Limitless: when they heard THIS!

Acts 2
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I just couldn't leave Acts chapter 2 yet!  You NEED to go read the whole thing today!  Peter unashamedly preaches the gospel of the resurrected Christ.  He lays blame for his crucifixion on this people.  He denounces any power that many might credit to their lineage; all power belongs to God.  Peter didn't preach an "easy-believism" sermonette.  He downplayed that in which so many had trusted.  He proclaimed a risen Savior.  He bore witness of that which Jesus had done.  

"Now when they heard THIS, they were pricked in their heart..."  

Friends,  I don't have a long or super deep thought to give you today.  I have no hidden gem or buried truth to present.  I see in this scripture a simplistic thought that challenges my heart:  The message of Christ still changes hearts.  It wasn't a self-help podcast that made the difference.  It wasn't a fluffy, feel-good talk delivered by a social media personality.  It was simply the gospel.

The Spirit did the work and pricked their hearts.  The question arises, as a result of what they've heard and felt, "what do we have to do?"  The answer was simple and at the birth of the local New Testament church,  the world would forever be altered.  

If it's that simple, why do we make it so hard?  Why have we limited our witness to the walls of a church building?  Why are we scared that we won't know what to say?  What is limiting us from telling the world this good news?  THIS is what we need to be telling everyone!  If someone can predict his own death and resurrection then actually pull it off,  I'm going to believe whatever he says.  

Then,  to see how my heart has been stirred toward the repentance that has changed the trajectory of my downward spiraling life makes me all the more willing to tell anyone within earshot.  JESUS STILL SAVES!  There's a world out there waiting to hear what you have to say.  Don't limit the power of the gospel.  And surely don't put a limitation on the word of your testimony.  #WeAreLimitless

Limitless: PUI - Preaching Under the Influence

Acts 2: 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I wish we had the space and time to put several chapters worth of scriptures here, but we will keep it to these few verses. In context, Jesus has already come and gone, and the Holy Spirit has been poured out over the disciples. Acts 2 is where we find what most refer to as "The Day of Pentecost." Pentecost literally means "the fiftieth day." It was the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest.  Side Note:  I love how God always does things in order and brings them to completion.  

As the disciples begin to speak,  the Holy Spirit interprets their words into multiples of languages listed in the chapter.  Everyone heard the word in their own language.  While some were amazed,  as in most situations,  there had to be a nay sayer.  Some said, "these guys are drunk!"  You can probably hear the whispers of, "oh yeah...those the got ahold of the new wine."   Personally,  if said "new wine" makes my voice be understood in multiple languages, I'll have what they're having!  Imagine the ease at which I could now order in the drive-thru!  

But Peter,  ready not only to save face, but also deliver a word,  says, "HOLD UP!  We're aren't drunk!  It's just the third hour of the day!"  In other words, "uhhh's only 8am.  No way we've been drinking this early."  Being the sarcastic person that I am,  I'm sure I would have been the one to respond to Peter something like:  "Ohhhh okay!  Give it a few hours." 

I know you're wondering why I've belabored the whole "drunk point."  Here's why:  The power of the Holy Spirit was so strong on these men that it was noticeable!  They acted differently!  They talked differently!  I've been around some drinking people in my lifetime,  and those who've had the "new wine" are typically pretty excited party people.  So why is it that the original power of the Holy Ghost made these men appear to be drunk but most of us appear to be dead?  

I wonder if we couldn't tap into that Holy Spirit power today?  Not to be limited by our personalities, comfort zones, or insecurities, but so dramatically affected and empowered by that same Spirit that people take a step back and wonder what's up.  We've been shyly peaking through the peep hole of our box for long enough.  It's time to shed that fear and be limitlessly excited about our faith.  


Limitless: Confession Time

Romans 10: 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Okay Christian,  it's confession time.  No,  please don't comment your sins would take way too long to read through all those comments.  Not to mention how depressing it would be fore most of us.  It's Christ confession time.  I've noticed a trend in the "Christian realm today.  We're happy to go to concerts and lift our hands and sing.  We're excited to sit in small group and "be real" with the church people.  But throw a Christian in the middle of a group of strangers who obviously don't have a relationship with Jesus, and that girl from small group who always "just wants to share and be transparent" is totally silent.  

