Category Archives: Chasing Jesus

You Are Immeasurable

When San Francisco singer / songwriter Martay read Angela McMichael‘s book Immeasurable, she picked up her guitar and wrote this song.

It’s a positive and encouraging message to our daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and friends–to every woman, in every corner of this broken world. (And many of us men, as well!)

“Why would you ever believe the lies of him who hates you?
Believe the words of Him who made you…”


“…The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7b

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In addition to her music, Check out Martay’s blog where she tackles subjects like anxiety, comparison, bitterness, busyness, dating and more.

More:
Martay
We Are Immeasurable
Immeasurable – The Book

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Quick Thought: But God…

The enemy will try to use even your friends or family to separate you from God, discourage and knock you off mission.

But God uses even your enemies to draw you closer to Him, lift your heart and bring you to your place of divine destiny.

“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
2 Chronicles 16:9

(See also: Joseph.)

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I. Still. Believe.

People ask me from time to time how I can still believe for things that have seemed so completely hopeless for years.

I love this question. It gives me an opportunity to share my unwavering faith in a God who specializes in the “impossible.”

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
– Romans 4:20-21

I didn’t always have this kind of faith.

Actually, I don’t always have this kind of faith.

Believe me, there are many days, when I feel much closer to the Centurion than Peter.

In fact, there aren’t too many days that I don’t think those very words, “I believe, help my unbelief.”

I grew up reading the stories about these men and women of great faith and thinking, “well, that’s not me.”

It discouraged me tremendously.

See, I wanted to believe that kind of faith was possible, but it didn’t feel very real to me. At least not in my life.

Looking back though, I realize that, by definition, I had no faith.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
– Hebrews 11:1

The truth is, I pretty much only believed in what I could see.

I believed in my circumstances.

I believed in my feelings.

I believed in things I could define, in what I could understand.

Too often my feelings told me that my circumstances proved God wasn’t there and didn’t care. When the exact opposite was true. (And still is.)

Those tough times were opportunities to build my faith, for me to trust and obey and for God to show himself to be real and active in my life.

God always uses the challenges in our lives to build our faith, bring us closer to Him and do great things in and through us.

– God’s glory was demonstrated to both His people and enemies when David had the courage to face Goliath.
– Mary and Martha had to suffer the loss of their brother, Lazarus, to really understand Jesus’ love for them.
– Paul and Silas had to be imprisoned to bring the jailer and his whole family to Jesus.
– The apostles had to be in the middle of a storm for Jesus to calm it.
– The man had to be born blind for Jesus to heal him, and more importantly, reveal himself to him.
– The disciples had to live through the pain of watching jesus die, to experience the joy of his resurrection.

Listen, if we want to be men and women of great faith–we’re going to be put in some circumstances that require great faith.

There is no other way.

There are no short cuts.

It’s gotta be lived through, tried by fire, earned in battle,

Now, even stepping in to those circumstances, and each step through them, requires some faith.

We need enough faith to obey.

That’s the critical first step, the key to our breakthrough.

Do we have enough faith to obey?

Even when it isn’t what we want to do?
Even if we’ll lose some friends?
Even if it hurts?
Even if it makes no sense to us?

Joshua had faith that God’s unorthodox battle plan would work. But how much more faith did he have when it actually did?

That’s the reward on the other side.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Faith is the fountain, the foundation, the fosterer of obedience.”

It is also true that obedience leads to greater faith.

See, I believed that God could, but wasn’t quite convinced that He would. So I did what I wanted. I did what was most expedient for me. I did not obey.

Today, I am striving to do what God says. To do it His way, no matter the cost.

From an earthly perspective it might seem more convenient and comfortable to find my own solution, but I know how that ends.

And please don’t believe that God understands our disobedience and that He’s okay with it. That we can blow off what God says because “our situation is special.” That we are some sort of an “exception.”

That is a lie straight from Hell. A lie that’s tempting to believe because it feels so good.

But God warns against doing what we think is right, over and over again in His word: Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 3:5-7, Jeremiah 17:39.

God is never ok with our disobedience.

Don’t trust books, gurus, experts, TV preachers or blog writers. Check with the Word.

Even well-meaning Christian friends and family will encourage us to choose our own path, in direct contradiction to what God’s Word tells us, by saying things like, “Hey God wants us to be happy.”

And He no doubt does. But the path to the joy He has for us–peace that we can’t comprehend–isn’t in choosing our own way. It’s in exercising enough faith to obey.

Its trusting that if I do what God says, I will always be better off. And that my obedience will bring glory to God and point others toward Him.

So, back to that original question. How can we trust enough to obey, even through the hardest of times, when there seems to be no hope?

