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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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!

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.

Something Different

I  usually post on wordpress when I’m at a great point in life and when nothing is bothering me. Well today I am at one of my lowest points that I’ve been in a while. I decided to share with you guys what’s on my heart and bothering me today. I am always in an argument with one of my brothers, always verbally abusing each other back and forth. I’m always arguing with my dad and always butting heads with him. I don’t know why, but the hardest place for me to be a Christian is in my own home. It’s so hard to tame my tongue when my brothers or dad bother me. It’s so hard to refrain from fighting with my brothers when they do something to tick me off. I really don’t know why but it is. I guess devil will work in the places where you probably find yourself the most, in my case at home. I do my best just to fall harder the next time around. It’s really something, God’s grace. It really is. That He could love someone that’s always messing up and bringing Him shame. That whatever we do, is covered by the death of His own Son….Thats phenomenal.

I am really down right now, but I need to do this. I would rather blog while at my lowest, than go smoke a pack of cigarettes, or drink some liquor, or smoke some weed because I’m upset at my brothers.

Going back to Philippians 1:27, I memorized this verse so that I could refer to it when i would be brought down and my character would become opposite of Christs. Today I ignored this verse and went crazy. Details aren’t important, however it is important that I share this: We need to act like Christ. I feel like a hypocrite saying that at the same time as knowing how I acted earlier today. I say this with confidence however, because the Word of God says that no man is without sin and if someone claims to be without sin, he is a liar. So in other words I am not afraid to share my short comings because you are not better than me and I no better than you. We are all in the same race, we are just moving at different speeds.

Let’s do our best to remember this verse. Philippians 1:27 ” Above all, you must act as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good news of Christ.” Be blessed and thanks for sharing your time with me.

Todays Devotional – Christ Character

After I came back from WIU, I think my biggest struggle was acting like Christ, being a Christian in all aspects of my life, not just at my church services and youth services. I struggle with being peaceful in my household. I struggle with anger towards anyone that bothers me. I struggle with pride towards my father. I have a hard time being humble towards my brothers. I struggle with many other things that if you looked at me, you wouldn’t have the slightest clue if I was Christian or if I was just a lost soul.

This has made me desire Christ even more recently, to desire Him with a spirit that’s unashamed to seek His help for my imperfections and to ask Him to use me to help anyone with the same issues.

I thought that if I went back to college, I could get away from my problems and stress that I accumulate in my home with my parents and siblings. But i realized going away isn’t going to help solve the problem. Rather it’s only going to postpone it for a later time. 

Today I read from Philippians and Christ gave me peace and strength once again as I decided to study this book again. As I read chapter 1, I got to verse 11 which says

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:11

In this verse alone, God opened my eyes, mind, and spirit, to just be more reverent on this idea and this message and theme of righteous character. This is the thing we need in our life more than anything as followers of Christ; a CHRIST-LIKE character!

Later on in the passage we come to verse 27 which says in the beginning of it

“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good news about Christ.” Philippians 1:27a

Just in this part alone we are reminded once again of the character we must have and obtain. I do believe repetition is a strong emphasis in the Bible whenever an important theme, message, word, or idea was to be delivered, repetition was the tool in which that sense of importance was delivered by. Here in this chapter 1 alone we see this message and theme of having righteous character appear twice.

Lets ask the Lord to reveal to us in which ways we are faulting and messing up and ask Him to help us realize these mistakes and change them. Let’s ask Christ to mold us as He wishes for His divine plan because we are never truly done growing in Him.

Thank you for reading my message today, and I hope Christ works in you as He is in me. Praise His holy name. Peace and Love!

Just a Quick Thought

For such a long time I was afraid to post up again because I didn’t want to post anything without being “good” in my own eyes. I wanted to be the perfect human and Christian before I posted again. But i realized this a long time ago, and I’m realizing this again right now: that we are all imperfect and none of us deserve anything. But there are people out there that can use us even as imperfect as we may be. They might be weaker than us and we may not even realize, how much they need us. To ourselves we may be so weak and useless, but to that person, you might be stronger than a ton of bricks. (sorry I didn’t have a better analogy haha) But anyways. We should not stop ourselves from doing the work of Christ. That if anything, is the least Christ-like thing to do. We must continue on strong and not look behind us.

