Al-Pal
hypocrites. part 2.

i will admit that hypocrites have EVERY right to turn me off. there is nothing about putting on a fake show on the outside that is admirable or lovable. in fact, Jesus rebukes the crap out of it in Matthew. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me” Matthew 15:8. i would hate for Jesus to describe me as this. but hold up for one hot second. Jesus, the one with the highest authority to condemn and judge also had the highest love to still die for these guys. when He was on that cross, He was thinking in His heart with the deepest compassion, “those are the ones i love. those are the ones that i’m doing this for. i want those guys in my family. my heart breaks for them, but may they spend eternity in paradise with me.”

^ okay, all i’m gonna say is that if Jesus thought THAT, then FUDGE, i can stop right there. eff me for thinking otherwise. i am utterly ruined for hating hypocrites. sure, i can’t find their silver lining, but wow… Jesus died for them too? buuut since our post-modern world is so stubborn and has a fake “desire for practicality” (honestly, i’m just gonna call it what it is and say that it’s cynicism), i’ll explain myself further.

what i’m about to type is going to be capitalized for emphasis, but here it goes: WOULD IT MAKE ANY SENSE IF THE CHURCH WERE PERPETUALLY FREE OF HYPOCRITES?? no, it wouldn’t! you wanna know why? because Jesus died for them!! Jesus wanted to INCLUDE the worst of the worse inside His church! not that they would stay in their sin, but that they would die to their flesh and come to completely surrender their life to the Lord… even if it takes (oh, i dunno) the entire duration of their college career! or even longer! that’s why i want to see hypocrites in the church! i want to see them CHANGED by the love of God starting where they are! i PRAY that hypocrites would file into our church and begin to hear the gospel and be discipled by it and learn from Jesus. just an aside, but btw, learning takes a while, so have some patience, for goodness’ sake!

i think the problem is that we love sanctification too much. or rather, we LOOOVE sanctification in other people, but when it comes to sanctification in us, nope, not so much. it’s so easy to call people out in our minds. it’s so easy to point and say that they’re not living biblically. but man, i pray that we’d be the kind of people that for every ONE thing we point out in someone else, we’d find like FIVE more things wrong with ourselves. i love what Paul says when He writes in 1 Timothy 1:

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life., “

It’s not that there was some sort of ESPN Rankings for sinners, and Paul came in dead last. but rather, Paul had the audacity. the conviction. the humility to say that he has absolutely no place to hatefully judge another man. but to say “hey, if God can do it through me, He can certainly do something through that one person that messes up all the time.”

of course, i will say that there are things that are just not okay. lying isn’t okay. faking isn’t okay. i hope that in all of this i wasn’t justifying hypocrisy. and i’m not defending the cause of hypocrites as much as i am trying to rebuke cynicism and judgment. this isn’t some long-winded way of telling you guys to give people the benefit of the doubt. but rather, i want this to be a slap in the face and a hearty reminder that (a) you’re not God, (b) you suck too, and (c) there’s grace for that, so let’s turn our eyes upon JESUS and worship HIM for who HE is, and not what our congregation is!! i want to be a man of God. a man that loves God. not a man that loves sanctification more than God.

and my very last word on the subject is that it’s truly all about Jesus… i’d rather walk out of church thinking “wow, what a great God” rather than “wow, what a great pastor and congregation”. fundamentally, God is what keeps me going to church and loving the church. not the people.

hypocrites. part 1.

now, before you assume that i’m about to enter into an emotional tirade about how much i hate hypocrites…. i’m not. i’m actually here to tell you sort of the opposite. i kinda love hypocrites. no, i don’t like what they do, but hey, i. love. hypocrites. i love the PERSON that is a hypocrite.

fyi, i’m primarily speaking from the perspective of hypocrisy as it pertains to church, but i’m certain this can apply to other things too. and the point of this is not to condemn anyone. i just want to shed light on something.

