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.

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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!

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.

UPDATE & A Promise of the Bible

UPDATE: I apologize for the long break, however I was in Romania for a couple weeks and I didn’t have a chance to post anything. But I do have REALLY great news! As some of you may know, I am serving in Austria as a missionary. We have quite a few ministries here and a rehab center is one of them. As of this last week, we now have a new leader, two more students, and we might even be getting another student on Friday. We have seen such blessings from the Lord in just the past couple of days, so thank you to all who sustain us in prayer and fasting! God really is working!

Today I want to encourage you all with a passage I read from 1 Corinthians that is really powerful when you accept it, believe it, and trust it!

“8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NLT)

These verses were so amazing for me to read. It doesn’t matter who you are, as a Christian, somehow satan will find ways to discourage you, and make you lose heart, and get attacked, and so on. That is why I wanted to share this with you all.

If you are in a difficult time, if you are facing a storm in life, if the problems in your life are bringing you down, then you must read these verses and realize the truth they can have in your life. Paul says God will keep us strong to the end. And he says that God will do this. He says that God is faithful to do what he says he will do. He is saying this confidently and this means that this is a promise!

Let’s trust in this promise of the Bible! God will keep us strong. So if today you’ve lost heart, if you’ve been discouraged, please, don’t let it continue. Please turn to Christ and give it all to Him. He will help you out in this time. Only He knows how to bless us and help us out of these situations.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s post. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you! If you need encouragement, have any questions, have any concerns, or even need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to email me at jasondumitru@gmail.com

Hope In Hopelessness

Hello dear friends! I read something really amazing today in the book of Romans and I wanted to share it with you all! So many times in this life we find ourselves without hope. We find ourselves being hopeless in many situations. Maybe at home we don’t have the best relationship with our spouse, children, parents, or siblings. Maybe we are in a bad place at work and we feel like we can’t move up. Maybe we are stuck in sin and addictions that we feel are preventing us from living up to our full potential. Maybe we are in ministry and we can’t find a way to be satisfied with what we are doing and feel stuck.

Well, today I want to share with you something AMAZING! No matter what your situation is, THERE IS HOPE! In the Bible, we see so many examples of people who hoped in hopeless situations and circumstances and God came through. However, the example I want to talk about is from the Old Testament in Genesis, referenced in the New Testament letter written to the Romans by Apostle Paul. He says in Romans, chapter 4, verses 18-21;

“18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.”

We can see that Abraham had zero reasons to have hope in the idea that he could be the father of many nations being that he was already 100 years old and had zero kids. In reality there should have been no hope. BUT, Abraham KNEW the God he serves and held on to hope of God’s promise that He would come through. He held on to the word the God had spoken to him and didn’t waiver! It says in verse 20, that in fact, his faith GREW STRONGER.

I know that we each have our own problems and I can’t sit here and minimize certain situations while really giving attention to others. But, I can say that no matter what you are going through, no matter what brokenness and hopelessness you face, there is, among all of these things, hope. There is as a matter of fact much hope. That hope is Jesus Christ.

When you truly surrender your problems over to Jesus, when you lay your worries at the foot of the cross and acknowledge that you cannot fix anything that has been broken on your own, you cannot make something happen that is supposed to happen by yourself, and that the only true source of hope is found in Jesus Christ, only then will you be able to see this hope and cling onto this faith that Abraham had. Believing in a God who can raise the dead to life, who can create something from nothing, and who would send His son to die for you and me who deserve nothing but hell, this is the real hope.

There are always reasons to be hopeless, but there is one bigger reason to be hopeful. The promise of everlasting life found in Jesus Christ. When you focus on this hope found in Jesus, these problems, no matter how big, your heart will no longer be hopeless and burdensome, but peaceful and calm. Remember this!

God bless you all. I hope this post encouraged you and grows you as I have. Please feel free to share and encourage others with it. Don’t ever hesitate if you want to ask me a question or have a prayer request that I can post up!

Faith Known In All The World

I started reading the book of Romans again today and I came across something small, yet so big. If you read chapter 1 it’s so easy to just pass over this significant (or at least to me it is) verse without realizing. In 1:8, Paul says:

“First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

So what’s the big deal? This is: That these Romans had such a faith, that they were being talked about throughout the world. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really think my faith is being talked about throughout the whole world. That’s a very big and powerful statement.

There are many people in the scriptures who had great faith, Hebrew 11 is an awesome read about faith! But today I want to encourage each and every one you as well as myself to have a greater faith, to walk more by faith, to trust God more in faith, to bless others in faith, and everything else we do, to do in greater faith. Knowing that if we do something, we are doing it with a confidence in the Lord that He is leading, that He will take care of what lies ahead, that He will provide, that He will replenish the blessings we shower on others in greater measures, and so on!

All this being said, it’s great to hear about big faith. It’s tickling to the ear to hear that God will provide and that He will take care. Then why is it so hard to live by faith? Because often times we are bubble Christians. We live in a comfortable bubble that revolves around ourselves instead of Christ. (What I am describing next is not all Christians, just a vast majority in modern day America, and possibly other first world countries) A bubble that revolves around our schedule and what we want. A bubble in which we go to work, school, spend time with our family, and everything is nice and dandy. We know when the next paycheck is coming. We know that when we go to work or school, we are going to see the same people we see each day and they won’t be interested in hearing about Christ, because we never do anything to reflect Christ, and we are scared or nervous about what to say or do. We come home to our family and even more so are comfortable at home, so comfortable, that a whole other side of our character is visible. We raise our voice, make rude remarks, get lazy about chores and helping around the house, and so on.

So let’s pop this bubble! The only way to pop it, is to realize that this bubble that revolves around us, needs to go away and we need to center our lives around Jesus. When we do this, Jesus shows us how to use our time. He convicts us of where we must invest more or less time. Jesus will reveal himself more and more to our hearts and we will know how to speak with people at work or school. He will help us understand what we must do to live out the Gospel. He will give us wisdom to speak to our wife or husband. He will help us become a better brother or sister, son or daughter, father or mother. When we give it all to Him, every aspect of our life, and let it revolve around His desires for us, that’s when we begin living by faith!

I hope todays post encouraged you as it did me. May God continue blessing each one of us according to His perfect will for our lives! Please continue praying for the rehab center we have here in Austria. We have need finances to pay off the van we have for the center, the heating system, and now especially since winter is approaching, we must get wood from somewhere to burn for our heating! Thank you for reading. Feel free to share and encourage someone else with this post.