Archive for Obedience

God’s Calling for Our Lives

Sometimes, I feel afraid to live out my dreams. Everyone in this world that you run into, has an effect on you, whether you realize it or not. The people I am surrounded by make me feel so small, like I don’t even matter. I’ve always felt sincerely inadequate at some time in my life.

Loving God gives me purpose in life, but it doesn’t eliminate my feeling of alienation and inadequacy. I am trying to learn to be careful. This world can be very heartless and it will be quick to try to shut you up when you start talking about dreams.

People, left and right, will make you feel like your dreams and life are stupid because of what you want to do. I feel terrified everyday because I want to be on stage, playing music, worshipping God. Like a rockstar but I don’t have to be famous at all. I simply want to be on stage, worshipping God through the music I write.

People will tell me I can’t make money from that, or tell me I need a real job, but that’s what I want to do. Then later in life, when I’m a lot older, I feel called to preach. I am sure when I start really pursuing that, people will make me feel like my dreams are stupid at some point.

It also depends on who you surround yourself with. If you have loving, supportive friends, they will tell you to go on with your dreams. But there always seems to be some ‘realist’ who claims these dreams are unrealistic and unattainable.

I have sat in classrooms year after year trying to wrap my head around my dreams. I no doubt feel God nudging me in this direction, which is always important in deciding your goals in life.

But I feel so terrified sometimes that I try to imagine myself doing anything else: teaching in a school, working at a desk job, being a waitress, a nurse, fireman, vet, chef, anything else. But year after year, I turn back to music. Nothing else feels right besides singing and worshipping God right now. When I write music, I feel my happiest. There isn’t anything more satisfying than finishing a song and singing to Jesus.

Other people may act like writing music is so difficult, but it has always come so naturally to me. I hear rhythms and melodies in my head, I hear guitars playing, and I write them down. Poetic verses flow out effortlessly, and then I pick up my guitar and start creating music.

It’s healing for my soul, it’s freedom from this box called my life. I just want to scream how happy it makes me. Music and God, God and music. I write songs left and write, post them on YouTube, desperately try to find somewhere to play or a band to play with.

I say all of that to say this. In life, God will definitely call us to do certain things. They are not always what we expect. One time, when my mom was younger, she heard God told her that she was supposed to work with children, and she was like, “Ugh, I hate children!” I hope she doesn’t still feel the same way, seeing how I am… her child. I am guessing she was pretty young at the time, like me. But sometimes, God calls us to do things that we are naturally gifted at, like music, for me.

The point is, in this crazy mixed-up life, he will call us to do things that we love and things that we don’t really care for. But he has a reason for wanting us to do those things. Most of the time, we don’t understand why he wants what he want for us, at least not at the time. Over time, if we trust him and do what he asks us to do, it will be revealed to us. He will teach you things you never knew before, show you how to look at life from a different from perspective.

I have a friend named Meg who was working on pursuing architecture in school. But she felt God was wanting her to do something in English, instead. She told me that at first it was really odd, but the more she looked into it, the more she realized it made sense and how English was for her. If she just ignored his voice, she could have missed out on something fabulous. It’s interesting how people will resist God over and over and when they finally decide to listen to him, he *gasp* actually knew what he was talking about! Imagine that. 😀

I find it shocking that after my mom rejected her calling so many years ago, even today, she will sometimes talk about the idea of children’s books. She always wants me to pursue that because of my artistic skills, but she may have actually been writing those books her self if she would have listened.

The point is, when we listen to God, it feels like a huge risk, but it is the greatest investment you can ever make. I am learning in my walk with Christ that trust is so vital. He will take us to new levels and give us new and better understanding. He will help us live our lives to the fullest if we would only trust and obey him. We’ve got to stop making doing what we want the number one priority, and start making what he wants us to do number one.

He can make us happier than we can make ourselves. He created us, and understands us through and through; our every mechanism, our every heart beat, our every thought and our every feeling. He understands why we do everything that we do, better than we do. So why not trust him? We may only see one path on this map of our life, but he sees all the paths. And guess what? I can assure you that he knows how to get to every destination along the way.

