Sunday, June 4, 2017

come

“For i will set my eyes on them for good and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” - Jeremiah 24:6-7 

These verses are beautiful no matter what angle you look at them from. They show the heart of the Lord and its evident desire to lead us and for us to follow. However, when these verses are read within the correct context, they become even deeper and richer in meaning. The Lord speaks here of His beautiful plans to build up this people and He calls them His own. The mind blowing thing is that these people weren't always His. The people He now calls His own had forsaken and forgotten His name over and over again. time after time these people strayed from Him and did not remain faithful to Him yet every single time He still says to them: “Return to Me.” What a beautiful picture that is and what a merciful God. He calls them HIS despite the fact they had never lived like it. They turned way their faces and shut off their hearts to His words yet His compassion continues to extend. God’s message to us is always to come- come broken, come hurting, come needing, come dirty- just come. No strings attached. 

The other mind-blowing part of all of this is that we are these people! We all have strayed and sinned, yet He gives us second chance after second chance and He forgives simply because He loves. He speaks to our wicked hearts “return to Me.” Surely there is no one like our God. 





Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Jesus is home.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty” -Psalm 90:1
The definition of “dwell” is to live or stay as a permanent resident- to reside. Immediately my mind paints picture of a house with a little white picket fence, however I think that what it means to really dwell in the Lord is so much more than a literal place. It’s not simply your calling, profession, or even your literal house- but it is recognizing that Jesus is your secret place and desires for you to abide in who He is and all that He has for you. 
In my life, I have a tendency to pretend I have it all together and I have a hard time getting raw and real with myself and thus with my God. I try to slap a smile on the situation and carry all my burdens on my own as if the cross surely cannot bear all the weight. Jesus died so that I don't have to carry the weight and so that He may be my refuge. He wants me to abide in His shadow and let Him be my secret place. That secret place of rest and refuge is in His presence, at His feet and all we need do is unclasp our white knuckle hands that claim we can handle it and carry it all on our own. Lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. Live and seek to stay permanently in His shadow- close to Him. Dwell and live in who He is. I want to be able to dwell in the house of the Lord for all of my days and know that no matter where I go, Jesus will always be home. 
“I want to sit at Your feet, drink from the cup in Your hand, lay back against You and breathe, feel Your heart beating.” // The More I Seek You- Kari Jobe

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Purpose, Commit, & Walk Worthy

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” -Daniel 1:8 
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons.” -Daniel 2:20-21

Christians are called to live a life that looks like Jesus- to copy Jesus; straight up its in the name. Jesus was righteous and pure in all things and He committed His soul to His Father, as it says in Luke 23:46. Therefore, my life calling is simply to strive for the same things. It’s to purpose in my heart that I would not become defiled, to commit my soul to the Father’s work, and then to walk worthy of this call He has placed on my life. Daniel was a man who understood all of this very well; he was a well off young man who could have easily lived an extremely corrupted life but he chose instead to be steadfast and unwavering in the ways of the Lord. Daniel’s whole life was full of ups and downs- one day he is serving in the kings court, the next day he is in the lion’s den, the day after that he is at the kings gate, and the next day he is in a fiery furnace. His life was always changing yet His faith never did and the Lord’s protection and call on Daniel’s life never did either. He is an incredible example of Acts 20:24- “yet none of these things shall move me; nor do i count my life dear to myself, so that i may finish my race with joy and the ministry which i have received from the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of grace.” Daniel was unmoved no matter what that season of life looked like or just what that day looked like for him. Because of his faith in the Lord, he had learned to abound in times of plenty and abound in times of emptiness knowing that either way God would still be faithful and his hearts purpose, to not defile himself, had not changed. It was always the Lord who brought Daniel to and through these things in his life and Daniel was able to walk through it all and not be shaken. I want to strive to be more like Daniel and be able to say that nothing in this world was able to move me. And I want to purpose in my heart to look more like Jesus and commit to Him my soul. No matter the season, God is still God and we have to continue in the ministry He has set before us so that we may finish this race with joy. May we be able to say: “yet none of these things moved me.” 


Application: read through the book of Daniel and study his immense character and faith. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Surrendered Hands

“The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love and will rejoice over you with singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17 

As of tomorrow, I will have spent one full week in Costa Rica- my new home for the next 6 months. The Lord has called me here and now its my job to abide here and do what He has called me to do. All of this on paper looks kind of overwhelming but as the first line of this verse says: The Lord your God is in your midst. I am so thankful that the God I strive to serve and be like is alive and is HERE. He cares and desires to lead me. I must follow- with a surrendered heart and the goal of pleasing Him. 
In Hebrew, the literal meaning of my name, Abigail, is “The Father’s Joy.” Literally my life purpose is to bring my Father in Heaven JOY- it’s what He created me for. Naturally, I'm a pretty happy person and however I think many times I can easily get caught up in trying to make others happy. That isn't a bad thing (obviously) but my first priority must be to be the Father’s joy, and if my heart is focused on that, then the joy of others will follow. The only way any of this can happen is if I am surrendered. My Father is pleased when I lay myself down and let the Mighty One SAVE and do the work. He is alive and here and ready to work- all I need do is let go and believe that my God is who He says He is. His hands are at work in my life when my hands are off and are lifted high in praise. And its only then when my hands are surrendered to Him and are exalting His name that He finds joy in me and will rejoice over me with singing. What a beautiful picture that is- What a Mighty God. 

Application: I am going to pray that the Lord would help me to surrender more and more of my heart to Him and thank Him that it is He who does the work. 



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Knowledge vs. Wisdom


“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.” –Mark 4:10-11

The mystery that is the gospel. There is so much we don’t know. The Lord is so much larger than my small finite brain, however nonetheless it is we who have been called to know these things. I think for me ignorance and oblivion are problems I find far too easy to slip into. I am not the most observant person and because of this I know that I have to work hard to make sure I don’t fall into an unaware state of mind. When it comes to the gospel, even more so. We have been chosen to draw near and know and learn the mystery that is the gospel- I don’t want to take that for granted. I want to be able to see and taste. And to listen and hear the Lord’s voice and then GO and DO what it is He commands me.

