My life has too long been spent searching for my identity.

My identity is not in my ability to communicate or stir up people.
My identity is not in the results that come from my disciple-making efforts.
My identity is not in the smiles and kind words of those around me.
My identity is not in the affirmations and compliments of people I experience.
My identity is not in the approval or disapproval of my family.
My identity is not in my success as a father or husband or friend.
My identity is not in my business savvy or financial portfolio.
My identity is not in my things, possessions, securities or blessings.
My identity is not in the attendance or conversions of our church gatherings.
My identity is not in my ability to rise above sin, or fall prey to it.
My identity is not in my past successes or failures.
My identity will never be in my future accomplishments or blunders.
My identity will never be in any of these things.

My identity is hidden in You and Your life is lived through me.
My identity is reborn through Your sacrifice.
My identity is in the "already-but-not-yet" stages of development, still You choose to see me through the "already" side, because of Christ's amazing love and sacrifice.

My identity is in You.

*Spoiler Alert: If you haven't watched '127 Hours' yet and don't know how the story ends, you may want to stop reading here...
I just watched '127 Hours' with James Franco. It's the true story of Aron Ralston who gets trapped between a rock and a hard place...literally. He is stuck as life happens all around and his life begins to quickly leave his body. Food and water run out. Batteries. The things that sustained him are in short supply, but he won't leave this place. He can't. He is stuck. Truth be told he isn't stuck, part of him is. His arm. And in order to get unstuck... in order to live, he must cut that part off. The decision haunts him...

This brought to mind Jesus' words in Matthew:

"If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Matthew 18:8-9)

In many ways we get stuck too. Patterns of brokenness. Addictions. Idolatry. The rocks of this world and our self-centered desires pin us against the wall and we are helpless to escape. The teenage girl constantly searching for acceptance. The career-driven professional who's drive for success leads him to sacrifice relationships and morality. The wife whose loneliness or dissatisfaction leads her to another's arms. The porn addict. The homeless alcoholic. The chronic Facebooker. 

These are all me. These are all you. The grace of God is the only hope we have of escaping these ends. The grace that holds up a mirror, reveals our true selves and our haunting situations. The grace that leads us to uproot the bitterness, dethrone the idols, break the addictions, and cut off the parts of our lives that bind us to death in order that we may experience the abundant life Jesus has come to give us.

In the end that's exactly what Aron does. He realizes that there is no other way. It's him, or his hand. Does he want his whole body to die, or just his hand? Liberation comes at a high cost.

He makes the grueling choice, which is a commitment to the most maniacal of processes... Breaking his arm off at the elbow to the best of his ability, then using the dull blade from his pocket knife to gouge and rip through raw nerve, sinew, and muscle in order to free himself. Liberation is a long, difficult and painful process. It's almost unbearable. But to stop short... to not finish... that's certain death.

If we are not willing to make that choice, it is because we have already made another. The security of our brokenness and the desire to hold on to the part of our life that binds us is greater than the desire to risk it all... to break free... to experience life outside the prison we've grown accustomed to and made our home in. If we refuse to make the choice that leads to life, we are in essence choosing death.

Aron chose life. That is why the story is so inspiring. It's what we all long for deep within. 

It's what Jesus Christ came to bring. It's what his Spirit calls you to when He first draws you. It's the essence of the call to discipleship: a breaking away from the old patterns and paths to follow the new. It's the way of the cross: death followed by resurrection. It's made available, empowered, and finished by the cross. It's the way of sanctification: emptying yourself of the old life, and allowing the life of Jesus to come flooding in. If you are a Christ follower, this is the essence of your daily life: repentance and belief (allowing godly sorrow to do its work, turning your hope and worship from the functional saviors, and towards Jesus Christ in every area of your life). This is the gospel at work... the same gracious gospel that justified you also sanctifies you. Salvation is all God's work, from start to finish. 
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:6
In the end Aron is met with divine providence in many forms, from random pools of water and climbing tools that were left behind to random people in the paths of the canyon who come to his rescue. He finds the provision of God that saves his life, but only after he has made the choice to separate himself, by God's grace, from his destructive circumstances... Salvation was there all along, but he had to lay hold of it. Liberation from sin is a God-led, gracious process. 

1) What things in my life do I need to cut off?
2) What will enable me to do it? (motivation... it it anything other than the gospel?)
3) To what point will I digress before accepting that my circumstances are as helpless as Aron's were?
We want to be perfect. We want perfection's work complete within our souls. We also fight against it and it's processes more frequently than we realize. Sanctification is a process we fight for and against concurrently... Two natures... Two states of being coexisting, overlapping, tearing us in two.

In prayer this morning, I impatiently asked God to heal my heart, to make it more fully desire his ways and not the broken lies it has grown comfortable believing. I said I knew one day my heart would be fully redeemed, in the resurrection, but until then I wanted to be totally free from sin's work in my life. He in return asked me if I was sure I wanted that... If I was ready for that... If I knew what I was really asking. Because with a perfected heart I would think and act much differently... Such a jostling act would destroy my life as I know it, shift many of my aims and plans, affect my relationships, reprioritize my life and dreams, and possibly even lead me to the fray of human society as a sort of crucified outcast who doesn't fit in and constantly challenges and threatens the status quo, not just with his words but by his very existence. To be perfected in the middle of a broken world leads to great discomfort. Pain. Sorrow. Death... Its the role of the one eyed man in the land of the blind... He may be king, but he is also a freak and an outsider. Such premature perfection would be to see God as He is before we are truly ready for it (in the same way as God protected Moses from seeing him by hiding Moses in the clef of a rock)... It would be instant transformative change based on full revelation of God and his truth... Every part of our lives that is built on anything but truth and love would die, for no man can see God and live; that is, continue to live the life he is accustomed to living. To be set free and to be transformed to a new life is to judge the old life... To truly live is to die. Such a transformation is promised in the resurrection when we shall be like him for we will see him as he is. Until that day, as sanctification's processes grow in our lives we must patiently and progressively count the costs, move forward in faith-full responses to Christ's loving call, and submit to his gracious process in our lives.

