All to him!

The bible is a beautiful testimony of God reaching down to us and showing us some of His many characteristics. I thank Him for this. He has done it all for me. There is nothing I could ever do to pay Him back for the grace and mercy He has on me daily. I thank Him for his Son Jesus Christ, for dying that death that I deserved soaking up the full wrath of God that I deserved justly. God is more beautiful and more powerful then I will ever know. He is my all in all.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:23-25 ESV)”

Good night,
-David Wright

Grace unimaginable

The grace of God will constantly keep me in awe. My sin upon that cross! He died for sinners like you and me. John 3:16, what a beautiful verse! “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 ESV)
Thank you God for the loving mercy You have shown myself and the world.

Jonathan’s Testimony

On August 10, 1993, I was born. On October 21, 2008, I was born again. This is my story about how God radically changed my life.
From the beginning of my life, I lived a relatively moral life: no drinking, no drugs, no sex. However, inwardly, I was wicked beyond all comprehension. I remember the thoughts I had when I was younger and how they were formulated around two things: my pride and sexual lust. It appeared that everything I did was motivated by sin. Yet, I would still go to church (mainly because there were attractive girls there), went on missions trips (because that would be the right thing to do and a guy like me would obviously do the right thing to do), and knew a couple bible verses. I claimed Christ while at the same time doubting his existence, the truth of the Word, and holding fast to sin and the approval of sin (e.g. same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.).
It was not till, my sophomore year, until my heart was softened. My brother Daniel started to go to this church in Aliso Viejo called Compass Bible Church. Also, a player on my football team, Mike Lasutschinkow, his dad was a pastor there. Therefore, when my mom started to go she would invite me. I went and heard the pastor, and for the first time thought that a pastor sounded intelligent and was clearly explaining what the Bible said. God’s work in me had begun. Ultimately, it was not till Mike invited me, more than just once, to small groups. After exhausting all my excuses, I decided to go. The small group leader was the high school pastor, Pastor Bobby Blakey. He was speaking to us about Matthew 7:13-14. He explained that this passage (alongside v. 21ff.) speaks about those who think they are saved, but are walking on the wide path that leads to destruction. Then, Pastor Bobby explained the one word that had been missing in my life: repentance. All my life, I was explained the love of God in a cheesy, “Jesus loves everyone”, way. I never understood that I was faced with hell ever since I was born, and that God had wrath towards me, but in His love sent Christ down to live the perfect life I couldn’t, die the death I deserved, and raise from the dead so that all who repent and turn to him shall have eternal life. I knew that I had not repented for I was walking down the same course of life ever since I was born. I was destined for hell, and it scared me.
After small groups, Pastor Bobby talked to me, for I had raised my hand when he asked who had not yet repented. In tears, I realized that I needed to repent and turn to the love and grace of God given to us through Jesus Christ. That night I repented, and later that week (Saturday to be exact) I was doing chores when I felt a great need to pray. Being alone, I prayed out loud in anguish saying, “God, I hate my life…I don’t want to be in control anymore. You, You be the captain of my ship.” It was clear that my whole life was given over to God for ever since then my life has never been the same.
Each day afterward, I would come home from school to open the Bible to a random page and start reading. I loved reading the Bible and would soon bring it to school with me so that I could read it more. Also, my heart was passionate to speak praises of God and the truth of His Word to all at my school. Because of this, I was persecuted, but I did not feel loss. I rejoiced knowing that I was counted worthy to suffer for the Name.
Now, I am a sophomore at The Master’s College majoring in Biblical Studies with a double major in Bible Exposition and Biblical Languages to be a pastor. God has been gracious to save me out of the darkness and into His glorious light. Every day, I grow in my love for and obedience to Him.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

– Jonathan Wright

The Gospel

This is the difference that news makes. Christians have heard the news that Christ has come into the world and has fought the decisive battle to defeat Satan and death and sin and hell. The war will be over soon, and there is no longer any doubts as to who will win. Christ will win, and he will liberate all those who have put their hope in him! – John Piper

Sin and Grace

Romans 6:1-2 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Listen to how strong these words are ” By no means!” Paul really wanted this point to strike home, he just got finished say in 5:20-21″Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Paul is saying that the Law of God, showed us what sin is, but in doing so, sin became more abundantly known in our lives, but still his mercy covers us, he is showing how great and unmeasurable his grace and mercy is.
‘By no means’.
Is Paul saying go out and sin, because grace will cover it? No he is saying we shall live for Christ. How can we who believe in Christ still live the same way we did before We knew Christ. He states in Galatians 2:20 ” I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This is saying we no longer live for ourselves, but that we live for Christ. Again another example for living your life for Christ would be Romans 12:1″ I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Why would you not want to worship a God so great, read this Jude 24-25 “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

I am in awe shock reverence of my one true King.

– David Wright

The Seal of God

John 3:33-36, “Whoever receives His testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Whoever RECEIVES His testimony sets seal to this. Either you are saved by the blood of Christ or you are not. 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” We, as Christians, have been chosen by God! Romans 9:18, “So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.” It is by the grace of God that we are no longer who we are, that we are pure by the blood of Christ, and that it is nothing that we have done. We are SEALED by our trust and repentance to God, our loving Father!

