Saturday 1/16/10 - Childlike Faith

>> Saturday, January 16, 2010

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.“
Mark 10:13-15

This passage is where the term “childlike faith“ comes from. A child who believes in Jesus doesn’t know why he does, he just does. Somehow, the child knows that there is a God, even though he can’t see God. It’s the only thing that makes sense to him.

My mom told me about a message board she found on the internet, which talked about God and heaven and hell. One of the posts on this message board was from a devout atheist who argued that, if God is a loving God, how could he condemn her mentally handicapped son to hell. Mami told me what she believed on the subject. That boy will always have the mind of a child. Even though he may never have the mental capacity to realize what Christ’s sacrifice meant, Mami believes that somehow, God will reveal himself to that boy, and since he has the mind of a child, it will be infinitely easier for him to just accept it with childlike faith.

Many times I’ve tried to rationalize my faith, to find a reason WHY I believe. I never can. All I come up with is that it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. I just know somehow. I’m not saying that I don’t doubt my faith sometimes... I’m only human. But when I’m in a slump, and all I can do is cry out to God for help, I do. I’m constantly being reminded that if I give my worries to Jesus, he will be with me.


Friday 1/15/10 - Selfishness.

>> Friday, January 15, 2010

“You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men … If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. “
Mark 8:33b-34 NIV

Last night I didn’t have my mind on the things of God. I was being incredibly selfish because I couldn’t help but talk about how much certain people get on my nerves and how I didn’t want certain people to share something fun with me and my friends.

I always feel guilty after talking about other people in that way, because I remember Matthew 22:37-40, the verse I call the basis of my religion:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

There was no love in my heart at that moment, only bitter remarks about other people. When I talk like that, I can’t help but feel I’ve betrayed myself AND God. God didn’t say “Love only the people you get along with.“ He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself!“ In Matthew 5:44, he even said this: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.“

I need to deny myself… get rid of the thoughts that don’t please him, and let him lead me. My only identity needs to be that Christ is in me.


Thursday 1/14/10 - "Your faith has healed you."

>> Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mark 5:24-34
This is a story of a woman with great faith. (paraphrased by me)
As Jesus was walking along, a woman spotted him. This woman had been constantly bleeding for twelve years. She had heard about Jesus’ miracles, and she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.“ So she touched his robe, and she was healed immediately. Jesus felt some of God’s power leave him, so he stopped, asking who touched him, even though it would normally have been impossible to tell because of the great crowd. The woman fell at Jesus’ feet and told him the whole story. Jesus replied “Daughter, your faith has healed you.“

Look at that faith! I want to trust Jesus like that!

Thinking of this reminds me of my Granddaddy. What Granddaddy preached over and over and over again was this: No matter what, if you trust in Jesus, you will be saved, you will be set free, you will belong to him. All my life, and especially recently, my role model has been Granddaddy. I want to trust Jesus as unconditionally as he did. I want to become a praying person. I want my future marriage to be centered around the Lord, and I want to love my husband until death, just like Grandmother and Granddaddy did.

I want to live for Jesus... And now I’m finally trying.


Wednesday, 1/13/10 - This Little Light of Mine

>> Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.“
Mark 4:21-23

I remember singing this song when I was a kid: This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m going to let it shine. Don’t let Satan blow it out! I’m going to let it shine.

Jesus calls us as Christians to be his light to the world. To show by our actions and words and passions that we have something different. He calls us to never be silent when there is an opportunity to tell someone about his love.

However, it’s very hard for me to be a light sometimes. Satan gets in my way by placing thoughts in my head that make me afraid to tell. I start to think that I won’t be able to explain it well enough, or that they will take it the wrong way and denounce me as a friend. So I keep silent.

I keep asking God for more opportunities, but when they arise, I disregard them!

I’m sick of being controlled by my selfish humanity!

It’s time for me to start building up my relationship with God. I want it to be so strong that when I come across an opportunity, if I start to get afraid, I can remember that He is right there with me. And when God is for me, who can be against me?


Tuesday 1/12/10 - Surrender

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,“ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.
Mark 2:14

This hit me today as I was reading. Jesus told Levi to follow him, and Levi dropped EVERYTHING to do so then and there. Jesus calls me to drop everything and follow him myself. This means that I can either ignore him and do what I want (and eventually fail), or follow him, and let his perfect plan unfold.

Yesterday I confessed to Dane. He was very gracious about the whole thing, even though he said that he wasn’t interested. Thankfully I didn’t lose a dear friend. At first it was incredibly hard for me, but then it hit me. It’s OK that Dane rejected me. I mean, I can learn a lesson from this. I was going on what I wanted. I was living for myself, and not for God. When I got home I cried for a while, but then I prayed. I asked God to show me what comes next. I surrendered myself to his plan.

God has something special for me, because he loves me. I just have to choose to drop everything and let him take control. And I trust him to do just that... I mean, after all, he DOES know everything.


Monday 1/11/10 - Come Thou Fount

>> Monday, January 11, 2010

Come Thou Fount - Sufjan Stevens

Come Thou Fount is my favorite hymn. Looking at it, every verse is entirely true. God deserves my praise! He made me. He made the whole world. And when we turned away and fell into sin, he still loved us so much that he let his ONLY Son die in place of us. Why is it so hard for me and my wandering heart to make time to be with him? It was so easy (comparatively) to set aside time for my 365! I do not like my human nature. Whenever I think of this subject I’m always reminded of Romans 7, where Paul says this:

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can’t be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s command is necessary. But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
Romans 7:15-20 (The Message)

I NEED HELP! I can’t do anything without God’s strength to back me up! Thank goodness that I have Jesus. That way, even if I mess up, I know I still get to be with God. My sin nature will never go away… but I will always have forgiveness. I love you, Lord


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