Awake!

“Do not fear, O children of God. Do not worry, children of Jerusalem. Men and Women of the United States; brothers and sisters of Manhattan, KS, the Kingdom is coming! Rise up, shout, praise, sing, and dance! Victory is coming! King Jesus has won. Away from us, evil one. Your dwelling place is not here! This city has been claimed by the Holy One. In The Light, there is no darkness at all.” (Journal Entry, 8/25/2012)

We have been living far too long as if our lives will amount to nothing. Perhaps I should not speak on behalf of all of you, so allow me to restate that…I, Justin, have been living far too long as is my life will amount to nothing. “Absolute nonsense!” says the LORD. As Paul writes in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the one who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is my declaration of faith; my ‘salvation-verse’, so to speak. If Christ of Nazareth and His Spirit is truly to dwell within me, then how could my life amount to nothing?!?! That is to say that Christ, Himself, shall amount to nothing…What a radically idiotic statement.

As you may see from my journal entry above, dating back to the beginning of the academic year here at Kansas State, my heart has been heavily burdened with awaiting upon the LORD for the redemption of my city, Manhattan, KS. LORD-willing and dependent upon hard work, diligence, and an incredible amount of GRACE from the Holy Spirit, I will graduate from this great academic institution in a matter of months. To what degree will my class have impacted the 23,000+ hearts/souls on the campus? To what magnitude will they have experienced the deep, compassionate, life-changing love of Jehovah Jireh, LORD of Lords, KING of Kings, Adonai, King Jesus?

I believe the answer to many of the aforementioned, rhetorical-questions lies within another simple, yet difficult, question: How SURRENDERED are each of us (you AND me) to the LORD? Essentially, to what extent have we laid aside our personal ambitions to satisfy our flesh, that we may live by the Spirit, for the Spirit? C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Hell is a place where you always have to do whatever you want to do.” We must come to a greater realization of our depravity and inability to do anything good by satisfying our own sinful desires in order to give up our constant pursuit of counterfeit-affections. A deepening understanding of our sinful hearts leads to a greater dependency upon the LORD and an undeterred gratitude for the beauty of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection!

Now, how can I expect you (the reader) to deeply consider this, without placing my heart on the table, that you may see my own need for total surrender to the LORD. If anyone desires for others to take a step in the right direction, then they should have already taken two steps that way. It is in this spirit that I’d like to share another journal entry…

“LORD, I have neglected Your love and chosen counterfeit forms of love/affection that have robbed me of my ability to fully love, dwell in, and serve You wholeheartedly. Please wash over me in your grace, mercy, and love…Above women, I will serve You. Above money, I will seek You. Above status, I will love You.” (My Journal, August 2012)

“And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28) PERSEVERE.

Trials will come. More likely, trials are already occurring. There will be many efforts made to deter the body of Believers from pursuing the LORD wholeheartedly and keeping them from bringing others into the Kingdom of God. The #1 way for the enemy to oppose The Church is division. We must realize this and make every effort to counter attempts to break us apart. Above all things, it is necessary that we walk in total surrender to the LORD, allowing His Love to wash over any and everything we do. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

If you read, remember, comprehend, or enact ANYTHING from the things I’ve written, allow it to be the next couple sentences….WE MUST WAKE UP! There is constant spiritual warfare taking place all around us. The course of real lives, hearts, and souls are on the line as we interact with and serve alongside people daily. One hurtful word or a single harsh action could be all that it takes for a seed of doubt or bitterness to form inside the heart of any individual (myself included). Members of the Body of Christ, we are called to holiness. The word “holy”, means to be set apart. In the case of pursuing the holiness of God, we are to be set apart for the service of the LORD in every circumstance, seeking to live above reproach by the strength of the Him who sends us.

It’s insane to consider the concept that the Creator of the Universe has enlisted me in His plan for the redemption of the LORD…A friend of mine, Rachael, stated it well earlier this week, “Think about this: God despises sin AND He knows everything…..so how is it I am still alive!? Because of love. Uhmazing.” If there is even a hint of humility within your hearts, this statement should resonate within each of your hearts. Praise Him for the grace and love provided to cover over our many sins and short-comings. Through His provision, it is indeed possible to live a lifestyle that is above reproach.

May the LORD use these words of exhortation to awaken hearts and breathe life into our hearts and souls as we endure the race that is set before us.

Declaration

I’ve been going through some interesting times spiritually. Knowing what sins you need to overcome and then refusing to deal with them has got to be one of the definitions of Christian insanity. How many of us go through such a phase? The Holy Spirit reveals within us things which are not honorable to God and then we seemingly say, “Thank you Holy Spirit, I’ll change that whenever I get the chance, or when it becomes convenient for me.” Then, quicker than the realization that what we have been doing is wrong, the thought leaves us. We walk right back through the seductive, seemingly attractive doors to sin. Once through that door, we’ve suddenly forgot our roots which are deeply found in Christ as our brother and God as our Father. Suddenly, God no longer matters and meeting our next sinful desire consumes us. Sweet for a second, then bitter, turning into a potent poison which corrupts the entire body; that is what sin is. So, we chase after it, giving everything to obtain it…but sin can’t love us, sin cannot fill one up with joy, love, compassion, grace, mercy, and strength. It is capable of no such thing. We become enslaved to sin. It imprisons us in our own chamber of depression, loneliness, and discontentment. Shackled by the bonds of our addiction to that which allured us through darkness’ door, we lose hope.