Knowledge is a good thing but what is knowledge worth if it never leads you to a point of change? That right there is the difference between knowledge and wisdom- knowledge just knows however wisdom uses discernment and actually uses all that it knows. I want to be a student and a servant who is able to use my wisdom. When I hear, I want to really hear and when I see I want to really understand and then have those things which I have now heard and seen lead me to a place where I DO. What is life if I never transfer the parables into LIVING?  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Here's My Heart, Lord


“but the end of all things is at hand, therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” –1 Peter 4:7

Whenever I think about prayer I think about this time in church when I was like 7 or 8 and another little girl in my Sunday school class turned to me and asked me how she should pray. I responded to the girl and told her you simply have to talk to God from your heart. Simple. Just be real and raw with your Creator who already knows everything in your heart. For me, so any times I find even my most Spirit led prayer falling into habitual default sayings my mind wanders to and I begin saying just filler words when I run out of actual things on my heart to pray about. I get so mad at myself for this. WHY? Gah. Its not from my heart, it’s not my devotion, and it fills empty space with just more of my words instead of leaving room for God to respond back to me in prayer. As this verse says, the end of all things is at hand. Sooner than later God will come back for those who have been faithful to Him and that’s a scary reality considering so many people are still in darkness. Our world has serious issues and needs serious prayer. I want my life to be lived taking all problems to the feet of Jesus. I’ve got to be alert and watchful to the problems of this world rather than be ignorant and oblivious like I so many times can be. Christ died so that the veil that was between my communication to Him would be torn and I may speak to Him and enter His presence freely. That’s insane. That’s such a beautiful precious gift He died to give me yet so often I take it for granted and don’t treat it with the sacredness I should. Prayer at the end of the day is just talking to God with what’s on your heart, just like I told that little girl so many years ago. Don’t complicate it. May we let our prayers be real and raw and honest and be a time of continuously handing our hearts over to the one who made it.
Application: when I am praying and I find my mind wandering or I fall into the habitual filler prayers I am going to stop and gather my mind and then write down my prayers in hopes to help me focus more.

Be faithful to endure


“And Uriah said to David: ‘the ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.’ Then David said to Uriah: ‘wait here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.’ So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. Now when David called him, he ate and drank before him; and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.” – 2 Samuel 11:11-13

In Matthew 27:35 we see that the soldiers and the men who are crucifying Jesus offer to Him wine before the cross so that it might lessen the pain of it. In those days, they often did this to those put to death in hopes to numb the pain and make the torture more bearable. But in this verse, we see that Jesus refuses it. He doesn’t take the wine- He doesn’t take the easy way out. In this same way, we see that Uriah in 2 Samuel didn’t take the easy way out. He was disciplined to the point that even when the king told him he could go home for a night and take a break and shut off from his reality for a day, he refused. He didn’t want to take the wine and lessen the pain of the war he was fighting and the thought of his men who were still on the battle field. Now both of these examples are pretty extreme, however there is still so much application for me today. We need to be disciplined and know that whatever we are doing- it’s the Lords will for us to be in that situation so thus we must do whatever he has called us to the best of our abilities. Don’t take the easy way out. Discipline yourself and don’t take the wine to numb the pain because Jesus never did. Christ endured all things for me. Uriah was an honorable man who was faithful to endure, remain, and be disciplined even in the difficult. I want to strive to live my life in that one day the same things may be said of me.

Dont Put Jesus On Snooze


“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.” –Mark 1:35

 Whoa. Talk about conviction. Okay first things first, I am a night person. I think better at night, I have more energy at night, and I would much rather do things in the night rather than early in the morning. This obviously isn’t a bad thing however considering that Jesus, the man I am imitating my life after, chose to rise early and discipline His earthly body, I think that’s a clear indication that I should do the same. Jesus rose long before daylight… yeaaaaahhh I struggle to get out of bed after I have hit the snooze button ten times. And then in that early hour He went to a secret place to pray… Considering I am a complete extrovert living in a center with like 40 of my best friends, you could probably guess that its many times hard for me to go away and find a solitary place to be with Jesus. My flesh just wants to read the bible at the kitchen table with everyone and between verses talk about what is for breakfast and laugh about how much cream I put in my coffee. And although Jesus did call me to have fellowship with my fellow believers, He first called me to spend time with Him and SEEK Him. Jesus is found when I seek Him with my whole heart- not when I only devote half of it. The more I seek Him, the more I find Him, the more I love Him- that’s the pattern. I want to be someone who begins my day with Jesus and then continues walking with Him throughout the rest of it.

 Application: tomorrow I am going to do my devos and pray outside and away from all distraction.

I say Yes, Lord


“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty, Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, in myself should become disqualified.” -1 Corinthians 9:24-27

A couple days ago, my RA Shannon showed me a song called “Yes Lord” and it has been super speaking to my heart lately and reminds me of this. One of the lyrics says: “on that day when I go home, I’ll see my Jesus seated on His throne, I’ll find a crown upon my head, with a thousand jewels for every ‘yes’ I said and ill offer it right back to Him” I love this picture- that as I press on in this life and run my race that I would know of the glory set before me. And when that day comes and I see the Lord face to face I want to be able to offer my crown up right back to Him knowing that every jewel on there was only obtained by His grace. Every step I take in my race isn’t in my strength but rather in His. I want to finish the race and finish strong not because of my wavering feelings but rather because I am certain that He is unwavering. Saying ‘yes’ and trusting the Lord surely is no easy thing but it’s the only way- the way of Life. He calls me to run this race and every single step I take is a decision that I must choose to walk in. And although I don’t know what my race will look like, the point is that He calls me to say yes and boldly walk into the unknown. And to run my race confidently even though I don’t know what it will look like. As my training in Ignite draws to a close and soon I will no longer get to call Guatemala my home, this serves as a great reminder. Finish strong, fight for the kingdom, press on, and love till the end. And although training ends soon, the beautiful thing is that I get to run this race and chase after Jesus for all of my days. When He calls me, I will come running.

Application: I am going to continue to pray that even in these last days of training I would continue to love till the end and finish strong in the race He has called me to.

