God Is ALL We Need

I think it is so difficult to really grasp the fact that God is all we need. Most of the time we walk around as if we don’t need Him at all. We only take Him out of that little box we keep Him in when its convenient for us. The sooner we figure out if we have God we have everything, the better off we will be. So why do people say that God is all we need? Is that really true? I believe it to be 100% true, though I struggle with it daily. Letting go of all control and giving it to someone else is so difficult because I just don’t want anything to go wrong. God has shown me time and time again that when I let go, everything falls into place. When I admit that I need God, everything seems to work out. On the other hand, when I try to hold onto control, life gets a bit more hectic.

When we have God we have everything, even if we believe we have nothing on this earth. If we don’t have God but we have everything on this earth, do we really have anything at all? Let me explain, this world is temporary along with everything in it. God is forever.He existed before all things, and all things are held together in him.” (Colossians 1:17). When we have everything on this earth we truly have nothing in the end, but if we have God… we have ALL we need. “My God will meet your every need out of his riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). 

God is not only all we need in the end, but He helps sustain us through this life. With God comes hope. Hope is the ultimate key to having joy, even in rough circumstances. Hope is the reason we are able to wake up every morning and smile that it is a new day and a new opportunity. Those who know your name trust you because you have not abandoned any who seek you, Lord.  (Psalm 9:10). Hope can physically, mentally and spiritually guide us through the bad days of this life. I couldn’t imagine a life without hope of something greater. I couldn’t imagine a life without dependence on God every day. A life without God or hope of Heaven seems irritating and too difficult to bare. With God, I trust that He will provide immeasurably more than I could imagine. With Him we are always able to find light in whatever darkness is thrown at us. So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?” (Romans 8:31-32). Not having that would be having nothing; without God, we would have nothing.

My inspiration from this post actually came from a song I recently heard, Worthy of Your Name by Passion ft. Sean Curran. In this song, there is a section where they list who God is and what some of His titles are. Listening to it just reminds me that God really is all we need.

“You’re my author, my maker, my ransom, my savior, my refuge, my hiding place, you’re my helper, my healer, my blessed Redeemer, my answer, my saving grace, you’re my hope in the shadows, my strength in the battles, my anchor for all my days.”

He is all of that and more! Which is why needing Him and depending on Him is the best thing we could ever do for our lives.  Seek His kingdom first, you will see your needs being met, your prayers being answered, your worries being comforted and your hope being restored. So, some may ask “Well what if its all not true? Why waste so much time?” I heard something once that said if Christianity is not true in the end it will mean nothing to those who didn’t trust in God, but if Christianity is true it will mean absolutely everything! I am here to tell you it is true, it does mean everything and God is all we need.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” (John 15:5).

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A Call to Action

So what does it mean to be a Christian? Someone of faith? A follower of Jesus? First, it means that you have been saved. Receiving salvation simply means that you have accepted the fact that Jesus Christ came to this earth to willingly be brutally murdered for us and our sins. It is also believing that He was raised to life again, conquering our hopelessness of eternal death. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10). Through Jesus, we are able to have eternal life in Heaven. But that’s just the first part… the second part of being a follower of Jesus is taking action. We spend our time studying the bible, going to church, participating in Bible study, or small group. We listen to K-Love, we read the verse of the day, but what do we do about it? Are we just containing the information God has given us or are we actually acting upon it? Are we ignoring that still small voice or obeying and trusting in it?

 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:27-31).  Could you imagine if everyone who has ever read these words actually applied them to our lives daily? How much greater this world might be; spreading love instead of throwing hate at everyone. This is just one example, the whole bible is full of “calls to action.” The bible is a guidebook, not just a book of information. It will lead our next steps, tell us where to go, how to love, how to have hope, how to be a follower of Jesus. 

What are we specifically asked to take action on as Christians? Jesus answers this very clearly, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mathew 28:19). Jesus wants us to use our time on this earth to help others join the kingdom of God. Now, the next part of this paragraph is very important. Judging, gossiping, hating, arguing and telling others they are wrong is not even close to the way we should be treating others. That turns people away from God faster than anything else! I’m sure we have all experienced that ourselves. Unfortunately, there are many people who have missed out because of the hatred and judgment of Christians they know in their lives. So how do we make disciples of others? We love them. That’s it. We love them even when they don’t want to be loved, we forgive, we accept, we only spread joy and light. That’s what Jesus did and that’s the action we are called to do.
Right now I want you to think of an action you can start to take to love others into Jesus, starting today. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35). Make an impact for Jesus!

