God is Speaking, Are we Listening?

There is a man standing on his roof during a torrential rain and the water is rising so fast. He calls out to God saying “You know I love and follow You, please save me!!”

 Moments later a boat pulls up and they say “come with us, we will save you!” The man on the roof says “No that’s ok, Im waiting for God to save me”. The boat leaves and shortly after that, a helicopter appears overhead saying “Grab the rope, or you going to die!”. The man on the roof replies “No that’s ok, I’m waiting on God to save me” So the helicopter leaves and shortly after that the water engulfed him and he drowns.

 When he got to heaven, he asked God, “Why didn’t you save me? You know I love You!?” And God replys “I sent you a boat and a helicopter, what else did you want Me to do??” 

How many times in our lives are we waiting and waiting to hear from God, but feel like we are not being answered? Everyone would love to get a clear cut answer from a loud booming voice from the sky or a burning bush experience. When in reality God works so much more practically. He speaks into our hearts, through those around us and through situations. My prayer for everyone, myself included is that we stop waiting for God to “speak” to us and just listen to what He is already saying.


Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Brokenness Inspires Hope

Brokenness is beautiful

Inspires hope

An embedded reluctance within

hiding the weakness in fear

dare I expose my truth?

  ….”no!”

     …”strength”!

 

 Compulsions emerge

Masks

Confidence

Smiles…..

     whitewashed leaders taking point

facades of perfection

Incarcerated in secret walls of shame and sin.

Brokenness is leadership

   Vulnerability

  Everyone is broken…..all alone

……..They must know!

          We are one

……. we struggle

Humility, vulnerability, brokeness

Righteousness, aside from Christ, does not give hope, brokenness does.

 

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”2 Cor 12: 9-11

“Whenever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. “Ps 28:13

“It is better to be humble in Spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” -Ps. 16:19

   “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”Ps34:18

God desired authenticity, not an illusion of righteousness.  No matter what your head tells you, it is OK to hurt,  it is okay to doubt, and it’s  impossible not to fail. Share your trials and shortcomings with enthusiasm and I promise the authenticity of your heart will speak volumes more than playing it off like we got it all together or having all the perfect answers.

Keep your witnessing genuine and your love overflowing and watch the Spirit work! This right here is how we can make a difference in this broken world.

 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

You are Loved

​I was suddenly overwhelmed by the Spirit to tell you, this very second, that God loves you so much. That sin that nobody knows about, that secret shame that you are carrying. God want you to know that He knows… and He says “it’s ok, He loves you.” 

We have a hard time forgiving ourselves…… loving ourselves. Never forget that God adores you, right in your mess, your mistakes,and your sin. You are loved, and that will never change.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Love, Not Knowledge

With all of the theology, all of the “religion” and knowledge…. if the result of all of this isn’t an out pouring of love towards the world, then the entire point was missed.

Don’t make excuses, just love. Don’t ignore, just love. Love, because it is the best thing we do…. because God is love and His love is made perfect, when we love.

The world will not come into the saving embrace of Christ’s grace through theology…. They will be saved by simple, pure love.

1 John 4:11-12

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

Unity through Love

​It seems disagreement instantly incites insults, hate and strife. What if, and nowadays it’s a big what if, but what if we discussed instead of insulted. If we are so passionate about our beliefs and want others to see what we see. How can we ever hope for change and unite as a peope if we dig our heals in and say “nope, my way’s right and you are an idiot.” I am not here to lecture, I am sharing to say, unity is the only hope we have. Discuss and share out of love, because if anger and frustration is your motivator, all that will be created is further division. At this point in our country if we do not unite, even when we don’t agree, we are doomed. I am not saying change your beliefs to keep the peace. What I am saying is just voice it through love….always through love, and you will be amazed at the changes that will take place.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

God Will Cover the Impossible, Just Get Back Up

​It is so easy to become overwhelmed by our situation. It is so easy for the burdens of our trials, the shackles of our shortcomings, or the illusion of hopelessness to blanket us.

  I have seen and experienced many amazing things with and from God. I have been touched by God in ways that changed everything….. I have felt His power. But to be honest,  I still catch myself at times believing that God is not enough.

With the pain of loss, the continuous consequences of past sins crashing over me day after day, year after year, I sometimes find myself feeling defeated. I find myself suddenly feeling out of control. So tired of trying to fight the good fight that I can’t seem to summon the strength, the drive, or desire to even want to stand up again and keep going. These feelings of doubt and defeat well up in me more often than I care to admit. And when they do, I feel heavy, I feel flooded with a hopeless feeling that things won’t work out…. that I am kidding myself and I need to just give up. This morning was one of those mornings, and without asking Him for clarity, He presented me with a passage.

“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” – John 5:1-9

This man was blinded by his situation. This man was consumed by his very real problems and his very real pain. I think it is safe to say we have all tasted a portion of what this man lived up until this encounter at some point in our lives.

“I have wasted my entire life, I don’t know any other way… I can’t change”, “You don’t understand how hard it is for me, there is no happy ending for me, I deserve this!”…., “I just can’t do it. I am tired of hoping, I am tired of fighting… I  give up.”

The Spirit smacked me I’m the face this morning with this truth. When Jesus asks this man, “Do you want to get better”, the invalid could only reply with why he couldn’t get better. All the invalid could see was the hopelessness of his situation. All he could see was the impossibility of his healing, of change in his situation.

In all of this man’s disbelief Jesus met him. In the incredibly painful, hopeless life that this man lived, Jesus has but two words for him, “Get up!”

It doesn’t matter if we cannot see any hope in our situation. In a life broken beyond repair, Jesus doesn’t ask us to fix it, to do better,  or to try harder. He simply wants us to trust Him enough to stand back up, so He can do the impossible for us. 

Don’t lose heart in your situation, just stand back up and keep following Him. And when you do, I promise you, He will come through for You, probably in a way you never saw coming.

He is trustworthy, He is good and He is capable. My prayer is that every one of us will never forget that.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” -2 Thess 3:5

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Power is prayer, I am ready

**Please Read ** Prayer Is Power!!

I felt led to share this invitation  again. I want to pray for you and support you. Our fellowship and support gives us such strength and encouragement.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

You don’t know me and I don’t know you. If you are a Christian brother or sister then we are one.  If you are not a Christian no worries, I just want you to know that you are loved.  By myself, my fellow christians and most importantly by Jesus Christ. With that said,

I feel that prayer is the most important thing we can do in our lives as a Christian. To support each other, to be able to lift each other up in love to the Father is such an awesome thing. I truly believe in the power of prayer and experience it’s effectiveness time and time again. As we grow deeper in our prayer lives we come to know our God on a much closer and deeper level. I would love to pray for you and I always love to hear how God is coming through for you. If you include your email I will email you my prayer for you. I don’t put you on
emailing lists and don’t care about marketing. The sole purpose of this is for me to lift up your prayers and support you any way I can.

This link simply navigates within my own blog to the prayer requests. I encourage you to put your email so I can email you back a prayer so you can read what I prayed for. Either way, prayer is power y’all!! God bless and take advantage,  you have a man ready to pray for you, with no motivate other than I want God to work in your life.

https://rawdiscipleblog.wordpress.com/prayer-requests/

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance”- 2 Thess 3:5

Justin Ludwig

Defending the Faith, Standing Up For Christ

​A conversation with an atheist…

The very statement that you do not believe that the God that I worship to be real, is a contradiction in itself. Let me explain to you what I mean by that. Based on your statement, you recognize that I believe in God. A Being who is perfect in every single way, and that cannot possibly be improved upon. For you to be able to understand of such a Being but do not believe that He exists in reality doesn’t make any sense. Let me break it down for you. If you can understand of the God I speak of. And if you can comprehend the thought of a Being who is absolutely perfect, that cannot be improved upon. Then by the definition of your understanding of God, He must exist in reality, or He would be less than perfect, and could be improved upon. Because if something is perfect but does not exist, it would only be surpassed by perfection in reality. So if you understand the concept of a God that cannot be improved upon, then how is it possible for it not to be real, because that would be an improvement on the understanding you have of God.