At the end of the day, we cannot be bullied out of his plans for us by what the world says. They will say we are wrong, we are inadequate, and make us feel like failures if we let them. If we hold tight to Jesus and continue to have faith, we will see the beautiful reality of all his plans for us. The world wants to try to take that away from you. We cannot let our own arrogance or the arrogance of others get the best of us.

God is waiting for you to trust him.

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Opening Up

I have a tendency to bottle things up inside. I am a partially introverted person, and if something is bothering me, I rarely let it show. I just thought this would be a post to really let out how frustrated I feel.

I love God with all my heart, and I always have since I have welcomed him into my life. But this life gets so unbearably difficult. Me and my friends go through so much. I deal with extreme depression sometimes, where it feels like everyone hates me, especially God.

Sometimes, I feel like he pushes me too hard, and he seems so scary sometimes. I feel like I don’t have control over my life and that I don’t know how to connect with him. I think these feelings just stem from my depression.

He really hurts me sometimes… or, I guess I shouldn’t say he hurts me, but that he lets me go on feeling hurt. When my heart is broken, I will pour out how I feel to him and he doesn’t stop the hurt. Sometimes, he does, but it takes a lot of patience.

I just find it hard to understand why he pushes me to the edge and forces me to be so patient all the time. I feel like I have to wait for him to move in everything. Letting him have that control isn’t a bad thing. But it’s hard being patient when you are in a lot of pain. Sometimes, I think about hurting myself, but I am sure that is part of my depression.

Anyway, the point of this post is because I wanted to stop feeling like I was hiding. I deal with problems, just like everyone else. It’s a very humbling feeling. Life can be fun, but it can be really difficult, too. The important
part about having faith in God is seeing beyond all the pain, beyond all the hurt, and understanding that no matter how bad it gets, He will give you strength to overcome the madness in the end.

It’s so easy to have faith when your world is perfect. It’s harder when your grandma passes away that you love so much; it’s harder when you deal with depression and suicide crosses your mind from time to time.

It’s hard when you watch your friends struggle and can’t seem to understand why they struggle. It’s hard when nothing in your world goes right, to still have faith in Christ. But it is necessary.

Think about it!

Jesus was perfect, He saved us all. But his life was certainly no walk in the park. People mocked him, beat him, spit on him, yelled at him, cursed him, they hurt the ones he loved. He only loved them with all his heart, and still, they plotted to kill him, and eventually succeeded.

With all of his horrible misfortunes, he could have looked at his life and screamed at the Father for putting him through it. He could have turned his back on us and ignored us because we are such a horrible people. But he didn’t. Think about the outcome of life, what it would be like, if he hadn’t suffered for us. He still had faith despite his misfortune.

People get the idea of faith wrong. Faith is not the absence of fear, but instead, it is choosing to trust in the midst of that fear. It’s realizing that life gets tough, but you don’t give up on God because of it, seeing how he did not give up on us.

Just because Jesus suffered didn’t mean that God didn’t have great plans for him. He was a most faithful servant and now he rules the world, the universe. God noticed when he tolerated all that pain for his sake, and he made him ruler over everything.

I know I feel broken down and left behind sometimes, but God notices when I suffer for him. He notices when I put on a brave face, despite my fears and stresses and problems, and still continue to love him.I get depressed, my life is a mess half of the time. I feel alienated and alone often. Some days, I wake up in so much pain I can’t even get out of bed. But I still find strength despite the madness, because I will be faithful to Jesus as he has been faithful to me.

Faith is not easy. That is why many people turn away from it. Trusting God in the midst of our problems is not easy, but still, it is necessary. I keep pushing on through my pain and discomfort because I have faith that God will see me through it in the end.

Don’t. give. up!

Jesus is your: Example! Con’t

“Whoever says that he lives in God must live as Jesus lived.” 1 John 2:6

Okay. This is how you weed out a lot of the hypocrites and liars. People like to say that they live in God, claiming to be Christian and loving Jesus and acting like that is who they are. But the way they live doesn’t reflect this at all. If you are a true Christian, you have had a genuine change in heart; death of your old self, and you become a live in Christ. Now with this change of heart, the Holy Spirit starts to live in you, and he helps you to grow more as a Christian.