Finding Your Identity In Jesus

I think that many of us have struggled with the unavoidable question of, “who am I?” Usually, this question doesn’t just come up once or twice, it happens all the time. Every new stage in life seems to bring about this soul-aching question. So how do we truly answer it? Is there a way to be able to confidently proclaim who we are even when life is changing all around us? Well…yes, there is a way to boldly claim who we are and know confidently what our identity is.

One thing we must understand before discovering this answer is that the answer to the question, “who am I?” can always change. It is allowed to change along with life’s unpredictable circumstances. The one thing that will never change is Jesus. No matter what is going on in our lives, good or bad, our identity in Jesus is the same now and forever. We will never be able to find fulfillment in ourselves or in anything of this world. Even if we try to find meaning in our accomplishments, we will never be fully satisfied. The same holds true for our identity. When we try to find our identity in this world, we will always be searching and it will always be changing. Finding our identity in Jesus will bring peace and fulfillment.

Below are a couple of bible verses to help answer our identity crises…

(1) You are made in the image of the Almighty God

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

(2) If you have received salvation, you are a child of God 

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—” (John 1:12)

(3) You are loved immeasurably more than you could imagine 

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

(4) You are new 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

(5) You are a working and purposeful part of one body 

 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)

(6) You are gifted 

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:10-11)

(7) You are set free, you are unchained from sin 

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” (Romans 6:6)

(8) You are worth dying for 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

If you are struggling with your identity, know this truth: you are a child of God, made in the image of God. You are loved, you are made new and you are a very useful part of one body, with other believers. You are gifted, you are free and Jesus Christ said you were worth dying for. Even if you cannot figure out who you are on this earth, hold onto the most important identity you will ever have, your eternal identity through Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weakness is a Strength

It is okay to be weak, actually, it is good! Weakness is seen as something that must be weaned out if this world. God’s measure of weakness and strength is much different than our measure of it here on earth. We see that many people struggle with letting go of control and admitting they need God’s strength to fill where they are weak. But in the Bible, God constantly shows us that weakness is necessary. Understanding our weakness and being fully dependent, is what faith in God is all about. Weakness is a strength.

but those who trust in the Lord
will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not become weary,
they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).

We must understand that we simply can not live this life alone, we can not go through all of these battles alone. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.” (John 15:5). Without God, we can do nothing, with God ALL things are possible. This is especially true in difficult times. Unexplainable strength can be found in us when we give our weakness to God. When we are able to say, “I have nothing left” or “I don’t want to do this without you,” your strength changes, your heart changes and your joy changes… even if the circumstances don’t change.

To have an awesome relationship with God we must learn to be dependent on Him. The Bible gives us a great metaphor for this by suggesting for us to be childlike. What does this mean? It does not mean to be childlike in maturity or wisdom, it means to be childlike in dependency. Children depend on their parents for their daily needs and wants. This is how we are to go about our relationship with God. Truly I tell you,” he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mathew 18:3). If we try to provide our own daily needs and wants every day, we will get worn down extremely fast. So rely on him for everything! Depending on God will lead you to that place of immeasurably more hope and joy; it will lead you to immeasurably more peace and comfort. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29). Freedom is found through dependence on Him.

So, how do we depend on Him? We let go of control! He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;…” (Psalms 46:10). Be still and understand that we have beyond less control of our lives than God. We forget the past, ignore the present and focus too much on planning a future that may or may not turn out. God knows every second of our past, present, and future. When we accept our limits and give it all to God we stop just surviving and start thriving. “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b). 

It is not about our strength, it’s about God’s strength. Where we are limited, He is limitless. Where we are weak, He is strong.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

 

 

What The Bible Says About Heaven

So, Heaven…what is Heaven really? What can we expect? How do we get there?

Well, no one truly knows what Heaven looks like. Unfortunately, we don’t have a full description of what to expect when we get there. My guess is that it is just too amazing to even describe with words. “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Though we don’t know everything, the bible does give us a few hints here and there to help us imagine a perfect eternity with God. The only reason we can have true hope in this life is because of Heaven. As people who have received salvation, we are able to hold onto the fact that the pain of this world is so temporary compared to the perfection and joy in Heaven. One thing that we know for sure is that Heaven is the kingdom of God. It is a place where people, who have received salvation, go when their physical bodies die here on earth. We also know that Jesus Christ, our savior, sits at the right hand of God. If  we are saved we will be able to live and dwell among God for eternity! I want to share with you guys some of the verses we are given about Heaven; and why we can can be encouraged to await going home, to the place where we are true citizens forever. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21). 

