Why Did God Have to Come as a Baby?

By S.C. Shaw

I speak with many people asking lots of questions about God and the Bible. I love it. One question I’ve heard a lot is “Why Did God Have to Come as a Baby?” Have you ever thought about that? Maybe you have always struggled with this truth. Maybe you don’t believe it to be true at all? God has always been very intentional about how He works. He never just acts or speaks without great wisdom and intentionality. Obviously, He’s God. Maybe you’re asking, why couldn’t God just have spoken forgiveness over our sin and not have to deal with all the Old Testament sacrifices and then sending Jesus (Himself) to die for us? I’ve thought about a lot. All good questions. 

Let’s go back to the beginning. That’s right “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. The first verse of the Bible says a lot. One of the things we get from it is that God, is the creator, He was before the beginning, He works outside of His creation and He is the only God. Why does this matter? Because, in order to break down truths we need to understand who we are talking about. Right away we see that God is big, powerful, trustworthy and knows what He’s doing. He created everything good and then man with his ability to choose (which God gave as a gift to man), broke the relationship with Him. Now God is unable to be with His loved creation, ever. God cannot be with darkness because He is light. God is pure holiness and purity. Light and dark cannot dwell in the same room. But God being rich in love and mercy wanted to be with His children. So, God made a plan to be able to redeem His people in this life as well as for the life to come.

We often lose the point of sin and how big it is. Sin broke our fellowship with our creator. The only thing bigger and more powerful than that is God Himself. And sin is such a big deal it can only be dealt with by the shedding of blood. Why? Because sin brings death. Sin broke our connection with God which would have to ultimately lead us to an eternity without Him, which by definition is hell. A life separate from God is no life at all. God has no plan for His children to be separated from Him for eternity. In fact, He has planned the exact opposite of that. Since sin brings death, death is the only way to atone for sin. Therefore, we get multitude of sin offerings in the Old Testament. God commands and tells His people how to make temporal atonement for their sins. But all this is to foreshadow the coming of Christ. The perfect and final sacrifice which is God Himself. Why did it have to be God? Because no one could take on the sin of the world nor is able to live a life as a man and yet sinless. Only God can pull all that off. 

In Gods perfect timing, He comes in the form of a man called “Yeshua”. Born of a virgin, undefiled in anyway. This man is 100% man and 100% God. Then again in Gods perfect timing, Yeshua starts His ministry at the age of 30. He proves Himself to be worthy to take our sin and death. He is crucified 3 years later, is raised by God 3 days later, reveals Himself to 100’s of people and then ascends to the Father in heaven. Now Yeshua (Jesus) sits at the right hand of the Father because the work of paying for sin is done. Now He is praying for His children. Christ being man knows all the temptation we know as weak sinful flesh and yet He is and was without sin. He is the only One worthy to take on our sin.

To sum up. We needed the full revelation of God and fulfilled promises from the Old Testament to take the fullness of sin away for good. Here are some other options that would not have worked. God coming and displaying His power in another way to forgive sin wouldn’t have worked because there needs to be bloodshed and death to cover sin. God would be unjust to just take sin away. Sin by definition is anything that is against God. That’s a big deal. So, that wouldn’t work because God can’t die nor does He have a body to shed blood. Another option, God comes as a grown man and still lives a perfect life and still is able to die and shed His blood for sin. Because God wouldn’t have been able to lead a perfect life, He would’ve only lived a perfect few year. Instead, He had a foundation and family on earth from birth. An earthy background that helped in His ministry and to make much of the power of God in His life. Plus, one of the greatest mysteries is how Jesus was 100% man and 100% God while on earth. That would be untrue if He came as a grown man. For Christ to represent and die for sinners, He needed to possess that 100%-man part of His life on earth. He did this without subtracting any of His deity. He did lay aside much of His power voluntarily, but He never ceased to be God. So, God coming as a baby was mandatory not only to fulfill Scripture but to be able to conquer sin and death without God going against Himself. 

God in all His wisdom and perfection had a plan that He perfectly executed in His perfect timing and now all are welcome to repent, believe, follow and live for Christ. I pray this helped you understand this question and I pray you continue to search the Bible and grow in your faith. 

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

MisfitMinistry.com

TikTok @misfitministry

Christian Conviction is Not Scripture

By S.C. Shaw

What do I mean by “Christian conviction is not scripture”? This is a topic that has been on my heart and mind for years. This is a topic not talked about in most churches, bible studies or even amongst friends. Why? Because most Christians don’t even know this is something to consider. Why is it important? Because I see more Christians wasting their time and energy trying to push their convictions on others and it needs to stop because it is unbiblical and is pushing people away from the love of Christ. We can and should share our convictions and opinions with other believers, but everything you think is wrong is not always what the Bible says is wrong. You feel guilty about something and insist that it is a sin for everyone, and that is simply not true. There are tiers to these issues.

Tier one: Salvation based truths

These are the essential Christian faith doctrinal truths that are necessary for salvation as seen in Scripture. 

Simple example: God is three in One (the Trinity). Jesus lived a perfect life as 100% man and 100% God, died for sinners on a cross, rose from the grave and ascended to heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:3–5. One day He will return for a final judgment on evil and His children will be with God for eternity. Others include authority of Scripture alone, Glory to God alone, and salvation in Christ alone.

Tier two: Conviction based ideas

These are the things that brothers and sisters in Christ can have differing opinions on and still be in Gods family for eternity. This is one of the areas many Christians try and enforce as a first-tier Gospel truth. 

Simple example: Modes of baptism, drinking alcohol, tithing, church membership, church government etc. 

These are the issues that create denominations. These are things that are important to think through and know where you stand but are not a matter of salvation. 

Tier three: Opinion based things

These are the things that one can have an idea about that is not explicit right, wrong or doctrinal truth in the Bible. These opinions can also be talked about as if they are Gospel truths but are not.  

Simple example: How long was creation, new earth, old earth, end times etc. 

Why is this important to talk about? Because we want to be confessional Christians and want to know who we are in our convictions and opinions. But we need to know where to stop. Your convictions and opinions are not inspired truths of God. In fact, nothing is if it is not systematically talked about in the Scriptures. What the whole Bible agrees on any given topic is the only thing that is salvation based. These are the issues in which why so many on lookers hate, the church, the Bible and God. This is where legalism stems from and is ungodly and wicked. Let’s read what the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith says.

1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 21 

Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience 

The liberty Christ has purchased for believers under the gospel is found in their freedom from the guilt of sin, the condemning wrath of God, and the severity and curse of the law. It also includes their deliverance from this present evil age, bondage to Satan, the dominion of sin, the suffering of afflictions, the fear and sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation. In addition, it includes their free access to God and their obedience to him, not from slavish fear but from a childlike love and willing mind.

All these liberties were also enjoyed in their essence by believers under the law. But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further expanded. They are free from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish congregation was subjected; they have greater confidence of access to the throne of grace; and they have a fuller supply of God’s free Spirit than believers under the law usually experienced.

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and he has left it free from human doctrines and commandments that are in any way contrary to his word or not contained in it. So, believing such doctrines, or obeying such commands out of conscience, is a betrayal of true liberty of conscience. Requiring implicit faith or absolute and blind obedience destroys liberty of conscience and reason as well.

Those who use Christian liberty as an excuse to practice any sin or nurture any sinful desire pervert the main objective of the grace of the gospel to their own destruction, and they completely destroy the purpose of Christian liberty. This purpose is that we, having been delivered from the hands of all our enemies, may serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our lives.

You see the measure in which this is a big deal? 

There is a balance, however. We must not be a stumbling block to other believers. We need to put every other believer’s wellbeing in front of our own. Example: If you believe you can drink to the glory of God and are able to control yourself, then it is ok for you. But if you feel guilty when you drink then don’t drink. Another side of this is; if your brother struggles with addiction then not drinking when he’s around would be a God honoring thing. And that’s the main point to everything, honoring and glorifying God, 1 Corinthians 10:31. 

I am writing this blog, so I have a place to send people who struggle with this understanding or maybe have never thought about it. When I hear Christians argue or voice their opinion on various matters, it always stems from an ignorant view of this topic. But just as importantly, the way Christians will impose their convictions and opinions on the non-believer. First, never expect the unrepentant heart to think about right and wrong as you do. They are dead in their sin just as you were once. We stick to the Gospel and our testimony. Only the Holy Spirit can change a heart and make the dead to life. Second, our legalism is what has been the biggest problem in the church since the start. Not only should we not be imposing our second and third tier ideas on believers, but we should keep those to yourself amongst non-believers. The Christian looking down on the non-Christian for not living a life for God is unrealistic and dangerous. We are to love them, teach the truth (the first tier mainly) and live a life worthy of the Gospel. That’s it! Everything else is self-righteous, prideful and hurtful to the Kingdom. We are sinning when trying raise our opinions to the level of God’s Word. Keep the main thing the main thing. 

