Opportunity Earned, Virtue Not Given

October 24, 2011 Comments Off on Opportunity Earned, Virtue Not Given

“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” Ephesians 5:16

Have you ever said the words “God give me patience?”,”God give me strength”,”Make me closer with my family”, or any other virtue you have asked God for lately?

We  have a critical error in our thought process of what we expect God to give us as an answer to those requests. We believe that God is going to move in our heart and give us patience when that certain someone is around. We believe that God is going to give us strength as soon as we get off our knees from praying to deal with our situation.

While God may choose to give you that, I believe He is going to do something else instead…

Instead of adding that quality or attribute you seek, God is going to give you an opportunity to have patience or strength.

Instead of waking up the next day with a patience mindset, God is going to put that annoying someone in your life that day to see if you can be patient. Instead of giving you strength over night, God is going to remind you to lean on His strength rather than yours when a similar situation arises the next day at the office. Instead of giving you love for your seemingly unlovable family member, He will give you more opportunities to spend time with that person.

Virtues are never given freely, but are presented through opportunities God gives us throughout our day.

Stop thinking God isn’t hearing your prayer or is giving you cruel and unusual punishment when He is giving you exactly what you’ve been asking for all along.

Yes, No

July 20, 2011 Comments Off on Yes, No

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

What happens when I am praying for a “yes” and God gives me a “no”?

I think so often times we pray for silly things: a good test grade, an attractive person to come into our life, a nice house, more money, or other genie-type wishes.

God isn’t trying to be our genie in a bottle, granting us the desires of our heart. God wants to be more than that. We fail to realize that God already has an entire plan for our life. We barely even know what our schedule is for tomorrow and God already has every second of our day for the next ten years planned out.

You will never see prayers answered until you learn to pray for what God wants for your life. When you want what God wants for your life, that is when you begin to see God work in your life. Until then, every other desire is just a selfish desire to have something more for the life that you want to live- not the one God wants you to live.

Another thing to understand is that our prayers hardly are ever answered the same day we pray them, or even 3 days later for that matter. God works all things in HIs timing, sometimes it might even take years. But know this, God will supply you with exactly what you need, when you truly need it. He isn’t a fan of leaving you out to dry if you are living a life that is pleasing to Him. Sometimes we think God is giving us a “no” when in reality He’s just giving us a “not yet” answer.

Our society teaches us that if we can’t have what we want right now, then it must mean we can’t have it. However, Gods timing is and will always be perfect, so you have to learn to grasp “not yet”. God is a master planner and sometimes He actually did answer your prayer, but it’s going on behind the scenes- you just haven’t seen it yet.

Rest assured that there is a God that loves you and will provide all that you need. Sometimes, God calls us to be patient and says NOT YET.

Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. -Psalm 27:14

Marry Me? (Pt.1)

July 10, 2011 Comments Off on Marry Me? (Pt.1)

I wanted to clear one thing up: I am not proposing to anyone, so don’t get bent out of shape because of the subject. I am currently single. I decided I would take some time, whether it be two days or this entire week, to write a few posts on marriage as it seems to be a popular topic lately (thanks a lot royal wedding). PS- I promise even if you are already married, you’re going to get something out of this.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. -Ephesians 5:25

The reason I opened with Ephesians 5:25 because it is a critical error that society isn’t ingraining into the minds of young men today. I am growing up in a generation that allows men to use women as they like: to make women be of service to any and all requests of men and for the young men of today to use and abuse their so-called right of authority. Jesus gave up His life in ultimate sacrifice for the body believers, the church, because He loved us so much that He didn’t want us to suffer in eternal damnation. When was the last time you even sacrificed a moment of your time with a girl because it was something that would make her happy?

Now guys, before you get all ruffled up…I do understand that Ephesians 5:22 states “22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” However, when was the last time God asked you to compromise your morals? Never. Women are to be submissive to men AS they are to God, whom they serve faithfully. 

Finding a significant other is about more than who is willing to put up with your flaws or who lives on the wild side, yet pretends to be a christian on Sunday to make you look like a family on Sundays. Find someone that can live out the fruits of the spirit in your relationship and their own life:

  • Love– the couple would love each other and exhibit it in their relationship
  • Joy– each would live their life with Joy that God has given us from seeking him first and would exhibit a happiness that could not be matched except through Jesus
  • Peace– the relationship would not have consistent fights or anger exhibited
  • Long suffering– the couple would be able to get through the hardships
  • Kindness– a relationship where they care for each other at every moment
  • Goodness– A relationship that dwells on the good and strives to do good for each other and for the world
  • Faithfulness– a relationship where they honor the commitment to each other no matter how hard the times may get but honor that God calls us to be faithful to one another
  • Gentleness– a woman that is gentle can speak a thousand words to a man and can calm him down in the worst of all situations,
  • Self Control– you aren’t putting yourself first in your life or going after the desires of the world that will tear you relationship apart.

If someone isn’t willing to be in a relationship with Christ, then they certainly aren’t willing to be in the kind of relationship you’re looking for. If He/She isn’t willing to love Jesus, then there is no reason they are ever going to love you.

And if you’re already married, it isn’t too late to take your marriage to the next level by not only be an example in the home by exemplifying the fruits of the spirit in the most important relationship you can have- Jesus, but also loving on your family and spouse! It’s never too late for anything.

