Gay Marriage

Insightful Interview with Andy Mineo

Reach Records artist Andy Mineo did an interview recently that you can read here. I found it to be pretty insightful and inspiring, with a lot of wisdom, so hopefully you can benefit from it too!

Let There Be Light!

Well I haven’t posted since a bit before the beginning of this last semester so I figured it was time for a new post! I’m taking Interim Semester off from Calvin College, so I’ve just been chilling in Santa Maria.

Something that God has been teaching me is that I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not concerned with Jesus’ command for Christians to make disciples of all nations, let alone the nation I live in, or with the spreading of His Good News. That is Jesus’ Great Commission, and that is the job that we Christians have while we are still here, to proclaim the Good News of reconciliation to God through Jesus and to make disciples. All other things should flow from that; whether we’re a doctor, plumber, pastor, soldier, politician, musician, businessman, or whatever, we are called to be missionaries, with the ultimate goal of making disciples and reflecting Jesus.

It’s so easy though, if we’re not doing what is necessary to be spiritually healthy (digging into His Word, seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other believers) to come to a point where we aren’t really overly concerned with letting others know about Jesus. We don’t really want people, whether they be our family or friends, to know that we love Jesus. We’re sort of embarrassed and don’t want them to thing we’re weird religious people. So, even if we’re able to overcome actively taking part in their sin, we certainly won’t make the active effort to be a light in their life, making it known and evident that we love Jesus by our speech and by how we act. We’ll just sort of keep it to ourselves.

Sadly, I’ve found myself to be guilty of this very thing. I’ve lost sight of the fact that all Christians are missionaries. I’ve lost sight of the fact that the goal isn’t just to feel good knowing I have Jesus, but to now go and make some more disciples. Christians, being a Christian isn’t and shouldn’t be a private thing! Look at what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Christians, we aren’t just supposed to try to get by not sinning, we’re supposed to let our light shine to others so that they will see our good works and give glory to God! We need to want people to know that we love Jesus and for them to see it in how we talk and walk. We need to be making an active effort to be a light in this dark world, so that they will see that we love Jesus.

I want to reiterate that point. So that they will see that we love Jesus. Again, it shouldn’t be this private thing where we just try to mind our own business when we’re chilling with our non-Christian friends and family, where we have this “I won’t deny Jesus but I won’t actively make it known that I love Him” attitude.
We are to want them to see that we love Jesus. They need Jesus, and just as Jesus is the mediator between God and man, we are the mediator between Jesus and the world. Jesus said that just as the Father sent Him, He is sending us, to be in the world but not of it.  Let your light shine, Christians, our goal in this life is proclaim and lift up Jesus, teaching others about Him and making disciples. That is what we are on this earth to do.

Introduction: Why “Just a Match”?

Well this is obviously my first post, so I thought I’d just talk about who I am, what the blog’s supposed to be, and why I’ve called it “Just a Match.”

My name is Joseph Olivares, which I guess you probably already know otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blogged which you probably saw linked to on Facebook! Haha. Anyways, I’m 18 and I’m from Santa Maria, California, born and raised, which I’ll actually be leaving in about a month for Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan! Definitely a big change, I’m pretty scared and nervous about, but at the same time I’m excited to see what Jesus does in my life and how He molds me.

I actually already have a blog at freethinkingchristian.posterous.com, which I think I’m still occasionally going to be using as a second blog, although I plan to do more writing here. “Free Thinking Christian,” exists mainly for me to get my thoughts down “on paper” that have to do with theology, philosophy, and all of those things, which I’ll probably still do a bit here, but probably not on the same level. The thing is, I wanted a blog also more to talk about my life and general thoughts, whether that’s including philosophy/theology or not, and what God is teaching me. It just seemed like “Free Thinking Christian” sounds kind of weird for a blog intended to broadly talk about my life and thoughts, because it’s dealing specifically with theology, philosophy, apologetics, and all those things. So I’m thinking I’ll use that for my more in-depth stuff, but use this blog, “Just a Match,” to be the blog that exists more for me to share and express thoughts dealing with my life in general.

By now you’re probably wondering why I’ve titled my blog “Just a Match.” It’s referring to a sermon preached by Jason French at Christ in Youth’s “Move” conference at Chapman University this July, throughout which he continued to take matches one by one out of a matchbox he was holding while he was speaking, lighting them on fire, blowing them out, and throwing them to the floor. Throughout his sermon he repeatedly said “Everybody wants to shine, but not many are willing to burn.”

He then proceeded to talk about John the Baptist and his humble, God-centered, God-glorifying, God-seeking attitude which has come to characterize both the man and his ministry. He emphasized the fact that the vast majority of John the Baptist’s life goes completely unmentioned in the Bible, which only cares to mention a very short period of his life, in which he was used by God to preach the Gospel and call God’s people to repentance, paving the way for Jesus. Jason French pointed out that God used John’s life for a short while, in order for Jesus to shine, after which God blew Him out, because He had accomplished what He wanted to accomplish through him. He then lit another one of the matches and said something which completely penetrated my heart, radically changing how I view myself and who (and what) I’m called to be: “You know it’s funny, everyone notices the flame, but no one pays any attention to the match,” and then he blew out the match, throwing it to the ground.

Having just graduated from high school and turned 18, and going off to college in only a month, I’ve been so consumed with thoughts about me and what I want for my life and who I want to be, not realizing that the focus is all wrong. Who does Jesus call me to be? Just a match. I am supposed the thing that nobody else notices because its whole purpose is to burn so that the flame can be seen. My life and my future, as excited as I am about both as I soon leave my nest of Santa Maria, are only to be about giving glory to Jesus, proclaiming Him and what He’s done. Joseph Olivares only exists to be a means by which Jesus is seen and noticed and treasured. I am not the point. I am not what is important. Just as nobody notices the match, but rather the flame that is shining forth from the match, I don’t exist for my own glory, but as a means of giving glory and attention to Jesus. That’s all I’m called to be: Just a mach.

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