This internal change in heart eventually affects you so much that it transforms into external action. It’s like a well of life and love fills up your heart and bubbles, running over the sides, until it affects everything you do. So if you are a genuine follower of Christ, you will feel such love and excitement, and you can’t really hold in how you feel, you need to tell the world. So your heart for God will reflect into how you live and the things you do.

You should gradually become more Christ-centered. Jesus should become more and more important, and you should become less important. So if your actions are not good, like if you are constantly doing the wrong things, hanging with the wrong people, and you are not compelled to change or you don’t feel convicted, and it doesn’t really bother you, you have not had the change in heart.

So it starts with the heart. My friend claimed to be Christian but nothing in his life really reflected it, so I can’t see the change. Those who are changed are compelled to live as Christ lived, loving and sharing and teaching as Jesus did. They gradually become more humble and more focused on Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven.

So if you really live in God, you must live as Jesus lived! Follow his awesome example. We can’t be perfect like him, and we will definitely screw up a lot, but we have to at least try, that is what he wants us to do.

Jesus is your: Example!

“This is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and gave you an example to follow. So you should do as he did.” 1 Peter 2:21

Jesus is our example. He suffered for us, sacrificed for us. So we should be willing to take up our cross and do the same! He was always humble and very loving to people. We should follow his example and humble ourselves and love others. He was very faithful to God, being obedient to the point of death.

Therefore, we should be obedient to God and to him. He told people about the Gospel, and we are all called to share the Gospel. If we don’t tell, no one will know, no one will be saved and changed. It’s so necessary to read the bible and start to understand how Jesus lived, so we can live in the same way. Being graceful to others, pushing sin out of our lives, working hard in Christ, doing what he tells us. 🙂

Paradox: Become Greater By Becoming Less

We, as human beings, want to be treated like we are the greatest people ever. In our own sinful, selfish nature, we naturally want to put ourselves before others, be taken care of first, put everyone else second. We say “my life is about ME, ME, ME.” In our walk with Christ, our own evil heart wants to be the center of attention, we want to make decisions for OUR lives, we don’t want Jesus to make them for us. WE want to lead. WE always have the answers.

But that’s an interesting paradox when it comes to living for Jesus:

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 10:26-28

We must put ourselves last to become first. To Christ, humility shows much greater strength and deserves much more honor than pride does. A proud man in God’s sight is a wicked man, he is about himself, not concerned with the wellbeing of others, so long as he gets what he desires.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:3-11

So essentially, because Christ, who in his nature is God, decided to humble himself and be a servant and serve others, rather than trying to be equal with God the Father, God made him the greatest person, ruling over all the others. Because of his complete humility and obedience and willingness to be beneath others, God honored him and gave him glory and gave him everything.

Strange paradox, but true. When we fight the desire in our heart to be first, and instead truly desire to serve others, help them when they are in need, show them how to live upright lives for God, and take care of their needs before we worry about our own, God will take care of us. When we make ourselves like nothing, we will bring him glory and he will honor us, and we will be the most blessed.

It’s because God admires humility so much. When we put others first, he puts us first. He loves humility because when we are humble, he really gets to be in charge of our lives, and we help others more, love others more, are more compassionate, caring, and we can change the world with such love. Humility means we stop being arrogant and recognize that others have needs, too. We serve others, and these other people we serve are God’s children, and he sees how we help them. To become great in God’s sight, we have to become less. We have to be second, instead of being first.

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5

Jesus was abused, cursed at, spit on, died on a cross for us. He was obedient to his father to the point of death. He could have called angels to kill all the people who hurt him, who caused him nothing but pain and misery. He is God! But he did not. He loved them, he still prayed for them, still died for them. Humility. Serving others. Obedient. And God sees his son denying himself for the sake of others, and now Jesus is the greatest one ever, and it is impossible to get to heaven with out him. He is the greatest one in our lives, the most important, most significant.