Is that why the language in Scripture is built around choice... Two roads, two gates, two foundations... Two trees? Is that why God allows sanctification's work take so much time? Like resurrection, it meets us in our dead state and ushers us towards life, bringing the created order around us along for the ride... transforming people and things around us in the process? Would the shock of instantaneous sanctification be too much for us (tearing us in two as it were)? Would it be too much for those around us? Would the transformation from death to life seem more like dying or living to us? Would ripping us out of our current state and into our new glorious state be so rapid that it would leave everyone and everything in our lives completely behind... So far behind that they could no longer really come along for the ride? Isn't God's lifelong gradual process of sanctification more loving, more in line with his plan, more in tune with the inauguration of his kingdom? Does it not seem more wise, (to those of us impatient ones)... more gracious and loving? Doesn't it seem more fitting of God to help us change at our own rate, dying one small death at a time... adjusting to the hot waters of his holiness... Being cleansed gradually from one impurity, then another? Don't God's processes of trial and temptation which remove impurities and cleanse us from false ideologies and idolatries, seem overbearing as they are when we are in the midst of them? Isn't it loving and caring that our God does not cleanse us from all of our impurities at once... That he does not place more on us than we can bear? Isn't it also amazing that He stands ready to supply us with access to his limitless storehouses of resurrection power when we do desire help overcoming a certain struggle or sin or area of disbelief, and our hearts stand truly ready for the change? How often do we deceive ourselves that we are ready for this or that area of our lives to be fully redeemed, when part of our heart is not truly ready at all? Do we not believe that God knows what timing is best for us? Do we not trust that he sees more than our momentary need, but is also working things out for our ultimate good... For the good of those around us and for his matchless glory? What patience leads him to be so intricately involved in this arduous process of our sanctification?

Sanctification is a gradual resurrection.

My prayer for sanctification will no longer resemble a complaint about repeated struggles with sin, frustration about my imperfect state, doubt towards an all knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God, and his pacing processes. Instead I will pray, "Father, I want to be free from this, but more than that I want to want to be free from this... help my heart to grow fully ready to change in a timing that best honors you and your plan for my life and best leads those around me." I will trust him in the tension between the two worlds of death and life. I will trust his Spirit to carry me safely across the divide. As I pass over Jordan, I will not fear the water, but I will stand in awe of him and cling to his promises and character. I will cling to the hope of the Promised Land... Of the life abundant... Of union with God.
Father, for too long I've loved theology without loving You. I've compiled it... used it as a notch on my belt... A trophy on my case... A way I earn my identity through my own knowledge... Instead of learning you...knowing you, not simply knowing about you. It's no wonder that my heart can be so far away from you in beautiful moments like today...

For too long as a pastor, I've taught text and context while the subtext of my heart was proving myself to you, to others and even myself. Like a mother bird I have often chewed up and spit out your glorious Word to feed those you've placed under my care, while taking none for myself. Pride leads to malnourishment. When theology becomes a list of ethereal principles and truths, the heart gets lost. Sermons dry up. Communities veer off course. Life loses its meaning. Ministry becomes a dead-dry duty.

I repent. I am ashamed at how frequently I have cannibalized your truth in the form of tweets and blogs in order to gather oohs and aahs from spectators. I am so sorry for seeking to honor myself in your name. I am sorry for using you.

I pray that we as disciples would begin seeking your heart. That we would begin seeing you and knowing you through truth, and not for our own sake, but simply for the sake of knowing you, God. That our hearts would change in this process of seeing you as you are. That as we make disciples we would be pointing them to you, not to disconnected truths about you. Help us to become a people, not marked by pride in how much we know, but marked by humility because of who we know... By who's name we have been called... Called by sheer grace.


 Ok, so I'm not a professional economist and this entry has a lot less to do with the specifics of the issue at hand, and a lot more to do with the general philosophy behind our sense of angst. But if I have something to contribute, these are my thoughts...

It seems like the main philosophical difference behind this polarizing issue is the question of whether healthcare is a basic human right or a privilege for anyone who is in need. The Hippocratic Oath, those in the medical field take, leans heavily toward the former of the two, which is why many of the down and out I come in contact with here in Downtown San Diego can still walk into a hospital and get basic care, regardless of their financial portfolio. The poor of other countries are not so fortunate, and in some cases are denied healthcare no matter the need.

It seems to me that this Hippocratic ideal is line with Christian thought, from what I read in Christian history in cities like Antioch, where Christians climbed the inner city walls that divided the people groups, and took care of the poor in each of the cities subsections. There are countless examples like this, emanating from the movement of the Holy Spirit upon the hard hearts of humanity and the Christ-centered theology that leads us to care and love and show mercy to those who don't deserve it, much in the same way that God had mercy upon us in Christ.

People affected by this same theology moved to the Americas in search of God (freedom of religion), glory and gold. The classic examples of the strife and difficult circumstances they faced shows up in the juxtaposition two of the earliest settlements: Jamestown & Plymouth. Plymouth faced many of the same difficult situations as Jamestown, but formed a more socialistic model to ride out the hard winters, taking care of one another's sick and hungry, and finally finding God's providence in a saving relationship with native Americans. Jamestown was not so fortunate, plagued with bitter conditions and men with poor character who cared more for the glory and gold than anything else. When it became apparent that neither glory nor gold were to be had, many of the men became listless, refusing to do work necessary to eat and provide for themselves. All hope seemed lost. Enter the ideal known as the Protestant Work Ethic, instated by John Smith as he proclaimed to this ragtag group of misfits, "If you don't work, you don't eat (paraphrased)." This ideal whipped the settlers into shape and saved what was on course to be a total disaster.

So we have two seemingly competing ideals, both emanating from Christian thought:

a) Everyone deserves basic human dignity and care
b) Only those who earn their way deserve dignity and care

As I see it, these two thoughts have evolved into our basic camps today (at the risk of oversimplifying): Liberal / Conservative, Democrat / Republican, Socialist / Capitalist. Are they really that opposed and incompatible? Is it a false dichotomy that seems to exist between them or are they in fact polar opposites? Is one more right than the other? How does the gospel speak into this?

In my way of thinking, both thoughts are heavily influenced by Christ and the gospel. Since both find their origin in him, aren't they also compatible? Aren't they meant to be integrated? Don't they function best together and not when they are posed against each other? Is Christ divided? Is our only option choosing a side and fighting with our brothers across the aisle?

