BECOMING LIKE JESUS

Hey Metal Friends, Pastor Brad here---with some exciting updates and another, I think, a mega-inspirational word from God’s Word---about spiritual growth and walking with Jesus!

2 UPDATES
• THE CHRISTMAS METAL EXPERIENCE! (Nov. 21-25)
Between now and the end of August I will be recording/mixing the CHRISTIAN METAL EXPERIENCE episodes.  Please pray that God will bless that process.  I really want this five-episode Christmas mini-series to be something special--something that will ROCK you up BIG-TIME and totally glorify God!

• THE PASTOR BRAD ROCKS PODCAST! 
Episode 2 is now available EVERYWHERE Podcasts are heard: Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, etc.  Tune-in, Like, Comment & Share!  Thank you in advance!

Okay, onward to another word from God’s Word… 

SPIRITUAL GROWHT IS ABOUT BECOMING LIKE JESUS! 

THE BIG IDEA
“Salvation isn't about us leaving this world when we die and going to be with Jesus, it's about Jesus leaving heaven and coming to live within us.”

In other words, Salvation is “incarnational,”  it begins the moment we receive Christ as Savior and Lord--He LITERALLY MOVES IN and takes up RESIDENCE within us via His Holy Spirit.

He begins living in and through us: leading and guiding us, teaching, challenging and convicting us, inspiring, encouraging and comforting us--step by step through life.  Yes, we go to be with Him when we experience physical death, but “salvation” begins the MOMENT we receive Him as Lord.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, decade by decade, He transforms our inner-person, our perspectives, values, and character so that His will becomes our greatest desire and His ways become our ways.

3 PASSAGES THAT HELP US UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL GROWTH (A.K.A. BECOMING LIKE JESUS). 

#1. Romans 8:28-28 (NIV) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”

GOD does the work.  Our role is to trust and obey.   He never stops working.  He works in EVERY circumstance--the good, the bad and the ugly--He keeps teaching, chipping the attitudes and mindsets that need to go away, leading us and transforming our mindset, our perspectives, etc. little by little, day by day, more and more into the likeness of our Savior.

#2. John 3:30 (NIV)  “He must become greater; I must become less.” 

John the Baptist had the PERFECT attitude.  This is the model attitude of a disciple of Jesus,  “He must grow greater and greater and my selfish flesh just needs to go away." .

Here’s a great prayer that reinforces this mindset:
Lord, empty me of me and fill me with you.” 

What do you need to be emptied of right now---fear, doubt, selfishness, worry, fleshly anger, lust? 

What do you need to be filled with right now--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? 

Pray this prayer---as often as you need to---it helps keep your mind focused on the right things!  And God loves to answer prayers like these!

REMEMBER: “Salvation isn't about us leaving this world when we die and going to be with Jesus, it's about Jesus leaving heaven and coming to live within us.”

#3. Galatians 2:20 (NIV) “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

NEW LIFE in Christ begins with death to self.  Acknowledging our brokenness and need for Christ, turning our back on all allegiances to this world and our selfish (sin nature), and choosing to follow Jesus as Lord and King.  The Christian life is a life of FOLLOWING… following Jesus, by faith (trust and confidence in Him) moment by moment, each day through life.  It's all about learning to say “Yes” to things that will bless and grow our relationship with Him and “No” to things that will dishonor or undermine our relationship with Him.

As we wake up every day with the prayer, “Good morning Lord, I love you!  This is the day you have made!  I will rejoice and be glad in it!  Lord empty me of me and anything that is not honorable to YOU and FILL me with the character and love of Christ today!” … as you live day after day with THAT mindset---you will be blown away what HE will do in your life over the course of time!

So, let’s start the rest of this day off right with this prayer, “Lord, empty me of me, and fill me with you!  In Jesus’ name, amen!”

80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

Jesus Came Down & Got Dirty!

Metal Blessings,
Hey Christian Metal Friends, Pastor Brad here.

THREE QUICK (and awesome) THOUGHTS --- Then we’ll dive right into another super encouraging thought from God’s Word this week.

THOUGHT #1:
A BIG SHOUT OUT to Bill Wyman & Jeff Terry who partnered with me on Patreon this week!  Huge-Mega-80s-Christian-Metal—THANK YOUS to BOTH of you brothers!  I really appreciate it!  I hope you are loving the “Have A Metal Christmas” album!  We are gonna Rock The Word For Jesus Together!

