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

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.

Bearing Fruit

Again, before I begin writing, I would like to apologize for my absence again. I haven’t posted in just over a month. I was extremely busy with preparing to leave Austria for a home visit, and now since the end of October until this Tuesday morning, I’ll be in America. I had a blessed time in Chicago (my home town) for two and a half weeks and now I’ve been in Portland for a week and a half. Now I’m just getting ready to go back to my ministries in Austria and get settled back in my home away from home.

Today I want to share with you all an idea that’s been on my heart for a while now because I know it’s been the Holy Ghost’s conviction upon my life. In recent weeks, I’ve been hearing a gentle whisper asking me “Jason, what fruit do you bear?”. Other times I heard “Do you practice what you preach?”. And over and over I heard a similar question in my mind that led me to understand first of all, this IS the Holy Spirit speaking conviction upon me, and secondly I really need to be more aware of my actions, thoughts, words, and surroundings. I really need to step it up, in other words I really need to bear fruit that I speak about.

I don’t want to write to much for the sake of those who don’t like reading a lot. But I do want to say that as Christians we really must check ourselves daily. As I said earlier, the reason this has been on my heart is that I have been hearing the gentle whisper of the Spirit of God in my life. This voice, this hearing that I speak of, is one that we all must hear as Christians. If we can’t hear it, there is something wrong with out lifestyle, with our hearts, and ultimately we are separated from our Father because of nothing else other than sin.

Jesus said in John 15:5:

“5. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

We must understand that without Him, we don’t bear fruit, we can’t bear fruit. and in Matthew 3:8 and 3:10, John the Baptist tells us this:

“8. Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,”
“10. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

These powerful truths need to be enough for us as Christians to realize where we are in the wrong and that we must pick ourselves back up from the ground and continue to move forward with our Father and Friend. Don’t let the guilt-trip of Satan hold you back. Don’t let your own condemnation keep you down. Remember that condemnation is from Satan but conviction comes from the Holy Spirit.

If we do not bear fruit, we will be cut off from the root. We will be thrown into an eternal fire. It doesn’t matter that you bear a title of a missionary or a pastor, it doesn’t matter if you bear a kind heart, it doesn’t matter if all you do your whole life is donate to charity, no, it’s about much more than that. It’s about bearing the fruit of the Spirit! Galatians 5:22-23 says:

“22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

We aren’t perfect, but we must strive for perfection always. thats what the Word of God says in Philippians 3:12. I pray that God uses the words that He has put on my heart for today to bless you all and that they are used for His glory. May God continue to draw us nearer to him. I am glad that I have a hope in Him. May peace and love be with you all. Thank you for reading todays post.

 

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!

Leaving It In God’s Hand

Right now I’m 20 years old. I know I haven’t gone through too much of this life, but I can tell you one thing. I’m going through it…that’s for sure. I’m seeing new things everyday being out in the mission field. 

Before a person gets into ministry, he might have some sort of assumptions about what it might be (at least I know I did). For example, he might think it’s something that he gets to do that glorifies God and is fun, or that it gives him the right kind of attention, or that it gives people a good impression about him, or that he’ll get to see the fruit of his harvest right after he starts. Although these things can be true, most of the time it’s not like this at all.

Ministry ultimately means service or serving. In case we forgot what serving looks like, I’ll remind us about Jesus. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God, came down on earth to teach us what serving is. 

Serving is when you are in the right, yet you humble yourself as if you were in the wrong. Serving is coming to a planet as a man, even though you are the Son of God, to heal, restore, and love a bunch of people who don’t love you back the same way. Serving is dying on a cross for the same person who spat in your face, beat you, and mistreated you as if you were worse than an animal.

It’s funny how I personally lose sight and understanding of this. I forget this truth about serving and what it means to serve. 

I talk to my missionary brothers all across the world and I see how whenever we go through these tough seasons, the devil finds ways to bring us down by convincing us our harvest isn’t bearing fruit, that our work is pointless, and we are doing nothing that is changing the world. But when these lies come up, this verse encourages me and I want it to encourage you if you find yourself in in a dry season or if you’re not seeing the fruit of your harvest:

“I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the LORD’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.””

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In these times, we must learn to leave it all in God’s hand. We can’t keep allowing the enemy to come into our lives, deceiving us, and making us quit from the ministries God has placed in our lives.

Let’s be encouraged again! Let’s allow the Word of God and His promises to lift us up and keep us in a state of joy because of what He’s done for us. Let’s trust Him with our reward for the dry seasons!

Hope this post encouraged you! If it did, please share it with those who might need it. Any questions? Comment below! God bless you all and thank you for your support and love.