Lastly, sometimes we need to mature in our faith and wisdom of Scripture before we can know what our true convictions and opinions are. They will change as you grow. Like the way a child understanding of things change as they grow up. No one thinks the same at 8 years old as they do when they are 18. In fact, it might be the opposite on most matters of life. Let us all start there and most of this will handle itself. 

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

MisfitMinistry.com

TikTok @misfitministry

Honest Questions from the Youth

By S.C. Shaw

I lead musical worship for my church. Right now I am mainly leading for our youth group. Last week we handed out some paper for them to write any questions they had concerning God and the Bible. After reading through these questions and giving answers to the best of my ability and I thought it would be good for all to see. These questions are the same ones I hear from all ages. So here we go.

How can Jesus know what we are all doing at the same time?

What an amazing God right?! God is the Creator of all good things. That means He even created time and space. Which also means He operates outside of that because He is not bound by His own creation. Of-course this is all a mystery because we don’t know exactly how that works because we are not only bound by the time and space God has given to us, but we are limited in our finite minds compared to the wisdom and power of God. And you know what? It’s ok to not understand everything about God. In fact, if we could understand God completely then God wouldn’t be God.

When will Jesus bring peace to earth?

There will never be peace on earth until He comes back, judges the world justly, destroys it and then creates the new heaven and new earth. When will that be? We don’t know. But what we do know is we all have the same calling in Christ. We are to grow in our faith and share it with others. This world has been corrupted by sin and cannot be reconciled until it is made anew. But we are given the choice to have peace in this world because of what Jesus did on the cross. By dying for sinners and being raised, He gives us a peace that the world cannot understand. We have the hope of eternity with Christ and the joy that the Holy Spirit brings to us because He is living inside us. That means we can have a certain peace on this earth right now. 

How were the circumstances in Genesis so bad that He wiped out all people? 

How are the circumstances now not worse with everything happening because there are drugs and drinking still here… will He wipe out everyone else again in a different way? God said He would never flood the earth again.

There were some very different things going on in Genesis. And some things that are going on now seem just as bad if not worse. But there was a corruption of mankind with fallen angels and women making babies. I know that sounds weird and it is. It was a perversion of what God had intended. God made man in His image and now that image is being corrupted. There are many differing theories on this and what exactly was going on or to what level was the world corrupted with this problem. But we know it was bad enough for God to wipe them out. That’s a big deal. 

Plus remember, God would be just to wipe us all out all the time. The fact that He doesn’t is a major grace in our life. He gives us the opportunity to repent and follow Christ but it’s our choice. 

The world today is lost and corrupted as well. But wrath is coming for all the evil in the world. We must trust that Gods timing is better than ours. The book of Revelation says that when Christ returns, He is coming to destroy the wicked and bring His children home (plus lots of other stuff). 

So, there is judgment coming again but not in the form of a flood. He is going to destroy the whole world and make a new and perfect, never to be defiled again. A world for His children to live with Him for eternity. 

If God loves us so much, how come He allows suffering and heartbreak?

God is so loving that when He created people, He gave us the ability to make choices. When our first representatives “Adam and Eve” sinned, they cursed the whole of humanity. No one would have made a better choice for they walked with God in an undefiled relationship like no one has ever done in all of creation. To think that their choices cursing us in unfair, remember the point is that no one would have done any better. 

With that curse came a curse on all of creation. From then on God’s creation was thrown into chaos. But God is so good and loving that He didn’t destroy us like He could have justly done, He makes a way for us to know Him and ultimately be forgiven of this curse. 

This life feels all-consuming and long to us, but to God it is like a flash of light. At least in the way that time works. God is working His plan through all of this evil. That’s how good and loving He is. He is able to take our sin and suffering and turn it into beauty for His children and glory for Himself. We don’t always get to see the good that comes from bad things, but we can trust that God is working good because He can only do good. He has a purpose and point to all He does and it’s all good, holy and perfect. 

It is not that lack of love from God that we see bad things happen. It is the amount of evil people have chosen instead of turning to God for all things. It is always important for us to remember that God would have been just to kill us all. We deserve nothing from God but wrath. But He chose to offer forgiveness to those who would follow Him. Now His children have a future hope regardless of what is happening here and now. Our hope, peace, joy and life are in Christ and our eternity with Him. 

How come God allows all of humanity to suffer because of a mistake that two people made?

Adam and Eve weren’t just “two people”. They were the first man and women. They had a relationship like no other people have ever had. They represented us as our first parents. Because they were the first of creation, and had such an intimate relationship with God, they now represent all of mankind. No one would have done better and therefore we are under the curse of their sin. Thank God for Jesus right?

Why would God even create the tree that caused Adam and Eve to sin knowing that they would be tempted?

God made man very unique from the rest of His creation. Not only are man and woman made in His image. But they are also free agents, meaning they are able to make choices. Some call this “free will” but that’s another topic. God giving man a choice means they need a choice. They have to choose good or evil. If a temptation was never introduced, then having “free will” will mean nothing. God wants His children to choose Him freely. Not mindless robots or people that are forced to love Him. 

God gave them the garden of Eden full of wonderful food and a perfect relationship with their Creator. He simply asked them to not eat of one tree. But you know the rest. No matter the test for man, man would have failed. But this is good because we get to see God’s grace and mercy in our life. Plus we wouldn’t be able to see how good God is if we have never seen evil. I think that’s probably why the sinned. They really had no idea what they were doing but they knew they were disobeying. But God shows His grace and mercy right away. Sure, they cursed themselves and the rest of creation. But instead of just killing them as God had the right to do, He starts a covenant (promise) with them. He makes a way over and over again for God who is perfect able to dwell with man even though now we are corrupted with sin. Remember God can have no part of darkness and that’s all sin is. Sin causes death. 

How do I know if God is talking to me?

Short simple answer, If God speaks to you, you’ll know. But this is why it’s so important to know Gods Word because if the voice you are hearing is contradicting the Bible, then you aren’t hearing from God. God will also speak to us through our time in His Word. God has spoken to all of us very clearly. He has given us His Word. Too many Christians complain about not hearing from God while their Bible remains closed. What God wants from us or our lives is no mystery. 

Why do we fail?

We fail because we are weak. We are cursed from birth and have no hope. Too negative? It’s the truth but a more powerful truth is what Christ did for us on the cross. Us, this bunch of weak failures have the gift of eternal life and the Creator of all things as our King, Father and friend. You know that the Bible says about our weakness? When we are weak then we are strong because God uses us in and through our weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:10. That’s how powerful He is. 

Why am I not born smart?

First you would have to define “smart”. Smart in school? Smart because other people think you’re smart? All that doesn’t matter because God made you the way He wanted you. He will use you in all your strengths and weaknesses. I was terrible at school, still am. My brain doesn’t work academically (I had to look up how to spell “academically” so I could use it in this sentence). I cheated to make it through high school. I don’t recommend that, just telling you of my despicable past. But I run a successful business for almost 15 years now that I started with no help or college degree. I have a wonderful life and I don’t consider myself smart. At least not by the worlds standards. God will use you and strengthen you in ways you never even knew you had. Just trust and follow Him. Grow in the wisdom of the Gospel. Everything the world thinks is smart is foolish. 

What happens if God calls you to do something and you do not do it?

I’m pretty sure you’re talking about every day for every Christian who has ever lived. God calls us and we should listen. Are we perfect? No! But we are growing every day to be more like Christ and the more we become like Him the better we will heed (listen and obey) His call. And if God really wants you to do something, there’s nothing that will stop Him. See Jonah and the whale. 

Why did God give us the gift of worship music?

Tugging at my heart strings here. I love music in general but music that glories God is my favorite. I believe God made music very special. It is powerful. I think God created music because He is musical. He is creative and loves beauty. We sing because He sings. We worship Him because He deserves our worship. God loves giving good gifts to His children. And even though some people pervert that gift, that means nothing to our gift of music. 

What does God look like?

No one knows because no one has seen God the Father. God the Father is Spirit and does not have a body. But we have Jesus and Jesus is God. Jesus is the body of God. The bible tells us that Jesus will still have a body in heaven. In fact, Jesus will still bare His scares in His hands and feet in heaven. We don’t really know what Jesus looked like while on earth, but we know in heaven He will be glorious!

Why is it so hard to share the gospel?

I found it really hard to share the Gospel when I was still immature in my faith. Not that that is an excuse but it’s the truth. When we fill like we won’t have the answers that someone will ask then we would rather not talk at all. But no one has all the answers. What we do have is our testimony and we should at least know the basics of the Gospel as to fill in our testimony. God came, died and rose again for all who would believe. However, your life has changed because of that information, that is the Gospel you should share. But continue to grow in your faith and knowledge of the Bible because it will only do you well and serve others to be able to defend the truth and your faith.  