This causes me to think outside our current political box... It makes me wonder what our political landscape would look like if more politicians and economists and dreamers began imagining an integrated platform, combining the best of both ideals and refusing to polarize them further for the sake of caricaturization, and personal gain. I do not claim to have an answer or some final say on the matter, I just want to get people's creative juices flowing and hear what we could imagine together if we stopped listening to our own chosen streams of thought... If we stopped worshiping at the monolithic altars of our chosen newsgroups... What would the feast of God's children look like if we truly sat down together and shared, refusing to eat only from one food-group, envisioning instead the beauty of culinary variety and the necessity of diverse sources of nutrition and sustenance. 

Your thoughts?

My name is @VinceLarson and I am a Twitter Junkie.

How would I define my favorite tweets? 
The ones I have sent to my phone... They always give me a good laugh or make me pause and worship. 

Here They Are:

One of my all-time favorite Preachers and Authors, delivered in 140-character intervals


Always makes me stop and think about the gospel in a new way...

Keeping you updated on Christian culture

One of my favorite writers and all around humans... You never know what he'll tweet next

From Gospel-Soaked Prayers, to thought provoking quotes, Scotty's Tweet always challenges & uplifts me.

This guy is often irreverant, but most of the time I laugh out loud

This UK Pastor brings the DEEP Gospel truths in everyday words... Author of Total Church, You Can Change, and many more...

Great quotes from one of my all-time favorite Christian authors

Great practical church-planting and theological nuggets

A true puritan... thought provoking and humbling truths issued here daily

Always a good laugh... always... one of my newest favorites

The Author of Gospel Centered Discipleship, Dodson speaks the truth and convicts my heart

Always an insightful gospel word or an encouraging thought... This is one of my favorite Human Beings, period.

Daily wisdom from one of my favorite devotionals

God on the Cross 

“There is nothing that teaches us as much about God as the cross of Jesus Christ.” -Mark Driscoll

Have you ever looked at the cross the lens of God’s Character? On the cross Christ Triumphantly shouts “It is finished!” How can we see God’s amazing attributes through this powerful moment in history?

God’s Powerful Plan. God is great and no detail escapes his thoughts. He planned this moment before the dawn of time. Think of all the prophecies Christ’s life alone could have fulfilled. Think about the many ways His plan could have been thwarted as it unfolded over thousands of years of volatile human history. Yet God’s plan was perfect and powerful! He is in control.

God’s Provision. God is good and knows exactly what we need. Our greatest need is reconciliation with Him... bridging the gap that our broken, selfish choices created. Without that reconciliation and the hope it brings, the everyday things our hearts long for would be worthless. In this moment on the cross, as Christ was ripped from his Father’s presence and took on all of the punishment that was ours, we were simultaneously offered everything that was his. Union. Love. Holiness. This act of reconciliation shows us how generous our God is!

God’s Pity. God is gracious and lovingly embraced us through the cross while we were busy placing the nails in his hands. He took our odor-ridden, dirt-clogged garments and laid them on his back, placing his pure and royal robes around our shoulders. Our old identity, along with our tattered good works and our broken past was nailed to the cross with him, and we became new creations in Christ! We didn’t deserve it, but he did it anyway! Now we are no longer defined by all that... He calls us worthy, because of what he has done in our place.

God’s Preeminence. God is glorious and the reality of who he is and how that was shown on the cross blinds us to the lesser things that would pull our eyes and hearts towards lesser affections. There is none like him! Who else could deal with the greatest problem creation has ever seen, and come out unscathed and victorious. Who else could touch sin and remain clean? Who else could bear the weight of the cross...the weight of all the compounded sin in our broken history? Who else could walk through death’s doorway only to come bursting back through it three days later? The reality of who He is captures our hearts as he takes his place upon that gloriously humble throne called the cross, and cries “It is finished!”

Prayer: Father, thank you that every moment of your story reveals more of your character to me. Thank you that you have loved me, an undeserving rebel, with an undying love. Thank you that you have provided everything I need for life and enjoyment. Thank you that you have freed me from the brokenness of my past and the identity I once sought apart from you. You are God alone and there is none like you!

Action Step: Consider these four truths about God as seen through the cross, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you apply them to your life throughout this day... Meditate on this:
God is Glorious. We don't need to fear others - But we walk in the Fear of God
God is Great. We don't need to be in control - But we walk in faith trusting His control and redemptive processes
God is Good. We don't need to look elsewhere for satisfaction - But we do look to him to provide for all our needs
God is Gracious. We don't need to prove ourselves - But we trust in His grace and allow our lives to reflect that grace

Out with the Old 

“…Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” (John 2:13-17)

Reflection: There is this awkward moment in Scripture and we are not quite sure what to make of it. Jesus the – man of peace, love, patience and grace… the very embodiment of God Himself – goes crazy! This is the only incident of Christ using physical force in any of the gospel accounts. He beats these money changers right out of the temple courtyard. Why the Drama? Why the intensity?

The text gives us a clue: “The loan sharks were also there in full strength.” Wasn’t the temple supposed to be a place of prayer? A place where the nations could come to worship God? So how had men’s hearts twisted so much that they could take advantage of those seeking God? How had this beacon of light for the nations become a place that oppressed the weary pilgrims, the poor and the marginalized, making it difficult for many to be reconciled to God?

Jesus began his ministry by driving out these profiteers and oppressors, reminding them that access is open to everyone who longs for God. A few years later, Jesus returned to this city to finish the work. This time, the whip was not in his hand, but upon his back. This time he was driven from the temple courts and eventually led to a hilltop to be hanged by those whose religious system he’d challenged. But this time, he finally accomplished the work:

“But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. At that moment the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle…”(Mark 15:37-38).

In that instant, this curtain – a symbol of the old ways and the twisted religion of men – was destroyed as a sign to those who had abused their power. This system had come to a decisive end. But this was also a symbol for something beautiful and comforting for each of us today. It reminds us that we no longer need a high priest to go into the Holiest Place behind the veil to atone for us (Ex. 26:31–33; Heb. 9:1–10), because we now have Jesus as our new, eternal High Priest. One who is perfect. One who died in our place. One who understands our every temptation and pain. Today we have direct access to God and true reconciliation because of the work Christ accomplished that day when He shouted those beautiful words “It is finished!”