So why is it going to be so amazing? Why are we going to be joyful all of the time? Because sin doesn’t exist in Heaven. Sin is the root of every problem in our lives here on earth. Even if not directly, sin creeps into our emotions, our relationships, our words, even our physical health. One of my favorite sections in the entire bible helps me to picture even just a little of bit of Heaven. It gives me encouragement and life: “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:21-25). Picturing this scene gives me chills. That is our forever home.

I mentioned before that Heaven is our hope for our temporary pain on earth; why is that? That is answered here: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” (Revelation 21: 4-7).

In Heaven pain does not exist, worry does not exist, stress does not exist, murder, death, fear, addiction, sorrow, grief… They are nonexistent. We will be unable to feel these horrible things. Only joy, happiness, laughter and love will take over our lives. That is why everyday we wake up in this broken world, we can have hope and joy for our future.

So, I have asked this question before, but I want to ask it again:

Are you going to Heaven?

 

 

 

 

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Hi everyone! Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! This is truly a day to celebrate. This amazing man knew God and He knew Jesus’s heart better than many people ever will. I think we can all follow his example to becoming more like Jesus and learn how to spread the love of Jesus throughout our broken world. That is the ultimate goal right?

Marin Luther King Jr. fought for equality in a time of hate, pain and discrimination. Unlike many during that time, he fought with one weapon, that weapon was love. Like Jesus, MLK had hate thrown at him from every angle, yet he still fought with love. He wanted the world to be peaceful. He didn’t create grudges against the people who persecuted him, he just wanted them to feel the love that could be possible if there were no more discrimination and hate. “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” -Martin Luther King Jr. MLK truly put the verses of the bible into action. Our immediate response to people insulting us is, usually, to insult back, to “get back at them”, to hold a grudge or gossip against them. Yet, MLK took Mathew 5:44 and lived it out loud. Could you imagine what the world would be like today if we all took this verse seriously? “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Mathew 5:44). 

What we have to understand here is that it is not like MLK was immune to human nature. I am sure that he had to fight the urges to hate, he had to fight the urges to retaliate and get even. This man resisted the devils calling and realized that God has everything under control. He trusted that his calling through love could do so much greater than his calling from hate. He gave his hate and his pain to God; and God took that hate and turned it into some of the greatest moments for equality in history. Hate is extremely unproductive compared to love. Why is that? Because love covers sins. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8). 

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.” -MLK. Martin Luther King Jr. had the wisdom to see what many of us still cannot see. He had the wisdom to see that a motivation fueled by love can do much more than motivation fueled by hatred and fear. Hatred and fear come from the devil; while love comes from God, God himself is love. Because God has already conquered the devil, hatred and fear flee and cower in the presence of love. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2). 

I truly believe that Martin Luther King Jr. was able to accomplish so much, and spread this message of love because he knew that this was his temporary home. He knew that society’s views of him meant absolutely nothing compared to how God viewed him. He knew that eternal treasures and Heaven itself would cover the pain that he had to endure on this earth. “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right. Especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” -Martin Luther King Jr. 

Today I challenge you to take a look at your own life, are you motivated by love? Are you standing up for what you believe in or are you letting society’s views get in the way? Let go of the hate in your heart and give it to God. Start being who you were made to be and make an impact on this earth. Leave a legacy of love.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King Jr. 

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12).

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How to Have Joy When There Isn’t Happiness

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13).

Today I want to talk about the differences between joy and happiness. By understanding the difference between these two words and being able to live out that difference, we can potentially travel through life with much more fulfillment. Joy is a word associated with God and Christianity for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is mentioned in the bible over and over again during a multitude of different circumstances. It is a word used to describe an inner feeling that one can obtain through salvation and through trust in God. In the bible it is used in situations such as: praying, praising, positive circumstances and negative circumstances. The point I want to make today is that happiness is good, but it is completely circumstantial. If we depend solely on happiness in life we will be let down, but if we have this inner joy, that only God can provide, then we can walk through life with hope for tomorrow.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter: 8-9). Joy comes as a result of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is a result of the hope that is generated from knowing that Heaven is in your future. With this hope, no matter what the circumstance, we can find joy from within ourselves. Why? Because we know that the end result of our life is eternal serenity, Heaven, an eternal life with God: where there is no pain and no fears. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4).

