“Rejoice always.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16
I’ve got this passion, I guess you could say, about finding joy in Christ, and only in Christ. I am not saying it’s bad for other things to bring joy, but I don’t think it’s a good thing for something or someone else to be the main source of joy in our lives. If our joy is in anything or anyone else, we will be let down; our lives will be good or great for a while, but then it won’t be so awesome later. This is the truth, because this is just simply how things go. We are not made for people; we are made for God.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” -Genesis 1:26
It may seem normal for us to try to find our worth and joy and our everything in another person, because it may seem like we’re made in each others’ likeness. That is not the case, though. We are made in GOD’s likeness, and we are meant to find our worth and joy and our everything in HIM.
Now here I am, realizing more and more how much I need to find all of my joy and strength in Christ, only to realize that I’m not sure if I’ve ever known how to do so. It is one of those things that is much easier said than done, or maybe just an idea that sounds great. So how exactly do we find our joy and contentment and strength in Christ?
I’ve really been thinking and praying about it for the past week or so, and I’ve come to a basic conclusion: we must accept that we are who God says we are in Christ. But then, what does that mean? A few examples…
- We are important.
-“But as it is,(AD) God arranged the members in the body, each one of them,(AE) as he chose…All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” -1 Corinthians 12:18,27
- I am completely forgiven of all of the crap I’ve done.
-“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” -Colossians 1:13-14
- We are more than conquerors.
-“…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” -Romans 8:37
And that’s just a start. We are told that we are all these things through Christ, and God doesn’t lie. I’m not completely worthless, I’m not a failure, my singing sounds great to Him, my life is important to Him. My life is a big deal to Him. He doesn’t want to see my life suck, unless it’s to build me up in Him. He’s not going to try to look for all of my wrongs, but He is quick to forgive. Wanna know what’s ridiculous? If we live our lives for God, He sees us as His Son.
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” -2 Corinthians 2:15
Pretty crazy, right? God sees us as something special. He sees us as someone worthwhile. He sees us as important. He legitimately cares for us and wants the best for us. Why in the world would I want to find joy and strength and contentment in anything else, when everything else will let me down?
I encourage you to meditate on these verses and pray about them. Realize that how you see yourself is not how God sees you. You may feel like a failure, but to God, you are Christ. Pray that God will help you see this.
We are so loved.
Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are the indicators of a person filled with, growing in, and led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Without these, everything is just talk.
We can’t generate this kind of fruit on our own. The question for you and me: will we be filled with the Spirit today? If that’s your desire, where do you need to start today?
Valentine’s Day was wonderful because of this girl:
I am super blessed. Shoot.
I’m currently going through a course that’s about freedom in Christ, and it’s been a good time. Through it, I’m learning a lot of new cool stuff, and seeing verses in a different light. Here are a couple verses that it’s brought up that really just stuck with me and I don’t want to forget them.
- Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. —Jeremiah 29:12-14
- When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. —Psalm 126:1-3
Good stuff, right? I’m really beginning to see freedom in Christ more clearly. I like having a God worthy of praise. =)
Keep in mind this blog isn’t necessarily for everyone to be reading it. This is just me getting my thoughts out and for me to kind of see where I’ve been and see how God’s working in me.
I’ve been going through the Gospels recently. Jesus really likes the phrase, “Your faith has saved you/made you well/healed you/etc.” All these people thought that them touching Jesus was what would save them and heal them and such. But notice that every time someone does that, Jesus says it’s their faith that is doing the crazy stuff. I mean, technically it’s God doing all the crazy stuff, but He does it because of their faith (if any of you are reading this and being all like, “No, He does it because blah blah blah,” realize I’m not doing this to be a theologian. God has many reasons for doing things, so be a Christian and don’t try fighting).
I’m beginning to see that faith is going to be a lifelong lesson for me. I don’t think faith is a very well understood concept, and that sucks. We’re told, “Ask and you will receive,” but we don’t really believe that. But we should! If we ask with complete faith and knowing that it’s our request isn’t out of God’s character, then why would He give us a “snake instead of a fish?” You get what I’m saying?
This whole Christian thing is a lot harder and more complex than churches and youth groups make it out to be.
For anyone who reads this, sorry. This will be pretty dumb to you, but it was a little on the life changing side for me.
I was initially planning on spending Thanksgiving Break watching Boy Meets World, Facebooking, and video gaming. However, on Friday night, the 19th, I changed. It hurt, but it needed to happen. I started a course kind of thing about my motivation for everything being God’s glory and that if I want to do anything right in this world, it would need to be for God’s glory. God has cursed/blessed me so much by making everything I do suck unless it’s for His glory. God’s also in the process of teaching me how to be a man. I’m a little ticked at myself and society for making me think becoming a man just happens over time, without trying or anything. This world sucks.
