My love of the world, will it ever stop? (James 4:4)

"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." - James 4:4

Again I've been dwelling on just how much of my time I spend daydreaming about things that might someday be. Those things are exorbitant amounts of money, and then when I start to feel guilty, it is of course followed by how I would generously give it away and be famous for being so generous.

Am I the only one who really genuinely is satisfied with what he has but still finds it difficult to not be drawn into how much BETTER it would be if (insert situation here). I just long so much to find satisfaction and meaning in the Lord but so frequently live like I'm failing miserably.

I love my life though. I love what I do. I'm incredibly thankful for my wife and daughter and cant believe I get paid to have the fun I have doing ministry. So why do I still absurdly dream of comfortable cars and expensive gin?

My prayer has to be begging God to desire the things he desires and no longer be so enticed by the things of this world. I do think myself someone who finds an awful lot of satisfaction in the Lord, so why does my flesh keep popping up?

Finally, I'm curious, do we ever desire the things of the Lord so much that we no longer value money? Fame? Making history? Or do we just dream of money in a different way. Hoping to do good with it (surely we'd fail right)?

I certainly don't want to be an enemy of the Lord. Lord change my heart.

Fighting and Pauls words about it (2 Timothy 2:24-25a)

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness." - 2 Timothy 2:24-25a

I have a friend who recently started a job at a local cafe where he is one of only a few employees as it's a pretty small operation. He really enjoys the job for the most part and I don't blame him, he pretty much sits around and plays on his computer except for the few minutes here and there when someone wants to buy coffee or something.

Yesterday I met with him and he explained to me about how stressed out he is because for the last 10 days a group of beggars have repeatedly come to the restaurant and hassled the customers to give. His boss has specifically told him to not allow them into the cafe (which is understandable in my opinion) and so everyday he has asked them to leave but they've become more and more violent everyday. Apparently yesterday he had to physically push them out of the store as they tried to push past him. He is alone and there are 3 of them, most of them young and strong - its complicated as to why they're begging.

He asked me for some advice as he was seriously distressed and fearful he would end up in a fist fight in no time at all. I tried to offer some things practical, but I think he might have been looking for some wisdom on a heart level. I offered him this verse. As well as the rest of 25 and 26 which says, "God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will."

So this is what I've been processing today. Not being quarrelsome but being kind. And how that could possibly relate to people who are regularly coming and seeking a confrontation.

Also how it applies to my road rage.

When even angels aren't spared (Jude 6)

"And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day . . . " - Jude 6

This morning as I was praying and trying to dwell on who the Lord is I fell on two things. The first, God is completely in control, and this brings me great comfort. The second thing is God is an awesome, powerful, all mighty, worthy of reverent fear, personal God.

This verse in Jude reminds us the Lord didn't even spare the angels when they strayed from His will. Then verse 7, " - just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

Jude is about to launch into some reasons why it is necessary to follow whole and sound teaching about the gospel. But first he gives us some reasons we should have nothing to do with lies and heresy. Sodom and Gomorrah are experiencing an eternal fire. Utterly destroyed from the face of the planet, wiped away. This is no little reminder. God doesn't mess around with truth, He means business.

The angels are kept in chains for all of eternity and then cast into darkness. I live in a city which for about 6 months of winter sees the sun about twice. It is a gloomy nightmare, but I cannot fathom the darkness which comes from God casting you out.

Our God is an awesome, powerful, all mighty, worthy of reverent fear, personal God. Because He is as powerful as He is, and as passionate as He is and because He cares for us, He will not fail to deal favorably or horribly with us. It's not a little thing when He's for you and not against you.

Continue in what you've believed (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." - 2 Timothy 3:14-15

There is something particularly comforting to me about calls to perseverance for believers as well as assurance for what that perseverance will produce. I like being reminded that people do run the race successfully. People do finish strong.

That said there is some good advice here. Continue in what I've learned, firmly believed. Remember who my teacher was (both mentors I respected and the Holy Spirit), and remember my founding in the very Word of God. Something not to be taken lightly.

I was raised a believer. I know many who shared a similar upbringing but were afraid to continue walking with the Lord or left the Lord for something seemingly more satisfying. But I like to press on knowing where it leads. Knowing its good. Knowing the scripture leads to wisdom. Remembering I am saved eternally because of Christ Jesus.

Sunday Scripture Day (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." - 2 Timothy 3:14-15

The point is to believe (Jude 5)

"Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." - Jude 5

This is an interesting verse if for no reason other than it being Jesus who saved the people out of the land of Egypt. My NET Bible tells me many translations don't know what to do with Jesus being the reading even if it is the strongest argument and so they render it as something else. Either way I'm more interested in the second half of this verse.

