He is the Way

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

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Whenever you picture God’s “star student,” who do you picture?  Sometimes, I think that in order to be the best disciple I can be, I have to be some well-known theologian/evangelist like Billy Graham or a saint like Mother Teresa.  Comparing my ordinary, everyday life to the greatness of their lives, I find myself doubting myself and–essentially–doubting God’s plan for me.

Peter was struggling with this very same struggle.  While comparing himself to John–“the disciple whom Jesus loved”–Peter asked Jesus, “What about your plan for John?  What about your plan for me?  How do I compare to him?”  But Jesus basically stops Peter right there in his train of thought and says,

“If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow me!” (John 21:21-22, paraphrased).

In other words, Jesus told Peter that it didn’t matter what God had planned for John.  All that mattered was that God had a specific plan for Peter just as He had a plan for John.

Here’s the encouragement that I want to share with you today.  The “Christian journey” is not about what we accomplish along the way.  It’s not even about ourselves at all.  Living as a follower of Christ and walking with Him is all about being faithful to Him and trusting His plan for us.   “He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one goes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6-7).

Next time you find yourself comparing your life to someone else’s, stop yourself right there and hear Jesus telling you exactly what he told Peter: Why are you comparing yourself to him or her?  Don’t you trust that My Father has a perfect plan for you?  I am the Way.  Stay faithful to Me, and I will take you there.”

God has a perfect plan for you and for me.

So remain faithful!

…He is the Way…

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“What love really means….”

“What Love Really Means….”

In the past few weeks since posting JJ Heller’s song called “Love Me (What Love Really Means),”(click the link to read it) I have had an overwhelmingly large number of people visiting this site searching for that song.  What I found is that not only did this song touch me deep within, but this song has touched many others.

We are all searching for love in ways that the world cannot provide, and we feel so burned out from all of our failed attempts.  The only refrain that have the energy to cry out is

Who will love me for me?

Not for what I have done or what I will become

Who will love me for me?

Because nobody has shown me

What love really means.

God is the only one that can show us what love really means because…

“GOD IS LOVE…” 1 John 4:8

The only way that we will ever love ourselves is when we get past the point of needing to love ourselves.  This may seem contradictory to what we usually believe, but here’s why I say that.  For years, I have been trying to tell myself, “Sarah, you just need to finally love yourself enough to take care of your body and eat right and exercise, etc.”  The problem with this though, is that I get sooooo incredibly focused on my own inability to love myself that I don’t even see the lesson of love that God is trying to teach me.

BUT, GOD…

God is love.  To love ourselves is to realize that God loves us more than we can imagine!  He loves you, and He loves me!  All other love on this earth comes from His initial love.  That’s what 1 John 4 is trying to teach us.  We cannot love ourselves until we realize that God is the one that gives us this love in the first place.

God says to you everyday, “I will love you for you, not for what you have done or what you will become.  I will love you for you.  I will give you the love, the love that you never knew.”

Empty your mind of all your pain, hurt, fear, and insecurity.  Forget of your own inability and your need for love and open yourself up to feel the love that God has for you.  Everyday, take time to dwell in this love.  It won’t be easy, and it will take much prayer to thwart the devil’s attempts to close up your heart again, but just accept God’s love.  You are precious in His eyes, and He loves you more than you can ever imagine…

Original link for song

My new Bible!

I am sooooo excited right now!  I just bought a brand new Bible!

Ever since I bought the one that I have been using, I was convinced that I would only  buy a new Bible when duct tape became its “new” spine.  It didn’t quite get to that point, but my pocket-sized, green Bible came pretty close:  the outside is hanging on by a little more than a thread.

 

My aunt and I were talking about our Bibles though, and she shared with me an amazing insight from Beth Moore.  In regards to Beth and her Bible, she said that if she continued to use the same Bible and read the same underlinings, highlights, etc, how would God abundantly reveal to her new truths about the Bible?  In this way, getting a new Bible was presented a wonderful opportunity to get a fresh look and perspective on God’s Word.

 

As you can tell, it will take me a while to get my new Bible just as marked up as my old, but hopefully not as beat up!  😉

Anyways, I hope that you are having a wonderful day so far!  Thanks so much for sharing in my excitement about my new favorite book :).  Come back soon for another post!