To believe that everything in existence came about as a series of random events takes more faith that it does for someone to believe that God is in fact  the creator of everything. Starting with the obvious, I assume that you can understand that it is impossible for something to come from absolutely nothing. With that fact established,  when you push the course of time’s events back far enough, you eventually must come to a beginning. How can nothing, create everything? Then I would think the only rational explanation is that something had to exist before everything, outside of our understanding of time and authority. To believe that everything that has ever existed or ever will exist is the result of a random explosion that birthed everything for no reason, is ludicrous. Okay, say that I can accept that somehow scientifically an explosion would create all things, I would be forced to ask you, “What caused that explosion”. I mean this explosion took place before there was anything… how can that be?  

For a moment, let’s put aside the question of the very beginning of things, and let’s take a look at right now. If you believe that everything around us is the result of completely random events with no purpose or design, then I would like for you to look at a single cell. If you were to put that cell under a powerful microscope you would see what appears to be a little machine. All of the parts and pieces of this “random” thing working so intentionally, with such purpose and function.To look at our most basic of building blocks and to see that it works like a machine. Something that was intentionally constructed for a purpose.  How can random events produce such order? If we were to wait  3 trillion years, do you think it is possible for car engine to be created by nature? If enough random events happen for long enough is it possible for a piece of machinery to just be created?  

How can you explain the  beauty everywhere around us? How are we even able to understand the concept of beauty? Why is it that if you were to look at a painting of a sunset, and an actual sunset, that the real one seems to speak to you on a deeper level somehow. Like something in your soul is rejoicing, just because the earth’s rotation has caused the sun to not be seen for a few hours, just like everyday. But we see these things every day of our life, and they still speak to us, into us. To see such beauty, and for it to speak to you on such a level that cannot be expressed, shows that the world is pointing towards its Creator, Even if those that choose not to believe in God, experience something that they cannot explain, a connection with the world around them, a connection with their Creator.

 Now I would like to talk about us for a second. As humans we all seem to be built with the same sense of right and wrong. Whether an atheist, christian, muslim or scientologist, we all have a very similar understanding of what is right, wrong, good or bad. To murder is bad, but why is it bad? Yes if you get caught you will spend the rest of your life in prison. But what if you knew without a doubt that you would not be caught, would it cease to be bad? No, because deep down inside of us, the thought of a woman or a child being raped or murdered is offensive to everything that we are, why is that? We don’t have to be taught to be repulsed by these things, it is just who we are. To be in such agreement on the very concepts that guide who we are and what we do, that must lead us to realize that there must be a Law Giver who instilled in us the ability to differentiate between the two, otherwise why would we even care? Look at it this way, If there was no authority or law giver in a land or country, that would result in anarchy, correct? For all of us to have the same sense of what is good and what is bad, points without a doubt to one Lawgiver, who made the decision for us, otherwise there wouldn’t be right and wrong, because everybody would would choose differently, and if nobody could agree what what was right, it would cease to be right and it would just be. 
It seems that an atheist’s go to response for why they don’t believe in God, is it takes to much faith. To these people I say, It takes more faith to believe that He doesn’t exist.
Written by: Justin Ludwig

 Love…. Please Love

​We all have our reasons to be angry, to hate, to resent, to judge. We have these burdens and offenses which we have accumulated over the years, every single one of us. Don’t let the corruption of life dominate you, choose love. It is the only hope we have…. hate begets hate. But love disarms, unites and connects. In this horrible, and tragic world, love is our only hope

“Bear with each othrt and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Col. 3:13-14

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Cor 16:13-14

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

The Gospel is Love

The gospel is simple, when we get over ourselves, and love on the one who is in front of us. That’s it, that’s the gospel.  Love, without obligation, without judgement and without hesitation. Nobody will be impressed by your “religion”, they will be impressed by your love, by Christ’s love. That is how He saves the lost, by simple, pure, passionate love.

Look at this way, if you don’t have Jesus in you, then nobody is going to want what you have.

Jesus is love, represent Him well!

God bless, love furiously, and watch Him work.

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

God Will Not Fail You

God is not capable of failing us…. God is not capable of making mistakes… and He is absolutely, indescribably in love with us.

When my marriage fell apart it hurt so bad, the last thing I was thinking was that this pain was the only way for me to become the man I wanted to be. When my kids moved away from me, it hurt so bad…. the last thing I was thinking was that the excruciating pain of losing my children was exactly what I needed to become the father that I wanted to be, and that my kids so desperately needed me to be. And when I gave up all hope and I finally accepted that I was a lost cause,  the last thing I was thinking was at that moment God was about to change everything. 

This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you… He will come through, and in a way you will never see coming. 

No matter what your situation is, He is working…. No matter how far down you are, He is working…. and no matter how uncertain your future or present seems, He will come through.

Thank You Father for being so perfect… so trustworthy

“As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him” -Ps 18:30

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you” -Deut 31:6

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Your Have the Power, Trust Him

​Every day I listen to Christians. Some speak of love, some speak of judgement. But one thing I have heard time and time again, is this,

“Oh I wish I had the gift of healing, but I am no Todd White or Heidi Baker. I can’t evangelize like Kim Walker or Will Hart. That would be amazing to have such power, to have God use me in such amazing ways, but…..” 

and that’s usually where the statement ends.

Heidi Baker, Darrin Wilson, Todd White, Kim Walker, Will Hart, the list goes on and on. It seems sometimes people put these Christians on a pedestal, viewing them as the “extraordinary christians” who have some exclusive power or gift that we have no hope of receiving, let alone performing.

And with those doubts, we put the power of God in our lives in a box, cutting ourselves off from being used by God for these very same miracles, revivals, and ministries.

We as Christians have to realize that our doubt in the power of God is the only thing standing in our way from the miraculous. Our doubt is the only roadblock stopping us from being used in such a way that will blow minds, heal bodies, cast out demons and glorify God to the extent that He desires, by making the impossible possible so the world can see that this is for real, that He is for real, and that we are loved in such a way that we will never fully comprehend.

You want to know a secret about these “extraordinary christians”,  they are nothing special. Not to say that their faith in God or the things that they are doing are not extraordinary, because they are. What I am saying is that the gift that they received to be able to do these incredible things is the exact same gift that every one of us as believers has been given, the Spirit of God.

It is not Heidi who restores sight to the blind, it is God. It is not Todd who strengthens the legs of those who cannot walk so they are able to stand and walk after years of being crippled, it is the power of God, in him.

Do not limit what God can do through you…because God is limitless.  Let go of all the understanding and logic that this world has embedded in us from birth and know that God’s power is alive and active in you. 

 I cannot emphasis enough that you CAN do these things, if you believe in His power, love and faithfulness.

My prayer is for a revival of the Spirit, let’s step out on faith and get started!!

Written by: Justin Ludwig

A Light in the Darkness 

I heard something recently that has really been weighing on me. A few days ago I was listening to a Christian talking to another. In this conversation I heard them say, “I only like to be with Christians, you know, people like me. After all, what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

This way of thinking really bothers me. Essentially, what they are saying is I don’t care if that person or people come to Christ, as long as I am comfortable and protected.

This is the opposite of the gospel! 

We are called to go, to go into the darkest corners of this world and shine His glory. To spread the new about Christ, through love not judgment.

As I thought about this, I began to think about myself 5 years ago. I was strung out, I would cut myself and blatantly curse God….. I was completely and utterly consumed by darkness, I was hopeless. And if this mentality reigned, I would not be the man I am today, saved…free. I had no idea that God wasn’t mad at me and the way I was treated by christians it only re affirmed what I though I knew. People saw my tattoos, scars and hate and would avoid me. They would avoid the darkness, apparently completely unaware that I desperately,desperately needed God’s grace and love in my life, and I didn’t even know it

Without light, darkness reigns, it is as simple as that. And to hear a follower of Christ write off someone because they are consumed by darkness really upset me.

God loves Mormons, Atheists, Muslims, devil worshippers. He loves them with the same intensity and sincerity that He does the believers. And by demonizing a person or group, we ourselves have fallen into the devil’s trap, because the enemy doesn’t want that person to hear about Christ. He wants the christian judging the lost, the lost avoiding christians. This how the devil gets down y’all. 

Stop playing into his traps and love without judgement, without reservation and you will see first hand what type of fellowship light has with darkness. It’s life changing… eternity saving.