I personally still cant full grasp how or why God has such amazing grace towards us, but I can say that no matter how lowly you may see yourself, God doesn’t see that which you see. He sees Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for you, for me, and for each ad every one of us “lowly humans”

It’s funny because last year I started this blog not knowing in which direction I was headed in with it. Not knowing what would turn out from it. All I wanted to do was make time and post everyday. I almost cant believe it, but I did so successfully for a very long period of time; maybe about 4 or 5 months (which by the way for me to do something that long is an achievement). I just wanted to help people out. Hoping that if just one person read my blog they would get something out of it and that I myself could grow closer to Christ as I did so. 

This blog was a blessing and encouragement for many including my very self. Im thankful for the time I spent investing in it, and I pray I can continue to do so now as well as in the future.

I ask you though, please, please, give me feedback. Message me, email me, do something, I just want more interaction with you who read my blog. I don’t want to feel like I am just talking to a computer screen. So if I can ask you to please communicate with me, I hope it isn’t too much and I hope it doesn’t send out the wrong idea.

Thank you so much for the support you do give me, all those of you that do, and I pray that God may continue to bless us all and help us be fruitful and praise His holy name in all we do.

A Little Something For Now

I know I’ve been off this for too long. I almost forgot how to write. Anyhow, I just wanted to say a little something:

First, God is so good. In this long period of time I haven’t posted, I went through a bunch of small ups and ginormous downs. Reason being, my eyes weren’t focused on Christ the whole time. However God is good. He reminded me about a month ago what my purpose is here on this planet. I had a strange feeling in my heart to go to church this one thursday, so i did. From the moment I walked into the sanctuary, it took but 10 seconds for the brother to come and speak what the Lord wanted to tell me, that my life in the community I have been born and raised in isn’t meaningless and that there is a leader waiting to be born in me. I need to allow God to work in and around me and to wash me of my ridiculous old/current self. He needs to increase and i must decrease. Please take Him seriously. Fear Christ the right way. Not in a shivering, hiding under the bed kind of way. Rather in a way that you would fear your very own father at one time in your life if you showed up 2 hours late home. In a respectful way.

Second, we need revival. Revival is so crucial to us and to our generation. Especially now that we are surrounded by the worst of the worst from the world, especially now that for us men to live is lust, sex, and drugs, especially for you women that to live is beauty, or should i say unrealistic goals of beauty, materializing your body’s, and degrading yourself. We need to ask Christ to intervene in our lives and to make us new in Him. We need to have the Holy Spirit reign in our lives and control us fully. And when i say control, I mean drive, motivate, and guide us. I mean that we need to be constantly fighting on our knees, constantly asking the Lord to perfect our ways of living through circumstances and dealing with struggles and temptations. We need to be more seeking of Him in order for Him to come to us and be in us and for us. We CANNOT expect something to happen out of nothing; after all, that’s why the big bang theory is discredited. SOMETHING CANNOT COME OUT OF NOTHING. A revival WILL NOT sweep us if we don’t dive in wholly and fully. 

We need to give God everything! Not a little bit of us and a little bit of facebook. Not a little bit of us and a little bit of Big Sean. Not a little bit of us and a little bit of a dirty mouth. Look I know I’m not perfect, but each day i acknowledge that and ask God to start me fresh so that I can do His work. I dont know when i will get a chance to post again. I dont know how often i will be posting, all i know now, is that it’s time for a revival and you’re either in or out. You’re either a follower of Christ and a leader for Him, or you’re a cheerleader/spectator who does nothing and will go nowhere in life. Please take this life seriously. Why is it that people have to die for us to realize how short life is? Why is it that someone has to leave our midst in order for us to realize that not only are they missing, but that God is too? 

Let’s live new lives. Let’s be holy. That’s all God wants from us. Sincere holiness. From that everything else comes.

Remember these passages:

Ecclesiastes 3:20 “All go to one place: all are from dust, and return to dust.”

Ecclesiastes 3:14 “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.

God bless you all and Godspeed. ❤ 🙂