Why does God love us so much even though we are sinners?

That’s great news right!? Ephesians 2 tells us that even when we were dead in our sin, God loved us. Before you knew and loved God, He already loved you. Now that you know Him and are hopefully striving to know Him more, He not only loves you but delights in you. 

But if you’re asking how He could love us at all? It is because He created us. Even though we turned our backs, He still pursued us. Even when we fail, He still loved us. When we were helpless and hopeless, He gave us eternal hope. We don’t really know why, but we know He does. 

Will God forgive my recent sins that I have done in the past days?

We were born under the wrath of God. Dead in our sins. We are actually enemies of God. And yet He still saved us. Why? Because those He loves He loved since before the foundations of the world. So, before you could do anything to make Him angry or before you could do anything to make Him happy, He loved you. But as we see in Ephesians 2, there was no hope in our natural state. And yet God still chose to save us by His grace. We have done nothing to be loved by God and therefore we can do nothing to be turned away from Him. If you are in Christ, then nothing can take that away. Jesus on the cross died for every sin past present and future of those who would love and follow Him. 

But if we truly are following Him then we do still ask forgiveness because we feel the pain of our sin. Remember, Christ already paid for it. He took the wrath we deserve for each sin. So how do we respond? Hopefully with a life dedicated to Him. Yes, we are still sinning sinners. We won’t be perfect in this life. But Christ is making us more like Him each day. Even the days we can’t see it. Even the days we don’t even like ourselves because of what we’ve done. God is much more patient and loving than us. 

Will things be better in the future?

First, I would want to know what you think “better” is? The world is going to get worse; we see that in the Bible. We know that God uses our suffering in this life for our own good. As we draw nearer to Christ then we experience more peace and joy and His love. In that way everything is always better. If you are going through hard times in your family, work, whatever then yes, things will get better in the same sense if you find your peace with Him. I know we can feel like our whole world is falling apart when our home life is chaos. But remember, our real family is with God. We just need to draw nearer to Chirst. 

Does the Lord know what’s happening to my self-esteem?

God knows what’s happening at all times everywhere. In fact, He is in control of it all. But I would first want to know what you believe to be low self-esteem and why? To be honest I think we all have a big pride issue. Even our self-loathing in an example of pride. Think about what is happening when you’re feeling bad about yourself. We are self-absorbed in those moments. All we are thinking about is us. It feels like we are struggling with our self-esteem, but we are really just thinking of ourselves only. If we are truly feeling like we are struggling in ourselves then we need to strengthen our identity in Christ. That is who we were made for. When Jesus looks at His children He delights in them. So the God of the universe knows you and loves you. When we aren’t living for Him, that is when we begin to suffer through all these issues. But it’s never too late to make some changes.  

Eternity with God seems like too much. It’s scary. I question what life is going to be like in Heaven…. I can’t wrap my mind around the process of having no time stamp in Heaven.

Eternity does seem scary because we only know time. But God operates outside of time. Eternity is never ending but we can’t even really comprehend what that looks like. Our souls were created for eternity, so the only other option is actually scary and terrible. What this really comes down to is you haven’t seen God for who He is yet. The more you grow in your faith and relationship in Him the more you see His beauty and love. Then it turns from a scary unfathomable eternity to, I can’t wait to see my Savior face to face and praise Him for forever!

How do I talk with someone about God who doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong therefore isn’t interested in God?

This is a common problem in our culture today. Just because someone feels safe doesn’t mean they are. I would first break apart their false idea that they haven’t done anything wrong. I’d ask, “so you’re perfect?” Most logical people will answer “Of-course not.” Then you could simply ask them if they have ever lied before, lusted, hated someone, etc. Then point them to the Bible which is reliable in its writings (which is another whole conversation) but showing them that God of the Bible demands perfection, and we fail to meet that perfection. That means we are under His terrifying wrath. But, that’s ok because He made a way for us to be perfect in His eyes. Not that we are perfect but those who believe in Jesus and put their trust and faith in Him have eternal life and are safe from the coming wrath on all sin. 

Do some sins weigh more than others?

Some sins are obviously worse than others. Every sin is the same as it demands punishment from God. But there are three ways the bible talks about this, sins, trespasses and abominations. Each worse in their degree of sin. Of-course there are sin’s that are worse than others. 

Did God create himself?

“Nothing” is unable to create. God is the only uncreated being. That is what makes Him God. He would cease to be God if He was created. 

Is it true that God won’t give us more than we can handle?

God will always give you more than you can handle. We are weak and can’t handle anything. We see all throughout the Bible of people crying out to God and how what they’re going through is more than they can handle. Read the Psalms. This idea comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13. But the context is talking about temptation. God won’t allow us to be tempted to the point of breaking. He will always provide a way out as to not fall into sin. But as far as being able to endure suffering a trial, we have Christ to fall to for our strength and peace. It isn’t our mightiness that gets us through stuff, it’s Christ’s work in us. When Paul says “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” doesn’t mean you have the power to kick the brick wall down and conquer all. Paul is writing that from prison, and he is saying “No matter the abundance, lacking, joy or sorrow and suffering, because I have Christ, I can endure it all. My hope is not in this world but in the life with Christ.”

Does scripture say anything about self-harm?

You’d need to define self-harm because everything we do outside of glorifying God is self-harm and it’s a sin. But I can assume you’re talking about cutting and things like that. Cutting isn’t anything new. In fact, you can see in the Old Testament where people would cut themselves to worship their false Gods. They would also do all kinds of wicked acts in the name of their false dead gods and idols. The Bible also tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that we are not our own but a temple of the Holy Spirit and have been bought with a price. We belong to the God who created us. So, when we harm ourselves, we are not in line with Gods plan for us and our lives. 

Why does God allow humans to go to hell for eternity?

God has created our spirit to live forever. He has also made us free agents meaning we are able to make choices. If we live our life wanting nothing to do with the One true God, then He is not going to force you to be with Him. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but they lack understanding of what heaven is. Heaven is a place where those who chose to follow and love Christ with their entire life are now able to worship and praise Him for all eternity. That’s what makes it heaven, being face to face with our Savior forever. That sounds like hell to everyone else. But since our spirit lives forever, there has to be a place for them to go. And unfortunately living a life with an unrepentant heart leads you to eternal judgment. Which is what we all deserve. But God gave away out of that through Jesus work on the cross. But you must accept the gift and live for Him.

Why does God let some people starve and some be wealthy? What does God allow car crashes and hurricanes? Why does God allow pain and suffering?

Ever since the fall (Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve cursed us with sin), the world has been broken. Not Gods fault but ours. God has been working His plan since the fall to bring His children back to Him and the evil of the world is storing up wrath for itself. God will punish all evil and finally do away with it forever. But it is in His timing not ours. We can have hope because no matter what evil’s we face here we know we have such a powerful God that loves His children and is able to turn all the bad of the world and make it something good for us. That evil will be dealt with, but you are safe in your Fathers hands. The evilest thing ever done in all of history was Jesus dying on the cross. The only actual good person (God) coming and being killed for those who killed Him. In this He made the only way to be with God forever in eternity. This isn’t to dimmish all the suffering and sadness that comes from this broken world. But our hope isn’t found on this earth. It is found in Christ and the life to come. 

Why does God not make Himself known to everyone if the whole point of putting us on this earth is to worship Him?

First, God has made Himself known plainly in His creation. The Bible says creation declares the glory of God (Psalm 19:1) and the fool says in his heart “there is no God” (Psalm 14:1). God revealed Himself in mighty ways throughout the Bible and people still denied following Him. See, it’s not that people don’t have enough evidence, it’s that they are much happier and comfortable to deny Him and live the way they want. 

Second, God wants people to worship Him because they trust in Him for who He is and what He’s doing. Before Adam and Eve sinned and cursed us all, God was able to walk with man. But now God is unable to reveal Himself in that way because He is too glorious. We would actually die if we saw Him. He has given us His Word and He says that is everything we need to know to know Him and for saving faith. We don’t agree with that usually because we don’t read it enough. We haven’t experienced the power of it and so we deny it. The way God reveals Himself to His children that seek Him is so powerful they ask for nothing more. 

This is also the importance of Christians sharing their testimonies. The way God changes hearts should be enough evidence by itself. No one changes the way they change when they meet the real and living God. 

Why are we supposed to put God over everything else when we cannot even see or feel Him?

The follower of Christ does see and feel Him every day. That’s not to deny your faith but as we grow in our faith, we see Him acting in our lives all the time and feel closer each day. We put Him first because He puts Himself first. He does that because there is nothing greater than Him. To put anything before Him would be ridiculous. But we do it all the time. But it is hard because we can’t physically see Him or touch Him. But we turn back to Him and continue to fight for more of Him because we know there is nothing better. We are simply distracted by the physical world.

