May 19, 2012 Comments Off on Handyman
A few weeks ago, I found out that something was wrong with my apartment that would require a maintenance worker to come by and fix. However, I wasn’t able to call for help because my apartment was too messy to have someone come over. I felt obligated to clean up my mess before I could ask for help because I was too embarrassed.
How many times in our lives do we feel like this is our life with God? We feel like we have an issue that we know we have messed up on, know we have committed sin, and need healing, but we’re too ashamed or embarrassed to ask God for help in the situation.
We allow ourselves to believe that we are too messed up, too “dirty” to be able to ask God for help. When in reality, we are at the perfect place to let God step into our lives. When we have nothing, God is up to something. It is the people that are the most broken that have the opportunity to become something greater if they are willing to give God the broken pieces.
So often we believe that we have to fix our mess or put our life back together before we can become closer with Jesus- when in reality He is the only thing that can.
So next time you feel like you have to fix the issue before you call for help from God, remember that He wants you just as you are, but doesn’t plan to leave you just as you are.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his son is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42: 5,8)
August 18, 2011 Comments Off on Damaged Goods
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4:1-18
There are times in life when we all make mistakes, we all fall, we all fail God. We’re human.
For some of us, we cary the burden of losing our virginity- losing our sense of purity and self worth. We carry the burden and sorrow of feeling our damaged goods.
You feel empty, selfless, and a desire to feel the void in your broken purity with someone/something else. You crave the feeling of belonging again, but are ushered into the sounds and images as tears stream down your face. You can’t understand it, can’t understand why he would do such a thing and walk away. The lights go out, the tears come out. Alone. Broken. Dejected. Hurt. Ashamed. Forgotten. Broke.
You beg for forgiveness from God, shed tears in church as the Pastor condemns the sexually impure; now fully accepting your new stereotype. You avoid conversations with your parents, friends, anything to do with relationships in fear of shedding tears.
The pain sets in, the devil beats you down with reminder after reminder after reminder of how pitiful you are and what an enemy of God you now are- that you will never go to heaven. Convincing you that You were never a christian.
….Silence sets in. The crack of the whip peals the flesh off, the blood burns his back, the dehydration causing the lips to blister…Nails pierced through his hands, only stopped by the bone before the soldier nails them through the bone, his feet broken from the stakes driven through his ankles. He stands, nailed to a blistery piece of a wood, hardly a body even recognizable as human. Crowned with thorns torn into his skull, spat upon, bruised, dying of agony. The Son of Man nailed to a cross, feeling forsaken by the creator of the universe, feeling broken. Alone. Forsaken. Hurt. Forgotten. Dejected.
By his stripes you are healed. By his stripes you are pure again. By his stripes you know you are loved. By his stripes you know He will remember you in heaven. By his stripes your sin is paid for, in full!
You will never be able to go back in time, what’s done is done. But there is no sin that the cross did not cover. You can never reverse that moment in time, but Jesus can give you your purity back. Just a simple touch can accomplish more than you would ever earn in an entire lifetime. All you have to do is believe.
In the opening verse I used about Jesus and the woman at the well, even Jesus still used the woman that had over 6 husbands (never married) to be apart of His ministry. He still offered her salvation, eternal life.
Next time you are remembering your impurity, remember what has already been done for you. Remember that God loves you, always. Remember that you will fail, endlessly, for the rest of your life but that’s ok because that’s why Jesus died for you. God is good all the time and will never leave you alone.
August 9, 2011 Comments Off on Restore Me
40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said.“Be healed!” 42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. -Mark 1:40-42
Sometimes we lose things in life: our health, sense of direction, purity, purpose, self identity, job, relationship, or many other important things.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you felt like you lost something that you could never get back?
For the man in Mark 1:40-42, it was his health. He was a lepper. An incurable disease at the time that their society would make them live on the streets in hopes of not getting everyone else sick. Have you felt like this?
That you have lost something so big that everyone else around you has cast you out? Maybe it was your family, your best friends, or distant relatives because they didn’t want anything to do with you?