Buff godliness muscles


“for bodily exercise profits for a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” -1 Timothy 4:8

This verse gives me flash backs to all of the late nights and early mornings I have spent in the dance studio. We would push ourselves to the limit and we would work at it every day so that we would grow stronger and better in our skill. In dance, muscle memory is insanely important- if you train your body in the correct way, eventually your body will do what you’ve disciplined it in without your brain having to think about it. I am reminded of all of the hours I spent in that studio working on a certain piece of choreography or something and thus how much more effort should I put into disciplining myself in the way of godliness? I want to be disciplined in the way of the Lord and get to the point where all that flows out of my heart and mind is the words of the Lord- that my heart would have a muscle memory in the way of the Lord because of the diligence and discipline I have applied. I want to be diligent to the point that my first instinct is to get on my knees and pray and to press on to know the Lord with all that I have.   Improving, however, is never an overnight thing- it’s a process and even when you aren’t at your final goal of where you want to be, you are still growing and getting stronger. Same goes for this life in godliness. As you immerse yourself in the word of God, you are growing. Heaven is the end goal and is that life yet to come, however now we still have life NOW and have the opportunity to live it and continue in our imitation of Christ. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given all that pertains to a life of godliness and holiness. The Lord has given us every tool and all we need do is be diligent and work toward that holy and set apart life.
Application:  I am going to be diligent to really take time to pray and seek the Lord in the morning

Press On to Know


“not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on that I may lay hold for that which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” -Philippians 3:12

In coming to Ignite, one of my friends gave me the verse Hosea 6:3 for this year, which says: “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.” And honestly I think it so perfectly fits this year and what the Lord has been teaching me. I don’t have it all figured out and it’s a very obvious thing that I haven’t achieved perfection. But yet, I press on to know the Lord and I continue in my goal of conforming to the image of Christ. I press on to know and grab hold of all that Christ has for me. The last thing I would ever want to do in this life is never really walk in all that He has planned for me. My God is ever constant, He does not change and He is always good. Thus, I must be content no matter where the Lord has me and through it all I have to fight to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and continue to press on to the goal of knowing Christ. No matter my ever changing feelings, emotions, and desires, I have to remember that He doesn’t change and press on to know that Jesus.

Death Brings Life


“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” –Philippians 3:10

It’s all one. Knowledge of God, His power, fellowship of His suffering, and His death. So many times, I find myself trying to stop reading after the first two things. My eyes skim over the suffering and death part but in reality it all must go together. You only know life because you were once dead and glory is only able to come through suffering. In order to be a coheir of eternal life with Christ, I also have to be a partner in the death and the suffering. Romans 8:17 tells us that as heirs we must suffer with Christ and then in turn also be glorified with Him. I have to learn to die to myself, every single day. We are to not be conformed to this world but rather be conformed to the death of Christ. Everything this world has to offer amounts to nothing but death. However, when by faith we are transformed by the renewing of our minds then we may also be conformed to the death of Christ which brings forth life.

ALL is grace




“and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law,  but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” –Philippians 3:9

Gah. Humans are so dumb. I am so dumb. WHY DO WE NEVER GET IT? Christ literally died to fulfill the law. The law was something we could not uphold and thus we were bound by condemnation. He died in order to die the death that we could not. Literally to take my place and make atonement for me so that I could have life. BUT dang humans. We pick and choose the parts of the bible we like and those that we don’t. We act like you can just switch back and forth from living under the law and under grace, whenever its convenient for us. When we do a “good deed” or a righteous thing we accept all the praise and act like we, in our own human power, have done this great thing. But then, when we mess up and fail we throw the standard of the law out the window and embrace grace with open arms. That’s not how it works. The law was fulfilled by Christ, the veil was torn, and now all is grace. We don’t get to just switch back and forth. Jesus died so that we may abide in grace- walk in it and live it. All is grace isn’t just a nice saying- it’s true and it’s what Christ died for. All means ALL. All my righteousness isn’t really mine- it’s because of Christs grace and all my failure doesn’t have to amount to death because of Christ’s grace.

Purpose




yet indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” -Philippians 3:8

So many people today spend their whole lives trying to discover their purpose- they try to find it in the things of the world but are always left empty. Something that the Lord spoke to me within my first week of being here in Ignite was the simple truth that my life purpose is just to know Him. It’s this idea that in this next year in Ignite even if I were to have a year FULL of trials and struggle, that just getting to know Him just a little bit more, would make everything worth it. Every time I miss my family or get bad news from home or get sick with the mebes (parasites for those who don’t know)- that it would all be worth it. My life pursuit has to be to know Jesus. Period. End of story. ALL else is to be counted as loss when compared to knowing Christ- nothing compares to the knowledge of Christ. I could gain the whole world but if I lose my soul and never know the heart of the one who created me then what is it all worth? What did my life mean? After all of my days even if I only see just a glimpse of His heart- isn’t that better than anything the world has to offer me? I’ve been given one life. I don’t know how long I will get to live it but I do know that I want to live it with Jesus as my one thing. Lose the world but gaining Christ.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Walk: together or alone


“Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” –Amos 3:3

No. The answer is no. This question is simple and the concept makes perfect sense, however when you plug sin nature and human selfishness into the equation it gets a lot more complicated. To add a visual to this, immediately my mind thinks of dance. We are to all be moving to the same beat and hitting the right counts in able to make the choreography worth anything. Dancing to the beat of your own drum is great until you have 10 people with 10 different drums and you lose all order. You are bound to have chaos and the goal of what you wanted to accomplish as a dance crew is thrown out the window. In the same way, you can’t walk together if you both want to go in different directions. Then it just becomes a battle of opinions and a struggle of power. We have to learn to lay down our rights. When you sign up for a dance team you have submitted to the choreographer’s vision- not yours. In the same way, when you sign up for the family of God, you’ve submitted to His will not yours. Right now, I’m in a season of training and preparation. In less than a month I will be on the mission field and considering its with only my teammate Kenadie, if we aren’t walking together then we are walking alone. If we aren’t fighting together, then we are fighting against one another. We have to walk hand in hand- together living out God’s vision not our own.
Application: Today I am going to talk to Ken and just get things on the same page and talk through being prepared to have opposing viewpoints and how to talk through that and walk together, not run separately.

You Have 48 Hours...