Do all LGBTQ people accepted by God and go to heaven?

We are all born into sin. Sexual sin is one of those sins. God created us for His purpose and glory. We were made by Him, for Him and through Him. We are to our own. Living in anyway outside of His design is sin. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, it is sin and needs to be denied so we can live for Christ. The sin doesn’t matter as much as if we are living in it, or accepting it in our life. The important thing is are we denying ourselves and living for Christ? In heaven we will see homosexuals, murderers, adulterers, fornicaters, addicts, and every other kinds of sinners. But those in heaven have denied their desires to be able to live for Christ. No one living in any unrepentant sin will make it to heaven. If we chose our sin over Christ then the wages of our sin is death. 

With that being said, too many Christians treat homosexuality as some kind of special or bad sin. When, in actuality, their pride and arrogant ignorance is just as bad if not a worse sin. We are called to love people and share the Gospel. You are not going to change anyone. Christ will take care of matters of the heart, you just share the good new of what Christ has done for sinners and let Him do the rest.

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

MisfitMinistry.com

Music StevenShaw.co

www.TheShawsMusic.com

Instagram @stevenshaw.co @fitcore @theshaws

TikTok @MisfitMinistry

“God is Love” Means What?

By S.C. Shaw

One of the most common things “known” about God is that He is love. “God is love” is uttered amongst everyone including people who don’t have any interest in following Jesus. Unfortunately, many don’t know what “God is love” means, let alone know where to begin with living in accordance with Him. If we get this wrong, it is a matter of life and death. The most dangerous thing is people having full assurance of faith when it is not secure at all. 

My heart behind this blog isn’t to crush your happiness in this ambiguous statement that “God is Love”, but it is to enlighten you to the Biblical truth behind this verse in hopes it helps you respond correctly to God in a way that does give you a life secure in His love and eternal life with Him in heaven. 

We see this famous verse in 1 John 4:7

Here’s 7-12 because context is key.

 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.”

Right off that bat people fail to see that every letter/the entire New Testament was written to the church, not the individual or to the unrepentant (non-believer). The gathered body of believers is who this letter is written to and we must understand it in that context. 

With that in mind, we see that this is a letter from John encouraging believers to love one another because God is love. But still, we must ask more questions. The way God loves is much different than the way we love or even think of love. Then we must begin to know the way God loves so that we can begin to know how to understand it. We must fight the urge to simply slap our own understanding of God, love, or anything we find in the Bible with the way we choose to understand it. 

Let us begin here. We see in 1 John 4 that God is love but 4 chapters earlier we see this passage in 1 John 1. 

1 John 1:5-10

“This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. This can help us begin to ask the right questions and start knowing God better in hopes to understand these things. 

– “God is light” means what? 

In the Bible, “Light” represents purity, holiness, godliness etc. God is love just as much as He is light. So, His love in the light of holiness and perfection is our starting point in understanding what love is supposed to mean.

-What is darkness?

In the Bible “darkness” represents everything ungodly, sin, evil, etc. There is no evil in God whatsoever. In fact, evil is only around because it is the opposite of God. We wouldn’t know “good” unless there was bad. We know how good God is because of the evil we see. Evil is the contrast of God. To put how good God is into perspective, God is so good that He is able to use the evil man choses for good. That means that all the evil man does, God is working for His ultimate plan and ultimate goodness. That’s amazing! He is so far removed from evil that when He uses evil situations, He is able to make the ultimate ending to that situation good. And don’t ever forget that the evil doer is not simply overlooked. Evil is storing up wrath for itself and all who practice it. I am simple pointing out the powerful goodness of God. 

-Do you feel like a liar when you read verse 6? 

If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth”

We need to examine our hearts always and make sure we are walking in step with God. How do we know we are walking in step? By reading His Word, fellowshipping with other believers and growing in our faith. We must see the fruits of the Spirit in our lives (Romans 2:5). Those are “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s not bad to question if we are right with God. But it can be bad to assume we are. Notice how it says “practice the truth”. We will never be perfect until we see Christ face to face. Until then it’s a practice. 

-How do we practice the truth?

“Practice” is an action word. If we aren’t able to see our faith tangibly, then I would ask if there is a true faith there at all? God doesn’t just speak, He acts. His Word demands action. His Words create and are action. Action is the most important thing in the world. Anyone can say anything. But to prove, change or respond, is to act. We can’t accurately practice the truth without knowing the Word of God. 

-How do we walk in the light?

Again, “walk” is an action word. We can only “walk in” light if we are living as Christ would have us live. What does that mean? Read your Bible. I know that can be simply a buzz word kind of statement, but it is true. If we care enough and seek to grow/mature in our faith, then we must be grounded and well versed in His Word. If we aren’t then we run the risk of falling for every wave of passion and doctrine around.  I know the Bible can be intimidating and hard to understand but this is why there are many ways to approach the Bible. Checkout this blog where I teach you how to slow down and grow in understanding intentionally. 

-Why is fellowship with one another so important?

God did not just save us out of sin, death and eternal punishment. He saved us to one another. We are the body of Christ and as such, should desire fellowship with other like-minded people. Jesus did not come to simply save YOU, He came to save the church, which is all of us who proclaim the faith. That’s not to dimmish the very real personal relationship we have with Him, but too many of us only have that individual aspect in our minds. 

-If we are cleansed from all sin, does that mean we don’t sin anymore?

We are still sinners because we are still in this world. We are still wrapped in this sinful flesh. However, we are under the blood of Christ if we are living in a life sacrificed to Him. As we mature in our faith we mature in our knowledge of sin in our lives. With that maturity comes a desire to be more like Christ. Checkout this song I wrote which is a prayer to illuminate the sin in our minds and help us run from even the temptation of it. 

-Who claims they have no sin?

The people of the world today don’t even use the word “sin” anymore. I would suggest that most people don’t even know what sin means. I would, however, claim that most of the world lives by a set of standards that they have made up in their own minds and attempt to live by. But if most people answer honestly, they will say they can’t even live up to their own moral standard. Their only goal is that their good deeds outweigh their bad ones. I love what the 1689n London Baptist confession of faith says about the worlds “Good Works”.

-If we simply confess that we are sinners, is that enough to be a Christian?

Short answer, “Yes”. But that is the first step. The demons know they are sinners too. Even the demons believe and tremble at the name of God (James 2:19). But they forever live with unrepentant hearts. We need to confess our sins, repent and live a life worthy of the Gospel. This is not done in our own power for we have none, but done with the gift of the Holy Spirit who is given to us by God when we follow Christ.  

-“If we confess and God forgives us, is that all? I’m good to go to heaven?”

This is the great dynamic of the Christian faith. Many will confess their sin, repent and attempt to live a life for Christ but will have little to know success. This is because there was no true conversion. We don’t just put on a face of godliness and attempt, out of our own power, to live for Christ. To be a “good person” is something that has never been. To be dead, and then to be alive, are two very different places to be in life. If your walk with God isn’t as dramatic as that then I would want to ask some questions. A great question to ask ourselves is “How has our life changed since following Jesus?” If there is not a real answer to that, there’s a problem. 

-Again, claiming “no sin”, what’s the big deal?

Sin is the reason why Jesus came. Sin is what has separated us from God. Sin is why Jesus (God) needed to come, die, and rise, so that He could be with His people forever. God’s desire has always been to be with His creation. He doesn’t need us, nor did He create out of any unmet needs. But He desires to share His goodness with His creation. He delights in what He has made. He is unable to have any part with us if we are covered by sin. But since Christ work on the cross, we are able to be covered by His blood and in fact we are the righteousness of Christ if indeed we follow Him. This isn’t by anything that we have done, but by His working alone. 

-How do we make God a liar? 

God is perfect and does not have the ability to sin. Lying is a sin. How do we make sense of this verse? If we claim to believe and walk with Jesus but live in a way contrary to what He commands in His Word, then His truth is made a joke to the on looking world and within us. God only speaks truth in fact He is truth. But to claim Christ and walk contrary to His teachings and commandments is to make it seem as if God is false or a liar. This is why there is so much confusion in the world today about God, the Bible, Christianity and the church.  

-We are to read His Word, but now His Word is in us?

In John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” That verse is talking about Jesus. When we live in the completed work of Christ then we have the Holy Spirit alive inside us. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. He is the third Person of the Trinity. That means we have the very Spirit of God inside us, if you truly believe and follow Christ. 

The best response to understanding a passage like this is “Am I saved? Or “what must I do to be saved?” If those questions aren’t on your radar, then ask more questions. Sometimes we need to plant the seed and let it grow. That is fine. But there is no way to make it to heaven without the repentance and following of Christ. If you’d like to read some thoughts about that question then read here.

