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"Jesus stepped away from His glory, came down and got dirty for us so that we could put our faith in Him and by grace, step out of our dirty mess and into His glory!"




How To THRIVE in 2021

 Metal Blessings!

Hey man, Pastor Brad here.  This week I want to share a message to help you see PAST this season of pandemics and other craziness we're currently immersed in--TO the joy on the other side!  I borrowed much of it from a piece by Pastor Rick Warren (Credit where credit is due!).  I pray it blesses you today!


2 Corinthians 4:18 (CEV) “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.”


We can handle an enormous amount of frustration, delay, and pain as long as we have hope.

 

But when hope is gone, we give up.



Jesus offers the only hope that is eternal. And it is a hope that will never disappoint. But you need the right perspective to understand the hope found in Jesus.


That means you don’t just look at what’s going on right now. Instead of focusing on the temporary, focus on the eternal. For instance, pay more attention to God’s Word than the news on your smartphone.


Difficulties don’t last. But hope in God lasts forever. The Bible says, “These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NCV).


There is a very simple, but profound old saying that goes,  “This too shall pass."


That little saying reminds us that no matter what our circumstances are, they are temporary. No problem comes to stay in your life. It will pass. Even if it is a lifelong chronic problem, you won’t take it into eternity.  


Paul reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:18: Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (CEV).  


Your problems won’t last forever. The coronavirus pandemic won’t last forever. Uncertainty with the economy won’t last forever.


But there are things in God’s universe that you can’t see that will last forever. Faith, hope, and love will last forever. And if you trust in Jesus, you will be with God forever in eternity. 


Put your hope in Jesus. “Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective” (Colossians 3:2 The Message). 


Your hope in Christ will become a hope fulfilled.


Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!


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

How to drift away from God!

 80s Christian Metal blessings!


Hebrews 2:1 (NIV) "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."


Okay, so say you wake up today and your life in Christ is awesome.  I mean sure, you have challenges and struggles in this world, but the Holy Spirit is with you.  You know you are loved, forgiven, and blessed.  You know God's goodness and grace are with you always.  You have peach and joy, even in the difficulties of life---BUT, you say, "I'm tired of all this blessing and goodness, grace and kindness of God.  I want to DRIFT AWAY from God.  I want my relationship with God to go away..." Here's are three really powerful pieces of BAD ADVICE on how to make that happen.


#1.  NEGLECT YOUR TIME WITH GOD AND HIS PEOPLE


Psalm 63:1 (NIV) "You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water." 


If you want to drift away from God, forget all about that seeking and thirsting stuff... Do not read or study the Bible. NEVER pray (a.k.a. "talk to God).  Forget about being part of a church family--why would you want to do that?  That will only make your walk with God stronger?  I mean if you have to go to church--make it hit and miss... you know, just go every once in a while.  And when you do go--try to arrive a few minutes late, daydream through the service (never engage with God during the worship or preaching, etc) and then as soon as they begin the last song--leave--that way you won't have to talk to people who might try to encourage you in your faith!


#2. HANG EXCLUSIVELY WITH PEOPLE WHO DO NOT LOVE GOD.


Why in the world would you want to hang with other Christians who will love you, encourage you, pray for you, hold you accountable, spur you on to seek God and grow in your relationship with Him?  YUCK, if you WANT to drift AWAY from God--forget all about that--Make some new friends with people who don't love God---and hang, EXCLUSIVELY with them---NOT so you can love them and be a witness--but purely so you can do what they do, drink what they drink, watch what they watch, talk like they talk , etc.  You know, so you can totally take on their values and ways.  I promise, if you want to drift away from God--just dive into a group of worldly friends and follow their liead and it won't be long before your walk with God will be a faint, distant memory.


1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."


EMBRACE TEMPTATION AS YOUR FRIEND AND IGNORE THE HOLY SPIRIT!


When your flesh wants pleasure---no matter what it is--GO FOR IT!  Don't hold back: smoke it, drink it, go after it, enjoy it!  After all, sin is FUN right!?  I mean let's be honest, if sin isn't fun for you--you're not doing it right!  It's always fun----until the consequences come.  Sin always brings destructive, life and relationship ruining consequences........ BUT FORGET ALL ABOUT THAT if you want to drift away from God, just give in to whatever your flesh wants!  And when the Holy Spirit brings conviction to yorumind---IGNORE HIM!  Just say over and over again, "It's all about me... It's all about me..."  As you ignore the Holy Spirit again and again, I promise your heart will grow nice and hard and callused to his voice and pretty soon you won't even hear Him anymore, which is GREAT, if youWANT to DRIFT away from GOD.


Okay, friend, let me turn the sarcasm facet off and get serious.  Maybe you saw some things in those above paragraphs that challenged or convicted you.  Here's a piece of REALLY GOOD ADVICE straight from Jesus.


Revelation 2:5 (NIV) "Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first."


God allows U-turns!  If you feel like you've drifted from God.  Today is the day to make that U-turn and re-plug into your walk with Jesus.  He's an awesome, gracious, loving Savior!  I promise, if you feel like God is far away---HE'S NOT THE ONE WHO MOVED, He's right where He's always been, waiting with open arms for you to turn to Him.


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



Belonging To A Church Family!

80s Christian Metal Blessings,

 

Ephesians 2:19 (BSB) "Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household,"


God doesn't want you to be an orphan--a child without a family. When you became a disciple of Jesus--God adopted you into His Family (Eph. 1:6, Gal. 4-5).  And He designed the church, the ekklesia, the body of Christ, to be your spiritual family.  


I want to encourage you today; if you are in Christ, he's your lord and your savior, then you are part of the universal body of Christ.


