Hopeless on our own

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” Galatians 2:20

When we choose to follow Jesus, our old lives/selves/entity dies and a new one is born- one that is Christ living in us. We are one.

As branches are connected to a tree, so are we intimately connected to Jesus. There is no separation between his being and ours; we aren’t following behind him like a pup follows his master. We are one; intertwined, connected at the hip and dependent on each other for our mere survival, let alone, to flourish or blossom.

Because of this unity, all that is Jesus’s becomes ours; all his authority, his victory and even his power, now becomes ours.

Hold up. Read that again…

… Like how your husbands assets [all his possessions and money] instantly become yours once you get married, everything that is Jesus’ is now ours! That incredible.

It’s not because of anything we’ve done or even what we deserve, but simply because we have chosen him in marriage- united as one with Christ.

“I am the vine you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Because we are one, we can do/say/live like Jesus did, bearing much fruit as he did and asking of the Father as he did.

But just as with divorce, apart from him, whats his is no longer ours. Therefor we can no nothing- not a single good thing- apart from Jesus.

Apart from him, everything we do [in our own stength, in our own ability/capacity and with our own motives] is in vain.

Well thats extreme, you say. Not a single good thing? I know I am somewhat of a good person and have at least a few good intentions.

Not when we see who we truly are, apart from God…

  •  Alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds ~ Col 1:21
  •  Recover themselves out of the snare of the devil ~ 2 Tim2:26
  • They ran for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God ~ John 3:20
  • Servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness ~ Romans 6:19
  • The lusts of their hearts to impurity… God gave them up to dishonorable passions ~  Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26
  • The passions of the flesh, wage war against your soul ~ 1 peter 2:11

“This is the reality about humanity. We are each born with an evil, God-hating heart. Genesis 8:21 says that every inclination of mans heart is evil from childhood….In our evil we rebel against God. We take the law of God and we disobey it. This is the picture of the very first sin in Genesis 3.

Jesus told us that everyone who sins is a slave to sin and Paul went so far as to say that we are captive to the devil himself. Ephesians 4:18 says that we are darkened in our understanding and our hearts are like stone. According to 2 corinthians 4:4, we cannot event see Christ because of the depth of our spiritual blindness.

God beckons storm cloud.. he tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No!”  David Platt ~ excerpt from Radical  

If we look at ourselves, without Christ, we are simply put, evil, enemies of God who are dominated by Satan…. That reality should severely frighten us! It should smack us in the face and unveil our true nature. We desperately need to be intentionally intimate and connected with Jesus.

It’s more than a one time thing and more than repeating a prayer asking God into our hearts. Choosing to “accept Jesus” does not in and of itself, make us a Christian.

Its a decision we need to make daily, to live out the Christian life. To not just to talk the talk, but walk the walk, every day.

We must know Jesus personally and intentionally choose to stay connect to him, each and every day!

If we want to ensure we are one with Christ and bearing much fruit as we are commissioned, it requires that we be with and spent time with Jesus daily- being in Gods word studying it [not just passively reading it], living in a state of prayer [not just our hello and goodbyes each morning and evening], and repenting of the sin we allow to creep into our lives each day [not just once a week on sundays or twice a year in the confession booth].

If you’re like me, this reality is overwhelming and your minds spinning with how you can possibly live in such a state, while still accomplishing the demands of everyday life…

The good news is, God tells us we cant- read that again, CANT- do it on our own and apart from him we could NEVER accomplish such an active and intentional living in/for Christ. But in Jesus, we can ask anything and it will be given to us…

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.” John 15:6

We can ask God to change our thoughts towards this responsibility of living as a Christian- that he would give us the supernatural desire and hunger to be in his word and come to him in prayer throughout the day. We can beg him to help us love him, with every fibre of our being and trust him more than we trust our selves and anyone/thing in this world. Because it’s only a transformed mind and heart that will cultivate a will in line with Jesus’ and ultimately effect our actions, helping us prioritize our days and schedules accordingly, allowing us to live out a life as we’ve been commissioned.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourself to be my disciples.” John 15:8

Start there. Start now. Pray with me for God to change our thoughts towards him, our desires in this life, our will to match his own, our relationships to reflect his love and our purpose to be that of the great commission, not a Christian spin on the American Dream…


If Jesus were your facebook friend

Sadly, in North America many of us Christians have been deceived in what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

We’re taught that if we repeat a prayer asking “Jesus into our hearts” and say we’re sorry for the wrong we’ve done, then we have magically become a Christian and our eternity in heaven is secure.