Whoa!  What happened?  We went from "please shut that girl up...there's no way God said that much to her while she was having her devo's at Starbucks" to lucky if she hands them an invite card to church for fear of being mocked or looked at funny. I think the major reason most of the world is skeptical of our faith is because most of us are silent about it. 

I'm not telling you that in order to be saved you must visit Jehovah's Witness training camp and ask everyone you meet if they know where they would spend eternity if they died today.  There's no magic number of doors you have to knock to level up your faith.  We don't confess Christ in order to be saved,  we confess Christ BECAUSE we're saved.  

I believe a major breakdown in the American church is those who believe "in" Christ and those who believe "on" Christ.  It's easy to spot which side of the equation most people are on based on their level of embarrassment when they see the pastor in public.  Believers are not limited by the stares of the skeptics or the cackle of the cynic.  #WeAreLimitless 

Limitless: Your Cross

Matthew 14:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

I always thought it was scary reading or hearing, "To follow Christ you have to give up everything." We're talking scared to death as a kid that God would call me to be a missionary in a hut village of Africa. I'm light skinned and red-headed. I love the outdoors, but the outdoors doesn't love me. Nightly prayers included, "Dear God, I want to want to follow you anywhere, but I'm scared to death. Please don't ask me to go to Africa."

Can I give the passage some context? Jesus is rebuking Peter in the verse prior for savoring the things of men instead of the things of God. In the verse following our text, Jesus asks what it would profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul. He is not implying that you will miss out on the comforts of technology or that you will be required to live in misery in order to be an effective witness. Jesus is challenging the disciples that in order to glorify God we must learn to deny ourselves. Not thinking less of ourself, but thinking of ourself less. Recognize that you surrender your selfish ambition to the will of God and where he leads.

We all have a different cross to bear. God's calling on our life, cross and all, are in complete alignment with the passion and personality he has created you with. Your cross will never be outside the context of God's calling. But now that we've breathed a sigh of relief, can I ask you a question? Are you willing to surrender everything? I'm not threatening that Christ will take it all away, I'm simply asking if you're willing to give it away if He asks.

It's all about perspective. I cannot lose what I've already lent to the Master.


Limitless: Water Walking

Matthew 14
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

You've heard sermons and lessons on this Scripture SO many times... don't look at the waves...just look at Jesus....etc. I'm not here to minimize the power of your focus, but can we agree to give Peter some props here? The dude had never seen someone walk on the water before. Jesus had never spoken about walking on the water. I's Jesus, he can do what he wants. But me? Nahhh... I'm human. At least that's what most of us think like.

Against all odds, Peter makes a crazy request and gets a scary response. "Lord, if it's you...tell me to come to you. And Jesus tells him to come! At this part in the movie, the ship disappears and Peter's first surfing lesson and extreme wipeout are in full-focus. But pan the camera back and notice that inside the boat are 11 scared men sitting on the sidelines. Guys who served the same Jesus, sitting in the same ship, in the same storm, looking at the same Savior, hearing the same speech all sitting idle.

Real Talk: That's probably more like you and me. It's easy to critique the water-walker from the safety of our comfort zone. We pray, "Dear God give us safety, comfort, and joy," never realizing the miracles that can happen when we're brave enough to pray dangerous prayers. Then, at our request, God always provides a word to walk on. Faith comes from Christ, and we lack faith because we lack the ability to pray for it.

What's your ocean? You know, that place just outside your comfort zone that seems immeasurably deep and dangerous? Deep down you want to conquer it like others have, but maybe you've been content just watching from the fellowship of comfort. Can I challenge you today to pray a dangerous prayer? For instance, "God, please do whatever it takes today to draw me closer to you." Shhhhh...just wait.... Listen for a word. Then, when God speaks, trust him enough that you won't drown, even amid the sinking feelings of your own doubt.


Straight Pride & The Straight Pride Flag

I watch...saddened and sickened as those condoning and advancing the homosexual agenda march under color of a rainbow banner. The symbol they believe to express inclusivity and acceptance is, in fact, a reminder of the promise of God that succeeded history's most tragic loss of life.

Scripture commends us that "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." - Matthew 24:37. In days when the depravity and sin of mankind caused God to regret that he had made man, no man gave thought to the judgement of God. The earth was filled with violence will a people simultaneously enjoyed lifestyles of gluttony and excess. In other words, welcome to the United States of America.

