fully known

Isn’t it amazing how the memory works?  I was sitting outside this morning for coffee and Bible study, and it felt as though fall was already in the air.  Now for those of you that do not live in Mississippi or have never been here and experienced the heat and humidity… let me tell you… a cool morning in August is RARE!  But all of a sudden, I found myself going back to my freshman year of college and that feeling of  walking to class on sidewalks covered with colorful leaves.  I remembered that exciting and scary place of self-discovery, desiring to find myself in that new place among those new people.

And that’s when it hit me this morning: even then in the midst of trying to get to know myself fully, I was already fully known…

1 Corinthians 13.12

Isn’t the thought of being fully known so incredible?  Imagine someone knowing and understanding all of your thoughts, motives, desires, actions, strengths, weaknesses, dreams, ambitions, struggles, insecurities, pet peeves, joys, accomplishments, secrets.  Let’s go even further though… someone that knows every freckle on your skin, every hair on your head, every cell in your body, every fiber of your being…

That someone is God.

If you are reading this post now and are skeptical about what I have just written, my questions for you are, “Why not?” and “How not?”  Even after the seeking and searching to find yourself, know that there is hope.  Amidst the uncertainty, there is certainty; there is a blessed assurance.  There is an Almighty God that gave us our abilities and proved our worth through the sending of His Son, Jesus Christ.

If you’re a believer reading this post, my questions for you are also, “Why not?” and “How not?”  Why not live even more freely through faith and trust in the forgiveness that we have received through Jesus.  Why not eagerly confess our sins and share our truest emotions with God?  After all, He already knows them anyways!  It’s just an exercise of trust and a measure taken in order to fall deeper and deeper in love with Him.  With this all in mind, how could we not draw closer to the God that has called us sons and daughters in His kingdom?

 

Proverbs 16:20-21 says,

“Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,

and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.”

Consider God’s word this morning.  Discover good, and receive his blessing through trusting him!  He knows us fully because HE is the one that designed every bit of who we are.  Isn’t the sweetness of His words persuasive?

Today I will leave you with these questions to think about… If we truly believe and trust that God has forgiven us because of Jesus dying for our sins, then why not confess all of our sins to our just and merciful Father?  Why try to find our identity in anything other than the One that already knows exactly who we are and who He has called us to be?

Let’s make disciples!

So you became a believer by the grace of God, and you are certain that Jesus is your only way to the Father.  He is your source of joy, hope, peace, strength, and so much more!  Even in the hard times of life, you will be renewed in the hope that He will restore His people.  “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:6).

So what do we do next?  Inspired and compelled by His redeeming love, we can’t just keep this life-changing relationship with Jesus to ourselves… Surely we must share the reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).  We must be prepared in and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  After all, isn’t this what Jesus has commanded us to do?  Let’s look at his words from Matthew.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

What an incredible truth!  There are sooo many things to point out here.  The most recent realization that I had about this passage though, came a few weekends ago in a sermon.  When Pastor Tim at NBC read this passage of scripture, he stopped and said, “Look, did Jesus say that we need to go and make converts?  No, he told us to make disciples!”

What he is referring to through this statement is that we are not called to see how many people that we can “win to/for Jesus.”  Instead, we must seek to grow and develop these new believers, so that they will also go out and live for the cause of Christ.

Over the next few days, I’ll be praying that the Lord would reveal ways that I need to invest in others–both non-believers and believers!  Hopefully you will join me in this prayer, as well.  We can pray while walking around the office building, walking to class, looking through the contacts in our phones, and so many other places.

It’s been such a joy to write to you again.  I pray that God would draw near to you and that you would feel the light of His love and mercy shining upon you.  Remember… the victory has already been won.  We know the end of the story, so let’s live by that confidence that we now have through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! (Hebrews 6:17-20)

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah. signature

Here come the school buses!

¡Buenos días!  Good morning 🙂

Starting this week, I began to see a lot of these around town…

A school bus photographed in New York, New Yor...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s right!  It’s time for school again.  With this start of the academic school year, there’s something much greater going on than the end of summer and back-to-school shopping deals.  It marks the start of another fundamental step in the development of the children today, the leaders of tomorrow…

One of the realities of the beautiful picture of the Church is this: we are human individuals that are transformed into integral members of a living, breathing, and spiritual body.  The Church extends past the building that you may go to for worship on Sunday morning.  It is global, and yet it is local.  Every member is dependent on the others, and the body can only fully function when ALL of its members are working together.

So how does this relate with seeing school buses driving around town?

As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we have a responsibility to pray for teachers and students, principals and coaches, cafeteria and janitorial staff, secretaries and counselors, etc.  May our brothers and sisters in Christ that teach raise up within their classrooms and bring glory to God through the way that they discipline, instruct, encourage, and more.  May students be molded and inspired to learn, dream, and ask questions.  Even through secular, public school education, may God make His presence, authority, and authorship of Creation known.  After all, there’s no scientific method or math theory that will gain for us a human intelligence that even comes close to the knowledge and wisdom of the Alpha and Omega, God the Father of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5.17-18

Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been brought into a right relationship with God.  Now it must be our mission to continue this ministry of bringing everything into a right relationship with Him too!  We’ll talk about this more later, so come back to hear more about the ministry of reconciliation!

As for now though, let’s be praying for the start of another school year!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah. signature

Thinking about… worship

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God.

It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness;

the nourishment of mind with His truth;

the purifying of imagination by His beauty;

the opening of the heart to His love;

the surrender of will to His purpose and all this gathered up in adoration,

the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and,

therefore, the chief remedy for that self-centeredness,

which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”

 William Temple

Eternal outlook in a temporal world

With so much focus on our pursuit of it, life seems complex.  After all, there are a multitude of choices to be made along the way and consequences (good or bad) that follow.  Health and illness, career paths, dreams, heartbreaks, opportunities: those are just a few of the variables we encounter over the weeks, months and years.  But in the minutes that make up each 24 hour day, it’s easy to find ourselves in the “daily grind.”

But what if life is much simpler than we thought?  That doesn’t mean it’s any easier, but what if understanding God’s purpose for our lives while on earth is much less complicated than we’ve made it out to be?

That has been my thought/question while recently reading in the book of Revelation.  In Revelation, there’s a very humbling picture of the end times.  There are many parts of the book that I don’t understand, but what I do know is this: God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a holy and just god that truly will condemn the wicked and come to save those that have been eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28).

What does it mean to be “eagerly waiting for him”?  What should that look like in our daily lives?  Let’s look at a picture of that from Revelation 19…

Revelation 19.6-8,11

How did the body of believers wait eagerly for the Lord?  They prepared themselves as His Bride!  Then with His arrival, they rejoiced and praised God!  I bet everything else of their previous lives–whatever pains or struggles or costs for living selflessly and radically for God while on earth–was swept away from their minds as they gazed upon the majesty and glory of the Lover of their souls.

Have you been saved by grace through faith, which is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8), then rest in the assurance that your Bridegroom is coming for you!  Go out into your workplace or classroom, neighborhood, city, state, country and world to teach others of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20) and the assurance of the hope that you have in Him (1 Peter 3:15).  In doing so, you’ll be preparing yourself as the Bride of Christ, dressed in the fine linen of righteous deeds done for the spread of His glory.

So maybe this blog post didn’t make your life simpler by giving you an exact answer on a big decision to be made or a specific situation that you find yourself in.  On the other hand though, I hope it will serve to remind all of us of the eternal outlook and perspective we must maintain while living in this temporal world.

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

sarah

EXTRA READING:

  • Matthew 28: 16-20
  • Ephesians 5
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-5
  • 2 Peter 3