When you want a position like that, and you aim for that, being proud and depending on yourself and being all about yourself, trying to exalt yourself, God makes you last and the least among men, and you will never achieve such greatness.

A lot of people don’t understand the paradox. When others are trying to make their names great, they get caught up in sin and really aren’t great. When I am trying to make Jesus’s name great, and I am serving others for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he sees that, and I will achieve more than the selfish person.

Embrace the paradox. Or face the frustration of constantly trying to succeed and only finding failure. Make Jesus’s name greater. When it comes to yourself, become less.

Don’t Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk!!

It breaks my heart to know that some people think that if they just believe in Jesus, just believe in God, they are doing enough. But it is not just enough to say you believe. When people doubt my faith in Christ, I don’t like to sit there and argue with them. I could argue about my faith all day, win an argument, but by my actions, show that I was lying and that my faith was false.

Like I could convince someone I was sweet and loving and giving, but never give a dime to anyone, never offer help to anyone who needed it, and just be incredibly selfish. Yeah, I won the argument, but that didn’t mean anything.

The same is true with faith in Christ. Anyone can discuss all day how good a Christian they are, but if they say that, and then never do anything to prove that their faith is as great as they claim it is, then as far as I am concerned, their faith is dead.

One thing I learned about being a true Christian, with a truly changed heart for Christ, is that if you love him and have really accepted him as Lord and Savior of your life, putting him first and putting yourself second, you will yearn to do things for him.

Like when you love your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend, you want to do whatever you can in your own power to make them as happy as possible. You want to buy them gifts and do what they say and shower them with love. Well, Christ is the same way. I know in my life, I love him with every ounce of love in me, and so I constantly desire to pray more, and help others more, and write more about him to affect more people, and to give money in his name, and to trust him, etc.

My actions show that I love him. I work, I go to church and tithe, I sing about him in my music, I draw him in my art, I write about him in my poetry. In doing everything I love to do, I try to make sure he is a part of it. Because I live to glorify him and make his name famous, not mine.

When people question my faith, I don’t argue because I don’t like to talk the talk, I like to walk the walk. By walking and walk, and doing what God tells me to do, people will see what I do and there will be no need to argue. They will see I am truly faithful to God and my faith will affect them in a positive way.

“If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:16-18

Faith without works is dead. If you truly believe the message of Christ, and do nothing, how will other people truly believe? Someone had to act to reach out to you, so you could be touched and changed in your heart by the message of the Gospel. They had to ignore doing other things they wanted to do and focus on doing what God wanted them to do, and that was to act on his behalf. And by acting, they introduced many people to Christ, and many people had their lives changed.

To say you believe in Jesus, and then not tell a soul about it or live the way he tells us to, means you are a deadbeat in the body of Christ. If I go out and preach and write more about the powerful turth of the Gospel, more people will change.

I feel like, if we don’t do anything for Christ through our actions, we are just a story in a book, we are just pictures on a page, flat and 2-dimensional. But by committing the words of God to our heart and letting that eventually transform into what we do and how we live, we are no longer a 2-dimensional story, but we are alive..

like instead of watching a movie on a flat screen, we become a live play on a stage, living a life devoted to Jesus on it. The difference between a movie and a play? A story in a book and real life? One is a lot more real, a lot more genuine, personal, reaches people a lot more effectively.

We shouldn’t let the world see us as hypocrites. We should practice what we preach, so when people say crap about us, it won’t be true. We, as the church, should sparkle and shine as the bride of Christ with no blemish, no defect. People should see us and not think we are a bunch of hypocrites and liars, but think, ‘wow, this is an amazing group of loving people with hearts for God, and I want to be a part of it’.

Practice what you preach! Commit the words of the Lord to your heart, and let that transform how you live your life. 🙂

What do I think Jesus wants his followers to do?

Pray; trust him; be obedient; listen to everything he says; love unconditionally, him and everyone else, with every ounce of love in our hearts.

Work hard in his name- meaning in everything we do, we should do it in the name of Christ. Commit to excellence for him, in everything we do, so people will see us and should be blown away with how awesome he is. He wants us to give, be selfless, be humble, be involved with our Christian family, inspring each other.

