Faithful to finish?

Tonight I had a realization.  I’m great at starting projects.

But do I finish them?

green and pink blanket

 

This is one of the first blankets that I ever started to make…. 8 or 9 years ago.  While making it, I ran out of the pink yarn that I was using.  After that, I never really went back to it.  I had a pretty good excuse, though, right?

In this near decade, so much has changed.  In the years since I started it, I graduated from high school, went to college, graduated with a Bachelor’s, and  started a Master’s degree.  With such pursuits, my priorities had to change in order to complete each stage.  Still I kept the blanket wherever I went and thought that I would someday pull it out and finish it.  So why is this story so significant?

Tonight, I pulled that blanket back out.  The greatest concern I felt while staring at this unfinished project wasn’t about the blanket itself.  Sure I felt the conflict of “Should I keep it or should I throw it away?  Wouldn’t that be a waste of all that time that I spent before to make it?  But when will I ever have time to finish it with everything else that I have going on?”

And that’s when it hit me.  Is this the same mentality that I’ve had, have, or will have towards ministry?  Is it just a hobby on the side that I will one day set down because I believed that I didn’t have the right tools, time or energy to do it?  Will it get washed away in the flow of life’s other pursuits with the excuse of, “Well, I’ll get to that when I have more time and when I’m in a position where I’m able to do it… But for now, first things first…”

I don’t just want Christianity to be my hobby.  In the same way, neither should God’s will be second to anything else.  It should be “the first thing first.”  Ten years down the road, I don’t want to see a remnant of the calling I once thought I had heard God whispering to me and say, “Wow, that had a lot of potential and could have been something beautiful.  If only I would have been faithful to finish…”

Philippians 1.6

 

Praise be to God that He is faithful!  Through this scripture–and the Bible as a whole–we know that God has a purpose for everything, including every person (Proverbs 16:4).  As the Psalmist  proclaims in chapter 138,

Psalm 138.8

He tells the Lord, “Do not forsake me.”  In other words, do not reject, fail, leave, desert, abandon, depart, or withdraw from me.

But what if we’re the ones that are abandoning Him?  What if we’re the ones that daily choose to pursue someone or something else?

Tonight let’s be in prayer about our lives–our priorities and pursuits.  May God test our hearts and minds and help us to discern His will for our lives!

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah 🙂

Advertisements

In the Security of His Love

Hello!  It’s sooooo good to be back and writing again 🙂  I’ve missed y’all so much!  Thanks for still checking in here and there during my absence, and I look forward to writing again more…

Over the past many weeks that I have been away, the Lord has been gracious.   The past few weeks, even months, were a time in which I temporarily gave up writing and the blog in order to better pursue my graduate studies and other relationships.  It has been hard, but this just is an affirmation of the truth that obedience to what God calls us to do is not always easy.  Sometimes we may not see a tangible result of our action or “reap what we sow.”  Sometimes, we may even wonder if we are actually hearing the words of God or something/someone else trying to distract us from Him.  Every time though, obedience to God requires sacrifice…

In those moments of realizing what God desires for us to do, there can be tension, right?  After all, what about our desires?  What about the plans that we have made?  But as the RUF minister at Mississippi State asked in his sermon the other night—“When was the last time that God’s love brought you more security than the plan you have made, the relationship you’re in, a title you’ve earned, your outward appearance, etc.?”

For the type-A personality like me—organized, driven, and purposeful even to a fault—that question opened my eyes, heart, AND mind to a reality that I had pushed away.  Maybe I had felt it here and there, but I pushed it away not wanting to pay the price of obedience and admit that the plan that I had made for my life was fallible and based on limited, human understanding.  But the Lord had other plans.  He wanted to bring me back into the safety that is ONLY found in the overwhelming presence of His love, and I’m so grateful that He did.

Sometimes following the will of God can cause temporary pain, but remember that He disciplines His children as a father would—with love and with purposes for their good.  Always though, living in obedience to God brings more security, peace, and joy than we could ever experience elsewhere.  After all, when resting in the warm embrace of His presence, what do we have to fear and what could we possibly lose?

So now, I ask you the very same question: When was the last time that God’s love made you feel more secure than anything else in your life?  What act of sacrifice and obedience would it take to draw closer to Him and to the security of His love?

“Cut to the heart…”

WEDNESDAY

-Word of the Week-

.faith.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Over the past week this word has been heavy on my heart, so I went straight to Hebrews 11. Even as I read that first verse though, I realized that I needed to read more than a few sentences above and below to get the context; I needed to read the whole book.  Turning to the first page of Hebrews, I read each verse carefully, eager to gain new insight.

Although my human mind will probably never be capable of comprehending it, I can say with confidence that faith is more than saying that we believe in God.  Having faith, also, involves more than saying that we trust God when times get tough.  Even though these are certainly aspects of having faith, it’s so much richer than that.

You see, truly having faith is a conviction.  Maybe it’s a lightning bolt of newfound understanding that stops you in your tracks.  On the other hand, maybe it’s that pause of awe and reverence that holds you speechless.  Either way, faith is being “cut to the heart” with three simple words: Jesus is Lord (Acts 2:36-37).

There is so much more that the Lord has been teaching me recently about faith, especially in this time of my life.  With this being said, I hope you will visit again soon to read even more about faith!

With warmest thoughts and prayers for you, dear reader,

Sarah 🙂

Faces that look to the Lord are radiant!

THURSDAY

-Tweets & Theology-

This week’s theology in 140 characters or less comes from Tyler Kellum (@tylerkellum).  Her tweet yesterday referenced Psalm 34:4-5, saying…

“I sought the lord & he answered me, he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant! Their faces shall never be ashamed”

Thanks, Tyler, for encouraging so many through using Twitter!

Praying your day is filled with SONshine, Sarah 🙂

Word of the Week: Hope

WEDNESDAY

Word of the Week-

.hope.

 We use this word often, don’t we?  I really hope that ___. You fill in the blank!  In this way, the word actually seems like a synonym for wish.  After all, there is a possibility in this usage of the word “hope” that whatever we’re hoping for will not happen.  There is doubt present within this popular usage of hope.

But this is not the same meaning of “hope” that is present in the Bible.  In my Holman Bible dictionary, it states that hope is, “a trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises.”  Isn’t this incredible?  When we have hope in God’s promises, there is absolutely no doubt about whether or not He will fulfill it!  It’s God that has promised, and He doesn’t lie like man (Numbers 23:19).

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

16 People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchangingnature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.                    Hebrews 6:13-20

 I hope this new look at the word “hope” and the previous passage will bring you encouragement and revolutionize the way you trust in God’s promises on this wonderful Wednesday!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