While the intent might be good, in actuality, we’ve completely missed the boat!

No where in the Bible does Jesus say, “Want to be my disciple? Want to spend eternity with me? Then sit down and repeat after me.” 

Let’s paint a modern day comparison.

Let’s say you wanted to be friends with Jesus. You’ve heard people talk about him like he’s a pretty cool person; some people even rave about him, exclaiming he’s the coolest person they’ve ever met. You want to meet this man you’ve heard so much about, so you start by looking him up on facebook. [Common, admit it. You do this too!]

While creeping his profile you discover he appears to be everything people are saying about him. You too want to get to know him for youself, so you take the first step and send him a friend request.


Your palms get clammy. Your desire to get to know him is earnest and you picture yourselves hanging out on Saturday nights. What if you became best friends one day? Texting each other on the hard days and being the first person you each call when life bears exciting news.

But as you start to imagine it, your mind jumps to the reality that he’ll likely click on your profile before accepting your friend request. What will he think when he scrolls down your page?  What will he make of your statuses, your photos and the things you’ve liked and shared?  Frantically, you run to your profile, reviewing everything through the eyes of someone who doesn’t yet know you.

You start deleting and hiding things you don’t want to sway his first impression. Pretty soon all thats left is a clean cut profile of your alter ego. It looks good on the outside, but it’s a white lie. A half truth. In reality, it’s a sham.

A notification pops up. “Jesus has accepted your friend request. Write something on his wall.”

Your heart pounds and your feeling a little nervous if you’re honest with yourself. Too afraid to go any further, you decide not to pursue anything, because the minute he meets you, he’ll discover you’re not who you portray yourself to be.

Perhaps you’ll play it slow- just see what pops up of his on your news feed – like or comment now and again. Maybe that’ll open the gates for something more to form eventually.

But sadly, like many others you’ve “befriended”, days, weeks and years go by and you’re nothing more than on lookers/ creepers into each others lives. Sure you know of each other, you might even glean an idea of each others personalities, interest and likes. Heck, you even know what each other did last weekend with your families, but you never truly knew each other, nor did you ever finally meet face to face.

When Jesus finally dies and RIP status start flying, would you be invited to his funeral? Of course not… he never truly knew you.

“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’ Matthew 7:21-23 MSG

Sadly, this is how we North Americans live out our Christian faith. Simply on-lookers who acknowledge Jesus’ existence, work “for him” and even profess to be his friends ie: followers, but we’ve never truly known him or followed his commands.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

In Jesus’ day, these men whom he was speaking to would have understood the cross to be an instrument [weapon] of torture, torement and ultimately death, used by the government for power. So in essence Jesus is saying that in order to follow him, we must die to ourselves – our lives, our ambitions, our desires, our dreams, our to-do’s, our everything. “Slay yourselves,” is what he’s commanding.

Let’s take this analogy even further….

Go back to the moment you were frantically deleting everything off your facebook page in hopes of creating a clean slate that your new potential friend would look on fondly. Do you honestly believe that information is permanently gone? Can Mark Zuckerberg in all his facebook controlling glory not bring it all back if he really wanted to? Of course he can because nothings truly erased from it’s history!

Mark is God in this analogy.

God in all his infinite power and glory tells us, that in our own strength and efforts, we can make nothing good or lasting in and of ourselves. We can try all we want to earn his “like” or make him want to “accept our friend request” but he see all the things we try to hide. Nothing is lost from our profiles or erased from the history of own accounts. He can at any point in time control our [online] existence and/or bring back that which we thought we had deleted.

The only way to start over is to abandon our current account [life]  and start over with a completely new one [that which he offers us through Christ].

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

But we can’t keep both! We can’t keep active on our old profiles after we’ve set up and are active on a new one. We’d be living a double life; a Sham.

How is it then, that as Christians, we believe we can follow Jesus, living as a new person, when our lives look no different then they did before we knew him? How did we die to ourselves, when nothing has changed? 

