“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
As we struggle through life, no matter what the stage, God is constant. Constant in the fact that he has unfailing love for each and every single one of us. Once you give Him your life, He will never let you go. Through each of your doubts, each one of your short comings. No matter how far you fall, how entangled in sin you become, Christ is sitting there, knocking, just waiting to come in and make your life whole. I see so many people searching every day, searching for true happiness in temporal things. I hope that us “christians” us Christ followers can be a light for everyone. I hope that we can show them that there is true happiness to be found outside of these fleeting things. Love so true that He died for us even while we were still tangled in sin. There is no greater love then for one to lay His life down for another. He didn’t die for the perfect or because we begged Him too. Christ died to take us home, died so one day we could live in eternity with Him. He came to Earth to be the example of how we should live, and the way that will be most fulfilling to our souls while we are here. He died the most horrible death for us while we were yelling at Him, slapping Him, taunting and mocking Him. He died for you while your drowning in your own lust, drinking, fears, doubt, hate, addiction. Whatever the sin may be, Christ died for it and all He wants is you to realize that and give your own life to Him. Take your struggles and lay them down at the cross, so He can heal you. There has never been a more beautiful sight then the death of our Savior on calvary’s tree, now we can all sing “It is well with our souls, because our Savior has set us free” God has killed His own Son in our place, so my question to you is what greater love can you find in life? Quit searching for something new, something to make you feel wanted and loved and turn to a God who loves you more then any of us can ever comprehend.
Tonight I am in awe of what our Savior has done, I am ashamed of my own sin and laziness in sharing the gospel and living like Christ. I was challenged when asked if someone looked at my day, would they see Christ? I was unsure, I never want to be unsure again. I want Christ to be at the center of all I do. This was not only a lay out of the gospel, it was a reenergizing rant for myself. Reminding myself of my God’s love and the urgency of sharing it with those who are searching. I love you all, thank you for taking some time out of your day to read my rant. I pray for you, reader. Any questions, contact me.
Lately, I have been stressed beyond belief. Stressed about school, friendships, relationship.. and most of all my future. As I wait to schedule at UK next semester it just continues to become greater. My finals, speeches and everything just seem to keep piling up, and then on top of that I find my social life just adding stress. For some reason when life gets busy, my relationship with Jesus and my spiritual discipline seem to be pushed to the back. I find myself not reading my bible, my prayers becoming selfish and even my relationships becoming centered around what I can get out of it. I don’t know why I do this, why I push the only thing that matters to the back for such temporary things. I am using this post just to challenge myself to draw nearer to God in these times of stress. Look for His advice and His guidance because He is the only thing that truly matters in this world. The devil takes advantage of my laziness in my walk, and doubt creeps in. I just need to remind myself of who I am in Christ. I am a son, I am a priest, I am safe and most of all I am loved. I am, tonight, putting this challenge out there for myself and for anyone else who wasted 3 min reading this. Draw nearer to God in the hard times, challenge yourself and push your faith to the limits. I don’t want to just be another Christian filling up a seat on sunday. I want to be a Christ follower, taking up my cross daily. Christian, challenge me, challenge yourself and let’s change the world. I am excited for the future, but also worried. I pray for growth and that I can let go of fear and just follow Jesus. This walk is with Christ alone, not my church, not my christian organization.. all of those things are wonderful, but they are just to be used to glorify God and to grow us believers. I want to challenge you again and challenge myself not to just be comfortable with friends in a christian setting, but challenging with those friends to change the campus and our world. Build each other up, iron sharpens iron. It’s so easy to remain comfortable, but we are called to abandon all comfort for the sake of the gospel. I challenge you to just let go of you worries and your fears alongside myself, and strive to just know Jesus more and grow in His likeness daily.
Lately I have been having an internal battle. A battle between pride and depression. In high school before I came to Christ, I struggled with depression. I don’t share that with many people because I feel weak or like I’ll be looked down upon because of it. I just wasn’t happy with life, I would hurt myself, hit things, throw fits. I was always just trying to fill the God shaped hole in my heart with so many empty things. Happiness just never looked my way. Then Christ came in, changed everything. I am eternally grateful for the summer that Jesus captured my heart. He’s been with me every since. But, lately I’ve felt as if I’m battling my past depression while trying to fight my current pride. Now that all the “bad” stuff seems to be far behind me I find myself with a new inner conflict. Pride. I find myself feeling better then others when I see them struggling with drinking and drugs or anything of that sort. I find myself feeling pride when God using me for things that really I was way to incompetent for. I seemed to take pride in the stupidest things. Finally I realized that was a problem, so I started to tell myself I was nothing. No good. Couldn’t do anything right. I seem to have done a full circle right back into the no self confidence. I feel this roller-coaster coming to an end. Through all of this. The emotional ups where I think I’m great and can be friends with just about anyone, and the emotional downs where I feel so bad about myself I convince myself I’m not good enough for any of the things God wants to use me for. Through all of this, I hear my Savior calling. I hear Him saying let go of yourself, put your confidence in me. You have been set free. You no longer need to worry about what other people think of you, I have made you beautiful. You no longer need to feel alone, I will never leave you. You no longer need to look in that mirror with hatred, I have shown that I love you more than this world. You no longer need to feel better than others, I died and rose again to forgive all. You no longer need to mock your brothers, I want you to encourage and love them for they are a blessing. You no longer need to feel empty, I have given you life. You no longer are a slave to sin, I have set you free. Matt, take up your cross and follow Me. Lay down your pain, lay down your pride and I will lift you up. I hear my Savior saying, I love you.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Phil. 2:1-11
In life we’re all chasing something
Like a drug addict chasing their next fix
or a lover running after a new fling