Thank you, God, for the gift of eternal life, for turning our lives around. God, I pray that You would help us as a church to put to death of our sins and to trust in You fully! I pray that You would give us wisdom, and that we would not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). God, You are a merciful God that saves. Thank you for Your grace–that it is truly nothing that we can do to earn our salvation! As always, thank you for Your steadfast love! Thank you for sending Your Son down here for OUR sins, OUR transgressions, and for OUR debt! You are a holy, gracious, loving, just, and all around perfect–the one true God, who deserves all our praise and glory! Amen.

Not Earned

We can NOT earn our salvation, we do not deserve God’s grace and mercy. God sent His Son down to earth to die for OUR sins; for what WE did. God did this while we were His enemy, while we hated Him. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6 ) God died for the ungodly (us). We need to remember as Christians it is nothing that we do that gives us our salvation–it is all God. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” in John 19:30 He was saying that all of our salvation depends on Him alone and not on us at all, ever. If salvation had to do with anything that we have done to earn it, Jesus would have said, “It is almost finished, now just get water baptized,” or, “It is almost finished, now just live your lives 51% holy, at least, so you can get to Heaven.” But no–we need to repent, to turn lordship to Christ and take to power away from our sin. We need to trust and believe in God. The dictionary definition of believe is, “to accept a statement or opinion as true”. But, let us also remember that faith without works is not true faith, it is dead. We can see this in James 2:26 which says, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” We need to be Christians who are living like Christ; we need to die to ourselves and live for Christ alone. As Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Struggles

The dictionary defines the word struggle as, “a forceful or violent effort to get free of restraint or resist attack.”

Personally, I have many struggles–but probably my most obvious struggle is smoking. I have been smoking since the age of fourteen and have tried to stop a myriad of times, but have never been able to quit completely. For a month or so I will quit, and then I say to myself, “Hey, I can do it now! This is no longer tempting to me, so I can sit down and have one last cigarette and never smoke again.” But right after the first cigarette I go numb, buy a pack, and smoke it all the way down to the last cigarette. I justify my actions in every way possible, saying to myself, “I’m not addicted. I just enjoy it.” Or, “I don’t smoke when I’m angry.” But when I do get angry and smoke, I justify that as well by telling myself, “It won’t happen again; this is a one time thing”. The truth is, I am downright addicted. I rely on myself to quit. I don’t turn to others when I struggle, because I see smoking as a little sin and I think I should be dealing with other stuff right now. Realistically, I cannot stop smoking on my own.

Do you ever feel this way about your struggles? Do you feel like your struggle is too small for God to care, or for people to want to help you? Do you feel like you’ll never stop struggling with the same sin?

I understand this thinking because I struggle, too. It’s hard for me to love my brothers, hard for me to quit smoking, hard for me to put God in the front of everything, hard for me to love people.

My struggles start when I am not focused on Christ, when I think His finished work does not cover it all, when I am self-centered instead of Christ-centered. Now is when I turn to my mentor and great friend. He points me to Christ, and builds me up in the Word of God.

First off, go to God and pray, thanking Him for being such a wonderful, loving Father, so beautiful in everything He does. Thank Jesus for dying for the sins of this world, sins that we have committed; thank Jesus for being obedient even to death. Thank the Holy Spirit for residing in us, for convicting our hearts of our sins, for giving us discernment in the Word, and an understanding of the differences between good and evil. Then, please, please tell a brother or sister in the faith about the sins you are struggling with. Let them know what you are dealing with and seek Godly counsel from them.

And finally, read the Word of God, let it soak in. Read the Gospels of Jesus, study His life, study His actions. LOOK AT HOW GOOD OUR GOD IS! Are you still amazed that God forgives you?

Struggles may bring you to your knees, but when you are on your knees, pray for His strength, and when you get on your feet, pray even harder. Pray with thanksgiving always. It is only by His grace that you are saved. What an awesome God we have!

This is a website designed for people who struggle with sin. This site points you to Christ and not to yourself. Give God glory in all that you may do. http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/

– David Wright

Who am I?

Who do I think I am to be doing things the way I want to do them? I dishonor God in my life everyday, but my true desire is to honor my true and only God in everything I do. But does my life show that? This is a question for all of us. What do our lives say about us? I can only pray and hope that my life is pleasing to God. To paraphrase what Jonathan Edwards has said, I want to be the best Christian that has ever lived–not because I care what people think of me, but because of what God thinks of me. I hope that when I die God will say to me, “My son, my son, I love you. Your sins are forgiven; Christ blood has covered you. I opened doors for you and you went through them; you did not run from them, but you trusted me. I am pleased with you.” I pray that God will be pleased with me. I pray that my life is bringing Him much praise. I want my life to be spiritual worship to Him.

– David Wright

Grace and Grace alone.

I just want to make it clear­: I do not believe, under any circumstance, that anything I do will lead to my salvation. As Christ said on the cross, in John 19:30, “It is finished.” There is nothing I can do to add to what He did. Galatians 2:16 sums it up well for us, “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” It says it here three times that it is by faith, and by faith alone, that we are justified. It is not, and never will be, because of anything we do. Jude says the same thing at the end of the book, in verse 24, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy………”

Can you see that it is nothing that we do, but it is Christ alone we need to rely upon for our salvation?

– David Wright