Living a life of sin is not freedom. What once offered us a pleasurable outlet for our unmet wants and desires is now simply a way of life. Convincing others that we are alright, because of our acquired status, or supposedly “earned” righteousness, we cloak the ugly truth about our hearts with the honey-dipped lies of a smooth tongue…

What a dark way to view the world? Surely, no man can withstand such darkness and remain living joyfully. This is the reality of the world that we live in. I would go so far as to dare any man to prove otherwise…

What is the one thing you have chosen over God? An angry heart, filled with hatred? Lustful eyes which desires can never be met? Perhaps, for you, it is pride; you cannot stand the idea of humility or servitude, so you fight all you can for a high position. There are countless counterfeit affections that we can give our lives to. I know that many times I have chosen something over God. O how much I regret having allowed myself to be deceived by the Evil One. Truly, I say to you that I hate Satan! There is no one on the face of this universe that desires my destruction and the destruction of those I love more than he.

A quote that has constantly stuck with me comes from a John Piper sermon. Piper declares, “The only possible attitude toward out of control desire for sin is a declaration of all out war.” Powerful words for a meek pastor and author from a small church in Minnesota, but he’s totally right. Christians, your desires WILL get you into trouble. Deciding to foolishly chase after them rather than after God, Himself, could very likely lead to death. Not simply your physical life slowly being taken from you, but rather your spiritual relationship with Christ being snuffed out, because you cannot have two masters. God will not be mocked and you will reap what you sow. Galatians 4:24 states, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Paul is writing to the church, declaring that those who walk by the Spirit cannot gratify their evil desires anymore. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we are walking a dangerous and deadly line whenever we choose to not heed such life-giving wisdom.

Remember Joseph from the Old Testament? He was tempted by the seductive house-wife of his master, Potiphar, and Joseph RAN. O Christians, run from sin! Do not dilly-dally any longer in the brook which will surely not give you life! Run! Run back to Father God’s arms…NOW. Not tomorrow, not an hour from now, not when you are ‘ready to settle down’, you must do this right now!!!

Christian, if you are truly a follower of Christ, then this decision will not be as difficult as you and I would like to make it out to be. You see, we gave up our life so that we may be granted fellowship with God and have the rights as sons and heirs of His Kingdom. You may one day graduate from being under the authority of your earthly parents, but you will never graduate from being under the authority of God. Does that statement make your blood boil? Do you believe that you are being wronged? It frustrated me. I have spent a great deal of thought, time, and energy contemplating the various ways to still be a child of God, without fully submitting to his authority, and it does NOT work. How can the Father give you good gifts and entrust you with the things that you want and need, if He is not fully certain that you are indeed His son. Let us assume for a moment that I am the adopted child of a very wealthy man. He has promised to give me my inheritance as He sees me grow and mature. Then, feeling entitled and frustrated with how I must submit to authority, I run away from home and squander everything. Do you think that a wise father in this situation should turn around and reward my foolishness by writing a check for the remainder of his estate? Absolutely not! However, in the story of the prodigal son, Jesus tells his disciples that we can indeed return back to the Father and He will graciously anoint us as His worthy children once again. It requires a great deal of humility and courage to return Home to what you ran away from though…We must also count the costs…Is following Jesus and walking back Home to the Father truly worth dying to ourselves?

I plead with you…surely Christ is worth absolutely everything. There is nothing in this world that can offer you more than He can. Truly, better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere. Better than thousands upon thousands…

Readers, I have counted the costs and have decided that He is certainly worth it all. I will live my life solely for Him and for those He entrusts me with, counting all I have as a loss if it were not for my King’s glory. I will become a slave to righteousness and will fight sin to the death. I won’t do it alone though…I will petition the LORD in prayer, need constant reminding and strengthening from brothers and sisters in Christ, and I will always need Jesus and the precious grace that He has offered.

Written in ink, I have stated my pledge to The Father. Will you choose to write yours? Few will inherit the Kingdom of God. According to a Gallup poll, 92% of Americans state that they “believe in God.” How deceived have we become?!?!? Will you and I be a part of the few men and women that decidedly endured the race and finished well? Will we give up the rest of our lives to hear our Father say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”? It is now in your hands. Take responsibility for your many sins and seek God’s help! He is not interested in changing your situation but wants to change (renew) your heart. Humble yourselves and allow Him to work! The strongest, bravest, most courageous, stance that we can take is one of desperation, on our faces, pleading with God for our redemption. If we do this, out of a pure heart, how could The Redeemer not bring redemption?

Praying for the awakening of your souls,

Justin Meyer

A “Fearless” Conclusion

Today, I finished reading Max Lucado’s book, “Fearless”. First of all, I highly recommend his book to absolutely anyone. It has surely opened my eyes to the incredible amount of fear in our world and renewed my mind according to God’s will, regarding what it is that I should fear, and what it is that I should not. If you are interested at all in what I pondered this afternoon, as I began to draw a few conclusions from what I had read and what I felt God was attempting to teach me, then I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the following journal entry that I ended up writing as a result…

Fear has a way of setting the world on fire; men and women hungrily eat up tidbits of dreadful news through every avenue of media they can. I’ve witnessed this with motherly figures in my life. Women that have positions in which they have nurtured and matured me throughout the years and whom I certainly love. They watch hours of Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dateline, 20/20, and other shows that will remind them of the dangers of the world. It’s like a sick addiction where scary news must be read, shared with others, and fret over, while good news is quickly forgotten.