Always, always, always find ways to improve as a Christian, trust ourselves less and trust him more, never give up, never lose heart, depend on his strength to get us through literally anything and everything. Never get tired of working hard. Hold tight onto the faith. Show our faith is true through our actions!

I’ll admit, I don’t pray nearly enough, I get tired and don’t feel like doing it. I get sick of people from time to time, not feeling like showing them the love I am supposed to show them. But Christ has called us to action. So I will grow from my weakness, and let my actions prove my faith, not my words.

God bless, Jennifer

What Is The Most Important Prayer of All?

Why do we pray? To get the things that we want, the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, perfect job, perfect life? Do we pray that other people heal? Do we pray that we get what someone else wants?

People pray for all kinds of things. Sometimes we pray for ourselves and sometimes we pray for others. How do we determine what we should pray for? Prayer is basically asking God to fulfill some wish for something you have in your heart. The problem is, we as people are not perfect, and so we can pray selfishly or hatefully and end up not praying for the right things.

At Anderson University, a man was speaking at Chapel one day and he said, ”instead of praying for what we want, we need to let Jesus have a prayer to us that we can fulfill for him.” In other words, when we pray for what we want, we may pray for the wrong things. But because God is so much greater than us, he knows what needs to happen for true miracles to take place. We can pray for things that get us nowhere, but he could pray for us to do things that help truly change the lives of people.

So let him ask for what he wants from you, and let that be his ‘prayer’ to you. Fulfill his dreams by listening to him. And by fulfilling his dreams, we ultimately fulfill our own. This is all because God has good plans for our lives.

Listen to what he asks of you, and be obedient enough to do it. As a father, he wants what is best for us. Listening to him leads to what is best for us. Don’t listen to his prayers and we end up screwing ourselves over. Pray the Lord allows his will to be done- that he accomplishes everything he needs to accomplish through us.

My friends, the most important prayer of all is the Lord ’s prayer, of course.

Another note on prayer: If your prayer is not contradictory to his word (ex. Praying to get lucky and have sex when you aren’t married, when his word says we need to wait until we are married), he is often very willing to fulfill a prayer. But when you pray, you must have one thing: faith! He feels this way: if you are bold enough to pray to him, at least have enough respect for him to believe that he can fulfill your wishes. You need to trust him. He says that with faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. So he will move your mountains if you have some faith in him!! 🙂

It’s important to try not to pray selfishly, for like a million dollars, but be humble and care for others more than you care for yourself, and he certainly will hear your prayers.

Sister, and Map of Your Life

My sister can be really cruel. She will yell at me when I haven’t really done anything. She will ignore me just like I am not there. I remember that all the time, we used to argue about something. I would calmly try to explain what was wrong in the situation, and she would just go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!” over me, trying to ignore what I said. She would just argue, claiming she was right without explaining herself.

She would always expect me to listen to her, but would not have the decency to listen to me when I responded. For months, this would be how we lived, me trying to be nice and her being too obnoxious to care. Not trying to say I am perfect, but she definately starts most of the drama in the house. She has always been very loud and abrasive.

I have to wonder if Jesus feels this way. He tries so hard to be nice to us, and then we don’t listen when he tells us to do stuff. When we aren’t obedient, we are being like my sister: stubborn and unreasonable. He knows what is best for us, so we should listen to him. Instead, we shut him out and do what is “right in our own eyes,” which may not be right in his eyes.

He’ll try to explain how important it is that we do waht he says, and basically, we go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!”

The way I see life is this:

He designed people so that we only see the road right a head of us and the road right behind us. So when we think, we think about only the immdediate future, focus on tomorrow, only on the very next step we take. God is all knowing and all seeing, so he sees the map of the world.

He knows all the roads we need to take and all the ones that lead to disaster. All the ones that lead us to where we need to go and all the ones that lead us to nowhere.

For example, if he tells us to get off one road w’ere on, which just means he tells us to stop whatever we are doing at that point in life and focus on something else, if he tells us to get off that road, it’s because he knows that if we continue to take that road, it will lead us to disaster or lead us nowhere, so we get lost.