This change got me into His Word more, into legitimate fellowship, and into more service stuff. For example, yesterday I cleaned the garage because I walked into it and thought, “Hey, this is messy. We could put two cars in here if I cleaned this up.” Tomorrow, I’m putting up Christmas lights. I vacuumed the floor without it even being hinted at. Other things like that have been happening this week. This isn’t the typical me, and I don’t say this stuff to make me look good. I was a selfish, worthless, wasting-away boy basically up until now. Now, I’m trying to get out of that mindset.
Things are changing now, and it’s cool, and it’s all God.
I’m very thankful for my beautiful best friend, Alyssa Blackburn. And future Austin, when you read this, I want you to know she is my best friend. I’m not just saying that. This was the truth before we started dating, and it’s become an even bigger truth over the past couple months. I love every second I get with her. She amazes me every day. Our relationship is ridiculously blessed by God. Ridiculously.
Proactive vs. Reactionary.
Wisdom vs. Emotion.
Instead of saying it, say why.
We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. —Hebrews 10:24 (CEV)
I hope this is enough for me to remember.
I don’t know why people think the twelve disciples were so holy.
I mean, I used to think the same thing, but I’m beginning to realize the opposite. Jesus was passing by and He’s just like, “Hey, you. Come with me.” These disciples were fishermen and tax collectors. Basically, jerks, liars, and such. Or the tax collectors were at least.
But despite this, Jesus gave them authority to cast out demons and heal people. He calls them, these sinners and jerks and doubting people, to go out and spread the Gospel.
Where is our faith?
I’ve lately been overwhelmed by my lack of faith and the world’s lack of faith. Mostly mine, though. I’ve always thought that I had faith, but man. No way. I only ask small things, because in reality, unconsciously, I don’t believe God will do bigger things. I think He’ll disappoint me. I think He’ll let me down. Why in the world do I believe that? (Answer: I’m a disciple. Not a direct disciple, but still. Even the disciples dealt with this.) I just can’t believe myself. I have no reason to not believe God will do something. And if I do, I bet my life that it’s because I didn’t believe He would come through.
I can’t get this out of my head:
“And [the demon] has often cast [my son] into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to [the father of the son], “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
God, I believe. Please help my unbelief.
I’ve been meaning to post some things on here earlier, but I keep putting it off. Anyway, here’s what’s been sticking out a lot as I’m going through Mark.
First off, in Mark 3:31-35, it says:
And his mother and hisbrothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoeverdoes the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
I’ll be honest. This has always kind of upset me. I always think, “Wow, that’s kind of rude.” I’ve thought that for years, and I still thought it when I read it this time. However, Alyssa brought up something. She was talking about being a missionary in East Asia and how her parents would want her to be closer and stuff, but she knows that doing the will of God is more important than her family. Kind of a harsh truth, but still very true. This really helped me understand Mark 3:31-35. Jesus was doing things for God, so that’s the priority. I’m not quite sure if I worded all that correctly, but it really helped me see what Jesus was saying.
Another thing that I found interesting was in Mark 6:48-50:
And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
I thought this was sweet. You see, I always thought Jesus was trying to freak them out, but apparently, He was planning on just passing by. Now I’m kinda stretching a life application from this, but I think it’s cool: I think a lot of times, we freak out about something going on, whether it be good or bad. For me, it’s typically bad, like stressing out about something. But Jesus is just like, “Hey, don’t worry. It’s just me working on you and making you better.” Because when Peter saw Him, Jesus was saying, “Trust me on this. I’ll take care of you and this is going to be totally awesome if you have faith in me.” Through this experience, Peter’s faith probably grew quite a bit. Once again, I probably sucked at the wording on this, so forgive me.
That’s about it for right now. By the way, some side notes…
Would Jesus be a flirt? Heck no. / I feel like we all doubt way too much, whether we know it or not. / I don’t think we trust God as much as we say or think we do. At all.
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”
When I read this, I was basically amazed. You see, what I do when I’m sad is get away from people and stay away from people. This is just an introverted thing to do. For some reason, I feel like Jesus was introverted, but still loved people. So when John the Baptist dies, what does Jesus do? Well, He does try to get away from people. But, the follow Him. Instead of trying to get away from them again, He has compassion on them and heals them. How cool is that? And then when it’s acceptable for Him to send people away and be alone, He’s just like, “You know what? Let’s feed them.”
Kind of a slap in the face? You bet.