Before I was a leader here at Lincoln Young Life I was a leader at Swift Creek Middle School. I was once hanging out with the other leaders on that team and we were all going around a circle telling each other what we thought each individual’s spiritual gifts were. When the rotation came to me I was told that my greatest spiritual gift was passion. I really liked that answer. Ultimately because it’s just one of those things I take pride in but also I think she was right. God has blessed me with a passionate heart . To put support to this idea I’m going to ask you guys some questions about me.
Somebody, not a leader, what is my favorite TV show?
-Lord of the Rings
Maybe a little harder favorite author?
And maybe much easier favorite band?
-The Dave Matthews Band
Yes! The Dave Matthews Band! See I’m fully aware how annoying I can be about the things that I love but honestly I just don’t care. I love things so much that all I want to do most of every day is share those things with people or spend time with those things.
Usually when I begin to find love for something I just want to know everything about it.
I study it almost.
Take Dave Matthews Band:
I fell immediately in love with the music. And what do you do when you find a band you love? You listen to song after song over and over and over again. Then you would start to listen to the lyrics and memorize them so you could sing along. You’d learn the band members names. Which guitars were used for which songs. Then you would go and see them live! And then you would go see them live 21 more times all across the United States!!!
You’re not like this?
Well for me and especially this music I was captured; fascinated. Fascination is a tool that draws you to dig deeper.
I would listen to the lyrics of the songs and hear lyrics like “bartender please fill my glass for me with the wine you gave JESUS that set him free after three days in the ground.” And I immediately would get excited because he’s singing about Jesus he must be a Christian! That’s awesome!
So from there I would study the man Dave Matthews. Read interviews, books, found out things like he is a big advocate for farmers, he has his own vineyard, he’s from South Africa and “that if there is a God, he’d like to punch him in the face.”
That’s an actual quote from this guy that I put so much admiration in to.
So Christian Dave is actually Agnostic Dave. Which means he neither confirms nor denies the existence of a God.
When someone asked him about God he said: ” I just can’t believe in a God who cares about us, that God is Impossible.
Ya know I get it. I understand why people think that way.When I was your age I thought that same thing.
For Dave his Father died when he was young. His sister was involved in a murder suicide.
You look around at the world. ISIS killed more Christians this week. Some guy decided to shoot Muslims at Chapel Hill. The other week a freshman student at Chiles was killed in a car accident. Your parents argue all the time. Your parents got a divorce. You were rejected. You didn’t make the team. You were told you’re not good enough. Somebody found out a secret about you and now it’s not a secret. Things like this happen. And too often we think God where were you?
If you’ve ever been extra close to me you know that the most profound experience with God in my life was rooted in that question. I was at a young life camp and angrily prayed to God “if you really care about me I need you to show it.”
I find it fascinating that the book that tells us about God actually has those questions in it.
People in this book asked those same questions.
In the Bible there is this awesome story of this woman who takes her most valuable possession, her perfume, and she pours it on Jesus’ feet. Jesus becomes friends with her and her family. And Jesus hears word that her brother is sick in a town called Judea. A few days pass and Jesus decides to go to this town even though not long ago the residents of Judea tried to kill Jesus.
During this time this woman, Mary, her brother dies to his illnesses. By the time Jesus arrived Mary’s brother had been in his tomb for four days. Mary, in her knowledge of the things Jesus had done in the past, asks Jesus of his care? In essence she asks “Where were you before when my brother was sick?” It says in John 11:
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus then steps before the tomb. He asks that it be opened. And he calls for their brother, Lazurus, to “come out!”
4 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Ya know I don’t find that to be the most incredible part of the story. That Jesus raised a guy from the dead.
For me, it’s that one tiny verse, just two words.
In Colossians it says “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.”
If you ever want to know the character of God or what God is like, the bible says to look at Jesus.
Jesus, when seeing the sufferings of people, wept.
It is so easy to get caught up in the evil of this word and forget that there is tremendous good.
We get to gather together and just celebrate being kids. There are organizations all over the world raising money and acting upon putting an end to sex trafficking. Somewhere right now in Tallahassee someone is giving up something they own to help the homeless. People are painting beautiful pictures. Writing inspiring songs. Loving those it seems impossible to love.
I need a God who cares about us. And I have exactly that because all around me I can see Jesus.
I have a God who cries for me. I have a God who died for me. I have a God who created the world I live in and I have a God who created me.
Did you know:
[We get 99% of our energy from the sun. The earth is 93million miles from the sun. If we were 92million miles from the sun there would be no life on Earth. If we were 94 million miles from the sun there would be no life on Earth. Different from other planets in our solar system the Earth tilts on is axis at about 23.5 degrees. If it didn’t tilt one side of the earth would face the sun at all times and the earth would get hotter and hotter until there could be no life on earth and the other side that didn’t face the sun would get colder and colder until there could be no life on earth. It tilts because 40% of the gravitational pull comes from the sun and pulls it over one way and 60% of the gravitational pull comes from the moon. Without the moon, no life on earth. Scientists believe the moon was an asteroid floating through space that to put in in the simplest terms decided “this looks like a good spot.”
We can talk about the precision of hydrogen of oxygen, light, temperature, tides. All of these super precise things that add up perfectly to human life on earth. Just one of those things being a smidge different would mean no life on Earth.
-Everything is Spiritual]
A God who doesn’t care about us, and I’m sorry Dave Matthews, is IMPOSSIBLE.
Without Jesus maybe it’s difficult to see that. It’s why I NEED Jesus. He’s the proof that God cares about us. Because he’s the visible image of the invisible God. He’s the visible image that God completely and abundantly…cares.
One of my favorite things Jesus every said (and maybe it seems grim at first) but he said, “In this world you will have troubles…” The promise of being a Christian or person on this earth is not an easy life. Jesus said we will have troubles. But he also said DO NOT FEAR for I have overcome the world.
The visible image
of the invisible God.