 

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah

Where there is sin…

There are times when I roll my eyes at thought of sin.  The topic is preached over and over, and sometimes it makes sin seem less lethal, less potent.  Just another hellfire and brimstone speech: this would be the thought in my mind, so I began to picture sin as a sheep hiding behind wolves’ clothing.

The truth though, is that I never looked deeply at sin.  You see, the truth is that I knew if I looked honestly at my sin, it would reveal who I truly was: a broken, scared, and love-craved sinner hiding behind my pretty Bible and my Sunday’s best church clothes.

To some, this seems extremely harsh to say!  If we’re going to be frank though, isn’t this true for all of us?  We have these certain struggles with sin, and they kill us.  These sins take away life that God has given us, and yet we push them out of sight.  In this way, our hiding is no worse than sin’s.  In both cases, they are just deceptions that shove God’s glory out of our lives.

But tonight, I ask you to look at sin in a different way.  Yes, it is true that sin is utterly awful.  After all, it’s our sin that caused us to “kill the Author of life” (Acts 3:15).  But it’s this same sin, this record of debt, that God set aside and nailed to cross of His Son (Colossians 2:14).

Man, when will we get to point where this gives of joy?  Grace.  Only when we see the beauty of the grace that God has given us, that perfects us in His power (2 Corinthians 12:9), will we ever experience the fullness of joy found in Christ.

***

It’s time for us to make a choice:  To hide behind our projected image of being “the perfect Christian”?  OR to run out from behind this fake exterior and to run to our Father in Heaven and be washed in His grace?  Which is better: to hide because of sin or to go to God and say, “God, I can’t avoid my addiction to sin.  I know that I don’t deserve it, but, God, I need you.”

Where there is sin, there is grace.

Where there is grace, there is joy.

And so…

Where there is sin…

….then there is joy.

My dream and how it answered one of my questions

Just last night, I had the funniest dream!  What is so ironic about it though, is that it has to do with the questions that I have been thinking about this past few days.  (You can read this post about this questions here.)

I absolutely love horses, and–for me–horses are an amazing embodiment of God’s beauty, grace, and power. Keep this in mind when you read about my dream… 😉 Without any further ado, here’s the gist of my dream:

In my dream, I somehow came to own a beautiful horse.  The was tall and stocky, and she couldn’t have been any more beautiful and healthy.  The horse was my love, and I genuinely cared for it deep within my heart.

The only problem was this: I was living in a small room of my sorority house with three other girls, and our house mom wouldn’t let the horse live outside on our lawn.  Therefore, I was desperate to keep this beautiful horse, and I pushed my twin, bunk-bed away from the wall.  I had created “a stall” for my giant horse right there in my room.  And so, my horse began to live in small standing room between my bed and the wall.

Since I “loved” my horse, I didn’t want to risk someone asking me about why a HORSE was living behind my bed and, as a result, having to give her away. So, I hung up my bedsheet so that no one else would see my beautiful horse.

Soon after classes began, I forgot about the horse.  Since I had stuffed her in the corner of our room with a bed-sheet to hide her stall, I forgot to fed her and clean up her mess.  I didn’t even take her outside to run anymore.  Before too long, I had even forgotten that she was living there in my room.  By the time I remembered this, the horse’s stall wasn’t there anymore and neither was she…

In essence, my dream taught me a very important lesson about the pitfall of being a Christian for self-serving reasons.  If we have spent our life seeking God and seeing His beauty from afar, He appears glorious and powerful and majestic; we know that He and His love is the most beautiful and precious gift to us.

But as soon as we take Him and merely have a selfish relationship with Him, we are doing just what I did in my dream: We push God to the corner, cover up His presence, and eventually, we forget about Him.

Today I encourage us to think of this question: How do we have a true relationship with God, then?

After my dream, here’s what I believe: We can’t just push God to the corner of our lives.  God must dwell in all of who are, and He must abide in every aspect of our lives.  Only then will His glory still be revealed.  Only when He is free to consume our affections as well as our heartaches, our beliefs as well as our doubts… only then will we experience the fullness of God’s beauty and love in our lives.