Jarrid Wilson


Jarrid Wilson

Jarrid Wilson is a pastor, blogger, and author (30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us) from Orange County, California. He writes about grace, second chances, and empowering a younger generation to find their potential in Christ.

Find out more on his blog.

Jesus is Not Your Homeboy

Jesus Is Not Your Homeboy

In the mid 2000′s the phrase “Jesus Is My Homeboy” started trending among evangelical Christians and began finding its way on t-shirts, hats, and other personal accessories. And while this cute term seems harmless and fun, you need to understand that it can actually be detrimental to your relationship with God.

Why You Ask?

Because Jesus deserves more honor and respect than the term “Homeboy” credits him. And while many people think this harmless term makes Jesus look more inviting to non-believers, the reality is that it’s actually presenting a fake presentation of who Jesus is. Yes, Jesus can be described as many different things, but I don’t think “homeboy” is something that magnifies the importance of his being.

Jesus is NOT your homeboy… He is your Father, your Savior, your Redeemer, your Rock, your Salvation, your Lord, your Christ, your Shield, your Protector, your Friend, and so on…

Is the phrase “Homeboy” wrong? No. But is the phrase “Homeboy” honoring? Not even close.

In everything we do we are called to show honor and respect to the one we call Savior. And while there are many names to describe the God of the universe, I don’t think homeboy should be one of them.

- Jarrid Wilson


Fix Your Eyes

Over the last few weeks I’ve begun studying a passage of scripture that has really transformed the way I live my everyday life. I believe so much in the power of this text, that I wish to share it to all of you, in hopes that it will help you in your walk with the Lord.

I want to open up and just admit to you how crazy life has been for me over the last few months. And when I say crazy, I don’t mean bad. I just mean crazy.

There have just been an incredible amount changes in my life that all seem to be happening at once. And regardless of what I do to try slow things down, and re-think where I am headed, I feel like God is simply saying “Just trust me.”

So guess what? That’s exactly what I am doing, and I pray that this post will help you to do the same.

Hebrews 12:2 says this, “fix your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

And the part I want you to focus on is, “fix your eyes on Jesus.”

For some reason those five words stood highlighted to my gazing eyes. I am not sure if I had read this text before, but I am almost positive that this is the first time I’ve actually understood its power. As I read it I felt this warm sensation fall over my body, as if God was telling me, “See! I told you.” And He was right. He was definitely right.

I guess I’ve realized the answer to any problem, hardship, or ailment in my life. Wanna know what it is?

Ok, get ready… FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS.

Yup, that’s it. Some of you might think that’s silly, but others of you just read those five words and felt the same spiritual sensation I did. Why? Because you got honest with yourself and realized how powerfully true that statement is.

So many of us are trying to do things on our own, when all God want’s is for us to do things with Him. We think we aren’t ready for the things ahead, but we forget that we are the ones who asked for them. We are the ones who prayed for them. And we are the ones who God has been molding to take on the tasks He has put before us.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I know you personally, or know exactly what you’re going through. But what I am saying is this… FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS and you will not be strayed wrong.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. He will never steer you wrong.


The Burning Bush

I can only the imagine the intensity and curiosity of Moses as he approached the burning bush in Exodus 3. All throughout scripture we see people encountering God in the most unfathomable ways, but I believe this is one of those defining moments that truly showcases how mysterious and relentless God is when trying to reach His people.

1. Do you have a burning bush experience?

2. How did you encounter the presence of God?

While Moses was tending to his father-inlaws sheep near mount Horeb (the mountain of God), an angel of The Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. As Moses looked closer he realized the bush was clearly on fire, but that none of the branches or limbs were being consumed by the flame. (vs. 1-3) 

In Moses’s disbelief he began to watch towards the burning bush in curios shape and amazement. And, as The Lord saw that He had received the attention of Moses he then called out of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” (vs. 4-5)

God then began to speak to Moses, claiming “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” (vs. 6)

Summary: God uses the burning bush as a catalyst to get Moses’s attention in order for him describe the mission and calling God has placed amidst his life. Moses’s encounter with God was kindled and ignited by the initiation of a burning bush.

My Question: What is your burning bush experience? How have you encountered God’s transforming presence?

We may all have different stories, but the reality is that God is amidst all of them. Every encounter with God is incredible on it’s own. And, although some might be different than others, it doesn’t change the fact that they are still ENCOUNTERS with God. Moses encountered God through the presence of a burning bush, and Abraham encountered God when he was only nine years old. (Genesis 17:1) – Just to name a few.

In today’s society, some have experienced it’s transforming presence within the walls of a multi-million dollar Church building in the suburbs of Southern California, while others have experienced it’s transformational power inside of a small mud hut surrounded by the wild plains of Africa.