It is not somebody else’s responsibility to speak to the lost, the hurting and the broken… it’s yours and it’s mine.

We are called to go, and love.

God bless

Written by: Justin Ludwig 

His Message Will be Heard

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​I went camping with my wife up in the Sequoias this weekend. I woke up early, I walked away from the site and I sat on a rock overlooking a path. It is so quite, so empty, yet so full. I sit here in complete awe and humility at how incredibly rare and precious I am. At the same time I cannot help but recognize how insignificant I really am….  so I begin to pray, but I cannot. It happens sometimes, when I don’t even know where to begin.

I told the Spirit, “I don’t know what I want, I am drowning Lord. Drowning in my hurt, sorrow., it’s so heavy, Father”….. and I stopped….. “Holy Spirit,  I don’t know… please look deep into my heart, intercede for me.”

Suddenly the Spirit overwhelmed me with the awareness that I needed to just shut up and listen, of what I am never sure.

…so i became silent

As I sit here, still, complete silence all around me. I see a bird fly over head.  I don’t know what kind of bird it was, but it was small. It didn’t make a sound, but I looked up and saw him sitting on the top of a tree. He glanced my direction, then chirped.

His chirp caught me off guard because it echoed in the rocks, off the mountain side and through the trees. It was so loud but not abrasive whatsoever. It really caught my attention because the bird was so small.

Once the echo stopped I heard a response from a different bird.  Many birds seeming to have a response of their own to this lone bird’s cry. These ones sounded like crows or something. It’s caw was so gruff, so negative sounding.  There were so many responding at once, which made it quite loud as well. In the middle of these crows response,  I kid you not, the little bird looked at me again, then let out another single chirp…. immediately the crows squawking stopped…..

The bird stood on that tree top, silent after his two surprisingly loud chirps. Suddenly in the distance I heard a similar chirp, perhaps from the one he was calling…… he glanced my direction and was gone.

….silence.

In the midst of the silence, in the midst of the haters, the negativity or even yourself, listen for the cry of the Spirit. His voice will silence what needs to be silenced and He will say what needs to be said.

The cry of that little bird reminded me that no matter how loud the cackle of the world, or the silence of your trial. His voice will penetrate, if you ask Him to speak. And over all those who oppose you, the message will reach the one it is intended for.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Faith in the Divine

​As a christian, I have found divine healing to be a dividing topic. Some feel that miracles of these types occurred back in biblical times because back then we did not have the Spirit, and they were needed to demonstrate His power. That these miracles occurred just so the people would see who He was, the Messiah.

Recently the Spirit had been convicted me about my hesitancy to pray for healing that defys the secular understanding….  A rebuilding of the body, or restoring the sight of the blind.  These are things that are hard for us to wrap our minds around, and that is because our finite minds get in the way, we don’t truly believe that He will do it. 

Is it possible that our lack of faith is what is stopping us from experiencing these miracles?  Not to say that healing is always is God’s will, but at times it is, to point the world to His power, His love, His grace….But we must believe and trust.

I have heard people say that perhaps the reason that other countries experience these divine manifestations more often than the western church is because they need it more….. I wonder if it’s simply perhaps that they were never taught that it wasn’t possible to be used for the impossible. Perhaps their faith is that of a child…. pure and trusting.

All I know is that nowhere in the scriptures does it say that these miracles will cease to happen. Jesus tells us in  very clearly in John 14:12-14

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.”

With this declaration from Christ, it doesn’t seem like there us any question to if we have the ability, through Him…

A few years ago my eyes were opened to divine power of the Spirit. He washed over me, and I spoke in toungues. This is another dividing topic and honestly I thought it was total b.s. You see, when I came to know the Truth I saw Him as a practical God, and don’t get me wrong He is.  But He is also a God of the infinite, the divine, the unexplainable. 

This was thee turning point in my walk with the Lord. He took me, right in all of my skepticism and disbelief and showed me a glipse of the truth. That this is for real and there are things that we will never wrap our minds around this side of heaven, and that has to be okay, because we know He can be trusted.

So the question we have to ask ourselves is do we believe the scripture to be true? Because the truth is, either all scripture is true, or none is. We do not have the luxury of picking and choosing which scripture true, either we believe, or we don’t. And if my Lord and Savior declares this, I am going to believe Him, even if I don’t fully understand. 

The power of God is in us, I don’t fully understand, none of us do. But know that our God is capable of anything, and He can be trusted. 

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Only the Spirit can Turn a Heart

Before I knew God, I thought I knew…

Looking back over my life, I was presented with the gospel time and time again. No matter who was sharing, or how they would share it, I would recoil at the name of Christ, become angry at the mention of God’s love, or want to cry at the possibility of hope… because I was hopeless. I never really gave it much thought….because I thought I knew, and nobody could tell me otherwise.

When I see my friends and family denying God, my heart breaks, because I remember that place. I know there is no explanation I could give that would open their eyes… I so desperately want them to see what I now see…but I can’t.   A non believer can hear the truth a million times from the best of preachers and never be reached. And then one day, a random statement or conversation, having nothing to do with God, will all of a sudden illuminate God’s truth to them.

It can be so discouraging, not being able to reach people. I know some who genuinely beat themselves up or blame themselves because a loved one did not respond to the Truth.  “Oh, only if I would have said this, or did that,  then they would have seen the truth and they would be saved.”

It is our responsibility to open our mouths and speak of what we know, not to change a person’s heart.The Holy Spirit will use you, but only He can actually achieve the sinner’s repentance.

I don’t know why the Spirit wanted me to share this, be He did, so I did.

Speak truth, live love and watch the Spirit work.

“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?” 2 Cor 2:15-16

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Eph. 1:17

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Choose Grace

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The pressure had been building, my patience strained. So much has happened in the last two years….. Watching my father slowly be destroyed by the cancer that was taking everything from him little by little, until there was nothing left. My children moving 2000 miles away and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t changed me. I find it harder to breath these days. I feel like at any moment everything is going to fall apart and go away…. I find myself frantic, frustrated and trapped. Trapped in a cage of grudges and bad blood. Bound and gagged in the dark corners, festering…. feeding the destruction.

“Don’t let it go, you’re no punk”,  “You see, the betrayal has already begun, get ready”.

Constant whispers, encouraging me to hang on to the anger.

So subtle, so persuasive that I didn’t even realize that I was playing right into the enemy’s hands. Divide and conquer, so he can kill and destroy.

Then one day, BOOM, I recognize what is happening….. but it didn’t change.

I had secured such a grip on my anger, my fear, that recognizing what was happening wasn’t enough for me to just let go. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t…..I didn’t know how.

For months the pressure built, affecting my peace, my marriage, my joy. I’d be praying daily, “Father, take it away, I don’t want to be angry, I want peace! Help me Lord”

No answer,  no relief.

Then a week or so ago I was riding my bike to work and the Spirit spoke to me, “What are you waiting for?”

“For help Father. I can’t do it, I can’t be okay with this, I am not ok with being treated like that, I don’t know how to let it all go, Help me!”

He responded, “No”

Suddenly He brings to mind Exodus 14:13-16

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”

Then the Spirit asked me again, “Now what are you waiting for!?”

This time the question pierced me to my very core. It was like God punctured a pin hole in the darkness that had blanketed me, and the light began to shine through, and I saw…

I muttered to myself, “It’s my decision….and I choose grace.”

I kid you not, In that moment it was like a weight slid off of my shoulders and I smiled…. I let go, because I chose to.

Grace is so hard, because nobody deserves it, but we so desperately need it. Yes to receive it, but more importantly we need to choose to live it…decide to give it.

Only then will we be free. Only then will we be able to experience all of what God desires for us, and from us.

Unity, peace, and love can only be obtained by demonstrating the amazing grace that each of us has been shown.

He will help you, but you must choose.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: https://sojo.net/sites/default/files/blog/Grace_Dove-change.png

When in Doubt, love

Christians sometimes get lost within their walk. It happens to every single one of us.

On those days when you cannot hear God’s voice…. When you don’t know what to do or where to go. When your “reality” is crumbling and you begin to doubt everything.

On these days, remember one thing above all else. “When in doubt, love.”

