A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 4)

A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 4)

An Unoffendable Heart Every pastor has their own struggles, obstacles they must overcome to continue in the journey of faith and love in Christ. Some of those trials, tests, temptations are similar for all men, like Peter tells us, “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you,” (1 Peter 4:12). However, other obstacles I believe are unique to the individual in the making of the man/woman of God. For me walking with an unoffendable heart has been the greatest test and trial I have experienced over the last ten years of being a pastor in Isla Vista. Jesus told all of us that offense would certainly come (Luke 17:1), which is why we shouldn’t be shocked when it actually happens. The real test is: what are we going to do once we are offended? Sad to say, but I have met many older believers that have chosen to swallow what I believe to be the serpent’s venom of offense. Instead of bringing it to Jesus and walking through it with Him, they’ve chosen to harbor resentment, which has left the root of bitterness still in them to this day. You can hear it when they talk about so and so, or their experience with church and life. Valid as the reason may be, the only true freedom from offense is to nail it to the only place that can completely absorb it: the cross of Christ. God gave me a revelation when living as the house dad in a community home of 20+ people for two...
A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 3)

A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 3)

Intimacy with Jesus If you told me at twenty years old that I would be a pastor one day, have five children, and be more in love with Jesus than anything else in life, I would have laughed at you…and told you that you obviously have the wrong guy. I got radically arrested by the love of God in 2001. It was an ambush from Above that flipped my whole life upside down. I was at a church college group one night, and during worship the Presence of God came over me where I literally felt pure love, joy, and peace for the first time. It was in this moment that I knew and was convinced that God was real and that life was made to be about Him. I got saved out of darkness and into love (“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,” Colossians 1:13). I got saved by a love encounter that brought me into a truth encounter where I heard God ask me, “Jason, what are you living for?” The good news for me was that I no longer needed to live for myself, but that God was freeing me to live the rest of my days for Him alone. In my early days with Jesus, I would spend hours with Him. I just wanted to know Him. I was not trying to become a pastor or have a ministry; I just wanted to know the man, Jesus. I have never been motivated in my walk with God by duty: things that Christians...
A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 2)

A DECADE OF PASTORING (PT 2)

The Glory of God About 7 years ago, a bus load of over 40 students from IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City showed up at my house. They stayed with us for a handful of days to love and pray for our city, and ended up joining us for a conference on Identity that we hosted in my backyard. During one of the several prayer meetings that we held that week at the Isla Vista House of Prayer (which is strategically located behind the Jesus Burgers House), one of the students passionately told God that we want to make His name famous in our generation. Sometimes you can read or hear something that gives language to your heart’s cry. This is exactly what happened to me when I heard him utter this prayer of sincerity to God. In reflecting on over a decade of pastoring, I know I would’ve bowed out a long time ago if the fame of Jesus was not the highest reason for why I do what I do. All of us need to be reminded that we are alive for Him, and most alive when we are all about Him. Since saying yes to Jesus in 2001, I have purposed to live my life to make Jesus famous in the earth. It is my mission to lift His Name above all other names and remind the church family – and often myself – that life is way bigger than ourselves and what we are going through. That we really are not the main character in the story; and taking life personal will only result...
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