Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken. He came to save the sinner. In one of my classes, this thought came to mind as I heard sad story after sad story from my classmates. (Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?) This does not mean that he supports their actions, but his love for them will never change. Why is this? Because Jesus came to save the broken.
Jesus came to save my classmates, but they lack the realization that they need him. Maybe they think their lives are fine with out him. Maybe they think they’re spiritually healthy.
While on earth, Jesus spent most of his time with the lost and broken. In Matthew 9:12-13 (NIV) Jesus states, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Healthy people don’t understand that they are sick, sinful, and in need of a savior. But the sick, they line up outside of the doctor’s office hoping for something to heal the pain. Do you realize that you are sick and in need of a savior? Maybe you are immune to the hurting in your heart. Maybe like my classmates, you think these feelings are a normal part of life. Or maybe you actually think you are healthy. Continue reading
I walk out of class in a daze. So much sadness. So much pain. Jesus, will these people ever come to know you? Will they ever experience your life change? When will they experience your healing, forgiveness, redemption, grace and love?
This is my last semester of undergrad at the University of South Florida. I’m taking a class called Storytelling, and each week we share personal stories from our lives. During class last week, students shared one sad story after the next. Topics included: abortion, death, getting kicked out of the church, loss of friends, moving, getting arrested, abuse, and more. I was left questioning, God, when will you change their hearts?
In class, I looked around at my classmates and thought how beautiful each person was because God created them in his image. God, shouldn’t that mean you care about them? Yet, they don’t know you at all. Do they want to know you? Do they even have the information that you exist to be able to make this decision?
So many thoughts. So many questions.
Then, I think about how God saved me. What makes me different? Why did God choose me? I’m just like them. I have similar stories of pain and brokenness. I have screwed up just like them. What makes me different than them? Continue reading
Sin is fun. If sin wasn’t fun, then we would have no problem walking away from it and constantly obeying God. I don’t always want to follow God and his ways, but I’m asking God to begin changing my heart. I want to view his commands as beautiful gifts wrapped in shiny blue paper. I want to desire to obey him more than I desire the sins in my life.
If I take the step and turn to God, searching for the answers, then maybe I’ll begin to understand the purpose of his commands. Continue reading
Yes! Yes, you can. Christians ask, “How can I socialize with people that have different beliefs than me and not be lead astray from God?
People tell you to be careful not to let non-Christians influence you negatively and say, “Don’t be “un-equally yoked” with a friend.” This can be good advice in some situations, but it can also stop us from loving and befriending others. I have many friends that I love who aren’t walking with God. That doesn’t stop me from loving them or being friends with them.
If we don’t befriend non-Christians, how will they hear about Jesus?
Back in June, I wrote a post titled, “I’m not qualified”, about how we quickly believe the lie that we are not qualified for any leadership role. Think back to this key statement: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. Do you still feel unqualified? Maybe the root problem is that we limit God. We don’t believe that he can qualify us.
Has God put something on your heart to do, but you have pushed those thoughts away?
Maybe you doubt God’s power to make you qualified. Maybe you keep telling yourself that God could never make you more_____(Fill in the blank.)
Friends, stop telling yourself lies. Continue reading
During busy seasons of life, spending time with God can be forgotten and easily pushed aside. Here are 10 ways to help you have a more effective quiet time.
- Find your spot. Find a quiet spot, or a spot where you can focus.
- Only bring what you need. Bring your Bible, journal, pen, and maybe a devotional book. Leave your computer at home because it can easily become a distraction.
- Plan. Plan it into your schedule. Set a specific time and length each day.
- Start with prayer. Ask God to give you wisdom to understand the scripture you read, and to help you focus on him.
- Journal. Write down what God shows you. As you read scripture, God will teach you things. Write them down so you do not forget them. Write the verses out. This will help you learn the verse, and be able to look back later when God feels distant. (For more about journaling, read Why journal?)
- Praise God. Worship God for who he is.
- Thank God. Thank God for who he is and what he has done.
- Confess your sins. Ask God to reveal any sins that are hurting your relationship with him.
- Write things down. Write out your prayers and answered prayers. You can look back and see how God was faithful.
- Close in prayer.
The summer is only half way over, so don’t give up! Pursue Jesus and purse spending time with him. I’ll be right there with you. =]
Join me in finding joy in the journey.
Lately, I’ve been asking myself why I value Jesus. Do I value him because he is useful or because he is beautiful?
It is easy to forget about the beauty of Jesus, and it is even easier to focus on your own needs and desires.
To figure out why I value Jesus, I went to my journal and looked at what I’ve been praying for. None of my recent prayers have been thanking Jesus or admiring Jesus. They have been about me and my wants.
Jesus, help my friend love me.
Jesus, help me rid my addiction to sugar.
Jesus, use me to further your kingdom.
Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me. Jesus, help me.