Forgetting seems to be a common issue that Christians deal with. God constantly reminds us to remember throughout the course of Scripture. Ministry leaders must remind us frequently that God is still there and He still cares. Christians, we have to remember. If we forget who our God is, then who will tell this broken and depraved world that there is indeed someone who can save them!?!?! God is here! Our Savior has come and will surely be coming back.

The old idiom, “you are what you eat,” can be taken quite literally. We will become whatever it is that we fill ourselves up with. If you feed on the fear that media wants to feed you, then you will be fearful. If you read magazines that tell you to worry about the shape and size of your body, then you will care far too much about your looks and potentially become critical of others. If you sip from the sex-crazed goblet of romance novels, pornography, and sensuality in general, then you will indeed become a sexually immoral being.

What if we began to fill ourselves up with the words of God? He says to us, “Be strong and courageous”, “do not fear”, and reminds us that we have “not yet resisted sin to the point of shedding blood”. If you want the world to change, then change it; one broken heart at a time…starting with yours. Yes, even your heart needs healing and indeed our minds need to be renewed. If you fill yourselves up with God’s Word and His Spirit, then you will surely become more and more Christ-like each day and the people in your life NEED Jesus’ love. Let’s face it, you and I are not capable of loving others to the degree that they need to be loved, especially if we are not filling our cups to overflowing with His gracious, perfect, and merciful love on a daily basis.

Ready for the bottom line? God is God. If one truly reveres (respectfully fears) God, then all other fears cease and courage is born. Max Lucado stated, “Courage is fear that has said its’ prayers.” How incredibly true! “When God is fully revealed to us and we ‘get it’, then we experience the conversion of our fear…’Fear of the Lord’ is the deeply sane recognition that we are not God.” At the bottom of the same page, Lucado writes, “A big God translates into big courage. A small view of God generates no courage.”

Imagine a country filled with men that actually feared God…Imagine what they would be capable of under the direction of the Holy Spirit…Imagine how much your life would differ if you concluded to live a life that is free from the fears of this world, but maintained a healthy dose of the sobering fear of the LORD. Imagine…how friendships would be deepened, marriages restored, families brought together, nations united. The imagination is a powerful tool and a beautiful gift that God has given us. Anyone tired of simply imagining? Who is ready to make their wildest, Christ-centered dreams a reality?

It would appear that Max Lucado shares my love for coffee, as at the end of his chapter, “Caffeinated Life”, he writes, “Eternal glory. I’d like a large cup, please. ‘One venti-sized serving of endless joy in the presence of God. Go heavy on the wonder, and cut all the heartache.’ Go ahead and request it. The Barista is still brewing. For all you know, it could be the next cup you drink.” Christians, it is time to walk away from the paralysis of fear. It is time to truly live. “Real courage embraces the twin realities of current difficulty and ultimate triumph. Yes, life stinks. But it won’t forever. As one of my friends likes to say, “Everything will work out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.” (Max Lucado) Lay down your pride, O Christian, fall on your face before the LORD, admit that you are not adequate for the task as your forefathers have (even Jesus relied on prayer, do you think yourselves to be more capable than He?), ask Him for His blessing, and when He touches you, lifts you up, and instructs you to live according to His purpose, free from fear…then do just that. Live obediently.

Continuing the Fight,

Justin

Easter Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

First of all, HAPPY EASTER! Jesus Christ IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! There is no doubt. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was crucified, buried, and rose from the grave three days later. All four Gospel accounts make it evidently clear that Jesus resurrected and came back to speak with His disciples, that they may believe and be empowered by the Holy Spirit in order that they could preach the Good News to the nations. You and I have been granted FREEDOM; the power to break the chains of sin and to walk in the Light! Praise

Reppin' that Easter Swag!

God! What a joyous day, filled with celebration, bright colors, laughter, family/friend-bonding, and much more.

Today, MILLIONS of people attended Easter Services! Praise God that so many gathered in my Father’s house today and sang praises to His name. Even more exciting is that hundred of thousands decided to accept Christ, rededicate their lives to Christ, and/or be baptized. Excellent! That is SO GREAT. However….the solemn reality is that many of those people still do not KNOW Jesus Christ as their LORD and SAVIOR.

“WHAT?!?!…Justin, are you judging? How could you possibly know the state of their hearts…why would you say such a terrible thing on Easter of all days…”

Before you click out and return to your Facebook, Twitter, festivities, or homework, hear me out! Please give me a chance. If you read John 15 (do it now if you can), you will see that lives that abide in Christ will bear much fruit! In fact, “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:6) Jesus IS alluding to Hell.

I’m going to share with you an excerpt from my personal journal that you may better understand my heart overall on this topic. I wrote this on Friday afternoon as I pondered the holiday of Easter and the salvation of my peers:

“A life that has been granted the Holy Spirit by submission to the Lord, our God will have become a slave to righteousness. Many would object to such blatant terminology, however Romans 6 makes it crystal-clear that we are to be freed from sin, “For sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under grace.” (6:14) Skip ahead a few verses and verse 19 demonstrates the logic behind offering ourselves up for the purposes of righteousness, which is “leading to holiness!”