 “Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him your fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” –Matthew 18:15

This verse always takes me back to my freshman year orientation for high school. That night my teacher challenged us all to enter into these next four years and work to keep short accounts with the people in our lives. The charge was to speak with the person you have a problem with, directly and do so within 48 hours. It became this ongoing joke whenever anyone would make a remark about someone that wasn’t a positive one, everyone would just say: “you have 48 hours!” We always joked about it but honestly it is so true. Holding onto a fault you see in your brother only creates bitterness and a hardness of your own heart. That bitterness starts small however, it can grow and fester into something so much bigger than the original problem. And even more so, when you go and tell someone all about the faults in this person, it now taints their view of this other person when in reality they have no place in even being involved and you have just severed a relationship you had no place being involved in.

For me, bitterness had been something I had worked very hard to not hold onto. And outwardly, I think it looked as if I did a pretty dang good job but reality is I had everyone around me fooled and I had myself fooled also. I got very good at taking anything that bothered me and burying it deep in my heart. Instead of actually using the 48 hour rule, I just pretend the problem was never there and instead of keeping short accounts, it turned into a cycle of not being genuine with people. I worked very hard to not act on my hardness of heart- thus externally everything looked fine, but internally I know my heart would dwell on these faults I buried so deep. How can anyone accept any of the love, peace, or joy the Lord offers us if our hearts have this preconceived notion of bitterness swelling up bigger and bigger within us? An overflowing joy and an all-consuming bitterness simply and logically cannot abide together. And I would take joy over bitterness any day. I want to strive to keep my accounts with people short and gain brothers, not enemies.

A Charge to Peace


“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” –1 Corinthians 13:11

I love this. Here we have Paul finishing up his letter to the church in Corinth and this verse is the beginning of his last words to them. It’s like this verse is him telling them that if there is anything to remember in all that he has written to them, it is these things. This is his final encouragement to them. He charges to them be complete, be of one mind, be of good comfort, and live in peace. What does all of this look like?

James tells us that it’s through the trials that produce patience and we are to let that patience work in us and through that we will become complete- lacking nothing. It’s that picture of fullness- being genuine and being whole in all areas of your life. I want to be complete in that I am the same person no matter the situation I am in or the people I am around. Be of good comfort- some other translations read to comfort one another. I want to be able to hand over my burdens to the Lord and let Him comfort me and then in turn be able to help bear someone else’s burdens and comfort them because Christ first. Be of one mind. I want to lay down my own mind and opinion in order to take up that of Christ. The only way we will find unity is to not look at others with our own eyes but look at them with the same mind in which Christ looks at us. Live in peace. Live as one. Live together. And in the end when all of these things are manifested together in someone’s life, it’s in that place that the Lord has asked us to abide with one another. Lastly, Paul tells us that the Lord of love and peace will be with you. There is no way out of our selfish human hearts that we could do all of these things, however the Lord never asked us to. It’s in HIS strength that we are able to live in this manner with one another. The Lord makes us complete and comforts us and it’s His mind and peace we are to take up.

His Mind, Not Mine.


 “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” –Romans 12:16

As the body of Christ, we are to be of one mind. Automatically the first thing that pops into my head is the question of who’s mind we are going to have? My mind? My pastors mind? My parents mind? In Philippians 2:5 we are told that the mind we are to be one in is Christ’s mind. I think so many times I get stuck in the legalistic rut of thinking that my way is the only way- that my mindset is the only mindset. I have found myself so many times placing my opinion above someone else’s, thinking I know best. With this perspective of everyman thinking himself to be the head, straight up war would break out. When we don’t put Christ’s mind as THE mind, then the body can’t think straight and in turn, function properly.

Christs mind. I need to be looking at all people with the same eyes in which Christ looks at them with- eyes of love and compassion and precious thoughts and seeing not them but rather seeing Christ is in them. There isn’t a pair of eyes that Christ didn’t die for. It’s with this mind that I have to look at my fellow body of Christ- to view others as Christ views me: cleansed, redeemed, and called. And if we understand this and take up the mind of Christ, then we will start to see His heart as well. Jesus is our greatest example of humility. His heart was always humble. It is when I’m thinking with my own mind that I get the idea that I am something great and my opinion is something wise. I have to be transformed by the renewing of my mind and take up the humble mind of Christ.

Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours. Help me to see others in the way you see them and help me to see that your mind is the only one that matters.



Application: today I am going to be mindful of all of the times I state or view my opinion as the best and right one and then ask the Lord to humble my heart and give me His eyes for others. Christ is head- not me.

Abide In Light


“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” -1 John 1:5-7

I am a very all or nothing kind of person- if I am eating ice cream I will either have none or I will have the whole dang gallon. There is no in between. I am this way with many material things yes, but I think you can always use more of this in the spiritual. All or nothing- be on fire for Christ or don’t know Him at all, just don’t dare be caught lukewarm. When you think of this in terms of light, it sounds even more harsh. Darkness and light literally cannot abide with one another. By definition, when one is present the other cannot be. God Himself IS light and in Him is no darkness at all. For us, we were born into sin, born into darkness yet we have been cleansed and illuminated by Christ. Thus, now we are light having Christ in us, however we still have a sin nature in us so we are also darkness. Now we have this internal battle in our hearts that is ever raging on. The two cannot abide together yet now they are both trying to take root and make home in the human heart- The Spirit and the flesh. We are called to walk in the light- this indicates a process. Walking is a continuous thing. Every time you pick up your foot and take another step, you have to choose if you’re going to continue stepping into light and let the Lord guide your steps, or if you’re going to walk in darkness and try and direct your own steps. The struggle is constant and for as long as you follow Christ it will be there. It’s in the mundane everyday little choices of life. Darkness or light? The world or Jesus?

Continue in the light. Be all in. Let Him illuminate even the darkest areas of your heart. Have fellowship in Him knowing that we are all light bearers of Christ. And in that practice truth and speak that truth in love to one another. Walk in His light. Abide in it.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Continue to Grow


“blessed of those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” -Luke 12:37-40

As a servant of Christ, my goal is to the run the race He has set before me and to be diligent in that- not turn from the right or from the left. My Master is coming back and when He does I want to be ready. I want Him to find me diligently running- not standing on the sidelines taking a breather because I think He won’t see.

