Glorious Joy!

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole…You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. 1 Peter 1:3-5, 8-9

Believers in Christ find joy in Him. It’s a joy that cannot be matched. It is an inexpressible and glorious joy!

This doesn’t mean that all Christians have an easy life all the time. You might not live in the nicest home. You might not have tons of the money in the bank. You might not have the appearance of wealth. But appearances aren’t what matter here. This kind of joy lives inside of you. It’s indescribable. You’re happy!

You can’t explain your joy because it is beyond your understanding. It is a joy that says, “I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding, and He will make my path straight.” This is Spirit-led joy.

Mother-TeresaSometimes God can call you to a hard life. At least, I know it can appear hard to those looking in. But for those who are living in that life? There is joy!

Think of Mother Teresa. She was sad at the end of her life, but I think that’s because she was grieving. There had to be a grieving process, given all the poverty she saw. But I think she felt fulfilled in what she was doing. I think she felt an internal joy that not a lot of people find. You cannot voluntarily go live in poverty and find joy unless there is something internal calling you, something that says, “This is right. This is where I feel alive.”

That’s the calling of God, and it cannot be matched, not by anything. I don’t think anyone could go live and work in poverty the way Mother Teresa did without God. I don’t think anyone could sustain it for as long as she did, and have the kind of fulfillment she felt, without God. Her calling brought her so much life! That’s the benefit of the Spirit-led life, a life conceived by God Himself. That’s our life! (1 Peter 1:23)

See you Thursday.

Turning Failure into Freedom

How often have you felt like a failure? Sometimes we say, “Man, I’m failing as a Christian. I’m just not a very happy Christian. I should be, but I’m miserable.”

If I heard you say that, I would ask you to take a step back and look at how many times you’re living a legalistic life. You feel that you are not succeeding as a Christian, but how do you measure success? According to whose standards? Your standards? If you’re trying to succeed according to your standards, you’re right! You will feel like a failure. Continue reading

Inexpressible and Glorious Joy!

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole…You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. 1 Peter 1:3-5, 8-9

Believers in Christ find joy in Him. It’s a joy that cannot be matched. It is an inexpressible and glorious joy!

This doesn’t mean that all Christians have an easy life. You might not live in a nice home. You might not have tons of the money in the bank. You might not have the appearance of wealth. But appearances aren’t what matter here. This kind of joy, it lives inside of you. It’s indescribable. You’re happy! Continue reading

The Antidote to Misery

A lot of baseball players are millionaires, but even so, we can experience misery. We can buy two, or three, or four cars. We can buy boats. We can buy houses. But we figure out pretty quick that money doesn’t make things joyful. And if you don’t know how to use it, it can give you more headaches. Continue reading

I’m Happy!

As I’ve described, my first few years as a professional athlete were filled with struggle. I wasn’t very happy. Now I’m so happy with my job! I’m happy because I do it with an attitude of loving my neighbor as myself. I get to play baseball with the understanding that I’m playing to serve God and my neighbor, and there is freedom in that.

After I first met Dave Batstone and joined up with the Not For Sale Campaign, we started brainstorming ideas to connect baseball and modern abolition.

Continue reading

The Message of Christmas

Merry Christmas!  What a wonderful, holy day.  God gives us a child, to be our Savior.  God – who has everything – gives His Everything so that we might inherit everything!  LIFE full of LOVE and FORGIVENESS!

Thank you for reading, and for all your support. I’m looking forward to blogging for you in 2013, and I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting. And please remember those less fortunate. If you’re looking for a way to spread the Gospel of love, please visit our partners, and consider giving a gift. The amount doesn’t matter. Remember, it’s not how much the individual gives. What counts is how many individuals give!

I’ll see you here next Wednesday. Meanwhile, enjoy this awesome message about hope and expectation from Pete Greig, Prayer Director of Holy Trinity Brompton in London, England. This is a beautiful time to be celebrating our Hope. Remember, God loves you. He made you just as you are, and He gave you a gifting, and with that gifting you can change the world!

Gospel of Prosperity

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the LORD of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

I see all of the Step Up movies. I love the dancing. How do they do what they do? I can’t do it! I went with my teammates last summer. I said, “We’re going,” and the guys made fun of me. “I cannot believe you watch that!” “The acting is terrible!” And I told them, “Yeah, the acting is terrible. But that’s not why I’m going! Have you seen the creativity of those kids? Have you seen what they do?” I had an epiphany when I got back to my hotel room. Dance is a big deal in Spokane. What if we merged our social justice ministry into the dance scene? Continue reading

The Joy That I Feel

I’ve spent years studying, asking God how to reflect the love of Jesus. I want to help create joy in the best way that I possibly, humanly, can. That’s the very most that I can do, but it’s the very least that Jesus does. He loves us so much.

If you read the Bible, it’s all about loving your neighbor. It’s all about helping those who do not have. People think the Bible’s a bunch of made-up stories that make this life sound great. But I think it’s Truth. I think it all points to Jesus. It all points to what he came for. Not only did he come to die on the cross for us and save us from our sin, but essentially, He came to fulfill us.

Part of our fulfillment in Jesus lies in helping the poor. Continue reading

Don’t Forget Jesus!

There are times when you’re going to be happy, and there are times when you’re not. You just can’t always be happy in this life of the flesh. When sin entered the world, happiness became an inconsistent thing, something we crave as much as we know. Last time I wrote about chasing God. I pointed out that it’s okay to chase Him, because happiness is something we crave from the moment we’re born. But there’s something else we can do too, something just as important. We can remember to take Him with us. Continue reading

The Pursuit of Happiness, Part 2

I’m not always happy. I know what it feels like to be happy, but I’m not always there. When I’m not there, I’m saying, “I know what happiness feels like, and I’m going to chase it.” That’s part of our journey through life! The pursuit of happiness is just part of it.

I mean, happiness is what your soul craves. From the time it comes out of the womb, I think it craves that peaceful feeling. It craves that feeling where you say, “This is good, you know. This is good.” I’ve felt it. I’ve had times when I’m saying, “Man! This is great. I’m so happy right now, with just everything.” And then I’ve gone through seasons where I’m just not happy at all.

It’s okay to not be happy. Continue reading