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
CHRIST ALIVE IN YOU!
Does anything frustrate you? Stuff like your parents, friends, school, your dating life, even yourself? Have those frustrations been caused by your own wrong actions or attitudes? Some frustrations are caused by circumstances you can't control. Many times, you bring frustration upon ourselves by saying or doing something wrong. You don't do what you know you should do and do what you know is foolish or wrong. The great apostle Paul claimed, "For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." ( Romans 7:15) Paul got frustrated, but he knew the solution. "Christ lives in you and this is the assurance you will share in His glory." (
The secret for living a Christ-like life
that Jesus is alive in you!
Do you really believe that? When you got born again or 'saved', you received Christ into your heart and life. Now, you're a follower of Jesus. Jesus is your master, leader, boss of your life... your everything. Living the Christian life isn't about doing your best for God. It's about allowing Christ to live His life in and through you! How does this happen?
You surrender complete control of your life to HIM!
Before you received Christ, he lived outside your life. You tried to control your life and sat on the throne of your heart. Frustration happens. Then, you got saved and gave Jesus control of your life. He sits on the throne of your heart. You are fulfilled. If you take control and sit back on the throne of your heart, you call the shots and become the boss of your life you get frustrated again. Jesus is still there but not in control. When you try and control things, you eventually mess up and sin. So many Christian young people make stupid, foolish mistakes and suffer negative consequences because they haven't made Jesus boss of their life. They only obey the commands of God they like and ignore the rest. They think a little sin is okay, it won't hurt them and God won't notice. Wrong!
"The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
Sin will destroy you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Sometimes instant death, but usually a slow death. So slow, you don't realize something in you is dying. Sin is simply you controlling your own life, doing what you want, not what God wants. Is there any area of your life you've taken control of and not given it to God. What wrong, sinful thoughts, attitudes or behaviors do you hold onto or allow to control you. Ask God to rip them out of you. Right now... confess it to God. Give Him complete control. He knows what's best for you.
GOD WANTS ALL OF YOU!!
Christ wants to live his life in and out through you! You may 'have' Jesus, but how much of you does Jesus have? He wants all of you, every room in your heart, every area of your life. He wants your life to be frustration free and to bear much fruit for Him. How does this happen? "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) You must stay attached to Jesus and draw life from Him. That means you grow in your intimate, forever love relationship with Him. Cling to Jesus. Surrender your whole life to Him. Make your life... all about Jesus!
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, "That guy really loves himself." That probably means he's stuck up, stuck on himself, thinks he's special and God's gift to women. It's okay to love yourself... the way God sees you!
To love yourself is to respect yourself.
Most people don't accept themselves. Why? Because of something they don't like in their appearance. Maybe because their parents fight or are divorced they feel unacceptable or rejected. Some feel they have no talent, special abilities, think they're dumb or stupid. When you don't accept yourself you can begin to view yourself in the negative ways others may view you. You can feel inferior and do unhealthy, sinful things those who appear better or smarter than you do. You can get mad at God, blaming Him for how he made you. You start to think, "No one loves me. I'm messed up. I have no talent. I'm a loser." No matter what negative things you may think about yourself you MUST remember... God made you and:
God doesn't make mistakes!
People are too judgmental and critical. They can say mean, cruel, demeaning things about you. The enemy Satan will always make sure someone crosses your path to make you think wrong thoughts about yourself. He doesn't want you to see and believe God loves you just the way He made you. Take time to list all the things you do like about yourself and then thank God for them. None of us are perfect. We all have some flaws and shortcomings.
Because JESUS lives in you, God loves and accepts you!
The Bible says God made us "accepted in the beloved." (Eph. 1:6 KJV) That means, because Christ is in you, God loves and accepts you just the way you are. He'll never love and accept your sin or sinful behavior, but He will always love you. There's not a part of God that stops loving you if Jesus is in you! You're special and precious to God, your perfect Heavenly Father. Before you were born He planned good things for you to do. "For we are God's workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph. NIV)
God has GOOD things for you to do for Him!
But maybe, you still want some things about you to change. Ask God to help you change. You can "be transformed." (Romans 12:2 NIV) If you need to lose weight, get on a plan and ask God for strength to help you follow through. If you have a bad attitude, ask God to help you change. One thing God will surely do if you ask Him. He'll change you to be more like Christ. That's the most important change He wants to make in you. Thank God for the way He made you. If you live a life totally surrendered to Him, God will make sure you become all He's designed you to be and you won't miss His plan for your life. And when you look in the mirror, forget the standard for looking good beauty and fashion magazines want you to live up to. It's okay to want to look attractive and nice, but what's most important is always to remember God sees you as the beautiful apple of His eye. You're of great value to god. The more you become aware of His love for you, the more you'll love Him and even love others. Remember this truth: When God made you...
