Tag Archives: Christ

To Love or Not to Love…that is the question

(To my sweet, dear roommate, I’m sorry, but I’m going to loving pick on you and our funny time this morning ;) It was times like these that always give me reason to laugh!)

This morning, I woke up to the wonderful and new “wildlife noise”–which is usually crickets and birds–of my roommate eating white cheddar cheese rice cakes… at 5:42 this morning.

“Sssshrirlgrrehlpkershhhkl…” The plastic wrapper wrinkled and crinkled as her hungry fingers dove into the bag, antiqued by the white chedder cheese powder.

“Chomp, chomp, chomp…crunch, crunch, crunch…chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch, chomp, crunch…” And then she swallowed, and she started again.

What would Jesus have done if he was woken up by a disciples eating something as loud as white cheddar cheese rice cakes on the morning of the Sermon on the Mount?  Would he have been angry?  Would he not even phased by it?  Would he say it was okay and that he didn’t mind, but actually hold a grudge?

It sounds like a super silly question, one not even worthy of being asked of Jesus.  In essence though, my question and every other question that we ever have boils down to one, root question: “Do I really have to love…always?”

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:7&8

“If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

1 Corinthians 13:2

To love or not to love always?… That is the question, but the answer is always, “Yes!  Love!”

Advertisements

Going the Distance

“Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags go up.
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.
They deftly maneuver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank.
Reckless and wild, they pour through the turns.
Their prowess is potent and secretly stearn.
As they speed through the finish, the flags go down.
The fans get up and they get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can.
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup.
But he’s driving and striving and hugging the turns.
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns

He’s going the distance…”

Do you recognize those lyrics?  It’s the beginning of Cake’s song called “The Distance.”  It used to be one of my favorite songs because of the song’s funky style.  You need to check it out, but beware… the chorus WILL get stuck in your head.  He’s going the distance…He’s going for speed…

This morning, I was flipping through pages in my Bible, just looking around, and I noticed something.  The theme of endurance is all throughout it.  Romans 15:5 even calls God the “God of endurance and encouragement.”  Here’s part of that passage starting in verse 1:

“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up…that through the endurance and encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope.  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:1-2, 4-5

Sometimes we can be like the man in Cake’s song.  Someone may have already won the cup in a worldly race, but we must keep on with endurance for the reward that we have in Heaven with Jesus Christ. (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

Let’s yearn…. Let’s go the distance

Be confidently you!

Do you ever feel scared to be fully who you are?

While in college, this is definitely something that I have struggled with!  It’s hard to explain but sometimes I feel as though I’m in a shell that I’m scared to come out of.

The other day, I heard this quote that really struck a chord with me.  I wish that I could remember it word for word but it went something like this:

The more that God is present within you, the more “you” that you will become. Since He created you and your personality, you will be the most true you whenever He is fully present within you.

In other words, since God is the one that created us, the larger that His presence is within us, we can be even more confident in the person that He created us to be.

“For am I now seeking the approval

of man, or of God?

Or am I still trying to please man?

If I were still trying to please man, I

would not

be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

We are only servants of Christ when we truly believe Him and when His love fills us.  If you are like me, come out of your shell with me and learn that God created us exactly as we are with a purpose!  Be confident in knowing that and let His love fill you as you become more focused on God and His love and His glory rather than what mere, imperfect people may or may not think of you!

Be confidently you!

Be filled with God’s love :)

Seeking Christ

Are you a people pleaser?

I don’t know about you, but I sure am!  Big time, actually.  Pleasing others has always been something I’ve done because it makes me feel better about myself and more loved.

Did you know that the Bible speaks of this specifically?  I had no idea that it did, but one day I was reading in the first chapter of Galatians, and I found this verse.  Here’s what Paul writes in verse 10.

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or God?

Or, am I trying to please man?

If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10

You know how people sometimes cough in their throat whenever they want you to pay attention?  When I read this verse, I felt like Someone must have been tapping on my shoulder and saying, “Cough, Cough, Sarah, Cough!”

Is Someone tapping on your shoulder too?  What is He trying to teach you about how you live your day-to-day life through this verse?

Are you seeking for approval from others?  Maybe it’s time for all of us to realize that we have all the security of self we could ever need.  All we have to do is seek Christ instead of seeking after our peers.

What would it take to radically share the gospel?

“They beat the apostles and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Then they left the presence of the council,

REJOICING

that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

And every day in the temple and from house to house,

they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

Acts 5:40-42

What would it take for us to rejoice in suffering for the name of Christ?

How can we learn to find honor in being counted WORTHY of such suffering on His behalf?

By the way that we live our lives, are we even worthy of suffering dishonor for His name?

———————————————

I read this passage again this morning, and it made me wonder, “Am I waiting for some event to happen in order for me to proclaim the Gospel from every rooftop? What am I waiting for?”

We can share the Gospel in between our friends and smile at the latest realizations we’ve had.  That’s great, but where is the daring courage to reach those that don’t know Him yet?

“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”

Matthew 5:46

God has placed us on this earth to share His love with everyone around.  We should love them through living as an example of the love that Christ has for them.  Forget about our reward, but what others’ rewards.  Will you help them see their reward of heaven through believing?

The question for you today is this: “What would it take for me to love others through a contagious and compelling necessity to share the Gospel?”

What would it take for me to radically share the gospel?

He has already given you the victory…

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that seemed impossible to overcome?

Just like this poor squirrel after Tennessee’s “500 year flood,” failure becomes easier to accept as we lose hope in the possibility of succeeding.

Here recently, I’ve been reading in Joshua.  Over and over again, I’ve read the same words that God says to Joshua.  Here’s the background though… Basically, Joshua is the new leader of the people of Israel since Moses died.  It’s up to Joshua–under God’s guidance, of course–to lead the people into the promised land.  The promised land, though, is being ruled by kings of different nations that don’t believe in God.  In order to enter and live in the land that God promised them, the people of Israel have to fight these different kings and nations.  Despite how impossible it appears for the little people of Israel to defeat these established nations all joined together for the sole purpose of destroying them, God tells Joshua, “Do not be afraid for I have already delivered them into your hands.”

Does this mean that bad things will never happen to us when we are being “the best Christian?”  No, not at all.  The fact that we live in a world full of sin is what causes bad things to happen to us; therefore, don’t ever use your state/degree of troubles as a measurement of how pleased God is with you.  Instead, see every hardship as an opportunity to hear Him say, “Face this struggle with all of My strength because I have already given you the victory.”

Like the squirrel in the previous picture, stand up and face the obstacle that seems impossible.  Remember that faith in God even the size of a mustard seed can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).  With God, you can do all things because He is the one that gives you strength (Philippians 4:13).

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your week knees, and make straight paths for your feet.”

Hebrews 11:12

So whenever you find yourself in a situation that seems impossible, have faith!  Remember that God is with you and that He is whispering in your ear, “Do not be afraid for I have already given you the victory…”

“Satisfy me in the morning…”

Every morning when I walk into the kitchen, this little notecard greets me.  No matter if I am running out the door in a whirlwind or strolling in to make some coffee, this card is always there; it’s meaning is always the same.  This verse reminds us of something that can satisfy us in the morning for all of our days–that which can satisfy us for eternity.  More so than a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, it’s Christ’s love that satisfies us.

This morning, I pray that your day is filled with Sonshine, a shine that brightens your day regardless of the rain clouds outside your window.  Christ’s love, I pray, will fill you and satisfy you, giving you joy to sing and be glad!