Loving Those Who Do Not Love You

lovingthosewhodonotloveyouSo, last week I talked about what it means to truly love God. Well…love seems to be the theme on my mind this week so I want to talk about something else that relates to love. Something that can be just as hard or maybe even harder than loving God.Read More »

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God, our Friend

god-our-friendFriendship. We were made for friendship. “Why would you think that?” you may be thinking. Well, when Adam was lonely, God made Eve. That wasn’t because Adam was imperfect. At that time, the world was perfect. Nothing was imperfect. So God made Eve for a different reason, and that was friendship. Adam was made for friendship. He needed it. And so are we. We are made for friendship.Read More »

Everyone Needs to Rest

Everyone Needs to RestOkay, I’m just going to tell you how it is. This is my first week of school (There’s still one subject that I don’t start until next week, but for the most part this was my first week of school. I’m homeschooled, you know how it is.). And it started off terribly. Monday wasn’t too bad, but I still didn’t finish stuff for the day and I worked on it most of the day (though I guess that you can blame a lot of it on having to read all these introductions to things). But the next day was kind of horrible. I got a good start in the morning, but had two meltdowns because I couldn’t figure things out. I finally gave up at 10pm when I just couldn’t do it anymore. I guess it could just be because it’s the first few days of school. I’m not so sure though.

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Christianity Isn’t Just About Believing

Christianity-2.jpgSo I was listening to a bit of Not a fan. by Kyle Idleman yesterday while driving (No. I wasn’t driving. My dad was. I have not yet learned that skill.). Well, right at the beginning Mr. Idleman made a major point that I thought I’d like to talk about. A point that I hadn’t really thought about, but it struck me at how true it was.

You see, to become Christians, we’re told to believe in Christ. Believe that Christ is who he says he is. Believe that he died on a cross. Believe that he rose again in three days.

Believe that Christ’s death paid for your sins.

I took that step of faith around six years old. Now who knows when I really believed. Not everyone knows the exact moment when they believed. I just know that at one time I didn’t and at one time I did. I was later taught the ABC method to becoming a Christian. Do you know what that is?

  1. A-Admit that you are a sinner.
  2. B-Believe that Christ died and rose again. That the Bible is absolutely true.
  3. C-Confess your sins to God and you will be forgiven.

That was great and all. Especially for such a young kid like me at that time. I’m not saying that any of this is bad. But those are not the only things that make us a Christian. There’s another part, one that is even bigger than believing Jesus, and that’s following Him.

Believing and following Christ go hand in hand with being a Christian.

But we separate them, because the reality is that many people who believe in Jesus (who say they’re Christians), don’t actually follow him. When really the meaning of being a Christian is not just believing, it’s following.

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.

You must follow him, if you’re to be his follower, a Christian.

Now that’s hard.

It’s one thing to just believe in Christ. It takes faith; it is not that easy. But it is a lot easier than actually following Christ. Following Christ takes more sacrifice. It costs more.

And that is what turns people away. They, we, don’t want to sacrifice anything. We don’t want to do anything that costs us anything.

But that verse above says that you must give up your own way. Another version says, “you must deny yourself”.  You have to give up your own desires and take on God’s desires as your own. But when you love Jesus, taking on his desires is what you want to do.

Then you must take up your cross. Your cross. Just like Jesus took up his cross and sacrificed so much for us. He sacrificed even his own life so that we might live in Heaven for eternity. Now we must take up our own crosses.

We may not want to, but if we’re to be true Christians, we need to do more than just believe in him. We need to follow him.

-G. Paige

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing withIronically, my dad gave me the topic for today. I was struggling with being disappointed with certain family members doing something without asking if I wanted to do it.

When Dad saw my reaction, he said something like, “Oh look. Here’s a new blog post for you: dealing with disappointment.” And actually, as I’ve thought it over, it really is a good topic to do a post about. So here I am, actually writing a post on a topic my dad had only joked about doing.

We all get disappointed some times, don’t we? People let us down. They don’t live up to our expectations. They fail us.

Everyone, at some point in their lives, will disappoint you.

They’ll disappoint you because they are human. We, are all human. We are not perfect. We are sinful. We are full of faults. We are broken people (from Twenty One Pilot’s Screen).

Romans 8:7

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.

So it’s a fact of life that people will disappoint you. And you will disappoint others.

For one, we can’t always live up to the expectations people have of us. For most people we can’t even really know their expectations of us. So how can we live up to them? In many ways, most expectations are unjust and unrealistic. They are unable to be lived up to in the first place.

For two, we’re human just like everyone else.

But when we are disappointed, what should we do?

Remember that everyone makes mistakes. Tell them why your disappointed, in hopes that they’ll learn from it.

But then, move on. Don’t let your disappointment ruin the rest of your mood. I know that I have let disappointment take control of my attitude, my day. We don’t have time to waste on such things as disappointment though. Our lives are short. Let’s live them well.

But most importantly:

Trust in the Lord. When people let you down and fail you, trust in the Lord.

For He is the one person who will never disappoint you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

He will never fail you. He will never disappoint you.

For God is perfect.

God does not have a sinful nature.

God does not fail.

He is good. The absolute definition of good.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.

Trust in the Lord for no matter what happens, because it will all be part of His plan.

A plan that is for your good.

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

When people disappoint you, remember that God has a plan. Remember that He will never disappoint you no matter how many people do.

Don’t let disappointment get the best of you. It’s not worth it. Instead, focus on what matters.

-G. Paige

 

Taking That Step of Faith

Step of FaithEvery religion of some sort has a measure of faith involved. Some more so than others, but they all essentially do. Whether it’s believing that you reincarnate into something else after you die or believing if you do enough good works in this life you’ll earn your way to Heaven or believing that there are gods that control different element and forces of nature.

For Christians, it’s believing that there is only one God who rules over everything.

It’s believing that God created the world by just speaking it into existence.

It’s believing that the world was once perfect, but we brought sin into it.

It’s believing that God is three in one: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It’s believing that God sent his son, fully God and fully man, to earth to save us from our sin.

It’s believing that his son lived a perfect, a blameless, life.

It’s believing that Jesus suffered torture then died on a cross.

Most importantly it’s believing that Jesus’s death was the ultimate sacrifice, the perfect atonement for our sins. That if we only confess them and ask for forgiveness, we will be forgiven. We will have a clean slate. It doesn’t matter what kind of sin it is, it is forgiven. To God’s eyes, sin is sin. One is not worse than another. They are all just as bad and he forgives them all.

It’s believing that against all odds he rose again on the third day.

It’s believing that he later ascended into Heaven.

To believe that takes faith. A lot of faith.

Yes, there is plenty of physical evidence that all of this happened. But even with this evidence you have to have faith. Evidence in many cases isn’t the reason that people believe. If that were true, then probably just about everyone would already be saved.

But there is more to believing in God than believing in the evidence. It takes faith. And having faith in something we can’t see, feel, hear, or smell, in something not physical is hard.

At times, we can find ourselves doubting. But we have to let go of that doubt. It will get us no closer to Jesus, but fully believing in him will.

John 20:29

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

This doesn’t mean that those who saw Jesus and believed weren’t ever blessed, but they weren’t blessed for that reason.

Faith in Christ is like believing that there is invisible hands there to catch you as you fall from a cliff. You are submitting to Him, placing your life in the hands of someone you only believe is there. But the thing is…

Your life is already in God’s Hands. It has always been in his Hands. Taking that step of faith is just you finally opening your eyes and believing in someone who has been there since the beginning of time.

That is the difference between our faith and other people’s faith in their religion. Our faith rests in something true and real; their faith is in something nonexistent.

-G. Paige