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

MisfitMinistry.com

Music StevenShaw.co

www.TheShawsMusic.com

Instagram @stevenshaw.co @fitcore @theshaws

How to Study the Bible

By S.C. Shaw

I have been preaching, teaching and coaching people in the area of God’s Word (the Bible) for many years. One of the most consistent questions or problems people have with coming to the Bible is the complexity or difficulty of understanding it. Which of course results in not reading it at all. I know this to be true because I struggled for most of my life to read through the whole Bible or even read it on a consistent basis which lead to a very shallow and weak spiritual walk for many years in my life. But when I did read the whole Bible and now read it regularly, it changed me from the inside out. 

However, this blog isn’t about reading through the entire Bible. I think most of us need to start way slower. Why? Because the Word of God is inexhaustible and only gets deeper the more you study and understand it. I am not contradicting myself here. I want to encourage you to slow down when coming to the Bible because I want every person who wants to read the Bible to be excited and encouraged to read. This is the only Word from the very real and living God. The only God. There will be no greater life changing gift than coming to Gods Word and leaving with glimpses of Gods glory more each time. Understanding our Creator more will only help with every other aspect of our life. What am I talking about? I am simply saying, read less and understand more. At least at the beginning. I am going to show you an example on how to do this. Namely, ask more questions, research the answers and grow in wisdom and not just information. This will inevitably lead to the desire and excitement for reading through the whole Bible and actually understating more of it. 

Example. 2 Corinthians 7:1 is a very powerful verse that can be studied to understand the entire Gospel story and knowing God better. Let’s get started.

Always start with context of what you are reading. Even just a verse needs to be unpacked in this way. Without context we will wrongfully take verses and start with applying them to our lives, believing it to mean whatever we want it to mean. This is the most dangerous thing you can do. We don’t change the Gospel to fit us we change ourselves (God does this work in us when we are obedient) to fit the Gospel. We need to first understand who it was written to and how they would have understood it before we can draw any life application from it. 

Therefore, 2 Corinthians is the second letter from Paul the apostle written to the church in Corinth. This church was having some big struggles. There was divisions and quarrels among them. Paul is also defending himself as there were false rumors going around about his moral character and apostleship. Paul is calling this church back to Christ. Explaining their need to repent and get back to spreading the good news of Christ. That is a quick sum up.

That leads us to,

Corinthians 7:1

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

This might sound confusing already, but that’s the point. Read a verse like this and then stop and start asking questions. 

Some translations start this verse with “Therefore, since”. But either way when we come to a passage that starts like this, we need to ask ourselves, “What’s that therefore there for?” Or “Since what?” You know something was just said in the previous passage. Back up and get some context. 

In chapter 6 we read in verses 17 & 18, the end of chapter 6. 

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. Therefore, go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Paul here is reminding the church (from the Old Testament) to not be in wrongful fellowship with non-believers. We aren’t to avoid the non-believer, but the relationship we have with them should be very different than the relationships we have with our local church. The church was allowing sin into their church and false doctrines to be preached. We are to minister and tell the world the truth, but we are not to allow anything aside from Christ crucified to be preached in our churches. Paul is reminding them of this. 

Now we can ask the questions from 2 Corinthians 7:1

-Since we have these promises, beloved, 

1. What promises? And why is Paul calling them beloved?

Now we can answer the first question in light of what was just explained in chapter 6. Paul’s commission to turn back to Christ because of what God has promised us since the Old Testament that was written about 1000 years before this letter. God is foreshadowing Christ in this text from Ezekiel. God promised a Savior that would take away the sins of the world. Yeshua (Jesus), God, coming in human flesh to live the perfect life, die the only substitutionary death that He could die, be raised again and now is praying for His children in heaven until He returns for us. With these promises we get an eternity of heaven and everlasting life. And Paul usually addresses the church in this way because he loves them! He planted these churches and he knows these people they are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The very same people we will be with for eternity in heaven. This is the affection we should have for our church. So then, 

let us cleanse ourselves 

2. What is it to be clean?

In its most simple forms, to be clean is to not be dirty. What is dirty? Anything that is unclean. If we wash our hands and then rub them in the mud, they become dirty. I know, I know, this is too simple. But, 

from every defilement 

3. What is defilement?

Defilement is extreme dirty. It’s like I didn’t just rub my hands in mud, I picked up sewage. Defilement is harmful. It is deadly. And even though God is the One who ultimately cleanses us, we still have action to take. We have a part in responding to Him. Example, the Bible is not going to read itself. We need to pick it up and grow in our faith and maturity through His Word. 

-of body and spirit,

4. Why body and spirit?

So, we understand cleansing ourselves and the depth of defilement but now we must be clean in both body and spirit? Why does our physical cleanliness matter? It’s more than just being clean, again, cleansed from defilement. What does the Word of God say is defiling? Sexual immorality. Our bodies were made to glorify God in everything. Mainly because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The very Spirit of God is in each believer.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18

We aren’t to just be holy and pure in our minds or hearts but with our entire being. 

bringing holiness to completion

5. Completion? We can be perfect in this life?

How can we be made perfect in this life? We can’t. But God is continually making us more like Christ. It’s called sanctification. Our holiness will be made complete when Christ comes back and gives us new bodies. You see what Paul is saying here? He’s simply reminding us of Christ’s promise that nothing can or will snatch His children out of His hand (John 10:28-30). It is God who gives the gift of belief and it is God who sustains our belief until the end. This is how and why we will be “bringing holiness to completion”. By the power of Him who has called us. 

in the fear of God.

6. We are to fear God? Why? How?

The last part of this verse almost seems random. We just had all these sweet and loving reminders and now we must fear God? The Bible tells us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, (Proverbs 9:10). If we don’t have a healthy fear of God, then we do not understand Him enough. He is a big, awesome and powerful God. To stand in His presence is death unless you are a heavenly being. Just the sight of Him causes angels to praise and bow in adoration. Any time we see God reveal Himself in smaller ways in Scripture, it always results in people falling to their face in fear for their lives. His presence is too much for us. But this is the same God that makes a way for us to be reconciled back to Him. He has made us and loves us. But with a healthy fear is when we begin to see ourselves in proper context of who He is and who we are under Him. That is when we know He is the One we should follow and obey. 

You see how this is starting to work? This was a quick and simple breakdown of this verse. I could preach a sermon or write a book from the truths found here. But now that we understand this verse a little better, lets read it again and feel what you gain from slowing down to understand it more. 

Corinthians 7:1

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Every time we come to a verse or passage that we have done this kind of breakdown with, we can stop and remember all that we have learned and be able to teach ourselves/remind ourselves of the goodness of God and find comfort in His promises. As well as be able to explain in a deeper way, the truths of God. 

The other side of this is simply reading even when we don’t feel like it or understand it. Why? Because Christians have the Spirit of God living within them. That means we are reading what He wrote. And it is food for Him. Even when we don’t understand we are being blessed and strengthened. Plus, God is looking on with delight that we are being obedient to His command to grow in wisdom and maturing in the faith. 

This kind of practice will inevitably lead to a desire to read the whole Bible. Approaching Gods Word with the proper excitement and reverence. Then we will get much more from our devotion time with our Lord. 

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

Music StevenShaw.co

Ministry Page www.MisfitMinistry.com

You Are Not Good Enough (But Jesus is)

By S.C. Shaw

This is an interesting title, I know. It is so countercultural to make a statement like that. From birth we are taught “You can do anything you want. If you believe enough you can accomplish anything. You are enough.” Every Disney movie is based on this idea. Hear me correctly, I am not here to bash your identity, character or worth. After all, we are all made in the image of God. This blog is simply to help us think through this idea that we are in desperate need of something much more powerful than “us” in this life. 

I lead music for my church. In our youth service we are in a series with the title, “You Are Not Enough”. I added “Good” for reasons I will be explaining. I love that we are doing it. This age group is so affected by everything they are seeing and hearing. But this topic is an epidemic to all ages, and I pray this blog plants seeds of thought. 

Why is this important? 

Because even from a humanistic worldly context this idea that “you can do anything” is dangerous. But I’m not here to talk about that. What I am going to be talking about mainly is how much danger we are in if we think we are safe and sufficient in ourselves towards a God who demands perfection. I am not going to touch on the worldly aspect of this but the godly one. Our culture is so confused about who God is and what righteous requirements there are to make it to heaven. We are living in a post Christian culture and there is not much help in the area of Biblical truth out there. Here’s my small attempt to help spread truth and love from a Biblical perspective. After all, I am claiming to believe in a God who gave us a book that He is the author of, and He claims to be the only way to heaven and from escaping eternal punishment, (John 14:6). If I didn’t share this with everyone then I would be a hypocrite. Regardless of what you believe or think of me, at least hear these words as someone who is trying to save your life because that is what I believe I am attempting to do. 

What does God require of me?

