I have a new website! You will be redirected to my brand new blog. Cory Nickols: April 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Power Of Jesus' Resurrection

Jesus paid an enormous price so that we could be in relationship with Him. He took cowards and made them courageous followers that would boldly influence the society in which they lived. He also took broken people that the world despised and transformed them with His power to become overcomers! Listen to Cory Nickols inspiring message, "The Power of Jesus' Resurrection" he spoke on Easter Sunday.

The Power Of Jesus' Resurrection

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Label Are You Wearing?

Have you ever been labeled a certain way because of your past mistakes or poor choices you made? Maybe you have gone through a marriage that didn’t workout the way you thought it should and it ended in divorce and people labeled you as “Divorced:. Or maybe you had premarital sex and you were known as the promiscuous woman in town by the church goers or your next door neighbor. Maybe your family members never went to college and they told you that you are not smart enough to get a college education. What label has the world or the Devil put on you?

When I was sixteen years old, I was sexually abused and that experience allowed the Devil to come into my life in perverted ways. In college, I started having these homosexual thoughts enter my mind and I gave into them. I was so ashamed and had piles of condemnation heaped on top of me for many years. I would listen to religious people, even Christians say the harshest comments about people who had struggled or were even caught in homosexuality. They labeled me as “washed up”, “no good” “dirty sinner”. Yet, it seemed to me they thought they were better than me and others who had some difficult challenges to overcome. These attitudes from others caused me to sink into depression and I built walls around my life, not letting people get too close for fear they might put more labels on me! Fear became a regular part of my life. I learned that people many times judge a book by its cover but never take the time to read the pages within. In other words, people don’t take the time to discover a person’s journey of how he became who he is today. It was through this difficult season of my life that I learned some of the greatest truths of the Gospel! Jesus hung out with sinners and tax collectors and came to set them free – people pushed aside by religious leaders. He showed mercy to those who did not deserve it and offered hope and His healing hand!

Matthew 9:9-12 (Amplified Bible)
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's office; and He said to him, Be My disciple [side with My party and follow Me]. And he rose and followed Him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and [b][especially wicked] sinners came and sat (reclined) with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Master eat with tax collectors and those [preeminently] sinful?” But when Jesus heard it, He replied, “Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.”

Jesus came to set sinners free from addictions and wrong ways of thinking. He came to give them life and life more abundantly by paying the price of sin through His death and resurrection. He came to empower people through His Holy Spirit to be more than conquerors. Jesus reached down into my world and pulled me out of the dumps of despair and took the label that others put on me and gave me a new label. He said to me, “You are not gay, but a Man of God and I am going to transform you into a vessel I can use to set others free!” The Bible says,

2 Corinthians 5:17 (Amplified Bible) 
Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

When I placed my trust and confidence in Jesus Christ, I became right with God and God gave me a new nature that wanted to please Him. Little by little, I began to believe the truths of the Bible that I am loved unconditionally and that God has a good plan for my life. These thoughts began to run deep within my soul and began to affect every facet of my life. I held my head up high because I knew I was loved and valued by God and that He can transform sinners into mighty followers of Him. My life was not washed up, but just beginning! He took the shameful labels off and replaced them with Child of the Most High God, More Than A Conqueror, Forgiven, Man of God.  Will you let God replace the labels that people have tried to place on you with the truth of His Word? God loves you and believes in you. He can heal your broken heart, restore your life and give you something to live for once again! Will you let Him?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Be You

Have you ever compared your life with someone else’s? Maybe you were going through a rough season and your best friend seemed to have everything going for him. Or maybe God was asking you to do something that He was not asking others to do and you asked God, “why don’t they have to do that too?” Maybe you were comparing your abilities and talents to someone else’s and you didn’t think you measured up. When we look from our vantage point, life can seem very confusing, but what I have learned along the journey of life is that God has a unique plan for each person and a personal relationship that requires trust. We are not always going to understand why we face the challenges we do or why some people seem like they have everything going for them while we are going through one trial after another. The Bible says in John 21:17b-22

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

Peter began to question why Jesus wanted him to die a certain kind of death and not the other disciple. Peter, probably a little frustrated, said, “what about him?”  Jesus’ response was so powerful, “As for you, follow me.” God never asks us to look at what someone else is doing, but He requires us to trust Him that His plan for our life is good. He wants us to keep our eyes on Him and let Him lead us wherever He may take us and that looks different for each person. We all have a tailor made calling that no one else can exactly fill except us.  

Two weeks ago I was a youth leader at a youth camp, and I found myself comparing my life to that of other youth leaders. I asked God, “Why are you asking me to openly share so many areas of my life with people, but You are not asking the others to do the same?” The fear of rejection of what people might think as I share stories from my past tried to overcome me and I found myself in a place where it was hard to move forward with God. God gently reminded me that He has a unique plan for my life and I am not to try and be like someone else nor compare what He asks me to do with what He asks of each of them. He wants simple obedience from me. Despite my fear at times, I have learned to walk out what God has asked me to do. Faith is not the absence of fear, but the courage to move forward despite it! God plainly asked me to follow Him! Every step of obedience I have taken to let God lead me, I have seen so many cool doors of opportunity open for me in ministry. The difficulties and failures in my life were preparing me for what God called me to do. With out them, I could not reach the people God wanted me to reach nor understand the depth of God’s love for me. I look back and I am so thankful for my life because I now know that God can redeem any past and use it for immense good! The world doesn’t need a carbon copy of another person, business, ministry or church. The world needs you functioning the way God created you to be. Embrace His plan for your life and start using the gifts and talents He gave you. You will stand amazed at what God can do through you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hope: Freedom From Sexual Addiction

Are you facing a sexual addiction that you cannot overcome? Do you feel condemned for the mistakes you have made and do not believe that God could forgive you? Or do you know a loved one facing these strongholds and want to see them free from these powerful addictions? Then read Cory Nickols latest newspaper article: Hope: Freedom From Sexual Addictions.