Tag Archives: corinthians

Eagerly Waiting

Just the other day, I was flipping through the pages of Hebrews when I found a cool verse in chapter 9.  Here’s what it says,

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are

eagerly waiting

for him.”

-Hebrews 9:28-

When the realization hit me that I must always be eager in waiting, I began to feel like Octavius–the tiny figurine of a Roman soldier–from Night at the Museum 2.  In one scene, Octavius sets out to save his friend.  The only problem is that he must run across the front lawn of the White House.  For a tiny, plastic toy, this is a huge undertaking, one that he definitely underestimates.

Octavius begins by running with zeal.  The camera zooms in on him running through the grass, each blade taller than the red mohawk on his Roman helmet.  The viewers see Octavius running and panting and screaming war cries, but then, the camera zooms out, showing a view of the White House and the lawn out front.  Octavius cannot even be seen.   Eventually, Octavius collapses from exhaustion.

Often times, I find myself feeling just like Octavius.  My spiritual batteries become recharged, and I’m off to sprint to the finish line.  Once I feel exhaustion setting in, I look around only to realize that the distance yet to run seems too far and that there is no way that I can remain eager for even the rest of the day.  It’s in times like these when I wonder, “How in the world am I supposed to eagerly wait?”

God has already answered this question in a couple of verses.

  • Romans 15:5 calls God the “God of endurance and encouragement” and tells us to find our encouragement through Him and His word.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that God’s grace is sufficient for us, even in our weakness.  Verse 10 even says that His power rests upon us in times of weakness
  • Galatians 2:20 reminds us that as Christians, the life that we now live in the flesh, we live by faith in Christ!

Here’s how we are to continue to wait eagerly:  to receive encouragement and endurance from, to rely on Him as our strength in our weakness, and to always live by our faith in Him.

So next time that you find yourself feeling depleted of spiritual energy, go to God.  Remember the work that He has done in your life; feel His power being perfected in  your weakness!  All the while, you’ll discover that it’s much easier to wait eagerly, after all, it’s Christ that we are waiting for…

The Coach’s View on the Soccer Field of Life

Do you ever wonder how God looks at us as His children?  If life was a soccer match and God was the coach, to whom would God give high fives or shake His head because of a bad play or yell out shouts of encouragement? 

Recently, this question has been on my mind.  While we can never know the motives of God, there are a couple of verses that have given me some thoughts on how God looks upon us.  

“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Sam. 16:7

Right off the bat, we see that God sees differently than we do.  Why is that?  It’s because on earth, our outer appearance is how we usually convey our worldly state–whether we are happy, successful, wealthy, etc.  But here’s the thing, God’s kingdom is much different than our world.  While the criteria for who’s the best here in the world may be based on status, God’s kingdom sees right through all of this. 

“27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31

You see, it’s all about our heart condition.  When we encounter God, does the life that we live from there out give all the glory to Him? 

Just as a great coach, God sees that while skill is needed for His team–after all, He gave us every skill that we have–it’s the condition of your heart that determines how you will work in His body of believers.  Will your life of being the most improved–from a destitute sinner to a believer washed in God’s grace and love–be even more important than being the team member that scores the most goals?

God loves each and every single one of us–bench warmer or team captain alike.  So the real question for you today is this: by your heart condition, are you ready to glorify God?

“We are God’s building.”

Have you ever run across a verse that made you say,”What???”  Hahaha…. well, I said that the first time when I read the story of the talking donkey in Leviticus or somewhere in the very beginning of the Old Testament.  Just now in the Starbucks of Downtown Franklin, TN, I just came across another verse.  This is what I saw right at first:

“You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

While both statements are really insightful, I especially liked the second half of that verse–that we are God’s building.  Here’s what the rest of that passage says:

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it.  Let each one take care how he builds upon it.  For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ  (1 Corinthians 3:10-11).”

The reason why I liked this passage so much was because it shows just how much we all have an influence on one another.  Paul states that he laid the foundation of Jesus Christ in the lives of church members of Corinth, and others build upon that foundation.  Since it is you and me, though, that are building upon this foundation, we certainly have to be careful!  Naturally, we are sinful and inexperienced when it comes to building spiritual houses, especially since we are still being built ourselves!

Not only are we just any building, though.  We are God’s temple! (1 Corinthians 3:16)  Woah!  We should definitely be careful now in how we are being built since we are His temple.

My challenge for you today is to think of yourself as God’s temple that is still under construction.  Who will you allow to lay each brick of your spiritual house?  How will you construct the walls or framework of the spiritual house of one of your friends or family members?

Don’t give the devil a foothold. Give God a pedestal!

Can people really change?

This is a question that I’ve been really wrestling with for a while.   I have a core weakness that I’ve been scared was something that couldn’t be changed.  That weakness is this: I’m absolutely terrified of rejection and being alone.  When I first got this fear, I became a perfectionist and a people pleaser.  This fear also led to my struggles with body image and many other issues.

