As school is back in session for some of us, you start to notice the rush to Target for some last minute school supplies, going here and there for a first day of school outfit, and checking to see who you have classes with. With the crazy, hectic, beginning of school schedules, we sometimes forget to spend time with Christ. There’s usually two ways this goes; we stop reading our Bibles and praying to be on top of school, or, like my pastor said this week, we try to just do enough to maintain our relationship with Him and make it to the end of the school year. This really hit me and I thought about all the years at school that I’ve done that. That’s why this year I want to grow deeper in my faith and challenge myself while I’m being challenged in school.
In order to accomplish this goal I’m going to try and do a devotion in the morning right before I leave for school and at night before I dose off, read a chapter of Matthew. These goals may not be met or I may forget which is why I asked a friend of mine to be accountability partners. We both want to ultimately grow spiritually significantly by the end of this school year.
For my school, we’re already back in session and I walk from class to class looking for my friends, smiling at them, but keeping my head down otherwise. I’m starting to challenge myself to look up once in a while and smile at someone I don’t know and the few times I’ve done this I really think that person needed it. I hope y’all will do the same. Challenge yourself spiritually and in your surroundings to shine the light of Jesus.
Here’s to a great school year.
It being a month since I last posted, quite a bit of trials have come my way. Not only for me, though, my family as well. We are all having to deal with a summer full of health happenings. The easiest thing for people to say is, “God’s got a plan for this. Just trust Him!” Well, yeah, trust Him. That’s the easy thing to say when a friend is going through a trial. When you’re on the other side of it, though, your perspective can really change. Trusting Jesus should be easy, right? Not so much.
Trust has been the hardest thing in my salvation. Handing my whole heart over to the God of the universe without expecting it to crumble once I hand it over is not anywhere close to easy. My heart is fragile. Jesus died to save it. Done deal. Except when He shows you what you’re gonna go through, my feet tend to waver and I question my bravery. His plan is uniquely for me and is not meant to harm me.
Maybe my faith is weak. Maybe I should know He can handle all of this, and so can I because He gives me my strength. Maybe my heart will need renewal. Maybe I’ll need to come before Him daily. Maybe His plan is better than mine. Maybe He has it all worked out. Maybe these sentences don’t need a maybe in front of them because I know He will provide.
As I go about my week, Lord, I pray that You will give me peace when the wave comes crashing over me. I ask for boldness and courage. I love You more than my heart could ever express.
More than I know.
It’s been a few weeks since my last post and a lot has happened. Jesus has shown me so much every day I worship him. The Holy Spirit has convicted me and given me opportunities, which I am glad to say I took, for me to share my whole testimony. Testimonies are a big part when trying to share the Gospel with other people. If you’re not sharing all of your testimony, I would encourage you to do so because it sure helped the friends I was witnessing to.
Boldness is something every Christian struggles with at some point or another. I am also glad to say that I’ve put myself out there a few times in which I’m simply thanking Jesus aloud for the beautiful sunset or thanking Him for every blessing He gives me. My friends notice it. Some have even called me out on it, saying, “I just heard something about Jesus…” And I was able to, once again, thank Jesus for the sunset and silently thank Him for the chance to bring up His name.
My favorite thing that has happened since my last post is the best opportunity I have had in a while that I’ve acted upon. I had two friends spending the night and it was, what I thought, going to be like any other sleepover. One friend was curling my hair at about midnight when my other friend asked me what book she should read in her Bible. At first, I was really confused thinking, “what is she talking about? I don’t know what book she should read.” She hadn’t told me that it was from the Bible that she wanted to read a book from. I suggested 1 Peter because I had just studied it at church and was in awe of how many lessons it teaches us. Long story short, we three stayed up until 3 a.m. talking about Jesus and doubts and our faith and my testimony. God gave me the words to say when I went totally blank. That is what amazed me about the entire night.
I am in awe of You, Jesus, and the work you are doing in my life and in my heart.
A happy heart is something every human struggles with. Whether you’re a nonbeliever or you are, some days can just be rough. In 1 Peter 5:4 it says,
And when the chief Shepard appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
If all of our hard work is going to pay off and we’ll have an unfading crown of glory, why should we not do our work with a happy heart? Or even if we’re working for someone who’s done us wrong and we don’t want to give quality work, we have to keep in mind that we aren’t working for that person, we’re working for Him. You wouldn’t give sloppy work to the King of all kings, so why give it to another person when we’re called to show the love of Christ.
Ephesians 6:6-8 says,
Don’t work only while being watched in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.
We’ve all heard to be trustworthy is to be doing good when no one is watching, but I know I’ve been guilty of shrugging it off thinking, ‘oh well, adults don’t really mean that.’ Now that I’ve read it in my Bible, the Holy Spirit has certainly convicted me of a childish way. My heart now wants to praise Him while I’m doing tough work. A rough day is difficult to get through, but we will receive back from the Lord joy and peace and all the hard work will pay off.
Going into this week, I’m excited for trying to have a mentality where I always give my best work and do everything with a happy heart. I have the joy of Jesus inside of me, why should I keep it to myself?
Wandering can posses a couple of different meanings; going back to the temptations of this world is what most Christians think of, but, also, wandering can mean to travel and be a nomad sometimes. Recently, I’ve felt this calling of the Holy Spirit and at first, I didn’t realize it was the Spirit. Traveling the world was the calling I felt. Ever since I’ve been stuck in my town, I’ve bee itching to get out. Explore. See different people in their different cultures; stop living with first world privileges and start living how most of the world lives. With this calling and passion burning in me, I explored what I could do, I kid you not, I have five tabs open on my computer to help when traveling the world. Amongst the chaos and excitement, the devil was trying to reel me in. He wanted me to wander back to him. It worked a few times, then, I realized why this sudden interest in the world was placed in me; I wanted to do this for Jesus. Telling little kids to the elders of the town about the good news of the gospel is really all I want to do.
There is a term for this; missionaries. Given that I don’t care for labels on my sudden ideas, I’d rather not call what I want to do “being a missionary.” I’d call it “having my adventure around the world and it’d be all for Jesus.” Besides the point, I heard a line of a song go
You are true, You are true, even in my wandering
That was when I came to the realization of two very different meanings of wandering, yet both had been pulling at me.
God has a funny way of letting us handling life. Through times of joy and great success, we tend to forget He’s there and He was the one that got us there. Through trials and difficult circumstances, we blame Him and turn away when He really wants us to turn to Him so He can give us comfort and peace. I, personally, have a very hard time trusting God. I think it’s because if I can’t physically see Him or touch Him, I doubt. That’s where my faith comes in and has to take over. Faith is believing without seeing.
Recently, my friend found wonderful Bible verses for me as I was wavering with trusting Him. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry in anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition through thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” How comforting to know that we shouldn’t worry about anything because God has it under control and will give us peace in the midst of the raging seas. In Matthew 14:29-31, Peter doubts Jesus; “And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?'” I can just imagine Jesus trying to say the same thing to us as He did to Peter. Jesus conquered the grave, so why can’t we see He can conquer our trials in life?
1 Peter 5:10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.
“If you focus on the distraction, it will become your main attraction.” -Kemtal Glasgow
Too many times we get distracted by what this world has to offer. This quote, from Pastor Kemtal Glasgow, opened my eyes to how I’ve been too focused on worldly desires and Jesus showed me that He should be my main attraction.