I’m writing on the approach of Easter, a day that celebrates life renewed! Many will attend a church-service on Sunday, some may rededicate their lives to God, and still others may choose to “accept Christ into their hearts” for the first time. Unfortunately few will allow God to change the course of their lives, leading them right back to the broad path of destruction.” (Justin Meyer)

EXAMINE YOUR HEARTS. Please….please examine your hearts. It is with grave concern, compassionate love, and a deep desire to see your lives radically transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you may live in the Light and walk in freedom that I write to you. God does not care what you wore to church today. Nor does He care whether or not you sat in church and heard an emotionally moving message. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) My God is concerned with the content of your hearts and the way in which you live your life! The old saying, “actions speak louder than words” is appropriate here. ANYONE can say, “Yes, I’m a Christian.” ANYONE can say, “HE IS RISEN” on Easter morning. Few can live obediently.

A trending topic a year or so ago among my social-sphere was love-languages. It is evident that mine is words of affirmation and physical touch (I LOVE HUGS, pats on the back, etc). Throughout my personal relationship with God, I have learned that His love language is OBEDIENCE. I searched BibleGateway.com for “obedience” and found 38 mentions of the word within the Old and New Testaments. The LORD is always calling His Children to obedience. Will you obey? But oh, how unruly we can be! What foolish children; always running back to sin, thinking that this time it will be enough to satisfy! Sometimes even looking to peers to take the place of God! You do realize the individuals you idolize in this world will soon be reduced to dust for they are but flesh and bone. Worship the One that breathes LIFE!

Allow me to humble myself. I am not a pastor. I am not an ordained minister. You have not asked me to counsel you. I understand these things. However, I am your friend and/or family-member and I do believe God has granted me a decent understanding and education of His people, His Word, and His desire for their hearts and lives. And I do believe that if anything will ever satisfy your broken, sad, angry, tired, hearts that it is the love of Jesus Christ.

Are you not tired of fighting against it? Is not His Love the most beautiful, compelling, brilliant, authentic, pure, LOVE that your heart has been desiring? Will you not choose to walk obediently towards His arms. Have you not heard the story of prodigal son; the one who squandered all that had been given him, yet the Father still WELCOMED him home, threw a party in his honor, and relished even more treasure upon him. O how God desires to throw you a party, to rejoice over your radically changed life, to use YOU to change the world!

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Without Him, we’re dead. With Him, we’re ALIVE!!!

Will you choose LIFE?

In Christ,

Justin Meyer

Shock and Awe

Dear Friends,

I’ve debated whether or not I should share a story with you, as I didn’t want to do so with wrong intentions, however I believe this could be beneficial to all of you to hear as you may be encouraged and find love and truth within it. Therefore, walk with me on a journey to the local Starbucks…

This weekend my brother traveled the 2 hours from KC to Manhattan and spent the weekend with me for my 22nd birthday! So, what do brothers do that haven’t had any deep conversations in a long time? Well, if they’re me and my bro, they grab a cup of coffee (or a Frappucino in J’s case; he can’t handle the manlier stuff yet, haha, just messin’), sit down at a table and dig into one another’s lives!

On that note, I must let all of you know that I’m blessed with brothers like Jordan (20) and Tyler (18) who love me as much as they do. It’s a huge responsibility to attempt to encourage and lead these men as they have entered adulthood. Growing up, I despised the extra responsibility of “being the leader” and “setting the example” as my mother would say. Now, I realize that it was a gift; something that the Lord has invested in me and is continually growing as I develop more in my faith. Which brings us back to Starbucks…

We walked in…and to our dismay…EVERY TABLE WAS TAKEN. Little did I know my childish frustration over such a temporal and futile thing would be replaced with a ridiculous amount of joy and sense of God’s power minutes later…

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted an elderly gentlemen getting up from his table…my brother and I rushed to it as if we wouldn’t get to sit ever again in our lives if we didn’t plant out butts in the wooden chairs! As Jordan went up to the counter to order his favorite Java Chip Frappuccino…I felt a wave of guilt rush over me as I realized we had likely rudely taken the man’s table before he was through….

I stood up, apologized, and asked if he was finished. “Oh yeah, I was done. Sorry if I was in your way…” Now I felt bad, as he was obviously a sweet guy. “Well sir, I’m truly sorry…” I was attempting to complete my sentence and make a move back for the table where my brother was now waiting when I felt a nudge on my heart to continue talking. The Holy Spirit revealed to me the sadness in the 60-something year old’s eyes and instructed me to not ignore it.

The small talk ensued…”How are you?…”, “What do you think of this weather?…”, I gathered that his name was Eugene, he’d had better days, and that he worked for K-State as a custodian in Cardwell, etc. Now if you know me…you know that small talk doesn’t last long and I’m one to ask deeper questions, so out popped, “So you have family in town?”

This is where God takes over…

Eugene tells me that he divorced 30 years ago, has children but hasn’t seen them since, and is here by himself for the most part…Before I can figure out what to say to such heartbreaking news, he informs me that recently he’s been diagnosed with a type of cancer and that parts of his organs had to be removed that were cancerous, etc. Eugene was scared, alone, and quite frankly needed something…something he didn’t have. He needed love. He needs Jesus.

Me: “Wow man, I’m so sorry. That is a lot for a guy to go through by themselves. I will definitely be praying for you. Do you come here often? If so, the next time you see me stop by and let me know how you’re doing, even if I’m doing homework, etc…it can wait.”

Eugene: “I’m here on the weekends sometimes. It varies due to work and treatments but I’ll definitely say hi next time….Yes, please pray for me.”