And while the ‪#‎Rainbow‬ is a sign of God's peace and promise, it also serves as a reflection of the judgement, righteousness, and power of God.

Friend, I want you to understand that we are living in the time scripture refers to above. Noah's commission was to build an ark of safety, preach a message of warning, and live a life of purity. Your job is to offer access to the fellowship that will rescue your life, preach a message of salvation and righteousness, all the while living a life of separation and conviction.

Those who "accept" the ‪#‎LGBT‬ community are without doubt sending LGBT's directly to ‪#‎hell‬. If you TRULY want to LOVE them...preach the truth of the gospel IN love. God is equally truth, justice, and loving. Don't hide the gospel. Share it boldly.
So today, I'd like to publicly raise my ‪#‎StraightPride‬ flag, pictured here. But understand this: it's not pride for anything that I have done. It's a confidence in the agenda of the King and his redemptive work in me.

‪#‎Blue‬ - to represent fidelity. Faithfulness to our king and His cause.
‪#‎White‬ - In order to have true victory and freedom, we must surrender to the creator of the world.

‪#‎Red‬ - My sin was scarlet, but the crimson stain of Christ's blood washed me whiter than snow. He died for my sin... and from the church pew sinner to the abomination of the LGBT community...we have ALL sinned, and come EQUALLY as short of God's glory. It takes the SAME AMOUNT of blood to save me as it does the homosexual.

I'm inviting you to be straight....Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14
Friend, sad as it may be...and as hard as this will be to swallow...there's only ONE gate... and I'm here to tell you that it's straight. Jesus said it. That settles it.

I Had An Affair

It was exhilarating at times.  Wrapped up in the emotions of the moment I found whisked away in what seemed to be another world.  I wasn't tied down there; I had no real responsibilities in this relationship.  I could turn here when it was convenient and turn my back when the feelings of commitment became too much.  After all,  I wasn't married to this relationship.  I could enjoy the "highs"  and when I found myself in lows of desperation, I could return to these loving arms for assistance, but nothing and no one required me to stay.  Friends,  this was a weekend fling.  An affair.  Emotional but far from eternal.

Could this relationship be something more?  Should it?  I was definitely commitment material... but would that ruin the good thing we had going?  What could life look like if I found myself married in a relationship like this?  The life I was living was surely failing, and I was looking for something more.  In a sea of people just like me,  I still found myself completely alone.  I'd married wrong too quickly before and my pride told me I could stick it out and make this work...I could be married to one during the week,  and pretend with the other on the weekend.

As we loosely held hands and did our best to blend into the weekend crowd,  so many just assumed we were married.  People spoke to us as if we were and it felt good to pretend.  Occasionally I would glance around and notice those who were truly in a committed relationship.  When I spoke to them,  it didn't matter what emotions they faced or hardships they might be enduring,  they were perfectly content, satisfied, and complete in their relationship. In fact, to separate them from this commitment would be as if to delete their very identity.  No longer two separate entities...they were one.  And I wanted that.  If I continued to juggle these two,  one would soon discover the other, and half of the life I had built would have to die. happened.  In little more than a moment,  conviction gripped my heart. It had been building for quite some time.  I was living a lie.  So we walked the aisle and found ourself at the altar of the church where everyone knew us.  It was the right thing to do.  Divorcing my past,  my addictions,  and selfish aspirations,  I would say "I do" to the one who would stay with me through better or worse.

And now,  as I stand under the roof of that same church, I look around with knowing eyes.  I see you. When it comes to worship,  your life looks more like an affair; A weekend fling with moments of intense emotion but not an ounce of sustainable discipleship.  You're married to your job, your visions of grandeur, and a past that blackmails you into staying even when you want to leave.  But friend,  your relationship with Jesus Christ can be so much more!  It can be an eternal marriage that persists no matter the level of emotion.  Whether you've been courting the idea of commitment for some time  or you're just realizing the implications of your affair, Jesus invites you today to say "I do."

What does your worship look like? An affair or a marriage?  A fling or a forever?  Jesus will take you as you are to be his bride.  He will transform you into his very image, presenting you until himself spotless and loved.  You've committed your time to the wrong things for so long.  And from someone who's been there, let me tell you that commitment is where it's at.  The rewards far outweigh the difficulties.  You've dated long enough.  He's been faithful.  So why don't you?

