So are you all know, recently I’ve been struggling with loneliness and just feeling sort of dissatisfied with how things are going this year. Which is silly, because really things are going swimmingly even if they’re not going exactly as I had wished. But last night, Carrie and I were talking after dinner about how though we know we’re in the places we’re supposed to be this year on campus, we’re still dissatisfied and happy with things and we just have the feeling for something different. We were both feeling this way and then after we split ways, we ended up both having incredible conversations with new friends about the work God is preparing us to do this year. It was cool. I ended up getting to talk to one of the guys on my new floor about his faith and how several of the other guys are really working at evangelizing to people and just fully loving them. He also told me that for several years in this dorm that there has been incredible male, Christian leadership but there’s been a lack of female Christians and that last year he was praying for a strong Christian girl to come over and voila, here I am. So that was incredible since I was so obviously called by God to be over here anyways. It’s also humbling to find out you are an answer to prayer.
So yeah, last night was super encouraging and incredible and then this morning at church the message seemed completely aimed at me and Carrie.
The pastor talked about how God shows us our need for His word through humbling circumstances in our lives. One example of this was when God led the Israelites into the wilderness to live for 40 years. He was testing them, to expose their true hearts and humble them. He wanted them to have real faith, not just have God as a crutch simply because He had always provided in the past. He wanted them to see exactly how much they needed Him. Man doesn’t live on bread alone, they need to live on everything God has to offer. It was really cool hearing that because clearly I’m not as bad off as the Israelites but I can sympathize with how they felt. Completely out of their comfort zone, away from things they’ve known and into where they had to fully depend on God for everything. Even their food, they didn’t have any, they ate manna that literally came from the word of God, if God hadn’t spoken that food into existence each day they would have starved, but He did. He always provides. I really see a parallel of that in my own life because now that I’m away from the people I’ve depended on, my crutch, so to speak, I have to depend on His next move, not just trying to make my own way.
If we don’t feel like we have to have God for everything, if we feel like we can do anything ourselves, we become proud and we forget to lean on God like we should. We need Him to just be God.
We have to risk it, sometimes, it’s going to be easier to just stay when it’s comfortable and familiar. You’ve been hurt before and you’re so scared of that happening again that you’ll just stay where you are to avoid the pain again. But God has a plan, just listen to what His will is. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt or disappointed again because God will make it work, He has a perfect plan and He will make everything right in the end.
Today at church we had a really good message as always. We went over Romans 12 which is always a passage I enjoy and we talked about how as a church and as the Body of Christ we are completely a family and we need to love each other fully. No faking our love, no judging, forgiving when we need it and always supporting one another. We also talked about how in families there are messes, people make mistakes but you don’t kick them out of the family, you forgive and support them and help them learn from their mistakes and grow.
Romans 12 has a whole lot of really good insights that I enjoy and really need to continue putting into practice in my life. I figured since some stood out to me, I should just outline them here!
– Verses 3 – 5: Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
Isn’t that something to think about? “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.” I know I and a lot of others often either make ourselves out to be better or worse than we really are, but we shouldn’t do that. We need to be honest with ourselves and others and realize you know what, we’re all sinners, we all have faults. God is good and we need to represent that.
– Verse 9: Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
Out of all of them, today this one probably stuck out the most, probably because I have struggled with fake love, I’ve seen how it hurts others and how it’s hurt me, people just pretending to be there but never really caring, and it sucks. I never want to be someone who just pretends to love. I’ve been in the opposite position to many times to let someone get hurt by me in that way.
– Verses 13 – 15: When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Ah. As I’m going through this I just want to talk about almost every verse because they’re all so perfect. For real, this might be my favorite chapter of the Bible. I love this! Also be ready to help! Yes, we all are supposed to have that servant’s heart that Christ ALWAYS had. We have to. And when people are being mean or looking down on us for something we need to pray that God will bless them. We are supposed to love them. Definitely one of my weak points…
Ok. As far as verse dissection I’m done because it’s late and I need to finish this so I don’t die at work tomorrow. But basically, we just need to love people. Always. No matter what they’re doing to us. Also, we’re a family and we need to treat each other as such. As a real family, the kind you see in movies where people treat each other right, the way God intended loved ones to treat each other.
Last night I went on an adventure with my Bible study where we hiked through the woods to the river. We had a lot of fun, playing in the river, digging ourselves into the sand, roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire and enjoying each others company but my favorite part of the night was when one of the guys pulled out his guitar and sang some of our favorite worship songs. It was amazing, being out under the stars, staring at the fire and being in complete and utter worship of God and His amazing creations.
During the time of worship, as I was sitting there running the sand through my hands and worshiping I thought of a truth I had often heard in life but hadn’t really stopped to think about. God knows the number of every grain of sand in every beach and sand bar in the universe. Now granted, compared to all the other millions of marvelous unbelievable things He does that might not seem like a crazy revelation but think about that, I couldn’t even count like 5 grains of sand before I got overwhelmed and gave up. Not only does he know how much sand there is but He created all that! And if He cares enough to know how much sand there is, think about how much He cares about us, creations that can think and speak and worship Him!
It just really got me thinking, even those grains of sand, that seem insignificant are important to Him and so are we, and all of our problems.
God is super cool, guys. :)
I need to get better at loving people. There are some people I just have a hard time doing so to. It’s not exactly like I’m judging them and I’m certainly not at hating them, it’s just I don’t love them like I should. I let people frustrate me that are granted frustrating people at times but I need to learn to look deeper and work on treating them how Jesus would if he were the one in the situation. Obviously I’m not perfect like He is so that’s not always going to happen but I need to at least try and work with God on this. Which I don’t always… I just let them irritate me or complain about how people act and don’t look deeper and just treat them in my heart like God wants me to.