*God whispers in my ear, “What are you doing? Don’t wait…he wants me now. Pray with him now.* (My thoughts were…”God are you sure?” “How about next time?” But something entirely different came out of my mouth…)

Me: “Would you mind if I prayed over you right now?”

Eugene grabbed my arm, pulled me into a corner of Starbucks and said, “Yes! Please pray for me right now.” This man was hungry; very hungry for God. Earlier he had told me that he’d taken to praying recently, even though he wasn’t ‘religious’, because he figured it couldn’t hurt. I told him he was right and placed my hand on his shoulder and proceeded to pray over him. I asked the Lord to bring healing into every aspect of Eugene’s life; not just the immediate physical needs, but also healing for his broken heart, and fractured relationships. Then, I asked God to reveal Himself to Eugene and that he’d realize the joy and overwhelming flood of unconditional love that could be found in Christ Jesus.

I looked up after praying and saw tears streaming down his cheeks…he was in a daze…shell-shocked. God had just sent a tidal-wave of love into this man’s life and he didn’t know what to do…staggering away, muttering, “thank you. thank you. I’ll see you again, I hope…” He was lost in his thoughts….and then, was out the door.

The Main Point:

How many times has God called me to do something similar and be bold in sharing the love of Christ with someone? Many!!! How many times have I been obedient? Very few. There is no greater adrenaline rush, no greater adventure or thrill, no greater challenge than stepping out in faith into something that you, yourself, are incapable of doing. Without the grace of God, I wouldn’t have been capable of taking the conversation to a spiritual level. In fact, that was ENTIRELY God’s doing. I just had to submit to His will in this situation and willingly share my faith…this time in the form of prayer. Hopefully next time, in the form of some sort of solid Gospel presentation. All of which can plant seeds to the transformation of one’s life into the image of Christ, that they may inherit the Kingdom of God and begin multiplying in number as well!!!

There are so many others that you and I see each day that are desperately hurting…desperately in need of unconditional love, peace, and the immeasurable grace that God has to offer them. We are His ambassadors. We are His servants. We are His people. Will we submit? Will we serve? Will we love?

Take courage family of Believers and remember Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Our God is WITH YOU wherever you go.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Be willing to shock others with the Good News; with the fact that God loves them deeply and desires a relationship with them! And then pray….pray fervently that they would come to stand in awe of their Savior and King, Jesus Christ!!!

White

All is white. In fact, you’ve never quite seen anything like it before…such simple, pure, white; everywhere. Eerily, every nerve within is steady and calm, as if you were laying on the beach without a care in the world; laying under the warm rays of the sun with no regard for time or any of life’s inconvenient limitations. That’s when it hits…the pain.

“Where am I?”

“What has happened?”

Questions begin to fog your mind and the world around you becomes a dull, blurry, grey and the pain…it’s intensifying. Just as quickly as the warm and blissful state surrounded you, it’s gone. “Is that a campfire?”-you ask yourself as the smell of smoke enters the nostrils. “No, that’s definitely not…”-another sniff reveals the distasteful smell of burnt-hair. Now you’re starting to freak out…

The pain is back…worse than before. There’s throbbing, aching…possible puncture wounds? “Why can’t I breathe well?” Your sight is improving and things are starting to come into focus. There’s bright flickering lights, the source of intense heat…there’s flames. Lots of flames; fire. Looking down towards your legs, you realize the source of the majority of the pain without your body; shattered glass is absolutely everywhere, having entered your body in many areas. Blood drips down your legs and arms from the cuts that have been acquired.

Thundering sets of footsteps break the terrifying crescendo of your thoughts. “Sir! Are you alright?” You try to speak, but you can’t; the smoke has choked your lungs and you’re in too much pain but you moan the best response possible.

“I think he’s alive!”

“Sir, you’ve experienced a terrible accident! Please don’t make any sudden movements. We’re going to pull you out from under the vehicle before we’re all engulfed in flames.”

Strong hands grab hold of your feet and begin to pull. The force brings about far too much pain and as you try to shout out in pain, the ability to breathe is gone again…Blinking lights and the sounds of frantic voices fade in the distance…then just as before, all goes white.

(End of Story)

The Explanation:

You and I are NOT promised tomorrow. We simply aren’t. Growing up within the evangelical church, I’ve been exposed to Scripture the majority of my life, and never once, have I come across a verse that states, “You, my child, will be alive tomorrow.” We’re not afforded that luxury. All it could take is falling asleep at the wheel, an allergic reaction, angering the wrong person at the wrong place at the wrong time, stepping into oncoming traffic, etc. There are many various forms of accidents that can occur without warning; daily. The question then must asked…

If you were to die tonight, what would happen? (I’d go to Heaven…) Are you 100% certain?

How often is it that our faith is called into question? Not very often. People shy away from it and preach from a standpoint of wanting to gloss over things and present a sweet, acceptable, gospel. I know of no such thing. Don’t get me wrong, God’s love is sweeter than any honey and infinitely more satisfying than any sin one could put in its’ place. However, the real gospel is often found to be too bold for the society we live in, because it does NOT warrant the salvation of everyone.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

Only a few will enter the Kingdom of God. Will you be part of the few?