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Conviction is Love

Romans 7:14-20 says
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does.”

This verse was the very first verse that I felt was speaking directly to me. The way Paul describes the sin issue in his life was exactly how I felt. I simply couldn’t do it, I couldn’t live up to all that God wanted from me.

I felt like such a failure because no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn’t do it. I couldn’t stop sinning and I felt guilty, like I was spitting in God’s face every time I did. Then I was introduced to the concept of grace. At first I viewed it as a get out of jail free card. I remember thinking, “This is awesome, your telling me no matter what sin I commit, I am still guaranteed to go to heaven!? Sign me up!!!” 

Then as the days rolled by the sense of complete freedom began to dim and was replaced by a nagging sense of guilt, and I just couldn’t understand why. I believed that God had forgiven me for my mistakes, I knew I was off the hook. But no matter how many times I reminded myself of that truth,the guilt and frustration continued to build.

Then one day one of my brothers in Christ sat me down and pulled out his bible. He flipped to Romans 6 and began reading in a tone like he was just talking to me.

“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with Him through
baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.” -Rm 6:1-4

It was like my eyes were opened. I kid you not I’m getting goose bumps as I write this because I remember it so vividly. That was the moment I got it. I don’t feel bad because I am letting God down. I simply don’t have the ability anymore to be Ok with my sin.

Before I knew Christ I was 100 percent in the flesh. I didn’t know any other way than the way of the world. But once I received the Holy Spirit, all of a sudden I’m feeling bad for behaviors and thoughts that never used to phase me.

Since the Spirit revealed that truth to me, when I sin, I don’t feel bad because I failed God again, I thank Him that I am actually able to see what I am doing is not what He wants for me. I rejoice in the fact that He is not mad. That He already knew I was going to do it, and then I thank Him for loving me so much that I have no doubt I am 100 percent forgiven and redemmed.
The conviction is meant to draw us closer to Him by making us hate when we sin. It is not meant to beat us down and make us feel like crap.

We must recognize the purpose of God’s conviction. It is not meant to punish us or make us hurt. He convicts us because He loves us so much He wants to protect us from harm, from sin. And if we are feeling the weight of our mistake pushing us down, pushing us away from God in shame then the devil is twisting God’s purpose for his own agenda; to kill, steal and destroy.

This is the freedom that we are blessed with by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the amazing love of God, enjoy it and be free.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Vigilance is Key

I’ve always been a fan of punk music. I share alot of their views on society, the government, not being afraid to
be yourself and obviously I love the way it sounds. I mention this because today on the way to work, I was listening to my music and singing along just like any other day. All of a sudden I was very aware of what I was singing along to. The lyric that got my attention was a single line in an otherwise awesome song. It simply said “God is not in us”.

Right after I sang those lyrics I stopped dead in my tracks, like someone just slapped me in the face. All of a sudden another set of lyrics from a different band came to mind that goes something like, “Heaven and hell are just a myth, so wake up you asshole and live in the moment.”

Why do I mention this?

There is a term called imaging, which refers to how anything that you expose yourself to affects you. It may not be notice it right away, and if it is, it can be easily dismissed.

Things in this world are either bringing us closer to God or pulling us away….there is no third direction, no standing still.

Then I couldn’t help but come to the realization that I was overlooking this anti-God sentiment that seems to be plaguing our country, because I love everything else that they talk about in their songs.

Suddenly the overwhelming sense of conviction washed over me. I had chosen the world over God.

I bring up this revelation about myself  to you guys for no other reason than the hopes that you will all remain aware that we do this everyday without even realizing it.

I had to make a decision to delete this music that I have loved since I was a kid off of my phone simply because they had dissed my Lord.

It may sound silly, but this walk we are all on is treacherous and we cannot make compromises on these types of things.

Now I cannot stress this fact enough that I do not tell you this story in the
hopes that you will think, “Oh look at him, look how good he’s doing obeying God.”By no means, I just want to share my shortcomings with all of you in the hopes that you will take this truth and delve into your own walk.

Psalms 139:23 says, “Search me O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts”.

David begs God to show him the areas in his life where he is falling short. The areas where he compromises his love for God with the love of himself and of the world. Ways he was not even aware of.

The battle is real, the repercussions of choosing anything but God are extremely real. So I urge all of you,
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12

We must remain vigilant, because none of us are immune.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

How You Feel Doesn’t Change the Truth

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There is an expression that I have thought and even said on more than one occasion and that is “I don’t want to be an adult today”.

It is a feeling that I think everyone could identify with at least at one point in their life. “I don’t want to be an adult today, because just want to go have some fun.”, “I don’t want to be an adult today, I want to just stay in bed and watch Netflix.”

But the reality of the situation is, when I feel like this, even though I don’t want to be an adult today, it does not change the fact that I am an adult, and that is just the way it is.

There is another expression that comes to mind that I feel is just as common, but rarely said out loud, and that is “I don’t want to be a Christian today.”

I will be the first to admit that I have thought and felt this on more than one occasion  “I don’t want to be a Christian today because I wanted to call this person up and tell them exactly why I am pissed”, “I don’t want to be a Christian today so I can do “xyz””, “I don’t want to be a Christian today because I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and it just wasn’t fair!!!”

These feelings are not only understandable but they are a very real sign that we are on the right track. We need to recognize that these desires are not showing how weak our faith is, but they are reminding us that the Holy Spirit is right there with us. Otherwise the thought “I wish I wasn’t a Christian” wouldn’t even occur to us until after we satisfied our want.

People, just like being an adult, being a Christian is simply the fact that we recognize the truth…. and just because we feel a certain way does not change that truth.

I share this with you because our walk with God is not an easy one. In fact, it is damn hard. But you are not alone. Everyone of us has these feelings, and the devil gets off on telling us to keep it to ourselves, isolating us in our struggle, making us weaker.

This topic came to mind because of something I said to my wife the other day. To say we were on overload would be an understatement. It was one of those all too familiar days when I don’t feel God. I just feel the hurt, pain and stress. So many different things all happening at once, I just wanted to collapse. I walked over to her, put my arms around her and closed my eyes, just to catch my breath.

Then without thinking something came out of my mouth, “Being a Christian is so hard, when I don’t wanna be one”….

Those days, when we don’t want to be a Christian, are the moments when we need to cling to God with everything that we’ve got. Some days, all it feels like we are doing is barely hanging on…. and that is a beautiful thing.

Anybody can live for God when the blessings and comfort are just pouring down on them. But when we are under attack, and doubt everything that we have come to believe, we need grab onto God like a child who clutches onto his mother’s leg because he doesn’t want her to leave.

These are the moments we need to recognize as opportunities to strengthen our faith. These are the opportunities to let God show us that He can be trusted. When everything inside of us is telling us that we are justified to act a certain way, when we convince ourselves that God won’t come through for us… that God doesn’t really love us, that I might as well give up…

These feelings and thoughts simply do not change the facts.

Our head will lie to us, our feelings will shift with each passing struggle or blessing….
Sometimes when my head, my pain or my demons are screaming so loud, it is all I can hear, I have to force myself to focus on the truth that everything in me wants to disregard. That God is working, that He is not capable of failing me, and that I truly am loved by Him in such a way that cannot be explained by mere words.

I wanted to share this with you for the simple fact that I don’t want anybody to think that they are the only one. I don’t want anyone to think that when they have to force their faith on those days when we don’t want to be a Christian that they are a fake. Quite the contrary, in those dark times, when life is just too hard, I always remind myself, It is time to put my money where my mouth is, and let God come through for me.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” -Isaiah 43:2

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” -1 John 4:16

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” -Ps 62:7

Writteb by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://www.agirlonthedoorstep.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/cross-and-kneeling.jpg

Love Always Supercedes

Our faith is established and strengthened by the truth God has revealed in His word. The more we study and pray the more we begin to understand the very character of God. I have always stood fast by the truth of the scriptures. Knowing that when I speak of God, I am very careful that my words are in line with the very word of God. I knew I was correct, because my knowledge came directly from the scriptures.
But what happens when the truth that the word and the Spirit reveals to me confuses, discourages, or even pushes people away from fellowship with Him?

