Hey Bloggers! As most of you have probably noticed i haven't posted in a while. There is a reason for this...
This past weekend i have been disconnected from internet. I have been at my grandmother and grandfathers farm working, cleaning, etc. and will until Friday. I will try my best to get at least another post before Friday...
Thank you for understanding!
Free Meal and an Empty Soul
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 11:1
A friend of mine let me borrow a book today called not a fan. The subtitle reads “BECOMING A COMPLETELY COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF JESUS”. This book, as the subtitle plainly states, is about being a devoted follower of Christ. In the introduction the author is sitting in his church preparing a sermon for Easter Sunday. He was a dilemma. He doesn’t know what to preach about to keep people coming back to church.
He realizes Christ doesn’t sugar coat following him. In John he feeds the 5,000 and they set up tent to be with him the next day. The “followers” wake up to find that Jesus is already away from the camp on the other side of the river. The men and women rush to him asking for more food because they are hungry.
“When the people found Jesus, He told them that they didn't look for him because of the miracle they had just experienced. They came looking for Him because they wanted some more food. Then he told them not to labor for the meat that perishes but for the meat which would give them everlasting life. Jesus said that he would give to them.” –John 6: 26-27
The people flocked to Jesus because they were fans. They were not his followers. The people liked Jesus for his miracles, not his true purpose on this earth. It’s like me watching Chris Angel perform all of his “magical” stunts. Yeah, they’re pretty cool but I wouldn’t follow him to the ends of the earth to be with him. That is exactly the type of attitude we have towards following Jesus! I’m not saying I’m the perfect Christian. I have yet to find someone who is perfect, besides Christ. But we have to rise above what people say and follow Him no matter what!
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31
I was a fan before this blog. I NEVER read my bible. I NEVER spread the word. I NEVER read books on how to live a Christian life. NOTHING.I was involved in my youth group and went through the motions. I was part of a basketball team and I quite frankly never played. I needed another hobby another something I could do with all the spare time I would have. I am a good writer and mom suggested a blog about Christian living. Since the blog was created, I have read my bible more, prayed more, and read more on what being a Christian is. This blog has brought me closer to God. I’m not saying I’m totally fine now and have no troubles. If I said that I’d be lying. But I can tell you that I am no longer a fan that I am working every day to become a follower. Thank God that I have the opportunity of a second chance.
Everyone likes a free meal. Some take the free meal and then happily follow him and never hunger again. Their souls are full forever. And some of us take the free meal and our souls are left empty.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty’” –John 6:35
Most of us go through life being a fan of Christ. However, I can guaranty you that being a follower is much more fulfilling.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” -Psalm 37:4 (KJV)
I was reading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love today and something stuck me. Chan said, “It may sound ‘un-Christian’ to say that on some mornings I don’t feel like loving God, or I just forget to.” There is so much truth in what he is saying. Most mornings we are woke up by our alarm clocks. Some of us set it back another five minutes and go back to sleep. What we should do is climb out of bed an extra five minutes early and pray to God thanking Him for His daily love for us.
We all take His love for granted. Chan pointed out that we are constantly worrying about what new thing is out to buy. We think about what we have and then think about what we don’t have. When we do that we develop a want for it and envy those who have it. We as humans are designed to want, it is simply our nature. The thing is that we have everything we need when we have Him.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." -Psalm 23:1
Loving God is not simply saying a prayer every night before bed or dinner. Loving God is serving Him each and every day. Serving as in witnessing to the lost, feeding the hungry, and so many other amazing things you can do with your time. Today’s Christians “love” in a different way. We go through the motions and sometimes we may stop and give thanks. But it has to be an everyday occurrence! We must love Him all the time no matter what. If you are sick love Him! If you are thankful love Him! If you are lonely and feel like there is no one that can help you, He is there so LOVE HIM! God is our refuge and as soon as we realize that our lives will be renewed.
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” –Psalm 34:8
Loving God is not always going to be easy. We Christians, as all people, face trials. However, we have God to deliver us through. Imagine having the strongest and most powerful man in the world behind you in everything you do. Now multiply that by 1,000,000! Having God in your life is the best decision any single person could make. God is our protector, our rock. God is always there and always will be. God never fades, but our worldly possessions do. We are to fear Him.
Loving God isn’t a piece of cake, but are you still willing to?