The God of the Bible created everything good and according to His will, (Genesis 1:31). He Himself is the definition of goodness and perfection. He can do nothing apart from His holy and righteous character, (Matthew 12:25-28, 2 Timothy 2:13). In other words, He can’t deny Himself. He creates man and woman in His image and likeness. What does that mean? You and me bare some of who He is within us. We are not God, but we are able to experience and understand more about God by knowing who we are and being in relationships with one another. He has also given us His Word. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, (2 Timothy 3:16-17). God used man to write down what man needed to know to know God better and live according to His will. But I’m jumping ahead. 

God created everything good and man messed it up by disobeying Him. Because Adam was our representative, we are all cursed because of his actions (Romans 5:12-21). And before you think that’s not fair just remember, Adam and Eve had a relationship with God that no other human has ever had. They walked with God and spent face to face time with Him. And they still failed. Now that we are born into this curse, we are under Gods wrath from birth (Ephesians 2:1-3). Remember, God demands perfection because He can have no part of imperfection. He is perfect holiness, righteousness and a myriad of other great things. But He still desires to be with His creation. You see the dilemma? So, what do we do? We are unable to live up to Gods standards because we are born into this curse of sin. God can’t just accept us the way we are. So, what do we do? The real question is “What did He do?”

Luckily God is all mighty, all wisdom, all power and sovereign. Meaning He knew that giving man the ability to make choices means we would ultimately mess up because we are not God. Created by a perfect God does not mean we are perfect. In fact, only God is perfect. So, God demands perfection, and we are not it. 

What was God’s plan?

God sent Himself to earth to take His own wrath upon Himself in order to make a way for some to be worthy of Himself. Why some? The Bible makes it clear that some are chosen, or elect, to receive the gift of eternal life (Matt. 22:14; 24:22, 24, 31; Luke 18:7; Acts 9:15; 11:18; Rom. 8:29, 30, 33; Eph. 1:4, 5, 11; Col. 3:12; 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:10. See, also, Luke 10:21-22; John 6:37, 44, 65; 10:26; 15:16; 17:2, 6, 9; Acts 5:31; 13:48; Rom. 9:11, 15, 16; 18 11:5, 7, 28; 1 Cor. 1:27, 28, 30; Gal. 1:15; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; 2:8, 9; Rev. 5:9; 7:10-12). Sorry to overwhelm this point but I believe it to be very irresponsible and dangerous to teach anything else. Sound unfair? Remember, we are all deserving of eternal judgment because our fallen state. God was under no obligation to save anyone. He would have been just in destroying everything and starting over again. But God choses to save some. But hear this. No one who comes to Him will be denied. Anyone who calls upon the Lord for forgiveness will be welcomed in to His family, eternally forgiven of their sins and secured eternal life in heaven. The plain fact is, not all will accept that invitation.

So, God sends Himself in the form of a man He calls (Yeshua). Why a man? Because there is no forgiveness for sins without the shedding of blood. Why? Because sin leads to death and therefore death is the only way to pay for sin (Romans 6:23). Hence the continual animal sacrifices we see in the Old Testament. But the blood of goats and lambs are not enough to take away the eternal punishment that awaits the judgement for man’s sin. It was always a temporal way to cover sin. Again, God making a way for Him to be able to dwell with man even before Christ enters the scene. But this was all a foreshadowing of Him who was coming. We need an eternal sacrifice to secure us for eternity. Only God is eternal. But God can’t die. God must come as a man in order to live perfectly, die perfectly, be raised again and ascend to heaven to secure His children forever. But Jesus didn’t forgo His deity. He was 100% man and 100% God while on this earth. He is the second person of the Trinity. Yeshua is His name, or Jesus for the more recent of understanding. 100% man because God can’t die and there must be bloodshed. 100% God because only God can live a perfect life as a man in order to be the perfect substitute for sinful man. Only God is enough to take on the sin of all who would believe, die, be raised and ascend to His Throne in Heaven. Only God can take God’s wrath and survive. Only God can raise people from the dead. Is this starting to make sense? God alone can make a way for people who are dead in their sin, back to Himself, accepted as holy and righteous before Him (Ephesians 2:1-10). Only God is powerful enough make this happen. And He did. Jesus is our perfect substitute. He lived and died perfectly to save us. He rose from the grave and is back in heaven praying for His children every day. 

Why does this matter to you?

This truth is important to all because there are only two kinds of people. People going to heaven and people going to hell. What is hell? Hell is a place made for Satan and those who follow him. God desires no person to be there (1 Timothy 2:3-4), but He is also not going to force anyone to follow Him. Hence the ability to make choices. God is just and allows people to make their choices and our choices have an eternal consequences. That means the way you take this message will matter forever. I’m not assuming your eternity in this blog, but I am talking about the truths that do concern your choices. This is a choice we must all make for ourselves. There is no salvation based on your family, where you grew up or political party you hold to. This is a response to the love Christ has shown us on the cross. God becoming man and offering us forgiveness by His work alone. God deserves nothing less than a life completely submitted to Him. 

You are not good enough to enter heaven. But Jesus the Christ was, and He offers His perfection on anyone who chooses Him over all else. 

If you want to know more then continue reading here.

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music StevenShaw.co

Ministry Page www.MisfitMinistry.com

What is The Church?

By S.C. Shaw

What is the church, what is the point, why should we care and the dangers of not knowing the answers to these questions? There are some fundamental truths about the church we need to remember or “going” to church will mean very little and make no impact in the world for the sake of Christ. This isn’t something that only the weak or immature Christians have trouble remembering, this is something we need to preach for ourselves all the time because it is easier to live with the wrong mind for church. 

What is the Church?

The church is God’s people as a whole, both worldwide and locally. The body of Christ is what the Bible calls the Church. Or the gathered people of Christ. The Church is not a place you simply go when you feel like it. It is not a building or location you must attend to do “church”. We do not meet because we are commanded to go to church. We are the Church, if in fact you are a child of God, and as so we are commanded to meet together because we are the church. We aren’t commanded to go to church but to gather as the church. I know this sounds so simple, but most of us approach the church building, house school or wherever your church meets, with this wrong mindset. But this is how and why we have such a lackluster church gathering every Sunday across America. People coming to an event called “church” that they feel free to come and go as they please with no conviction of what it all means to the glory of God. Church is treated like a grocery store where one can pick and choose what they like or dislike. Where you can go to a different church each Sunday just to make sure you get your fix. But the sweet life you are missing when you get this wrong. Yeshua (Jesus), has so much more in mind when we are called to gather as the church.

What is the point?

So with this new understanding of what the church is, I hope it helps this section make more sense. If the point of church isn’t just a place we go to, but a group of people we belong to, then what’s the point? Why has God commanded us to gather? Or better, together. Why can’t we just have a relationship with God and not have to deal with all the sloppy relationships? Does God really command us to meet together? Hebrews 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Ephesians 5:19 “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,”

If these were the only two verses referring the church gathering together it would be plenty to know we are to meet and worship in One voice to our good God. But we see throughout the Bible, God’s people meeting together and see that any follower of God by himself is never condoned or considered a good thing. 

God has given us each other as a gift. We will be strengthened, refined, encouraged and grow in Spirit and in truths as we “deal” with one another and grow in friendships. Families are messy. The church is our eternal family, and it is filled with broken people just like you and me. My pastor always says “If you’re looking for the perfect church, you won’t find it. And if you do, they probably won’t let you join.” It’s funny but it’s true. 

We are not only gathered together for the betterment of each other but also to worship God with one voice. 

Why should we care?

At this point I think it should be obvious why we should care about the church. But I am a slow learner and I’m guessing there might be a couple more out there that needs repetition to learn. 

What all this is pointing to is the fact that we cannot be alone. There is no such thing as an alone Christian. There are no Rambo Christians. When you meet one of these people, they tend to be a little off. Their theology is all over the place, they’re usually a little aggressive when their doctrine is called into question. And or they are being swept up by eve4ry new age idea out there. We need other like-minded and fellow believers to keep us in check. We both serve and get served at church. We need correction and give correction. We give and receive encouragement. Not even God Himself in human form was alone. Jesus surrounded Himself with people. All of us are a far cry from being like Jesus. But we are called to practice and become more like Him every day. 

This is something that shouldn’t take lots of effort. In fact, if we are growing closer to God then the natural desire is to be with Gods people. To be excited to share in worship to the God who saved us. To need one another to help grow our faith. Now I don’t think for a second that this is normal or easy at first. But that is a natural response to knowing God more and understanding scripture better. 

What are some dangers of denying this?

Here’s what I see in churches today. I am a worship leader and pastor. I lead at many different churches all around Southern Orange County. What I see more than anything is the grocery store church goer. What I wish I saw more of is a group of Gods people gathering to raise our knowledge and affections towards Him. We aren’t most concerned with Gods glory; we are most concerned with checking a box of church attendance each week. And it’s not all our fault. The church is doing a subpar job at helping us understand this. Some churches are doing a better job than others but it’s a point being missed all too often. 

