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

Stand Firm!

 80s Christian Metal Blessings! 


"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:12-13)


We are in uncharted territory as a nation.  I don't know what the next few months may bring.  But here is how I plan to live my life: 


#1.  ONE DAY AT A TIME 

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Mat. 6:34) 

Every morning I wake up -- I say, "Thank you God for this day, and for your mercies that are fresh this morning."  I have two other prayers that I find myself praying often: The Lord's Prayer (Mat. 6), and a prayer Peter encourages us to pray in 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."  I regularly say, "God, I'm casting it all on you.  I can't carry it.  I give it to you.  I trust you with all my concerns, knowing that you love and care for me and will always do what is good."


 #2.  LOVING MY FAMILY, FRIENDS & CHURCH 

Man, I can't "fix" politics, or magically wave a wand and resolve all of the division people are experiencing over masks, lock-downs, etc.   But I can hug my wife and kids and love and support and pray for my friends and church family.  So, I'm going to focus on what I can do each day and do it, trusting God. 


#3.  IN THE WORD & PRAYER 

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." (Deuteronomy 8:3) I NEED a daily dose of God's truth, promises and instruction.  I am bombarded all day long with fear-mongering messages, struggles, what-if questions, challenges, etc.  I don't just like, or enjoy reading God's Word as a "Christian Exercise," I NEED it as a "lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105) 

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7) 

I NEED that peace, don't you!?!?  So, I make up my mind daily to TRUST in the Lord with all of my heart and lean not on my own understanding---in all my ways---I acknowledge (look to) Him---and I trust Him to make my paths straight! (Prov. 3:5-6). 

God's people are BUILT for times like this.  We can do ALL THINGS through the ONE who gives us strength (Phil 4:13).   The One who is in us is greater than the one who is in this world (1 Jn. 4:4).  We are MORE than COQUORERS in Christ (Rom. 8:37). 


So, my friends stand firm in Christ!  Let's live our lives one-day-at-a-time.  Let's love the people around us and let's feed on the Word daily and pour our hearts our Heavenly Father----laying all of our anxieties in His lap, and His peace that blows our minds---will guard our hearts and minds in Christ! 


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

The Type of Person God Uses

80s Christian Metal Christmas Blessings!


 God uses people who DESIRE to do His will. 


Luke 1:46-48 “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of His servant.” 


When the angel announced to Mary that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Messiah (an honor none of us can fully appreciate—sooooooo huge!), her response was REJOICING and humble acceptance!  


She was ALL IN!  She had lots of reasons to be afraid she knew she would be misunderstood, criticized, and judged… I’m sure she felt inadequate and overwhelmed by the thought of raising THE SON OF GOD!  This calling would upend and forever CHANGE her life---change is hard for all of us.  But Mary said, “Bring it on!  I’m all in!  God be glorified!”  


What wonderful example for us! 


Philippians 2:13 “God is working in you, giving you the DESIRE and the POWER to do what pleases him.” 


Isn’t that awesome?!!!  God want to GIVE you both the DESIRE to honor and follow Him----AND—the POWE to do it! Peter was so right when he wrote, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."  (2 Peter 1:3) 


We live in a dark world.  I’m not trying to be a pessimist—I’m just saying sin and brokenness, sickness, mistrust, disunity, factions, pain, suffering, etc.  Our world is FILLED with it.  And if we were all alone in this dark world, if there was no God who loves us, created us and wants to redeem us and walk with us—this dark world would quickly become a very scary, hopeless and overwhelming place---But that is precisely what makes the good news of CHRISTMAS sooooooooooooooooooooooo GOOD!  There is a God who created us, loves us and sent His Son to be our Savior!  Receive Him, love Him, trust Him, follow Him and SHINE for Him with your life---let the light of your hope in Him be evident to all this day!  I promise you there are many around you who desperately NEED to see it!


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

Have A Metal Christmas!

Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26th
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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/