Those who did not believe were destroyed. This verse comes amidst Jude getting to details related to heresy in the church and in warning people of the lies which may creep in, he also warns them about what destruction comes on those who are sinful. Here they are simply destroyed - although the story in Exodus is much more compelling with the waters closing in on the Egyptians. Later the people who don't trust the Lord die in the wilderness instead of seeing the promised land.

We should fear our Lord because He is an awesome and powerful God. But fear the Lord is reverent awe, not wetting our pants over whether or not we believe and will be destroyed by the All-Powerful God. But the point is not fear.

The point is to believe.

We are to believe and to pursue truth. Our God is an awesome God of power and might and glory and honor. We are minor scratches on the surface of a massive history. Our lives only matter because of Him. Thus we are to believe. Those who don't will be destroyed, and not only that - their lives will have been wasted. Meaningless. But again, don't live in fear. Fear is not the point.

The point is to believe.

Heresy, and those who deny Christ. Consider yourself warned (Jude 4)

"For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ." - Jude 4

This verse is pretty much the basis of one of the papers I'm currently writing. There are people out there twisting the truth. Twisting it just enough that if you fall for it it means damnation - which is a big deal. You know about this because you know about the Jehovah's Witness movement. You've heard of of Mormons.

But you may not have recognized the guy who has been coming to your small group and is pressing for such and such a sin to not really be a big deal, and even if it were, Jesus has forgiven him. I think these people sneak in much more frequently than we're aware. Many if not most of them probably have no intention of leading you astray, or even are away they're missing the point. But in the end they may be denying our "Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."

The problem is usually this sort of thing doesn't come to our attention until the person has come and gone and several years later we look back on it and say, "what were we thinking?"

We just need to remember Jude was writing the church. We're the church. We are just as susceptible to heresy now as the church was then. Jude is offering a warning.

Consider yourself warned.

Greetings of mercy, peace and love (Jude 2)

"May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you." - Jude 2

And to think, when I meet a friend I have seen in a while I say "Hey man," or when I write a letter, I greet with a "I hope everything is going well." A little while back I decided to try to intentionally start making some changes to my vocabulary and also in my prayer life.

I find when I pray, for example, I frequently end up just praying for 'blessing' for friends or non-believers, or cities. It occurred to me a blessing is a great thing to ask for, but salvation would be a much more pointed prayer and the greatest blessing.

I want to learn to learn to bless believers with my vocabulary intentionally. What if instead of, "Hey what's up," or, "How are you doing" without expecting or even wanting answers, we asked people how they're walking with the Lord? Or even just said something like "God bless."

What about if in emails we said "May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you"?

Contending for the faith (Jude 3)

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints." - Jude 3

I'm writing a paper on Jude and the necessity of it in the canon as it applies to me. One of the frustrating things about writing a paper about a book like this is how much time I have to spend in the book to really get an understanding of it. But on the flip-side I always feel like I have a grasp of it after extensive homework.

Today I'm processing what it means to contend for the faith delivered to the saints. The epistle of Jude focuses primarily on the subject of heresy and how once it creeps in it corrupts. The book uses some powerful imagery including how Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly destroyed because of their wickedness and how even angels who went astray were not spared God's wrath.

So now I'm wondering what sorts of things, even those which seem innocent at first, have crept in to my life, theology, or ministry which will lead me or my friends down a path to destruction. I don't mean this to cause us to live in fear (it shouldn't), but a healthy evaluation of the significance of the faith I've embraced might be in order. And am I really contending for the gospel? Or am I so focused on other things I miss the gospel and slowly it becomes distorted until its straight up heresy?

What about those around me and how do I appeal for them to contend for the faith the way it was delivered to them?

Holy Sabbath (Exodus 20:8)

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." - Exodus 20:8

First of all I'm tired.
Very tired.

But secondly, I'm just thinking about how poorly I keep the Sabbath holy. Now even if you don't tightly practice a Sabbath, I think you can relate to someone trying to set aside a day for the Lord. Even if its not all day, hard core rest, just to dwell on him etc...

I'd like to get better at this. Regard a day as holy to Him.

But first I'm gonna get some sleep.

He's coming again. Yea. He really is (2 Peter 3:4)

"They will say, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.'" - 2 Peter 3:4

It's hard to read this and not wonder about it. Part of our lives are used the idea that if the Lord hasn't come back yet then He likely wont in our lifetime. Whether we process it this clearly or not it's built into the way most of us think.

So how do we live like the Lord is coming back like He promised? Should we live like the Lord is coming back? He IS coming back after all.