Relationship Tips For Men: 3 SIGNS YOU'RE READY (or nahhhh)

You ready to date? Or nahhhh… 
I apologize.  Once Nash Grier started saying it,  I couldn’t drop it.  In my heart of hearts, I’m a Magcon Viner.  And, for those of you who are lost already….let’s just move on. 

Every year it seems the “dating age” gets younger and younger.  I used to laugh as middle schoolers talked about “going out.”  But in a couple weeks I’ll listen to junior campers tell their dating stories.  Hollywood has given us a wonderful picture of a fictional, impossible dating world.  We have the Disney channel to thank for adolescent expectations…and don’t even get me started on the Hallmark Chanel.  (Insert Eye Roll Here) 

For the sake of the series, lets agree that the purpose of dating is to discover and cultivate skills and eventually relationship that will lead to a life of marriage. 

So guys,  how do you know if you’re ready to date?  At what point should the search begin?  

God shows us THREE important preliminary qualifications to relationships.  To see those, go to the first relationship in Genesis chapter 2.


God made the man and put him in the garden of Eden.  The word Eden is a complicated word in its original form, because it carries the connotation of multiple meanings. While Eden was a literal garden,  this word also implies “delightful place” or “open door.”  Eden is a place where, for a moment, there is an open door on earth to God’s presence.  Eden was more than a place.  Eden was also an environment, an atmosphere, and in the very presence of God.

The first thing God gifts the man with is his presence.  Guys, if you’re looking for a woman, the best place to meet her is in the presence of God.  If she isn’t in the presence,  let me promise you, she is NOT God’s present for you.  Don’t try to find her elsewhere and drag her into the presence. Meet her there.


Genesis 2:15 “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”  God made man, and then put him to WORK!  #Priorities  You don’t need a woman before you have a job.  And notice his job description:  dress it and keep it.   Notice God didn’t give man a finished product, he commissioned him to cultivate it.  

First of all, women are expensive.  Just take my word for it.  Not only that:  the woman you are picturing in your mind.  She doesn’t exist.  There’s no such thing. (Unless your qualification list is limited to “breathing.)  Your job is , as one pastor put it,  is to “take the raw material and cultivate her into the person you desire.” If you’re married and reading this, and you don’t like the person you’re married to,  cultivate her!  Don’t like the way she dresses?  Take her to the mall (not Goodwill).  Don’t like how she looks?  Buy a gym membership and take her with you!  

Jesus has a bride. Her name is Ecclesia. And if you don’t think these ideas on marriage are accurate,  see the New Testament for a detailed list of how Jesus presents his bride to himself. (Ephesians 5)  People LOVE to quote Eph. 5:25 “husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”  That is….until they see HOW he loves his bride:  Sanctifies her, Washes her with the word, presents her unto HIMSELF without spot or wrinkle.  

All that to say: if you can’t hold down a full-time PAYING job,  there’s no way on earth you’ll be able to maintain your full-time leadership position in a relationship. 


Genesis 2:16-17 God gives ADAM some very specific instruction, don’t eat of the fruit of one particular tree.  God doesn’t give instruction to Eve (she hasn’t been created yet). It is Adam’s job to communicate God’s word to his wife.  The problem with so many relationships today is that the woman knows more Word than the man,  and the man isn’t qualified or able to lead.  

Read your Bible!  As you’ve probably discovered, relationships are not successful unless both parties are communicating.  I promise if you aren’t in God’s Word allowing Him to speak to you,  there’s no way you’re faithfully talking to him.  If you’ll develop fluid lines of communication with Jesus,  you’ll find that your earthly relationships will thrive from the overflow. 

THEN,  God says “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.”  

It is not good for the man who is in the presence of God, working (able to cultivate), and able to teach the word of God to be alone.  

Until you have those three,  NO, you’re not ready to date.   

Relationships For Men: The Myths

I’m breaking the silence…mostly because I can’t stand to watch it anymore!  Social media is inundated with posts “to the girl who got her heart broken.”  Daily, my news feed is saturated with dating tips for women, relationship advice for girls,  and my favorite:  passive aggressive posts about exes.  And while I’m not saying ALL of those should stop, it is time for a balance in the blog-force.  Because here is a fact that might blow some of your minds….ready?… girls/women/ladies are not the only hearts that get broken.  Not only that -  men are not the only ones who screw up relationships.  

