Is Our Faith Too Small?

This is a guest post by Cory Johnson, Church Planting Resident at 121 Community Church, who is planting Austin Life Church in Austin, TX. You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you are interested in writing a post for us, visit our Guest Post page. You can also view other guest posts by clicking here.

Is Our Faith Too Small?

I was reading in John 6 today, a story I’ve heard, and I’m sure most have heard countless times – Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.

But this time reading it, God spoke to me as if I were reading it for the fist time. (That’s the great thing about God and His Word. We will never exhaust all that we can know of Him. He’s just too great!)

In the story, there is a group of 5,000 men (women and children present, but not included in the count; typical for that time and day) who were following Jesus. Jesus then poses a question to Philip…

“Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”

It’s a question many of us would ask. It’s a simple question of seeing a need and asking how to meet that need. In any sphere of life, we come across questions like this every day.

  • “How are we going to serve this many people?”
  • “How are we going to pay the bills this month?”
  • “How do we help this troubled teen?”
  • “How do we help restore this marriage?”
  • “How do we pay for college?”

The questions are as many as people in the world, and more.

Most of the time, I, and I imagine most people, seek to answer these questions as best as we know how. We try the logical approach, like Philip did – “With this many people, 200 denarii won’t even buy enough food.” We try being creative with the resources we already have, like Andrew did – “Well, we have 2 fish and 5 loaves to work with, but realistically, that’s a joke for this size of crowd.”

Most of the time, we try to answer our questions, our needs, in a way that makes sense to us, that we can come up with, that we can accomplish on our own strength and mental power.

The problem with that? The needs and questions we face each day are all too often much bigger than we can handle on our own.

The good news?

Why Would We Fear Good News?

Fear - Good News?

Photo by chezzzers

I am joining several high school students in reading through a gospel (or multiple) as we are spiritually preparing to take our lives on mission to the Czech Republic this summer. I’m probably behind the rest of the group, and thus found myself in Luke 2:8-21 this morning.

It reads:

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'” (v. 8-11)

These shepherd guys were just out doing their job, when all of sudden an angel appears, shining the glory of the Lord around. The Bible says that great fear filled them. Why would great fear fill them? I mean, shepherds are known for being able to protect their flock from some of the fiercest apex predators (see David in 1 Samuel 17). So why would great fear fill them now?

Lessons From Cambodia

Cambodia - Lessons

Photo by @vr8ce

I recently had a chance to chat with one of my dearest friends, Alf Evans. Alf and his wife, Kelly, have followed God in obedience and moved their family to serve in Cambodia. Their mission is to help rescue and restore children out of sex trafficking and in to a new life in Jesus Christ. The task is, to say the least, HUGE. However, they, and we, believe and hope in the truth that our God is BIGGER.

During our conversation, Alf was telling me of some girls who had been rescued out of sex trafficking. These girls had been brought out of unthinkable bondage and shown freedom and the beginning of a new life. He went on to say that for several they continue to voluntarily go back into the very bondage they were freed from. The same hurt and damage that they were liberated from they walk back into with open eyes.

True Valentines Love

Valentines Love - Two Hearts

Photo by ssstep

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I fully believe that every person today desires to feel and know true love. I really believe that in the depths of every person, whether admitted or not, there is a desire to experience the affection of another, to know that you are the one who catches another’s eye. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, so perhaps the emotion and publicity of this love is heightened.

But I believe that this desire to be loved goes well beyond a man-made holiday. *Men, you better still step up and utilize this day to express your love. Don’t be lazy!*  I believe that the desire to feel and know true love is hard wired into the very fabric of who we are as humans. God has created each person with an innate desire to love and be loved. It goes back to the very beginning of creation.

How God Saved Me

I was born into and raised in a Christian home. Both of my parents, and most of my extended family believe in and follow Jesus Christ. So from Day 1, I began learning about Jesus, about being a Christian. At a young age, I began to know of and believe in the God of the Bible. I also began to know of and believe in an eternal heaven and hell. Heaven was a good place to be, and hell was, well… not so much. I also began to learn that the way to get into heaven and avoid hell was by believing in Jesus.

I Abandoned My First Love

I lean towards being a Type A personality. I very much am driven by goals and tasks, and like to have everything orderly and neat so that I can accomplish said goals. This can be a great thing when needing to get something done. The problem with this personality, however, is that I can forget the “why” of what I am doing, the motivation behind the goal I am after.

And for God, our motivation for why we live in obedience to Him matters just as much (if not more?) as our actual obedience.

In Revelation chapter 2, we get an inside look into the thoughts of Jesus regarding his church at Ephesus. We learn there that, according to Jesus, the church at Ephesus is doing a lot of things really well:

-Working hard, serving the Lord

-Patiently enduring, not giving up on the task

-Holding high the authority of Scripture

But Jesus warns them that if they don’t repent and change one key aspect of their lives then He will remove the church all together. So what is it that this church is missing?