I suppose the obvious holds true for keeping our jobs and not heading up on our roofs to wait for His coming like some apparently did back in the first century. But how else does this affect us? How do we believe the Lord is coming back without being the crazy guy we've all heard who stands up and tells everyone the Lord IS, with certainty, coming back in their lifetime.

It's simple however. We love the Lord. We live like we always should seeking His will. Ready to answer for the hope within us. Sharing our faith as though the things we believe have an impact on this life as well as the one to come. We plead before the Lord for our lost friends. We love. We pray. We study. We grow. And we try to fulfill our calling to walk with the Lord.

If you're communing regularly and He comes again you can feel good about where you've been and what you've been doing. If when He shows up you barely recognize your old friend then you've missed something. I'm thinking "Hey Jesus, did you get a hair cut? Long time no see."

He's coming. Yea. He really is.

Sunday Scripture Day (Micah 3:12)

"Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height." - Micah 3:12

The gospel of the kingdom proclaimed throughout the whole world (Matthew 24:14)

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." - Matthew 24:14

A lot of people make a weird theology about reaching unreached people groups from this verse. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely think we should reach the unreached people groups, but I also think we should reach unreached people. The lost.

Some are called to crazy places where no one has ever been. But you're no less holy if you're called to your neighbor. Those who do not know the Lord are just as lost no matter where they are.

But I don't mean this to be a downer as much as a go-getter... Get out there and share. Not because you have any power over when the end will come (you do not) but because it is the difference between eternal damnation and eternal salvation.

And rejoice when everyone is reached. And then the end will come.

Relax, it's provided (2 Peter 1:11)

"For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter 1:11

Class has been keeping me busy this last week. It's pretty intense to listen to anything for 8 hours a day 5 days in a row. I suppose I should be thankful but I'm always ready for it to be done by the time it ends.

One of the things we talked about this week was just how saved we are. That is, there aren't levels of saved like I tend to think about it. In fact, whether we believe it or not, Jesus died for us and it's over. We cannot re-crucify Him just so we can feel better about our sin, we cannot feel guilty enough to cover our sins etc....

It is completely provided for.

The Lord has provided us freedom, joy, rest, hope, assurance, salvation, and an entrance into the eternal kingdom. So go home and rest and quit trying so hard and just really enjoy that its been done.

For some reason this sunk again yesterday and I felt a weight off my shoulders. Sad to think I thought I could carry my own salvation on my shoulders.

Thank you Lord for providing salvation. For providing hope. For providing an entrance into the kingdom that lasts forever. Into your kingdom.

Our tongues and blazing fires (James 3:5b-6)

"How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness." - James 3:5b-6

One of the biggest advantages of writing over speaking is you see your words come out and you can erase or delete as you see necessary. Because basically none of you know me in person none of you know just how easily (though you may guess) I can say stupid things and hurt people or just make myself look like a moron.

I think I read through this section of James every time and just think, "Yea everyone knows that, but there's really nothing we can do about it." But today when I read this I realized how far I have come in taming my tongue. Now don't get me wrong, I still have a long ways to go, but there have definitely been some strides in the last few years.

Specifically this last summer I was living with some college students while I was taking some seminary classes and while they were believers I was absolutely shocked at their mouths. Horrifying statement after horrifying statement had me realize just how far I've come, because no doubt just about 4 years ago (just a couple of months before I started dating the woman to become my wife) I was just as bad as any of these guys.

I'm writing this simply to say there is hope. If there is hope for me then there is definitely hope for you. As a person who absolutely lacks the ability to think before he speaks I have to imagine it is only by the grace of God my tongue is causing smaller and smaller fires as I spend more time with more disciplined and weathered believers.

May God give us grace to put a bit in our own mouths, and may we learn to surrender our tongue to Him.

Sunday Scripture Day (Malachi 1:5)

"Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, 'Great is the LORD beyond the border of Israel!'" - Malachi 1:5

He manifests Himself to those who love Him. But what about the lost? (John 14:21)

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." - John 14:21

Or rather, "He who loves me . . . I will manifest myself to him."

I recognize this is a truncated version of some sort. That said however, today I was contemplating the ways the Lord reveals Himself to us. I was visiting a group of people MUCH worse off than I am and in such situations I always feel so much worse for the lost.

Sad really I think. If you lead a comfortable life in this life why should I think eternal damnation is any more bearable? I just see brokenness and truly lost people much more clearly in poor settings. Again though, I'm reminded my numbness to the lost in richer settings is wrong. The lost are lost whether rich or poor.

Then as I read this verse I was simply thinking about how the Lord reveals Himself to us. When we love Him he manifests Himself. Awesome. But does it come in the form of pain for the lost?