He may say go on a different road, but we can’t see the future like he sees it. The road he tells us to travel on will lead us to have success and much joy in this life.

This is why it’s so crucial to trust in Christ to lead you wherever he needs you to go. It’s important to be disciplined and understand that he is greater than us, so that we become less to ourselves. We only see a couple feet infront of us. So he needs to become greater and we need to become less.

We need to have faith in him and start to see the greatness and awesomeness of his power. His plans won’t always make sense at first, and that’s okay, because we should have faith that through listening and being obededient to him, he will lead us to live the most fulfilling and blessed lives- rich in love and joy and spiritual peace in our hearts. Who doesn’t want that?

I close my eyes to the ignorance of this world and trust in him. I put him first, trusting him before I trust all men. Men only see what is right infront of them and right behind them, and they get confused.

I try so hard in my heart to not treat him like my sister treats me, with disrespect or rudeness. Want to avoid being this way to him, avoid being nasty and cold? Be obedient. Listen to him when he tells you to do something. Remember he has the map of the world, of our lives, while we only see a mere road. Replace the selfishness to please yourself with respect for him. Respect that he will certainly always lead you where you need to go.

I once heard:

”A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
– Rosalynn Carter

By putting up with my sister, I showed that I loved her, even when she was being stubborn. Jesus puts up with us when we are stubborn and want to follow misleading roads. Change your heart and follow the roads he says to follow. In your life, do what you tell him and you will gain most joy in life.

Philippians 2:12-18, Shining as Stars

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.” -Philippians 2:12-18, NIV

Paul and Timothy are writing to the saints in Jesus Christ at Philippi, and they are trying to encourage everyone to remain faithful to the Lord.

In this passage, they are talking about how the people are obeying the Lord Jesus and how they should continue to do so, even in the absence of Paul. They should be very careful and do what is right, to avoid sin, so they can receive salvation from Christ. They should fear and submit to him. It is God’s will for these people to listen to him and carry out his good plans for them.

They should not complain or fight so that they won’t sin and will be pure. They will be God’s own children who live holy lives as opposed to those who live lives of sin and greed, jealous, immorality. They shine like the brightest stars in the universe compared to those people, as they uphold Christ’s word and live it out. This will make Paul and Timothy very happy because all their work they did with these people to spread the name of Christ will not have been in vain. They (Paul and Timothy) are very happy with them, so they should be happy
with them and rejoice together.

This is one of my favorite verses because as children of God, we are called to live lives like these; be the brightest stars in the universe as a contrast to how all other people in this world are. I love the huge contrast there is from God’s people and worldly peple.

People of the world: their hearts are not chagned and they worry and obsess over the temporary things of this world. Our hearts are changed by the grace and mercy of Christ, and our lives reflect it. The huge gap between the two types of people truly reflect how powerful the message of the Gospel is, and how, for the people it does change, it truly does rock their worlds, wash their hearts clean, and truly gives them a new and free life with God. Nothing better than that!

We uphold God’s rules for us because his rules are created so they protect us from sin and give us freedom to live the best and most fulfilling lives. His rules are created for our ultimate success, so we should be careful not to fall away from his powerful message and truth, and in doing this, our lives are richly blessed compared to the people of the world who can’t receive Christ’s blessings.

Click here to Accept Christ!

Spending Time Reading the Bible

Wooohooooooo!!!!!! God had put it in my heart to finish the bible and I finally did it today. I made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions, and for each of the books of the bible I read, I would give myself a small reward- by doing something I really enjoy. It really motivated me. In general, I was very motivated to do this because I am so in love with Christ and this is what he wanted me to do, so I was eager to be obedient and obey. I always listen to God when he calls me to do something, because I am so certain he knows what is best for me. 🙂

It is very effective to break the bible up and try to read it little by little, instead of looking at it as a whole and overwhelming yourself. Don’t think, ‘I’m going to try to read the whole bible.’ Think, ‘I’m going to read 1 section today.’ An by reading small sections every day, you eventually read the whole thing. There are two sayings:

“Little by little, one walks far.”
and
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Take it step by step so not to overwhelm yourself. And reward yourself for reading parts of te bible. This is something that will motivate you.

