MhAX Blog with Nick Costello
Evangelist, youth communicator, school assembly speaker, seminar and conference speaker Nick Costello tackles issues facing youth and young adults.
Nick Costello has experienced the glamorous rock star life millions of teens only dream about. Success didn't fulfill his search for inner peace, security and purpose in life. His bad attitude and fast lane lifestyle of sex, drugs, rock and roll nearly destroyed him. One night, Nick surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. God miraculously redeemed and transformed his life.
Today, he ministers as an evangelist, youth communicator, school assembly speaker, seminar and conference speaker. He's calling christians of all ages to an uncompromising walk of obedience to Christ. In public schools, he's equipping kids to make healthy, right life choices. Respected leaders say he's a "dynamic, relevant, passionate, challenging, inspiring communicator!
Visit Nick's website
- Published on Wednesday, 19 December 2012 11:38
- Written by Nick Costello
As we continue in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel Chapter 3, we discover they didn't indulge in anything that had the potential to distract them away from God. They guarded their hearts. I suspect they watched out for each other and encouraged each other to remain faithful to God, even in the face of extreme peer pressure. They never gave into peer pressure to bow down before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Have you made the decision to not give into peer pressure and do what you know God says isn't right for you as a christian, even if it means losing friends, suffering persecution and being made fun of?
Just because everyone is doing something that appears right, it still may be wrong for you as a Christian to do. Even your Christian friends may do wrong things. You follow God, not people. God warns, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong."(Exodus 23:2 NIV)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced some serious peer pressure. They faced being cremated alive for disobeying the king's order to bow down and worship his statue representing him and his evil kingdom. They knew the commandment of God, "Do not worship any other gods, besides me. Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds, animals of fish.You must never bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affections with any other god." (Exodus 20:3 NLT) If you worship anyone or anything more than God it is an idol and it is sin. If God asks you to give something up for him and you can't, it sits as an idol on the throne of your heart. It is sin. An idol can be your music. Do you love it more than you love God? Can you give up your ungodly music for God? if not, you have a heart problem.
Think about this. If you can't give it up because you are afraid of what your friends may think, even Christian friends, you have given into peer pressure. Maybe you don't want to be made fun of when you tell them you do not listen to the same ungodly music they listen to anymore. You have chosen to honor God and give Him all your worship. You suffer for doing what is right in God's sight. God will reward you for it. At the end of Daniel 3, you'll see that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego where eventually blessed, promoted and rewarded by King Nebuchadnezzar. Actually, because they obeyed God and didn't bow down to the statue, God rescued them from the blazing furnace and worked in the heart of the king to bless them. But, they didn't obey to receive a blessing and reward. They chose to obey because they loved God and wanted to bring glory to Him. Have you made that decision?
- Published on Thursday, 15 November 2012 11:54
- Written by Nick Costello
A morning paper told a tragic story. A young family finished their evening meal and headed off to bed. Mom had forgotten to turn the gas stove completely off. As the family slept, poisonous gas crept into the bedrooms of each family member. With each sleeping breath, they unknowingly inhale the deadly, poisonous gas. Before the home exploded, the whole family had died in their sleep from breathing the toxic fumes.
What toxic fumes are you slowly breathing into your body, the home God lives in?
You may not be sleeping, unable to detect the danger, but your heart and mind has gone to sleep, unable to hear the Holy Spirit warning you of the potential danger you face by allowing the poisonous fumes from Satan’s kingdom to seep into your heart and mind through the messages in your ungodly music.
You say, “I don’t listen to the lyrics. I just like the beat. Nothing bad is happening to me or to my relationship with God.” I say to you… nothing YET! God warns us in the Bible we need to guard what we allow into our hearts and minds. There is a spiritual and physical principle that is true in life. You reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow. God warns us, “Don’t be misled. Remember, you can’t ignore God and get away with it. A man (or woman) will wrap just the kind of crop he sows. If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death, but if he plants the good things of the Spirit; he will reap the everlasting life which the Hoy Spirit gives him.” (Gal. 6:7,8 LB)
This is God’s truth. It doesn’t matter what you believe. God says if you plant things into your heart and mind or feed on things he calls evil, wicked and ungodly; you will suffer spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical decay, destruction and even death. But, if you feast on the things that honor and please God, clean, healthy, God-honoring food, you will find the life of God grow in you. You will experience him in a deeper and more intimate way. You will please God.
