Learning to Be Okay When Life’s Messed Up

learningtobeokaywhenlife'smessedupWhat is life? What is living? I mean, what is truly living? Read More »

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What do you find your identity in?

whatdoyoufindyouridentityin.jpgThis year has started off pretty well, I must say. I’ve stuck to my goal to write everyday, except for a day or two that I purposely took off to refresh my brain. I’ve been journaling pretty regularly. I’ve been reading my Bible more often, which ends up being every couple of days (I need to do it everyday.). I’ve even found some time to read, though not as much as I would like (But I don’t think any amount of reading would ever satisfy me fully. The books just keep coming. Hahaha…).Read More »

How do you know that you’re a Christian?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot. Not so much now as when I was younger, but it is still a question that I struggle with at times. I have let my fear and insecurities get ahold of me and I wonder, “Am I really truly a Christian? Or am I just some sort of fake?” It scares me how my mind can think that way, but I believe many other people struggle with it too.

So, knowing if you’re a Christian is not as easy other…life commitments (that’s what we’ll call it). It’s not like signing a contract where once you put your signature down, you’re in. For most people, when you become a Christian, you don’t feel God entering into your heart. It’s not like a “pop” and then boom, you’re life is changed. Now maybe it’s like that for some people, but that’s quite rare.

For me, and probably for many people, I don’t know the exact moment I was saved. I know I made the decision at church when I was six, but it could’ve happened before that or, more likely, after that.

But how do you know that you’re a Christian? How do you know?

One way is by your works. You really can’t believe in Jesus and then not have the works to prove it.

Works, doesn’t mean that you’re forced to do things for God, or that it is like a chore: something you never want to do. No, if you’re a Christian, you’ll want everything you do to be for God. As a Christian, you’ll love God and you’ll want to serve. Why? Because He gave everything, even His only son’s life, for you. And we can’t ever thank him enough.

Works also doesn’t mean that you need to sell all your possessions and go live in a hut in Africa, teaching God’s Word. Now, maybe that is some people’s calling, but it’s not everyone’s. You can do what God calls you to do right where you are. You wouldn’t be where you are if God didn’t want you there.

James 2:17

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

But you can’t be a Christian just by good works. That, is not what makes you a Christian.

Romans 3:28

So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

Faith in God, is what makes a Christian, a Christian. But if you have faith, good works will follow along with it. So one does not come without the other.

While you can’t necessarily “see” faith, you can see good works. So look back on your life, what do you see? If you’re not sure what you see, ask people who know you (like family). What do they see in you?

You may say, “But people can do good works and still not be Christians.” Yes, that’s true. So if you are doing good works, you need to ask the question, “Why? Why are you doing good works?” Is it for selfish reasons? Or is it for God?

An even more important question to ask is:

Do you love Him?

These are hard questions. And sometimes we can’t see the answer clearly. Sometimes we just have to have faith in our faith in God

Trust in God. Have faith that you are in His hands. Know that if you love Him, He will always be with you.

-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

 

What’s Your Motivation to Follow Christ?

 

 

What's Yourto Follow Christ?As a Christian, with Christian parents, I can not tell you how many times I have been told to do what’s right. Told to “be kind”, “be honest”, “be loving”, “be thankful”, and the list goes on and on. Or I’m told not to do what’s wrong. Told to “not be mean”, “not to lie”, “not to be ungrateful”, and I think you get the gist of what I mean. I even find myself saying these exact things to my siblings.

The Bible also tells us to do what’s right and not to do what’s wrong.

Galatians 5:25

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

And the Spirit’s leading is:

Galatians 5:22-23

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Now my point is not to say that this is bad. No, definitely not. It’s good to be reminded of what’s right and what’s wrong. Especially since we, as human beings, seem to forget things so easily (Just look at the history of the Israelites for proof.).

But when we decide to do the “right thing” or the “wrong thing”, what is our motivation behind that decision? More to the point, why are we following Christ?

Is it because we’re told to?

Is it because it is right?

As children when we’re told to do or not to do something by our parents, we obeyed. And all the explanation we ever need to obey is because our parents told us to (or maybe because we also didn’t want to get into trouble). But as we got older and smarter many of us asked the question “Why?”. Why should we do this? Why should we not do this?

And now I’m asking you again: what is your motivation behind the decisions you make? Why are you following Christ?

If it’s because it is “right”, how do you know it’s right? Well, if God’s standards are your moral compass for judging what is right and what is wrong then you are on the right track.

But because it’s “right” shouldn’t be the only reason you follow God.

The most important reason we should follow God and do what’s right is because we love Him.

John 14:23

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

We do everything for God out of love we have for Him.

If you don’t have that love for God, it’s like doing a exercise you never want to do. How long will you keep it up until you quit?

Knowing that something is right in your head is not enough. It’s not going to keep you going. You need a reason more motivating that. Your heart needs to be in it. You have to want it with all your heart. You have to love Him.

Mark 12:30

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.

Loving Him can motivate you to do anything for Him. It is the reason that Christians can face persecution with joy.

We need to make sure that we have that love for Him, because we can never really live for Christ without loving Him first.

-G. Paige

When We Don’t Know God’s Will For Us

When We Don't KnowAt some point in our Christian lives, we are all told to follow God’s will for our life. To be what He has created us to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

But what about when we don’t know God’s will for our lives?

What about the times when we don’t know our purpose?

We were created to glorify God, but how are we to spend our lives glorifying Him? There are many different ways to go about it.

This has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m trying to finish high school (I only got two more years left! *freaks out*), but I’m also trying to get started with some early college classes this coming school year. To do that, I have to start to make a plan for what I’m studying and working towards to be. And, to tell you the truth, I’m really not sure. I got plenty (too many) ideas, but I’ve made no decisive decisions.

So questions like “What am I going to do with my life?”, “What is God’s plan for me?”, and “What is my purpose?” have gone through my mind over and over.

I know the Bible has given instructions to us on how to live. It teaches us to love our enemies and to live like each day is our last. It has even given us a task to fulfill during our lifetimes.

Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

But the Bible doesn’t tell me what type of career I’m supposed to have. Or how I’m to go about my life. Or what is the best way I’m to glorify Him.

But the Bible does tell me how I can get the answers that I seek.

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

He tells us to pray. To pray and to trust in Him.

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.

God tells us to be patient. To wait. And waiting is one of the hardest things to do, I know.

Of course, I don’t have all the answers for you or for myself. But we have to trust that God does have a plan, a purpose, for our lives. Isn’t that what our faith is Christ is based on? Trust? Belief in the unseen?

All you must do, all you can do, is keep praying and wait for the answers God is sure to give you.

Never stop praying.

-G. Paige