For me, I will many times wrongly think that this looks like the big extravagant things. It gets stuck in my head that the big in life is the end all be all- like for example, that this year in ignite for me is my end all be all. But no, the Lord wants me to remain faithful in the small- yes ignite is a big thing and is part of God’s call for me however it’s not all I will amount to as a person in my lifetime. The Lord desires for me to daily practice His ways and as 2 Peter tells us: to continue to grow in faith, virtue, knowledge, perseverance, self-control, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

When Christ ascended, He didn’t abandon us but rather He left us with His spirit, told us He would return, and left us a manual for how we ought to live in waiting. I know what I ought to do, now it’s my job to actually do it and walk worthy of the call He has on my life. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His power has given us all the things pertaining to life and godliness. As I wait for His return I must simply remain steadfast in the small and continue to grow in these things and in that He will be pleased. On the day when He does return, I want to be the servant found doing that which He commanded of me and be the servant to remains diligent even when you think He isn’t watching. I desire to live every moment as if it were the one before He returns.

Application: I am going to read 2 Peter 1:1-12 every morning for the rest of this week.

A Friend to The Father


“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.” -John 15:15

Daily, I am blown away that the Lord has chosen to use humans to accomplish His will. He chose to make us in His image even though He knows that we fail and don’t live up to the standard we have been called to. I fail Him daily, yet He still pursues me. His desire is to guide us and that when we hear His voice that we would tune our ears to listen. And in letting Him direct us that we would find in the knowledge of Him a fullness of joy, hope, and love. He has created us, chosen us, and then while we were yet sinners chose to call us friend. That’s insane. The Ruler of the universe so greatly desires a genuine friendship with us and for us to know His deep love for us. We are told that the Father took pleasure in sending Jesus to the cross simply because He knew the joy that was to come- the joy in us knowing Him. He was willing to send His son to die so that He could call us friend and make His ways known to us- Father.

I am a bondservant of the Most High- it sounds intense but honestly, He is the only master I would ever want over my life. We aren’t treated as servants but rather as friends. He still pursues us and wants us to have the knowledge of Him even when we don’t treasure it the way that we should. In friendship, there is always some sacrifice- putting their needs before your own or doing things for them simply because you love them. Jesus made the greatest sacrifice of all simply to be our friend. God wants that friendship with us not because of what we have done but He loves simply because we are- because He sees Jesus in us. It’s nothing I do, but all that He has done in me.

Honest Service


“and which of you, having a servant plowing and tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘come at once and sit down and eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me until I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded of him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you were commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” -Luke 17:7-10



I think in my head so many times I dress up this idea of servanthood. I get it in my head that my serving is something so grand and special and with that mindset the “humble” servant can easily become the prideful one. You begin to serve others not for their benefit but rather your own. You want people to think highly of you so you serve and serve and do it unto self instead of unto Jesus. In my life, I’ve fallen into this far too many times- honestly, I’d say I am the master of a false servanthood. And I’ll be the first to say that it’s easy to fall into and then continue to the point where it becomes a routine and habitual thing. Serving is all fun and games until you’re actually treated like a servant and don’t receive the praise you’re working for.

When a servant is serving, they are simply doing their job. Nothing special. They aren’t going the extra mile or being “oh so humble”- they are doing just what they ought to have done in the first place. It’s the bare minimum- literally what is required of you.

I think pride has a very easy door to enter in when a Christian looks back at their life and sees all the things they did for Christ and how long they walked with him. But is that special? We are CREATED to glorify God. We are called to live as bondservants of Christ- a lifelong servanthood chosen by their own freewill. This is a truly humbling thing but yet we selfish can take such a selfless thing as serving and make it about ourselves. I want my service to be honest and not dependent on what I can get out of it but rather what I GET TO give.


Follower


“if anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” -John 12:26



When Jesus called His disciples He simply said come and follow Me. He didn’t tell them they could go back home, secure everything, pack all their possessions and then come. No. They went. Period. We are called to take up our cross and GO- to die to myself and my wants and GO. The reality of who Christ is should make us drop everything and chase after Jesus. When I think of this, immediately pride and misconception creeps into my mind saying “ummm hello? Lord, I am good in this area! I mean I dropped everything and came to Guatemala, didn’t I?” This thinking is so backwards. With Jesus, you never arrive- He is too big for that and how dare I try and put Him in that box. You can always go deeper still and the deep get called into deep. Your praise to the Lord forever is growing even once we get to heaven our worship of the Lord will only grow in depth. Yes, the Lord called me here and yes, I came but yet He wants more. He continually wants my heart and He continually wants to fill me with His Spirit. You don’t just follow Jesus, you have to keep walking. Step by step. Take up my cross, daily. I have to continue to follow as a faithful servant. Where He goes, there I will also go. If I am truly a servant of Christ, then I will go wherever He calls me.



Application: This all is very fitting considering I bought my plane ticket to Costa Rica today! Tonight, I will pray and ask the Lord to forgive me for all the time I spent fighting Him and I’ll pray with Ken over our time in Costa Rica that we would be so willing to not just follow Him there but follow where He directs us while we are there and be attentive to His voice.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I'll be a toe for Jesus any day


“For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “because I am not a hand I am not of the body,” it is therefore not of the body” 1 Corinthians 12:14-15

Lately the Lord has been teaching me that He is sovereign over literally ALL. And trying to comprehend the reality of that has been blowing my mind. He has given me the life I have for His purposes and every situation I am ever in, He has ordained and He is using to prepare me for that which is next. My story is different from everyone else’s because He is wants to use me for specific things. He has put certain people, things, and obstacles in my path that way one day I may use it to bring Him glory. This past week, my team and I went to Xela, Guatemala and partnered with the church there. Some of my teammates were able to speak into people’s lives and minister to others in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to because their story is different than mine. He has written us all different testimonies in order to accomplish His perfect will through His broken but willing church.

He has given me this body- this family of Christ. And although every member of the body is not the same, all are important and useful. This past week I didn’t have some of the radical conversations with people like some of my friends did, however what I did was still important and the Lord will still use it. We all may be different parts and have different functions, yet our goal is the same- bring glory to Jesus’s name. And when we stand together as one solid and unified body of the Creator, nothing can stop us. Some days I may not get to be an arm in the body of Christ, but rather a toe and although that may seem small, it’s extremely hard to stand if you are missing a toe! It sounds silly but it’s so true. And if I can be a toe for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom then I am going to be the best dang toe the world has ever seen!

One body. One family. One blood. One purpose. One love. One God.

Application: I am going to tell my teammate about this and how the Lord used her to speak to me and thus keep us unified and reminded of how the Lord can use us.