So what?

I don’t think anyone blog post is going to convert somebody’s lifelong idea if what church is. But I do pray that this has planted a seed. I hope you begin to read you Bible more with the eyes of the church. The entire New Testament was written to the church. I pray you desire to be part of that family. The church needs more people that get this. That are willing to love until it hurts. And it’s going to hurt. But it will also be a blessing to you and your church. This is our eternal family that God has chosen since before one second of time was created. Let us go and enjoy it!

I wrote a more in depth look at what the church is and means biblically here.

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music StevenShaw.co

Ministry Page www.MisfitMinistry.com

Triumph Over Sin

By S.C. Shaw

I have been a Christian for most of my life. I was a terrible Christian for along time, but still a Christian. One thing that I have noticed is whenever myself or anyone I know has had a spiritual victory, been saved, prayer, reading the bible, victory over sin, is always followed up by attack. You may have experienced this already. Or maybe you have and didn’t know you were in an attack. After Jesus started His ministry, he has a huge spiritual victory, and it’s time to start his ministry. The time for Christ testing is now.

Matthew 4:1-11

The Temptation of Jesus

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

Let’s break this down:

Matthew 4:1

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

Why is He being led to the wilderness? Let’s get some context, back to Matthew 3

(Matthew 3:16-17)  

The Baptism of Jesus

“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said,“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” 

This is the “real” start for Christ. The beginning of the end to sin for those who would believe. This is the start of the most amazing event to ever come to history as we know it. 

Back to the story.

V1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Immediately He was taken to the wilderness. It almost seems like He was rushed to go. Christ is finally ready to start His ministry and He gets taken away. Why?

Why must Jesus be taken away to be tempted/tested in the wilderness? Let’s get to the miracles already, right? Jesus has been waiting patiently for God the Fathers perfect timing. Now, 30 years later, Jesus is ready to start His ministry.

This was the final testing for Christ to prove His worthiness to be our substitute. Jesus was already perfect and worthy to follow through with the Fathers will, but God is a God of details, and God is all about teaching us about His character. He is showing us how worthy and holy His Son is. God is giving us guidelines to live our lives more faithfully, to look to our perfect example on how to live. 

I thought of this passage for along time as “poor Jesus, what a difficult test for him”. But as I studied it, something became very clear. Jesus was going to this testing with full confidence. I think Satan didn’t want anything to do with it. The devil knew he wasn’t going to win. And Jesus knew He would win. Jesus walked into that wilderness eager to prove to all creation of His worthiness and perfection. Jesus came in on the offense. A fight between Jesus and Satan is like a fight between a boot and an ant. No contest.

V2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. “

Why forty? You think that this was a coincidence that God is mirroring some Old Testament events? The Israelites were wandering the wilderness for 40 years. They were tested there. They were hungry. They were lead by the Spirit just as Jesus was. There are many similarities here. But the biggest one is, where the Israelites failed, Jesus was determined to obey. 

Also, fasting always comes with a time of great testing. Fasting is a great way to focus on prayer. Fasting makes you weak and strong at the same time. As you grow weaker physically, you are growing stronger spiritually. 

The word “temp” in the original Hebrew means both tested and tempted. As God the Father is using this time to test Christ, Satan is using it to temp Jesus. God can never temp you, but He will test you. What Satan means for evil, God plans for good. 

V3. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 

You see what Satan did there? “He tries to plant doubt, “If you are the Son of God”. We saw in chapter 3 that God spoke to Jesus and proclaimed His Son ship. But Satan wants to plant any doubt he can to attempt the sin of Jesus. But as we will find out, Jesus is much more powerful than any temptation. 

Satan is temping Jesus right where His gifts are. Jesus has the power to turn whatever He wants into whatever He wants. Jesus is hungry, He’s physically weak. He knows that He’s able to turn those stones into bread. How does Jesus reply to this?

Jesus looks the devil in the eyes, punches him and He defeats the devil just like that! ….

Is that what happened?

No, Jesus used the Word of God to strengthen Himself and defeat His enemy. 

V4 But He answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

I love this. Do you realize what He’s saying here? First off, He’s quoting the Old Testament. But what does it mean? Is it bad to eat? Is it a sin to be hungry? No!

Jesus is using Scripture to defend His Father and ultimately Himself because He is God. “Man shall not live by bread alone”. God made food to be a blessing for us. He could have made a square block that had every nutritional value our bodies needed. We could have no taste buds and just ate to live. God could have done that. But He didn’t. He created flavors, so many flavors, so much goodness that no one will ever be able to enjoy all in this life. What a good God. 

But what Jesus is saying here is, “I trust my Father in heaven and if He wants Me to die, no amount of food can keep me alive. And if He wants me to live, no amount of fasting can kill me”. He’s proclaiming His trust and power in the God of heaven. 

V5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple. 

V6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and “‘On their hands they will bear you up,

lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Satan is misquoting scripture. Now Satan is temping Jesus with the very power Jesus just uttered in the last verse. “Your God is powerful, then show it.” They are at a populated city where Jesus would become famous if He jumped off the temple and God slowly guided Him down safely to the ground. Jesus would have an instant following. Sound good right? But How does Jesus reply?

V7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 

What does that mean? Would God not have caught him? I thought God was all powerful and would keep you alive if He wanted to? To contrast verse 1. Putting God to the test isn’t some ultra way to prove your trust in God. Like going out to the desert and sitting there with no food or shelter, praying to God “I fully trust you to provide for me”. That’s not trusting in God, that’s being irresponsible with the life God has given you. For example, people have tested God in this way in the past. They have jumped off a high place with full trust that God will not let any harm come to them. You know what happened? They died. Putting God in a place that He should not have to be. Making God something He’s not. Making God do something He doesn’t.  

Also, You will always be tempted where your gifting’s are. If you are smart you will be tempted to be boastful. If you are an artist, you will be tempted to use your art to glorify yourself instead of God. Satan will use your gifts against you. Again, what God has planned for good, the enemy will try to use for evil. 

V8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 

V9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 

Finally we get to the heart of what Satan has wanted this whole time. He has wanted to be head honcho since we was an angel in heaven. This is why he was cast out. Now he gets to challenge Jesus to get what he wants. But of course Christ would not and could not do this. 

V10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God

and him only shall you serve.’”

Jesus is answering in the same way we should all face temptation and idolatry. We should not be making anything more important in our lives than God. But how hard is that for us? Our hearts are idol factories. What is an idol? Anything we put before or ahead of God. 

V11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

God brings triumph to those who remain faithful in testing. When we triumph over temptation God sends us extra blessing. We are drawn closer to Him with every victory. We are not and cannot earn our salvation with our works, but we can receive blessing from God for our faithfulness to His calling. 

When we go through trials, suffering, persecution, temptation and all other forms of seemingly bad things, know that God is working those things for good. He is growing your faith and character. When God calls you to something, just know there will be testing. God’s calls are big and always out of the realm of our strength. God is strengthening you, not to be strong in your own efforts, but being made able to be stronger in him. Knowing how to call upon His power for His glory alone. All the great men and women of God went through lots of testing before they were able to accomplish the plans God had for them. But these are all blessings.  

Remain faithful to God. Jesus was tested and proven to be our rightful sacrifice. We have every right to draw near to God because of Jesus. We have no salvation to earn for ourselves. The work has been done by Christ alone. But now we are called to a new life. To walk in a way that is proof that you are a child of Gods. But remember, this is not out of your own efforts. You draw near to God and He draws near to you! 

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music StevenShaw.co

Ministry Page www.MisfitMinistry.com

The Gospel for the Post-Christian Culture

By S.C. Shaw

I recently went to a conference with some leaders with my church. We learned some interesting statistics about our new Post-Christian culture. I wasn’t even aware that this was such a major thing of our time. We learned how the next generation of people are growing up in a world completely oblivious to the bible and the gospel in general. The only upside to this is the excitement that can come from someone hearing the amazing saving grace of God for the first time without bringing any false or just messy life stories to the gospel from their past. My attempt in this blog is to breakdown the gospel story as simple and short as I can for those who just don’t know. 

Here’s how I would explain the gospel story to people who know very little to nothing about Jesus Christ. 

The God who created everything in this world and the whole universe has created you and me. He created man and woman very different and special from all His other creations. He made them that they may be in perfect fellowship with Him forever. God wasn’t in need of anything or lonely. In fact God is so powerful and mysterious that He is Three in One. He is One God but with three very distinct persons or essence. I know that is hard to understand, but if God could be fully understood what kind of God would He be? We will never fully understand Him.