The Reality Is: It’s redeeming power knows no boundaries, it’s grace knows no limits, and it’s dedication to transformation has no age restrictions. It cannot be conquered by any enemy, and it cannot be withheld from any advance. No past is dark enough to withstand a transforming encounter with God!

- Jarrid Wilson


5 Ways to Break Up with Porn

I haven’t posted on this topic because I wanted to make sure my content came across the right way, but because so many of you have requested I write on it, I felt compelled to finally do it. Regardless of your relationship with porn, it’s undoubtedly a problem with today’s Christians, and I believe it will only grow to be worse unless we deliberately do something about it.

Here are some stats:

- 54% of Christians said they had watched pornographic material within the last year. (survey from pastors.com)

- 47% of Christian households said that porn is a struggle in their household. (2003 focus on the family survey)

Pretty crazy, huh?

This post is going to a broad guideline to help you, a friend, or a family member abstain from the harm and affliction of porn. And regardless if you have a problem with it or not, it can still be used as a precautionary foundation for your future.

5 ways to help you break up with pornography:

1. Study scripture to understand God’s yearning for us to be pure by abstaining from fleshly desires.

- 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Matthew 5:28, Ephesians 5:5, Colossians 3:5, 1 Peter 2:11.

2. Install accountability software onto any device that gives you internet access.

- www.XXXChurch.com offers a free software that is available for most platforms.

3. Keep your computer somewhere people can see it, and not behind a closed door.

- Boredom is Satan’s playground, and a closed door doesn’t help.

4. Give yourself limitations as to when you are to be online.

- Everyone has a different schedule, but try and disconnect from all online platforms about 2-3 hours before you go to sleep.

5. Do not put a password on your smart-phone, tablet, or laptop. Keep your devices open for accountability.

- Having a password gives you the comfort of looking at pornographic material and not worrying whether people will find out. This is exactly opposite of what you should be doing.

I hope these 5 points help you with your struggle. There are plenty of things other than this post to help you along your struggle with porn, but I pray this post will resonate with you in a way that is transforming and life-changing.

Be honest about your struggle. Don’t let porn obstruct your potential with Christ.

- Jarrid Wilson


Young and Mighty

1) “You’re too young.”

2) “You’re just a kid.”

3) “You don’t have enough experience.”

For most of us these statements feel like a knife to the heart. And while our zeal, passion, and motivation are constantly at war with the opinions of others, many of us know that at the core of hearts, God has called us to do the very thing we are being mocked for. But the real question is, will you follow the calling God has given you, or will you give up because of the opinions that surround you?

What are you called to do?

1) Be a pastor?

2) Write a book?

3) Plant a church?

4) Bring hope to the foster children of Uganda?

5) Provide food and water for the impoverished cities of India?

6) Go on a missions trip, and fight for the freedom of sex-trafficking victims?

Regardless of your calling, God sits in the captain's chair of each one. The opinions of others have no bearing on your God-given mission.

1 Timothy 4:12Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

And while so many of us in today’s Christian society can quote 1 Timothy 4:12, how many of us are actually backing it up? I mean c’mon. We can talk about CHANGE all we want, but to be honest, I’d rather do something about it. We may be young-guns, but we can still pack a mighty punch against any opposition. Don’t get me wrong. We may fail a few times before getting it right, but at least we are standing up for what we believe in. And at least we are pursuing the calling God has given us.

To The Young:

- Accept wisdom and criticism from those older, and more experienced than you. But do NOT allow man's opinion to get in the way of God’s calling for your life.

To The Old:

- Accept wisdom and ideas from those younger than you. But don’t let young ignorance get in the way of God’s biblical direction and truth.

My Point:

- We are all on the same team. It’s time for us to work together, and pursue world change for the cause of Christ.

We may be young-guns, but we’ve got a BIG GOD.


Living with Purpose

It’s really easy to get caught up in the world's laser focus of money-making, getting popular, and the strive for successful living. But what if I told you God couldn't care less about those things? In fact, what if I told you that God isn’t focused on your “worldly success” at all, that is unless it is being used for the glorification of Jesus.

What a relief….

Think about it:

When it comes to the purpose of our being, do you think God is looking for us to join in on what the world has created? Nope, not at all. God wants us to be the difference in this world, and stand up for the purpose of His name (Romans 12:2). The last thing God wants is more people following the world’s shallow, dark, and vulturous ways.

Here’s My Point:

We were made to be more than puppets of the world. It’s time to start giving ourselves a little credit. We are a children of The King, and we were made to live for more than a paycheck and worldly acceptance. Don’t let the world fool you into thinking your life was meant to be lived for “its glory” rather than God’s.

Reflect: Jeremiah 1:5 notes that we were set apart from the beginning, and that we were destined for greatness.