A Submitted Heart




“submitting to one another in the fear of God.” -Ephesians 5:21



JOY

Jesus

Other

You



Okay this so Sunday school but it’s so true. It’s the pattern. Why? Why should I put someone else’s wants above my own? What’s the point? The point is, you have this fear of the Lord and because of that you submit to Him- out of honor and out of a reverent fear. And in doing that you submit to those around you and put theirs needs above your own because you know that’s what He wants from you. If you truly have Jesus at the top and are submitted to Him then you’ll be submitted to those around you. And in this pattern, you go last. It’s learning to die to yourself- to sacrifice your needs and put others over yourself. You do this because you know it’s the Lord who is over all. His will- not mine.

In this life, honestly the only thing I have control over is my heart and matter-of-factly the only thing Jesus wants from me is my heart. But He doesn’t want the crusty, black, wicked thing I have to offer- He died to cleanse my heart and thus He wants my softened and submitted heart. Submitted to His will. God uses the willing. May every day my question be “Lord, what do you want to do?” and then be willing to do it and submit to it, no matter the answer. I want the pattern of my life to be Jesus first, then others, then me. That’s where the joy is found.

For Freedom I am Set Free




“For you, brethren, have been have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13

Every chain has broken. Every knee shall bow. It is finished. The precious blood of Christ has made us clean and set us free from the bonds of sin. What now? Now we are called to walk in that freedom. To live your life knowing you are no longer a slave to this world. We were set free so that we could walk in that freedom. So, what does that look like? It looks like love- to serve one another in that love. I have been called to liberty and to live a life worthy of that calling. I don’t want to waste my freedom. We were born into sin- into a cage and Jesus comes and He unlocks the door and swings it wide open. But what’s the point of an open door if we never walk out of the cage? The door is open but we must choose to walk through it- to walk out your freedom and live as a free people.

I don’t want to look back on this year in Ignite or my life for that matter just to see that I never used my freedom. That I just let it sit in the cage with me- Jesus is so much bigger than that cage. He died so that we could have LIFE so I want to LIVE.

It is for freedom that I am set free. 


To Be Real and Raw


“to the weak I became as weak that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:22



In Romans 12:16 we are told to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. There is a time for everything. And I definitely think there is a time to be weak however to the world this makes no sense. The world tells us we must always be strong- never cry, never be vulnerable, and never be real. And thus, we put on masks and never want to show anyone how we truly feel or who we really are.  

I think recently the Lord has been teaching me to be vulnerable. I don’t have a problem with being open with people- I have a big mouth and typically on accident I tell everyone everything about my life without even realizing it. Sharing the external details of my life (probably too many might I add) is simple for me. However actually being raw with people and walking and talking through the struggles internally in my heart with others is a more difficult. I never know where to start and the thoughts get so jumbled in my head and I feel like if I can’t understand them then no one else will either.

But the Lord has called us to be weak because its only there that we can see the greatness of His strength. I was to be real with people. I want to be raw- just not about external things but about the internal things in my heart and mind. I want to be genuine and be able to show others that I don’t always have it all together.  And that in that vulnerability it would cause others to want to do the same and be vulnerable with the Lord. I want to let my walls down with the Lord and with my family in Christ.


Jesus First, Others Second


“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” -Romans 15:1



We are all supposed to be looking out for one another. As the family of Christ, it’s our job to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ. For me, that picture of my family in Christ watching out for me sounds a lot better than me watching out for myself. No matter how strong I am, I can’t bear my own burdens, fears, and doubts. Why? Because I was never created to carry it all alone. The Lord tells us to cast all our cares on Him because he LOVES us and most of the time this is a lot easier said than done. As people, we love to hold onto things and sometimes it takes another believer to come along side us and help us let go of our doubts and worries and surrender them over to the Lord.

God himself is love- thus we cannot love unless we abide in Him and He in us. The only way we can be successful in bearing the burdens of one another is if we are first abiding in the love of Jesus. It will be literally impossible to love one another and bear the burdens of those around us if we are not first going to Jesus and letting Him take our own burdens. We love because He first.

However, we are also told we aren’t to do it to please ourselves- not fruit will come from that. All we do should be with the goal of pleasing the Father. In my life, I’ve tried to manufacture love so many times- making things seem genuine when they aren’t. It’s only when the love flowing from us is from the Father that He is pleased. Anything not coming directly from Him will be a plastic fake love that bring Him no glory. If we start in the right place- abiding in His love and with the end goal of bringing glory to the Father, then bearing the burdens of the weak and carrying the heavy load won’t be so heavy. Jesus comes first. And it is only once we are in Him that we are made strong and can bare the scruples of the weak. We need our family in Christ, yet it is all in vain if it doesn’t first begin with Jesus.



Application: today I’m going to pull aside a teammate and ask what they are struggling with and then pray with them to help bare that burden.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Time to Learn, Not Lead


"obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” -Hebrews 13:17

I have always struggled with being a student. In almost everything I’ve done in life, not long after I’m “new to the program” I begin “leading the program.” My natural tendency isn’t to want to follow directions but rather be giving the directions.

In this season of my life, the Lord has made it so clear since the beginning that this is a time for me to finally be a student. To learn and grow- not lead. This sounds like a simple and peaceful thing however in my life I have become so accustomed to busyness and leading that slowing things down and learning feels like foreign territory. Nevertheless, this is exactly where the Lord wants me. He wants me to learn to learn. Ignite for me has been this greenhouse experience- people are pouring into you, day and night, and it’s my job to soak it all in and GROW.

With the Lord, I think so many times I try to be the leader. I show the Lord my beautifully color coded agenda and expect Him to just write it off as good and let me do the rest and run with it. This never works. The Lord is a light unto my feet. He doesn’t just light up the whole big old path and then tell me to run down it and meet Him at the other side. He asks me to walk- only illuminating one step at a time. Its learning to trust Him and learning to walk by His side and not run ahead and call back to everyone else to follow me. This is a season for me to rest and learn to be a student and this is exactly where the Lord wants me.

 Application: I am going to be mindful of all the times I try and take the lead- that’s not my place. When I feel myself trying to take over, I am going to take a big step back and let someone else step forward.