For example, I love tattoos. I have quite a few and have plans to get more, and I am able to do this without conviction because of what He has revealed to me within the scriptures and the fact that the Spirit is not telling me otherwise.

This confuses some people because they understand that to mark (tattoo) your skin is a direct violation of God’s word and refuse to do so because of what they know about God. If I was to encourage one of these people to get a tattoo based on what I know, then they would be putting their faith in my word, instead of God’s word. And if they disregard the Spirit’s conviction and get a tat anyways, I have now convinced this person to defy God as he understands Him, which is a sin.

The Spirit has been nudging me in regards to another example which I have had no choice but to take to heart, and that is the term “baby christian”.

Now this term spoken or thought with a humble heart and pure motives is in fact scripturally sound. (1 Peter 2:2) (1 Cor 3: 1-3).  But does that make it ok to use as we see fit?

I have stood my ground with the scripture as my foundation on this topic, but recently the Spirit has convicted me about this due to the greatest commandment, which is love.

By using a term that I am completely comfortable with, I have been inadvertently casting doubt into the minds of new believers, to some appearing to be elevating myself above others, or even worse, confusing new believers that in order to become mature in Christ that they need to “do more” before they are an actual “christian”.

So then the question becomes, what is more important to God?…. What is the only requirement that He desires from us?…. to love.

All of a sudden by the conviction of the Spirit I am no longer able to use this term with a clear conscience. Not because I don’t still believe that there is nothing wrong with it, but because by doing so, even though my heart is from a humble place, it is a stumbling block to others because the words are speaking something else to them. To them the words speak judgment.

Then I ask myself, if I choose to not say this term, am I taking away from the scriptures to please others? So I have a choice, do I be right…. or do I edify and love?

Our faith is one uncompromising truth, but it’s not always black and white.

 

“Take heed to the guidance and conviction of the Spirit, for He will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13)

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” -1 Cor 8:9 -13

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13: 1-3

“Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” -1 Cor 3: 1-3

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” – 1 Peter 2:2

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” -John 16:13

Written by: Justin Ludwig

God is Beyond our Rational

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As God as my witness, the experience I am about to share is 100 percent true with absolutely no embellishment. Your mind may question my testimony but I cannot emphasis enough that what I speak is true, is real, and it changed how I viewed God, the Spirit and life, forever.

I suddenly had the desire to share an experience that changed me on a profound level. There are many things spoken of in the scriptures that can be hard to wrap our minds around. I feel one of these would be the topic of speaking in tongues.

I will be the first to admit, I did not believe in this act of a divine display of worship.  I am skeptical by nature and though I have faith in what the word tells me, I just couldn’t accept that this was lagit. My skepticism was to the point that I would actually mock my friends who had told me that they had or do speak in the divine language.

Nothing on this earth would change my mind, I did not believe……

Then one day, It was February of 2012, I attended a bi annual revival put on by Teen Challenge called Spiritual Emphasis. An entire weekend filled with worship, the word, fellowship, love and most importantly the Spirit.

It was the second day of the festival and I was enjoying the crap out of myself. God’s presence was so thick you could almost reach out and touch Him. The Spirit was flowing and I found myself underwater in worship, praising Him…… then something began to happen.

It began in my feet, a cold tingling sensation that I noticed but disregarded, assuming my feet were just falling asleep. As I fell deeper into worship I realized that the feeling in my feet began to rise. It was almost like their was a hole in the top of my head and someone was pouring water into me, filling me from the bottom up. It was so cold, yet so exhilarating.

I fell deeper and deeper into the Father’s presence, all the while this cold, shaky sensation continued to rise up from my toes, up through my calves and continued to rise. I had absolutely no idea what I was feeling or what was happening. All I knew is that whatever  it was, had such power, and I had no ability to stop it.

This sensation continued to rise within me, not in the sense of strengthening me, but literally, I felt like a glass of water being filled.

By the time this coldness reached my knees I began to shake. I was having a hard time keeping my balance, yet this filling of my body continued to rise.  Two of my friends noticed that I was starting to wobble, so each one put his arm around me for support, so I wouldn’t collapse.

I continued to worship, and the filling continued.

It rose all the way to the top of my throat and then stopped. It was like the “liquid” hit a barrier and could go no further. No matter how hard I tried, the feeling was trapped right in my throat.  I could barely breath, but I was not afraid.

I was so confused yet filled with a feeling…. Such a feeling that I cannot put into words.

Then I heard it, “Now Speak!”

I didn’t think, I opened my mouth and my throat suddenly released and I began so speak in a language that I did not know….. I couldn’t squelch the words that where pouring out of me.

Like an avalanche of syllables, they began to flow. With tears streaming down my face and my friends supporting my entire body weight, I was in a haze of divine ecstasy that I can only describe as a non sexual orgasm.

Then I collapsed.

Face down, overcome by the Spirit’s power. I felt someone lightly touch my shoulder. He said to me so softly, in a tone that gave me a sense of comfort I have never known.

He said “Thank You Father for filling this man with Your living water. I ask that You never allow him to forget. Never stop the flowing of Your precious water, Your power and Your presence.”

I arose seconds after hearing the voice, tears streaming down my face, and I  see my friend sitting there, waiting for me. Everyone else was gone, apparently I was on the ground much longer than I had thought.

My first words to him was an apology for mocking his experience.  All I could mutter after that was “I had no idea….. “I had no idea……”

I asked him, who was praying over me a second ago? He cocked his head in confusion and asked “When?”.

I said, “While I was face down drowning in His presence, who was praying?”

He searched my face, assuming I was making one of my stupid jokes, and then he said with a stone faced serious response,  “Justin, nobody was praying over you. When you collapsed you were alone up there.”

I experienced something that changed my life. God, in His mercy and grace decided to demonstrate His incredible gift to someone who didn’t even believe it possible.

This night was the night I lost all doubt about our faith, about our God and about His power.

Many are either skeptical of my testimony or think I am lying. To those people I am forced to ask, “What do I have to gain by lying?”

The Spirit is at work today as much as it was back in the days of the Apostles. I share this with you in the hopes that you will recognize that just because you don’t know, don’t believe, or dont understand does not make it any less true.

My story is for real, and my prayer is that you will open your heart fully to the power of God, and watch Him work in ways you never thought possible.

There is a power far beyond our understanding, and I welcome you, to stop trying to understand God by our finite perspective and simply experience Him.

My experience does not make me special,  because I didn’t do anything….. I simply let go and let myself drown in His presence.

Whether you doubt me or not doesn’t matter. It is true, and my prayer is that each and everyone of us, if even only for a second could experience the unexplainable ways of God like I was so blessed to experience. You will be changed, forever.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,  so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Cor 2:4-5

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: Google Images

Rejoicing in my Suffering

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It has been no secret that my kids moving away has been really hard for me. The thought of not getting to see them very often upsets me ways I can’t even begin to put into words. Coupled with the death of my dad a couple months ago I have been feeling like I am suffocating, sinking beneath the surface back down into the darkness.

Today I was pleading with God for strength, wisdom and encouragement. I have been praying this for awhile with no real relief. But this time, the Spirit chose to answer me, with another question.

It was the weirdest thing, I’m in the back smoking and I hear Him, “Why aren’t you grateful?”

I say, “I am Father, You saved me from so much”, and as I begin to continue He stops me….. “I am talking about your dad…. your kids.”

All of a sudden it hit me, this is His mercy… this is His grace. It was inevitable that my father would die, but the Lord kept him around long enough to mend our broken relationship….

With my x wife being in the Navy, I knew it was inevitable that it would take my kids far away, but the Lord kept them here and helped me establish a loving and amazing relationship with my children. A solid foundation that we never had before….

What if these things happened 4 years ago? My pops and I so hateful to each other, my kids remembering a dad that loved them but was so broken he had to go away.

Suddenly the Spirit washes over me and I start to cry and I thank Him for giving me the chance, the time, and the ability to make things right, His way. 

Suddenly the Spirit says, “Now this is rejoicing in your suffering”

I kid you not guys, it was almost audible and it made me laugh as I sniff and took a breath.

It doesn’t make the hurt go away, because it hurts. But the truth the Spirit showed me was how lucky… how blessed I truly am to get the time I had.

