Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The plans I have for you...

Life changes, it doesn’t always stay the same, with the same circumstances. I personally have been realizing that times and areas of life come and then pass fairly fast. Example, I am in grade 12 with less than 2 months till the last exams of my high school career. That is freeing and scares me all in one. I can’t wait to move on to bigger and better things, but at the same time there is the knowledge of the unknown that is ahead of me. This idea of the unknown is probably one of the most frightening things that I will ever encounter. I don’t take it very well. If you have been talking to me recently you might know that I have had a couple bad days, I break down to the point that I can’t focus on anything that I am doing, and all I want is to go home and cuddle into my bed for the next morning to start everything fresh. Mostly this is because of amounts of stress that I pile on myself when waiting upon hearing from schools. I could be going in one of few directions, and right now not actually knowing which one. But then to stop and think about it for a few minutes I need to realize a couple things.
1.      God loves me
2.      God will not leave me nor forsake me
3.      God has it all under control
These are things that I might know, and believe, but I haven’t taken the time in my busy life to think about and to remember. Remember. That is a strong word. I can know how to take derivatives in calculus when I am studying, but then going to the midterm remembering that is vital. I also need to remember these things, that God has a plan for me and isn’t going to leave me. Remembering is important, and goes hand in hand with knowing and believing.
At the beginning of this year at youth we were talking about what Ezekiel 36:26-28 means, and then we talked about turning 180, the old into new. We also said that to be truly happy we need to lead our heart to God. Personally, I want to be able to trust in God completely and be able to know, believe and remember that God had it all under control. I know that if I am to be truly happy then it means that God is a part of my life and that I can trust in him.
So, bringing this all together… trusting in God is something that is important and something that makes life more bearable. I know that the days that I remember and know that God is looking out for me are better days. For example I woke up one morning and listened to worship songs all morning as I was getting ready for school that day was great, and the little things in life were suddenly the things that made me smile all day long. But there are days that I lose track of that, and they are harder for me mentally, emotionally and physically. So I want to end on this verse.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” declares the Lord.  - Jeremiah 29:11-14

Chocolate cake

There has been a lot on my heart about what it means and what it looks like to live fully in God and to let it show that I have been changed by God. I know that there are things that are different about me and that my values have changed, among other things. But then I think about other aspects of my life and how I show my love for Christ. I once listened to a speaker, Swayze Waters, who was talking about showing evidence in your life that you have been changed by God.. He referred to Mark 8:34 which says,...

 "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the Gospel will save it. "

He talked about two points,

1. Throwing up your hands and Telling God that you want him to take control of your life
2. Dedication and willingness to follow Him and live for Him 

To me, living for God means loving others, loving yourself and showing that God's love is amazing and whole. But if we as Christians aren’t showing others and living out what we believe then how are others to know what is so amazing.

Let's look at this another way... If you had never tried chocolate cake how would you know that it is good? Well you would have to try it right? But how would you know to try it if someone didn't tell you that you should because it is amazing. If you aren't told then how will you know that chocolate cake is so amazing? Or what is your favour activity to do? Think about it, what if the person beside you had never done it or know what it is like. Would you explain it to them and tell them it is great and they should do it too, or let them miss out on an incredible experience?

Here is something… have you ever ran into the ocean on January 1st? No? Didn’t think so. What is your first reaction to doing that? Freezing cold maybe? Crazy? Well I think that it is amazing and so much fun and it gets your heart pumping and it is just such a great adventure! I have done this, I know what it is like and that I enjoyed it so much that I would tell others that they should as well because it was so great.
So the same applies to being a Christian and knowing the love of God,… if people don’t know that God is so loving and true, and when God is present that amazing miracles in your life can come true, and amazing things happen around you then they aren’t going to see why they should or what the reason is that to be Christian. They aren’t going to know that God will protect them and love them, never forsake them or leave them. But you are the one that knows that, you know what God is capable of and how radiant He is. So you are there to show them what they are missing out on.
So I challenge you to now think about what evidence you have in your life that shows others that you are totally in love with God. How would they know the love of God by looking at what you do or spending time with you. If you live for God and want to live for him then you realize how incredible He is, and so why not share it with those around you?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I can do all things through Christ

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Pilipians 4:13

There are things in our lives that we know we are good at, we always have been, and people have told you that. There are things that we might try and improve in, like your grades, how well you draw, your singing, your memorization, your drama skills, the list can go on and on. I have so much in my life that I focus on and try to improve in or excel in. Even writing this devotional, I wanted to write a good one, and I wanted it to mean something. But I found I had troubles with this one, I wrote one thing and then focused on it, and then decided no, that really wasn’t working, and tried to fix it. Then I stopped and thought about it. Why is it so hard to write this one? Then I thought about my recent conversation with a great friend earlier that day. She had talked about how it doesn’t matter about what the person beside you is going to come up with. They might have something that is so beautiful, so creative, and amazing. But yours doesn’t have to be huge and elaborate. You just have to remember that whatever you do, to let God show through it. So let Him be the light that is coming from your art, or your grades, singing, and so on. Then I thought about this even more, this devotional is for Him, and his glory, not to show that I know my stuff and to sit me on a pedestal, but instead it is about HIM. Then I thought about other aspects of my life, like my portfolio of University. There is a lot of work that is needed to be done for that, and there are things that just aren’t working the best, and so then when I think of the verse in Philippians 4” I can do everything through him who gives me strength” I realize that I just need to listen to Him and see what His plans are for my portfolio.  I see how I am trying to lift up myself and show how talented I am as a person. But maybe if I can change gears a bit and through my work show how amazing God is. He is the ultimate one who can I am trying to delight in and what to show to others, so God and his Grace is what I want to show through my portfolio, and how act, and who I am.

So I am going to end on a question.. what is it in your life that you do to Glorify Him?