THOUGHT #2:
If you haven’t checked out my PATREON page yet—take a second sometime today to check it out.  Be sure to watch the video!  I still have 8 copies of “Have A Metal Christmas” (my new Christmas Metal Album coming out this winter) to give away to the next 8 people who become patrons!

THOUGHT #3:
Did you get a chance to listen to the new Pastor Brad Rocks Podcast yet?  If not—it’s up on ALL the major podcast platforms---Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, etc.  So definitely check it out… A new episode will come out each Wednesday going forward!

Okay, now ONWARD to another ENCOURAGING WORD for you this week!

This is killer…

Are you ready?

JESUS CAME DOWN & GOT DIRTY FOR YOU & ME!

Think about this, Jesus left GLORY and stepped down into our DIRTY MESS so that through faith in Him we can leave our DIRTY MESS ss and step up into HIS GLORY!
It’s July 4th weekend!  We’re celebrating our freedom and independence!   On this weekend we are reminded that FREEDOM  is never FREE.  As long as there are forces in this world that desire to take our freedom away ,freedom will always require a price.  The American Revolution required deep courage and a conviction that said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  For our founding faithers, freedom was worth the ultimate sacrifice. 

Guess what, for God our Father, and Jesus His Son, our Savior and Lord, our freedom from the wages of sin (death/separation from God) was worth the ultimate sacrifice too! 

In my mind’s limited ability to comprehend this--Here’s how I understand what the Bible teaches about this.  At the appointed time, the Father turned to the Son and said, “It’s time,” and whoosh--as the angel said to Mary “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God,” (Luke 1:35, NIV)  Jesus was wrapped in flesh as an embryo, inside Mary’s womb.   He experienced the truth of Psalm 139:13 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb” as the Father knit together the human body of our Savior.

Things weren’t too bad up to this point, but just about nine months later, on that first Christmas night--BAM--Jesus had to exit the comfort of his warm little living quarters and be born into this dirty world.  The next thing Jesus knew he was wrapped in come old cloths and laid in a cows feeding trough (manger) with some very unpleasant aromas near by.  Welcome to this dirty world Jesus! 

From there, Jesus grew up.  He experienced the full-gamut of human struggle and hardship.
Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.”

He went public with his ministry at His baptism in the Jordan River.  Have you seen the Jordan river?  It’s not exactly a clean, heated baptistery.  Just think cold, mucky, bugs and brown.  I’ve don’t plenty of baptisms where less than super warm water and one little bug on the surface felt like a BIG DEAL!  Jesus went down in into that old muddy water “to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15).
In his baptism, Jesus honored the Father, submitted Himself to the Father and was identified publically by the Father.

Matthew 3:16:17 (NIV) “  “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’”

Jesus’ baptism set the stage for the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

When we are baptized as Followers of Jesus, just like it was for Jesus, our baptism is a God Honoring, faith declaring, act of obedience and submission to God--It’s an act of identification to all who witness it, that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. So Jesus went down into that old muddy water, rose and stepped into his three years of public ministry.  He taught us about our Heavenly Father and the Kingdom of God, and invited whosever would to follow Him as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. During His ministry he spent time with and loved on a lot of people that the Religious Establishment of the day saw as “untouchable dirty sinners.”  So much so that the Religious Leaders, thinking they were criticizing Jesus, actually proclaimed a GREAT TRUTH about our Savior.  In Luke 7:34, they called him a FRIEND OF SINNERS!   Truth be told, sinners (which is a title that describes all of us) have never had a better FRIEND than Jesus--who was willing to leave the perfect, pristine surroundings of Heaven and come into this dirty old  world to seek and shed his perfect blood on a cross to save sinners!

We were spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1), slaves to sin (Rom. 6:20), and condemned to Hell (Jn. 3:18).  Jesus cured, rectified, fixed, ALL of that!

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

This is called THE GREAT EXCHANGE--It’s the greatest offer in the history of offers. 

Jesus said, “I’ll take all your sin--and I’ll give you all my righteousness (right standing with God). 
Jesus left glory and stepped down into your dirty mess so that through faith in Him you could leave our dirty mess and step up into His glory. QUESTION, have you taken Him up on His offer?


80s Christian Metal Blessings, 
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/ 

YOU are an INFLUENCER!