HE DIDN'T MAKE NO JUNK!!
Everyone wants to be loved. Think about the love you've experienced in your life. All of us will have positive and negative experiences with love. Human love isn't consistent or perfect. It's because we are not perfect. Only one person is perfect and that's Jesus Christ. Therefore, His love is perfect. Never base what you believe about love on what you've experienced through another human being.
Always look to JESUS to know what real love is!
"God is love." (1 John 4:7 NKJV) Jesus said, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!" (John 14:9 NLT) Jesus came to show us what God's love is like. If you want to know what love is, copy Jesus. A great description of Jesus' love is 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. Read it and put your name in place of the word 'love'. Do you love like that? If not, spend a few months reading those verses everyday with you name in it and ask God to give you His heart of love.
God's love is unconditional!
Man's love is conditional. It says things like: "Buy me things and I'll love you. If you're good in sports, I'll love you. If you're hot looking, I'll love you. If you act right, I'll love you." Man's love is often based on how you perform. God unconditional love means He loves you no matter what, the good, bad and ugly about you. He won't love your sin and disobedience. He hates that! But he loves you.
There's NOTHING you can do to stop God from loving you!
Human love is stingy. You can't count on it when the going gets tough. God's love is sacrificial. Read John 3:16. God says, "I love you SO MUCH that I willingly gave My Son for you on the cross." Human love is selfish. God's love is serving. Read John 13:1-17. Serving love expects nothing in return, no pat on the back and no reward. Jesus showed servant love by washing His disciples dirty, stinky feet. Jesus is always there when you need Him. He's never too busy for you. He is always there to listen and to help you.
God's love is forgiving!
Man's love carries a grudge and never forgets. People can become bitter and resentful when someone hurts them. They carry a grudge and say, "I'll never forgive him/her." God's love is forgiving. When you received Christ as your Lord and Savior, God forgave you for every sin you ever committed, past present and future. That's LOVE! Maybe you are holding a grudge and need to forgive someone. Do it today! There is no room for unforgiveness in the life of a Christian. Ask God to help you be forgiving.
Christians MUST be loving people!
To be like Jesus you must love God and others. Jesus gave us the two most important commandments. "And you must love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:30,31 NLT) "We love because He (God) first loved us." (1 John 4:19 NIV) God loves you. He wants you to love Him and others in return. God will help you if you are willing and ask Him to. He went all out to show His love for you. Now, go all out, be like Jesus and show God's love to others!
Last month we discovered God's primary purpose for your existence is to know Him in a personal, forever love relationship. When you begin your relationship, it leads to fellowship ... a life long process of daily living in harmony with God as your heavenly Father. Nothing you do, will ever change your Father's love for you. Nothing! Your earthly father may or may not love you, but God loves you unconditionally. You may mess up, rebel and choose to disobey God. You know it's wrong, but God doesn't dump you or kick you out of His family.
You'll be out of harmony for how God wants you to live because you're living or acting your way, not God's.
Your fellowship with God is damaged. Things just aren't right between you and God. When my son disobeyed me and brought the car home past his curfew, I didn't bless him with $100.00. I was upset, grounded him and didn't allow him to drive my car for a few weeks. However, my love for him didn't change.
When your fellowship is broken, what do you do? The answer is in 1 John 1:9 in your Bible. Read it. Ask God to show you unconfessed sin. Agree with what He shows you is wrong. Ask God to give you grace to stop sinning. Stop it! If you stumble and mess up again, repeat this process, get up and keep going. Don't stay down. Followers of Jesus "May trip seven times, but each time they will rise again." (Prov. 24:16 NLT)
Never give up! A failure is someone who does nothing and gives up!
Remain in fellowship. Spending time with your Father keeps your relationship alive and helps your love for Him grow. The more you spend time with Him getting to know Him, the deeper your relationship will grow. The more you say NO to sin and trust in Jesus to live His life in and through you as you yield to Him, the less you'll sin. By allowing Christ in you and His Word to remold your words, thoughts, attitudes and actions from the inside out, you'll become more like Jesus
Christians will never be sinless.. but as they grow in their relationship with Jesus, they should sin... LESS!
As you become more like Jesus, you'll live like Jesus. Your life will be a walking, talking advertisement for Jesus and His Kingdom. You'll have His heart for people around you and see the world through His eyes. You'll introduce others to Jesus and help them find the way to heaven.
Nobody likes things that are fake and phony. There are a lot of fake and phony Christians in the world today. Don't you be one. If you are, you're hindering the work of The Kingdom Of God. Get right with God today.
BE THE REAL DEAL!!
