Tuesday, February 28, 2017

We Believe He's Coming Back

Tho' the way we journey may be often drear/
We shall see the King someday!
On that blessed morning, clouds will disappear/
We shall see the King someday!
We shall see the King someday/
We will shout and sing someday/
Gathered 'round His throne, when He shall call His own/
We shall see the King someday!
These trials are temporary; this pain isn't going to last forever. Jesus is coming back, and He will make all things new.

"He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."  Revelation 21:3-4

That's not just some verse. It's not even just something that will happen eventually. It's a promise from God to you. There will come a day when all we ever do is bask in the glory and presence of your Savior, forever. No longer will we know sadness. No longer will we feel pain. Your joy will be made complete, your purpose fulfilled. You will be content, and at last you will rest in the embrace of the One who made you.

"But I will hope continually, and praise You yet more and more." -Psalm 71:14

Your circumstance is but a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of eternity. I know you don't understand why this is happening to you. But that's okay, because God is in control. He is sovereign and good, and loves you more than anything. You can't control your situation any more than you can control the wind, but you can control your reaction. Choose to glorify God, no matter what. He is good, always. Cling to His promises. Through suffering, His presence proves so much sweeter. Experience the unquenchable joy He freely offers, and let your beautiful light shine. Heaven is coming soon, dear friend. Just hold on to hope.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light, momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond a comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

"And twenty minutes of heaven will make up for everything." -Joni Eareckson Tada

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Living Like We Believe

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

Ultimately we show Jesus, not by the gospel we preach, but in the actions we live. It's just plain weird for a bunch of kids who are on a bus for several days together not to be mean to each other. It would take Jesus to make them nice. So show them the Jesus in you.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Eph. 4:29

We need to pay attention to our words, whether it's to be quiet or to speak out. 

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

You are on this trip to serve, and that includes fellow believers.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Show the love of Christ in all of your actions whether you feel like it or not.

God is going to do amazing things through us on this trip. But first we must pray in faith. 

"Prayer is a mixture of faith and 'Your will be done.'"

We don't pray big things because "that's not how the world works," but maybe that's not how the world works because we don't pray big things.

We are called not to a standard of "good enough" but of holiness. We ought to compare ourselves to Jesus rather than other people. 

Out of speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, which one do you need to work on the most?

How can you practically work on it?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

We Believe He's Greater

I’ve gone through days where I thought I was the only one who had struggles. I was the only one who had doubts and the only one who went through burdensome situations.
But it’s not just me. It’s all of us at one point or another. We can’t stop the trials that come our way—it’s life. Jesus says, “In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 When we’re in the middle of those struggles, it feels like we’re in a deep pit, surrounded and covered by heavy weights of discouragement.
So how do we live in the valley? To go further, how do we live to our full potential on the mountaintop?
There are seven things that God has taught me to do whenever these horrible situations arise. I pray you would put them into action so you may experience the fullness of life.

7 Principles to Follow and Trust In 
for whatever situations life throws at you

1.    Remember, God has a plan.
Since the beginning of eternity, God has known what would and will happen in each of our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
God doesn’t allow things to happen that are out of His will. He “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). Nothing slips or is a surprise to Him.
Remember Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God and are called according to His purpose.”

2.    Keep a Heaven Perspective.
Now what does a “Heaven Perspective” mean? Keeping a heaven perspective means that when the overwhelming situations occur, you take a step back and realize that God’s in control.
Live your life in light of the cross. Our thoughts and actions should coincide with the life of Christ. Would Jesus be overwhelmed or stressed if He was in your situation? No. And neither should we.
Casting Crown’s song “Just Be Held” says, “If your eyes are on the storm, you wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the cross, you know I always have and I always will.”

3.    Don’t Worry!
Earlier this year, I was planning on doing a devotional in front of everyone in choir. I worried over it, but God gently said, “Just give it to Me.” I did, and the devotional went smoother than I could have imagined! The next day, I went to the dermatologist. Long story short, there was a high possibility that I needed a shot in my neck. My first impulse was worry. But God said again, “Don’t you remember yesterday? There’s no need to worry. Give it to Me.” Hesitantly, I did, and turns out, I didn’t need that shot!
Recently, I was reading a book, and while I had the head knowledge of God being in control, the book spoke directly to me saying, “My issues and my trials are nothing to You.” They are NOTHING to our big God. Why should we worry?

4.    Live as a Child of Promise.
A child of promise holds onto God’s promises found in His Word. You can only know God’s promises if you read the Bible regularly.
One of the many promises that I’ve held onto is Psalm 32:8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” 
When I don’t know what my future holds, I can trust in Him because He promises to guide me.
Circle them, write them down, do whatever it takes so that you automatically run to God’s Word first in difficult situations.

5.    Choose Thankfulness… Always.
Ephesians 5:4 says that you should not let filthiness or foolishness or even crude joking come out of your mouth, but instead, let it be thankfulness. That challenged me. As I was trying to replace unnecessary words with thankfulness, I read Psalm 50. God’s talking to us, and He’s saying that while the animal sacrifices are good, there’s something better—thankfulness.
“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23
Think about it—thankfulness is our sacrifice to our totally worthy God! Daily, give Him thanks… about everything.

6.    Use it as an Opportunity to Learn a Lesson.
Through this difficult issue, God may be trying to speak to you and teach you a lesson. Slow down, breathe, and listen. As a practice to see how God works in the big issues, take time to see how God works in the small things. God can speak through anything. We need to listen to His still small voice with an acceptant heart.

7.    Above All, Understand Who God Is.
Your view of God will determine if you choose thankfulness or choose not to worry.
You can only understand who God is by living with Him by your side and reading about Him in His Word.
By spending time with Him, you’ll learn that He is faithful. He is our Rescuer, our Protection, our Healer, and so much more!
You’ll learn that He is greater. Greater than all the pain, toils, and struggles we go through. Know Him, and you can face any trial life sends your way.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Loving What We Believe

“May the Living God, Who is the portion and rest of the saints, make these our carnal minds so spiritual and our earthly hearts so heavenly that loving Him and delighting in Him may be the work of our lives.” Richard Baxter

Here’s the bottom line: our ultimate purpose is to delight in God.

“Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

This verse is a command. We must delight in Him. The reward if we obey? We’ll give us the desires of our heart.

You can’t just meet a stranger and instantly love them. Love needs to grow. Likewise, our love in Christ needs to grow. It may not be easy, but it’s so worth it.

What are so practical ways to deepen you love for God?

1.      Set aside time each day to spend with Jesus
When you love someone, you want to spend time with them. God is glorified when you want to spend time with Him!

2.      Tell others about Him
Let others know how good He is.

3.      Truly worship Him
Don’t just sing these songs.

4.      Be joyful
When you choose to rejoice in Him despite the circumstance, it shifts your focus from you to Him.

The hardest part about growth in your love for God is that you must continue in these things even when feeling is absent. Can I say it enough? God is so worth it! Love Him!

If you were to add another point in ways to deepen your love for God, what could you add?

Does this challenge you?


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sharing What We Believe

A while back, I intended to post several devotionals my best friend and I wrote for our student choir trip. Since they were not posted as planned I have decided to post them throughout the month of February. 

I hope you are blessed through what the Lord has spoken through us about *What We Believe.*


“Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has redeemed you from your enemies.” Psalm 107:2

Sharing the gospel is a touchy subject for some Christians—we hear it taught, but we don’t always put it to action. I know for me, the thought of sharing the gospel with a nonbeliever is sometimes scary. What if they reject me? What if I say the wrong things?

Yet, as we dig deeper into God’s Word, we see that those are petty excuses.

“And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” Luke 12:11-12

Jesus is speaking to His disciples in this passage, telling them that when they come in contact with lost people, they should not fear, for the Holy Spirit will guide them in that moment in what to say. He didn’t say, “The Holy Spirit might help you,” He promised the Holy Spirit would come. When Jesus promises something, claim it!!

“To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” Acts 26:22-23

Even Paul, a man who is often praised for his boldness, claims He could not share the gospel apart from Christ’s help. Paul goes on to say that all he does is share what he believes—that Jesus died, was buried, and rose—and the Holy Spirit does the rest.

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11

Say you build up the courage to share the gospel because you know the Holy Spirit will help you, but after you share what you believe, they turn you down. Might as well not even try, right? Wrong.

This is another promise of God! God promises that His Word will work in that person’s life to accomplish what He has planned… even if you don’t see the results.

As you can see, we have no excuse to say we can’t share the gospel.

In conclusion for today, let me remind you that actions speak louder than words.

A while back, my friend began a conversation with a group of unsaved girls. They talked for a while, and as they finished talking, my friend handed the girls a gospel track. They said, “We usually don’t read this kind of stuff, but because you’ve been so kind to us, we’ll read it.
People in this world are starving for the gospel. Life your life as if your actions share the gospel.

Of the passages that you read, which stood out the most?


Does this give you more of a boldness to share the gospel?

How can you apply what you’ve learned?