first off, i want to say that on behalf of the church, i’m sorry. i’m a hypocrite sometimes. so are my friends. and i’m not JUSTIFYING the acts of hypocrites, but i just want to say this: if you don’t like church because you hate hypocrites, then you’re one too. you don’t understand the gospel then. you say you want to love/know Jesus and the church more, but that “those dang hypocrites are in your way”. sure, that stuff stumbles people, but the very gospel of Jesus Christ not only implies but DEMANDS that people can’t love Jesus and NOT love their brother/sister whom they see everyday (if you don’t believe me, read 1 John 3 and 4… says it all). love people when they’re awesome. love people when they’re hypocrites.

brothers and sisters, this is something that’s DEEP on my heart. i might resent the act of hypocrisy, but i personally resent the act of divisive slander and ignorance even more. people say they can go to a church and immediately tell who’s faking it. and then they say they get turned off by the church. first off, i just want to say that no—you are HUMAN, and i don’t care who you are, but you have an abjectly finite and small and narrow understanding of what’s going on in someone’s life. the Lord is doing WAY more in that person’s life than you will ever be able to know. and let’s say SURE, maybe you do have some crazy ability to discern who’s faking it, but let me say this: if you have discernment to tell other people’s sins but not your own, then that’s not discernment. that’s judgmental. if you’re truly spending time with the Lord, the number of sins He exposes in you should DEVASTATINGLY outweigh the number of sins you find in other people (reminiscent of when Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12). and what’s even worse is when people go on to slander churches and slander people with their mouths and even in their hearts. forever, that church or person is branded by them as “hypocritical”. come on guys. stop having a consumeristic mindset when you come to church. stop keeping a running record of what’s wrong with your church. stop being distracted in your worship by something you’re making up in your mind. that’s the furthest thing from biblical. 

i knew this post was going to be long, so i split it up into two parts. i read an MCAT verbal passage that argued that splitting a long reading into two parts makes it more engaging and better comprehended. i agree. i want this stuff to be read and comprehended… thus, if you like what you read, please proceed to part 2!! i have more to say haha

bad night…. bad night….

CHARGERS 30, SEAHAWKS 21

LET’S GOOOO

You cannot pray for an A on a test and study for a B. You cannot pray for a celestial marriage and live a telestial life. You cannot pray for something and act less.

Tad R. Callister (via grandviziertothesultanofagrabah)

mmm… to a certain extent, i agree with this. or at least, i agree with the heart behind this. i think we definitely should strive to act in faith in addition to praying in faith. BUT on the other hand, sometimes our efforts will pale in comparison to what we’re asking of God… especially if we’re asking big. you think the Israelites hit the gym and exhausted themselves on the training field when they prepared for war against outsiders like the Moabites and Ammonites (2 Chr. 20)? no… rather they exhausted themselves in PRAYER and FASTING. what more could they do! this is a lot like what i posted maybe several posts back, but i do not want us to fall into the trap of believing that our activity somehow makes our prayers more heard or more worthy.

all i’m saying is that this is a cool, thought-provoking quote, and it reveals a lot about the hearts of some people. but i don’t want us to hold on to it too closely. 

wrecking entitlement

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

- Luke 17:7-10

i want to have this heart of servanthood. to understand that serving others doesn’t (or rather, shouldn’t) directly reap rewards for yourself. i am not entitled to anything when i serve the Lord. i want to simply be here for His pleasure.

as we say in cal football: blue collar, gold swagger.

You’re the Living God

You’re my saving grace

You will reign forever

You are Ancient of Days

^^^ that refrain has been on my heart for the past two days

LOLOLOL this thought crossed my mind at least a fair number of times within the last year or so

LOLOLOL this thought crossed my mind at least a fair number of times within the last year or so

please watch this original song my friends and i made!! we need views!

you know, at the end of the day, drake gets old, usher ain’t that good, and arianna grande just doesn’t satisfy. but His praise will ever be on my lips.

"I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1