Jesus calls us to drop everything, pick up our cross and follow him.

So as his friends and followers then, our lives should mirror his very own. But they don’t. Most Christians days, priorities, ambitions, habits and lives look NO DIFFERENT then those of non-believers. How can that be?! We are missing it, my friends.

We love our pretty little lives [our dreams and ambitions too] and all this world offers [it’s pleasures and its comforts] more than we love it’s creator, our father and his son. It’s like being content to build sandcastles in mud, when someones offering us the beach!

I fear that on that day, many [including myself] who have spent their entire lives thinking they knew Jesus and that their place in heaven was secured, will stand before him, and instead of hearing “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” will hear, “Away from me;I never knew you,” and spend eternity in separation from the one who loves us and pursued us most.

God tell us to die to our old lives in exchange for a new one as his child, which he bought with a price, through the death and resurrection of his son. That makes us his possession.

But you are a chosen race….. a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9

So now I ask you. Go back and re-read the intro paragraph- the lie we’ve all believed for so along- about how to become a follower of Jesus and what it means to live a Christian life.

Make no mistake. The costs are high and becoming a friend of Jesus isn’t rainbows and fairytales.

“Because In a world where everything revolves around self – protect yourself, promote yourself, take care of yourself- Jesus said “slay” yourself. Whether we live in North America, or Ethiopia, to become a Christian mean to loose our lives completely; abandon it immediately and follow him.” David Platt

Then you are no longer strangers to God and foreigners to heaven. Ephesians 2:19

Your best year yet | New Years Resolutions that work

Are you tired of hearing about New Years resolutions? Or how about earnestly trying to keep them through the year, only to get to December 31st and realize you failed miserably despite your intent?

Do you crave purpose this your goals- to truly feel like you’re making a difference and achieving the things that matter most to you? You want to make strides in the areas you’ve longed to conquer, make waves in and see change. So do I.

God's will for our lives

That’s why today, I want to share two tools with you, that I have personally used, that work!
 They have helped me set goals that actually happen, assisted me in aligning my will with Gods and actively plan for the year ahead with focus and zeal!


Lara Casey’s Goal Setting

This is a series put together by Lara Casey, who I can say is just as Godly, passionate and inspirational in person as she is online.  Her goal setting series, is one I have done for the past few years and it has been revolutionary in helping me make goals that are focused on what matters most. It’s kept me not only accountable, but actually achieving my goals! I’m happy to say, 9 times out of 10, the things I’ve chased after happen each year and come december, I’m able to proudly say, yes! I kept my “resolutions” and it’s been a tremendous year of growth!

My two scents?
Once you’ve worked your way through the series and start to form solid goals, I would encourage you to keep these five points in mind…


Lara Casey’s Goal Setting Series Online

Lara Casey’s Goal Setting Powersheets for purchase


Discipleship Making Plan

Much of the time [me included] we make our lives about us and fervently pray for God to reveal his will for our lives. But hold on a sec. See anything wrong with that? Go back and read it….

In reality, this mentality is wrong. God has called us to align our lives, with HIS will, not the other way around!

He calls us  to love him with all our heart, soul and mind, to love others because he loved us first and to make disciples of all nations.

I didn’t see my error in this until I started listening to David Platt and Franis Chan. They’ve rocked everything I thought I knew about my faith and what a Christian life should look like!

Watching this was honestly the BEST and most precious movie I every watched. Period.

I digress…

David Platt compiled a booklet to help us align our lives with God’s will –  walking you through the process of seeing and using our days, our circumstances and our areas of influence for his greater good.  I would dare to say, these are what a true follower of Jesus’ goals should look like!

David Platt’s Discipleship Making Plan

More David Platt Resources 


Don’t be overwhelmed when looking at these pages or think of it like another To-Do!
But I would urge you to put great consideration into completing both these tools over the next while. They don’t need to be finished in a day or even a week. But instead, take your time to pray through each of them, setting goals that will help you to know God for WHO he is [not what he can do for us] and live with an eternity mindset.

I pray this is the year we get serious about chasing after him with everything we’ve got, no holds bar!


ps: Whether you’re reading this on January 1st, August 15th or December 10th, it’s never too late to start. Tomorrow, you will wish you had started today!