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How God TRANSFORMS Us.

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


How do we grow in Christ?  How are we transformed?  How do we put off our old nature and put on Christ?  How do we become wise? How do we develop the ability to discern God's will for our lives? 

Those are great questions, and Paul answers all of them in the first two verses of Romans chapter 12! 

Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."


We are to offer our bodies as a "living sacrifice" to God.  What does that mean? 


Well, think about your body, what is it? It's a conglomeration of many parts.  It's your eyes, mouth, ears, mind, arms, legs, strength... in short every single thing you do you do in your body! 


Paul is basically saying offer your eyes to God, fix them on things that honor Him.  Use them for godly purposes. Offer your hands to Jesus.  Use them to bless and to do work that helps people and points them toward Jesus and exalts Christ as Lord! And right down the line--use every part of your body in service to Jesus!  


Next, allow God to transform you. 


Notice he says be transformed, not transform yourself . Transformation is the work of God. We are transformed when we renew our mind. Renewal is the part of the process we CHOSE to participate in.

We choose to sit at the feet of Jesus and fill our heart in mind with his Word. We choose to engage with God's people in fellowship, service, worship and prayer. We choose to engage in a lifestyle that renews our mind so that our worldview comes in line with God's. 


As we grow in Christ-like this we begin to love what he loves, hate what he hates, pursue the things that His Spirit wants us to pursue, and avoid those things that would be detrimental to our walk with him or dishonoring to His Name. 


And then Paul says if we continue to live like this, fruit will emerge!  And what is that fruit you ask? 


SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT...


...the ability to see, grasp, discover, embrace God's will for our lives. 


Stated simply if you're just religious, if you just attend church services but you don't daily, genuinely, pursue relationship with Christ beyond your time in the church building, God's WILL will remain a mystery to you. 


On the other hand, if you wake up every day and consecrate your body, your life, and your ways to God; if you say "God help me to use every part of my body (my life) for your Glory!"  If  you continue to press into His Word and ask questions, dig and learn and pray, and do life with His people: worshiping, conversing, serving, etc. Over time you will develop a mind that understands God's will for you clearly! 


It's no different than any other relationship. I if you have a person in your life, say a coworker, who you see once a week for an hour.  Maybe you chat a little bit while you work together. You'll know a little bit about that person but you'll never really know them. On the other hand if you're married, or you have a best friend with whom you do life, daily, you will know that person well! You'll know their heart! You'll know what pleases them and what hurts them etc. This is exactly how our relationship with God works. Attending a couple formal religious gatherings a month will not develop the kind of relationship with God that transforms our lives. But doing life with God every day, offering our bodies to him as a living sacrifice and spending time with him in His Word and with his people, absolutely will RESULT in a transformed life & mind that is able to DISCERN God's Will.


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

Freedom Is Never Free!

80s Christian Metal Blessings! 

The Pastor Brad Rocks Ministry is not about politics.  It’s about Jesus.  I will never be in the business of telling you who to vote for.  My aim here is all about Jesus and discipling you in your faith.  


But my heart is super heavy right now.  And I need to be transparent with you about what's on my heart.


If you are an American and you're paying attention, you know, we are at a crossroads as a nation and this Presidential election will have a huge impact on our future.  


So, I’m going to take just this ONE email and reflect a bit upon what the BIBLE says about FREEDOM and then offer you a little challenge from my heart about the election coming up. 


Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."


TWO TRUTHS ABOUT FREEDOM:

TRUTH ONE: FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE! 

The freedom we have in Christ—was bought and paid for BY JESUS on the cross.  It was given to us at great cost and sacrifice to our Savior—His name forever be praised! 


In Christ, we are free from sin, condemnation, death, and fear!  We are more than conquerors in our King! 


TRUTH TWO: FREEDOM MUST BE CHERISHED & USED WELL!

In Galatians 5 Paul exhorts us to use our freedom responsibly.  We’re not to treat it flippantly.  We are to cherish it and use it, intentionally to live a life that glorifies God.  We are free FROM sin—and FREE TO live a holy life for our king! 


Anytime freedom Is taken for granted; anytime we forget about the PRICE that was paid for our freedom, we grow apathetic, lazy, and ungrateful for the amazing gift we have.  


This is one of the reasons I love taking communion each Sunday---it reminds me, each time, of the cross and Christ’s willingness to allow His body to be pieced for me and to shed His blood for me---so I NEVER forget how precious my FREEDOM (purchased for me by my Savior) truly is. 


MY CHALLENGE TO YOU AS WE APPROACH THIS ELECTION: 

Take some time to thank God for the freedom we have in this country.  Take some time to think about what’s on the ballot (i.e. the policies and plans expressed by the candidates).  Forget about “Ds” & “Rs”, instead focus, on which platform—aligns with your values—and engage in the awesome freedom you have in this country to vote. 


