Showing items filed under “Jason Meinershagen”
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What are you afraid of? We all have that ONE thing that gives us the ‘heebie jeebies’ and makes us shudder at the mere thought of it, right? I’ve been afraid of many things in my life… snakes, spiders, heights, confined spaces…even the dark. I have a dream one day of jumping out of an airplane and freefalling to the earth for several minutes before opening a parachute to slow my descent, but for now my fear keeps me on the ground…for now. I’ve been a firefighter now for 22 years, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned that stands out for me today, it’s the need to conquer our fears…and how much power we actually have available to do just that. Recently, I’ve been afraid of the unknown. I’ve been comfortable…riding the waves of a successful career, ministry, and home life…comfortable to enjoy the ride and not rock the boat by turning toward the storm and the unknown.


I recently accepted a promotion at work…a new position that came with many unknowns. I’m navigating unchartered waters and making my own course now, but two months ago I was afraid to take the step. God spoke to me through many different people as I weighed that decision, and the one thing He was making abundantly clear to me through all of them…”I did not give you a spirit of fear.” The enemy wants to use our fear to slow us down…to keep us quiet…to dampen our joy…to extinguish the light inside us. The enemy uses our fears against us. Fear tells us we’re not good enough. Fear says we can’t do it. Fear tells us we shouldn’t do it. Fear tells us we’re weak and powerless. Fear tells us we’re unworthy and not loved. Fear keeps us from enjoying the benefits of life. Fear tells us there is no way it can be done. Fear shouts, “I OWN YOU!!”


If you’re reading this today, know that your fear does not define you. Your fear does not own you. Your fear is not from God. Your fear is holding you back, but it doesn’t have to. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7


You have a spirit of POWER. A spirit of LOVE. A spirit of GOOD MIND (SOUND MIND, GOOD JUDGMENT, SELF-CONTROL). That means you have the POWER within you to CONTROL the fear, not let the fear control you! Do you get that? Do you really?!! Man, if you’re anything like me, maybe you need to read that again…and again…and again…and again. Sometimes, I need to be reminded of that every single day. God has given you a spirit of POWER, LOVE, and SELF-CONTROL. How will you use that power today to conquer your fears? How will you use that power today to step out in faith and accept the blessings God has waiting for you on the other side of the fear? How will you use that spirit to love God and love people? What have you been saying “no” to? What have you been refusing to try because you’ve convinced yourself it’s not doable or possible? What negative self-talk do you say to yourself that holds you back?


Maybe if you’re like me, you’re moved by music. When you put this down, find the popular song by Zach Williams called, “Fear is a Liar” and be inspired to take a step toward conquering the fear that is lying to you today. We’ll each conquer our fears together today…and maybe today is the day I go skydiving after all!


Be blessed. Be the blessing!

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When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward Sports ministry because they don’t know anything about soccer (or basketball, or cheerleading depending on the season), I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed because I know better. I know that God can not only use people who don’t know a soccer ball from a basketball, but that He is passionate—all throughout scripture—about calling people who are unqualified into ministry.  He takes the weakest and makes them strong! He takes the smallest and makes them large! He takes the follower and makes him a leader of many! He uses the blind to show others the way! He uses the paralyzed to move mountains! He uses those who persecute Him to lead thousands—millions even—into eternity with Him! And, I can personally bear witness that He uses someone who doesn’t like basketball or soccer to lead a basketball and soccer ministry that serves thousands every year.

 

When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward ministry because they don’t know soccer, or basketball, or cheerleading, I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed because I see in that person what they don’t see in themselves. I see potential in them (and you, because it’s by divine appointment that you’re reading this). I see God working in marvelous ways to use you in ways you cannot even comprehend. I see value in the work you can offer the kingdom. I see the promise of future generations coming to know Christ through your actions, words, and example. I see an opportunity for you to be blessed and to grow spiritually closer to our Lord by serving Him and others. I see the miraculous growth of the church that can take place when you rise to the call. I see the value you have to offer God, and I long for you to see it too.

 

When someone tells me they cannot serve in the Upward ministry because they don’t know soccer, or basketball, or cheerleading, I’m tempted to be frustrated or disappointed, but I think back to when God called me into this ministry and I see myself in you. I empathize with you because I remember the excuses I gave about not knowing basketball well enough, or not even liking it for that matter. I told Him I’m not a leader...not a public speaker...don’t have time...and a myriad of other reasons why I’m not qualified to serve in this way.

 

Listen, I get it. Change is hard. Stepping out onto the edge of our comfort zone is frightening. The mere thought of taking a step into the unknown can be paralyzing. But, you do get that that’s right where God wants us, right!? In fact, our spiritual maturity is dependent upon it! Our muscles don’t grow stronger physically unless we take them beyond their comfort zone. Our faith grows as we grow closer to God when we are outside our comfort zone, serving Him in ways we never imagined possible.

 

Our church family is full of people serving in multiple ministries. It’s not their time to step into this role. It’s yours!! Don’t be mistaken and think for one second that I’m saying “this role” is in Upward. I don’t know if God is calling you to serve the Upward ministry this soccer season — or this winter for basketball. What I do know is He’s calling you to serve! Maybe it’s not in the Upward ministry, and that’s okay by me...so long as you’re serving God somewhere and bearing the fruit of bringing lost souls to Christ. There’s a reason you are still alive—God has a purpose for you! I trust you’re not content to be a lukewarm follower of Christ, for there is no room in the kingdom of heaven for lukewarm followers (Revelation 3:14-16; Matthew 7:20-25).

 

Maybe your roll is teaching Sunday school, or in the nursery loving on babies, or in the HOPE ministry, or WAM, or Kids Worship, or any number of the great ministries going on here at FBCW. Maybe it’s starting up a new ministry God has laid upon you! There are all kinds of unmet ministry opportunities in our church and community…just waiting for someone to rise up! Maybe…and this is a radical thought…maybe it’s in answering the call to missions. One of the most profound things I’ve read in recent years (besides scripture) is that “there is a great gulf between the Christianity that wrestles with whether to worship at the cost of imprisonment and death, and the Christianity that wrestles with whether the kids should play soccer on Sunday morning” (John Piper). That statement has me questioning the depth of my own faith and how radical I’m willing to be for Him. What kind of radical faith one must have to step out of his or her comfort zone and into the mission field!

 

Make no mistake...God wants you uncomfortable and serving in ways you don’t think are possible. My whole purpose in writing this is to honor God in what I believe He wants me to say to you...that it’s time to get off the bench — and out of the pew — and go meet God in the mission field where souls are hanging in the balance of an eternal destination — either with Him or separated from Him. Where is your mission field? Will you rise to the occasion and go? (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

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