Worldly success will never compare to purposeful living. And until your heart can wrap itself around this vital truth, your worth will never be fulfilled because you are seeking to fill it from a place that doesn’t have what you need. Way too many times have I seen men and women of all ages being let down by the world, only to get back up and try again. It’s time to break through the lies of the world, and seek purposeful living through the one who it is founded upon.

Stop seeking worth in a world that cannot offer what you truly need. Only Jesus can offer that.


5 Things Christians Should Stop Doing

Here is some stuff Christians should stop doing.

1. Telling people “I’ll pray for you” without actually praying for them.

- Guilty as charged. I can’t think of anybody who hasn’t done this at one time or another. And while most of us don’t actually mean to forget, it’s probably best that we just set aside time on the spot to pray for people. Are we really so busy that we can’t stop and pray for someone’s needs? We need to make sure we are fulfilling our duties as Christians and actually follow through with them. One prayer could be the tipping point to someone coming to know the love of God. Don’t miss the opportunity to speak life into someone because you don’t think you have time. 

2. Attending Church on Sunday but ignoring God’s voice the rest of the week. 

- Ouch! This one stings a little. Many of us get in the habit of making God just another addition to our weekly check-list, but the reality is that our entire lives should revolve around him. God deserves #1 priority in each of our lives, and to treat him any differently would go against the foundations of the Christian faith. Evaluate the way you are spending your time, money, and energy. If you want to see a change in your life then you need to begin giving God the place of honor he deserves. Stop treating God like the last kid picked in dodgeball.

3. Praying for God’s provision when we have yet to use what he has already provided.

- Way too many of us tend to treat God like a personal genie. Prayer was given to us as an open line of communication between us and God, but the harsh reality is that way too many of try to use it like a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant. You don’t get to pick and choose the way God provides, but you do get the opportunity to trust his plan and have faith in his promises. I can’t begin to explain how many times I’ve ignored God’s provision because it wasn’t wrapped the way I intended it to be. Every time we purposely ignoring God’s provision, we are indirectly telling him, “I don’t trust your plan.” 

4. Trying to be so relevant that we actually hurt the message of Jesus. 

- There is nothing wrong with trying to be relevant, but we need to understand that there is a BOLD line between being trendy, and then completely disfiguring the message of Jesus. We can’t expect to bring any change to the world when we don’t look any different from it. I’m a firm believer that Jesus came to reclaim culture and not abolish it, but this doesn’t mean we need to water down His message so that it’s easier to swallow. 

5. Telling people that “God will never give you anything you can’t handle.” 

- Why should we stop saying this? Because it’s a lie… We’ve completely twisted 1 Corinthians 10:13, as this verse is pointing towards temptation, and even then it states God will be there if things get too tough. The reality is that God just might give us things we can’t handle so that we will gaze towards him for the extra help. Mind blowing right? Realize that not everything is going to go the way you plan, think, or hope. Sometimes stuff is going to hit the fan, and in order for you to get through it you are going to NEED to rely on God’s comfort, peace, and understanding. We weren’t meant to do life alone.


Jarrid Wilson is a husband, pastor, and author whose motivation is to help others find their identity in Christ. Find out more on his blog.


Studying Your Bible

Over the last few months I have had hundreds of you request a post on “How to Study The Bible.” Well, here it is. I pray this post blesses you, challenges you, and inspires you to take the initiative to deepen your relationship with God.

Below is the formula I use when studying and journaling through the scriptures. This doesn’t mean it’s the only way to study, but I do believe this formula is a great way to strengthen your foundation in Christ.

1. Uncover

1. Time/Date/Author

2. Place/Location

3. Audience (who is the text directed to?)

2. Relate

1. How does it affect me?

2. How does it make me feel?

3. In what ways do I share a similar experience?

3. Apply

1. What did I learn?

2. How can it be applied to my life?

3. What is God trying to tell me through this text?


God of Sometimes

Each of us have goals, dreams and ideas of what we want our futures to look like. But what happens when those things don’t necessarily happen when we wish them to?

It’s really easy to love God when things are going just the way we want. But what happens when things don’t work out the way we want. Is your faith, love and trust in God decreased? Or does it stand strong trusting all things are in His timing.

I think we sometimes forget that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all capable. He isn’t just a God of sometimes, but a God of always.

As humans, we naturally feel let down when things don’t go the way we want. But when did God ever promise to fulfill our desires in our time? He didn’t.

God’s promises are fulfilled in His time, His way, and for His purpose. And until we can let go and allow God’s timing to reign #1 in our lives, our relationship with him is nothing more than shallow and transitional.

It’s time to let go, and let God be God.

God is always. Not sometimes.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

- Jarrid Wilson


Extraordinary

Have you ever noticed that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things?