Maybe it was your purity. You feel like no other guy or girl will ever want to be with you because you ruined the one thing you were supposed to keep for marriage. You feel like they would never want to date you once they found out your true secret. You feel like “the one” is never going to come because you’ve made a tremendous mistake…
Maybe you’ve lost your self worth or identity. You’ve been living life these past few years and every time you look in the mirror you don’t know who you see anymore. You’re a totally different person and you used to be loved by so many people, but now it feels like you can’t even find someone to be around when Friday night rolls around.
Jesus doesn’t care what you’ve done or what other people thinks about you. Jesus wants to restore what you’ve lost, He wants to forgive you of your past and heal you with one small touch. Because what Jesus can accomplish with the smallest touch, we can never accomplish in ten lifetimes of good deeds.
We waste our time away trying to ask God for forgiveness, burrowing our head in sorrow, shame, and guilt of what we’ve done. But here’s the thing: God has already forgiven you, He is wanting you to esteem the true reality of what He sent His Son to do on the cross for you.
July 8, 2011 Comments Off on 1 Corinthians 10:13
“13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” -1 Corinthians 10:13
As I reflected on the short, yet sweet 19 years of my life today I came to this conclusion: God never put me through something that He wasn’t sitting on the other end waiting for me. Whether it was a traumatic break-up that meant more to me than it ever should have, a family crisis, a death in the family, a difficult living circumstance, or a burden that someone close to me had to endure. He was always waiting.
1 Corinthians 10:13 describes God as never allowing you to go through something more than you can stand, but really it’s more than He can withstand for you. God will allow you to go through a difficult time in your life; whether it’s a financial difficulty, a body image issue, a family crisis, or many other things. Remember the last sentence “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure”. Don’t be afraid to look up in your situation and look for a way out because it’s right there.
I think so often times we tend to blame ourselves for a bad situation- we tell ourselves that if we would have been living better this “bad thing” would have never happened. Listen to the truth: God is loving and a caring God that accepts you for as you are, not for who you think you should be. There is no standard of good deed or desire from Him to wear makeup, God wants you to respond and look to Him right where you are, no matter the situation.
Do not live in condemnation because Jesus conquered condemnation and death, so that you would be able to always have a way out in times of trouble.
There is no reason to hide what you’re going through because He’s waiting for you to turn to Him. There is no shame or guilt, but only the opportunity to find an end to your hurt and pain- give it to God.
God is waiting for you right now, exactly where you are.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
June 2, 2011 Comments Off on Foregiveness
Having to forgive is more than just forgiving your best friend for forgetting to pick you up after class at the right time. It’s forgiving yourself for yourself first.
I think so many times we associate forgiveness with something that is earned through making up our mishap to someone else by making them happy again. However, foregivness isn’t earned, it’s a free-gift given to you.
We think that as long as we foregive others of everything, then we are forgiving all we need to, but what are you personally holding onto?
What haven’t you forgiven yourself for yet?
I think we overlook ourselves in our own insecurtities because we are too afraid to analyze our own life for mistakes, mishaps, and sorrow. We like to overlook our own disappointments in ourselves by pointing them out in others instead of ourself. We use our knowledge against ourselves by never making it two-fold and applying to our own lives. We preach one thing and do another, we say one thing and do the opposite.
We counsel others, but we don’t counsel overselves because we’re scared.
Jesus didn’t die so that we would have to live in sorrow and shame. Jesus died to give us the ultimate free-gift of foregivness…forever. Not just some of the time, on certain areas of sinning, or for X amount of uses. Jesus died so that we would be forgiven of all our sins, forever, all we have to do is unwrap the free-gift sitting right infront of us and process his name.
The only thing that keeps us from foregiving ourselves is ourselves. We are too afraid to let go, too afraid to let go of our shame in our sin because we think that God would never love us anymore, that He doesn’t want to use us anymore because we’re dirty and wortheless.