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “By faith Abraham obeyed…

We just have to have enough faith to obey. That faith is rewarded with confidence in God and deeper faith. And the process, the journey, is key, as Paul reminds us, because it ultimately ends in the hope we’re so desperately searching for:

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope..”
– Romans 5:3-4

And know this, God is trustworthy. There’s a purpose to your pain. Whatever you’re walking through right now, He’s got this.

For King & Country put it this way in their new song, Shoulders:

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

MORE: Charles Spurgeon’s mind blowing message on Faith

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Preach With Mud | Stephen Jones

Do you remember the story of Jesus healing the blind man by rubbing mud on his eyes?

Did you notice what Jesus did not do?

He did not tell the blind man who He was. He simply met his physical needs, and then went on his way. Not to say that Jesus had no intentions of revealing Himself to the man, He just knew how to do it.

I find it fascinating that when the Pharisees asked the man who healed him, he could not give an answer. His reply was, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” It was only after speaking with the Pharisees and thinking about the situation after the fact that the man came to realize who Jesus was.

Isn’t it a bit strange that we tend to get this whole evangelizing thing backwards? We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, yet I find myself trying to be the mouth of Jesus.

I get nervous in certain situations because I feel as if God is calling me to tell the guy next to me about Jesus, and I am not sure exactly what to say. And that might be exactly what God is asking you to do at that moment.

But it is more likely that God wants you to simply be the random act of kindness they are praying for.

Or the ear to talk to that they have been missing out on.

Or the love that God is so desperately trying to show them.

People don’t want your theology. Family Guy already taught them all they want to know about Jesus. But what they need to know about Jesus is that He is alive and active. And that He is at work in YOU.

The best way to tell someone about Jesus is to show them Jesus.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13:35

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Z-Verse | Science Vs. God | March 9, 2015

What I told an atheist online who said science disproved the existence of God.

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
– 1 Corinthians 1:25

Quick Quote | Pastor Paul Sheppard: On God’s Word

I was just listening to a message from my Pastor in California. The guy who led me back to faith and dedicated both of my children to the Lord.So grateful for Pastor Paul, for his ministry and his faithfulness to God’s Word and his fearlessness.

The following is taken from his message entitled, “Lessons From The Battlefield.”

“Your Bible is God’s eternal word. No book on the planet like it.

Don’t you dare put the Bible in the category with the Quran, or the writings of Confucius, or with anybody else.

It doesn’t belong in that category. I know that’s not politically correct, but it just happens to be truth.

The Bible is the only book in the universe that was written by over forty authors, on three different continents, in three different languages, over a period of 1500 years.

They didn’t consult with one another but when it comes together it reads like God’s story of love for us, his redemptive plan and his plan for you to walk in victory.

It tells you that we were hopeless and helpless.

It tells you about a God who wrapped himself up in flesh, came down through 42 generations and came into this world to save you and to save me.

No other book like it on the planet.

I’m sold out, I’m standing on this Word because heaven and earth will pass away but this word shall stand forever.”

More: Pastor Paul

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Bitterness Is Killing Us

Bitterness is a lie, a trick, a trap.

It’s a warm comfy blanket that’s infected with smallpox.

It promises relief, respect and redress. But it never delivers.

It doesn’t rebuild anything out of the ashes, it just destroys what’s left.

It doesn’t redeem the pain, it recreates it, forcing us to relive it.

It locks in our hurts and freezes our worst moment in time forever. It plays our pain on repeat in our heart and mind.

It re-inflicts the hurt and reinfects the wounds.

We’ve gotta fight bitterness like we would an escaped prisoner climbing through our child’s bedroom window. It’s plans for us are equally nefarious.

Bitterness is a reverse mirage. We often don’t see what’s actually there.

Hebrews 12:15 warns us:

“Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”

We need to watch out for it because, bitterness starts so small. Often with a disappointment, an injustice, a hurt.

We often bury that pain. We pretend it isn’t there and hope it goes away. Which has a similar effect to pouring Miracle-Gro on a weed.

Unforgiveness and resentment come next.

And that environment is like a hothouse, providing the perfect breeding ground for bitterness.

We actually want healing, we want things to be right again, but the bitterness takes over, often without us even knowing it’s there.

We start being ruled by fears. And now, we’ve dug in, we won’t give an inch. Usually because we’re scared.

Our love has to be greater than our fear.

Bitterness, more than anything, is fear. The kind of fear which leads to disobedience.

It’s lack of trust, lack of faith.

It’s believing that we can’t obey God because He won’t get it right.

We feel like we have to take care of ourselves. But, if we’re being honest, how’s that working out for us?

God says forgive. Every time.

He’s got great things in store for us and love like we’ve never imagined if we just trust and obey.

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