Month: April 2017

To My Readers

As many of you might already know, my Aunt has decided to stop blogging on Good Morning Girls for personal reasons, for an indefinite amount of time. Since she has produced and published most of the materials for our studies, including the journals, and was in charge of what books of the Bible we were studying and what the reflection questions and verses of the day were, this obviously changes things a whole lot for us. I wanted to let all my readers know what my plans are for the blog moving forward, as well as letting you all in on some exciting developments in my own life as I graduate from High School in a month.

The first, and largest change, is that we will no longer be studying through books of the Bible like we have been since we started.

I have really been praying about things, and I know that God wants me to continue to use my gift of writing to serve Him, however, so I intend to continue posting here. I haven’t figured out too much of what I want to do just yet, but I know that I will write about relevant issues to Christian boys and men in our culture today. I’m really relying on God to see where He wants to go with this, and I know He has a bigger plan than I could ever imagine.

I will be taking some time off here for the next month or so, as I will be graduating High School in late May, and things are getting very busy. In addition, I’ve accepted a full-time job this summer, which leaves me only weekends and evenings to work on writing for this blog. Because of this, I plan on posting here as much as my schedule will allow. After summer is over, I’ll be going to college to study Communications and Marketing. I’m not sure how much time college and working a part-time job will leave me, but I can assure you that I will do my best to continue helping you understand the truth.

One specific thing that you all can look forward to is a series of posts I plan on writing that should come out late June and early July. I will be going on a week-long missions trip with a group from my church to rural Uganda in early June, and I want to share my experiences with you. Depending on how it goes this could turn into multiple posts about what I’ve learned while on that trip.

In addition, In late June I will be traveling to a youth conference with my youth group. In the past when I’ve gone to this conference, we’ve been blessed with amazing teaching and times in the word, so I hope to bring back some of what I’ve learned there with you.

With all that being said, everything else is up in the air right now. I know God has great plans for this blog. I wanted to thank all of you who have read and supported me so far. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

My heart and biggest desire is that everyone who reads this blog will be brought closer to Christ. I always pray specifically for others that they would know the depth and vastness of a life lived with Christ. Reader, my deepest desire is that you would personally commune with God each and every day, and know exactly who He is and what He’s done for you. I desire for you to understand and know all these things accurately, and to love and cherish the truth of Christ with all that you are. I want to spur you on to live for the glory of God, because that is the only thing that will ever satisfy you.

In the light of all this, I continue to pray that God will use this blog for His purposes, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Johnathan

What the Cross Means For You

This Friday, Christians everywhere will remember Christ’s death. It’s Good Friday, the Friday before we celebrate Easter. It’s the day Jesus died on the cross for us.

How fitting that we come to Luke 23: 26-49 this week, the crucifixion and death of our savior. For our final blog post this week, I want to cover what the cross means for you.

The cross of Christ is the turning point of History!

The world will never be the same because of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Christ’s death and resurrection started Christianity, which, as the angry mob in Acts 17:6 said, has, ” turned the world upside down.”

If you really think about it, you probably wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for the cross.

If I think about my own life, I realize a few things. First, the country I live in wouldn’t exist if Jesus hadn’t died on the cross, because those who first discovered it came because of Christ. In addition, my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents wouldn’t have met, because almost all of them met in a church or something related to Christianity.

All things considered, I have Jesus’ death to thank for my existence today, and so do many millions of people around the world, including you!

However, these things are of a secondary nature to the true importance of the cross and what it really means for us. 

It doesn’t matter if we are just thankful that Jesus died so that we could exist today. It matters how that cross changes our lives and our hearts.

Jesus died for a way bigger reason then just bringing into existence countless societies and billions of people. He died to save our souls!!

God originally created humans without sin, but Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in Genesis 3, bringing sin and death into the world and separating everyone from God.

Because of Adam and Eve, we have a sin nature and no hope of ever getting right with God.

We will always freely choose our sin and will never even want to choose God. God says in Ephesians 2:1, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” Our spirit is dead to God. The situation looks pretty hopeless. 

But there is hope!

Christ came, and He died for our sins. He lived a perfect life and then died, taking on all the wrath of God against the sinners He would save.

This is the most important news about the cross, but what does it mean for you?

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

When Jesus died on the cross, He became sin for us so that we would finally have hope of being made right with God, by the righteousness of Jesus being placed on us. 

All we have to do is repent and turn from our sin, accept Jesus as our savior, believe what God says in His word, and decide to follow Him in everything we do in our lives.

