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!

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.

Victory Over Sin

I want to share something about sin that God put on my heart a couple days ago. Too many times I hear about how someone I know is tormented because sin is ruling over them. I hear that they have depression, are withdrawing from their social life, have no peace, no joy, and so on. Too many times in my own life I thought that I had no control over what I did. I though I could never overcome my struggle with cigarettes, or alcohol, or porn, or cursing, or lying, and so on. I thought I was bound to these sins until someone else, greater than me prayed over me and freed me. Boy was I wrong.

I came across some powerful stuff in Romans the other day. I mean, I always heard that as Christians, we have the power to overcome sin through Jesus Christ, but I never read it for myself, to understand it for myself, to absorb it for myself, and to study it by myself. Then I read Romans chapter 6. In this passage, several times, we are reminded that we can overcome the power of sin because of Jesus Christ. Because We have chosen to follow Christ and be his children, we now also have the same power to overcome as he has! He frees us from our bondage! We don’t have to be stuck in it! Read these powerful truths:

“… Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”

“6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”

“10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.”

“12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

Now I don’t know what you understand from here, but it’s pretty clear to me. When we were in the world, when we were slaves to sin, when we had our fleshly desires as our master, we had no power over sin. But once we decided to follow Christ, once we decided to let Him lead our lives, that power was broken. (Another reason why water baptism is so important and significant, but I won’t go into this now)

WE HAVE POWER OVER SIN! Now its up to us. It’s up to us to choose the victory or to choose the loss over it. When that tempting sin creeps up in your life, are you going to give in? Are you going to fall again? Are you going to tell yourself this is the last time for the millionth time already? Are you going to stop tomorrow that isn’t guaranteed? Or are you going to finally say “Enough is enough, I will NOT give you control over me. I will not allow you to further separate me from the Lord, and I WILL NOT hurt my God who loves me so much that He sent his only son to die for me.” It’s up to you at this point.

If you are someone who doesn’t know Jesus Christ personally, please feel free to email me at jasondumitru@yahoo.com. If don’t know this power over sin, or what freedom from this bondage is, please email me. I’d love the opportunity to share what God’s done in my life, and what He has done and can do for you!

God bless you all and thanks for reading today’s post. Be encouraged.

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!