God loves you. But, does he love the music you listen to? Are you allowing the poisonous fumes of Satan’s kingdom to seep into your heart and mind or the good things of God? Is your music healthy food or rotten food?
How healthy are you spiritually? Do you have wrong thoughts run through your mind? Is sin looking attractive to you? Are you struggling emotionally or in some relationship or in your relationship with God
My friend… check out your music. What is it saying? What seed is being planted into your heart and mind? Perhaps… you struggle because the seed is poisoned. You say nothing bad is happening to you?
Nothing….YET! Don’t ignore God if he is speaking to you about your music and entertainments. Honor God and get them right with him!
- Published on Monday, 15 October 2012 11:42
- Written by Nick Costello
Have you ever made the decision like I have when I was younger, to give into peer pressure when someone puts pressure on you to do something you know is wrong for you as a follower of Jesus? Just because someone or everyone is doing something, doesn't make it right for a Christian. God warns, "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong." (Exodus 23:2)
We have been following in Daniel 3, the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were sold-out champion worshipers of God. They faced serious pressure to bow down and worship King Nebuchaddnezzar's 90 foot tall, gold fake idol when they heard the sound of the music. Everyone bowed down but these guys. They didn't follow the crowd and do wrong by worshiping another God. They refused, knowing it meant certain death in the blazing furnace.
Music was used to capture the hearts of the people and prepare them to bow down and worship the idol statue. All the Christians in the crowd bowed down and broke the first commandment of God, "Do not worship any other gods besides me. You must never bow down to them, for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God who will not share your affections with any other God." (Exodus 20:3) Anyone or any thing you worship other than the one true Jehovah God of the Universe is to disobey God. It's called SIN. An idol can be anything you love more than God or anything God asks you to surrender to Him and you can't. It could be a job, sports, hobbies and... even MUSIC! Is your music your God? If you can't give ungodly music up for God, it could be an idol.
Why don't believers resist peer pressure? Fear! When you take a stand for God, perhaps you won't have to fear death, but maybe rejection, verbal or physical abuse, being ignored, never getting invited to a party, sitting alone in the lunchroom or loss of so-called friends, maybe even Christian friends. You'll suffer for doing what's right in God's sight but God has a blessing in store for you. "But eve if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid and don't worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life." (1 Peter 3:14-15)
When you give into peer pressure, you give someone else power over your life. You can become their personal puppet on a string. They can pull the strings of your life controlling what you do. You give them permission to control your thinking, decision making and behavior. Some people even stop thinking for themselves. Do you want to be someone's puppet on a string and let them lead you in the wrong direction and even towards sinning? That's not what a good friend is all about.
Search your heart right now. Are you giving into peer pressure to do something you know God says isn't right for you? Do you say NO when asked to go to an R-rated movie, drinking, doing drugs, lying, stealing, cheating, bad attitudes, watching TV programs full of ungodly themes and messages, full of profanity, sex scenes and more things God hates? How about your music? Can you stop listening to the same ungodly music your lost friends or even Christian friends listen to in order to honor God?
Whatever it is, if you fear what your friends may think, say or do if you turn from it and say No, more than than fearing what God thinks, you need to change your thinking. If you say you love Jesus, you need to trust Him to give you the grace you need to live an uncompromising, obedient walk with Jesus. It's a fear that says, "God, above anyone or anything else, I give you the reverence, honor, respect and affection you rightly deserve. I am in awe of you, I love you, you are all-powerful, holy, almighty and awesome."
Is it more important for you to honor and obey God or compromise? Can you trash your ungodly music even if your friends make fun of you because what God thinks means more to you than anything else in your own little world? Can you say, "I won't do it," to something everyone else is doing you know grieves the heart of God?