an easy answer. But like I told my friends, what I believe makes no difference. It’s what the scripture says. So I took the time to pull out some scriptures and put something together. So hopefully by the end, what I believe will become evident.

Enjoy
Forgive me if you find typos!

Baptism in Jesus’ Name Taken For Granted.

I recently revisited the Bible to explore the scriptures dealing with baptism and the significance of Jesus’ Name for baptism. The scriptural evidence to support baptism in Jesus’ name is overwhelming. I literally had to stop myself there was so much scripture to support being baptised in Jesus’ Name. As an Apostolic I had studied these scriptures before and they are almost a part of me, but it also means I take them for granted. So, to look at the biblical evidence in favor of baptism in Jesus’ Name again with fresh eyes was very refreshing. Here is some of what I got…

JESUS is the divinely revealed redemptive name of God, equivalent to Yahweh in the Old Testament.

Jesus literally means: ‘Yahweh is Salvation’, or Jehovah Saviour. In the Old Testament God gave Israel a name prior to delivering them from Egyptian bondage. The name revealed by God was: ‘I AM THAT I AM’ or ‘Yahweh’ (Jehovah). This is known as the redemptive name of God in the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14).
In similar fashion when it came to the spiritual redemption from sin that Christ accomplished in the New Testament God revealed a name by which He should be known. This name was JESUS (Mat. 1:21). In the Gospel of Matthew the name JESUS appears in UPPER CASE, the significance of this is that it is associating the name of JESUS with the UPPER CASE ‘LORD’ of the Old Testament, wherever LORD appeared like this it was reference to the redemptive name i.e. Yahweh (Jehovah).

To call on the Name of JESUS is to call God Himself.

As Jesus was God in flesh (1 Tim. 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Jhn. 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.), the Name JESUS is the Name of God. No surprise then that when Paul meets the Lord on the Damascus road and asks ‘who art thou?’ that God replies: “I AM Jesus” (Acts 9:5). Also, when Thomas realizes Jesus is risen he proclaims Christ to be both ‘my Lord and my God’ (Jhn. 20:28). The Name of Jesus is the name which relates to the titles Father,Son and Holy Ghost. Hence, Matthew wrote of ‘the name’ singular and not ‘the names’ plural (Mat. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:). Jesus is the name by which the whole family of heaven is named (Eph. 3:14-15). As Sons of God and joint heirs we take on His Name at our baptism, hence to be baptised in Jesus’ name (Acts 2:38).

JESUS is the Name God Answers in Prayer.

Jesus said that whatever we ask in His Name He will do it that God would be glorified (Jhn. 14:13-14). That alone is a powerful thought and an encouragement to anyone who is suffering or in need. As His children we can ask in Jesus name and God will hear and answer us. It is a promise and God can not lie.

Only those who know Him can use His Name.

However, the condition of usage is that only those with a relationship with Jesus can exercise the divine power and authority of His Name. When the sons of Scheva illegitimately tried to use Jesus Name to cast out devils, the demons would not move because the men lacked relationship (Acts. 19:13-16). But, when those who are His children use the Name of Jesus we are promised that signs will follow (Mk. 16:17) as they did in the book of Acts like Peter & John healing the lame man in Jesus’ Name (Acts. 4:10).

The ONLY Name Capable of Saving From Sin.

The Bible plainly declares that JESUS is the only name capable of saving from sin (Acts. 4:12) and the only name given for us to use in baptism therefore. And not just baptism for we are commanded to do all things in Jesus’ name (Col. 3:17). I don’t understand why one would want to pray in Jesus name, preach in Jesus name, heal the sick in Jesus name, rebuke demons in Jesus name and then baptize ‘In the Name of The Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’. That is just repeating the titles of God. The wonderful revelation is that the Name of Father, Son and Holy Ghost is Jesus! Peter and the eleven got this which is why they commanded baptism in Jesus’ Name in Acts 2:38, and all through the bible thereafter.
In JESUS Name Identifies Us With His Atoning Work.In Romans 6:3 it makes it plain that by being baptized in Jesus’ Name we are identifying with His death, burial and resurrection. Acts 2:38 explains that only by using the Name of Jesus can our sin be removed (remitted). Therefore, to plunge and not use the name is invalid as no identification with Christ’s atoning work has taken place. Christ never intended for baptism to be into the Trinity, it was supposed to be into His death, burial and resurrection – into Christ, and Christ alone. Worse, neither the term Trinity nor a concrete definition of this taken for granted doctrine is found in scripture. Which of the Apostles ever used the words ‘person’, ‘substance’, ‘co-equal’ or ‘co-eternal’ to describe The Holy One?

Take on His Name Today!