Daughter of the King


“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” -Ephesians 6:1

“Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.” -Colossians 3:20


It’s always the big joke back at home that I am literally a child. So many of my friends all say they feel way older than their age but I am always saying I feel like a little kid still! When the Lord called me to leave home and do ignite, it was this huge leap for me and the first and biggest fear I had was telling my parents. I had been praying about it for a while so it wasn’t this huge shocker to them but after the Lord confirmed it to me, it all became much more real. The reality set in that I had to go home and tell my family. My parents and I have the best relationship- I can honestly say they are my best friends. Thus, telling them I was going to leave for 10 months was in no way easy.

Coming to ignite wasn’t a disobedience to my parents- in the end they knew this is what the Lord had for me and they want me to follow where He leads me, however it was and is a very difficult thing for us as a family. In leaving, I felt this huge weight of guilt. How could I just up and leave them for a year? Since my time in being here, the Lord is slowly taking that burden of guilt I put on myself, away from me. It’s the Lords will for me to be here and although it’s so hard on my family- we all know this is how it’s supposed to be and it’s in this season that the Lord will grow us. My parents don’t need me at home- they only need Jesus and I must obey my heavenly Father first and foremost and in that I will be obeying my earthly father.

At the end of the day, I still am a kid. Legally I may be an adult but honestly, I feel 5 years old. This year in Ignite I’m going to do a lot of growing and a lot of growing up. However, no matter how old I get, I will be called to obey my earthly parents and I’ll always be a daughter of the King.

Freedom in Bondage


“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slave to obey, you are that one’s slave whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness.” -Romans 6:16



We, as humans, all enter this world in bondage. We have this great desire to be free because we recognize that we are bound to something- Bound to sin, bound to self, bound to this life. And we have built into us the desire to be free from that and free to glorify the Creator (our one true purpose). We see that we need freedom however most people never find it. We look in all of the wrong places and sometimes don’t even recognize that they are searching. The world thinks they are free to sin and do all of these things, however as followers of Christ we see that we are free to NOT do those things. It’s only being bound to Christ that we find freedom from the world. It sounds so backwards and yet we see this is how it always works. You lay your life down in order to gain it. I want to be a bondservant of Jesus Christ and He is the only master I would ever want controlling my life. I feel like lately the question of “do you trust me?” I felt the Lord asking me has turned into Him asking me “are you ready?” I feel like the Lord is prompting me for this incredible journey and all I need do is grab onto His hand and let Him lead me. I must bind myself to Christ- to grab onto Him and never let go. That I may let go of all other things in this life that enslave me and simply grab onto Jesus with all that I have. Freedom is only found when we are bound to Jesus.




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A God Pleasing Life


“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: we ought to obey God rather than men.” -Acts 5:29

I’ve always struggled with this idea that I have to please everyone. Like it’s my life long goal to get every person I come in contact with to love me. Sure, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, however at what cost am I willing to get it? Am I willing to sacrifice time with Jesus to get time with others? Am I willing to sacrifice the unending love He gives me to go search for a fleeting human approval? Just yesterday we talked about the story of Martha and Mary and how Martha went about making herself busy, serving and doing all of these things for Jesus and the disciples in her home. Because of this, she grew frustrated and stressed out to the point that she questions the Lord in a sense. But her sister Mary, instead of worrying about literally anything else, she simply sat at the feet of Jesus and heard what He had to tell her. I can get so caught up in serving or trying to please everyone that I lose sight of what the Lord has called me to.

No matter what it is the Lord asks me to actively go out and do, I have to never forget to come back to the feet of Jesus with a thankful heart, ready to listen to whatever is next. To be still and know that He is God. The only person I need to work to please is the Lord. And honestly, He is the only one who in return for that obedience has loved me and blessed me and finds pleasure in me. Who else is going to do that? NOT other humans! He is the only one who knows my heart- Creator, Savior, and Redeemer of my life. No one gets me like He does thus why would I be eager to obey anyone else? Humans are everchanging and honestly impossible to please- trust me, I’ve tried. But the Lord is eternal and because of His son, He sees me and blameless and is well pleased. I want to be someone the Lord looks at and rejoices in and because of that, I will obey.



Application: Today I will take time to pray and confess to the Lord all of the time I have wasted trying to please everyone other than Him. I know He can redeem the time.

A Broken Vessel


“though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” -Hebrews 5:8



We have no greater example of obedience than Christ. The King of the universe took on the form of a baby, walked among us, and then endured death on a cross to save the very souls who killed Him. What a Savior. This is the ultimately picture of humility and obedience. In the garden of Gethsemane, Christ cried out to the Father- the only one who could save Him from this death. Only hours left before His crucifixion, Jesus asked if there was any other way to save the world that the Father would take this cup from Him. But there was no other way. It had to be Life for a life and only by blood could we be cleansed. Jesus knew this and He obeyed and took the suffering of the world upon Himself. He was obedient to the Fathers will to the point of death. And it was because of His suffering and obedience that now He holds the keys to life that all may obey Him.

I am so thankful the Lord uses broken people. I want nothing more but to be a broken vessel used for His glory. I want the life I lived to be led by a thankful heart for that which He has done and in turn be so willing and obedient to His plans. The Ruler of all was poured out on the cross so that I may be filled to overflow. His feet were nailed to the cross so that mine could walk and tell of His love. His hands were pierced so that He could use mine to hold those who are hurting. He was obedient to the point of death so that I may live. He was obedient to the Father through suffering and now it’s my turn to be obedient to Him- to be merely a broken vessel that He desires to fill up and pour out on others. He obeyed the Father and now I get to obey Him. What a Savior.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Be Content In Christ


“As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.” -Psalm 17:15

Contentment in itself isn’t a bad thing- it’s all about what you find that contentment in. It’s not simply that I must be content with Jesus but also that I cannot be content with the things that are of this world. I don’t ever want to be content in the things of this world. I don’t ever want to hold onto a portion in this life that I think is mine- because it’s not. I don’t want to try and build my own castles here on earth rather than working to build up His Kingdom. The second that I become comfortable and grasp my life and all that is in it with white knuckles, I’ve lost the point. I love my life but only because Jesus is in it. He gives and He takes away- all things of this life, even life itself, have to be held with an open hand. My life isn’t mine and if I ever think it is then I’ve lost sight of the goal. The goal is Jesus- plain and simple.
I think recently, the future has been on my heart a lot. Not even my time in Costa Rica but my mind keep wandering to after that. What will life look like? What will I be doing? These aren’t necessarily bad questions to ask myself however in a sense, whatever the answers to those questions are- it doesn’t matter. Those aren’t the right questions. The part of the answer that matters isn’t where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, its WHO I’ll be doing it for. This life is nothing but dust and is nothing compared to eternity- What’s the good in gaining the whole world but in the process, lose my soul and lose sight of the One who created it. I don’t want to be finished until I look like Jesus- I’ll keep running until I see Jesus face to face. May we continue to hunger for more of Jesus and never be satisfied until we are in the fullness of His presence.