Once again, I’ve presented you with far more questions than answers, however it is essential that the Holy Spirit begins the work within your heart and develops a curiosity and hunger within you for knowledge of Jesus Christ. Without Him, you are hopeless, like sheep without a shepherd. The solemn reality is that if you die without knowing Him…the wrath of God will be upon you. At that point, there’s no escape. I urge and plead with you to consider these things! Find a friend to talk to, a pastor to guide you, but most importantly, seek the Lord!!! Run to Him without regard to anything else; it all pales in comparison to the importance of that one, single, life-sustaining relationship with Christ as your Savior.

Then, when you die…the white you will see will be the overwhelming, radiant, beautiful white of the King of King’s robes and garments which are far purer than snow. More magnificent than the bright slopes of any mountain-range; all will be white again.

 

4.6 Billion

Did the title grab your attention? That is a massive number with a lot of zeros. Written out it looks like this: 4,600,000,000. So what are we discussing here? The value of an international corporation? The net worth of a celebrity?

Actually, 4.6 Billion is a generous estimate of the number of people globally whom do not profess Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior. 4,600,000,000 have the potential to die tomorrow having never had a personal relationship with God. 4.6 Billion.

“Okay, okay Justin we get it.”

Do you?

These 4.6 Billion people are heading into Judgement Day with no hope of being redeemed from the fiery furnace of Hell’s torment if nothing changes. What are you going to do about it? Better yet, what am I going to do about it?

Aside from attending church on a fairly regular basis, giving our offering, and participating in the occasional service-project many of us do nothing else to facilitate bringing others into the Kingdom of God. How are people outside of the church supposed to learn about Jesus and the way that He can radically transform their lives if we are not going to them and living life alongside many of them. I’m currently reading “Radical” by David Platt and it is really challenging my thought-process when it comes to the way that America does church and the way that I’ve grown up as a part of that church. The bottom line is…SOMETHING needs to be done.

We cannot afford to stand on the side-lines any longer as our brothers and sisters here in America and in countries across the globe are suffering in poverty. Knowing that members of my family, friends, classmates, and coworkers have the potential to die tomorrow without ever having known the redemptive power of the Cross makes me shudder. These are people who God has placed in our lives for a REASON. If you and I don’t do something to reach out to them, to show them Christ’s unconditional love, grace, and mercy, then who will?!?! The sad reality is that likely…the answer is…no one.

So, the question still poses itself, what are you and I going to do about it? For starters, I’m going to begin praying fervently that the Lord would change my heart and give me a greater desire to serve and give up my life for others as He has already done for me. I’m well-aware that my heart is certainly not in that spot right now and I would be lying incessantly to tell you otherwise. But it can’t stop there…

While prayer is ESSENTIAL and we can do nothing apart from the work of God within us and for us through His own Sovereignty, it does require some sort of ACTION on our part. We NEED to GO! Jesus Christ has SENT US to MAKE DISCIPLES of ALL NATIONS. As of right now I’m going back to Kansas State University to complete my Bachelors of Science in Communication Studies. However, I’m becoming more and more aware that if my life has truly been crucified with Christ and I’m going to serve Him in faith always (Gal 2:20), then it is very possible that I could be called anywhere at anytime.

And He WILL call me. He will call YOU (yes…even you) as well. The question then becomes…will you answer that call? Another reality is that we are ALL CALLED. There are BILLIONS of souls crying out in desperation for someone to bring them to LIFE. Because as of right now, they’re dead. You may see a living, healthy individual, but the reality is that within them, the cold frost of death is choking their souls.

Family of God, what are you going to do?

Are you aware of the sense of urgency we MUST have?

I know that I’ve placed more questions on the table than answers, but as of recently, this is what has been placed on my heart. And while it is still in the beginning stages and I’m weary of posting something so challenging while not being totally steadfast and firm in it myself, I believe God has called me to share…and so I have. Praying for you!

The Battle: Dying to Yourself

           When you’re in a conversation with another person, the first question asked within American culture is typically “How are you?”…If we’re honest with ourselves, the majority of us ask the question not for the answer of the person we ask, but for the general custom of reciprocating that question. In plain English, we’d rather talk about ourselves than know how others are doing. This is human-nature…in the natural state. Terms like “I”, “Me”, “Myself”, “Mine”, etc become the prefix for a vast quantity of our spoken and written sentences. I’m guilty as well. It’s very easy for me to write to you about myself… how I’m doing, what I’m feeling, the things that have been on my mind, but it’s difficult for me to focus on things that are not of selfish nature; not self-oriented.

            All people have certain shortcomings. Some aren’t punctual. Others gossip about their friends. And yet others are simply apathetic to the world around them. All of which are sinful. God created us to love Him and love others. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to love ourselves…we are commanded to love others as we love ourselves (because God already knows that we love ourselves way too much, which is what makes it difficult for us to love others to that same degree). Society has taught us that in order to be successful, we must have good self-esteem. Our teachers have told us to keep our heads up and to never lose. We’re always selling ourselves to the world.

I’ve got to be honest with you…I, Justin Meyer, am not a very good product to sell. There’s that filthy self-oriented term “I” again. I can’t figure out a way to write this part without it though, so bear with me. I’ve gotten into credit card debt and lied to my parents about it. I’ve dabbled in the sinful world of lust. I’ve squandered a good year or more of my college-education being self-absorbed; whether via social media, chronic-depression, or a very selfish focus within my relationships. God has blessed me with the cream of the crop when it comes to fellowship. Few will ever have the caliber of friends that I do. To those of you that read this, I am incredibly grateful for your patience and unconditional love with me.