So, before we can dive deep into this series of postings, we must first debunk a few relationship myths.  These postings will be largely geared toward men,  but ladies you are welcome to follow along.

God has divinely appointed one woman for you to marry, and he will supremely guide you to her. 

I know, I know.  You heard this growing up.  In fact your pastor, youth pastors, and even parents preached it at you in an attempt to steer you clear of dating.  But, good luck finding that principle in the Bible.   We must be careful when speaking boldly about what God does and does not do, definitively.  

I’m not saying He does not have a will for your dating life,  but one of my favorite authors and preachers, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best:  (In Summary) God joins the relationship between a man and a woman at the point of marriage.  Before that, the couple has to take the initiative. Rather than directing the course of the relationship (removing your free will choice), God wants the couple to grow and learn how to make a commitment.  Once they’ve done that, God increases his sustaining presence.   

What if you accidentally in a moment of poor decision-making chose the wrong “one.”  Then the one you were supposed to marry has to marry the wrong one. Then the one who was supposed to marry the one marries a different one…and before long, no one has the right one, and YOU screwed up the gene pool of the entire planet.  Yeah…glad it doesn’t work that way!

So men,  what are you waiting on?  The holy glow and angel song is not going to magically appear over the predestined “one.”  Your dating life is up to you.  Choose wisely.

You plan to “date the Bible way.” 

I grew up an Independent Baptist preacher’s kid.  I read all the books (forcefully) from “Every Young Man’s Battle” to “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”  My grandfather was famous in my high school for his cleverly alliterated phrase, “Dating is for dummies, but courting is for Christians.”  

Let me be clear,  there are no definitely Biblical principles for dating in the Bible.  They didn’t date!  They stayed single, courted, or enjoyed an arranged marriage.  And from personal experience,  I wouldn’t recommend following the antiquated Biblical format in our society.  Want to know the best way to NEVER get a first date?  Ask the girl’s father without consulting her first.  YIKES!  #LessonLearned 

HOWEVER:  There are biblical principles essential to dating.  Galatians 5 has a list including gentleness, respect, purity, and kindness.  Dating alone?  Kiss before marriage?  Hand holding?  Sorry bud, the Bible doesn’t answer those SPECIFICALLY.  But the boundary of conviction and purity is one you should clearly mark and not cross.

We have to be friends for seven years before we date. 

WRONG!  I might have liberally used the number seven since it often represents perfection.  But I hear this myth all the time.  Does love often spring from friendship?  Yes.  The problem lies when a guy tries to befriend a girl while hiding his intentions.  If you’re waiting for God to smack you over the head and tell you “she’s the one…start naming your children” that’s not faith…that’s fear of rejection.  

I’ve been there.  Done that.  We had been friends for going on 10 years.  We talked on the phone.  I was there when she needed me.  We loved all the same things.  I thought she was perfect…and into our senior year I had watched her date guy after guy, and I was always there to pick up the pieces.  Until I overheard her tell her friends,  “oh, that’s just Jon.  He’s like a brother to me!”  Then one day,  a guy not so different from me came along.  He asked her out, and she said yes. (They’re married now.) 

Don’t hide it.  Be a man!  Doesn’t matter if y'all never touch, wear hazmat suits, group date at church events,  and observe the infamous 10 inch rule,  “friends” and “dating” are categorically different and hold different expectations.  Physical does not equal dating.  Mutual intention does. 

Your sexuality is sinful.

The Bible is explicit in its instruction to save sexual intimacy for marriage.  But if you grew up in an environment like I did,  your sexuality was a curse that must constantly be kept in check.  Well……yes and no.  

Your sex-drive is a part of who you are.  If there were no attraction or drive,  you’d probably eat yourself fat, win every level of Call of Duty, and perfect your couch to trash can throwing game.  

God didn’t wire you this way to torture you.  Don’t confuse sexual desires with sin.  Yes, they can become sinful.  But in their organic nature, they are a gift from God…and that makes them holy.  Find a way to get that energy out in a holy and healthy manner before it forces its way out.  Pornography and adultery are not the answer.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: an sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  (James 1:15)

What To Expect...

I pulled in the parking lot of the church, gathered my things and walked through the doors.  The greeters were great,  the people were friendly, and I was excited to preach to a packed house.  Being a young evangelist, I’m used to hilarious questions..that, or people have no clue I am the guest speaker that day.  So as this gentleman walked toward me, I was gearing up to give the most polite answer I could muster. 