And we know He's written His law on people's hearts even when they're lost and has revealed Himself in His creation and everything so they will be without excuse.

I confess if someone hadn't made it very clear to me I'm not sure I would believe the Lord. I might be fascinated by the trees but if everyone told me my whole life they were accidents of nature I imagine I'd believe them.

It is a gift the Lord has chosen you. It is a gift we can even hope to know His commandments, let alone try to follow them.

And it is a gift He has chosen to manifest Himself to us. Those who love Him.

God: "I will swallow up death" - (Isaiah 25:8)

"He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken." - Isaiah 25:8

I've been in the New Testament so much lately this is really nice to read. A simple change of pace from intense theological concerns to simple adoration of our father.

Our God will swallow up death forever. I wonder why the word 'swallow' is used here. It seems 'destroyed' would work just fine and 'swallow' is an odd word to chose in the context. It's like eating it is somehow conquering it on top of just wiping it away.

He will take away the reproach of His people, forgiving them.

He will wipe their tears.

He HAS spoken.

I love this change in tense because while the Lord WILL do these things, it IS written down. He HAS spoken it into being even though it has not yet occurred and so it is as good as done. We can be so sure it will come to pass it is as if we can look back on it already happening.

I thank the Lord He has taken away my sins. I look forward to the Lord wiping away my tears. And I long for the day the Lord conquers and then swallows up death.

Forever.

Our lives of sin. Vomit. (2 Peter 2:22)

"What the true proverb says has happened to them: 'The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.'" - 2 Peter 2:22

This verse conjures up a very specific memory from my childhood when my brother and I were dragged to a house of a family friend. We were bored to tears and thrilled when my parents finally decided to leave. We went ahead of them outside and they stayed at the door and talked another twenty minutes or so.

I vividly remember standing outside of the fence of their yard and watching their dog poop and run off, then wait a minute and in wandering around the yard stumble upon his own feces as if a doggie treat. He smelled it for a minute and then ate it. My brother and I were horrified but fascinated. It then threw up and wandered off again, coming back to smell it and then proceed to eat it. This time it didn't even wander off but tried to eat it again.

Over and over again it returned to it's own vomit. I didn't hear this verse or understand it until years later but it has always resonated with me because I've actually been mortified by seeing a dog do this.

And yet we're the same with our sin. Even worse seems to be the people who taste Christ and then leave and return to a life of sin. 2 Peter compares this to returning to vomit.

Our lives of sin. Vomit. Don't keep going back.

p.s. My commentary tells me that in the Old Testament pigs and dogs were the epitome of dirty.

Faith. To not shrink back and be destroyed (Hebrews 10:39)

"But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls." - Hebrews 10:39

The tricky part about this is that in order to say with confidence we are of those who have faith, we have to actually have faith. In order to believe we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, we have to actually not shrink back.

All things are possible through the Lord and I'm convinced the only way we would ever be people who qualify for this verse is through Him.

But imagine being someone who has faith. I mean REALLY has faith. Imagine trusting the Lord so much you pray for people for healing with full confidence the Lord will either heal them or has a greater plan. When I pray for people for healing I ask ahead of time in my head why the Lord might not want to answer this prayer. I doubt because so few of the people I lay hands on are actually healed. Yet I'm supposed to pray.

I want to persevere, not shrink back and be destroyed but preserve my soul. Lord make me this man.

In, not of. Being with, not carousing with (Matthew 11:19)

"The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds." - Matthew 11:19

I often take this to the extreme of 'well then maybe we'll all get to the end of our lives and wish we been eating and drinking more,' when what we're probably supposed to get from this is simply the joy of our God. He came and was willing to enter into the world of the people around Him. Be in but not of. That's the difference between being with them and carousing with them.

Unfortunately I'm not as strong, wise, or perfect as my savior and tend to get confused between two or walk a line I should not. This is to say I think we really are called to enjoy some things with our non-believing friends and show them that the things of this world were created by God. But at the same time to not worship and demonstrate God's power and strength over them.

When doing this don't get confused between right and wrong. Don't end up being an actual glutton and drunkard - and by all means follow the laws of the land, the restaurant, and your family. But a beer once and while with a friend can really open doors like nothing else.

Your wisdom will be justified by your deeds, so it should be pretty obvious if you've messed up.

Sunday Scripture Day (Isaiah 55:6)

"Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near."- Isaiah 55:6

*to their credit this is the BibleGateway.com scripture of the day. I just really liked it.

