Just Like Them

I read from Luke 22 this morning and some things stuck out to me. Peter is my favorite character in the New Testament (besides Jesus…that’s a given) because I see so much of my character reflected in him through his actions, words, and attitudes. I see his responses and I realize they are so similar to mine. I love identifying with Peter. But, Peter made some serious mistakes. I mean… this man denied Christ THREE times! He could’ve stopped at one denial and repented, but instead he denied Christ three times. Once it was done, he realized what had just happened and he ran away and wept bitterly. There was a conviction that took place in his heart.

On the other hand, in the same chapter, you read about Judas Iscariot betraying Christ by selling him for silver. This man betrayed Jesus Christ and didn’t even feel bad. He was so greedy and corrupt that it didn’t even faze him, probably until it was too late unfortunately.

In verse 24 you read how the disciples even began to argue about who would be greatest in the Kingdom of God. It’s like WHAT?! You are with the Lord Jesus Christ and you care about which one of you is the greatest? OBVIOUSLY that concern shouldn’t have existed, but they were flawed.

That being said, it’s funny to me how we elevate the disciples on such a pedestal sometimes because of how much the Spirit of God worked through them. Although it is true that they were much more mature as apostles, they were very immature as disciples. What I would like to remind us today is this: we are just like them. They didn’t always make the right choices or think the right things.

In more ways than one, the disciples of Christ weren’t that different from us. They were also imperfect. They often feared, worried, and displayed anxiety. They argued and quarreled amongst themselves. They showed contempt on certain occasions. They highly esteemed the wrong thing sometimes. Sometimes they worried about their image before people more than they worried about their image before God. Really though, the list goes on.

I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t take example from them. What I am saying however, is that we cannot beat ourselves up for the shortcomings, flaws, and problems we sometimes create for ourselves. Realistically we must remember that we are humans; by default, this means we are flawed and sinful. Remember Adam and Eve? It was through them that sin entered the world and forever changed the course of humanity.

Today, I’m sure you might be reading this at home in your comfy spot, maybe you’re at the breakfast table starting off your day with a blog post or two, or maybe you’re waiting for your next class to start and quickly skimming through this for some hope that you might pass your finals in these upcoming weeks, you might even be at work reading this right now because you don’t feel like doing your job.

That’s okay. Take a step back and remember how greatly these men were used by God as apostles, these men who were once immature disciples, FULL of flaws. Even as apostles, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and assume they sinned and made mistakes. After all Romans 3:23 reminds us so wonderfully… “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Let’s take what we see in Luke 22 about Peter, about Judas, about the disciples, and realize that we aren’t very far off from each other. We are just like them. Both are flawed and both need Jesus. Be encouraged today that our Lord is alive. Be strengthened that he is with you. Be blessed to know you have salvation in him. Don’t lose courage or be dismayed about your flaws. Look in the Bible and see what these flaws teach you about yourself and what God thinks of you, even with all of them.

If you took the time to read this post today, I bless you in the name of Jesus and I pray victory over your day today.

Advertisements

Where I’m At & Where I’m Going – Quick Update

Hey wonderful people! I’m not even sure where to begin right now because I haven’t posted in almost 2 years. It’s like not calling or texting someone for two years and then you just show up and try to pick up where you left off… It doesn’t really work out that way. But hopefully as time goes on I can make up for the missing details and info. For now, I want to bring you up to speed on where I’m at physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, and basically in all aspects of life.

I want to be clear that I didn’t stop posting because I gave up on or was questioning my faith. I didn’t stop posting because of any criticism from others. I didn’t stop for any other reason, than that I was busy and I needed to focus more on myself and my relationship with God before I could focus on others. I’m still in love with Jesus and honestly I’m more in love with him now than I’ve ever been. It’s been one heck of a journey and God’s brought me through it all. I still love you all and I’m excited to get this blogging train moving again!

Currently, I am a second semester junior at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL. I’m pursuing my BA in Pre-Counseling & Human Services and I will be graduating December 2018 if all goes well. This desire and pursuit began while I was serving in Austria and God really worked on me and revealed some of the gifts I possess; so I began to pursue the growth of these gifts. I applied only to one school in faith, knowing that if I got accepted, I would go. If not, then I would have moved to Austria and pursued the growth from there. That’s the REALLY LONG story short for you all, but as time goes on, I’m sure I’ll include memories or bits from the last two years that I’m skipping over now.

