Be Encouraged

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

If you actually look at what’s going on in the world, it’s hard to feel encouraged. Given the standards of the United States of America and what it costs to live here, we’re in turmoil. We have a crisis going on. And in so many other places in the world, things are a lot worse. At least here in the US you can go to a drinking fountain and get fresh water, and just drink. If you needed to, you could probably go into some restaurant bathroom and take toilet water in a cup and drink it. It would still be good. It would take care of you. It wouldn’t give you a disease.

There are real issues with poverty in America. I definitely see that, and I want to help. I don’t forget that I was born here for a reason. But at the same time, I see a lot of suffering everywhere. So sometimes, it’s hard for me to feel encouraged. It’s so discouraging to realize that there are so many people in the world that can’t even get good drinking water.

be-encouraged

It’s not like the scriptures aren’t encouraging. The Bible is full of encouragement! I’m also encouraged by who I am, a child of God. I’m encouraged in my family. My family is healthy, my sons are awesome and they are going to be great, and God has taken care of us. I don’t have a hard time sleeping at night, wondering who is going to pay the bills. I don’t have that issue. I’m encouraged by my readers and your comments, too. I’m encouraged in many ways.

But I am not self-absorbed. I also have a heart for the people.

Christians are lovers of humanity. That’s who we are supposed to be. We’re supposed to help one another. We’re even supposed to love our enemies, even though it’s really hard to love them when you see what they are doing to people around the world. So how do we help and love one another, even our enemies, and how do we do it well? How do we do it without judgment or condemnation?

Sometimes I think, “God, that’s impossible for me. For You it’s possible, but for me it’s not.” And yet He tells me, “Jeremy, with Me all things are possible. If you have Me in your life, the answer is yes. You can do it. For those who are not believers in Me, or who are not led by my Spirit, love for the enemy is not possible. But for you? It’s possible. You are to show that it is possible. You are to show that your joy does not come from what you can see, but from what you cannot see.”

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

Be encouraged. People everywhere in the faith are going through these same things, but we know that God is at work. When you start looking at the world through scripture, through the eyes of Jesus, you will feel the joy of what you cannot see. And you will be encouraged.

See you Thursday.

Come to Church with Me!

On the last Sunday of 2012, I was the guest speaker at my friend Pastor Eddie Byun’s church in Seoul, South Korea. Being over there and spending time with my brothers and sisters in Korea and Thailand was extraordinary and I am so grateful for the experience. The entire worship service was video recorded and you can watch it online by clicking the link below.

The texts I spoke on were Mark 12:28-31 and Matthew 25:31-46. I know the link is in Korean, but I spoke at the English service, so the whole video is in English. Here’s a program of events to follow as you watch or listen:

  • music of praise (15 minutes)
  • welcome and prayers
  • Pastor Eddie on the impact of Dave Batstone and the Not For Sale Campaign on the ministry of the church
  • at 30 minutes, Dave Batstone speaks
  • at 33 minutes, I speak

Click this link, and then click the picture of the guy with the microphone (that’s my friend Dave Batstone). And then come to church with me! 온 세상을 위한 복음의 통로 CGNTV.

My next few blog posts will transcribe my talk.  See you Wednesday.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I recently heard a story about a man who lost his family in a flash flood. All his children were killed, and his wife as well. He was the only one to survive. With everything taken from him at once, he said he was surprised by the grace he received. He said that without that grace, he would not have found the will to live.

I’ve never experienced loss like that. It must be devastating. I pray for protection over my family every day, because I don’t want to ever go through anything like that. I’m not sure how I would respond if that happened to me. Would I still believe that there’s a God? Continue reading

Judgment and Blessings

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:37-38

There’s Jesus telling us not to judge, but judgment is such a basic part of being human. Baseball is full of judgments. The media illustrates that better than anything. If you’re doing well, the media tells you you’re great. And if you’re not doing well, the media tells you that too. Not only do they tell you you’re bad, they tell you why you’re bad. They tell you why you shouldn’t be there, and why you should be traded. They even question why the GM signed you!

Every baseball player is paid based on a judgment. Continue reading

Be Encouraged

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For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

If you actually look at what’s going on in the world, it’s hard to feel encouraged. Given the standards of the United States of America and what it costs to live here, we’re in economic turmoil. We have a crisis going on. And in so many other places in the world, things are a lot worse. At least here in the US you can go to a drinking fountain and get fresh water. And just drink. If you needed to, you could probably go into some restaurant bathroom and take toilet water in a cup and drink it. It would still be good. It would take care of you. It wouldn’t give you a disease.

It’s so discouraging to realize that there are so many people in the world that can’t even get good drinking water. You know? I definitely see that there are real issues with poverty in America. I definitely see that, and I want to help. Continue reading