Everything we need to know about Him and His saving grace, He has given to us in His Word, the Bible. But this awesome God creates us because of His overflowing love and creativity. He simply wants to share Himself with His creation. One of the most amazing mysteries is that God has given us the ability to make choices. What God wants more than anything, what He values above everything else in His own glory. That sounds weird and egotistical I know. But remember, we are not talking about a person. We are talking about the God who has not only made all things but upholds, rules and is in control of all things. The words for that are “sovereign and providence”. That’s a good word to know. So, what else can be above God’s glory? It is only right to put His glory first. Why does this matter? Because God creating us able to make choices means; one, this shows His power and glory, two, man and woman choosing to love and obey Him is more glorious than God just making mindless robots. And notice how I’m not using the term “free will” but able to make choices. I think the idea of free will is different and not a correct term for free agents able to make choices. But that’s a whole other blog topic.

So God makes both man and woman. He creates them special, meaning they possess certain qualities and characteristics of God Himself. God made them in His image or likeness. Not bearing a physical resemblance, God is all Spirit. But we are able to know Him and understand Him more than all the rest of creation. We share similarities with God. Mainly, made for fellowship with Him but with one another as well.

There is another side of this story. That is the side of evil. Lucifer was the most beautiful angel in heaven. So much so that Lucifer wanted to be like God. He wanted to be worshiped. So God, protecting His own glory, cast Lucifer out of heaven along with some of the angels that wanted to follow him. Now called Satan, the Devil, the Tempter, the Deceiver and many other names. Lucifer would be apposed to God forever. 

I tell you this because God gave rule and dominion to Adam and Eve (the first man and woman). They had free reign of it all except for one tree they were not to eat from. Why did God do this? Because God must test man to know if they will choose Him or not? Turns out, the first test was failed by our representatives, Adam and Eve. They had a relationship with God that no one else in this world has ever experienced and they still failed. How did they fail? Satan came to them when they were in the garden and tempted them to eat of the tree God had told them not to. To make a long story short, they ate and they broke the relationship they had with God. They now know sin and have cursed all of creation with them. Doesn’t seem fair? Remember, they were far closer to God than we can ever be this side of heaven. No one would have done any better. The represented us wholly and completely. God in all His perfection can have no part in sin. Sin is the opposite of who He is. That is why the covenant was broken. Darkness, evil and sin entered to world and God must make things right again. How? By destroying sin and sinners. 

After that the world was in chaos. Now sin in abundance entered through this one sin. God makes promises and covenants to people He sees are seeking after Him. God showing undeserved grace and mercy on us from the start. God pours out His graces on His people over and over again as His people struggle with sin and idolatry over and over again. God gives them His commandments, ways to atone for their sin by imperfect and continual sacrifices through the blood of animals and other sacrifices. 

Fast forward to the New Testament (the second grouping of books 400 years after the Old Testament ends. God’s perfect timing has come for the truth and final redemption for His people. He sends Himself in the second person of the Trinity, comes to earth as Yeshua or as we know Him best (Jesus the Christ) the man. This man is 100% God, and 100% Man. God is doing the impossible to bring His beloved rebellious people back to Himself. God again constantly showing His people grace and mercy. Why would He do this? First, because He made promises in the Old Testament (the first grouping of book in the bible that ends 400 years before Jesus enters the scene). Second, God saves us because saving us shows His glory even more than destroying us would. Even though He would still be just and glorified if He did destroy us. Once Adam and Eve sinned, God had every right to kill off His rebellious creation and start over again. But He doesn’t. Instead He has planned since before He created the world, that He would save us. That’s right, God not only knew that man would sin, but He is working out all of history for His ultimate plan of glory and our ultimate good. Again, hard to understand fully I know. 

Jesus comes and is getting ready to start His ministry after 30 years on earth. He works hard and is growing in who He is, but His ministry has not started yet. There’s some cool stuff that happens but it is not till Jesus is 30 years old that Jesus actually starts His ministry. Jesus starts His ministry by getting baptized. It’s a great example of how the new Christian should start their walk with God. Baptism isn’t a means of salvation. Just like Jesus was already God and already perfect in His life, and yet He still gets baptized to start His ministry. We are saved by God and have full assurance of heaven before we are ever baptized. But just like our lives will look very different after following Jesus. Baptism is just an outward sign to everyone of your inward conversion. Just a little side note.

Let’s continue with the life of Christ. He performs many wonders and awesome things (you should pick up a bible and read John to read about Jesus life). But we are in summary form here. Jesus finds men to follow Him on His journey. These 12 men walk with Jesus for His entire ministry. Which is only 3 years. 

At 33 Jesus and His ministry are going to come to and end. One of His disciples named Judas, betrayed Jesus for a little money. Another example of a man in a position closer to God than we will ever get in this life and still chooses evil. He makes a terrible decision. Anyway, Jesus is turned over to the authorities and is crucified. But Christ crucified was always Gods plan. Crucifixion was the worst way someone could experience death. Jesus, after being beaten a lot, is hung on a tree and dies. But that’s just the beginning of the story. After three days Jesus is raised from the dead by God. He was confirmed dead by professional killers. In fact, if they were unsuccessful in killing someone, they in turn would be killed. Needless to say, they took their killings very serious. Failure wasn’t an option.

Jesus was dead for 3 days and He rose. The whole point of Jesus dying was so He would rise. This is what secures the believers eternal life with Him. We die to ourselves and rise with Him. Not only a new life here on earth but an eternal life with Him in heaven. When Jesus rose, He made Himself known to over 500 eyewitnesses and the world would never be the same again. 

Much happened after all this, but this is where I would encourage you to start reading the Bible. Once Jesus ascended back up to heaven, His people’s ministry exploded here on earth. Jesus sent His Spirit down to dwell within His those who choose to follow Him to give them all the power and wisdom they need to make more disciples. Christians aren’t special except that we admit our sin and failures, rely on God’s grace alone and He empowers us to do good, gives us a secure place of eternity with Him and the desire to be steadfast till the He returns. 

I pray this was simple and clear enough for someone who has never heard the gospel. My goal in everything is to have more people hear this amazing grace story of Christ and the salvation He offers to all. You can choose to believe or deny, but you need to know what the truth is before you decide. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and ask questions. 

I wrote a more extensive blog on the fuller Gospel story you can read here if you are intrigued. The Good News

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.

Music StevenShaw.co

Ministry Page www.MisfitMinistry.com

The Little Things Matter Most

By S.C. Shaw

The Christian needs to be more focused on the little things in our day, because that is what consumes our minds more than anything. Let me define “little things” first. I’m talking the boring, mundane, the unnoticed, and the seemingly unimportant things that happen on the day to day. These are the things that will reveal your true faith in Christ. 

Most of us will not be of much importance in the world’s eyes. We won’t cure diseases or become famous. Most our names won’t be known for our great work in the world, but Christ knows and sees all we do at every moment we do it. Therefore, we need to glorify God in all we do from the moment we step off our bed in the morning to the moment we lay down at night. Praising Him for His common graces on the world, as well as the much bigger graces He has shown to His children. 

How do you react when someone cuts you off while driving? How do you treat your parents, spouse, teachers, or friends when no one is watching? What goes through your mind when you see an attractive person? There are a million little things that come across our days that will either give us the opportunity to glorify God or shame our faith. But we rarely take notice of these things. We are overly focused on the big things alone. The big sins, the big project, the next church service, the missions trip you’ve been planning for months. All the while we’ve neglected our own bible reading, refraining from gossip, averting our eyes from lust, or just simply overly self-focused. I’m not minimizing all the big “good” things that we do to glorify God, but church services and mission trips are not the only times we glorify God and live like a disciple of Christ. 

So what do we do? Pointing out the problem is easy. How do we refocus our hearts to set our eyes to Christ so much so that our “little” sins become bigger things and our “big” sins become more obsolete? Practice makes perfect. Like Paul refers to the athletes training and discipline it takes to be ready for their sport. How much more should our every day be enveloped by the things of God. Don’t wait till you finally feel ready to do a good work for Christ. Don’t wait for those big opportunities to glorify God. The big things will mean very little unless the little things are made real big. Not neglecting the big things, but seeing all things as big things: Sin, service, giving, other people, our thoughts, our hearts and God. All things that can seemingly be small in our minds while less important things consume us all day, everyday.

As you start to focus on the small things, you’ll fail much, but never give up. You’ll get better and better until it becomes habit to react well, through the power of the Holy Spirit to honor God in all you do. 

For more Chris centered everything visit www.MisfitMinistry.com

Closing:

Please don’t let my word be the final word on this. Pick up the Bible, read Gospel-saturated books by good authors, read good commentaries on the Bible, pick up Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology”, read the 1689 London Baptist confession of faith and learn from a man’s lifetime of study and meditation on the Word of God. Most of all, trust in Jesus Christ and know what He has given us is whole, perfect and is for our good and His glory. Love you all!