No, seriously. Think about it…

All throughout Scripture we see tax collectors, fisherman and physicians turned into Gospel preaching, truth sharing, world changers. And how is this possible? Only because of the orchestrated power of Jesus Christ.

No matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, the Love of Jesus will drastically change your life. I’m not talking about a minor tweak of self-worth, and temporary fulfillment. Instead, a heart-changing, LIFE altering experience that you can’t find anywhere else.

Ezekiel 36:26 - I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a new heart.

The Gospel of Jesus is NOT a textbook, but a life-book. It is filled with the innate wisdom, guidance, and beauty of a man who died for our sins so that we may live again.

Although our world try’s to keep quiet a truth that speaks volume, our God continues to using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Through the eyes of Jesus, we can see the extraordinary in what the world would call ordinary.

We are His children. We are NOT ordinary. We are extraordinary.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.


Serving Isn’t Enough

You serve at your local Church over 40+ hours a week, unpaid. You are involved in multiple ministries.You always arrive early and make sure to stay late. You help collect tithes and offerings. You serve on the worship team. And not to mention, you are an intern. Let’s just put it this way: you are a Church-serving machine.

God is proud of you for serving the local Church. He is applauding you for all your hard work, and the angels are rejoicing over your blistered hands and dirty clothes. But at the end of the day, will that alone sustain you? Will those precious acts of service bring affirmation towards salvation? And will those blistered hands alone grant you entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven?

See, it’s very easy for us to stand in the entrance of a crowded church, with our lanyard placed perfectly around our necks, and feel like we deserve to be there. As if something we did granted us access into this “holy of holies” position. Secretly expecting the entire church body to stand in recognition of our audacious servant-hood and spiritual presence. Yeah, I said it because most are thinking it.

I believe that the church of today is facing an epidemic. One of false security and an even greater sense of false salvation. It’s called serving. And while that might sound a little silly, I want you to examine your heart with me for a moment. Don’t get me wrong, I am not necessarily questioning your salvation; I am questioning where you are seeking it from…

Here’s my point:

Just because you serve, doesn’t mean you’re saved.

Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name. But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

There is more to the church than serving. And until you realize serving is an addition, not your foundation, you are headed down a road paved by a false sense of security. I know plenty of people willing to serve the church, but who aren’t willing to seek God. Believe me, I used to be one of them.

Romans 16:18 - Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.

Now, don’t get me wrong, serving your local church is incredible. I believe that the local church is the hope of the world. But my heart goes out to the people who feel that their relationship with God peaks and completes with serving. I mean, c’mon really? God is bigger than a plastic lanyard, fake security t-shirt, and a youth group pizza party.

This post is to open your eyes to the greatness of God’s divine wisdom and direction. Can some of these attributes be found in the beauty of serving? Yes, but that alone will not sustain you for the road ahead. Serving alone will not plant the roots of your faith deep into the love of Christ.

Colossians 2:7 - Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

God is looking for more than servants. He is looking for seekers. People who go to extreme lengths to seek his face. And although serving is an incredible catalyst in learning the importance of being a bond-servant, it is not meant to be your only avenue for divine wisdom. It’s meant to be an addition.

Matthew 6:33 - Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

APPLY:

1. Check your head.

Are you serving for self-satisfaction, or God-breathed wisdom?

2. Check your heart.

Are you serving to further God’s kingdom, or to further your platform?

3. Check your hands.

Are you serving to build the kingdom, or to build your spiritual resume?

God is looking for more than servants. He is looking for seekers. Don’t let the false security of servanthood get in the way of your relationship with God. Heart work is just as important as hard word.

- Jarrid Wilson


Standing Out: When You Don't Fit In

We all want to be liked, cherished, and appreciated by our peers. But what if I told you that God could care less about these things? What if I told you that God didn’t care how many Facebook friends you have, or how many people follow you on Twitter?

And what if I told you that God isn’t worried about how popular you are? In fact, what if i told you that the purpose of the Gospel isn’t to fit in at all, but to in fact stand out…

Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

In today’s worth-seeking world, being “liked,” and “wanted” is something we all yearn for. And whether we want to admit it or not, It’s how our culture forces us to feel, and not to mention it’s how our culture advertises us to feel.

The World Says:

  1. Failure is not an option.”
  2. “If you are not first, you are last.”
  3. “If you’re not somebody, you’re nobody.”

But when we begin to look into the depth of Scripture, none of those things are actually true.

God has called us to be different. To stand against the grain. To be a city on a hilltop (Matthew 5:14). And to be the change for a world that lacks hope.

Realizing you don’t fit in is a good thing. You weren’t made to fit in. You were made to fulfill your calling in Christ. You were made to fit out.

Stand tall. Press on.


Jarrid Wilson is a pastor, blogger, and aspiring world-changer. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.