The bottom line is that I will fail. Every. Single. Time. I have given up…its okay though. This needed to happen in order for the next leg of the journey to occur. Galatians 2:20 states, “For I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” A few chapters later in Galatians 5:24-25 it says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” So why is it okay that I will fail every single time? Because I must die to myself anyways. The old Justin Meyer MUST be put to death. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.” By the power of the cross, I can become a new creation under the authority of Jesus Christ!

Now, by absolutely no means is this easy…I don’t write to you as an expert. I’m an amateur and have much to learn from those before me. Thankfully there’s the Word of God that captures many faithful brothers and sisters in Christ whom have gone before and walked life on the straight and narrow path. There is much comfort, exhortation, and hope to be found in Romans 6 on this issue though. Take a minute to slowly read the chapter that I’ve copied and pasted from BibleGateway.com below. I would’ve only selected a few verses, however, I feel that the entire chapter is very important and speaks the truth of God far better than I could place eloquently into type.

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

 1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.

The main point made is that I no longer have to be a slave to sin but I should joyously embrace the idea that I am a slave to righteousness should I choose to follow Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior with all of my heart. Authentic followers of Christ are incredible difficult to find in the world we live in. 1 John teaches us to examine our hearts often to see if we have been diligently following Christ. I must say that the past few weeks I have certainly not been walking the straight and narrow, but rather I have been attempting to patch the holes in a sinking ship. The ship being me: my dreams, my efforts, my plan. Well folks, that ship has sailed and it has been sunk by the storms of life, the mighty hand of God, and because I was the captain of that ship.

I’ve found myself on a deserted island with nothing but the relationship that I have with Christ, His Word, a notebook, and a few faithful friends that have pledged to stick with me through thick and thin. The battle to die to myself has just begun. In order to advance the Kingdom of God and allow Christ to dwell within me, I must allow myself to kneel before God and state that He has control. Something that is incredibly difficult for a man to do, since we are so prideful in nature.

I mentioned earlier that my personal weaknesses are being self absorbed especially through social media. So through the very strong urge and encouragement of a friend that cares about me immensely, I’ve given him my passwords to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that I can only be on them for short periods of time when he’s around. I’ve deleted my Google+ account and Netflix account. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I WILL succeed this semester by the grace and power of God. I WILL give my life over to sharing the Gospel and making Jesus look as good and faithful as He is; whether in conversation, at the gym, or in my professors’ offices when asking for help on my rather intense class line-up.

My prayer tonight is going to be Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

You can join me in this by praying that God truly becomes my ‘everything’; my portion forever. Also, those of you reading this should seriously examine your hearts as Scripture exhorts us to do and see if you have truly died to yourself and have allowed yourself to live by faith in Christ alone. My prayers are with you all this evening!

Blessings,

God’s Servant

Life: A Mundane Routine or Passionate Adventure?

We are creatures of habit. Some of us have better habits than others. College students find themselves with the typical habits of going to bed too late, procrastinating on assignments, etc. Adults in the workforce may have the habit of waking up at the same time daily, heading to work, and dinner with the family, TV time, bed, and then repeat the process again the next morning.

I’ve heard some of my peers talk about how they feel a total lack of enthusiasm/excitement in their lives. “We’re stuck in the same routine, always chasing after the same things…and at the end of the day, what did I actually accomplish?”

I think that this particular person could be asking the right question…What is the purpose of our routine lives? Is it to earn that high GPA so that we can obtain the next scholarship? Is it to be promoted through the ranks in the corporate world? Or…is there perhaps a greater purpose to our existence that is being overlooked? I would like to believe this is the case.

For those of you that claim to be believers in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; this should certainly be the case. But I believe the issue arises at our very core. We are self-focused beings. We are inherently selfish. Now before you are up in arms in disagreement with me. Consider this…Look at the things that you can claim as your own in this world. You’ve got your iPod, iTunes, MySpace, Personal settings on the computer. YOUR car. YOUR phone..etc.  I believe my point can be seen. And the majority of our time can often be spent adding to these materialistic comforts. But is this the sole purpose of life?

There answer is, absolutely not!

Brothers and Sisters in Christ we are not supposed to be living routine, mundane lives. As vessels of our Heavenly Father, our lives should be absolutely filled to the brim with adventure! John Eldredge states in his book, Wild at Heart, that men are designed to have an adventure to live, a battle to fight, and a beauty to rescue. What about this could possibly be boring? The life-source of motivation should be Scripture though of course; not the mere words of a man. Looking at the Gospel and the words of Jesus Christ, himself, we have Matthew 28:18-20,

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

In Galatians 2:20, Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me.” Living our lives for ourselves is out of the question. If we want to envelope the entirety of Christ’s character and reflect His love to those around us; then we must live solely for Jesus Christ. In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask for the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Your response to all of this may be. “Alright man, I get the point…We’re supposed to tell others about Jesus, but I’ll get to it when I can. You want me to show other His love? Well I’ll put a few more bucks in the offering plate next week.”

If that is your response, then you are TOTALLY missing my point…let’s get REAL for a minute…

Jesus Christ suffered severe persecution. He was subject to verbal abuse, being spit upon, having a crown of thorns driven through his head, was beaten by Roman soldiers, forced to carry the rugged cross up to Calvary and THEN had nails DRIVEN through his hands and feet and was HUNG on the cross. Hanging there, not a single complaint was uttered from His mouth as He called out to the Father saying, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”  He would die slowly of suffocation. At the end of which, he proclaimed, “It is finished!” This is who you and I claim as our Savior. This is who we serve. What gives us any authority to claim that our importance should be placed over a King that came not to be served but to serve us; mere sinners?