80s Christian Metal Blessings,

Hey man, Pastor Brad here with another MASSIVELY POWERFUL & ENCOURAGING word from GOD’S WORD to share with you!  You’re gonna dig this, I promise! BUT FIRST...

2 QUICK UPDATES: 
#1 The Christmas Metal Experience. 
I continue to work on the CHRISTMAS METAL EXPERIENCE--This week I’m trying to finish up the eBook that goes with the five-night video series (Nov. 21-25). Next week I hope to begin filming the episodes---I’m doing my best to make this fun, entertaining, edifying and just all-around awesome for you!  Please pray for God’s blessing on all of it, thanks!  More details coming soon!

#2 On July 1st The Pastor Brad Patreon Community Launches! 

PATREON is for Pastor Brad fans who: 
Enjoy my music and teaching.
Believe in the mission and ministry of Pastor Brad Rocks.
Would enjoy connecting with me on a deeper level and receiving awesome, exclusive benefits (merch, music, etc.).
And want to play a role in supporting and promoting my art/ministry financially.

I think (I hope) you’ll be blown away by what you’ll receive for a couple bucks a month--and also by how much it will HELP Pastor Brad Rocks--Rock The World Up for Jesus!  Pray about being a part, thanks!

Onward to another good word from GOD’S WORD! 

YOU ARE INFLUENTIAL! 

You are more influential than you even realize. You have no idea how one conversation, one word of encouragement, or one expression of love from you--at work, home, church, online, etc., might change someone’s life.

HEY DAD’S ---It’s Father’s Day Weekend, right?  I love being a dad!  When our kids, Kara & Josh little I was the “play dad”.  The three of us played together all the time.  We played tag, rode bikes & scooters, went to parks, swimming, etc.  We BONDED through play, as we laughed, cried, got mad, or pouted (when we didn’t get our way)… learned how to “walk it off” when we fell down and got a boo-boo… hugged and said “I’m sorry” when we messed up, learned how to be a good loser when we lost and a good winner when we won, etc.  Looking back on it, I’m so thankful for the INFLUENCE I was able to have on my kids--just by playing with them!

You are an Influencer--more than you even realize!

Here’s how Jesus said it.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV) “You are the salt of the earth. (salt adds flavor, heals things that are infected and preserves things and keeps them from spoiling!) 14You are the light of the world (Light creates hope, joy, purpose, clarity and perspective). A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” 

Neither SALT nor LIGHT TRY to be salty or bright influencers.  They just ARE influencers.

Jesus never asked us to please TRY REALLY HARD to be salt or light.

He just said, “You ARE salt and light in this world.”

You don’t need to stress about “how to be salty or bright.  Just wake up and say, “Lord, I want to love & honor you with my attitude, words and actions today!” and bam, you will be an influencer wherever you go--I promise! 

You may not be consciously aware of your influence, but God will use you for His glory as you honor Him with your life.

Think about this…

I want to tell you who INFLUENCED this message that I’m writing right now.

It starts with mom and dad who taught me about Jesus from birth.  Next, I remember lying in bed at my Grandma Rachel’s memorizing my first of many bible verses, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Then there was Chuck and Beaulla Miller, my 3rd Grade Sunday School teachers who taught me about the Good Samaritan and what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Also remember Sandy Duncan one year in VBS teaching me the song, “Jesus Loves Me.”  I could go on and on… through my entire life.  God has used, literally, THOUSANDS of people to INFLUENCE me toward Christ---MOST of them have no idea about the impact they made.
YOU are an influencer.  You--just loving & honoring Jesus with your life--are more influential than you even realize. You have no idea how one conversation, one word of encouragement, or one expression of love from you may have changed someone’s life today.

TRUTH:  “Influence isn’t always obvious.  It’s almost never instant, and just because you don’t see a harvest, doesn’t mean that your seed didn’t take root.” 

Friend, embrace it.  Don’t shy away from it.

You are an influencer.

The cool thing is you don’t have to freak out about how, or when you’re gonna INFLUENCE. You only have to focus on ONE thing: honoring Jesus.  If you stay focused on that--HE WILL SHINE THROUGH YOU--for His glory!

Philippians 2:13 (NLT) “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” 

Rest in this truth--and go be you for His glory today!

80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net/

You are INVALUABLE to the Kingdom of God!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!