Our Biggest Fear
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” –Psalm 27:1
In this scene from the movie Moneyball, 2011, Scott Hatterberg is new to first base. His coach, Billy Beane, changes his position from catcher to first base because of nerve damage in his elbow. Hatterberg’s biggest fear is the ball being hit to him. This is because he is new to the position. He doesn’t want to make the team look bad.
This relates to us as Christians today. When we are new to Christianity, or even have been believers for a while, we are timid when it comes to witnessing. Scot Hatterberg is scared when the ball comes in his direction, and we are scared when a non-believer comes into our life. Christ calls us as his followers to witness to the ones who do not know him. When we are too scared to witness to someone, what kind of follower are we?
”For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
-2 Timothy 1:7
Witnessing can be a difficult challenge. Witnessing can also be the difference between life and death. There are people that we see every day that are dead. By dead, I mean spiritually dead. And we as Christians have an opportunity to give them life.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” –Ephesians 2: 1-3
The people who are dead and struggling are the ones we are to witness to. You can save a life. You can save lives. Witnessing can be embarrassing, challenging, and very tough. As a follower of Christ we must do these things.
What is stopping you?
It’s not You, it’s me…
“All of you must keep awake and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” - Mathew26: 41
Temptation surrounds us all. It is very similar to God’s presence, always here. Teens today are tempted more than ever thanks to the internet. The availability of the internet has allowed Satan to work even faster than ever. Pornography is one of the biggest struggles in a teen’s life. Say you login into Facebook and you’re checking your news feed. You look at your notifications and you have a friend request. As anyone would, you check the request. The picture is of a practically naked woman posing for the camera. You click on the page out of curiosity. In the information box there are links to websites and you click to see what they’re about. Instantly you are on a porn site. The process repeats itself even if you only look once, you will be tempted to look again. It never goes away. This struggle is not only one of our teenage years. This happens in our adult years as well...
When tempted our first thought is, “why is God tempting me?” God does not tempt. In fact, God is completely apart from sin. God cannot be tempted nor does he tempt. When we are tempted, under no circumstances, should we ever blame God. God has nothing to do with evil. EVER. End of story. Satan is the one to blame.
"And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man's own evil thoughts and wishes." – James 1:13-14
Temptation comes from within. Temptation is our longings or desired pleasures. Satan knows of these things and puts them right in front of our faces. It is like he walks beside us all day dangling it in our face. Sometimes we can overcome the temptation. So Satan gives up right? Not at all. This motivates Satan. This makes him try even harder to draw us in. Now he stands in front of us rather than beside. He becomes more persistent until we give in.
"Happy is the man who doesn't give in and do wrong when he is tempted, for afterwards he will get as his reward the crown of life that God has promised those who love him." –James 1:12
Drawing away from temptation is not easy. Satan is persistent and he always will be. Next time you’re tempted pray for guidance. God will lead you out of darkness for he is the light. James 1:12 puts it best, when you overcome temptation you are rewarded. God will keep you safe, he is our protector.
Temptation is very difficult to overcome. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it…
“But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations… But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” –Psalm 102:12, 27
I’m 15, right smack in the middle of my teenage years. Most of us teens go through daily struggles such as breakups or being embarrassed by peers. I go through the same things as you. I get the occasional pimple and have my dramatic moments just like the rest of you. Sometimes it feels like God isn’t here. It feels like he has abandoned us in our time of need. And that is simply not true…
God was, is and yet to come. Take a breakup for instance, you are heartbroken and feel like you lost your soul mate. I’m quite familiar with this feeling myself. God is omnipresent, which means he is always there. Sometimes we pray asking for our crush to like us or for us to get the MVP of our sports team. This is not how we should pray to God. We pray to him and praise him for his wonders. Pray for family and friends that may be struggling. Again, never forget to thank him for His blessings.
It is perfectly fine to pray for yourself. In 2010, I had a tumor and I constantly prayed for healing. But sometimes I would curse God. I would judge Him and then ask why this was happening to me. God has intentions for all of us, a plan. God, no matter how bad things seem, will provide for you. Breaking up can be rough, but what breaking up truly is that God is saying he/she is not the one, you haven’t found him/her yet. Isn’t that amazing? Even before we were born God already knew who we would marry, how many kids we would have, and even our first job! Think about that for a moment… How amazing our God is! God is here, he will never leave you. He will never forsake you.