He shook my hand, and with a smile on his face asked, “You’re new aren’t you?  Great to have you! Have you ever been to a church of this denomination before?”  “Yessir, I have,” I replied.  “Well GREAT!  Then I have one piece of advise for you about our worship experience….whatever you’re expecting…EXPECT IT!” 

I courtesy laughed at his joke, but conviction flooded my heart immediately.  What was I truly expecting from this worship experience?  When we walk through the doors of our church’s gather location,  what are we seeking?  Have we prayed for something specific?  Are our eyes searching for the movement of the Spirit? 

Scripture admonishes us regarding the church assembly in these passages:
- Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.

-Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

- Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

So, in light of what God says about His church, His presence, and our preparation,  here are a few things you can expect when you’re expecting: 

An Abundance of Joy in the People
When we are expecting a move of God,  we’re filled with joyful anticipation.  Go find any kid,  load them in the car and tell them you’re taking them to Chuck E. Cheese, McDonalds Playland, or better yet, DISNEY!  Now tell them to calm down and stay completely quiet…DON’T SMILE!  Impossible.   I think the reason we can’t truly smile or exude joy at any level on Sunday morning is because we have lost sight of what church can/could be like.

Praise & Worship From The Overflow
I’ve spent over a decade of my life directly involved with the planning or execution of the worship experience.  When people’s perspective is off,  it takes at least three or four songs to get them in the right mindset,  and just about the time you arrive at that place, it’s time to stop.  There were some Sundays where we would do one or two songs before the sermon, and then three or four after the sermon.  It was amazing to watch people praise differently after being at the altar.  Expectant people don’t require acceleration time.  Their praise and worship is from the overflow of what has already been taking place in their life throughout the week.  It’s the difference between a recharge and a jumpstart. 

Actively Discipling and Inviting
Typically when you tell your kids about said exciting places listed above,  first question will be, “MOM!  CAN MY FRIEND GO?!”  While Disney tickets may cost $200 a pop, hindering your caravan of friends from coming along, the happiest place on earth (the presence of Jesus)  has NO ticket price!  Expectant people have experienced the presence of God, and they can’t settle for anything less.  They understand it’s power and are actively inviting people to experience.  Not only that,  as a result of His presence and power,  they’re discipling others to walk in it as well.

God Is On The Move

The focus of the verse is not the gathering, but the intent.  Those who expect a move of God, gathered in HIS name, will experience that very promise. You’ll always find what you’re looking for, and those who seek the Lord will doubtless find him.  Whatever you’re expecting…expect it!  If you’re expecting the same old numb experience…well that’s what you’ll have.  

Objects In Mirror

My grandpa put me in the church van when I was about ten years old,  started it up, and told me I’d be driving it around the church parking lot: loading and unloading items for the church work day.  This was far from the first time I had driven (thanks Aunt Jen),  but the first time I’d be by myself.  He pointed my attention to the side-view mirrors where was written, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”  And with glasses in hand, and that look of wisdom in his eye he said, “Jon, you’ll think you have all the space in the world until your bumper is right upon the support beam for the tabernacle (outdoor pavilion)…don’t forget things are closer than they appear.”

With schedules gone crazy and not a second to spare, we’ve found ourselves glancing quickly in a mirror.  If everything looks okay,  we go about our way.  It's impossible to see the tiny flaws in our face or traffic swiftly approaching without pausing for a close inspection.  But let's be honest...who has the time?

In James 1:23-24 we find hearers of the word, not doers.  They’re likened unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  

From a cocky ten year old driver who looked to the mirror but thought he had all the room in the world to correct his approach to the hurried working class who glance at their face and move on forgetting what they looked like:  We underestimate the closeness of the objects in the mirror.  "It's not that bad."  "I've got time."  "I think there's enough margin."  These excuses often become the death sentences of our lives and relationships.

God’s Word is a mirror.  When we truly reflect on it,  we realize the state of our natural man.  We’re disheveled by sin, and marked by laziness.  Sadly, most of us think we have time to correct.  The things I read don’t apply to me…YET.  I haven’t hit anything… I think I look okay. The things in God’s word don’t apply to me…yet.

Friends,  don’t live your life by “yet.”   Don’t hear without application.  Don’t listen without learning.  The objects in His mirror are closer than they appear.