I’m about to tell you something—straight up—that might be difficult for you to receive.  You will very likely feel tempted to reject it or receive it with a bit of skepticism.

Get prepared… ready?

Here it is:  If you are a disciple of Jesus, you are INVALUABLE to the work of the Kingdom of God--PERIOD.

Okay, let that sink in…

How does it feel?

Do you buy it?

INVALUABLE, as in “extremely useful; indispensable.”?

Really?

Yup—100%--REALLY!

In 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul used a metaphor to help these early Christians understand this same amazing TRUTH about themselves.   I HOPE & PRAY it will help you get it too!

ESSENTIAL BACKGROUD:
Many within the church at Corinth were uneducated, illiterate, poor, slaves.  They weren’t people of means or influence in society.  Their culture had pounded into them the notion that they weren't seen by their culture as prominant or important, so they were riddled with insecurities and feelings of inferiority (sound familiar?)  They often compared themselves to others who had things they didn’t have or could do things they couldn’t do and thought, “I can’t do what they do...” or “I don’t have what they have… so I guess I don’t really matter.”

Paul is trying to shake all of those cultural lies off of them--and help them see how INVALUABLE they TRULY are to God and His Kingdom.

1 Corinthians 12:12 (NLT) “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.”

Think about this---in the animal kingdom, a single animal has one name... one "identity", but a community of them—has a new name.  For example, an elephant, when it joins a community of other elephants, becomes part of a HERD.  A lion, when it joins a community of lions becomes part of a PRIDE.  This holds true right down the line. A gathering of fish becomes a SCHOOL.  A crowd of crows becomes a MURDER (scary right!?), etc.

THE POINT:  Individuals take on a new identity and purpose when they become part of a community.

A follower of Jesus is a Christian (pretty awesome all by it's self!) ...but when a group of spirit-filled, grace transformed, disciples come together and do life in community—they become a “church” (ekklesia, an assembly) or, as Paul put it here, The Body of Christ.

EVERY PART OF THE BODY MATTERS!

1 Corinthians 12:14-17 (NLT) “Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” (I.e. “Because I can’t do what the hand does”).  that does not make it any less a part of (IMPORTANT to) the body. 16And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?” 

EVERY PART OF THE BODY MATTERS!

I love the ear to eye comparison because it’s easy to see how the ear could become jealous of the eye--the eye gets all the press:  No one ever has an ear to ear conversation.  No person in love has ever stared longingly into a person’s ear (and if they do that's just weird)).  Nobody says, "You’re the apple of my ear," or  "I’ve got stars in my ears," or "Beauty is never in the ear of the beholder."  We could go on and on.  The eyes get all the attention---But if we lose our hearing…?  BAMM, what a HUGE blow to the body!

EVERY PART OF THE BODY MATTERS! 

As a disciple of Jesus, you are part of His Body!

You matter! 

You are INVALUABLE! 

1 Corinthians 12:22, 27 (NLT) “In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. ... 27All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it."

Think about your fingers.  The index finger is the “pointer”.  The middle finger is infamous (for some less than godly reasons). Your ring finger is famous as, well… being the RING finger.  Your thumb is the opposing finger that allows you to grip things!   But what about the pinky?  What is it known for?  Why do we even need it?

Well, guess what?

Your pinky is responsible for 50% of hand strength!

Dude, think about that—fifty-percent!

I could go on and on and on.

Dude, you have 206 bones!  You NEVER think about most of them, but if any of them breaks---BAMM, your whole body struggles.

AS YOU FOLLOW JESUS, just being you, expressing your God-given personality and abilities, you are INVALUABLE to the Body of Christ.  When you speak a word of truth, testimony or encouragement you are HIS lips.  When you help a neighbor or serve as a greeter (or anywhere) at church, you are His hands.   When you support Kingdom work with effort, prayer, dollars.  When you God to my Pastor Brad Rocks Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pastorbradrocks/ and LIKE, COMMENT on, and SHARE my Christian Parody Video of Judas Priest, "You've Got Another Thing Coming." (which totally helps to boost this AD I'm running to reach new Classic Metal Fans for Jesus) YOU ARE HIS HANDS--promoting the Kingdom!  So, cool!  Sometimes we just make it too complicated don't we?