I want faith like that (Luke 2:36-37)

"There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying" - Luke 2:36-37

Today I met with a friend I've known for just about two years. I'm really excited for him because he will be getting married on November 1 this year (so just about a month from now). The girl he's marrying is way out of his league too. He's two years older but entered college two years later than her, she's working on her PhD and he's just recently finished his Masters with no plans of further study.

Today I was sharing with him some thoughts I had on marriage and somehow we got on to the topic of my parents. My grandmother died with my dad was only two years old. We talked a bit about how my grandfather handled the situation and where they are now. Then he mentioned to me that yesterday he was reading in Luke and read this passage. He said, "She was only married seven years. After that all she did was worship. That's amazing."

It's true. And I thought it worthy of simply pointing out. There are people throughout the Bible with incredible faith. It's at once encouraging and challenging to me. This woman was a widow for many many years and was old (especially by the standards of the time). But she was faithful. Every day and every night in the temple praying. Fasting and praying.

I want faith like that.

The Big Sin meme

Memes go out all the time. I've started a few myself. But really as Christian bloggers how are our memes any different than the rest of the world? Should they be? Shouldn't they be?

I think its time we do something that sort of torques the world's head a little bit and expose ourselves awkwardly in an attempt to build one another up. So I'm proposing a confession of sorts. A few years ago a mentor of mine asked me think about all the people who get blown out of ministry or public positions because of sin in their lives. He asked, "If you were to be taken out by one sin what would it be?"

Now when I read about Ted Haggard I was disappointed but I wasn't surprised. People sin all the time. There are some sins which we deem make you no longer capable of a position of leadership etc... But I don't want to become a Ted Haggard. So I ask you, do you know yourself? Are you open enough about your struggles so that others are keeping you from falling because they know your weaknesses? This is not to
necessarily ask answer what sins are you dealing with now, but...

If you were to be taken out by one sin (or a couple, whatever) what would it be?

My answers were the same then as they are now.

I said:
1. Sexual sin. - I'm a man, and not to say that makes it okay, just that I deal with it like many others.
2. Alcohol - I think alcohol is the most delicious thing on the planet. I hope keeping it in check is never a problem, not just for me and my 'image' but also for my family.

So there you have it. It might make you uncomfortable, but I'm still curious to hear. I'm also curious what kind of affect (if any) this kind of meme could have on our community. I look forward to getting to know some of you better through your answers.

(Now you know the drill, answer and tag 5 other bloggers.)

I tag:
Jeff at Scripture Zealot
Nathan at Discipuluscripturae
TC at New Leaven
Chuck at A Goula Blogger
Matthew at Crypto Theology
Tim at If I Were a Bell I'd Ring

And just for chuckles because he wont pass it on:
Nick at RDTWOT

I'll try to keep up and post links to the blogs that take it up so you have a centralized place to catch up if you're interested.

To serve. Not be served (Mark 10:45)

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45

Even the most powerful person who ever lived. Even the only man who was also God. Even the only one who ever lived who deserved to be served. Even He did not come to be served but to serve.

I still am trying to figure out what the stink in my own life makes it so stinking painful to serve others. What is it about serving others that for me is always so awkward, unnatural? I imagine its a learned trait. The more we serve the easier it becomes to serve. But am I that constantly out of practice?

I'm married, and my wife would be grumpy with me always if I wasn't at least sometimes serving her. Although I probably do intentionally walk a line just on the edge of keeping her happy. I should work on that.

The thing which strikes me about this verse is the Lord gave his life as a ransom. He was a servant from the beginning. Which makes me think He's been in practice. He began to serve and it became natural (although I can't know if it ever became easy). Serving became normal enough in His life that He could give up His life entirely.

Fascinating. I think about stories about those believers who gave up their own lives for others and I frequently wonder if I would have the strength or the will to do so. I imagine unless I get more in the habit of serving, serving up my life will not be so doable.

Thank you Lord for serving and serving and serving. And thank you for serving me even today when I am completely unworthy of being served.

Conquer (Revelation 3:12)

"The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name." - Revelation 3:12

As opposed to having 666 written on you you'll have the name of God. And you'll have the name of the city of God (I assume it will be something cool like JerusalemX or something).

Okay admittedly the "and my own new name" part baffles me a little bit, but this is Jesus talking.

I basically just wanted to comment on how I desire to be the one who conquers. I like 'conquers' a lot better than other places that say 'overcomes,' it seems more masculine. When I hear overcome I think, 'overcome diversity' and that just sounds lame. But when I hear conquer I think of swords and bows and arrows and horses and great battles.

I want to conquer in the spiritual realm. In order to conquer I'll have to make sure I'm fighting (as it's pretty easy to become complacent).

Do what it takes to be a pillar in the temple of God. Conquer.