It’s not good and as much as I claim to act like a Christian and be one, I can’t truly act like Christ until I get this not-loving thing under control.
So, for anyone wanting to pray for me, that would be something I would deeply appreciate prayer about. :)
The other day I wrote about the Francis Chan sermon I had listened to on YouTube, “When God Doesn’t Listen”, in addition to what I wrote about the other day there were some other points he made that I wanted to make sure I wrote about, judgement.
Unfortunately in today’s world, many people who call themselves Christians are under the impression that God calls us to judge others. The truth about the subject of judgement is actually completely opposite of what most seem to think, we as Christians ARE NOT in any way called to judge people who are not Christians, that’s God’s job, not ours, ours is just to love those people with the love that God has given us. But, also something that most people don’t realize is this, we’re supposed to judge those in the church. People who call themselves Christians yet live in sin not only hurt themselves and those they’re around them but the whole body. If we’re wrong before God, we take others down with us, if we’re sinning, we hurt ourselves, and if we’re part of the body, hurting ourselves hurts and makes the whole body sick. This isn’t just about one of us sinning, it’s about all of us in the body of Christ. We can’t all be in unity if we’re living double lives and hiding things.
I thought that was an interesting point that I had really never thought of before. I always just thought about how we weren’t supposed to judge anyone at all, that our job was to love. But looking at the verses he mentioned in his sermon, it is our job to call other Christians out for their sin, to let them know they need to stop and if they don’t we need to, as the Bible says, “have nothing more to do with them”, that seems a bit harsh but if people aren’t following the Bible but are still living in God’s name, harshness is what they need. And certainly if they eventually turn from their sin and start living for God again, we should most definitely be the first ones to welcome them back with open, loving arms.
Just something to think about.
1 Corinthians 5:12 – What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside
Titus 3:10-11 – If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.
Matthew 18: 15-20 – “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbidt on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permitt on earth will be permitted in heaven. “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Since today is 4th of July, and in America it is Independence Day, I am going to be off celebrating with a couple of friends and therefore don’t have time to really write (I’ll probably write a meaningful post tomorrow!) but it was convenient timing because I found this brilliant post on Tumblr, by one of my favorite blogs, Leeyounger that not only do I 100% agree with but thought it was super wise and completely amazing!
Please Don’t Settle for a Sucky Marriage by LeeYounger on Tumblr:
You want to be married. I get it. Trust me, I get it. I wanted to be married my whole life. I was thinking seriously about marriage when I was 9 years old, no kidding. I know you want to be hitched more than you want just about anything else, but please, please, please don’t settle for anything less than a marriage that will rock your face off for decades to come and beyond.
Here’s what I mean by that:
Don’t mess around with people who don’t love Jesus. Just don’t. I mean, look – there is the very slightest chance in hell that you might lead this person to the Lord and then overnight they will become the strong, passionate and dedicated kind of believer that really pushes you to grow more in the Lord; but good heavens, that’s only the slightest chance and let’s face it – that never happens, ever. The truth is, a marriage without Jesus in it is doomed from the start. It takes an almost impossible amount of humility and cooperation to be married, happy and in love for decades. Only Jesus can empower that kind of self-sacrifice, patience and servant-hearted love. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything that will last very many storms. (And you will have storms)
Marry someone who freaking LOVES Jesus. I mean, you don’t have to tell them to love Jesus, they just love Him all by themselves. Their love for Him encourages you to seek the Lord more.
Marry someone who blows you away. If all this person has is good looks, move on – and do it today. You want someone who makes you laugh. You want someone who impresses you. You want someone who makes you get on your face and worship Jesus for His creative genius!
Marry someone who cherishes you. You want someone who makes you feel like a rock star, a superhero and the world’s best-kept-secret all rolled into one.
Marry someone who wants to serve the Lord. There is no better way to grow in love than loving others in ministry. And, there’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than serving the Lord together as a team with your mate!
Marry your best friend. I cannot stress this enough. When something terrible happens, who do you want to call? When something amazing happens, who do you text first? When you’re dog-tired and you just want to crash and you don’t want to see the face of any other human beings in the whole world, who is the only living soul that you want to be with in that moment?
Don’t settle for less. When you marry, you’re stuck. You’re captured. The question is, will you be glad that you’re captured? Will you be captivated and committed? Tell God what you want and trust Him to work it out beautifully in His time.
The other day, I was watching a Francis Chan sermon on YouTube. For any of you who don’t know, Francis Chan is a pastor, speaker and author who is absolutely incredible and has some absolutely outstanding insights! His book Crazy Love I am currently reading and has been absolutely life changing.
Anyways, I was watching one of his sermons – “What to Do When God Doesn’t Listen” and was really struck by something he said, he talked about how being a Christian is basically being a fan of God, and when you’re a fan of something (He used NASCAR as the example), you know everything about that thing, and are really passionate about it and talk about it all the time. Obviously this resonated with me since I am a huge fangirl of Doctor Who, The Avengers, Harry Potter and countless other things that in the scheme of things, don’t really matter, and he’s right! I know so many countless, useless facts about all my fandoms and am truly a fan, everyone knows within like an hour of knowing me all the fandoms that I obsess over, and I try to make sure they know I’m a Christian too, and even more so I try to live in a Christian way so they can see my beliefs through my actions but how often does that happen? When people think of things I’m a fan of, do they think of me being a fan of God? Or being a fan of the Avengers, Loki and Tom Hiddleston? I’m a little bit afraid of the answer, honestly. I mean, I know that all my friends know about my faith, and even people I’ve known for a little while that I don’t know well know that too. But I think that should be the first thing people know about me, that I’m a fan of God.
So, that’s what I plan on working towards now, being a fan of God, Him being the number 1 thing in my life, as He always should be.