Baptism in Jesus name is an essential for all who love the Lord. The answer as to why has been provided above, the question now is ‘why not?’. Why would someone not want to have the name of Jesus called over them in baptism? Why would one shy away from accepting the deity and all sufficiency of Christ?
There are two poignant examples in scripture.
Cornelius’ Household have been filled with the Spirit, speaking in tongues and yet Peter commanded that they should be baptised in Jesus’ name. Also, Paul visited the disciples baptised to John the baptist and they too needed to be re-baptised in Jesus’ name. This is suggesting that any other form of Christian baptism will not do. It needs to be in Jesus name. It needs to be the way that God intended because of the awesome redemptive power associated with JESUS’ name.

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Step Out

One of my favorite authors is Mark Batterson. I own and have read several of his books. The most recent book I have read is called

The Circle Maker

. This book talks about the importance of prayer and how we need to listen to and follow the promises of God. In the beginning of the book, he referred to the story of Abraham and Sarah.

The story of Abraham is a faith builder for me. I’m not going to go into the whole story, but basically, God promised Abraham that he would have a son. Well Sarah was old at the time, and was past the age of child bearing. Abraham started losing faith, and actually had a child with Hagar. His handmaiden.
One night God spoke to Abraham…

Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5 NKJV)

So what happened is God told Abraham to go out and count the stars. If he can number them, that’s how many children he will have.

This spoke to me. God could have just spoken to Abraham in his house and told him the number of children he would have. But God doesn’t work that way.

He made Abraham go outside. Outside of his comfort zone to get his promise.

God has a call and a promise to all of us, but sometimes that promise involves us leaving the shelter of our 8 foot ceilings and go out with faith.

If you read on in Genesis 15:5, you’ll see that God told Abraham to number the stars. Well, we have had scientists, for decades trying to count the stars, and still no success. I’m sure this task wasn’t something that can be completed after 15 minutes of counting, I would actually venture to say this took weeks or months.
How far are YOU willing to go to get your promise? Abraham was willing to go out, and look silly by counting stars. We don’t know what Gods plan is, but by obeying his commands, he’s able to fulfill what he has promised.

Speaking from experience, it’s so easy to want Gods promise and call in our life, but we don’t wanna leave the comfort of our beds, and we surely don’t want to break a sweat and work for it.

Side note:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)

The farthest star, that has been located is about 13.2 BILLION light years away.

So according to that scripture, God’s ways, and his thoughts, are 13.2 BILLION ways better than ours.

How far are you willing to go?

The Storm

The other day I was laying in bed thinking about all the miracles God has done in my life, and one in particular really stood out. I haven’t told many people about it, because well, it is kind of embarrassing, but through lots of prayer, I feel like I’m ready to share.

2010 started off like any other year, nothing special about it. I was working at Chick-Fil-A at the time, and things were going fine. Then around April, a situation happened, that caused me to quit my job. I had faith that God was gonna be there for me, and that he had everything under control. However, after the first month went by of being jobless , I started losing faith. After all, I live on my own, I have rent, car payment, credit card payments, and a few other bills, and I had NO source of income. I started to blame God.. I questioned if he even existed. Why me? Why would this be happening. By the time July rolled around, I was pretty much tapped out of resources. I decided to sell my television, my Xbox, everything that I didn’t need, I sold. I had reached a new low. My anger towards God kept growing. I was about to lose my car, and my apartment. I lived on ramen noodles and cans of vegetables.
I was having a spiritual storm like I had never experienced.

September came, and I hit my breaking point, I prayed a prayer that was something like this “God, why me, please help me. I need your help now!”
God responded, with something that felt like a slap in the face. And he spoke to me and said

Why are you so selfish? Look at what you have, instead of what you don’t have. What you have is way more valuable. Look around you. Some people have nothing.

this got me thinking.
So after an hour or two of thinking about what God said, I realized he was right, so I became thankful for what I had. After all, I still had a home, and a car. I spent the next few hours in prayer thinking him for what I had, and for victory. I didn’t know when it was coming, but I knew it was.

Not two days after that prayer, we had a hail storm. We had baseball size hailstones. It was a mess. This was the last thing I wanted. So I took my car in to have it looked at, and it did 4300.00 in damage. Minus my deductible, they gave me a check for 3700.00 to get my car fixed. So I took my car in to get it repaired, and the repairman came out and said, man, I got it all fixed, but it only cost ya 500$. You can keep the rest. Well… Just so happens the pay off on my car was 3200. And the money that was left over was 3260.00. Then I ended up getting another unexpected check from the insurance company for 2000$. I went from losing EVERYTHING, to being 100% out of debt in less than a months time.

I said all that to say this-

God sent a storm. And through that storm, I became victorious. Sometimes God sends spiritual storms to remind us who is in charge. That situation changed me. Humility is so important. Not only did he send a spiritual storm, but he sent a physical storm as well. Sometimes It takes a storm to bring you to your knees.

The night is darkest just before the dawn

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