Thoughts from Youth Group tonight, partially my own thoughts, partially taken from a video we watched. Some are direct quotes from the video but I don’t know the name of it, anyways, it’s important.
I am valuable through the lenses of Christ. I am not perfect but I don’t have to be. I’m a child of God and I have a lot to offer. I may not have the gift of leadership, or of speech, I may not be good at common things but I have my own abilities. I’m a good photographer, I’m loyal, I love people but most important, God chose me.
I don’t have to fight for the approval of anyone and I don’t have to want acceptance from people. I have already been accepted and approved at the Cross. I don’t need more than that, there was nothing I had to do to earn it, it’s freely given.
When I don’t accept that I’m a sinner and when I’m not vulnerable and open with my fellow siblings in Christ, I’m not only pushing away those people, I’m pushing away Christ and His love and acceptance.
– This is the one I struggle with the most. I’m open here on my blog but I hate people seeing my weaknesses, my vulnerability and most people who actually know me, know that. I try to hide my feelings and never act weak but that’s not how I should be. It’s ok to be vulnerable sometimes, it’s even needed.
It’s ok that I’m unique, uniqueness is needed. Nothing would work if we all had the same talents and jobs.
If we don’t pursue humility, He will humble us. If we don’t pursue brokenness, He will break us and show us just how much we need Him.
Our mission is to always make Him known.
I am more than valuable, I am a child of God.
Today on Facebook, I had about 5 friends post this video. I watched it and was so touched by it that I had to share. Everything this man says is so true. Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus. When He was killed on that Cross two thousand years ago, He wasn’t thinking of Himself like any human would when they were being put to death, He was thinking of me, and of you, and of everyone that would ever walk this earth. He was thinking of how much He loves us all. This video is perfect because it truly describes Christianity, it’s not some religion, religion isn’t why we’re here. Religion kills innocent people on a daily basis. This is about a relationship, a loving, perfect relationship with someone who cares enough about you to die so you can live eternity in Heaven. And that to me is pretty amazing.
So my last post was about how I needed to stop worrying, so of course, God being awesome like he always is and having amazing timing ALL the time, made my Bible study tonight about contentment. To start off, my leader read a passage from a book called “Calm My Anxious Heart” by Linda Dillow. I’ve never read it but the section she read was great, what stuck out to me was a “Recipe for Contentment” Most amazing thing ever. It hit me so hard and this is definitely something I need to work on.
1. Never complain about anything. Not even the weather
– As I’ve previously discussed here, I’m actually currently working on doing that.. I have gotten better at not complaining… but still have a long way to go..
2. Never picture yourself in another circumstance or place.
3. Never compare your lot in life to another’s.
4. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
5. Never dwell on tomorrow. Remember, tomorrow is God’s, not ours.
Those just hit me so freaking hard, I really need to remember all of those, especially number 2, gah. I’m so bad at that. Also number 5 is a really good one. Ok, screw that, they’re all good.
In talking about contentment, we of course just discussed how we should always be content. For those of you not quite sure what that word means, you’re in luck! We went over the definition: Please and satisfied with what one has or is. Dang, I need that. Synonyms for the word are peace, assurance and trust. Such a good reminder for how I need to be.
We also went over some really awesome verses that I will now share with you. :)
Jeremiah 31:25 ~ For I have have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing.
Hebrews 13:5 ~ I will never fail you. I will never forsake you. (So good, back to my post a few weeks back about how I’ve been losing friends recently, no matter how many I lose and how much that hurts, God, the most important thing in my life will NEVER leave. Ever.)
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ~ Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Hosea 13:6 ~ When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. – This one was not actually very encouraging. It’s freaking heartbreaking. God provides everything for us and so often we forget Him. How could we do such things? Like what jerks are we that we forget the one who created us and gives us EVERYTHING? I’m nothing yet I’m such a brat sometimes.
Job 36:11 ~ If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperityand their years in contentment.
Philippians 4:11-13 ~ I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
That one, wow, I mean, almost everyone knows the last verse, but being content with everything, no matter what your circumstance. That’s a lesson I certainly could learn…
But yeah, I just loved this so much, and I totally needed it. Because I’m so stressed about stuff, and because I’m bad at being content I just really needed this a lot and I’m so thankful for it. God constantly amazes me with his awesomeness.
This entire week I’ve been feeling a bit sad and just discouraged, I found out for certain that the guy I really like does not feel the same way and though I was 99% sure that was the case before, I still had that stupid, girlish hope that he did and when I found out he didn’t it made me really sad. It doesn’t make any sense that it did crush me so much since I knew in my heart he didn’t but that’s how my feelings go. For any of you who have seen (500) Days of Summer, I’m Tom all the time, in every relationship and though this occasion was never a relationship so technically I wasn’t Tom here, that’s still how I felt/feel currently. Anyways, moral to the story, I was feeling really down this week and like I had mentioned a few posts back, recently I’ve just felt like a complete and total failure. I know that God is always here for me and that He has awesome plan for my life but right now I just can’t see it and it makes me kind discouraged. However, as always, God had an awesome plan of how to show me that I shouldn’t be so discouraged and should just listen to Him and focus on His will for me. First off, let me tell you about the guy RA (Resident Assistant) for my floor, who is one of the coolest people ever. He’s a really strong Christian and definitely one of my role models for life. His faith is always so encouraging to me and every time he talks I can just see Christ in him so much, he inspires me to be better at living out my faith. Anyways, last night he came and pulled me aside and told me that in his talking to God a few days back he received a message from God that was specifically for me saying that I am beautiful and God delights in me. I think there was something else too but literally him telling me that when he had no idea how I was feeling and knowing that God told him to tell me that was amazing. I almost broke down crying in front of him because it meant so much. God has blessed me with the most amazing floor ever for my dorm this year, I know I’ve mentioned that before but all of them have blessed me and it’s amazing that my RA (Both of them, Kendra the girls RA is my roommate and was last year as well) is such an awesome role model and inspiration for me. It’s so awesome to see God work like that, it made me feel so much better and easily made my week. God is just so amazing, I can never say that enough.