Phil 4:8
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Romans 5:3-5
“Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Ecclesiastes 8:6
“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”

Justin Ludwig

Writing by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://www.bible-reflections.net/image/original/1856/on-the-road-marked-with-suffering.jpg

Always Respond in Love

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To all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are offended or bothered by all of the changes in our country. I urge you to pray on this verse,

“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” -James 4:11-12

We are called to love and serve, not judge and condemn. 

Unfortunately to the world, Christians are known for being judgemental, condescending and hateful.

You, I, we have a responsibility to stand up and show the world who we truly are, with love.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: https://jeremyaffeldt.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/lovelikejesus.jpg

Hypocrite!?

I am not saying that I am better than you because I am a Christian. I have lied, cheated, stolen. I was a monster, far worse than anyone I have ever met. I’ve done things that would horrify you and I stand before you saying that I am forgiven and that I am going to heaven. You call me a hypocrite!?….. no no no. I would be a hypocrite if I thought I was better than you… but I don’t.

I am just a man, who admits that I am a sinner. I have done bad things to myself and to others most of my life. So to say that because I believe the only way to be made right is to admit defeat, trust that He loves me enough to know my heart and forgive me.

That doesn’t make me better than you, it just means I recognize the Truth. And the Truth is that I love because God is love, Jesus is love. That’s it, a self sacrificing, everyone above me kind of love is what God desires from me, from us. So don’t get it twisted, just because you had one, two or a thousand bad experiences with christians doesn’t mean you have us figured out.

Love and blindly being okay with everything around us is not the same. Alot of Christians get it twisted, I know. I see it everyday, and they are wrong to hate. You shout tolerance then you judge me because I love?  We may have more in common than you realize.

Written by: Justin Ludwig.

God’s Timing

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“Acts 16:6-10 “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

God’s timing is everything. That is what is so incredible about Him, He has woven this incredibly intricate tapestry that we call everything. This is why it is so important to be sensitive to the Spirit’s voice.

Just because you do not shout the name of Jesus to every single person you meet, or that you are not willing to sell your house to live in a hut does not mean that you are not madly in love with God. When you are supposed to share with someone you will feel the Spirit telling you to. If your boss is asking you to do shady stuff and the Spirit is telling you to quit your job, you’ll know. We cannot beat ourselves up because we are not capable of doing some of the intense things that God may ask of us. But when that time comes and God has a big use for you, the Spirit will come upon you and you will be capable of doing things not possible before.

Be sensitive to His voice, and be courageous enough to follow it.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://christianmarketingprogram.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Gods_Timing.jpg

The Gospel is Love

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The gospel is……

There are many ways to finish this sentence; it is hope, it is truth, it is life, etc. But what the gospel is….is love.

The hope in our secured eternity because He loves us so much that He set us free from our fate, our shackles, ourselves. The truth is that God is love, His truth is that He loves the active satan worshipper as much as He does you. The truth is, we cannot fathom His love for us, because it is more powerful, deep and scandalous than anything we can imagine. We did everything wrong, we blatantly turn our backs on God to do what we want because we want to do it. And He always responds in love.. always, because God is love.

Why do I share this?

From the child molester, to the devil worshipper, to the person who just doesn’t care, we have but one response that we must do if we truly desire to please God, and that is to love them.

Somehow the church has become somewhat of an ostrich with its head in the sand. So concerned about separating itself from evil, from the world. All the while evil, pain and suffering is raging all around us.

This is NOT what God desires from the church. To avoid evil so we can protect ourselves. That is the opposite of the gospel. We are called to go… to go to the darkest corners of the world and love.  Love without judgment….. love without an agenda …. To love without question.

Matt 28:19-20
“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 12:31
“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.”

Romans 13:10
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/a7/7a/23/a77a239f2a545a88d1e5cf188f4ec4f8.jpg

His Plan is Better than Mine

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I remember about a month before I was set to graduate from Teen Challenge. Things began to happen for me. I was talking with my x-wife again, and it was looking like I was given an opportunity to get it all back. The wife, my kids, the family. It was everything that I had been praying for since everything had fallen apart several years before.

I recall thinking “This is it! God is awesome, and I love Him for doing this for me.” It was like my eyes had been opened to the grand tapestry that is God’s will. I felt so safe that God really was going to come through for me just like I had been learning about. Then I graduated and come out ready to start the life I had always envisioned, that I had always wanted…..

Needless to say, I was heartbroken when I got out and my dream was over before it had even begun. I remember having to leave the house to pray about that one. The reason for that, is when I am really upset and opening up to God the obscenities start to fly. I began to pray….and rant. I won’t get into the details but pretty much it all came down to one question. “WHY!?”

I wanted closure, I wanted love…. but most importantly I wanted an answer to that question that plagues so many of us. Why?

It’s not until recently that I received my answer. I was looking back over these last few years, not for any real reason. My mind was just wandering, as it tends to do, and I saw it.

It’s what is known as revealed knowledge, when the Holy Spirit makes something click. Something that you knew in your head but it simply couldn’t find it’s way into your heart. I looked around our house, I looked at my new wife, I looked at my kids running around the house playing with my new step daughter…. At that moment I heard God whispering in my ear “Do you see? Can you see it now? This is why.”

Unfortunately so many get stuck on the mindset of, “When I see it, then I will believe it”. But what those people need to realize is that it is the other way around. “When you believe, then you will see”. I urge you to look back and see how God has been working in your life. It really is a trip, several years ago, when my wife left me, I was homeless, jobless, friendless, lifeless. I never in a million years would have realized that all that pain and hurt was God loving me. That it really was the only way to break me, so He could save me. Only when I look back over my life can I see that He was always right there,  guiding me to exactly where I needed to be.

Isaiah 55:8
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

Proverbs 16:9- “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://haridevote.com

Stop Fighting, Let Him Help

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Have you ever seen in the movies when someone is drowning? They are in a state of panic, well aware that they are going down. All they know is that they are in serious trouble and are frantically doing anything they can to save themselves. But no matter what they do, they can barely bring their heads up long enough to gasp for air before they drop below the surface again. Eventually they get tired. I mean really, how long can they give it all they’ve got before they start to sink?

Then the hero jumps into the water to save them. As they approach the person in distress they begin to attempt to save them. But since the person drowning is freaking out just trying to stay alive the hero is helpless to save this person. It’s not until he is forced to punch the guy in the face to stun him long enough so he stops fighting, so that they are able to grab a hold of them and take them back to safety.

I don’t know what goes through the person’s head when that fist connected with their face. It probably wasn’t a feeling of relief at the realization that this person is going to save their life. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t be able to understand why this person, on top of everything else going on, decided that cracking me was a good idea. I mean, don’t they realize I am fighting for my life over here!?

It’s not until I was safely back on the shore basking in the sun that I would be able to realize how absolutely necessary it was for him to hit me, to get me to stop and simply let him help me.

Self preservation is in the nature of every living thing on this earth. Maybe that is why it is so hard to just let go. Terrified at the knowledge that if we don’t do it ourselves, then there is no hope.

As a man who was drowning and had sunk so far down that all that was left was darkness, I am here to tell you that there is nothing to figure out.

Just let go, so God can do it for you.                                                                                                                       
I’m beyond blessed, just like countless others. Rescued from the darkness and now laying on that shore, basking in the Son. It’s funny, I didn’t even recognize the work that He was doing for me and in me while it was happening. It wasn’t until I looked back to where I came from that I realized that my trust was not misplaced.

Put your faith in our Hero, our Savior, our God. He will bring you to safety if you stop fighting, and let Him.

Isaiah 43:18-19
Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert

Written by: Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://www.Taemen.co.kr

Love is what God Desires

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Everything that God desires from us can be summed up in a single verse.

“He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” -Luke 10:27.

This verse encapsulates everything that God wants from us. If you look at the 10 commandments if  you are loving God with all of your heart you will be doing the first 4 of the commandments. And when you love your neighbor as yourself you are following the other 7 commandments. We must know that our faith does not call us to be confined by rules.  Simply telling us what we cannot do. Our faith calls us to be active in and with our love and then, us following God’s law will just be a byproduct of doing what we are truly called to do, and that is love.

Justin Ludwig

Prayer and Action

I say it constantly, that prayer is power, and it is, but too often that is where it stops.

