Kevin DeYoung– “Just Do Something”

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What is God’s will for my life?”  Have you ever wondered whether you were following His will or feared that making a wrong decision would send you off the path of God’s will? 

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, check out Kevin DeYoung’s book Just Do Something.  Not only does this book share helpful knowledge, but it also gives all of its readers a great laugh here and there while reading.  I definitely recommend it! 

Sorry for the short post, but I just snuck away from a family get-together to write.  What can I say?  I just miss writing to you so much!  I’ll be back soon and, hopefully, I’ll be back with a computer that doesn’t make noises when it logs on… Gotta love  the internet connection here in a single, stoplight town here in Mississippi! 😉

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!  I hope that each of you have had an amazing day with family and loved ones.  We were so lucky that we had a white Christmas here in Nashville, TN for the first time in 17 years!

Over these past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking of what Christmas means to me.  It’s easy to paint this picture of Jesus in our heads as a man that had rays of light coming from his very skin, but Jesus was just as much human as you and me.  He ate and drank, slept, and probably had an upset tummy here and there too! 😉  But even more than that.  Think of His name…. His name was Immanuel: God with us.

God with us.  How awesome?  Whenever I am sad or upset, I LOVE to read Revelation 21:3-4 because it paints such an amazing image of God with us.  The verses say that God’s dwelling place is with us!  In that day, we will sit in His lap, and He will wipe away every tear.  “Ssssh,” He will whisper to us, “mourning and death are no more, for the former things have passed away.”

As believers, this is the true hope that we have:  God with us.  He is with us now through His spirit living inside of us, but we will be with Him once more, together in paradise.  Jesus Christ lived and breathed on this earth.  Even though we cannot touch Him with our fingertips, He  touches us.  He is our blessed assurance; He is our hope.

On this day and on every day, I pray that we will live to find Christ, Immanuel, living in and through our lives.

Merry Christmas,

Sarah 🙂

Do you ever wonder what Christmas would be like without the presents?

Today is the 22nd, and we are three days away from the birth of our Savior.  Why is it though, that I spend most of my time fretting over whether I got so-and-so the right gift, have made enough food for a certain party, etc.  These days, I wonder what would Christmas be like if my family made a birthday cake for Jesus and sang “Happy Birthday” to Him rather than our usual tradition.  Instead, we would talk about how He has already given us the greatest gift that we could ever receive.

What is that gift?  He is the gift: His life, His death, and His resurrection.  I could write on and on about how He is our gift through those three ways.  You know what?  That’s exactly what I’ll do.  Each day, I will take a break from all of the busy preparations for Christmas to write about the true reason for celebration.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.

Behold,

the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,

and shall call his name

Immanuel (God with us).”

-Isaiah 7:14-

Wrestle.

Does your relationship with God ever seem dry?  Does it ever seem to go through a state of complacency or even decay?

In the past few months, my relationship with God has gone through a state of complacency.  What I mean by saying this is that when presented with the opportunity to please God or please myself, it was much easier to serve myself and my own wishes.  It was always much easier to criticize my body or aspects of my personality than to accept them as beautiful parts of how God created me.  In my relationship with my boyfriend, it was easy for us to rely on one another rather than to seek for God’s smile.  With my dad, it was easier to think of how I have disappointed him and how I’m not the daughter that I should be to him.

“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

for it is God who works in you,

both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13

We all have struggles.  Every single one of us reaches times in our lives where we feel empty of true life or true happiness.  Those times are true because they are always times of complacency with our faith.

But these times, we must struggle through them.  We must wrestle the sin and see that Christ is always the victor.  He has overcome it all (John 16:33).  Whenever we see Christ in all of His glory, in all of His white, we will be overwhelmed by Him, all of Him.

As a believer, we know that He dwells inside of our bodies, working at OUR salvation!  As someone that doesn’t believe or isn’t quite sure, man, see how Jesus fights and wrestles.  It’s not against you, but against the sin that lives inside.  Trust that He has come, not for the “high and mighty,” but He has come for every person that doesn’t believe that they even deserve to be saved.

Are you going through a rough patch in your faith or a time of complacency?  Then wrestle.  Fight for salvation because it’s God that works inside of you that you may find true joy and happiness in His will and His pleasure.

Wrestle.

Transformed and Freed in the Love of Christ

For the next week, I will be staying with my boyfriend, Spencer, and his family in Northwest Arkansas.  As I write these words, their white cat, Marley, and their golden retriever, Duke, sit with me.  Marley actually wanted to write this post, but we thought it might be better if he sleep instead. 😉

 

Before we go to church though, I wanted to share some encouraging words from my devotional this morning.  Today’s is titled “Personality” for December 12Th in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  Here’s a quote from the devotional…

“Personality is the characteristic mark of the inner spirit, spiritual man, just as individuality is the characteristic of the outer, natural man…Once your rights to yourself are surrendered to God, your true personal nature begins responding to God immediately.  Jesus Christ brings freedom to your total person, and even your individuality is transformed.  The transformation is brought about by love—personal devotion to Jesus.  Love is the overflowing result of one person in true fellowship with another.”

I absolutely LOVED this devotional!  Often times, whenever I think of surrendering myself of God, I think of the exact opposite of this quote: I think of restriction, the limitation of what I want/think I need, etc.  But that is not true freedom. True freedom is the freedom that we have through the cross of Jesus Christ and through surrendering ourselves to its power.

We will be transformed when our love for Christ is the fuel to our fire.  It’s His love that we will keep on giving and receiving.  His love will overflow not only in our “secret, inner person” but also in the face that put on for all of the world to see.  When Christ’s love is what overwhelms us, we will be transformed.  We will be free in His love.

What a freedom we have in Christ…