Not too long ago, Pastor David Mc Chesney was a guest pastor at my church. I remember he said: "learn to receive manna for TODAY." Although the context was totally different from what I'm going to talk about, this sentence came back to me in various situations thereafter.
Recently, it got me thinking...how much do we worry about what's going to happen tomorrow, when really today hasn't even been lived? We go on and on about what will be, and yet the Lord says: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Matthew 6:26-27)
Today is the day we are in, it is the present, and as cliché as this is, it really is the gift we have been given.
The other day I was reading about the conditions that would qualify me for a specific fee status for my (God willing) future university. I went through the list of categories, and in category 6 it said "read box 7". I went to box 7 to read about the extra conditions. I started scrolling down the screen to read the other conditions in box 8. After reading from another box and feeling frustrated about the amount of information they required, I was told to stop borrowing from the other box.
You see, the other box was full of things that was meant for another category. If I had started borrowing words and conditions from the other box, I started seeing that I possibly could never fit in the criteria that I was trying to claim.
This got me thinking.
How often do we "borrow" from other people? From other things? Other lifestyles? Other places, events, ideas, seasons?
How many times do we look at another person's life and wish we had what they had, or wished we looked like they did?
What if we understood that being a certain way is perfect for them because they are supposed to fulfill a certain purpose that was tailor made just for them?
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. - Jeremiah 29:11
We get so caught up sometimes, in what we want to do, where we want to go, who we want to be, and forget that we have a God, a good God who wants the best for us, the very best, to give us life, hope, a future, more than we could ever ask for, but we struggle and fight, throw tantrums, become selfish, and are out about our own way.
There's nothing about us that's pure, that's holy, that's sane.
We dig deeper, trying for more, and more, but we end up with nothing,
What if God called you today? What if He called you out into the nations to do something for Him? What if He called you and said, "leave everything behind; your family, your friends, your kids, your everything, and follow me." What if he said "what you have is nothing compared to what I have in store for you." What if, like the rich young man, Jesus says: "go, sell all your possessions, and give them to the poor, and you'll have treasure in heaven."
Would you believe Him?
I mean would you REALLY believe Him?
I overheard a quote the other day when my mom was watching TV. What was on was the life story of Jane Fonda (who I didn't know of until then), and she mentioned an interesting quote which caught my attention. She said: "We're not meant to be perfect, we're meant to be whole."
It caught my attention because I am usually interested about the different cultures people grow up in and how some aspire to be something that revolves around that culture. So far, I can say that the time when I could most relate to what she was saying about her life story was when I felt the most insecure and thought that I needed to comply to society's definition of who I should be.
Boy did I get it wrong.
We are meant to be whole. But, by who's standards? Cosmo Girl? Seventeen magazine? Johnny who lives down the street? Reality shows?
I threw those ideas out with the other trash I took out when I realized that I was worth much much more than that!
You are worthy Lord, to receive Glory, Honor and Power!
I first heard the original song (also by Charles Jenkins) a few months ago and fell in love with it. The remix is also really good as it has many other guests and it's a great song to just celebrate to. As the song says, my God is awesome!! Amen! My favorite part is at 4:14! Now THAAAT is what I call a real celebration with dancing! haha! :) Hallelujah! :)
What it self worth? When I looked it up in the dictionary it said: "the sense of one's own value or worth as a person; self-esteem; self-respect."
One thing that truly affected my self worth before accepting Christ was when I allowed certain people to say words to me that eventually resided in my psyche and created an identity out of me.
I was called names, brought down, abused in ways that I never thought people who "loved me" could ever do. As a child, I was pretty helpless and I didn't know that this was truly abnormal.
My answer? Well, I was under the illusion that I had no worth, that I didn't want to live my life anymore, and I was useless in this world. At that time I also thought, "surely if those who claim to "love me" call me names and make me feel like my existence & worth is absolutely nothing, then there is no reason to live this life."
But that wasn't God's conclusion for my life...
Lord, I love you.
Matthew 23:24 says: "you blind guides! you strain out a gnat (a tiny two-winged fly) but swallow a camel."
In this verse, the Pharisees were focusing and getting picky on the LITTLE things which prevented them from dealing with the BIGGER issues that were truly important (for them, they were missing mercy and faithfulness amidst the justice - verse 23).
I was reading this verse and found it interesting. I used to laugh when I would read about the Pharisees because they were just...always there...like ALL the time, as in bothering Jesus. I don't mean it was "HA-HA-Hilaaaariously-funny" but funny in the sense that they would go OUT of their way JUST to catch Jesus doing something or saying something wrong so they could prove that He wasn't who He said He was.
As we have the different types Christianity (i.e. Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, etc.), we know that some of the churches separated over "petty" things, and others separated over legitimate reasons (e.g. about the Holy Spirit, or what Communion really entailed, etc.), and that led to many many denominations.
We see that the Pharisees were so passionate about arguing over the little stuff and not the big stuff which truly matters. I found this interesting as I tied this with Paul's "method" of evangelism where he chose not to focus on arguing over the "little" stuff for the sake of empty arguments. Instead, Paul shifted his focus and became all things to all people in order to win them for the Gospel, i.e. The Bigger Stuff :)
Here's what I mean by that...
The other morning I read my devotional. The verse for the day was John 13:17 where Jesus washed the disciples' feet and said, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."
I read that verse and prayed: "Lord, please help me to put my faith into action."
Sometimes we know what to do but can get too scared to pursue the "task" (for a lack of a better word). We can find ourselves not taking a leap of faith and not trusting God to guide us in the things He made known to us to do.
Now...we all know that when we pray prayers that require either patience, or a task, we will be put in situations where we will be able to exercise that gift/fruit so that our spiritual muscles can get stronger...
Life became so much clearer yesterday, and that's not because I put on my glasses (although I have kinda stopped wearing them lately...)....
Anyway, I mean things of God. I can see the things of Him so much clearer with the eyes of my heart.
In Ephesians 1: 15 - 23, Paul prayed for the church of Ephesus. In verse 18, he prayed for the eyes of their heart to be enlightened in order that they may know the hope to which [the Lord] has called them (some Bible translations say the eyes of understanding but it's all good, it's the same thing). I found this interesting and so inspiring (oh and side note, I encourage you to pray Ephesians 3: 1-15 for yourself!! Things will start to happen!! In faith & in Jesus' name, ask and you shall receive).
Ok, so...the eyes of my heart were enlightened...but let's rewind first.
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,