People lift up their troubles and fears with the hopes that God will just suddenly make everything better. What we as Christians need to realize is that a lot of times we must take action in order for our prayers to be answered

If you look through scriptures, this fact is played out time and time again.

In Exodus 17 when the Israelites are battling the Amalekites, Moses must keep the staff of God raised over his head in order for the Israelites to triumph, and when his hands fall, the enemies of God begin to win. In Joshua 6, they are required to march around the city of Jericho seven times and let out a cry of victory before the walls would come crumbling down so God’s promise would be fulfilled. And my personal favorite on this topic is the parting of the Red

“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. -Exodus 14:13-17

I could go on and on with examples but I think y’all get where I am going with this. Prayer is indeed power. The fellowship and council of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon that we can wield. But He is not a magic genie that will just magically whisk our problems.

Look, the bottom line is that we serve an all powerful God who wants to bless us beyond measure, but He expects us to take action, and sometimes yes, the action is to wait or do nothing.
If you feel like your prayers aren’t being answered, ask Him what He wants you to do. The hard part is, when He gives you the answer, and He will, you actually have to do it.

He will not solve all of our problems for us. He wants to use us, to bless us

When we put this fact into practice, we are able to be blessed beyond anything we dared dream.

Written by: Justin Ludwig

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I find it so incredible how the Spirit speaks to us. I was walking into work this morning and as I am walking up the stairs, I dropped my keys. As soon as I heard them hit the ground I froze. I heard something, it was an almost audible voice in my head saying,

“You are not immune.”

I kid you not, I stood there for atleast a minute, staring at those keys, mumbling to myself, “I am not immune.”  It didn’t hit me right away, but about an hour into work it clicked and I understood what He was showing me.

For as long as I can remember, every time I would see someone drop something, I would  joke in my head
That if I was holding it, I wouldn’t of dropped it. It’s silly, I know, but what can I say, I’m weird. And when those keys hit the floor, with that joke as far from my mind as could be, I found myself recognizing that even I couldn’t stop myself from letting those keys drop out of my hand. Which guided my thoughts to a verse.

“Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” -Psalms 26:2

That’s when I realized that the Spirit was both reminding and warning me about the severity of my condition. The bottom line is that I/we have a sinful, selfish and destructive heart. As a human we were just born that way, with this sinful condition passed down through Adam, and we will remain that way until we are glorified with Him.

There are so many things deep within me that can throw me off track in my walk with Christ. Selfish, sinful motives, my pride. Dare I say unintentional distortion  of God’s word perhaps from past hurts, or points of view that had been ingrained into me since birth. We all have things like this. If we didn’t then there would be no need for a Savior.

What the Spirit was reminding me was that if I don’t remain vigilant with the knowledge that I am not immune to this sin condition…. That if I am not vigilant in inspecting myself against the word of God daily, then I will surely become one of those Christians who lost their way.

I am not talking about the ones who turned away from God. I am talking about those who still truly believe that they are perfectly in God’s will, but their sin has changed their path. Their pride skewing their perceptions and intentions … and they just can’t see it.

Before we know it, we have become modern day Pharisees, proclaiming God’s greatness for our own glory.

Until we are face to face with Christ we are at war. With the powers of darkness and with the darkness within ourselves, and they both seek to destroy us. We must remain vigilant, humble, and seek His face, always

Justin Ludwig

Photo from: Google Images

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I was on my way to work today and I started to think about the disciples. How incredible it must have been to walk with Jesus, knowing that you were being guided by God Himself. These people gave up everything that they had ever known and held dear to follow Jesus, because they knew without a doubt that this Man was the Messiah. I mean the hope and encouragement that these people must have felt and experienced,  knowing that they were walking, talking and learning from God Himself.  Wow!

Then one night…… He is captured, taken into custody and sentenced to be beaten and crucified. I have know idea what must have been going on inside of the disciples as all of this is going on.

The word tells us how scared they all were; they ran, they hid,  and Peter denied even knowing Him while He was still alive. Personally, I like to think that they still had hope, knowing that He was God., and that they were waiting for something amazing to happen…. but it didn’t.

Before everyone’s eyes Jesus took His last breath and died.

Can you image what they must have felt in that moment?

A tidal wave of hopelessness and fear just engulfing them as they gaze at their conquering hero’s body hanging there beaten, broken and lifeless. Their entire world crashing down around them before their very eyes, with the thrust of a spear.

Little did they know at the time, but God was about to change everything in a way that they never could have predicted or even dared dream.

In your darkest hours…… when all hope seems lost and everything in your life seems to be unraveling and falling apart, don’t lose hope…

God is about to change everything, in a way you never saw coming.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” -Psalms 27:14

“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.” -Ecclesiastes 8:6

Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://njomuad-thebeloved.blogspot.com/

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The Holy Spirit impressed something on my heart I feel I should share with all of you. Mark 5:1-20; Jesus has come across a cursed man. Possessed by not one demon, but a legion of demons.  The hold that they had on this man was so great that he was written off by society, exiled to the tombs, hastily forgotten, helpless…hopeless. The villagers didn’t know what to do with the man, they tried everything they could think of. Even when in desperation, they chained the man down, but his demons were so powerful and they would snap their chains. Unable to deal with him, he was exiled to the tombs to suffer in his torment.

  Everyone was terrified of this man….. Jesus sought this man out. Everyone wrote him off as a lost cause. Jesus saw a man who needed to be set free…..

This is such an inspirational model for every one of us. We cannot turn a blind eye to the exiles of this age. We must not confine our ministry to that of our own comfort. There is a large world out there, filled with so many people without hope. Broken, lost, hurting and alone. The people outside of our comfort zone, so different or dare I say, scary to us that are howling in pain like this possessed man.

In so much pain, consumed by their demons…. How will they know what we know, unless we tell them? The homeless man, the convict, the orphan…  Men and women bound and gagged in their sin, their pain or their circumstance.

I am not saying that you should head down some dark alley looking for lost souls. I am just saying that He wants to use you….don’t be afraid or over think how God could possibly use you. With a single smile or a word said from love, the Holy Spirit is capable of changing the heart and life of a person otherwise hopeless.

Jesus has called us not to stand on the sidelines, but to roll up our sleeves and love the unlovable. It is our responsibility to remember the forgotten and give hope to the hopeless, in Jesus name.

“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” -Matt 28:19-20

Justin Ludwig

 

Photo from: http://www.reflectionsforliving.com/reflection/248/in-gods-grip/

 

 

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I was reflecting and praying on what the Holy Spirit was revealing and confirming in my life, and in my heart. I began talking with my wife and just letting out exactly how I was feeling. Why I am afraid and why I feel I am having such a hard time, and then in mid sentence I hear a whisper in my heart, “Remember”.

It was such a distinct voice inside of me that it stopped me in mid sentence. But I continued on with my feelings of being overwhelmed, and I kid you not I heard it again, “Justin, focus, remember”.

This time I stopped and my thoughts began to drift back. They drifted back to a time where the pain, the trials and the loss was all I knew. As I am thinking about this I began to remember how hopeless and fearful I was. I was convinced that there was no happy ending for me. I remembered exactly how it felt back then. I always felt like I was in a tunnel, so dark, so cold with no way out. I was bound and gagged in the darkness, with nothing but the promise of death to comfort me. I had given up on trying to find my way out of that tunnel years before…. I had written myself off as irretrievable.

Little did I know at the time but every single painful experience, every heart broken, and every loved one lost was exactly what I needed to get me where I am today… and all of a sudden I heard it again, “Now don’t forget”.

Then it all clicked, and the Holy Spirit tied everything together…. how I have been feeling, why I am truly afraid…. Suddenly everything just fit into place and I was able to see….. this is my role with God!

I must remember… I must remember that place in my life…. I must remember how all I saw was the hurt and pain, with no way out. Completely unaware that God had already set into motion years before a chain of events that would change everything. That I had to feel the pain of losing my children to be changed into the father that my kids needed and deserved. That I had to experience the hurt, pain, and sorrow of a broken marriage….of a broken life, in order to become the husband and man that I so desperately wished I was but had lost hope I could ever become.

