Tag Archives: Jesus

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

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…Trust IS the Lord

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose trust IS the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water,

that sends our its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

for it’s leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of the drought,

for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

* Jeremiah 17:7-8 *

This is one of my favorite Bible verses, and I think I like it so much because of the tree analogy.  Especially with summer heat full in swing, I feel as though every day is a day within a season of drought; therefore, this verse seems especially appropriate this time of the year.

Whenever you read this verse, I hope part of the beginning catches your eye… Blessed is the man…whose trust IS the Lord.  Woah!  That is a bold statement to make, a statement that I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out.  After all, why would it be necessary to make sure a huge distinction between trust in the Lord versus trust being Him.

Take some time and ask yourself why you think this distinction was made.  What implications are evident in the lives of those whose trust is the Lord?  I’ll be back tomorrow after a good night of sleeping.  Hopefully, He’ll be able to teach us all so much more about trusting through this passage.

Sleep well tonight or have a great day if you are reading this at any time other than bedtime ;) .

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah :)

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.

When creation no longer groans…

Do you ever wonder what nature will look like in heaven?


Yesterday, I was laying in my hammock out in the middle of someone’s farm– I mean, there was no “No Trespassing!” sign, so I figured it was okay……

Anyways!

I was laying in my really neat hammock just listening to the birds sing and feeling the wind blow through the parachute material of it.  In other words, I was simply enjoying just being out in God’s creation, which to me, seemed perfect besides the poison ivy growing right on the ground all around me.  I had to tiptoe through it as if walking through a mine field in order to set up my hammock.

Just about the time that I began thinking about how perfect everything was around me–besides the poison ivy, of course–I remembered a passage in Romans.  In Romans 8, Paul says that all creation has been in “bondage to decay” ever since the day that sin entered the world (Romans 8:19-22).  This passage made me ask myself, If this scene is groaning from being frustrated by sin, then how amazing will it be when Heaven comes with Jesus?

All I could say to answer that question was, “Woah!  I hope God has hammocks in heaven because I can’t wait to experience this in heaven!”

As a Christian, we believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross, becoming the curse of the Law itself in order that we might receive the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13).  This belief is what saves us, allowing us to have what God has created us for: eternal life with Him (John 3:16, John 16:22).

Go out into the world today and praise God for giving you (as a Christian) the promise of an even more amazing creation to surround us once we finally reach heaven!  After all, when creation is no longer groaning, that will be the day when we receive “adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23).

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…”

Growing in between a rock and a hard place

Do  you ever feel like you are in between a rock and a hard place?

One day while rushing to class, I saw this poor little flower growing in a crack in the parking lot where I park my car.  Normally, these flowers grow in a pretty field like this:

When I saw this flower growing in a parking lot rather than a field, my heart hurt for it!  All of it’s family lived in open fields, but here sat this one, lone flower.  Even though it was alone and in the middle of a sea of concrete, though, notice… It was still growing.  This flower, though in between a rock and a hard place, was still connected to its life-source.

The same is true for us.  Even though we don’t literally live like these flowers, there are times when it feels that we, too, are planted in a block of concrete while others are in an open field.  Immovable obstacles surround us, and it is all that we can do survive, let alone thrive.

———————————————

There are two things to take away from this one flower’s story.  Today, I’ll write about the first…

1.  Nothing can ever separate us from our Life-source– Romans 8:31-39

“If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will, be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God is our Life-source and the love that He has for us demonstrated through His Son will always be with us, regardless of the cement slab we believe that we are planted in.

Loving In Action

Do you ever have those moments, when you just want to stomp your feet and whine, saying, “Well, what if I don’t want to do it?!”

Well, I’ve been having some of those moments for the past few days.  Someone left a drink full of liquid in our trashcan.  On top of that, trash was pilled over the rim that when I tried to take the bag out, trash fell out.  Then, the bag leaked…everywhere.  Dishes had been left in the sink again.  Most other times when I’ve cleaned the sink, I have hardly ever gotten a word of thanks.  I said in my head, “Well, these aren’t my dirty dishes, and I took the trash out last so somebody else can do it.”

But then, I remembered the story of Jesus washing His disciples feet.

“It was just before the Passover Feast.  Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (John 13:1).

So Jesus began to wash their feet.  After having taken off his outer clothing, He knelt down and washed their feet with His hands (John 13:4-5).

Jesus has called us to love one another and to serve one another.  He has called us to love not just because we will receive “snaps” or “kudos” for being nice to each other, but because He loves us with a passion that burns inside of us.  It’s a passion that is so strong that we must share it with those around us.

“Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 3:18

Jesus showed us the full extent of His love for us through His actions (John 13:1), so let’s do the same.  Let’s love one another through our actions. :)