Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by how long you’ve been a Christian, how much you know, or how often you go to church. Spiritual maturity is measured by the way you treat other people. It’s measured by the love you allow to operate through you. First Corinthians 13 tells us about the characteristics of love. One characteristic is that it is not rude. That means, when we are walking in love, we treat other people with courtesy and respect. Are you courteous to other people? Are you kind to the person at the checkout counter that may be moving too slowly for you? Are you gentle when you are driving down the highway and someone cuts you off? Are you patient with your family and coworkers? These are all ways we show love.
Scripture also tells us that love is patient. It is kind. It does not envy; it is not proud. It is not rude. Love is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails. Notice that these characteristics don’t have anything to do with feelings. That’s because love is a choice. You can choose to walk in love toward people even when you don’t feel like it. Today, make the choice to do what is right. Choose today to show kindness and be courteous to others. Look for ways to cultivate the greatest thing in your life—love! As you do, you’ll move forward into the life of blessing God has in store for you!
Are you worrying about something today? To worry means to allow something to revolve in your mind over and over again. God doesn’t want you to live worried or anxious about anything. He knows that worry steals your peace and joy. It affects every area of your life. Have you heard the saying, “Don’t worry yourself sick?” That’s because worrying affects your physical body. It affects your sleep. You won’t ever gain anything by worrying; in fact, you’ll lose precious moments that you can never get back again. The good news is that God has promised that you can have victory over worry. It starts by making the choice to trust in Him. When you cast your cares on Him, He will give you His peace.
Decide today to put an end to worry in your life. Choose to feed your faith and fill your mind with God’s promises. As you focus on God’s Word, you’ll drive out worry and fill your heart with faith and expectancy; and you’ll be empowered to move forward into the life of blessing He has in store for you!
My sins did this to You..and yet You are still lovingly asking me to draw near to You..
“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.”(1 John 3:18) Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.” -Rick Warren
“The message of Jesus Christ is a message of hope, a message of mercy, a message of life in a dark world.”
Two years ago, I wrote a song called “LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL” on my first album. I was listening to this song again this morning, and I was reminded of how life is not perfect, but life is definitely worth living. Many of us go through hard times, struggles and suffering. Many of us have had hopes that were shattered, dreams that never became a reality, and situations in life that never turned out the way we expected. Maybe our health failed, our relationships were broken, our finances tanked, our dreams slipped away, or we were wronged unfairly. Whatever the case, life never seems to turn out the way we think, but life can still be beautiful.
My Personal 9-11
7 years ago, I had what I call a “personal 9-11″ where everything in my life that seemed to be going great, went wrong. I was 20 years old at the time and soaring with God as a new Christ-follower. I had it all. At the age of 20 I had a successful TV and Radio ministry, a great job at a Silicon Valley Media/Tech company, I was the top student at my Christian University, everyone at my local church loved me and I had my first girlfriend ~ the love of my life. It was sweet to be a Jesus lover at that moment, but I soon realized that I loved these other things more than Jesus Himself.
One day, something went wrong on our TV shoot and I lost my cool. I started getting angry at our production team and threw a fit. I caught myself in the midst of my anger tantrum and recognized I had gotten out of hand. The next day, I spent time praying in a church chapel and I heard God speak to me. He said, “Jaeson, what truly makes your life beautiful? Is it the blessings in your life or is it Me? I realized at that moment that many other things in my life satisfied my heart more than Jesus Christ Himself. When my circumstances were going great, I felt great. But if my circumstances around me went wrong, I would lose my peace. I was convicted by the Spirit that my hope was not in God, but it was in the things of this world. That day I prayed a very dangerous prayer…
I prayed, “Jesus be my only satisfaction.”
I knew by praying this prayer, that I was going to give God complete access to strip away anything in my heart that satisfied me more than Him. It was a scary prayer, but I knew I had to do it. God answered this prayer immediately…
The next day was my 21st birthday and that night my girlfriend, the very love of my life, broke up with me with no explanation. My heart was crushed and I had no answers. The day after my birthday I had all my semester finals tests at the university, I nearly failed them all. I then got a phone call during the same week that the media company I was working at had to lay me off. I was devastated because I looked up to the CEO so much, I felt he had also failed me. A few days later I discover that my elders at the local church who used to praise me so much, were questioning my motives with the new TV and Radio ministry I had started. It seemed everyone had turned against me. To make things worst, when I got home I found out from my mom that there were violent threats made towards my family because of my father’s past mistakes. The world had fallen apart all around me in a span of two weeks. I was devastated, depressed and without hope.