Do You Trust Me?


“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I’m in, to be content.” – Philippians 4:11

Discontentment is simply put a lack of faith. A lack that the Lord will come through and do what He says He will do. Immediately this make me think of Sarah and Abraham. The Lord promised them this inheritance saying that they would have descendants greater than the stars in the sky and that through them all nations would be blessed. But they grew tired and they lost hope in the promise of God, so they took things into their own hands and had Ishmael. I think so many times I do the same. I’ll walk through something and at the start of it I’ll keep in mind the nature of the Lord and that ultimately, He is working all things together for good. However, as time goes on I so quickly forget.  And suddenly without ever realizing I create in my head this optimistic faith in faith or faith in myself rather than faith in the Lord.

This whole last year I constantly felt the Lord asking me- “do you trust me?” “how far are you willing to go?” and it was those exact questions that brought me to Antigua, Guatemala. And now that I am here they are still on my heart. Since I’ve been here it’s been this constant theme of being able to have joy in all seasons and keep sight of the Lord no matter the time of life I am in. Am I willing to chase after Jesus even when I don’t feel Him? How much am I willing to trust? How far am I willing to lean back knowing He will catch me? Yes, I left my home and trusted the Lord with all of these things to get me here but yet He still wants more. I have to trust with all that I am. He calls me to trust Him but it doesn’t have to be this scary thing. It’s not blindly walking in the dark, its holding tight to His hand and letting Him lead me into the light. And I must not lose faith that He will do the things He says He will.
Lord, let me be willing to follow where you lead. May I trust your vision and not my own. Amen.

Application: I’ve been keeping a journal of the promises of the Lord found in scripture since I’ve been here. Today I will go through and reread the verses written down to help remind myself once again of His faithfulness.

If I Have Jesus, I Have Everything




“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” -Hebrews 13:15

Here, the writer isn’t saying to be content and do not covet if you’re a rich man who already has everything. We aren’t given the financial state or social class of the type of person he is instructing. Why? Because no matter if you’re Bill Gates or someone who literally doesn’t have enough money for shoes, you can be content because Jesus is enough. This is instruction and even more so command for all people. No matter how much or little you have in this life, the simple fact that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us is all that we need. If God is by our side, what can stand against? In that I must be content. 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells me that His grace is sufficient for me. It’s all I need.

Why waste time coveting things of this world when in Jesus you already have it all? Apart from Him all else is vain. It’s worthless. I think for me, my struggle with covetousness isn’t necessarily in material things but rather I covet other lives and the way the Lord has worked in their life. I start to compare where I am to where they are and ask the Lord why He hasn’t blessed me with that or why they can serve Him in that extravagant way and I can’t.

It’s a constant thing to remind myself that the Lord has a hand-crafted plan for my life and it’s not going to look like anyone else’s. I have to be currently content where He has me and in turn content with His plan for me. At the end of the day, no matter what I do or don’t have- His grace is sufficient for me. And if I have that, then I have everything.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How Now Shall I Live?


“Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “and what shall we do?” So he said to them, “do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.” -Luke 3:14

Back in high school I read a book titled “How then shall we now live?” and to be completely honest I don’t remember much about what the book was about, however the title has always stuck with me. The question is saying that in light of what we now know, how now shall we live? How do we actually walk out what we have just learned? When it comes to the gospel, I ask myself this on a very regular basis- how shall I then live knowing all Christ has done for me? The question has kind of always been a heart check for me- am I living as if the Savior of the world laid down His life so that I could have mine? Because He did!

In this verse, this is exactly what the soldiers are asking of John, however it’s in light of contentment and money. They are asking what do we do with this information. It’s getting from point A to point B and getting out of their old selfish and routine ways. They see the value in what John is saying, but transitioning and actually making the change is what they don’t understand. For me, I think it’s that transition period of life that’s always hardest for me. I hate change. Moving away from our old ways and turning 180 and begin walking in the light. Transition may not be an easy thing, however when its Jesus telling me to make that change I have to ask myself that question of “how then shall I now live?” The only way I am ever going to lead a full and abundant life is if I’m living it in light and walking in what Jesus has done for me. He is enough and in Him I must be content.

Application: Today I will ask myself that question of “how now shall I live” and pray that the Lord would speak to me and that I’d be patient to listen.

More of Jesus


“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” – 1 Timothy 6:6-8

Honestly, I don’t know when I’m ever satisfied. I always want more. Whether it’s more time in the day, more people to talk to, or more candy to last me these three months away from home (ridiculous I know)- I am never satisfied.

For me, I am not a person who is easily stressed or anxious- it’s simply not an issue for me with majority of things. However, one thing that does bring me worry is this idea of running out. Running out of time, or things, or even running out of like shampoo for crying out loud. And honestly, I feel like an idiot for typing this all out because that’s such a small and foolish thing to let my mind be troubled by. Psalm 23:1 lays it out perfectly- “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” He provides. That’s a fact. The Lord is my shepherd and He is a good one. So why do I continually waste my time trying to gain more of the things of this world when the only thing I truly need more of is Jesus? Or why would I stress over fear of running out when I know He will give me exactly what I need and with that I must be content. I need more of Him and less of myself, my thoughts, my desires, my pride, and my wants. And more of His will, His heart, His peace, and His desires for me. Jesus is the only thing I need in abundance. The Great I Am. He is so much larger than my petty wants and worries for more material things. I must learn to be content with exactly what He has given me, which always comes in the perfect timing and the perfect amount. I shall not want. Lord, strip it all away.

Application: as a small step to stopping hording all my candy away from my team in fear of running out, I’m going to bring chocolate to give my team when we have class later.