Prayer: Thank you Father for your mission toward us… for your constant pursuit of rebels like me and your unending desire to win my heart! Even though my sin separated me from you, you made a way to reconcile me to your presence, and tore through every barrier that stood in the way. Thank you that I now have direct access to you through Jesus Christ, my new High Priest… One who has felt the sting of my pain and death… One who knows the sorrow I feel. Thank you Jesus that you courageously entered into my brokenness, invading my life with your healing love and undeserved favor! Let me live my life in light of that truth today.

Action Step: If part of Christ’s work on the earth and ultimately upon the cross was breaking down the walls that stood between us and God, and ushering us directly into God’s presence… How can we connect those around us to God? Who are some people in your life (family, job, school… etc.) who have still not experienced the reconciliation to God that Christ accomplished for them? Make a list with some of their names on it (at least 3), and pray that God would give you the courage, wisdom and direction to help connect them with God… Also, write down a few potential next steps to help you establish a stronger connection with them.

What Is Finished?

“Christian, the good you do won’t finally save you and the bad you do won’t finally condemn you.” – Martin Luther

Reflection:  “It is finished.” In Greek that’s only one word, “Tetelestai.” The most beautiful word ever spoken in history. It is traditionally referred to as “The Word of Triumph.” But what was the triumph? Why is it beautiful? Why is this one of the most echoed phrases in history?

Scripture says Jesus was the lamb of God, slain from the very creation of the world (Rev. 13:8). God planned every detail of this day before he breathed life into man. Before man’s failure, rebellion and rejection of our Creator, in the earliest days of our existence, God had already made a plan to provide a way back into saving relationship with Him. This moment… This horrifically beautiful moment of redemption was planned down to the finest detail. Descriptions were recorded hundreds of years before in the poems and prophetic writings of God’s people (Isa.53, Ps. 22). All of creation waited on the edge of its seat, breath-held for this day – for this pronouncement that the Missio Dei was accomplished! (Rom. 8:22).

However, Jesus’ atoning death in our place, would have meant nothing without his perfectly righteous life, lived in our place! His death did not just erase our past in order to give us a second chance. He did much more! How many of us would live perfect lives if given a fresh start? Would we be able to stop addictive habits on our own? Could we become perfectly selfless? Could we stop committing sin? Could we also perfectly execute what we needed to do in every situation and fulfill God’s perfect will for our lives? Would we be able to maintain perfectly clean hearts and pure thoughts? Impossible! Jesus not only got us off the hook for our past sins with his death, but his perfectly righteous record was transferred to us as well! His life, death and resurrection fulfilled over 360 Old Testament prophecies – those predictions spoke hope to people long before Christ came on the scene, pointing them toward this pivotal day. Christ’s spotless life, that completely fulfilled the will of God down to the smallest detail, culminated in this moment. Christ looked up to his Father and cried out in triumphant agony, “It is finished!”

Prayer: Thank you Father that you have made provision for our shortcomings. Thank you that you loved us enough to have a plan in place before you even created us. Thank you that no detail of that plan escaped your thoughts – You were in control at all times, redeeming even the most broken circumstances with this agonizing yet triumphant moment we are meditating upon today. Thank you also that because of these great truths, I know that no detail of my life escapes your grasp… that you hold my life in the palm of your hand… that even when circumstances seem out of control and fear and anxiety begin to grip my heart, I can place my trust in you, and your plan for my life.

Action Step: When we think of sin, we generally think of breaking God’s Law by doing wrong things. We seldom consider all the things God is calling us to do that we end up neglecting. What are some things God may be calling you to do today? Prayerfully list some things out, and make a plan to accomplish them. (*Also consider how this gospel truth of what Jesus accomplished in your place, frees you from the guilt of failing to accomplish his perfect will for your life in this moment, while simultaneously motivating you to fulfill his will for you in the upcoming moments of your day.)

The Longest Day

“Men are opposed to God in their sin, and God is opposed to them in his holiness.” 
-J. I. Packer

Today we enter the life of Jesus and find him at the end of the most horrendous day in history. Several long hours before, as this day was just beginning, we find him kneeling in a garden and beginning to be “gripped by a shuddering terror and anguish.” Sorrow. Horror. Dismay. This is not the Jesus we are used to reading about throughout the gospels, healing and wittingly challenging his adversaries. This is a Jesus who tells his disciples his “soul is sorrowful, even unto death!”

Hours before he cries out, “It is finished!” we find that he came close to death in that garden, weeping and sweating great drops of blood, as he pondered what was to come. Why? His own words answer this question. “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet, not what I will, but what you will.” What is this cup? Isaiah 51:7 paints a picture of God holding out this cup - this “cup of his wrath.” This cup contains the full and overwhelming fierceness of God’s wrath against all human sin and rebellion... It’s a cup we are all meant to drink from. The Old Testament vividly portrays this cup as filled with “fire and sulfur and a scorching wind” - a most terrifying picture. As C. J. Mahaney points out, “What Jesus recoils from here is not an anticipation of the physical pain associated with crucifixion. Rather it’s a pain infinitely greater-the agony of being abandoned by His Father.” As Jesus pleads with his Father repeatedly, his hope for solace is met with silence. His fate is sealed. As he chooses to follow his Father’s will in this final act of perfectly-righteous obedience, he will lift the cup to his lips and drink from the fires of hell itself. He will drink every drop from the furious wrath of God against sin - He will become sin (who never knew sin), trading places with us, as he is crushed by righteous wrath of the Father in our place.

Between this agonizing moment in the garden and his final words on the cross, lie an entire day filled with trials and false accusations, screaming and spitting, beating and bludgeoning, and the final few excruciating hours here on the cross as he hangs stretched out between heaven and earth. He pulls the symbolic cup to his lips and drinks the cup down to the last drop - not leaving a drop for you and I. With that, he breathes his last labored breaths, and mouths the words, “It is finished.”