For the next year, I was completely depressed, angry at God and deeply hurting inside. I couldn’t understand why things had happened the way they did. I would throw a pity party everyday, complaining towards God (mainly about my ex-girlfriend) about how my life was so horrible. I wanted God to take me away to heaven. Then something tragic happened that I couldn’t explain.
One of my best friends, she was like a little sister to me, suddenly died in a car accident. Hanh was one of the most beautiful, hopeful, bright and optimistic 19 year olds you would ever meet. The night before she died, we talked briefly at a hospital. She said, “Jaeson so where have you been? Are you too busy to hang out with your little sister?” I told her, “I’m sorry, I’ve been out of it lately but we should definitely get together soon.” She joked and said, “Sure, yeah right” knowing how self absorbed and busy I was. The next day she got in a freak car accident and died on impact. I was so shocked when I heard the news, I wouldn’t believe it. I went with some friends to pray over her dead body, asking God to raise it back to life for 3 straight days. It didn’t happen. I felt so guilty for not being a better brother to her, because I was so self absorbed with my own problems.
The night after her funeral, I had dream. In this dream, I was in front of the pearly gates of heaven. As the gates opened, Hanh was there to greet me. When I saw her I was so ashamed. I couldn’t even look her in the face. All I could say was sorry for being a horrible friend. She looked back at me and said, “Jaeson, I’ve already forgiven you, just remember what is really important in your life. It’s not the things of this world, but its your relationships. Don’t worry about me, I’m doing fine, just look at heaven behind me!” She then waived her hand and I saw all of heaven filled with green hills, rainbows, bright shining sun rays and little animals running around freely everywhere. Hanh hopped, skipped and jumped into God’s radiant love and I knew in my heart she was happy and going to be OKAY.
When I woke up, I knew I had a second chance to live my life in a different way. Interestingly, that next weekend I had an interview with a rock band called“Switchfoot” for our TV show. The band had just released their first cross over secular album called “The Beautiful Letdown”. When I interviewed the lead singer Jon Foreman I asked him a simple question, “Jon, why did you guys title this new album The Beautiful Letdown?” He responded, “Jaeson, that is a good question. You see, everything in this life can let you down. Right now, the chair I am sitting in could break and fail me. In a few minutes I can go up and sing on that stage to thousands of people, but when I get off the stage my health could fail and I could lose my voice forever and never be able to sing again. I have a beautiful wife, but I could go home and find out she has been unfaithful. You see, everything in this life can fail you. Everything in this life is finite, meaning it doesn’t last, but only one thing is truly infinite and will last forever. Yes, everything in this life can and will let you down, but the beautiful thing about it is this, when everything lets you down in this world it leads you to the one thing that is truly beautiful….. the unfailing love of Jesus Christ.”
God was speaking to my heart. The next day, I went back to the chapel where I prayed, I wept and I repented before God for my selfishness. At that moment, as I was weeping before the Lord and starring at the Cross I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Jaeson, everything that you have suffered, I have suffered and a million times over. My love for you is true and it will never leave you. Be satisfied in My love.”
Peace came back into my heart. I finally understood what it meant to make Jesus my only satisfaction. I finally understood what makes life truly beautiful. It’s not what we achieve, what we have, who we know, or whether or not our dreams are fulfilled that makes this life beautiful. Rather, life is beautiful because God is beautiful. His love is unfailing and His love is the only thing that we can count on. When all else fails, His love is still there. What really matters, is that we have a “relationship with our Creator” and the love He gives to us, we are to cherish and give to others. Our success is not in what we achieve in this life, our success is in knowing Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. I love Him, He loves me, I am successful!
Hard times will come. Struggles will always be there. Life will never be perfect. But God’s loves will always be faithful. If we want to live a life that is truly beautiful remember the following…
1. The love of people often increases with performance and decreases with mistakes. Not so with God’s love – Don’t put your trust in the world’s happiness, but put your hope in God’s love. He loves us no matter what we do right or what we do wrong.
2. God loves you with an unearthly love. You can’t win it by being winsome. You can’t lose it by being a loser – We often think that God will loves us more if we do more for Him. This is not the case, God loves us not because we are perfect, He loves us because we are His children. Whether or not things are going great, or whether you feel like all is lost, know that God’s love for you will never change.
3. God can turn tragedy into a triumph, if only you will wait and watch – We don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but we can put our hope in God that He can make all things beautiful. Even what the enemy intends for our evil, God can turn for our good.