But anyway, I was basically at the beginning of Revelation this morning (after I read through 2 John, 3 John, and Jude), and it was insane- a lot of interesting stuff, destruction; but I wrote it on my heart and believed it, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I wholeheartedly trust that all the word of God is true.

The whole bible was very interesting. The theme I noticed most was God constantly trying to reach his people, and while a small group of people would try to focus on him and listen to him, the majority got swept away with sin and got caught up in doing evil things. It broke my heart that his chosen pepole, Israel, were given many opportunities to enjoy his friendship and worship him and live good lives, but they constantly fell in love with other false gods and idols. They worshipped cows made of jewelry, fertility gods, you name it. ):!!

God tried so hard to rescue his people from their sinful lifestyles of idolatry, greed, sexual immorality, etc. But they turned away. Sometimes, people think that God in the Old Testament was way too harsh, but I honestly think that’s a big fat lie.

He simply loved his people and sought after them so they could live rich and fulfilled lives with him, dedicated to his teaching. He simply wanted to lead them to live upright lives like any good and caring father would. Truly, it is because of the Israelites constantly ignoring God’s constant love and instruction that caused so many people to die and brought so much destruction. God was truly not mean; he was loving, kind, forgiving, compassionate.

But think in terms of life today. What happens when you ignore what your parents say over and over and only get caught up in a bunch of bad stuff that you want to do like drugs, sex, whatever? Though your parents love you dearly, after so much, they get fed up and really have to discipline you. It feels like they are ruining your life, but they are trying to keep you safe and protect you by having rules and order in the house. God is simply the same way and after so much time, with a brutally crushed heart, he is forced to discipline his children.

All I see is stubborn people falling away from a loving God. And that is true thought the bible. God raises some people up who live holy, upright lives and follow his commands, and those humble people are the ones he uses to change the nations and try to get them to believe in his name. Some of these are people like David and Moses and some of the prophets. God is always trying to give people a chance, it is just that peple persistantly choose not to take advantage of that.

In the New Testament, Jesus lives his perfect life, and when he gets around 30, he starts his ministry; preaching to people, and radically affecting everyone around him, causing hearts to change and fights to start up over his holy name. But still, the theme is fairly apparent; there are some people who refuse to believe he is the son of God, and Christ makes it very clear that to get to heaven and to be with God the Father, you have to have faith in him (Christ). There is only hell if you live without Christ.

Jesus says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV

People cause problems with Jesus and people choose to be ignorant, like the Israelites. But at the same time, lots of people are saved. Thousands and thousands. Christ has his apostles, and they radically spread the name of Christ and cause many people to believe. So there are always some who believe and some who don’t. I certainly believe!

But it was qutie a spiritual journey, reading through the entire bible, in which I walked and held Christ’s hand, and the hand of his Father and the Holy Spirit. I learned that the unfaithful eventually suffer- in this life and the next, and that the faithful get to enjoy treasures Christ has stored up in heaven for them. It’s so curcial to trust the Gospel, believing firmly and standing in the hope of Christ. It’s so enriching, and by obeying what he says, he allows us to live fulfilled and superbly blessed lives. He’s strong and moving, loyal and compassionate.

But I grew so much spiritually while reading. I can’t wait to see how it will affect my life; it depends on how I apply all the lessons I learned. But every time you pick up God’s word, you can learn something new, you can read a passage you’ve read a thousand times and still see something in a new and fresher way. There is so much potential for growth, so I encourage everyone to pick up the book and read. It is so necessary and it helps you gain strength and understanding of this life and the next.

Wonderful, wonderful read. I read the NIV, which is the New International Version, and now I’m about to start reading my Hug’s Bible for Women. 🙂 So super excited! I got done, and now I’m ready to start right back up again. Because I’m so certain that is what I- and all people in the world- are called to do; reflect on get changed by the word of God. Get there worlds rocked!! Woohoo!

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