As YOU live as the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) God created you anew in Christ—to be, whether you're always "AWARE OF IT" or NOT... God is USING YOU for HIS KINGDOM PURPOSES.

  So, stop looking to the world’s definition of value and significance---and listen to the WORD.  Pursue Jesus today, knowing you are loved, redeemed, gifted, called, adopted, sanctified, commissioned, filled and empowered to be a unique, one-of-a-kind MASTERPIECE part of THE BODY OF CHRIST!

Now, you go do you for the glory of God today!

80s metal blessings,
pb
http://pastorbradrocks.net

JESUS INVITES PEOPLE OTHERS REJECT!

Metal Blessings!

Hey 80s Christian Metal Music Friends! Here’s a QUICK UPDATE:  I had a great photoshoot with my son Josh last week!  I’m sure those pics will find their way into circulation soon!  I’m also working really hard preparing a super special 5 Night Christmas Mini-Series called, THE CHRISTMAS METAL EXPERIENCE!  This special video series will contain 5 teachings about the awesomeness of Christmas and it will feature the exclusive premier of five singles from my upcoming Christmas album, "have A Metal Christmas".    It’s gonna be awesome.  More details coming soon!  Now, here’s another encouraging word for you from GOD’S WORD!

JESUS INVITES PEOPLE OTHERS REJECT!

Man, in Luke 7:37-48 we find an AMAZING story about the FACT that Jesus INVITES people others REJECT.  You can read it later if you like, but let me just tell you the story. Jesus arrived in town (which town doesn’t matter).  One of the prominent Pharisees named Simon invited Jesus to dinner.

Now, dinners as Pharisees’ homes were EVENTS in the first century.  They were served in the outer courtyard portion of the home--open enough that the public could gather and listen in---which that frequently did. Remember this was before TV, Internet and video games!  This was entertainment for them.  The Pharisees loved having an “audience” to listen to them as they pontificated with each other about theology and culture. So, at this dinner, with Jesus as a guest, I’m sure the crowd was extra big!

All of a sudden, an UNINVITED woman (who has a reputation for living a “sinful lifestyle”---it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to guess what’s implied) makes a bee-line for Jesus!  She begins to weep.  She washed his feet with her tears and dries them with her hair!  Then she breaks a bottle of perfume--worth a year’s wages---and pours it out on Jesus’ feet in worship!

The Pharisees are indignant.  They think, “If Jesus was any kind of prophet, he would KNOW what kind of a woman this is!”  Of course, Jesus knows full well all about her---and he knows exactly what the Pharisees are thinking!

Two lines Jesus speaks in the next moments are AMAZING!

First, He turns to the Pharisees and asks, “Do you see this woman?”  Think about that question.  Do… you… see.. this… woman?  I.e. When you look at this precious (broken, yes, hurting yes, worthless NO) woman, do you see a HUMAN BEING created by God and loved by Him?  Or, do you only see a “category”, a “stereotype”, a “sinner”?  It’s a cutting question and an important one for all of us to ask ourselves--in regard to how we “see” the people we encounter.

Second, He said to her--“your sins have been forgiven.”  Those are the holy grail of awesome words to hear from Jesus!

The text doesn’t tell us how she learned about Jesus.  But it’s obvious that she had heard Jesus teach before and she had seen and heard enough to come to the conviction that Jesus was her Savior and she HAD TO GET TO HIM---no matter what it cost her… no matter what people might say about her.

When Jesus taught publically, he often offered INVITATIONS to follow Him, to believe in Him, to come to Him.  One of those times was Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened (i.e. all of you who are worn out by empty rule keeping and religiosity--trying to win the approval of condescending Pharisees and religious leaders) come to me, and I will give you rest (grace, new life!). 29 Take my yoke upon you (become my disciple) and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart (the opposite of the haughty professional religious leaders of that day), and you will find rest for your souls.”

Man---when she heard that, she said, “I don’t care what it costs me--ridicule, embarrassment, my life’s saving in perfume--I HAVE TO GET TO JESUS, my Savior!”

Friends, Jesus didn’t come for people who think they have it all together.  He came for the broken, frazzled, addicted, hurting, uninvited, ridiculed, lost, sinners--who know they need a Savion and who are willing to come humbly to Him, like this precious woman.

Dude, if Jesus is reaching out to you right now, reach back!

80s Christian Metal Blessings,
Pastor Brad
http://pastorbradrocks.net