In the bible, some of the most powerful people were ex sinners, murders, prostitutes, and most famously a thief. Now you may not be selling your body, but you’re treating yourself with the same shame and guilt as if you were because you think you let God down. Well here’s the thing:
You did…We all do, everyday…
Foregiveness starts with:
Accepting yourself as a human being, not a perfect do-gooder
Receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior
Accepting what you did is in the past and can’t be changed
Admitting your sin to yourself and moving past it
Letting go of all your feelings
Believing that there is, in fact, power in what Jesus did on the cross
Grace isn’t given to us as a free-pass to do whatever we want and still be able to go to Heaven. Grace is issued to us by Christ, so that we will know better the next time around not to commit the same exact sin.
So, what are you struggling with? What haven’t you foregiven yourself for? What are you hiding underneath your breath? It starts right here, right now with you and God.
May 31, 2011 Comments Off on Summer Thoughts
- Being humble and serving is the greatest way to reflect Christ to others. //Philippians 2:5-8 “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Even though you may have position, use that position to reflect Christ- not leverage it against others for your own gain.
- God has you exactly where you’re supposed to be, even if you don’t think you have a purpose.// 1 Corinthians 7:17 “And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.” Even though you wish you could be somewhere else, God has a plan for you this summer and has opportunities for you- You just have to position yourself to find out His will. God is positioning you in a season of change, giving you lots of downtime to seek Him and actually study your bible- don’t waste this time sitting around all day and feeling sorry for yourself!
- God’s blessing isn’t in the act, it’s in the action.// James 1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” We often times are willing to take on the act of something in our thoughts, but are never willing to take action in our lives. You can accept Christ, but if you never take action on your faith and share it with others you are wasting your faith away.
- Our greatest problem in forgiving others isn’t what they did to us, it’s ourselves. // Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as Christ forgave you.” God has to forgive us everyday of our sins, so why wouldn’t you be able to forgive someone else? We can accept and process what happened to us and why they hurt us, but we are unwilling to let it go because we want them to think they owe us something. // Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
- We like to judge others because it makes us feel important and all righteous. // Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” We are too easy to condemn others for having little faith or slipping up short in their walk with Christ, but you’re too afraid to open your own eyes and see all your flaws. You hide your spiritual insecurities by judging others, but if you judge others you are asking for God to judge you with His perfect standards- you don’t want that to happen, let me tell you.
May 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
So many times, we allow our past to dictate our present life and the future of where we are going, what we’re thinking, and who we’re friends with. The only past thing God wants you to identify with was the life of Christ.
For many of us we allow a heartbreak, financial set-back, a past relationship, a death, or a mistake hang over our head each and every day that we are living. We allow what happened in the past, something we cannot change, to tell us how we feel about ourself and what kind of friends we can have. But I am here to tell you that it’s ok whatever path you’ve BEEN ON, it’s about where you’re GOING. The truth of the matter is, we’ve all been on the wrong path in the past. We have all failed ourselves, our friends, and family so many times but there is something we forget: Christ died for us.
Christ died on the cross for us because He knew the path we were going on wasn’t the one to success and an abundant life in His will, so we died so that we would get on the right path. The path to heaven.
Sometimes it takes a setback to get back on the right path for our life. Instead of kicking yourself over something that just happened, realize that God is trying to get your attention and instead of running away from His ways, turn to them as a place of comfort and get back on the right path. When you put something infront of God (your job, a friend, a significant other, money, or skill) and it gets taken away, you don’t know who you are anymore. You lose track of “you” because you let the things of this world identify and define who you are. The only thing that can ever define who you are, what you live for, and the decisions you make is Christ. Why? Because His ways will never go away and can never be taken from you, no matter how far you run.
Here’s the thing, you can either sit here and feel sorry for yourself or you can find a way to make your life right in Christ. Nothing gets accomplished through self-pity and judgement on yourself. Christ called you out of your old sinful ways and wants to introduce you to a new life. He called you out of loneliness and into the body of believers to show you love. He called you out of financial stress and into a life full of security in Him because money will not matter in heaven.
So my challenge is thus: Are you identifying with the people that are connect to the current of Christ? Are you seeing their success as empowerment to your situation and as a foreshadow of your vision for your life coming true? Or are you letting your past dictate who you are and the way you feel about yourself because that’s exactly what the devil wants you to do.
Chris covered my past= Giving me a hope for my Present and Future.
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
1 John 2:1
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17