Sunday, January 27, 2013

For what reason?

     This last month I have learned a huge life lesson...about doing the 'right thing'.
     I usually don't have a problem with doing the 'right thing', even when it's hard. I know what's the right thing and, even if it takes some time and pain, I eventually do it.
     But doing the right thing isn't enough-I've failed big time on the main reason WHY we do the 'right thing'...to obey Christ, to do it with a heart to follow Christ. NOT just because it's the 'right thing'.
    If we do the 'right thing' merely because we have to do it and because we know it's what we're supposed to do...we may as well not do it at all!
     We aren't saved by our fruit and what we do. We are saved by our faith in Christ Jesus.
     Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
     We are to do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are to do it from the heart. 
     The past few months I've made decisions that were the 'right thing' to do...but I didn't feel peace about them. I was frustrated and didn't understand. Hadn't I done the right thing? Why didn't I feel better about it?
     Because I only did it because I knew it was the right thing.
     I didn't do it with my heart FULLY trusting in Christ and desiring to glorify Him.
     Doing what's right isn't the hard part...it's our motive for doing it.
     What is your motive for each decision you make in life? Do you only make choices and changes because it's the 'right thing' to do? Or do you do it out of a desire to glorify and serve Christ from the heart?
     I for one need to be working a lot harder on making my motive for decisions the latter. What about you?


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A hard year...

2012 is over. 2013 is here. 2012 was by far the most painful year of my life, mainly because of loss.
The lost of friends moving away, going off to the marines...dying. 
The hardest loss was in May, when Josh died...each day, even 8 months laster, I think of him. I miss him.
And the most time that passes, the more I miss him. I miss his encouraging words, his selflessness and his smile. You couldn't have a conversation with Josh without being challenged in your walk with Christ.
But you know what? In all this pain, all this hurt...Christ has been glorified SO much! Josh's life and death were such a testimony. Why? Because he truly was a man who sought to honor God every moment of his life. He was a dear friend, and an amazing light that shined in a dark world.
I miss him, but I don't wish him back. This is God's plan. Everything that happened this year has been GOd's plan. Every moment that hurts. Every tear that falls.
I desire more than anything to make my life all about Christ...I've made a lot of changes in my life recently. Changes that I pray will ultimately draw me nearer to Christ. One of those changes included a very painful decision I made a few days ago. Hardest thing in my life I have ever done. It hurts so bad sometimes to follow Christ's will. But the Bible makes it clear the road to following CHrist isn't an one one. Quite the opposite.
Christ doesn't call us to a life of ease. We must endure hardships, for without those painful moments, there would be no reason to rely on the strength of Christ. When we stand firm during the hard times, we not only draw nearer to Christ, but we glorify Him and that should be our ultimate goal in life.


Life hurts right now.
But I will stand firm.
Not on my own strength.
But leaning upon the everlasting arms of Christ.
Shining His light.
Glorifying His holy name.
Praising Him with every breath He gives me.


His name is forever praised. Amen.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Selfless

     These past few months have been some of the most difficult months of my life. I'm struggling more then ever and quite often failing. 
     It's often hard to smile. 
     And I know that a huge reason is because I am thinking about myself.
     What would happen if I were to think about serving others...100%? To completely disregard anything to my gain(except drawing nearer to Christ through spending time in His word and pray)? If every part of me were focused on servings others and shining Christ's love, what would happen?
     I know for a fact doing this isn't easy. And I'm trying to do it more-but what life gets hard it seems nearly impossible to take your focus off your own issues. 
     ...Life hurts right now. But my goal is to make it hurt less for others...and in doing that, that hurt in my own life will lighten.
 
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." -Luke:6:32-36