4. Love God for God. Life is not perfect, but life is Worth living – We are promised nothing in this world. The things of this world are passing away, but the love of Christ last forever. Put your hope in God and God alone. Love God not for what He can do for you, but love God simply because He is worthy of our affection. When Jesus becomes our only satisfaction, nothing else matters. We can’t fail in this life, because His love is unfailing. Yet, when we know His unfailing love, it makes everything else in this life, good or bad that much more beautiful and meaningful.
5. Does your self-esteem ever sag? When it does, remember what you are worth – Max Lucado
YOU WERE BOUGHT, NOT WITH SOMETHING THAT RUINS LIKE GOLD OR SILVER, BUT WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, WHO WAS LIKE A PURE AND PERFECT LAMB. 1 PETER 1:18-19
5 Pillars of Manhood, How Men Should Love and Respect Women
WE NEED MEN OF GOD WHO WILL LOVE & RESPECT WOMEN OF FAITH…NEXT STOP “MANHOOD”
I spent the day with a group of men in our house church learning what it takes to be a man of God when it comes to loving and respecting women. In our day an age most men are not men, they are boys. Most guys still want to marry their mom, have a women serve and take care of them, are not willing to take initiative or commit in a relationship, most men are still living in fear, not pursuing their callings by settling for “safe” because its easy. This is sad, upsetting and the standard must change.
Women don’t want to marry boys, they want to marry men. Women don’t want boys they have to put up with, clean up after and take care of, they want to be lead, pursued and taken on an exciting life adventure. If you go to most of the churches in the Western world today, you will find that there are very few spiritual men, instead there are many spiritual women. It’s disappointing, but I hear it from women of faith all the time, “Pastor Jaeson, where are the godly men?”
Today, a good brother and leader in our GBS community Daniel Ra explained what God showed him to be the “5 Pillars of Manhood” in how men must love, respect and serve women. It was enlightening and reinforcing from what I have been teaching men for years when it comes to pursuing a woman of God… of course none of us are perfect, we all have our mistakes, but we must each strive to be better and greater than what we were before yesterday, everyday making an effort to be more like God, to be just like Jesus, to be a man of faith and honor.
The 5 Pillars of Manhood…
1. Lead - A man must be a leader in a relationship, in a marriage, in a family. There are no excuses. A woman doesn’t want to make the decisions for her man, she wants her man to lead in the relationship. A man must take initiative. A man of God is leader, not a follower, a servant, not a slave, a hero not a coward. A man of God knows God and therefore knows himself. He should be the leader spiritually first, emotionally, mentally and physically he should set the standard for others to follow.
2. Protect - A real man of God will protect his partner. That means he is willing to lay down his very own life, needs and wants for the protection of the one he loves. Every decision he makes when it comes to a relationship has her protection in mind. A woman needs to feel secure, that she is protected and safe with her man. She doesn’t need to second guess, wonder if she will be okay, or have her heart and mind played with. A real man of God will not only protect his woman physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. He always has the highest good in his mind for her safety, well being and wholeness. This is for the Christian guys out there, don’t emotionally rape a sister, play with her heart and tell her you are just her brother or friend. That is BS. Man up. You either pursue a woman of God because she is God’s precious creation, or you don’t try touching it at all, or play with their hearts emotionally, unless you are willing to be up front and clear with your intentions and the direction of the relationship from the start. Emotional rape is as painful to a woman as physical rape. Women are emotional beings and their hearts are not to be played with. Protect your sisters heart.
3. Provide – A real man of God will do whatever it takes to provide for his significant other. That means monetarily in finances, in basic needs and as well as what she desires. When a man asks a father for his daughter in marriage, the father will not ask, “How are you doing spiritually first?” No, the first thing the father will ask is, “How will you provide for my daughter?” Because part of being and becoming a man is providing for others, especially your wife and children. If a man can’t provide, he isn’t a man. God gave us hands and we must put our hands to work, no excuses to be lazy, God made us to rule the earth. Women are not be treated as toys, trophies or a luxury item, women are God’s highest creation, the very image of God.
I tell men all the time, “Treat your woman like a queen and you will live like a king.” Don’t be cheap brothers, you need to go all out when it comes to pursuing a woman. This is not a one time thing, but a continual practice. Women were created for beauty. They were created beautiful, to feel beautiful to be treated beautiful. You don’t handle a rose without care, it is the same with a woman of God, you treat her with the utmost care, honor and respect. Practically, that means you don’t take a woman to Denny’s on a first date, you take her to a place that hurts your wallet, but it’s worth it because she is worthy.