Prayer: Father, thank you for not counting Your Son’s life too high a price to pay for our brokenness and self-centeredness. Thank you for not wavering in your perfection and holiness, yet still creating a way to deal with my rebellion. Help me to never walk too far away from this beautifully, heart-wrenching story and the pure gratitude and humility it invokes in my heart. Let me live all of today in light of this great truth of your great love for me.

Action Step: Take a few moments to list out some of the things you have done in your past... the horrible things... things done against you as well... things you have tried to forget and suppress... things you would never want anyone to know about. Take the time to really think here. Once you have this list, imagine Jesus Christ taking that list from your hand, carrying it, along with his cross to the top of a mountain, and as he is being nailed to the cross, the same nail that is driven through his flesh is driven through that list. Everything you have ever done that has brought you shame, fear and guilt was nailed to the cross with him. It holds no more power over you, your identity, or your future. It is finished. Take the time to thank him for his great love!

The Call: My New Year's Sermon

“When Jesus Christ calls a man, he calls him to come and die…”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mt 16:24)

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate…his own life…he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple…So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26-27, 33)

Which Call?

Due to a chance encounter, Kenny and I were invited to hear a prominent Christian speaker and write. The entire content of the night was rife with what's know as the Prosperity Doctrine: “Health & Wealth." At one point, the speaker even said “God wants to give you the biggest house on your block… no, He wants to give you ALL the houses on your block, so people will say ‘Woah! I want that, I’ll have what she’s having!’ and then they’ll come to Jesus!’ At the end of His sermon, promising heaven on earth, the speaker gave the call to follow Christ and take hold of this 'abundant life' Christ promised…

Is that the case…Is it true?

Is that what Jesus died for?

  • Your best life now?
  • So YOU could have all your dreams and riches and blessing?
  • Is that the testimony of the early church?
  • Is that the testimony of the millions of Disciples throughout the ages and across the globe that have experienced persecution in the name of Jesus and overwhelming hunger and devastating loss and things that are too excruciating to think about… (things we block from our mind and believe would never happen to us…)

Can He do those things? Yes of course but is this what he called us too?

That “Call” we saw that night at the Big Show was a little different from the one we hear in Jesus’ ministry… from his call!

Apparently Jesus didn’t know what worked…

He never promised houses or riches or health…


He’s always thinning the crowd…

It’s almost like he’s a glutton for punishment!

People Gather around to see miracles…

They gather around to hear teaching…

They gather around to eat the free food that multiplies in his hands!

Then He says, “Come and Die”… and they walk away

Then He says “I am the manna from heaven… if you eat my flesh you will have eternal life…” And they run away… only a few stay behind.

He even says at one point (Mk 10:39) that his followers will drink from the cup of suffering He would be drinking from and that they would be baptized with the same death be is baptized with…

Jesus’ Call: “Come and Die… and find true life in forsaking everything…”

Our Culture’s Call: “Come and Get… and find Health, Wealth… whatever your heart lusts for!”

Did Christ call you to the path of your wildest dreams coming true?

Did Christ call you to the path of health and wealth and romance?

These are the things we dream of, right?

If he wanted to attract a lot of people, you would have thought THIS is what he would have offered, right?

But instead he say’s these words: “If you want to follow me, deny yourself… take up your cross (today: ‘Climb into your electric chair’), and follow me…whosoever does not hate his own life cannot be my disciple.”

I think one of the reasons this sounds so foreign to us is because it goes against our cultural norms (individualism, consumerism, materialism…)

In fact, I think when most of us come to Christ in this culture, it is BECAUSE OF Radical Self-Interest…

We don’t come to die, we come to live!

Some of us come to God to get hope for our Eternal Destination

We look at eternity: Heaven/Hell… which one sounds better. It's the ultimate cost-benefit analysis. “I choose Heaven… clouds and harps sound better than fires and pitchforks…”

Some of us want a better life now… Maybe it’s the false health and wealth gospel ORmaybe you are looking for Freedom from the brokenness we’ve experienced when we couldn’t help ourselves… addictions, sorrows, things that had been done against us… and we believe Christian Morality will help us achieve freedom from those things…

Some of us want to Make a Difference in the world, and this is the perfect vehicle to accomplish our activist plans…

Some of us just grew up in it and don’t know any different… we settle into a version of Christianity that fits us because we know there is some truth there, so we find a church that reflects our values and settle in until something messes with us (offended at a person or teaching or they stop doing my favorite light show during the morning concert…), then we hop around until we find another church that fits our consumer hearts

The church has said for a long time, “Come get saved for your reasons, then join a church that fits your personality and desires (music-style, teaching-style, things that fit YOU…), and then try to participate in mission as you can… That’s the key to the Christian life: you’ll be feeding some homeless people, behaving better, and know you’re going to heaven when you die”

The problem is we end up leading unfulfilling lives!

Meaningless Existence… (That has all the guilt & apathy of sin, with none of its adventure and fun!)

Mission becomes some dry activity squeezed into our free time…

Discipleship becomes a list of Meetings we attend and adding more Activities into our already saturated lives…

Freedom becomes a ball of guilt-ridden feelings we walk around under because we can’t break our sinful habits and we can’t seem to find the balance we seek, and we can’t do enough to make a dent in world poverty…

So… after a while, we find ourselves wanting to plop down Indian-style in the middle of the floor and give up, because our Fuel is Gone & we are Burnt Out and This Call is not all it was cracked up to be…

Is it possible that Jesus wants to free you today from that self-serving, unfulfilling, religious cycle!

Is it possible that Jesus wants to Break the chains of your the guilt, and consumerstic lie you’ve bought into today!

Could it be that He wants to Set Loose the Pharisees and Sadducees and Zealots from their self-fulfilling dreams… the idols they have put their hope in… idols they are serving in the name of God

Many of us come to Christ to gain our lives…

Jesus calls us to lose our lives…to die.


I know some of you are saying in your hearts right now:

But what is so bad about our desires?

Didn’t God create us to have desires and needs?

Health, wealth, status and romance are not the enemies, are they?

What’s wrong with enjoying life and living it to the fullest?

What’s wrong with dreaming big dreams about our future?

I’ll tell you…Nothing!

Nothing is wrong with living life to the fullest!

In fact, that is what Jesus came to bring.