Looking ahead?

May 4, 2011 Comments Off on Looking ahead?

One of the biggest problems I face is looking too far ahead. For many of us, we look ahead to the joy of having children, to the day when we will be debt free, to getting our promotion, to retirement, to having a happy relationship, or to finally figuring out what we want to do when we “grow up”.

A time will come when you will see a movie, read a book, or look at a photo and yearn for that to be you. Sometimes, our wants and desires consume us beyond what we realize. We think we could be so happy if we were at that point in our life, that everything would be ok. Here’s the thing, God has such an awesome plan for you. God wrote a special story line for you filled with ups and down, struggles, rewards, and joy – just for your life and you alone, it’s even separate and different than mine.

Yes, having a vision for your life is good and great. However, if you get too caught up in all the lights and sounds of life you are going to miss out on the plans God has for you. Before you know it, you will be turning 40 and wondering where all those years went. Well, they flew by you because you were always looking ahead to the next greatest moment in your life. If you can learn to be patient and live in the present, you will find so much more out of your life.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.-Matthew 6:34

I think for so many of us, we wish we could just go into a coma for a few hours, days, maybe even years and let all the tough times bypass us and wake up with everything going smooth. Here’s the thing, God wants you to go through hard times, difficult relationships, or a troubling circumstance to truly learn what it means to rely on Him for your strength and guidance. If we had the power to control time, we wouldn’t even worry about professing a life of Christ.

So, my challenge is this: are you living a life yearning for what’s to come or are you living each day asking God to reveal to you what the vision is for the day and not 10 years down the road? Each and every day you wake up, God has something special He wants you to accomplish. When the moment occurs that you stop worrying about tomorrow and start focusing on today, you will find such a great reward for living each day. God wants to be something beautiful inside you before He makes your life beautiful. Stop waiting for the miracle in your life because God wants you to be the miracle in someone else’s. God will make everything beautiful in HIS time, not OURS.

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.”
Psalm 25:4-7

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”
Psalm 28:7-9

Alternate Route

April 18, 2011 Comments Off on Alternate Route

As we go about driving around, we often come across times when we have to go over speed bumps traveling to the place we want to go. Speed bumps are used to slow a car down in a sensitive area in the city. If someone was to drive too fast, they would run the risk of running over something or someone and causing themselves serious pain. However, we often times try to avoid the speed bumps at all cost because it’s uncomfortable for us to drive over and only slows us down on our route. So, we try to take a new route around the speed bumps; therefore, bypassing the purpose of the speed bump….

In our spiritual journey, God has placed speed bumps all throughout our life. Whether you know it or not, God is going to get your attention by putting a speed bump in a certain part of your life to get you to slow down in a sensitive time in your life. However, if you just go about your life without thinking about the purpose of the trial or difficulty, you’re going to bypass the speed bump and it will all be for a waste. Some speed bumps may be small, like a bad test grade or not making a certain position you tried out for. Some speed bumps may be big, like getting broken up with, losing your purity, getting fired from a job, having a death in the family, or having a addiction. While the bad, in the moment, may seem overwhelming and punishing. Remember, God doesn’t want to punish you but He wants to prepare you for a later time in your life. He has you going through a difficult situation to be able to help someone else out or to give you a powerful testimony!

Remember this: while speed bumps seem awful and uncomfortable to go over, they have a very big purpose for keeping you safe on the road. While you may be beating yourself up over a situation you’re in or you’re on your last leg of trying in life, remember that God has full control and put a speed bump in your life to slow you down and get you to acknowledge Him. God is a mysterious God, He is all knowing, so we often times can’t see how things will fall together, but they will.

So, next time you’re out navigating life. Don’t try and avoid the speed bumps and look for an alternative route because you’re going to be missing out on the plans God has for your life.While you may eventually get to your desired destination via your alternate route, it will have taken you much more time, gas, and frustration to get there. Don’t be afraid of the speed bumps, embrace them, and remember their purpose.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 ESV

Love is Patient.

April 12, 2011 Comments Off on Love is Patient.

Often times I get the question of “What is love” or “Am I really feeling love?” Well, I can’t really tell you what you feel deep down inside or the butterflies that you get when you around that special someone. However, what I can tell you is that love never compromises your beliefs or morals. Often times, we feel like we have to give into someones elses wants and desires. Girls feel like they have to give into what their boyfriends want. Guys feel like they have to give into their bodily desires or mindset. I pose this question: is there an actual point to having a physical relationship, yet? While I have not lived under a rock my entire life, physical relationships however shallow or deep they actually are, always end up hurting you the worst and leaving the greatest scar.

Think about a relationship, can you actually picture it without the hookups on the couch or the dorm room experiences? If you can’t, you should question your own morales for wanting to be in a relationship. If you gear your relationship to lead through the physical aspect, you are going to eventually run the relationship into a dead end because you have nowhere to grow into. Think about it this way: when you were younger, your parents would buy you a nice pair of shoes with plenty of room to go into because they didn’t want to waste their investment. If you center your relationship around the physical things, you are buying a shoe that fits your foot exactly and it has no room to grow into. Remember: love is patient, if you give into your own or someone else’s desire you ARE NOT being patient. Therefore, you are not experiencing love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” -1 Cor. 13:4-7

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