Life is moving so fast and I’m realizing the beauty of life more and more with each new passing day; I’m realizing the beauty of God and the wonderful ways he connects us all together and makes this wonderful wheel that we call life, turn so smoothly (despite all the potholes). I’m excited to get back into blogging and to share my thoughts and ideas, to answer any questions that people might have, and simply to inspire others while also being inspired by them.

People are beautiful because God is beautiful and he made us in his image. This is why my goal in life is to do what Jesus commanded us to in Luke 10:27 – to love God with all my heart, soul, and strength, and my neighbor as myself. I love you all and I’m super excited for this next season and what God will bring and do through even this little blog! God bless you all and I hope your day is blessed!

The Beauty of a Human Jesus

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and continue to have happy holidays! Wishing you all blessings from our missionary team here in Austria! I just want to share a little something with you all before this year is over.

Recently God has been teaching me a lot about Jesus’ character and I want to briefly share some of it with you. I’ve been reading the Gospels again alongside this book called “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldridge (which I HIGHLY recommend) and the author has really used scripture, texts from the Bible that we often pass over with a tone or understanding that we got from church or a pastor. But in reading this book, you get to encounter the character of Jesus in a new way. You get to see the authentic Jesus for who He truly is.

God has opened up to me this truth, that Jesus was more of a human than any of us. He actually lived a life in which he encountered many difficulties and trials that we often give in to. It’s such a wonderful thing, reading the Gospels to get to know the character of Jesus better. It’s really soothing to the soul when you read about how he expressed himself when he was hungry, thirsty, filled with grief, humorous, angry, happy, joyful, sarcastic, compassionate, caring, and so on. We get to see this wonderful side of Jesus that we often don’t get to see from the teachings at church or regular podcast sermons or Christian radio stations.

There truly is beauty in having a human Jesus. The beautiful part about all of it, is that we can relate to him more, or rather, he can relate to us. Understanding that Jesus was a human really helps you as a believer to be more authentic with him. It helps your relationship to really thrive. Because you are no longer praying to a Jesus who is so perfect that He wants nothing to do with you, or a Jesus who wasn’t “actually” a human. I started to get to know him more by simply reading the Gospels again and really studying his responses to people, his actions, his works. I challenge you to do the same. Make this upcoming year, a year in which you get to know who Jesus truly was and who he truly is!

God bless you! Enjoy the rest of this year and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to email me at jasondumitru@yahoo.com

The Privileges of Today’s Christian

I spent some time with the Lord in prayer and in the scriptures today. I came across something that really touched me. Matthew 13:16-17

16. ´´But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your eyes for they hear´´;
17. ´´for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.´´ (NKJV)

This passage really hit me as soon as I finished the last word in verse 17. Do you understand what you just read in these 2 verses? We are blessed for seeing what we see and hearing what we hear, for seeing peoples chains broken from satan, demons casted out, rehab centers healing addicts, churches leading ministries, people serving as missionaries, and SO MUCH MORE! Because we heard the gospel and the message of Jesus Christ, we are blessed! It says prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear, but they didn’t. Does this mean anything to you? Can you see how privileged we are compared to Moses, Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and so many others! We are living the life they wished for, a life in Jesus Christ!

We are so privileged to be Christians. I don’t think we even come close to understanding what a gift we have, how blessed we are to be Christians. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We are filled with the SAME POWER that rose Jesus from the grave. The same power that healed the blind, deaf, mute, the lepers, rose the dead, and blessed so many, is in us. We are living lives that so many from the past would be jealous of.

Now, we understand how privileged we are, but what are we doing with these privileges? Are we furthering the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth? Are we fighting daily to crucify our flesh and its passions to the cross? Are we doing everything to live the life that God has called us to live? We have the Holy Spirit in us dear brothers and sisters. What are we doing with Him? Are we praying, preaching, testifying, doing works, healing, prophecying? What is the point to be a Christian who does nothing? If you aren’t using the Spirit within you, what is the point for you to even have Him in you?

These are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you all. I just wanted to encourage you all to understand what an amazing gift it is to be a Christian, to live in a time where Jesus died for our sins and rose to come back. A time in which we have a helper and a counselor, the Holy Spirit of God, to lift us up, empower us, encourage us, guide and lead us, bless and baptize and fill us up!

God bless you all and thank you for reading todays post. May peace and blessings be upon your home and family in this Christmas and New Year season!

Recharged & Ready

Today I just want to share what God has been doing in my life here in Austria and how He has is leading and paving my path.