“…I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly!” (John 10:10)

The difference is that Jesus came to bring us life on God’s terms.

We keep trying to find life on our terms…

Jesus came to call us to die to our lives as we know them, and find true life in the way of God

(We keep trying to live our lives the way we like them, and die out to the ways of God…

…or simply incorporate as many as the ways of God that we are comfortable with, and we try to ignore or explain away the areas of God’s truth that make us uncomfortable or challenge our worldviews)

History of Desire

In the beginning, before sin and brokenness and self-centeredness entered the world, our life was in a garden. We had the perfect life and nothing was wrong… all our desires were pure and God was at the center…

  • Who did we look to for everything?
  • Who was at the center?

We had perfect Health… eternal life (we still long for this, that’s why shows about immortals like the highlanders and twilights and vampires…etc. are so popular and appeal to us at such a basic level…)

We had Wealth… in fact all of our needs were met right there in the garden (Thirsty, drink from this river of life… hungry, eat from this tree of life… lonely, here are animals. Name them. Still lonely, here is another human).

We had Status… We were the Only people alive, the top of the food-chain… the children of God who walked and talked with the Creator of the universe in such a close relationship that we took it for granted!

We had Romance… Pure, loving relationship… not self-seeking… never losing that sense of adventure, because the entire world was there for us to explore…Naked and unashamed! (unashamed of that stretchmark or those extra 8 lbs from the holidays…)

We had paradise...

BUT – When Adam sinned he fell out of the life of heaven and of God and into the world of self…

All of the sudden, Self-pleasing, Self-sufficiency and Self-exaltation became the laws of his life.

Self began to reign in his life…

The things we long for… eternal life, acceptance, our needs being met, love… They wereours and God was at the center of our world holding all those things in check… in their proper place

The problem with sin is that it moves God out of the center and puts us into the center, and all those Gifts from God, become gods to us… there is nothing to hold life in the Divine Orbit it was created to exist in…Why? Because you and I are not capable of that…we don’t have the strength… the pull… we aren’t God…

  • It's like a Solar System. Gravitation holds everything in it's proper place. The Sun (Latin: Solar) is at the center holding all the planets in orbit… what would happen if the earth said, “You know what… I want to be at the center of this system! Sun get out of the way, it’s my turn” Could the earth do that? Would Saturn maintain its course? Would Jupiter’s chemical composition remain the same? Would the earth benefit from this at all? NO – Chaos – Things flying of course – Crashing into one another – freezing and melting and dying - Death
  • That’s a picture of what happens when we wrap our worlds around self and push God out of the center
  • God was meant to be the One you find fulfillment in, and His gifts are simply radiant reflections of his love… but then we turn our back on Him and worship those reflections

It’s not that our desires are for bad things, but with ‘SELF’ at the center, those desires are distorted and are elevated and their true beauty is lost…

Have you ever dreamed about getting something, and then when you got it, you lost interest within a few days… the newness wears off… it gets old and your already looking for something to replace it

Look at the tabloids, full of the stories of the richest, most successful people in the world… and they are miserable, lonely, hopping from one bed to another, shaving their heads and doing blow, and wardrobe malfunctions to get more publicity… WHY???

Because Self is like a big black hole in the center of your being… the more you get the more you want and nothing satisfies…

You elevate your desire for those things (that were meant to be blessings) higher than they can what they are able to deliver! And the reality of the joy and beauty that these things were meant to bring into our lives gets crushed under the weight of our expectations!

  • They fly off course…
  • The harmony of our universe is violently destroyed as planets crash and our core grows cold, and the Sun is painfully distant!
  • The relationship isn’t good enough anymore!
  • I deserve a raise!
  • There is always a nicer Car and a newer iPhone
  • There is always a nicer House and Newer TV (Smell-a-vision!)
  • We have it better than 90% of the world and we are among the most unhappy and unsettled!
  • The black hole just gets bigger…
  • We keep searching, and we are never satisfied!

There is not room for both you and the Sun at the center…

That is what happened when Adam sinned…

He fell out of the life of heaven and of God and into the world of self…


Jesus Christ came to restore man to his original place.

Jesus shows us a new way…

He does the opposite of Adam…

“He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8)

What He has done himself, he asks all who desire to follow him:

“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself”

That’s why Jesus calls us to die…

And YES, there IS a NEW Life that Jesus comes bringing, but you can’t experience it until you die to yourself and begin to live a NEW Life centered on the cross and empowered by the Holy Spirit…

  • It’s Life AFTER Death (Death followed by resurrection into a new life…)
  • It’s the pattern of the cross…
  • It’s moving your ‘self’ back into orbit around the Son, and letting God rearrange the ‘solar system’ of your life…
  • It’s submitting to God’s Process of putting everything back into its proper place…
  • It a process!
  • It’s the most healing thing for your life…

-YET- What do we do? (*even after we come to Him and “give our lives to Him?”)

  • We do not trust Him to do it…
  • We don’t want to die, we want to live…
  • We think we know best…

Our hearts silently say:

“God I know you want to put Wealth and Success into the proper perspective for me, BUT I need them right now because we have had a few tough breaks, so I NEED to concentrate on Money right now until we get our financial picture straightened out… and I definitely can’t afford to support your church right now …”

Jesus responds: “Take up your cross, follow me”

“God I am nearing that age, and I am running out of time and options… I NEED That special someone… I deserve it…

Jesus responds: “Deny yourself, and follow me”

“God I want to get around to reading your Word and praying more, but YOU only put 24 hours in a day and there are so many things I have to do in the day… Social causes… Kids… House Cleaning… I never have time for me!… It’s your fault… if you would have put 30 hours in a day I would have time for You!”

Jesus responds: “Whoever does not hate his own life cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple…”

But… my family


But… my education


But… my life


“That’s nuts!?!?! That’s ridiculous! Jesus wouldn’t say that… Not to this situation… not to THIS part of my life… not to me…”

REALLY??? Are you sure He wouldn’t?

3 Calls

There is this, slightly humorous story in the gospel… (actually, it would be more humorous if it wasn’t true…)

In it, Jesus offers three people the opportunity to be his disciples.

Now while walking along the road to Jerusalem, a man came to Jesus and said, “I want to follow you wherever you go.” Jesus looked at the man, and knowing his heart said, “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but I don’t even have a place to sleep at night.”

