When you’re going through something sometimes the last thing you want to hear is “read your Bible, pray or worship”. When your emotions have the best of you that’s exactly what you don’t want to do. I want to encourage you to do it anyway because it always works.
Many of the people in the Bible that God used didn’t think much of themselves. Many of them were just ordinary people before they had an encounter with God. One encounter with Him can change your life because He uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Following Jesus requires complete surrender. One must completely give up their own will and subject their thoughts, ideas, and deeds to His will for their life. Most people don’t like the idea of surrendering because it means they’re no longer in charge.
When God says something you can count on it. His Word is as reliable as He is. (Isaiah 55:11- So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.)
I’m so grateful Jesus didn’t leave us here to figure things out on our own and sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has many roles, one of them being our advocate. An advocate is a pleader in a court of law; a lawyer. He’s our lawyer that speaks in our defense because we don’t always know what to say. (Luke 12:11- for the Holy Spirit will give you the right words even as you are standing there.”) Jesus wanted the disciples to know that they didn’t have to be concerned about what to say when they were arrested and brought to trial.
(Luke 22:32- 34- but I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers. ”Simon said, “Lord, I am ready to go to jail with you, and even to die with you.” But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Between now and tomorrow morning when the rooster crows, you will deny me three times, declaring that you don’t even know me.”) In this same chapter Jesus is arrested and as Peter follows Jesus at a distance people begin to recognize him. Every time someone claims that he knows Jesus he denies it. (Luke 22:61-62- At that moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered what He had said—“Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.” And Peter walked out of the courtyard, crying bitterly.)
(Acts 2:44-46- And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. They worshiped together regularly at the Temple each day, met in small groups in homes for Communion, and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness) The early church was in constant fellowship. Fellowship is a friendly association, especially with people who share one's interests. They understood the importance of being around like-minded believers. It’s more than just going to church on Sunday’s and turning to your neighbor and saying “hey sister, hey brother”.
Has God ever called you to do something and you begin to think of all the reasons why you can’t do it? I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve done it before. For some reason fear creeps in and you start to believe its lies. I once heard someone say that fear is (False Evidence Appearing Real). Fear and faith are similar, the only difference is that fear is faith in the wrong direction. Put your faith in the right direction and believe that you can do what God has called you to do. Don’t be fearful, remember that God never called a perfect person, if that was the case He wouldn’t call anyone.
The girl I was before I gave my life to Christ and the woman I am now are two completely different people. Although we have the same name, I’m not that girl anymore. She was an alcoholic, pothead, college dropout and wasn’t satisfied with life. She knew there was something missing but she didn’t know what it was. One day she had an encounter with Jesus and finally realized that He was the missing puzzle piece to her life. She realized that He was the only One who could fill the void she had.
One encounter with God will change your life. I remember mine like it was yesterday. I didn’t just wake up one day and say “today’s the day I’m going give my life to Christ” I was taking a shower one day and God spoke to me through my heart and said “Your name is in the Book of Life and I have a place in heaven for you.” Deep down I longed to live for God, but I was so deep in sin. After that encounter I knew I had to change, so I prayed for God to deliver me from the sins I was struggling with and help me no longer desire to do them. A month later I surrendered all and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.
I’m sure we all have a favorite season. I love warm weather and I’m excited that it’ll be Spring soon but Summer is my favorite. Although I’m not really a fan of the cold I know that change is good. (Ecclesiastes 3:1- There is a right time for everything:) Whether you’re moving to a new place, starting a new job, getting married, etc, don’t be afraid of going into a new season, embrace it.
I’m sure you’ve had a moment where it feels like your world is crashing down around you, when your entire outlook, circumstances, or lifestyle are negatively affected or altered by things happening in your life. When this happens there are two choices you can make: believe things will never get better or choose to have faith even when it feels like your life is falling apart. Things may not change right away but faith changes your attitude and how you view your circumstances. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
(Luke 9:23- Jesus said to all of His followers, “If you truly desire to be my disciple, you must disown your life completely, embrace my ‘cross’ as your own, and surrender to my ways.) Surrender is to completely give up your own will and subject your thoughts, ideas, and deeds to the will and teachings of God. Jesus is the perfect example of surrender. (Hebrews 10:7- Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do your will, to lay down my life, just as the Scriptures said that I would.’”) He came from heaven to earth, to do God’s will, by laying down His life, so that those who are spiritually dead could have eternal life. (John 17:4- I have glorified you on the earth by faithfully doing everything you’ve told me to do.)
Self-esteem reflects an individual's overall subjective emotional evaluation of their own worth. Growing up I felt like I didn’t fit in and measure up to society’s view of beauty. For a very long time, I based my worth according to their standards and I had low self esteem. When I gave my life to Christ my perspective of myself began to change. I realized that God’s Word is the opposite of society’s standards. His Word says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I’m made in His image. Society says that I have to look a certain way to be beautiful. When I started seeing myself the way God sees me, my attitude towards myself changed.
It’s an amazing thing to be set apart by God. Since the beginning of time, God’s chosen people have been distinguished from the rest of the world because of their faith. When the Lord God saw the extent of human wickedness, and that the trend and direction of men’s lives were only towards evil, He decided to destroy them. But Noah was a pleasure to the Lord, the only truly righteous man living on the earth at that time.
I used to long to be loved by someone and it caused me to search for love in all the wrong places. One day I realized how much God loved me and the search was over, I finally found what I had been longing for. Once I experienced His love, I knew that everything else was a counterfeit. It may have satisfied me temporarily, but it was a quick fix and always kept me wanting more.
Many Christians have believed the lie that they will never go through anything. I’m here to tell you that’s not true at all. (James 1:2- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;) James is not only telling us that we will be tempted several times, he’s also telling us to count it all joy. Why would we be joyful about being tempted? Joy is a fruit of the Spirit; a calm delight. (Philippians 4:7- And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.) God’s peace doesn’t protect you from the storms of life, it (guards) keeps you from allowing your emotions to control you. It allows you to choose joy and be at peace despite what’s going on in your life.
An opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. One thing about people is they’re always going to have an opinion about you whether you’re doing something bad or good. Instead of focusing on people’s opinions about you, focus on what God says about you. His Words are facts, not opinions.
Transparency is key. It doesn’t only help you, but helps others and encourages them to reach out and be transparent with what they’re going through. We’re all dealing with something even as a Christian, but the first step is to admit it and ask God for help. If we could do it on our own it would’ve already been done. Admitting how you’re feeling/where you’re at doesn’t mean that you’re weak. The first step to recovery is to recognize where you are and have a desire to recover.
Time is a gift that most of us take for granted. Many people don’t realize that we’re on borrowed time. God is the creator of time, so in order to have time, it has to be given to us by Him. Time isn’t just given to us by God, it’ll also be accounted for. (Ecclesiastes 11:9- Young man, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it! Do all you want to; take in everything, but realize that you must account to God for everything you do.) God will judge us for everything we did with our time, including every hidden thing, good or bad.