Monday, March 21, 2011

Called out

"But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, 'If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?'"
- Galatians 2:14

At this point, I would like you to picture what I now see in my mind: 

Paul called the Galatians out because their lives didn't look any different from the Gentiles. Jesus died for us so we could live for Him. Are you living in such a way that will lead others to Christ, or does your life look like the rest of the world's?

"and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."
- 2 Corinthians 5:15

peace, love, and a snarky Paul.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Simple obedience

Ever had a feeling deep down that you needed to do something or be somewhere? I had one of those tonight.

Since Jason and Kristin are in Russia for a missions trip, Journey Group was held at Panera tonight. It ended up just being Billy, Chris, and me but we had a great discussion. Afterward, I had this unexplainable feeling that I just needed to go to Family Christian. It was weird: there weren't any books or CDs I wanted to buy, but I just needed to go.

So I walked in and just started looking around at the different stuff the bookstore has on display. I, of course, first took a look at the discount items - nothing good; then I wandered over to the wall of books. I was just walking along looking at the different books that caught my eye when these two women walked in and were chatting loudly about something. I unintentionally blocked their conversation out because I was reading the intro to one of the books in my hand.

The voices, however, kept getting nearer and nearer until finally, "What do you think about that?" said one of the women. But I realized she wasn't talking to her friend, she was talking to me.

"Sorry, what?" I asked, looking puzzled, I'm sure.

"What do you think about the movie about the Illuminati?" The woman asked again.

"Oh, I haven't seen the movie."

"Have you read the book?"

"No, I didn't even know there was one. But I do believe that the Illuminati exists."

"Oh, really? Doesn't that scare you? I don't want to believe any of that stuff; it's terrifying. What do you think about it?"

"Well, unfortunately, the things you've heard are true. I've done research on it and that stuff does exist and it is scary. I was pretty freaked out at first by the subject, but then I came to the conclusion that God is my Protector. He's taking care of me and watching out for me. Plus, if something does happen to me, it had to have been part of God's plan for my life. I've realized that through all of this, I have no reason to worry about any of that because God's got it under control."

The two women nodded in agreement and expressed aloud how that made sense. I then went on to further sum up my conclusions from my research, and how there's no need to be afraid. The three of us stood there talking for a minute until one of the women said, "Praise Jesus we met you tonight. You have been a very big help to us both." I assured them that it was I who was blessed and shook their hands.

I did end up buying two books (praise God for coupons), but after having that conversation with those women, I knew my purpose in going to Family Christian had been fulfilled.

It's amazing how God can use us when we're willing and obedient. If He's telling you to say something to someone or to go somewhere, then do it. It's a rewarding experience to be able to help someone or encourage them.

peace, love, and God-instilled gut feelings.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Buried treasure

I don't understand the value people place on material things. I'm not saying I don't do it too, I just don't understand it. Our true value is found in the King and His Kingdom.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
- Matthew 6:19-21

I have found myself lately pulling more and more away from material things. Sure, I like my macbook, my nice clothes, my guitars - but they are starting to lose their original value. Their purposes for me have changed. I have been blessed with these things, so shouldn't I be giving them back to the One who blessed me?

I believe it's okay to have nice things, but I also believe we shouldn't be so wrapped around them that we forget Who gave them to us in the first place. And we should be using what we're given to glorify God.

It just kind of upsets me how many people are focused on this life and not the next. Further the kingdom by using what He's given you. If He asks you to give it all away, could you do that?

peace, love, and a different kind of wealth.