Later, while on that same road, Jesus approached another man. And he said to him, “Follow me.” The man replied to Jesus saying, “But let me first go home and bury my Father.”

But Jesus said to the man, “Let the spiritually dead bury the dead. Your duty is to the living—go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

And while on the same road, there was a third man. He was like the first that approached, and said to Jesus, “I want to follow you…” then he added, “but first let me go home and say goodbye to my family and friends that are there.”

Jesus said to this man, “Anyone who has put his hand to the plow and then looks backward is not fit to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Once you have started in this life there is no looking back! You can't put God's kingdom off until tomorrow. If you do there is no place in the Kingdom of God for you.”

Bam!! Ouch!! How are you feeling? What thoughts are going across your mind? Could you follow this radical thinking? Could you reorient your life for THE CALL?” Why or why not?

Application A

Question: Are you sure Jesus would not ask you to leave everything behind and follow Him?

These are some of the primary hindrances to true discipleship, illustrated by the 3 men who were not willing to go all the way with Jesus as their Lord.

They wanted to follow, but they had conditions

Mr. Too Quick—the love of earthly comforts.

Mr. Too Slow—the precedence of a role, job or occupation.

Mr. Too Easy—the priority of family and friendships.

Question: If Jesus came walking down the Streets of San Diego right now, and THIS was your chance to be one of his disciples and He called you by name… “______ Come follow me!”

  • What would be your “condition”…your “but”?
  • What would take priority?
  • What would you have a tough time leaving behind?
  • Would you actually want to follow?
  • Are you answering the call to be a disciple?

It’s a tough question, but you need to be honest today…

Are you ready for this?

This is serious…

Are you ready to answer the call to be a disciple?

There is NO In Between… you can’t “Kinda” Follow Him

Christ demands ALL…

His love and sacrifice freely poured out for YOU demand ALL…

He is ready to lead you… are you ready to follow?

If not, you should go Home.

Because this isn’t a joke…

It’s not a “time-card” thing on Sundays, or a label you wear, or a card you carry in your wallet, or any of the cheap platitudes our culture places on it…

Our culture of Church-ianity is full of “Christians” who are not following “The Call”

Continual Choice

I know as you hear this today, and you take inventory of your heart, you realize there are conditions…

If we are honest, we ALL have our conditions!

But when Jesus Christ calls us, the Call is in itself a choice…

Who is at the center of my life? Me or God?

Who is going to CONTINUE being at the center of my life?

Who do I trust to provide for my happiness?

Am I going to continue to seek my life, or am I going to go the way of discipleship… the way of the cross… the way of death and resurrection…

It’s your choice!

And it’s a choice we continue to make even after we have chosen to follow, because new things approach us and enter our lives and threaten to lure us away from true call to death followed by life…

…New jobs and relationships and situations

And most of the time what we experience as a let down in this life is NOT God letting us down, but our own double-minded hearts straddling the fence, trying to have our cake and eat it too, and becoming MISERABLE in the process, because we are trying to lead a double life!

The choice to follow is one we must make daily!

To live a single life before the face of God!

To live for God alone!

“The secret to true discipleship is to bear the cross, to acknowledge the death sentence that has been passed on self, and to deny any right that self has rule over us. Death to self-such is to be the Disciple’s watchword. The surrender to Christ is to be so entire, the surrender to live for those around us so complete, that self is neverallowed to come down from the cross to which it has been nailed, but is always kept in the place of death.” - Andrew Murray

…Self is never allowed to come down from the cross to which it has been nailed…

Paul says another place (Rom. 12:1) “I implore you therefore, to present your bodies as Living Sacrifices… holy and pure and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual act of worship”

Living Sacrifices…

“The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep trying to crawl off the altar”

Can you relate to that? Wanting to follow Christ in this way but when push comes to shove, the idols in your heart take hold?

One of the greatest disciplines in the life of a disciple (discipline-disciple) is learning to die daily to yourself in order to discover the New Life God has for you… It’s a resurrection life, made possible by the Holy Spirit…

“If the same Spirit with raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He will quicken your mortal bodies…” (Rom 8:11)]]

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer points out that this call “costs a man his life… but gives it also gives him the only true life.”

Like the man who found the treasure hidden in the field… It cost him everything he had, but he gained SO much more in return.

Following Christ demands change.

It requires us giving up our sin-stained, tattered clothing for his royal robes.

It asks us to give up those things we hold dear so that we may be changed, day-by-day, more into the image of Jesus Christ.

If you want to follow Christ you must want to change.

You must want to give up control.

The Good news of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ is King, is only good news if you are ready to let Him be your king!

The Rich Young Ruler

There is another Story of a similar call that has bothered and challenged me over this past month on my Sabbatical, another call Jesus issues to a potential follower…

“Then Jesus looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have… and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

When Christ spoke these words to the “Rich Young Ruler,” he went away grieved. Jesus said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (v.23)

The disciples were astonished at his words!

Then Christ repeats those words again and the disciples are ‘astonished beyond measure!’

“‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible’.”(vv.26-27)

Maybe you stand immune to the potency of this passage…

Maybe it doesn’t shock you like it did the disciples…

Maybe you respond to it like I have most of my life…

I didn’t identify with the riches part because… I’ve never been rich!

But what things are in your heart? (maybe not money)…

What are your riches?



Application B

I had to take inventory of my life a few weeks back…

I realized that this rich young ruler was a mirror image of my heart.

In fact, I think the rich young ruler thought he was doing Jesus a favor…

Look at all he could contribute to the cause!Look at all he brought to the table for this wandering rabbi and his group of rag-tag, misfit followers…

But in the kingdom, where God is at the center, old assets become liabilities.

Jesus doesn’t need the things you bring to the table… he just wants you!

He wants You, emptied out of everything…

Like Paul says in Phillippians… “Those things that were gain to me I counted loss for Christ…”

We all imagine we bring something to the table!