When we accept Jesus as our savior, we get God’s righteousness put on us from the cross of Christ. All of our sins, past, present, and future, are paid for. We won’t be punished for them any longer.

If you haven’t accepted Jesus yet, please do it today. There is no better time than now. 

If you have accepted Jesus, then praise Him for what He did for you. 

It should be overwhelming to us that our debt is paid in full and that we can worship God and have a relationship with Him!

I’m reminded of one of my favorite hymns, and I’ll end with the chorus:

 

“Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.”

Johnathan

Reflect on these questions, and if you feel led, comment below:

  1. Have you accepted Jesus’s sacrifice for you?
  2. If you have, how will you worship God for His sacrifice today?

Good Morning Girls Resources {Luke 21-24}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through Luke! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ. This is our final week in the book of Luke. On Friday I’ll post about future plans for the blog.

If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: Luke 21

Tuesday: Luke 22

Wednesday: Luke 23

Thursday: Luke 24

The Reflection Questions for the Week

Chapter 21-Monday

Nothing in this world will last forever. We must not depend on the words we hear, the things we read, or the possessions we own to sustain us. It is God’s Word that is powerful and eternal. His words will last forever!

Do you find yourself tempted to substitute the words of this world for the words of God? How can you make God’s Word more of a priority in your life?

 

Chapter 22-Tuesday

Every time we wake up and forget to talk to Jesus, we have forgotten. Every time we give into temptation and sin, we have forgotten. Every time we become independent of God and live life on our own terms, we have forgotten. Taking communion helps us to remember. We remember Jesus’ broken body and blood spilled our for us.

Have you forgotten or grown numb to the truth of what Jesus did for you on the cross? Take some time right now and remember.

 

Chapter 23-Wednesday

Jesus knew that those who crucified Him were spiritually blind. They did not know what they were doing. Jesus offered love to His enemies, just as He commands us to love our enemies.

Is there a spiritually blind person in your life who has hurt you and who you need to forgive? This does not mean that you will be reconciled to them, because for reconciliation, repentance is required. However, forgiveness frees you from bitterness and resentment. Who do you need to forgive today?

 

Chapter 24 -Thursday

Some of the most beautiful words in scripture are these: “He is not here, but has risen.” This is what sets Jesus apart from all other religions in history. You can search every grave but you will not find Him there. Jesus lived a sinless life, and death had no grip on Him. Our God is alive!

Because Jesus is alive, our passions, priorities, plans, and past-times should look different. How has Jesus changed your life?

 

 

The Verses of the Day

Monday: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. -Luke 21:33

Tuesday: He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” -Luke 22:19

 Wednesday: And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34

Thursday:  He is not here, but has risen. -Luke 24:6

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

Jesus is Better

When I read through Luke 18:18-30, the words to a worship song that I heard at a youth conference I attend every summer came to my mind. Part of the song gives these powerful proclamations, saying:

In all my sorrows, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

In all my victories, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

Than any comfort, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

More than all riches, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

Our souls declaring, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

Our song eternal, Jesus is better-make my heart believe

-https://www.austinstoneworship.com/jesus-is-better-lyrics/

I put the lyrics in bold that I think relate best to this week’s study, which will focus on the story of the rich young ruler from Luke 18.

Two years ago, at this same conference, one of the preachers continually hammered into the youth there the statement that “Jesus is better.” He was so passionate about it that he broke down into tears.

I can still picture him passionately pleading with us to believe him and accept this truth, that Jesus is more soul-satisfying than anything else we could ever hope to find in this world. 

In Luke 18:18-30, a rich young ruler approaches Jesus seeking to know how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus first lists off all the commandments as the way to eternal life, since if they are followed perfectly, you would be sinless and allowed into heaven. Jesus knew that this man was sinful like every other human and had not followed the ten commandments perfectly, since it’s impossible. This was Jesus’ way of showing that the rich young ruler needed Him. However, the man arrogantly claims that he had followed them all.

Jesus then reveals that the man had not obeyed all the commandments by telling him to give away all his possessions.  The rich young ruler’s refusal to obey this command shows His idolatry of money, proving He had not actually followed the ten commandments but was instead worshiping money.

This is a genius way to reveal sin on Jesus’ part. 

Jesus goes on to explain that it is impossible for someone who is rich to become a Christian apart from God’s help (Verse 27). After this, He explains that those who leave everything for Jesus will receive many more blessings, both now and in heaven. These are not material blessings, but spiritual blessings.

So what can we apply to our lives from all of these truths?

After reading all this, you might be wondering, “Is it wrong to be rich?”

The answer to that question is no.

