“Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Faith is hard. It requires believing completely in something (and Someone) you cannot see. It seems easier to believe in people or yourself because you can see them or you at least know what’s going through your mind. But what about the times that you don’t even understand your own thoughts? What about the times people fail you? When doctors can’t fix you or can’t find the problem? When you feel numb and just want to give up? What about faith then?
I desperately need Jesus every day to give me wisdom and grace to influence people's lives for His Kingdom. This year I have been pushed harder than ever in leadership and personal discipleship with the teens, with the team, and with my family. I am thankful that God doesn't give up on me and that God stretches me to be like Christ, because this pushes me to push others in the same way. Aaron has placed me into a leadership role this year. The more and more I try to lead, the more and more I realize my utter need and dependence on the wisdom of God. Thankfully James says that He pours it out liberally to those who ask. I need to ask ALL the time! God has been so kind to me--He takes care of my needs, He gives me great relationships, He gives me opportunities to share His Word, and He even lets me pick some of the fruit! What a great God I serve!
It has been a hard but rewarding semester for our team. We are grateful for the ministry we have had and the growth we have seen in the team. God has promised "that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" Philippians 1:6.
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:4-7)
1 John 4:19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
As our team studies through “Show Them Jesus”, a book on how to weave the empowerment of the gospel into every aspect of our lives, I have been overwhelmed by this one simple fact, that Jesus is a zillion times better! I’ve heard my whole life that the gospel (or the Good News) is more than just the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that it applies to my everyday life, but I’ve fallen short when it comes to applying that truth. Whether it’s learning the patience to deal with the group in our kids program or battling to conquer a specific sin struggle, the Gospel alone is enough to remind me of the victory I’ve already received through Christ and the freedom that I now have to love and serve Him.
Traveling has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. My favorite part is going from church to church and witnessing the diversity of the body of Christ. Every Church is different.Yes, there are many similarities (and there better be!) when it comes to doctrine and purpose - that Jesus is all in all and has finished the work of taking the payment for our sins on the cross and that we must spread that news to all.
Growing up as a good kid who always did what was expected of me, there is another attribute of myself that I am running from and have been running from my entire life. I tried everything I could to cover it up and pretend it wasn’t there. The fact is I have a rotten heart. On my own, I am in full rebellion against God at all times. My flesh, what makes me who I am, my personality and desires all constantly scream against God.
As we study his writings, we find that Paul did not view himself as a "super-Christian". In fact, his view of himself diminished throughout his ministry to the point that he says in Eph. 3:8, "I am the very least of all the saints...." It seems that as he grew in his walk with God, he realized more and more how big the gap was between who he was and who God is.
Traveling this semester has emphasized in my life that I need God completely for strength and tenderness and humility to serve other people and to not serve myself. Specifically these past weeks, God has pounded into me that I am not just doing my job here on team. I am fighting a spiritual battle…one I am completely equipped for but very often do not take seriously. Through the Word, prayer and dependence, God has promised that we are fully ready to fight this battle. However, I am content to do only what is required of me with a “bare-minimum” mindset.