1 Corinthians 12:13 (NIV) "For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink."


The New testament is also filled with examples of local congregations in places like Jerusalem, Corinth, Philippi, and Ephesus, etc.  And there are loads of verses that provide us with awesome snap-shots of what life in the early church looked like.


Acts 2:42 (NIV) "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."


DEVOTED: a steadfastly (through the good and bad, easy and difficult), intentionally selfless (It's not about me--it's about Christ and others) commitment.


Romans 12/5 (NLT) "so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other."


Dude, in the same way that your finger, and right ear and left knee-cap--all "belong" to the same body, and depend on each other--the folks in your local church--even though they are all very unique and different from you---are all part of that local body--and you are called to  "belong" to and "depend" upon each other!


The New Testament is filled with scriptures like this. We are called to belong, to be devoted, to love, serve, teach, exhort, encourage, etc one another. There are over 50 "one another" commands in the New Testament!  "One another" is a reference to fellow Christians.  


Think about this, you CAN'T OBEY any of these commands apart from a church family! That's a huge deal! Attending church services doesn't make you a Christian, but receiving Christ is Savior and Lord makes you a part of the church, the body of Christ--a member of God's household.


It's not just about believing---it's also about BELONGING, and participating in the life of the body; being DEVOTED to it.  As you plug in and worship, serve, pray, interact, listen, study, etc. with fellow believers--God USES all of that to grow you up!


When a brother hurts or disappoints you--you grow in the spiritual fruit of patience and mercy.  When a sister shares a testimony about God's goodness and deliverance, you rejoice with her and glorify God together.  When times are tense and hard--you grow, together with your church family in the spiritual fruit of faithfulness--as you stand firm together. As you study a passage together in a small group--you bless others with your insights about what God has taught you and you are edified and encouraged by others.  Etc......  We need each other!


I hope you have a church family that you are worshiping and serving and connecting and growing with! I'm so glad you're part of the Pastor Brad Rocks Family and I will always do my best to encourage you and help you any way I can. But nothing can take the place of a tangible, local, church family of real people who love Jesus and you.  


If you don't know how to go about finding a good church---let me know, I'd be happy to help!


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


What's your VISION for 2021?

80s Christian Metal Blessings!

Hey man, Pastor Brad here.

What’s your vision for 2021, and beyond, for your life?  VISION is an awesome concept in the Scriptures.

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) “Where there is no
vision, the people perish…”

The word translated VISION here is the Hebrew word “chazown” which means, “dream, vision, or revelation.” Think about it---Joseph received dreams (Genesis 37) and they shaped his life.  The prophet Joel said “"'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” And Peter repeated it as being fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17), and Paul spoke of the surpassingly great revelations God had shared with Him (2 Cor. 12:7-10).  These dreams, visions and revelations inspired, guided and drove God’s people to pursue His call on their lives!

AND--Proverbs 29:18 also says, where there is NO vision, people PERISH.  This word means "vacillate, waver, wander and drift aimlessly."  If you aim at nothing---you'll hit it every time... this is what the Bible calls "perishing." 

SIDE NOTE: In John 3:16, Jesus says where we BELIEVE (surrender to Him as the LORD of our life and step into a relationship of following HIM) will we NOT PERISH.  When God's Spirit convicts us of sin and CALLS us to repent and follow Jesus -- that calling includes a call to be the best stewards of our lives, our time, talents and treasures--for His glory.  As you discover how God has uniquely SHAPED you, you will also discover a "vision" of how you can serve, honor and glorify Him.

Essentially, a “chazown” (a vision) is a PICTURE OF A PREFERED FUTURE.
Let me tell you about a VISION I received—that TOTALLY shaped my life---and the interesting thing about it—is the SOURCE it came through.
On Thursday night, Sept. 24th, 1980, my dad took my friend Jay Harvey and me to Indianapolis to see AC/DC (Back in Black tour).  It was my first concert.  I was 13 yrs old.  Friends, when the lights went out and Angus Young stepped onto the stage and started doing his thing—I was transfixed---totally and completely—blown away.  It was WAY more than entertainment---I was SEEING what I wanted to DO. 

That night inspired THOUSANDS of hours of guitar practice and garage band rehearsals.  I thought at the time it was all about my dream to be a ROCK STAR, but God’s purposes, as they always are, were much BIGGER than mine. 

Between that AC/DC Concert and the year 2003, God wrote a few more chapters in my life story.  He brought me through a few more experiences, fires, and trials that shaped and tempered my faith and calling. 

With my music--He lovingly brought me to my knees where I said, “Lord, I ONLY want what YOU want—period.”  And THEN, He opened the doors and provided everything I needed to launch Pastor Brad Rocks---where every word spoken &/or written, and every song created is 100% for His glory!

MY POINT: Sometimes visions can take a while to find their fulfillment, but if God has placed a passionate picture in your heart—pray about it… In Jesus’ name—pursue it.  It may turn own in a fashion or form you can’t even foresee yet, but if you delight yourself in God, I.e. make the entire mantra of your life, “God all I want is what YOU want--” You’ll be blessed and so blown away by what He will do!  Consider these three verses:

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NCV) “The Lord searches all the earth for people who have given themselves completely to him. He wants to make them strong.”

Psalm 37:4 (NIV) “Take delight in the Lord (Make your greatest, #1 passion, knowing and pleasing Him), and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (He will give you desires that pleas Him)

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
 
Seek Him!  Pursue Him!  Hunger, thirst, ask, seek, knock, yearn, thirst, pursue—and God will fill, open, be found, and give unto you---MORE than you can imagine—in His time, in His way, and for His glory!

Rock on friends!  Make this weekend great with & for Jesus!


Until next time, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!
80s Christian Metal Blessings,
pb