Tonight I had Bible study like I do most Wednesday night’s at home but tonight’s was especially good. Today we were reading in 1 Corinthians (and a little bit in 2 Corinthians) and discussing how no matter what someone has done, it’s never too late for them to accept God. The only unforgivable sin there is, is not accepting Jesus. It’s super awesome when you think about it, Jesus, the ONLY person in the ENTIRE history or future of the world to be born without sin took our sin by dying on the Cross just so we could live. That’s how much God loves us! The Devil constantly wants us to think that we’re not good enough and try to convince us that God won’t accept us because of sins we’ve committed but that’s a total lie! God loves us all. When Jesus died for our sins, He died for the sins of the ENTIRE world, even the people who won’t become Christians, which honestly is one of the saddest thing I could think about. I mean, it’s a free gift, waiting for them to accept, and some never do. All our sins are paid for, it’s a gift that God is anxiously waiting to give us all. He doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell but He gave us all free will so we could choose for ourselves (so He wouldn’t be a dictator or anything) We’re loved that much, enough that Jesus was tortured and killed on that Cross for us. We’re so loved! Even though sometimes our earthly friends and family seems like they don’t love us that much, we can all remember that we are all incredibly and unfathomably loved. It’s so amazing to think about. It makes me happy and hopeful inside. :)
When we accept Christ, He automatically forgives our sins and forgets about them. In the Bible it says that our sins are now at the bottom of the ocean when we ask God for forgiveness, never to be remembered again. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. God says that all sins are the same in His eyes, it doesn’t matter if we’ve just told a little white lie or whether we’ve murdered someone, all sins are the same in God’s eyes. But when we accept Him, He forgives us and makes us completely new people. Of course we’ll still screw up once we’re Christians, I mean, heck, I mess up all the time but God is always going to forgive us! All we have to do is ask.
14 Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.15 He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore.Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:14-20
In the month of February at my church here at college, it’s Missions Month all month where we have speakers talking about missionaries and going and being good witnesses and such. Today the speaker talked about how it is our responsibility to further the kingdom of God. We need to pray for more laborers in the field but we also need to be the laborers.
Laborers = The Solution
Laborers = Passion
Laborers = In the Harvest
Passion comes from the word Pathos which means suffering and enduring. That’s how we need to be for Christ, suffering and enduring! The opposite of passion is apathy, without suffering, indifference towards what should excite us! The ultimate passion in life was Christ on the cross, and when we lose sight of that passion, we tend to lose passion for the lost, unbelievers around us. Jesus saved us because He had passion for us, NOT because we deserved it, because we didn’t deserve it at all!
At the end of the service, the speaker gave us a passion assessment, which was particularly moving. He asked us:
– How do we spend our free time?
Do we spend it pleasing God? Do we spend it all on the tv/computer?
– How do we spend our money?
– What kind of conversations do we have with unbelievers?
Do we talk to them about God or do we talk about unimportant things with them?
– How do we talk with believers?
Do we ask how their walk is going or do we talk about things that don’t matter?
– How do we spend our summers?
Pleasing us or pleasing God?
In the end, we will be judged for all of those things, that hit me really hard, I mean, I don’t really do stuff that’s bad or anything but I don’t always do things for the Glory of God either, and I need to!
For some verses on this wonderful subject, check out these!
– Titus 3:3-5
– 2 Timothy 2:2
– Ephesians 5:15-17
– 2 Corinthian 5:21
Last night at Navigators (Bible study here at college) the speaker talked about the story in John 5 about the crippled man who has spent several years waiting at a pool to be healed. For those of you who don’t know the story, every so often an Angel of the Lord would come stir up the pool and the first person to get in it, would be healed. Because this man was crippled, and had been for quite some time (38 years in fact!) he couldn’t get to the pool in time to be healed and was quite upset about it. Jesus came to the pool one day and asked the man if he wanted to be healed, the man didn’t realize who Jesus was and instead of simply saying yes, he just explained the reasons why he hadn’t been healed already, such as he had no one to help him down to the pool. What he didn’t realize was that Jesus could’ve healed him right there. That’s what Jesus wants, is to just heal us. He wants to heal us from all of the crap in our lives, all the sin, all the hurt and pain we have. When He asked to heal us, He wants us to just say yes, He doesn’t want us to make excuses about how we haven’t healed ourselves. Sometimes, we don’t want to let go of our sins, we want to just hold onto them and try to handle our lives by ourselves without His help. The truth is, no matter how we feel, we’re always gonna be better with His help, we need to let go and ask for His help and surrender our lives to Him. It will always be worth it. We just have to surrender. ♥
I have seen the many faces of fear and of pain
I have watched the tears fall plenty from heartache and strain
So if life’s journey has you weary and afraid
There’s rest in the shadow of His wings