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From a dreaded nightmare to pleasant reality

I was scared. "NO WAYS!!!", was my response. "I will never do that! I hate talking in front of people, I don't want to be poor, and I don't want to be responsible for other people!"


When I was in high school, about 16-17 years old, my youth pastor once told me that he saw me becoming a pastor in the future and it freaked me out. It was just one short little conversation, but for some reason that conversation kept playing in my mind ever since. At every crossroad in my life, those words, "I see you becoming a pastor" was one that I kept rejecting. Basically, anything besides that would be fine!


1997 - 16 years old Justin Lucero #50

1998 - I want to be rich!

2000 - I want to be a little kids teacher!

2001 - I want to be a high school counselor!

2002 - I want to serve in the kids ministry!

2002 - I want to serve in the Jr. High Ministry!

2005 - I want to be a missionary in Japan!

2006? - I want to serve in the High School Ministry!

2007 - I'm moving to Japan!

2009 - I want to HELP plant churches! (notice the emphasis on "help," not lead)


Aside from becoming rich, everything else are things I said I NEVER ever wanted to do!

But each time, God opened my heart to the next step of His plan so that I desired doing it, and that ultimately lead me to where I am today. At every crossroad in my life those words kept haunting me:


"I see you becoming a pastor."


Then in 2016, something strange happened!

God gave me an unshakeable conviction to plant a church in my neighborhood.

It was the strong and determined, yet kind and gentle voice of God. The voice was not trying to scare me, but prepare me for something I was afraid to do. I was scared to become what God was training and preparing me to be.


One day, I finally said something I never thought I would say:


"I can see myself becoming a pastor!"


GC Grand Opening 11112018
My nightmare that became a pleasant reality (Photo Credit: Matt Chen)

On 2018.11.11 at the beginning of my 11th year in Japan, my dreaded nightmare became a pleasant reality! The Gospel Center had its grand opening. Something that I avoided being for so long, is actually now something that I love.


Just to make things clear, being a pastor doesn't make me great or special. Jesus is great, Jesus is special. The pastor is a shepherd, teacher, and overseer of the church - a servant of God, and a servant of people. When I was younger, I only wanted to serve myself. I think you probably can relate.


The reason why I didn't want to become a pastor was because I wanted the "finer things in life", but Jesus became my treasure so now I am rich beyond my imagination. I was too scared to talk in front of people, but Jesus became my confidence, and through that my desire for people to know Jesus through the Bible grew. I did not want to be responsible for other people's spiritual health, but I realized that it is only the Holy Spirit that can save a person and enable them to persevere, not me; my role is to love and teach the Word as faithfully as I can.


What's the point of this blog?


God's ways are higher and better than yours!


Surrender your life to Jesus and you will become a person you never dreamed of and you will do things you dreaded and thought to be impossible, and you love doing it! Following Jesus brings blessings and hardships, but a relationship with Jesus is priceless, it is the most precious thing that I have and I wouldn't trade it for the world.


Will you not accept the love of Jesus and become a child of God?

Will you not accept the good things God has prepared for you to do before he even created the world?

Don't be like me, don't fight and run away for so long. It is best to stop fearing and start faith-ing (I just made that word up, it's not real).


Please pray for me and The Gospel Center.


God bless you

Justin

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