We see time and time again, that people without joy continue to search for it, even if they do not know what they are searching for. Look how many books, diets, morning routines, drugs, etc. that claim to be the ultimate key to happiness. The happiness industry is booming because people today are missing something in life. They think it is a problem with their earthly happiness, but what they are really missing is inner joy! The reality is that nothing in this life will give us full-time happiness. There is nothing in this life that can secure our happiness. But having joy can give us the peace to deal with the hard times and it can give us appreciation during the good times. One other really important aspect of joy is the message it displays to others. Joy makes others curious about how someone can be so content during a storm in their lives. Being able to hold on to joy, can become a conversation piece. When others ask how you do it, simply saying Jesus is enough to strike up a fire in the curious persons heart.

“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though the flocks disappear from the pen
and there are no herds in the stalls,
 yet I will celebrate in the Lord;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” (Habakkuk 3:17)

Joy is the unexplainable peace that someone can find even though they have lost a loved one. Joy is the hope that someone in poverty can have because they know their earthly status is not the same as their status in Heaven. Joy is the trust in God’s promise that He has already overcome the world, so we only need to be still. When I think of joy I think of the love of God. When I think of joy I think of the comfort of knowing the one who knows every single one of my flaws loves me more than anyone on this earth ever could. “May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.” (Psalm 20:5). Shout for joy, He has already won!

So even if you can’t find anything to be happy about, maybe you can still find joy. If you have salvation find joy in the fact that no matter how tough your life is here on earth, you have hope of Heaven. If you have not received salvation and you feel like you have been searching for happiness lately, I suggest talking to God about it. Dig a little deeper, I bet you will be surprised about the fulfillment you find. Set out to live a life full of joy, not just happiness.

 

What The Bible Says About Being Healthy

I believe that good health is extremely important to a good life here on earth. This includes physical health, mental health and spiritual health. In the bible God makes it very clear that we are to take care of ourselves holistically. He designed and handcrafted us with love, purpose and care so we need to treat ourselves accordingly. God has given us the task of taking care of the body, mind and soul of ourselves here on earth. In the bible it states,  Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20). Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit; our bodies are not mistakes, they are perfectly designed by the creator of the universe. Because of this we must practice self-care in all ways, taking care of the whole person God has designed you specifically to be. 

As I mentioned before, health is not just physical; it is also mental and spiritual. Mental health is extremely important in being a follower of Jesus Christ. There are so many verses in the bible that are referring specifically to your mental health, some examples are verses about not being anxious. God says in Proverbs 12:25 that “anxiety weights down the heart.” Fear is the enemy of being mentally healthy. Fear is something that God did not originally design for us. Many times it is used as an attack on us by Satan to make sure that we do not make too big of an impact for God.  For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7). Having the mental healthiness to resist fear is extremely important in following Jesus. God is so serious about mental health that the bible says to not be afraid 365 times. That is one reminder for every day of the year! So take the time to care for your mental health. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).

Spiritual health is something that can be slowly built over time. It is arguably the most important of all the types of healthiness. Our souls are real, they are the true us. When our bodies die, our souls continue to either Heaven or Hell. If you accept Jesus as your savior your soul will go to Heaven. Because of this our souls are more real than our bodies could ever be, our bodies are temporary but our soul is forever. So, taking care of it is a very important job. How do we take care of our souls? We do this by praying, reading the bible and having a personal relationship with God. Getting closer to God is something that will be a life-long journey, but it is the most important journey you can take in this life. Make it a point each day to spend time building your spiritual health.

God meant for us to have happy, joyful and healthy lives. Once humans invited evil in, these things were torn down in many ways on earth. We must resist and try to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually- so we can live out our true purpose. But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12: 18-20). We are all part of one body. So it is important to make it a priority to stay healthy in these three ways because of this: when one organ shuts down, others start to follow in both the physical human body and the body of believers. We must stay healthy and strong as believers and followers of Jesus Christ! 

“And he said to him, “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mathew 22:37).

Money Isn’t Everything

Money isn’t everything, yet we depend full-heartedly on it for what we consider “happiness.” So why are people still searching? Why when we gain money do we want more? Why do some of the wealthiest people in the world end up broken, addicted, suicidal? Money is not the answer to joy in this life. The bible clearly states that money, in an eternal sense, doesn’t mean anything at all. So why is this important? The more we depend on money for our happiness, the less we depend on God. We think having money means security, when in reality security comes from within yourself, it comes from God. I want to share with you a few verses in the bible that humble me and remind me that this world and the money in it are temporary.