Before I came back (recharged and ready to serve) to Austria for my second trip, while I was in Portland, the Holy Spirit really showed me that I need to clean the chambers of my heart. Through some powerful sermons I really came to understand that I have many things in my heart that are not only unpleasing to the Lord, but disgusting. So, I began to repent. I began to ask the Lord for guidance and wisdom in my upcoming mission trip. I realized that I have to give God 100% and be all in, be fully submerged in serving, in whatever way I need to in order to bring Him the glory He deserves.

My first trip here to Austria really worked on me, on building my character, on strengthening qualities within me. I was put through many different trials that, in the moment I didn’t understand the purpose of them. Now I look back and realize they only strengthened me as a servant of the Lord and now I came back with a totally different vision. I came back understanding that I am here to be used by God. I call it “Austria Part II” because I understand now (after a long, half-year of being here), that God brought me here to use me.

But still, before understanding these things, I really didn’t know if God wanted me to still remain here in Austria long term. I prayed to understand what God’s will was in my life. I put a sign before Him to tell me whether or not I am to remain in Austria long-term or short-term. A sign that only God could answer, and sure enough he did. Basically I now have an apartment in Vienna (If you want more details about this, then please email me). Now that I understand that I am meant to be here for another longer period of time, I am fully devoted and dedicated to doing EVERYTHING I can do to glorify the name of Jesus Christ in my life while being here.

I didn’t really want to write a devotional today because I really just wanted to share a little bit about what’s going on, about why I’m still in Austria (or at least a very minuscule part). I am really recharged and ready to  serve and to give God all I have to offer and I just want to encourage you all, hopefully spreading the same fire to you. Please feel free to contact me at jasondumitru@yahoo.com to ask me any questions or just to talk. God bless you all and thank you for reading.

Treasures

It’s already been a couple of days since I’ve been back in Austria. And it feels totally different. It feels different when you’re motivated again and when you want to make a difference. My visit home made me realize and open my eyes to what I must do to be more efficient, effective, and vital here. Christ-centered dedication and perseverance is the only way to successful ministry. I’ve finally embraced that.

Today I want to encourage you all with Matthew 6:19-21:

“19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ESV

Something I can’t deny; my friends are passing me up in life. Materialistically, they are a lot further ahead of me considering I am serving the Lord as a missionary now. They all have nice cars, are getting good jobs, nice condo’s, getting married, and all of these things are great…they just don’t matter though. Once you die, you cannot bring anything with you into the next life. Why fight to have it all here and have nothing in heaven? Why try to store earthly treasures and have no heavenly treasures? 

This is something to get us all thinking and I pray that this post convicts. Thank you for reading and God bless!

It Is Written…

As Christians it is so important that whenever we read the Word of God we get something from it. Whether it’s more wisdom, or knowledge, or understanding, or conviction, or whatever else it might be. We must realize that this book is alive. It is the absolute perfect Word of God. Knowing this will help shape and pave the road for you and I on this walk with Christ.

I read from the book of Matthew this morning and I saw something that immediately convicted me. I read Matthew chapter 5. In this chapter we see that Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights. Seeing this, that Jesus was hungry, and weak (from the aspect that he was in human form), and weary (again, because He was in Human form), satan used this as an opportunity to tempt him with food, to tempt him by testing God, to tempt him by trying to give Jesus all within his earthly kingdom on earth.

But as satan tempted Jesus, each time he responded so well to the tempters offers. Jesus said all three times “It is written…” and then he quoted the Word of God. Upon this I immediately experienced a conviction that I want to share with you all and hopefully you share in it. We must get to know the Word of God better! Jesus knew it when satan came to tempt him and that’s where his victory was found! He knew the Scriptures well. He knew how to defend himself against the evil ones lies and deceiving promises.

I think if Jesus set this example for us, we’d better follow it. Imagine how often satan comes to tempt us and we give in. You know why? Because we don’t know the Word of God. We don’t know the Bible. We don’t have these living words come to life within us often enough. The power of the Bible is so great, but unfortunately it’s useless (to you and I individually) if you don’t become intimate with it. The power of it never comes alive in your life and you don’t get to experience the great victories God has prepared for you.

These words are simply brotherly love towards all of you my brothers and sisters in Christ. I became convicted of the lack of scripture in my life and I want you to experience the same conviction so that things can start changing in, around, and through us! Thank you for reading todays post. I hope it encouraged you, strengthened you, and convicted you like it did for me. May God’s peace, love, and joy be upon you all today. Amen.