With this in mind how can our lives possibly be boring? John Piper writes in Don’t Waste Your Life, “The opposite of wasting your life is living life by a single God-exalting, soul-satisfying passion. The well-lived life must be God-exalting and soul-satisfying because that is why God created us (Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 90:14).”

As followers of Jesus Christ and citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we are no longer of this world. So why spend so much of our time accumulating treasures for ourselves, stressing about finances, focusing on expanding our wardrobe, and burnings hours of our day attempting to satisfy our selfish desires? You can be SO MUCH MORE! On Judgment Day, do you want The King of Kings to say, “Well you did alright champ, but I spit the lukewarm from my mouth!” Or, would you prefer to hear the passionate and emotional words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…” as the Father opens up His arms for you, His child, to run towards His throne and worship Him at His feet! To what greater purpose could we possibly give our lives?

The bottom line: If our lives are nothing more than a mundane routine, then I find it extremely hard to believe that you are giving your life away to others and to the Father in Heaven. A life that is focused on The Kingdom is a live that is absolutely overflowing with adventure, passion, emotion, battles to fight, and numerous reasons to be living.

Disclaimer: These are simply my thoughts of reflection on the Scriptures and various books I’ve been reading lately. As a man of sinful nature, my opinions and statements of “truth” should certainly be tested against the Scriptures and your own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is simply my hope that this would get the wheels in your brain turning….and possibly produce fruit in the conversations you have and the actions you take later.

Aslan

Everyone’s favorite character throughout the story of Narnia is Aslan! The majestic lion that is always there to lend a helping roar and monstrous leap to the children as they face the many obstacles that take place within the text of the book-series. Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy, the characters Aslan continually guides, all have their various flaws and gifts. This makes these characters relate to audiences everywhere extremely easily.

Not a single person in their right mind would consider themselves flawless. Some of us lack patience, others have difficulty with forgiveness, and yet others have trust issues and so on. If we were all perfect, then there would be no need for us to live our lives with the support of others. However that is not how life was intended to be lived! Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpen iron, so one man sharpens another.” We were designed to strengthen one another. Ephesians 4:11-16 further emphasizes the point of unity within the body of Christ.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

The way that the author of The Chronicles of Narnia intended for Aslan to be interpreted was that he was a representation of God Himself. As this is incredibly obvious to some. I’m simply clarifying just in case someone thinks otherwise, so that my chain of thought makes sense.

With the children being like you and me and Aslan being like the Lord, we can apply these pieces of Scripture to our ways of life. In the story of Narnia the brothers and sisters all need each other for support in various situation. And even when their resources and skills are combined there are many times when they are simply not enough. The parallel is that you and I are simply not enough. We can pretend that we have it all together. One can have the hottest potential spouse, drive the newest car, live a life of temporary pleasure, and think that they have it all together. But deep inside…where it really counts. That person will be left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

The good news is that even though you and I and the children within the story of Narnia are not enough; there’s Aslan! Within the context of Narnia, the children could always rely on Aslan to never leave nor forsake them. When Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy decided to die to their own desires and to allow the courage of Aslan to enliven to new heights by faith, they were capable of far greater than one could imagine! (Reference Galatians 2:20)

So my friends, brothers, and sisters, take a minute and listen to me on this. There are many Christians that believe they can handle living out their faith on their own. There are many good people who believe they can save themselves by works. There are many people who praise God on Sunday and then curse His glorious name on Friday night while indulging in their favorite sin. DO NOT fall victim to this population of sinners within the world!

You and I…we are NOT good enough alone. We NEED our brothers in sisters in Christ to rebuke, teach, encourage, and blazon us with the teachings of the Word of God. And most importantly we NEED the LORD! World, we NEED to fall to our knees, die to our selfish selves, and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Then with a heart washed by the crimson blood of Christ and with a soul set free from the chains of sin we must FIGHT!

How can we call ourselves Narnians(believers), if we will not fight alongside Aslan against the Evils of the world?!?! With the mighty and majestic Lion leading the way and seizing our enemies ahead of us, how can we not follow in pursuit of the wildest adventure and most epic battle mankind has ever taken part in?

Answer me this, my friends….will you and I continue to dampen our faith with excuses as to why we cannot fully trust and believe in a Savior who hath given us EVERYTHING! The air you breathe is a gift from the LORD. The taste of food is a beautiful gift the Lord has blessed mankind with (oh how I love apple pie)! Brothers and Sisters, do NOT take these things for granted!

Friends, Aslan is on the move! God is at work! And the Kingdom of the Lord will reign over the world, whether you are an active member in His Army or not! The fiery chariots of the God’s wrath and flawless justice are being mounted. This wicked world is burning itself to the ground and the sins of mankind are extinguishing the population. Why sit back and watch as your friends and possibly you (for your lack of faith or being lukewarm, Ref. Revelation 3:16) get thrown into lake of fire(Hell)? Why would you choose that, when you can become a part of a legacy! You can become a part of the Family of Christ! You can enter Narnia, and one day into the epic Kingdom of Aslan!

I hope to someday be walking along the streets of gold side by side with the Lamb of God in the Promise Land! Will you be there?