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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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.