Why do you think God created you? People come up with many answers. Some think it's to live like the rock band Kiss sings, "I want to rock and roll all night and party every day." I've heard people say things like, "God wants me to just have as much fun as possible, to make a positive difference in this world, to have a family, to be rich, to be a good person, to be a missionary, to do Kingdom work," and much more. Two of the most common questions kids ask are, "Why am I here? Why did God make me?"
However you came into this world, you can be sure that you are no mistake, you're not here by accident and God truly has a plan or purpose for your life. God isn't keeping it a secret from you or want you to guess what it is.
This is huge!
God created everything in existence through His Son Jesus Christ. God's book The Bible reveals, "Everything was created through him and for him." (Col. 1:16 NLT) "For you created everything and it's for your good pleasure that they exist and were created." (Rev. 4:11 NLT)
How awesome is that? The infinite, all-knowing, all-powerful, miracle working God, who spoke and the world came into existence, who knows the trillions of stars by name, who is incomprehensible, created you.... for himself!! You were created for God so he could enjoy a personal, forever love relationship with you. That blows my mind. I can't grasp it. Can you?
If the Bible says something it is true. It doesn't matter what your feelings may say, it's what God says that you must believe. You may think you're not good enough for God to want you, nobody cares about you or could love you, even God. But God says don't believe that lie. God says, "The bottom line is that I created you, I know all about you, I understand you, I know the good, bad and ugly about you. I simply want to enjoy you and love you.!" You need to get this into your heart. By faith, trust in what God says is true and believe it. Your feelings can fool you and mess you up. Not God. He never lies. The Bible says, "he cannot lie." (Titus 1:2 NLT)
Many people think once they're born, they already have a relationship with God. Not true. You exist as a creation of God, but you are not yet a Christian, member of God's family and one of his precious children. A Christian is someone who has a personal relationship with God. This relationship isn't something you're automatically born with, can buy or earn. Why? God says we are all born separated from him because of sin. "Your sins cut you off from God." (Isaiah 59:2 NLT)
All of us are born with sin in our hearts and cut off from God. Sin makes your heart dirty. Sin puts a wall up between you and God. "All have sinned and are not good enough for God's glory, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift." (
God is holy and pure. He hates all sin and it must be judged and punished. He can't accept a sin dirty heart into heaven. "The payment for sin is death, but the gift God gives freely is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 3:23 GWB) The punishment is to spend eternity separated from God in a place called hell. It's a horrendous place of agony and torment beyond all comprehension forever! Because of sin, everyone born is destined for hell.
You've probably seen the bumper sticker that says, "God Loves You!" You may wonder, "If God loves me, why would he send anyone to hell?" God never sends anyone to hell. He desires everyone to have a personal relationship with him and live with him forever in heaven. to guarantee this God provided a way for everyone to be made right with him, have their sins forgiven and be rescued from hell. The way of escape is Jesus. The Bible says instead of you being punished for your sins, God punished Jesus. He paid for your sins so you wouldn't have to.
The Bible says, "Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God's approval." (1 Peter 2:24 GWB)
That's great news for you!
Jesus shed his blood and died on a cross to provide a way for you to escape God's judgment, hell and spend eternity in heaven. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NIV) "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16:31 NLT) How cool is that? To have our sin dirty heart washed clean and made acceptable to God all you have to do is believe in Jesus, believe the Jesus is everything the Bible says he is. By faith, accept his death on the cross as payment for your sins.
Have you ever deliberately done that? Are you sure you're going to heaven when you die? Are you really a Christian and one of God's children? When you believe in Jesus you become God's precious child and God becomes your heavenly Father. "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12 NIV) When you simply come as you are to Jesus, believe in him and receive him into your life, your sin-dirty heart is washed clean. You're made acceptable to God. The wall between you and God comes down. You begin the most awesome love relationship you'll ever have with the God of all creation. It's a relationship you were created to have, but you must choose to have it. Then, you begin a life long process of becoming all God has designed you to be.
I want to help you to do that. But first, maybe you need to make sure you are a Christian and follower of Jesus. Genuinely pray this prayer from your heart:
God, I am a sinner. I am living my way, not yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe Jesus died for my sins, was buried in the grave and rose from the dead into heaven. I receive Jesus now into my heart and life. I'm all yours. Help me to turn from my sins and follow you all the days of my life. Thank you for loving me and rescuing me. Amen.
Congratulations. God wants your life to be all about Jesus now.
Christ lives in you. He comes to take control of your life
Now the journey begins or maybe you prayed the prayer because you drifted off the path following Jesus. The road ahead will be exciting. it may not always be easy, but Jesus is always with you. He'll see and know everything that is happening in your life. What he wants to see happen first and foremost is that you become like Christ. In these monthly articles we will journey together on the road to you becoming more like Jesus Christ. The journey won't end until you get to heaven. On the way there, you will experience all God created you for, all he created you to be and experience the relationship he created you for.