Here are some of the values guiding my vote this year:
Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech, Pro Life, Supreme Court Justices who interpret the Constitution as written (as opposed to legislating from the bench), Support for Police, and Law & Order, Pro 2nd Amendment, A growing Economy that benefits everyone, Low Taxes & Regulations,  Pro Business, Capitalism (as opposed to socialism).  Energy Independence, Love for country, A Strong Military (that I pray we never have to use/peace through strength), Bringing Troops Home, and policies that focus on the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. 


Think about your list, then I encourage you to vote for the candidate(s) who align with your values! 

Thank God for your FREEDOM today – In Christ, and in America, and use that freedom well!

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

NO Condemnation For God's Dearly Loved Kids!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


Dude, Romans chapter is 8 awesome!  I’m preaching through it this weekend.  Let me share the highlights of this AMAZING passage of Scripture with you. 


It opens with the declaration that for those who are IN CHRIST --- there is NO (as in Nada, zip, zero, none) CONDEMNATION! 


That’s HUGE!!!  Through our faith in Jesus, we are JUSTIFIED, we have PEACE with God and we stand in GRACE (Romans 5:1, 2). 


Chapter 8 ends with a wonderful declaration that NOTHING can separate us from God’s love---and here’s Paul’s point:  If you face hardship, trouble, injustice, etc. in this world---none of that means that God stopped loving you!  Jesus told us straight up, “In this world, you will have trouble.” And then he went on to say, “But take heart (don’t give up… don’t say, “Wow, I guest God doesn’t care about me.”) for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)  In other words, this world is a broken place—and bad things will, and do, happen even to the most devoted Christ-followers, but those bad things do not mean God doesn’t love you---in fact, 8:28-29 tells us that God is working in all of it—for a purpose—to grow our faith and make us more like Jesus.  I.e. it’s all about preparation for eternity!!!  


There was only one perfect person in History, Jesus, and the world KILLED HIM, did that mean God didn’t love Him?  Of course not! 


FINALLY—the entire middle section of Romans 8 is about the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives! 


a. He AFFIRMS the fact that in Christ we are children of God (8:15) 


b. He ASSURES us of future glory (8:17-18)


 c. He ASSISTS us in times of struggle and confusion (8:26-29) 


d. He ANCHORS us in God’s love (8:31-39) 


Dude, this is an AWESOME chapter!  Be encouraged!  You are loved, free, forgiven, adopted, and indwelt with the very Spirit of God who provides you with EVERYTHING YOU NEED to live a life that brings glory to God! 


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


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

We Are Rescued!

80s Christian Metal Blessings!


 Have you read the definition of the word “rescue” lately?  


Here is a definition from google. res·cue (reskyo͞o)  verb:  to save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation. 


Okay, so you’re in trouble deep; you’re toast and without hope---UNLESS someone acts on your behalf to RESCUE you from your despair. That’s the picture. In Romans 7 Paul goes off talking about our state in Christ.  He is dealing, in a brutally honest way, with the reality that although we HAVE, 100%, been justified (made just as if we never sinned) by the shed blood of Christ and therefore, because of our faith in Christ, are at peace with God (Romans 5:1).  And even though we now stand (continuously) in grace (Romans 5:2) and have DIED to sin (it’s penalty and power to control us) and been raised to new life in Christ—empowered by His Holy Spirit to live a new life that brings glory to God... 


EVEN THOUGH all of that is true… 


We STILL struggle with the desire to sin! 


Through much of the second half of Romans 7 Paul says, (my paraphrase) “Dude, I love Jesus.  I want so badly to be so good, but every time I turn around I find myself stumbling and doing, saying or thinking things I DO NOT WANT TO do, say or think!  What’s wrong with me?" 


The Principle Paul teaches us in Romans 7 is this: We die to sin when we become followers of Jesus Christ, but sin doesn’t die to us. 


This side of Heaven, as long as we live in this broken world, in these broken, fleshly bodies, we will always have to contend with the SIN NATURE that has only one desire—TO DO IT’S OWN THING (and is 100% of the time rebellious to God’s will). 


At the end of the chapter—Paul comes to his conclusion, saying, “So, I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will RESCUE me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who DELIVERS (rescues) me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:21-25).


Friend, know this: in Christ you are forgiven, justified, loved, adopted as God’s Child and free from the penalty and power of sin, and created anew to live a life of great purpose for God!  


This side of heaven, you will continue to battle with your flesh---but you have the power of God’s Spirit who will lead you to victory!  And anytime you stumble you have the promise of God’s grace that is ALWAYS greater than all of our sin (Rom. 5:20-21, 1 John 1:9).  


In other words you are RESCUED by grace through your faith in Jesus!  Receive that and rest in that awesome truth today!


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