Men, we need to…

Men, we need to stand up for our families and lead them to the King.
There is nothing un-manly about following Jesus Christ; in fact, it’s
the biggest challenge you’ll ever face. Too many men are staying home
while their wives take the kids to church, taking a nap while their
wives read their Bibles to the kids, and turning the TV on while their
wives pray for their souls. #standup – Your example will either pull
your kids closer to God or push them away.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being a man, what it takes to be a good father, and stuff like that. Somewhat out of frustration and somewhat out of just a desire to encourage others to do and be all they can be, this was my Facebook status a week ago. One of my prayers is just to be a better husband and eventually a good father. (No – Katya is not pregnant! You can stop asking now! We’ll let you know if that happens – we’re “waiting” right now! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ )

You may have had a good dad, you may have had an absent dad – either way, if you’re a Christian, God is your dad. When you feel like being absent, going to the TV instead of interacting with your wife, etc., God can and will give you the strength to be a good husband and Father. That’s a fact, if you ask Him for the strength. He is your ultimate example.

We are in a very unique time in America. More kids are growing up without a dad than with one, and we can see the impact on our culture. Let’s take our God-given responsibility seriously and #standup. Be men.

Today’s Sermon: A Citizen’s Responsibility

davidbibleHere is the sermon I taught today! It’s both in English and Ukrainian – Katya was right by my side translating the whole thing! I really enjoy working together with her (she’s been translating for me since long before we were even dating). Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures!!! We forgot to hand the camera off to someone else before I got up to preach.

The sermon is called “A Citizen’s Responsibility”. In light of the current events in Ukraine, I thought it would be a good topic to go over. If you like it, you can share it with your friends.

Click here to listen to the sermon.

Katya should get her passport TOMORROW…

…hopefully!

*UPDATE* –Β Katya has her passport! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Now we’re just working on the VISA! Keep prayin’, guys! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Katya and I have been waiting a LONG time to just receive her international passport. We had to change it because of her change in last name. Man – that was a pain! I *LOVE* it that she is now “Katya Snead”, but there have been a lot of headaches along the way…

Anyways – please keep praying for this process! A week ago tomorrow they said it would be ready in a week, and we’ve already been waiting for over a month. After that, we are going to apply online for Katya’s visa to the U.S. with the United States’ government, and they can deny the application for whatever reason they choose, even without telling us what that reason is. That’s one of the reasons we’re buying a two-way ticket, even though we don’t know exactly when we’re coming back.

Please pray for this whole process! It’s exciting, an adventure, stressful, painful, and puts you on your knees. I’ve grown to really hate documents, especially paper documents, because of this whole thing. You go here, get this signature, go there, get that stamp, go back, get everything translated, go to get it stamped and find there’s a translation error… yech! It kinda makes you look forward to Heaven, where God’s Law is written on our hearts and the Holy Spirit is our signature stamp of His ownership! AKA – NO MORE DOCUMENT HUSSLE! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Anyways – this is one of the last steps in the process of getting ready to see all of you in America! I have this almost strange peace that it’s all going to work out just fine. When I’ve come to situations like this in the past, I’ve had a hard time trusting God, but I’ve seen Him come throughΒ so many times…Β It just makes sense to trust Him this time.

I think that’s what James was talking about when he said “count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials“. A friend of mine and I were talking about my experience here in Ukraine compared to Bible college, and I told him, “You know… when I was interning at Bible college, I learned more in those 3 years than my 2 years in college, but my 3 years here in Ukraine have taught me more than all 5 years at CCBCi combined.” I wouldn’t trade this time in Ukraine for anything.

Can you reach Jesus?

What an interesting question. It’s one that has honestly shaped my life. Can we reach Jesus? What does it take to get to where He is and truly be friends with Him, get to know Him, etc.? Have you ever thought about that?

Evernote Camera Roll 20131117 004515

Does He ever seem “just out of reach”, behind some cosmic metal bars that hold you back from your prayers being heard or really feeling like He loves you?

I felt like that.

I really did – for most of my childhood. Just like that picture, I acknowledged that He had died for me, that He was the Christ, that He was God, etc.; however, I still felt a deep, impassable chasm between us. It was my guilt, my shame for the sin that I knew I was carrying around.

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Yeah, I was a “good kid”. I felt like Paul when he listed his credentials to the Philippians sometimes. I was home schooled, brought to church from birth, believed in “Sola Scriptura”, a moderate-Calvinist-Armenianist, and concerning the law – blameless; however, that still didn’t take away that feeling in my heart that there was something missing, something I needed to fulfill, something I needed to earn.

Jesus is my Savior.

Ok – what does that really mean? Does that mean that He was a really good guy and we can pray to Him or in His Name? Does that mean we should follow His example? Does that mean that He is God, and we should worship Him?

No.

Don’t get me wrong – those thing are all true! That’s just not what “Savior” means. “Savior” means that He saved me from something. It means that I was helpless, and He helped me.

Rom 5:6
Rom 5:8
Eph 2:8-9

Why is it so easy to forget this stuff? To not be blown away by it? To brush it off and say, “Eh – I’m a good person.”

No you’re not!

None of us is a “good person”! We’ve all missed God’s standard of a good person – perfection, but that is why He sent Jesus to die for us! I had it all wrong growing up! I didn’t need to come to Jesus – He came to me!

Jesus came to us, because we couldn’t make it to Him!

Those bars are gone now, because He died to open the way for us. A free gift still needs to be purchased by somebody, and this time it cost that Someone His life. Jesus intentionally sacrificed His own life so that mine would be paid for and I could be with God.