Let’s face it, though, we all have these kinds of struggles, but I believe they have a different, more biblical name: footholds.  The NIV translation of Ephesians 4:27 says, “Do not give the devil a foothold.”  The ESV translation of the same verse says, “Give no opportunity to the devil.”  Said simply, these struggles are footholds and opportunities for the devil.

BUT, here’s the good news, these struggles/weaknesses don’t have to be footholds for the devil.  Instead, these weaknesses can be pedestals for God’s greatness!

This is actually where God took a bulldozer to the walls around my heart.  God changed my life and my heart completely when I finally found truth in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

” ‘My grace is sufficient for you

for My power is made PERFECT in

YOUR WEAKNESS.’

Therefore, I will boast all the more of my weakness,

so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am CONTENT with

weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I’m not sure that I can give you a stronger dose of reality than this because Paul says it best in that verse!  I just hope and pray that no matter where you are in your life–whether you are struggling with certain fears, weaknesses, etc.–God is right there with you!  Even if you’ve been praying yet don’t feel changed, remember to view these trials as pedestals rather than footholds.

Imagine giving a lump of Play-do to a 5 year-old and saying, “Take my lump of Play-do and make whatever you want!”  No matter what your Play-do looks like, that 5 year-old is going to make something that you could never even imagine out of it!

The same is true whenever we give God our weaknesses and say, “Lord, take my weaknesses and do whatever you want with them.”  No matter what your weakness, He’s going to pour His grace into it and let His glory shine through you in a way that you cannot even imagine!

If you’re afraid that you can’t change because weaknesses/struggles are at the core of who you are, wake up and smell the roses!  If you believe the depth of God’s love, the completeness of Christ’s death and resurrection, and the power of the Holy Spirit, not only will you be changed, but you will be reborn!

Quick post in the midst of a study break….

Alright!  Here is a super duper quick post while I am taking a break from stacks of books and mounds of paper that should be in binders.

Keep your focus on God.

It’s that simple and yet that is your key to success.  Remember that Heaven is our ultimate destination, our place of desiring!

Here are some verses to read as a study/work/stressful moment break:

Romans 2:6-8

Romans 8:24-25

Romans 8:28

1 Corinthians 7:17

1 Corinthians 15:58

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2 Corinthians 5:13-15

Look at these verses this morning and take a moment to let them wash over you.  How would your life change if you really took these to heart?  What about your life would look different if you actually lived by them?

I pray your day is filled with Sonshine,

Now if this graphic doesn't make you giggle or smile... well that could just mean that you didn't wake up before the sun rose to study...

Sarah :)

F.R.O.G.

Have you ever heard of the saying to frog?  In the very likely chance that you haven’t, oh boy, get excited because this is, by far, one of my favorite sayings!

So what exactly is to frog?  What does frog stand for?

F ully   R ely  O n  G od

More than any other reason, I love this phrase because it reminds me to rely on God.  Not just in some areas of my life or at certain times, but this acronym reminds to rely on Him at ALL times, in ALL ways, and in ALL circumstances.

While being a camp counselor, I wrote a little story about it for my precious, 10 year-old campers.  To make sure that you come back tomorrow, I will wait until then to post it! ;)  For now, though, here are some verses about relying on God from our greatest book ever, the Bible!

Isaiah 43:1

“Now says the Lord, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by name.”

2 Corinthians 1:8-9

“For we do not want you to be ignorant to of the affliction we experienced.

For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death.

But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”

No matter what trouble/struggle you may be going through, always remember, also, how 1 John 5 tells of how God himself overcame the world.  Think of the story of David and Goliath.  There is nothing that you can’t do when you have God on your side!  Rely on Him.

F   R   O   G

Becoming Rocky Balboa

Do you ever hear Satan and his temptations calling your name?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to say that not only have we heard him calling but that we have also rejected him every time?  The reality, though, is that none of us are strong enough to resist temptation each time that it strikes.

Thank our wonderful Father that He is always with us.  Look at what He says through Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Isn’t this verse awesome?  It’s personally one of my favorites because it reminds us that God is always with us.  You may read this verse, though, and ask, “If He’s with us, why doesn’t He stop us from sinning?”

God wants us to learn to look to Him for the way out.  If He just gave us the way out each time, how would we ever appreciate each time that he saves our life from sin?  How could we ever gain the confidence needed to have a face-off with Satan?

Instead, look at each time of temptation with this verse in mind.  Remember that you have the ability to overcome it–God tells us that–and He is standing in the corner coaching us in the ring against temptation.  We have to listen to God in order to know just the way to win the fight.  In the fight, though, we are able to gain the confidence in ourselves that, with God, we can overcome any temptation.

Let’s become Rocky Balboa in the fight against Satan.  With God’s help, let’s fight like the Italian Stallion.