“When a wicked person dies, his expectation comes to nothing, and hope placed in wealth vanishes.” (Proverbs 11:7). Main point here… money is meaningless in the end. We spend most of our time earning money, spending money or saving money. Yet in the end we literally take nothing with us. Yes, we need money to survive and yes, it is important to save some money for emergencies. It’s important to understand the difference between being content with what we are earning for our needs versus becoming a person whose main goal in life is to make money. The goal of more money, or going into a certain career because of the money is a waste of time. Doing so would mean we are working for something that doesn’t exist in the end. The “status” and wealth we have here on earth are not related to the wealth we have in Heaven. Place all your hope in God, not in your next paycheck. “Whoever loves money never has enough, whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

So why is the love of money so bad? The love of money is bad because there is never enough to satisfy. Gaining money can be difficult, so the love of money leads to many different addictions and hobbies that have a negative impact on lives, bank accounts, relationships, etc. “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10). Money itself is not bad, but the love of it, the dependence on it, the obsession over it leads to pain. I think all of us have seen this happen in our lives or people’s lives around us. God is also very clear in understanding the power money can have over us, when we let it. He even mentions it as being able to become a master of our lives.  “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Mathew 6:24). You cannot serve God and money…

In the bible it is stated that there are treasures in Heaven. These treasures are described as being so much better, actually, immeasurably better than treasures on earth. These treasures are built by our lives and our hearts here on earth. They are built up in many ways, one very important way is by giving. Joyfully giving to the needy and the poor is a blessing, it is an opportunity. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33). Give, give freely and joyfully, and give often. Even if you feel like you have nothing to give, try because God will always provide for you if you’re putting Him first.

One of my favorite stories in the bible has to do with giving. Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.” (Mark 12: 41-44). This story is still very relevant today. The people who had money were putting in a lot more money than others, but they did it for all to see, and it was just spare change. While a poor woman put in her penny, which is all she had. I bet that woman’s treasures in Heaven are great. 

So, work hard and honestly for the money you need to live off of. Do not make money a goal in life. Rather put God first and he will always provide for you. Give and don’t stop giving even when money seems tight. It will be worth it in the end, because earthly money won’t exist but treasures in Heaven are forever.  “Your way of life should be free from the love of money, and you should be content with what you have. After all, he has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5).

 

 

My New Years Resolution

Hi everyone! I decided that I want to share my new years resolution with you, because it is something I believe many of us forget to do. So here it is.. slow down. That’s it, just slow down and experience the world that God has designed for us. I want to take the time to appreciate every moment for what it is. I want to live my life paying attention to the journey, not just impatiently waiting for the arrival. I don’t want to chase someone else’s life or waste my time comparing myself to another person. “Do not make an idol for yourself—no form whatsoever—of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth (Exodus 20:4).” I want to be able to wake up everyday with the perspective that it is a new day that God has given to me for a reason, it is a chance to experience something new, a chance at learning something new, and a new chance at sharing the love of Jesus with other people.

I believe it is so easy for us to get caught up in the everyday routine. Rushing back and forth, finding the next thing to do seems like our default setting. Fortunately, that is not what we were made to do. We are made to slow down and enjoy this life. We must take time for God first, then everything else second; we are meant to work but not make our career an idol. The point of this life is not to waste time searching for earthly treasures, but to instead spend time slowing down to focus on eternal treasures.  “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17).” This life is so temporary, it is just a time of passing through. Spending life trying to gain more money, trying to please people, or trying to be exactly what others or society wants us to be just doesn’t make sense. We spend our lives chasing things that have no meaning in the end.

My suggestion is to constantly remind ourselves to slow down. Stop to think, relax, pray, praise… whatever it is. Just stop rushing and stop wasting time. We are not made to just kill time here on earth. “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? (Jeremiah 2:25 MSG).” God wants us to slow down and He tells us that many times in the bible. Our priority should be to make time for Him, because only then will everything else fall into place. Saying we’re to busy to pray, we’re to busy for Him right now, or we have to much to do to read a verse or two everyday, is a false sense of control on our lives. When we put God first all else falls into place. When we stop to slow down and realize our true purpose and forget the meaningless things going on around us, we will be living out God’s will. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need (Luke 12:31).”

So, as we go into this new year of 2018 lets decide to slow everything down, so we can grasp the true meaning in this life.

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)”

There is a time for each and every thing here on this earth, so don’t miss it. Slow down and seek God, it will be worth it. Think about this, Jesus was on the greatest rescue mission of all time, and He was still able to slow down and enjoy the blessings that God gives on earth.

 

Prayer: Lord, Today I want to pray for my new years resolutions. I want to use these resolutions for your glory, so I can be more like Jesus everyday. Lord help me to continue to slow down. This life is not a constant run, that is not what you made it to be. Help me to appreciate every moment made by you. Help me to be present in the life you have put me in. Help me to remember that my true purpose and goal is to share you and your heart. Be by my side this year, and help me to make it a of year of focusing on you. Amen.