Also, men must also provide for women emotionally. When a women asks you, “How are you doing?” She is really asking, “How are you being?” Meaning, what are you feeling, thinking, seeing, being about at the moment. To love a women we must provide at every level – basic needs all the way to providing for them mentally, emotionally and spiritually, if not their hearts will die. Be a man, provide for your women.
4. Integrity – A true man of God is a man of his word. Too many men in our culture break promises, play with women’s hearts, date girls as if it was a game, and have no respect for women at all. This is disgusting. In old times, when a man said “You have my word!” that word was bond, it was as if an actual contract had been written, because your word was your reputation. How many men do we know today who say one thing, but do another? Men who do not keep their word, their promise or follow through with their verbal commitments. In our culture we don’t take words seriously, but in God’s world words are everything. Blessings and curses come out of the same mouth. What comes out of our mouths determines what is truly in our hearts.
What a woman wants is a man of integrity. Someone who says what he does and does what he says. Someone they can trust at their word. So as a man you must come through. Words means nothing if they are not backed up with action. Don’t say sorry unless you mean it. Don’t say sorry unless you are able to back up your apologies with doing the right thing. Integrity is doing what is right, whether people are watching or not. Integrity is what you do when no one is looking. Does your woman trust you completely? If not, it is a question of integrity. Don’t tell a women you love her unless your love shows, words carry weight. They either carry false weight or real weight, a woman knows when a man means what he says.
So live by your words, live by action, be a living proof of your values, convictions and commitments. Don’t get involved in a relationship unless you are sure this what you want and what God is leading you both to do. I’ve had my share of mistakes in the past, where I got into a relationship without thinking about the consequences, protecting my sisters heart and the fear of the Lord from the get go, I’ve had to make amends and face the results of my sin and foolishness. Trust me brothers, don’t do what I’ve done in the past, don’t play games, don’t feed your fleshly desires, rather seek God, seek the best interest of the one you are pursuing, be honest, forthright from the start about your commitment and your vision for the relationship and stick to your word. Be a man of integrity.
If you pursue a women, it should be with the intentions of marriage. If not, stop playing yourself and her. It’s not about finding the right woman, it’s about being the right man. That starts with first knowing God in order to know yourself, then you will know how to love and respect a woman.
5. Courage - You are not a man until you climb the great wall of China! This is what it says at the actual great wall. Well, I have climbed the Great Wall of China so I guess I must be more of a man than others, just kidding. What is the greater underlying message here? It is a message of courage. It is a message of adventure. A man of God is a man of courage, a man of adventure, a man who is willing to take risks and do the impossible. Men were born to live a life of great adventure. Men were created to fight battles. Men were created to rescue beauties. Men were created to live.
Sadly, most men are not living. Most men are cowards, fearful and afraid of failure. Imprisoned by their own thinking and what others think about them. Many men are just boys waiting for their mother’s approval, or the approval of others in society. Most men I know are people pleasers, not God pleasers. They are more afraid of how others may reject them or not accept them if they choose to take the road less traveled.
All men die, few men truly live.
Women don’t want nice guys or good boys, women want men on a mission, men on adventure, men who are dangerous. This is why many women are drawn to bad boys because bad boys live with a sense of risk, danger, mystery and unknown. Men were created to live fearless and to live by faith. But if you walk into a church today what you find are a bunch of boys playing with their toys, working at predictable jobs — not their true callings, and living boring lives. It’s sad, but most guys get their sense of adventure from playing video games or watching TV, what happened to our men?
A man of faith will sweep a woman of God off of her feet. He will challenge her to go the distance in God, in their relationship and in life. A man of courage is someone who in the face of fear still chooses to move forward with trust in God, setting out to obey God’s voice at whatever the cost, because that is what matters the most. We need men who have hearts fully alive, hearts full of passion and are on a mission to change the world. There is a high cost to being a man of courage, there is a price to pay if we want to be a real hero, it means we are willing to go against the grain, follow God against all odds and live a life of honor, courage and righteousness.
When a woman finds a man of courage, it will encourage her to be all that God has created her to be. As a man, your goal is not how your woman can serve you, but how can you serve your woman? As a man, your goal is not how a woman can serve your destiny, but how can you do all that you possibly can to release the fullness of God’s glory and destiny in her.
Men take the lead, protect at all costs, provide in every way, live by your word and live a life of adventure with the Holy Spirit — obey God, not man and you will be the man of God you were created to be — and your woman will love you for it.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jaeson Ma|The 5 Pillars of Manhood, How Men Should Love Respect Women