even a liar looking to deepen his bag of tricks
Going after a winning hand
just praying for that ace
To be apart of the worlds best band
even if you’re just playing bass
We all seem to be chasing a different thing
money, jobs even the right degree
some of us chasing a finger to put our ring
we’re all chasing just hoping to be free
We all seem to different but yet
our chasing is the same
I’m honestly willing to bet
where we all are truly trying to aim
Praying when we catch it that it will free us
We’re all after happiness but yet it chased us first
We find our happiness in Jesus
He truly is all that can quench this thirst
I challenge anyone who reads this to look at your life. Are you chasing after temporary things? I know I often do. Happiness, true eternal happiness can be found in Jesus and Jesus alone. This is just a short poem, not very good. Really only wrote it because I’m bored. But I pray it leads to questioning and self-realization. Everyday we should be chasing after Jesus. Trying to look more and more like Him and less like ourselves. That will lead us to happiness.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.-C.S Lewis
While finals await most of us and the end of the semester is nearing it is so easy to let the storms of life get us down and stressed. School is difficult and life can be hard. It’s so easy to just get stressed out and try and do it all on our own. In this passage the disciples were sleeping out on a boat, saw Jesus walking on the water and thought it was a ghost. Peter calls out saying if it really is Christ to have him come out and walk on the water also. Christ tells him to come. Peter steps out on faith. That initial step is the difficult and takes trust. Peter takes a few steps on the water, doing the impossible while his eyes are fixed on Christ. Christ is working through him while he stays focused. Then Peter looks around at the storm and wind (exams, short comings, stress.. the list goes on) and he got scared and began to sink. Hollering out “Lord, save me” Jesus then reached out His hand and did just that. How often do we let these storms of life take our eyes off of Jesus? I know that I let school and stress about the future. My own worries and struggles take my eyes off our beautiful Savior. I doubt that He can do the impossible through me so I don’t bother to look at him. I attempt to do life on my own and it seems like Im constantly being drug under water and in over my head. Yet, Christ is right there just waiting for me/us to fix our eyes upon Him so he can work through us and we can do the impossible. This story is so familiar to most of us, but yet so powerful. So this is my challenge, during these last few weeks, this time of stress and difficult situations. Fix your eyes upon the one who died for you and is now seated on a throne just waiting to work through you. Put your trust in the Lord Jesus and He will give you peace during any storm that life brings.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:2
The other day I was looking into my mirror and thinking, just wondering about life. I figured I would let you all in on what I said to myself. Why does it seem Christianity has become about titles, the number of bible studies you attend, which church or denomination you’re attending, the amount of good things that other people see you doing? Why does it seem you’re more confident and satisfied with your walk with Christ when others see that you’re doing well, shouldn’t it just be based on what Christ sees in your heart? Why is it that you struggle with your own insecurities, shouldn’t your confidence be rooted in Christ? Why is it that you say you trust God with all your heart, yet you lay awake at night worrying about your own future? Hasn’t he showed you that He cares enough about you and has a plan for your life?
Everyday I find myself thinking about God, reading about God, memorizing God’s own commands, but yet I find myself sparingly living out what God would want me to do. It seems so easy to just wake up, head to class, find some fun but meaningless thing to do with my time and then call it a day. Taking in the gospel and studying God’s word are two incredible things, but I feel like the most spiritually lifting thing you as a Christ follower can do is live it out. Be the guy to sit with the kid who is all alone, help the man who is lost and can’t find his way, help the homeless, help the needy, help those who have never heard the great name of Jesus Christ.
So often I find myself angry and unhappy. It’s never due to a meaningful thing, but always because of the smallest inconvenience or the one annoying word from a person. I find myself smiling on the outside with nothing but angry and disappointment on the inside. So often I let the devil convince me I’m not enough. So often I let doubt keep me from taking that leap of faith. I let my joy be stolen by the small dumps in the road. My joy should come from the fact the absolutely amazing God that we live to praise, sent His one and only Son to die on a terrible cross for me. He took nails in His hands and feet so that I may be forgiven of my shortcomings, come as I am and kneel before Him. But he doesn’t want you to stop there, He doesn’t want you to stay knelt down on the ground. He wants you to lift your head, and go tell the world what He did for them. Give them the hope and joy that we find in God’s grace through His Son. Everyone faces struggles in life, Christian or not. James L. Christensen states “ the purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life.” This quote reminded me that God has a place in heaven prepared for those who love Him. Knowing that fact should make us live like perfection is awaiting us. Glorify Christ through all your struggles.
Last thing I want to write to you, face in the mirror, is be happy and be thankful. Look at your life, count your blessings. God has given you a incredible family, friends who would drop anything and be there for you in a second, a family that would do anything possible to keep you happy, a brother that you never had until last year, and mentors who helped make you who you are today. Never forget to look up to heaven and thank God for what He has done for you. Most importantly, never let the beauty of the cross slip from your mind. You find life through what happened on Calvary, never forget that.
Apparently now is the time to grow up but I’m just a young man
Fighting through this world to be all I can
Why do I try and fight alone?
Running through life, always wanting more, just hoping my past won’t be shown
My past fighting for control
The devil trying to take my mind for what he says is a small stroll
Pain and suffering trying to make a come back
Life beats me down, the punches trying to make my eyes black
Fake smiles to friends, laughing but only worrying about the end
Is being real just not the trend?
Feelings of insignificance, just waiting for his chance to destroy
The devil’s just fighting for my joy
Jesus fought for me
He fought by taking the nails on that wretched tree
The devil can’t win
Even though my past is full of sin
Jesus washed me clean
Taking my past and throwing it away, never to be seen
Jesus took my strife
Loving and growing in His likeness became my life
Growing up for me doesn’t mean being successful for everyone to see
It means growing as close to Christ as I can possibly be