Look at Abraham and Job. They were both extremely wealthy, yet Abraham had great faith and Job was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.” (Job 1:1)

However, we must be cautious with wealth.

We can’t make it more important than God or make it our life pursuit.

Instead, we must be generous with what we have, and thankful to God for it.

Job grasped this concept of openhandedness with His wealth when he said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” He said this after all his worldly possessions were stripped from him, and his response ultimately proved his love for God, which God eventually rewarded with more wealth.

In the same way, Abraham was willing to leave his hometown after being established there for 75 years and becoming very wealthy, as an act of faith to God.

As Christians, we need to realize that Jesus is better!

We need to live our lives solely for Him.

If that results in wealth for you, praise God! Be thankful, be generous, and use that wealth for the glory of God. After all, everything is God’s and so is your wealth.

We must be openhanded and willing to give up our earthly possessions for Christ whenever He calls us to. When you are living focused on Christ, this is not a hard thing to do.

I went on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic that taught me this. (I took the picture at the top there) When we went, we were without many common comforts. We were living out of suitcases, sleeping on nasty beds with no air conditioning, taking cold showers, had no cell phone service or WiFi, and no cars except for those we rode in as a group. The people we were ministering to often had even less then we temporarily had that week.

But you know what? That week spent with minimal comforts in a third-world country was by far the most blessing-filled week of my life. God just poured out spiritual blessings that week, and I would have gladly continued on without material comforts for the rest of my life just to keep serving and worshiping God without distraction like that. There is truly no greater joy than to worship God above anything else!

We don’t need any of the comforts we have, and they are not what makes a happy life. Focusing on Jesus and worshiping Him is so much sweeter. 

Please realize this, and begin to be open-handed with what you have.

Be willing to give it all up for Christ if He calls you to, and if not, be generous and sacrificial to those around you.

Living this way minimizes distractions and strengthens your walk with God.

Get rid of the idol of wealth in your life today. Give generously to those in need and to the spreading of the gospel.  Start viewing your possessions as God’s and be willing to give it all up.

Jesus truly is better. 

 

Johnathan 

Reflect on these questions and, if you feel led, you can comment your answers:

  1. Have you made wealth an idol?
  2. How can you be generous and thankful today?
  3. What is God calling you to give up to know Him more?

 

Good Morning Guys Resources {Luke 16-20}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through Luke! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ.

If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: Luke 16

Tuesday: Luke 17

Wednesday: Luke 18

Thursday: Luke 19

Friday: Luke 20

The Reflection Questions for the Week

Chapter 16-Monday

Many say that they love God but they spend their lives sacrificing to get more money. This is not about the size of our bank accounts but the condition of our hearts. A poor, greedy, jealous person may serve money more than a rich, grateful, generous person. God knows the truth about our hearts by what we do with our money in secret.

Are you tempted to serve money? In what ways and how do you overcome it?

 

Chapter 17-Tuesday

Jesus tells the apostles that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could uproot a mulberry tree. A mulberry tree has deep and strong rots and a mustard seed is tiny. Jesus says this right after telling the disciples to forgive offenses done to them. Many times, relational wounds run deep. Through faith God can restore relationships. It’s not about the size of the problem or our faith, but the size of our great God.

In what area of your life do you need to increase your faith today?

 

Chapter 18-Wednesday

The persistent prayer of the widow is an example of how we must continue to pray and not give up. God does not delay in answering because He is waiting to be changed, but because He is doing a changing work inside of us. God is good and He wants us to pray to Him day and night.

Are you discouraged in your prayer life right now? Have you given up or given only minimal time to prayer? There is power in prayer! What has God laid on your heart that you should be praying more for?

 

Chapter 19 -Thursday

Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus came to seek and save you! This is the heart of the gospel.

How long have you been saved? Never let the excitement of this truth and the passionate love God has for you grow cold. Reflect on the fact that Jesus knows your name. How does that make you feel?

 

Chapter 20-Friday

Everything belongs to God, but Jesus recognizes the authority of the government. When the government does not oppose God’s commands, we are to obey.

As Christians, we all have a dual citizenship. We are citizens of the country we live in and citizens of the kingdom of God. How does this truth make a difference in your life?

 

 

The Verses of the Day

Monday: You cannot serve God and money. -Luke 16:13

Tuesday:  If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you. -Luke 17:6

 Wednesday: Always pray and do not lose heart. -Luke 18:1

Thursday:  For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost. -Luke 19:10

Friday: Render to Caeser the things that are Caeser’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our new Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

© 2017 Good Morning Guys

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