We all come to Christ with a resume’

  • Successes
  • Expertise
  • Riches
  • Worldly Wisdom
  • My Family
  • My Sacrifices
  • My Reading
  • My Years of Ministry
  • My Heritage

My Story

This is where I found myself… I was:

  • Living a hollowed-out shell of a spiritual life.
  • Burnt out on my own religious duty…
  • The walk I had with God that was once a Living spring of water has all but been shut down…
  • A trickle of water was coming out and I was trying to survive on drops a day…
  • As one of my closest friends describes it, “Trying to lead people to a God you are not even walking towards anymore…”

What’s worse I didn’t realize anything was off!

It all happens so subtly!

Before, at a time when that well-spring of our relationship was on full-force, God had called me to do some things in my life…

  1. Raise a Family for His glory
  2. Plant Anchor Gaslamp and make disciples of Christ in Downtown SD
  3. Begin AWARE as a means of redeeming culture, by showing a new way to do business not bent on greed and self…

But as I read this account of the rich young ruler, I realized that all these amazing things in my life that at one time were monuments to God had become monuments to my self-worth…

They had become my riches!

They had become my identity!

I lived for them!

  • When I woke up in the morning, that’s what was on my mind…
  • When I laid my head on my pillow at night, they consumed me
  • Every moment was spent on them
  • I didn’t want to take Sabbaths with God because I was too busy with them
  • They were where I spent all of my time, energy and money!

I had slowly and unknowingly put myself in the center of the universe, and kicked God out of His proper place… now everything was flying out of orbit and I was miserable…

When I read this story about the rich young ruler, and heard the call to leave everything, I began to weep!

God was speaking to me… to leave everything.

  • “Leave Anchor Behind”
  • “Walk away from AWARE”
  • “ Leave your Family and follow me”
  • “Sell all the riches that consume your heart and follow Me!”

At the same time that I heard this call, I understood what God was telling me…

Leave everything behind - Not in a literal way… but in my heart…

To once again vacate the throne and Ask God to be my Lord and Savior

That is why I had to take a sabbatical… I had to reconnect and reestablish my life around God…

I had to answer the call… again

Application C

Maybe you identify with my story, and maybe you don’t…

But we ALL Have Those Things…

Our Riches…

The things that are in our heart…

Take a second and think about your life…

(*maybe even your last few days)

Where do you spend your time?

Where do you spend you money?

What occupies your thoughts?

Is it Jesus?

Is it the Kingdom?

Is it death to the old ways, and life in Christ?

Anything that is in your heart… that gives you your identity… you must leave it behind as you make the choice to follow…

  • Not only do we NOT bring those as merit badges into our new life, but we must GIVE UP those things… at least in our hearts
  • Become a nothing... A Zero
  • Stand naked at the foot of the cross, clothed with His righteousness ALONE… taking on His finished work as your ONLY Goodness… your ONLY Merit… Your ONLY Identity… your only sense of worth and value the only thing you bring to the table IS Christ!


In this story of the Rich young ruler…

Christ had spoken about bearing the cross as the ONE CONDITION of true discipleship.

“Take up your cross and follow me”

That’s the human side… the side of the cross… the first part of the saying…“Take up your cross”





But if we are not careful, we only focus on the negative…

We’ll focus our attention on the Burden of the cross and we’ll miss the Blessing of the cross!

“Take up your cross”

-But Jesus doesn’t stop there…

“…AND Follow me”

There is a Fellowship of the cross!

Here with the rich young ruler, He revealed from the God’s perspective what is needed to give you and I the will and the power to sacrifice ALL in order to enter the kingdom.

He said to Peter, when he confessed him as Christ, the Son of God, that “Flesh and Blood” (Mt.16:17) had not revealed this to him, but His Father in heaven. This was to remind Peter and the other disciples that it was only by divine teaching that He could make the confession.

In the same way, here with the rich young ruler, He unveiled the great mystery that it is ONLY by divine power that a man can take up his cross, can lose his life, can deny himself, and can hate the life to which he is by nature so attached!

Multitudes have sought to follow Christ and obey his commands and have found that they have utterly failed.

The cross is popular as a piece of jewelry, but not as a lifestyle

Multitudes have felt that Christ’s claims were beyond their reach and have sought to be disciples without any attempt at the whole-hearted devotion and the entire self-denial that Jesus asks for.

We must believe that it is ONLY by putting our trust in the living God and the mighty power in which he is willing to work in the heart, that we can attempt to be disciples who forsake all and follow the Call Christ in the fellowship of His cross…

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer points out that this call “costs a man his life… but gives it also gives him the only true life.”

I want to challenge you today…

Listen to the call of Christ and obey…

Put your trust in Him

Get your self out of the way and let Him be the center…

Lose yourself to yourself and follow Christ

Leave everything else behind

Everything else where you found your

  • significance
  • hope
  • identity
  • sense of life…

“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mt 16:24)

The Gospel

The Bad News is that YOU CAN NOT FOLLOW THIS CALL... It's Impossible!

This call of Christ, to follow the way of the cross, will Crush you.

You do not have enough will-power to will yourself to die out to sin

- to deny yourself

- to serve and not seek your own

- to forgive and not seek justice

- to sacrifice

- to place God back into the center and move yourself out back into orbit around the sun...

It's impossible...

But what is impossible for you and I, Jesus Christ did for us...

He denied himself and took up his cross daily...

...serving and sacrifing, forgiving and loving, and perfectly fulfilling every aspect of the law of God

He denied Himself, as he knealt in a garden and prayed "if it's possible, let this cup pass from me... nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done."

Then he literally took up a cross, and followed God's path to die...

And He became our failures and shame and brokenness, and they were nailed to the cross with him.

He died in our place, taking our judgment and sin upon himself!

So now, as we choose to believe in Christ and our hearts, drawn by the Holy Spirit, once again make God the center of our lives, God does the impossible work inside of our hearts that we could not do…

He died a death, that was followed by a resurrection...

He conquered sin and death once and for all!

And as you place your faith in Him, you become part of that new creation...

So we are baptised with him, into His death, and as we come out of the water we are resurrected into a new life!

So we are filled with the Holy Spirit, which breathes daily resurrection power into our lives...

And because of the Gospel and great grace of our God, we have hope today... In the finished work of Christ that transforms us and motivates our hearts to follow The Call...

“When Jesus Christ calls a man, he calls him to come and die…”

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer