Tuesday, September 29, 2009

They That Were Ready Went In...

Where's your oil?

I was reading Matthew 25(KJV) today. There were 10 virgins, the Bible says. Five were wise and five were foolish. They were all waiting for the bridegroom but the foolish virgins brought no oil to light their lamps. When the bridegroom arrived, they asked the wise virgins to share, but to no avail. What if there wasn't enough left to light their own lamps after they shared with their five foolish comrades? So, the foolish virgins went to get their own oil, and while they were gone, the bridegroom came. This is what the Bible records in verse 10:

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

They that were ready went in...

This made me ask myself how ready I am for my King to return. Do I have my oil? Or has the zeal of my first love run dry? The funny thing about these virgins was that they were all pure, they were all waiting for the bridegroom. Only five of them, however, were ready while they waited. Only five were prepared for that cry in the midnight hour proclaiming the coming of the bridegroom.

Let's not wait in vain. Let's choose Jesus, and after we've chosen Him lets run toward Him with everything we have. No dilly dallying. No more playing church. No more agendas and programs. Let's be a people who are after the heart of Jesus, not just waiting for His hand in marriage.
I don't want to be caught unaware. I don't want to hear the cry of Christ's coming and realize, belatedly, that my lantern is dry and unlit. We have to constantly fill our vessels with oil. This takes dedication, prayer, worship, the Word, fasting. Do we love our Bridegroom enough to keep the fire burning? Is the passion still there?

When the bridegroom comes, I want to be ready. I want to go in with Him to the marriage. When the door is shut, I want to be locked in with my King, and with all of my wise brothers and sisters. Then we will worship Jesus forever more.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let Your Light Shine Before Men...

I've heard people say that one man can't change the world, but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to contend very strongly with the notion.

Matthew 5:14-16 says:

14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

These words make me feel so strong. They empower me.

Jesus tells us plainly that we are the light of the whole world. The light that I've received from knowing Jesus is enough to brighten the whole world. We all have this light. God has given us all gifts that will cause us to shine for His glory in one way or another. He gives these gifts freely, but its our responsibility to go out into a darkened and broken world and shine so brightly that darkness has no choice but to flee.

Verse 15 implies that its outrageous to hide a light. That light is supposed be positioned in a high place so that it can give "light to everyone in the house." For us, this house could very well be our homes. It could be our churches, our schools, our jobs, our communities, our world. The possibilities in God are boundless. But we must first let our light shine. We can't be ashamed of this gospel. We have to keep our eyes set on things that are eternal. Everyday we have to choose God again and again and again until we see Him face to face.

My favorite part is verse 16. This light that we have isn't for us. It's not okay to keep it to ourselves. We have to go out into our worlds and shine so that people will look at us and say, "What on earth do they have that I don't?" And when they ask us, we move out of the way, we point toward our Savior and we say, "I have Jesus."

Yes, we are only human. Each one of us is so different from the other. We are all individuals. But with God, we are always in the majority. One man, with God, can change the world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bless the Lord, O My Soul...

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's

I love these verses! I can relate to the psalmist because I, too, have received so many benefits from knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him. I, too, cannot forget these benefits. I, too, want everything in my life to bless the Lord. I don't want to have anything to return unused for His glory on that last day.

What does it mean to "bless the Lord?" For me, it just means that I want to be a blessing to Jesus. I want to be an asset to His kingdom and His cause here on earth. Not because I have anything to give, not because whatever I give will be enough to repay Him for all He's been to me, but because it would be a crime for me to look at all He's done for me, and how He's changed my life, and all He's given me and not want to do something to say thank you.

I don't talk about Jesus so much because I think I'm better than anyone. In fact, I believe the opposite. I'm not a Christian so that I can be judgemental and toss accusations at passers by. The truth is that when I see people in the amazing world around me, I want to get to know them, hear their stories, understand and the give them excited hugs. The reason that I talk about Jesus so much is that He has done too much for me to keep to myself. This is my way of blessing the Lord. If I looked back over my short life and saw everything that this amazing and kind God has done for me, and I was prompted to do nothing in return, I may as well be dead.

My prayer is that everything in my life -the good and the bad- will be a blessing to God and to His church and to His cause. I want all that is within me to bless the Lord and because of this, I cannot keep silent.

"I will love You with all my heart. I will love You with all my strength. I will love You with all my soul. Take all of me."

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've Heard That Love is Blind...

I've come to the conclusion that it is fairly inaccurate to believe that love is blind. In my years of limited erudition, I've come to understand that love does, indeed, see the multitude of sins...but chooses -with full sight- to cover them.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

have i told YOU today that i love YOU?
and i appreciate all that YOU've done?
have i said that i'd like to give YOU
every peice of me, every last one?

have i let YOU know how much it means
that YOU'd spend YOUR time with me?
or that if YOU had never found me
i have no idea where i would be?

have i made it clear through jest and tears?
have i given enough of myself?
to show YOU that its YOU i want
it's YOU and no one else...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Am I?

Oh, the joys of the journey toward self-actualization! There are many highs and lows that make this life so exciting and unpredictable. I think that most interesting part of life is the road we take to finding out what defines us. It is an adventure that must be taken with risk and spontaneity, but this same course must be explored with much caution.

People, I've learned, have a very interesting way of defining life according to their own experiences and schema. The only way that we know how to frame our world is through the lenses of experience. The problem arises when we try to define other people. People are so diverse and intricate. Only God can truly know our hearts, so when one man tries to blow the horn of another, he might toot too loudly or too softly, never really getting just the right pitch. On the other hand, a man that toots his own horn won't exactly find the perfect tone, due to certain unavoidable biases. So, who, you might ask do we give the privilege of "the toot?" The Word of God is the only mirror that we can look into to give us a clear image of God, of self, of others and of the world around us.

What does the Word say about me? That I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that I'm royalty, that I'm a redeemed sinner, that I'm the apple of God's eye...so many other things. The beauty of finding ourselves in God's Word is that in the end...every good and beautiful thing that describes us is found in God, which should eradicate all feelings of pride. This also gets rid of feelings that we're not good enough or that we'll fail, because as long as we find rest in God who does not fail, we are standing on unshakable ground.

This is the bottom line: YOU ARE WHO GOD SAYS THAT YOU ARE.

Nothing more...nothing less...

What sweet relief I've found in learning that I don't have to try anymore.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Something to Think About...

I'm trying right now to think of people who's names grace our history books; people that will be remembered for generations to come. What mark will I leave on this earth when I'm long gone? How will this generation as a whole be remembered?

I was reading 2 Timothy 1 today and it was verse 5 that sparked these thoughts, and my active imagination fanned the sparks into flame. Verse 5 (NIV) says:

I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Timothy's grandmother and mother left a tremendous legacy behind for him to follow. They made the way a little clearer for Timothy by the way that they lived. Their faith is described by Paul as "sincere faith." Paul also pointed out that this same faith "lived" in these amazing women. Their faith wasn't dead. They must've been working it out, because we all know that faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

What legacy will I leave behind for those who will come after me? What will be said of me when I'm gone? I think that these are questions that we must all ask ourselves. I'm praying that God will develop within me a steadfast and diligent character, so that in the end, I will be found standing tall on His word, with a song of praise in my mouth and my arms lifted high in worship to a God that saw me when I was nothing and told me that I'm special.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sweet Sweet Jesus

Doesn't Jesus just have the most amazing way of working everything out for your good? I know He does that for me. There hasn't been a time when I was down and He wasn't there. He's my best friend...

Just thought I'd let someone know...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just In Case...

Just in case you stumble upon this blog and you've been searching for truth. Just in case you're looking for somewhere to belong. Just in case you've been looking for infallible love. Just in case you're looking for someone that you can trust. I would like to say that all of these things and more are found in relationship with Jesus Christ. He loves you and He wants desperately to commune with you and speak to you and make you glad. If you've never accepted Jesus as your Lord and asked Him to take His place on the throne of your heart, I'd like to invite you to pray this simple prayer:

Jesus, I know that I need You in my life. I believe that You are Lord and that You came to earth as a man to die for my sins. I believe that after three days in the grave You rose again. Thank You for dying to set me free from sin. Right now, I accept You into my heart and into my life. I give You my heart freely. You are my Lord, and I accept Your free gift of salvation.

Congratulations! You just made the best decision of your life. Jesus didn't promise that walking with Him would be easy, but He promises to never leave you or forsake you. He promises that His burden is light. He promises to give you a life more abundant that you could ever dream of!!

Be sure to tell someone about your new decision! Spread this amazing and exciting news with someone you love!

A Different Generation...

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)

I believe that we are living in blessed times of great import. God wants to do something very special through and in this generation and I'm excited to see how His plan unfolds. I am convinced that this is a different season and that God is using different people.

For the sake of this post, I'll refer to the generation in which we live as "The Different Generation." I call us this for two reasons. The first reason is that I believe that God is using us just as we are; with all of our unique characteristics and idiosyncratic ways. God isn't asking us to be inconsistent with the way He's already made us. He wants us to come to Him just as we are and as He perfects His good work in us, we become who we were made to be: a good work in the eyes of God, unique, special....different. God has called each of us for a special purpose here on earth to bring glory to Him. No one was meant to take your place, just as you weren't meant to take another person's place. As we seek God daily and we grow and develop into vessels of gold, God perfects that good work which He started in us the day we accepted Him. God didn't create us to be clones of other people. Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

The psalmist here is acknowledging that God made him fearfully and wonderfully. God took His time to make sure that we came out just right. Perfectly. This verse challenges me. I want to seek God more. I want to know Him more and in knowing Him, I want to find out more of what He's called me to be. This makes life so exciting because the possibilities are endless. (Who was it again that said that being a Christian is boring? Ummmm...I beg to differ!)

The second reason that I've dubbed us "The Different Generation" is simple. God has called us to be set apart. We are living in amazing times, but they are also very dark. God has called us to break through in the darkness and be a light so bright that the darkness must flee. John 15:19 (NIV) says:

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

We are called out of this world to go against the grain. To be different. I love the way that this is worded: but I have chosen you out of the world. God has hand picked you and I to be set apart for His glory. What an amazing and humbling privilege!

In Romans 12:2, the Word of God reiterates our call to be separate from the ways of this world.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Be transformed. We have to reset our minds and our hearts to go along with God's ways. We have to mutate from our very nature and become a remodeled version of ourselves. And this can only take place when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives as our Lord. Then we have to diligently seek Him and follow His ways. When we fall, we must get right back up and follow Him all the more. We have to stay plugged in to His word and we must spend time with Him in worship. This is how we will be rewired to fit God's original plan. With the glorious guidance of our Friend, The Holy Spirit, we can continue to grow until we see Him face to face.

This my prayer: That this "Different Generation" will bring God utmost praise and glory with our unique gifts and personalities. I also pray that each one of us will fall in love with Jesus so much that we will be ruined for those worldly things that are apart from His heart.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gratitude and Other Fascinating Phenomena

...the way the clouds look from an airplane window

...a rainbow after the storm


...the way that babies grip one of your fingers with all of theirs

...the taste of water with a hint of lemon

...belly laughs

...the sound of worship from a heart filled with the love of God

...deep sleep

...a good book

...the bond of real friendship

...an exceptionally good movie that you can relate to


There are so many little things that I am grateful for. I've already named a few, but there are so many more. We take so many things in our lives for granted. Let's remember to stop for a minute and look at the world around us. Let's take in the smell of the earth after a hard rain and the sound of children enjoying their innocence. These things can easily be a reason to complain. We hate when it rains but we don't want famine. We yell at children for being too loud but we pray for the gift of childbirth. We must realize that life is all about perspective. There is beauty in absolutely everything, as long as you look for it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What the World Needs Now...

So...I've been reading and meditating and listening and learning...

I used to think it was naive of me to believe that love- true love- could fix any problem and heal all wounds. I've learned, however, that this is not a naive idea at all. It is truth. Let me interject with this thought: God, in His Word, repeatedly urges us to love ourselves and to love our neighbors. He says it all the time. He even emphasized this command when He said, "Look...forget all the other laws...its all summed up in loving your neighbor like you love yourself." (Galatians 5:14). Why is it such a big deal that we love each other? Honestly....? Its because in loving other people we are clearing an opening for the Holy Spirit to move upon the heart of man. A lot of times its hard for people to accept and receive God's love, not because they're wicked. Not because they have hard hearts. Its actually because they don't know what love is. They've never been touched by its warmth. So when God comes to move on their hearts, His Spirit doesn't find that little piece of Himself that someone should have left behind. He doesn't find that little piece of Himself to mix with and bring people to trust Him and come to repentance...

Too often we sow hurt and fear, and God has to clean up the messes we've made. But when we sow love, the person we've sown into has a small idea of what love is. When God comes to take their heart and establish a relationship, that person's heart says, "I've felt something like this before...this just may be real..."

Now, back to the idea of love fixing any problem. Is it sexual sin? Or gossip? Or anything that doesn't match up with God's Word? The thing is that the desires to do these things are there because we need something...some kind of unconditional acceptance....some kind of affirmation. Being man, who's heart is desperately wicked, our very nature longs to find fulfillment in the things that are of the flesh. But those things can't fulfill us. Only God can. God is love. Only love can...

Let's love ourselves...I mean really and truly...and let's love one another...it isn't always easy to do either but lets do it...let's fight our flesh and go against the nature of our humanity...let's love and love and love....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


You are so amazing

Your love makes my heart sing

With You I find true liberty

There's rest beneath Your wings

I'll say yes today and forever

To Your wishes and Your plans

Because I know within my heart

That my days are in Your hands