This is realization I have had many times before but this time it slammed into me like I was recognizing this for the first time, and the Spirit washes over me as I remember…… He came through in a way that I never saw coming…..and He will again.

 

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.” -Psalms 77:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -Prov 3:5-6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”-Deut 31:6

Justin Ludwig

Photo from: http://godrulzdownloads.blogspot.com/2009/05/crucified.html

 

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Lately the Spirit has really been speaking to me through music.  I always find it awesome when the Spirit speaks to me through secular music. When God’s truth is proclaimed to His children in a way that transcends the original intent of the message. I’ve always  loved punk music, and there is a line that has been stuck in my head. It goes something like;

“Get up, get up your voices are needed! Become, become the pulse of the revolution!”

The writer’s intent of these lyrics is referring to a social and political revolution. But by the Spirit’s power, wisdom and pure awesomeness He has spoken a very different message into my heart.

The Spirit screaming into my ears a very real reminder of what He wants in my/our life and in my/our heart…. a revolution.

The revolution that He/I/we speak of is not a revolution against the establishment or against society. I am referring to a revolution much deeper, much more profound and important….

I am referring to a revolution of the Spirit!

This world is overrun by the kingdom of the power of  the air and we have a responsibility to rise up and take our place as warrior of God Almighty and let the world know that there are answers. Let them know that there is hope and that they are loved.
That God, heaven, and eternity are right there waiting for them to embrace His love and freedom. God has empowered us with His Spirit inside of us. The very same power that rose Jesus Christ from the grave is in you!

This is as real as it gets people so remember that You, I, we  need to…. No we must  stand up, speak boldly, and live a life saturated with His presence.

Hearing these lyrics reminds me that every single one of us needs to speak and become the pulse of the revolution. How many are staying silent assuming  others will take up the slack and proclaim God’s truth for them? How many are consumed by their situation and disqualify themselves from speaking His truth because the “don’t feel worthy” or just feel like a hypocrite. I urge you to pray on this next thought.

All of these roadblocks that justify why we don’t proclaim the truth of the Spirit, the fear that keeps our lips sealed, and those voices in the back of our heads accusing us…. “who am I?”, “I am not “qualified to speak God’s truth.” “I don’t know enough about scripture to be an effective witness.” “I can’t get over my own sin, so who am to lift up my brother or sister when I am still such a mess?”

These are boldface lies from the enemy. Every single one of us have the power that rose Christ from the grave, healed those “who could not be healed” The power inside of you was the very same power that healed mine and millions of others broken hearts and broken lives… and changed  everything.

For me, someone told me Jesus loved me, and later I read a single verse
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” Ps 46:10.

That was it, that was all the Spirit needed to incite the rebellion in my heart against the the enemies of God.

Every single one of your voices is needed! We have talked about it before, that we all have the responsibility  to play a very crucial role in this war against the flesh, against the devil  and against ourselves.

We all have the same objective, to proclaim to the world of the truth and the indescribable hope we have found.  But the reality is, even though I am on fire for God and am knowledgeable in His word, I cannot effectively witness to everyone because the Spirit uses everyone for a specific reason.

Each person has the ability to reach people that nobody else can. And if we keep our mouths shut, assuming someone else will do it for us,  we have pushed that perishing  person further to the dark side because we didn’t simply tell them what we have found. It is not our job to convert people to the faith. Our job is to stand up and let the world know what we know, and God will work on their hearts and do the rest.

Have faith in the power of the Spirit, rise up and join me!! We cannot do this without you because only you can speak life into your world. Only you can reach those lost souls that won’t listen to anyone else but you!!

I’ve said it before, but speaking  what you know of God, no matter if it is articulate or profound, lives will be changed and souls will be saved.  Just open you’re mouth and sincerely  speak of what you know and just like my punk lyrics, the Spirit will reveal a picture of hope, strength and salvation to the perishing, the hopeless and the lost .

Our God, our salvation and our faith is no fairy tale, this is for real.
Your voices are needed. Dont assume someone else will do it. We are that someone else, and it’s time to stand up, speak out and change the world, for His glory.

Justin Ludwig

 

Photo from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/180073685070830068/

 

 

wp-1462378872425.jpegThere is a Christian heavy metal band that I listen to called Sleeping Giant. A line of one of their songs has been drifting in my head and it goes something like this;

“I can’t see Jesus in this, it pollutes my trust and it fills my heart with hate”

I have always been drawn to these lyrics and many like it because it is so raw, truthful and real about what we face as followers of Christ. And apparently the Spirit wants me to share it with y’all because this is where He is guiding me.

How many christians jump ship just before God’s blessing is unveiled? How many people turn their trials and heartache into hate?  And how many people will spend the rest of their lives wandering the desert because they couldn’t see Jesus working for them… so they curse Him.
I have talked about it before like many others have, how we must look past our circumstances. But far too often that is where the “counsel” stops, leaving some wondering what the hell that even means.

Does it mean I have to just hold on because eventually this issue or situation will pass, then I will get the blessing that I know God has for me?

What if my kids moving so far away from me is the only way for them to be exactly where God wants them to be when He will shower them with blessings?
Who would have thought that all of my suffering was exactly what had to happen for the blessed life and guaranteed eternity I now have.

We can’t trust our truth. You, I, we gotta trust God’s truth, and God’s truth is that He is always working for us in ways we will see in time and a lot of times we will never even recognize it because HE freakin loves us so much!

It is a wonderful thing to look forward to heaven, I do it every day. But when I am looking past my circumstance I am not looking to heaven. I am recognizing that even though I don’t know it, that I may not feel it, I know that everything is happening exactly how He wants it to and I know that that is for good… because our God is so good, always and forever He is good.

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

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” -John 3:16

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”-1 Cor.4:17

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,  because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

Justin Ludwig

 

Photo from: http://livingthejourney.com/2014/01/06/day-6-just-sit-down-will-you/but-god-ephesians-2/

Declaration of Truth

 

 

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I remember before I knew Jesus, how lost and hurt I felt. I was so desperately looking for answers, but found myself only discovering more questions. I had finally come to the conclusion that I was a lost cause and had no hope. I would hear things like, “You need God in your life” and “You need to put your faith in Jesus,” but those words meant nothing to me. They were hollow, cliché words that people seemed to say to me just because.

Like so many others in this world, I had a tainted view of who God was and what it was to be a Christian. I wanted nothing to do with a God that was going to remind me of how much of a failure I was. I just couldn’t understand how these “holier than thou” people thought embracing a God that I had no ability to obey, or even please, could change anything. Like so many others, I had closed the door on God because I simply didn’t know. I didn’t know that He wasn’t upset with me. I didn’t know how proud He was of me. I simply didn’t know the truth – that the entire reason Christ came is because I was a hopeless failure who couldn’t possibly obey God’s law, and it’s because of this that He died on the cross to save me from myself, simply because He loves me.

You see it everyday, Christians spewing hate in the name of God. The loudest ones seem to be the ones sharing about a God full of hate and vengeance, individuals who push people away from Christ by changing a God of love into a hateful and unloving deity.

This is exactly why it is imperative for us, as believers, to share what we have found. I don’t know if it is shyness or fear of judgment that keeps a believer from sharing about Christ, but it has to stop! The freedom, love, and the incredible hope that God offers is lost on so many people because they don’t understand, or even worse, they think that they understand, but are basing their information on the preaching of the proud, the ignorant, or the downright hateful.

Think about it – right now, this very second, there are countless people hurting, alone, and scared, with absolutely no hope, who want to believe and need God to save them from themselves; but they cannot, nor do they want, to follow this God that they think they know based on the rantings of people who have perverted the message of the unconditional love of God. These people need to know what you know. You don’t need to have scripture memorized or have all of the perfect answers. Just sharing with them the God that you know, the God that you have experienced and felt, the simple story of your life, and of who God is to you, will change lives. I am living proof of that.

Most non believers are firmly against who we are and the God we serve based on inaccurate and twisted information. It is up to each one of us to set the record straight, not by pointing fingers and telling those people they are doing it wrong, or to do it my way, but by simply letting them see firsthand that it is about freedom, not restriction; forgiveness, not condemnation; and, most importantly, that our God is a God of love, not hate.


Justin Ludwig