Do you believe in the present tense of Jesus?


Merry Christmas Eve everyone! A couple of weeks ago, Shayla wrote a blog about the stress wrapped around the holidays. She talked about the birthday that changed the world over 2,000 years ago. She wrote about the importance of Jesus being born. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can find it here.

Let’s consider this to be Part II of that blog. We have seen the power of Jesus work directly in front of us over the past few weeks. At our home church, we are in a series called Twisted Branches. I encourage you to watch them. You can find all of the messages here. Each week has been awesome. We are extremely blessed to be a part of a church that preaches the gospel of Jesus each and every week. One thing that we want to share with you from this past Sunday is this:

Do you believe in the present tense of Jesus?

Let that soak in for a second…the present tense of Jesus.

There are some of you that are reading this that follow Jesus with all that you are. You wake up thinking about Jesus, you talk about Jesus, you read about Jesus, you listen to music about Jesus, and you go to sleep thinking about Jesus.

Others that are reading this might put Jesus in a box. Or you place Jesus within the walls of a church. You might have said a prayer growing up because your friends did it. Or maybe you did it because your parents scared you into doing it. You try to get to church at least a couple of times a month because you feel that it is the “right” thing to do and that your kids need to be in church (Whatever that means as we hear this often and always talk about how it contradicts the Bible. It is the parents’ responsibility to raise a follower of Jesus, not the Sunday school teachers’ responsibility. Sorry to get off on a tangent. We will save the rest of our thoughts for a later blog.)

Some people reading this have no idea of who Jesus truly is. You hear about him a couple of times a year if you go to church on Christmas and Easter. We like to call this group of people, “Creasters”. You may or may not believe that Jesus ever existed. To you, Jesus is just a fairy tale like Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy.

Whatever group of people you might fall into, we are here to tell you today that JESUS IS ALIVE. We want to share with you three stories that we have recently encountered that prove it. Let’s start with a story about our friend.

Story #1 We have known this friend of ours for a few years now. Actually, she was more of an acquaintance than a friend. It wasn’t until earlier this year that we really started to become friends. We had the opportunity to get to know her through our small group that we lead. Often times as Jesus followers and leaders within that capacity, we think that we have to have all of the theological answers.


If you are reading this and you are a leader of a small group or a Bible Study, just love people like Jesus would love them. Speak truth from the Bible and your own life experiences. People will come to love Jesus just by experiencing your love for Jesus.

Okay, back to the story. Over the course of the last few months, we have been transparent with our group about what it means to follow Jesus. As a group, we adopted Luke 9:23 as our verse to remind us what it means to be a follower.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Jesus began working on our friend’s heart over the past few months through her own Bible reading. This created questions for her.

How do you know Jesus is real? What verse in the Bible tells me exactly what I need to know? What are the things I have to do before becoming a follower?

These questions and exploration came together at exactly the moment that God had in plan for her. On November 22nd, Shayla led our friend across the line of faith into a relationship with Jesus. Since that moment, there has been a light shining deep within her soul that was not there before November 22nd.

The LIGHT of the world, Jesus, is now shining through her.

We serve an alive and active God. We believe in the present tense of Jesus.

Story #2 This past Sunday, one of our pastors introduced Bryan to an older gentlemen who is probably in his 60’s. Through our conversation, he shared with me that he was healed from an alcohol addiction 20+ years ago. He has been healed from a tobacco addiction. The next thing is what shocked me.

He surrendered his life to Jesus in August of 2014. He was then baptized in October of 2014. I had to ask him about this life transformation because the way he stated his healing from alcohol and tobacco, I assumed he became a Christ follower then. He shared with me something very important. If you only take one thing away from this blog, please let it be this. He said this.

I believed in a “god” but the concept of Jesus scared me. I kept Jesus on the other side of the room but He always kept looking back at me.

It wasn’t until a close friend of his asked him some tough questions that he broke down in tears on his knees and surrendered his life to Jesus. He knew of Jesus, but he didn’t KNOW Jesus. It was an awesome story to hear and encouraged me greatly on Sunday morning. It reminded me once again that no matter what stage in life or age that we are, God is not finished with us as long as we are still breathing.

We serve an alive and active God. We believe in the present tense of Jesus.

Story #3 This is our favorite. Our daughter is 6 years old. If you have had a 6 year old or have been around a 6 year old, you know that reading becomes such an experience for them because all of a sudden, letters put together mean something. So they read street signs, they read menus, they read words on the TV, they read billboards as you drive down the interstate. She has a Bible that she received when she was much younger. It has the majority of the biblical stories in there with short activity puzzles at the end of each story. We have read through the stories with her many times over the last few years. However, recently she began reading the stories herself and the words on the pages became alive to her.

The story of Jesus became alive to her.

The gospel message of Jesus became etched deep within her heart.

We really noticed this a few weeks ago when her prayers changed. She began praying with an amazing cry out to Jesus. Thanking Him for creating this world for us. Asking Him to put angels over us to protect us. She would end each prayer with this.

Thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We were blown away by the intensity of her prayers. Her heart was changing and she was being drawn to our Creator.

On December 20th, she shared with Bryan that she wanted to invite Jesus into her heart. He asked her a few questions why she wanted to do this. This is what she said.

I didn’t really know who Jesus was before I started reading my Bible. Once I started reading my Bible, I learned about His life and that He died on the cross for my sins. I want to invite Jesus into my life so I can go to heaven someday.

WOW. Drop the mic.

Oh, how we can learn from a child with childlike faith. Once I started reading my Bible, I learned about His life.

Bryan told our daughter that we would talk about it the next day since it was late and he wanted her to think about some of the questions that he asked her. The next night, December 21st, we asked her some of the same questions and she clearly stated the reason why she wanted to invite Jesus to live within her was because of what Jesus did for her.

Jesus died on the cross for my sins so I can go to heaven.

All three of us jumped down off of her bed, we got on our knees, and we held hands together. We had the privilege and honor of leading our daughter across the line of faith and into a powerful relationship with Jesus. We will forever remember December 21st, 2015.

We serve an alive and active God. We believe in the present tense of Jesus.

These three stories that have all taken place in the last month prove once again that having an encounter with Jesus changes everything.

Jesus doesn’t care about your age. He doesn’t care about where you work. He doesn’t care how often you go to church. He doesn’t care about your past. He doesn’t care about your sin. He wants you to come to Him just as you are. You do not have to change before meeting Jesus. He will do the changing for you once you surrender to Him. It is as simple as saying a prayer. You can pray this prayer wherever you are. It is just a prayer between you and God.

God, I am a sinner. Forgive me for my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that He rose from the grave. I am in need of a Savior. I invite Jesus to live within me. I will follow Him from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

That’s it! That is all you have to do. The Bible tells us that angels rejoice in heaven when one person repents. This is cause for celebration!

If you just prayed that prayer, contact us through Facebook or email us at We want to help you get connected with a Bible teaching church and answer any questions that you may have.

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas. Remember that tomorrow celebrates a birthday of a man who came to this earth to change the world.

Be a light,

Bryan and Shayla