WOW! God is so good.

Last night I was thinking about the first time I got a glimpse of God’s glory. It was absolutely amazing. This has happened a few times. Everything in me longs to stay in that place with God. A place where I am filled with an amazing peace and joy that only comes when you have been in the presence of God. I had this burning passion. I would bring my sister out into the garage for Bible study, planning on it taking half an hour, but every single time I would start talking I would lose myself and it would go on for hours. It was amazing. God was speaking to me and through me. After a few months things changed. It felt like God was testing my faith, and in that time I would get on my knees and pray. I would humble myself before Him and every time I did I could hear His voice so clearly. My heart lost that burning passion after a while. Last night was the first time in a long time that I spent time alone with God. I spent so much time praying. Praying that He would rekindle the flame within me. I prayed about every thing big and small that was holding me back from living in that wonderful place I talked about earlier. I asked the Lord for scripture and this is what he gave me…Psalms 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me…
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit…
 
It was exactly what I needed. The Lord is always faithful!
The sermon today was another answer to prayer. The Pastor talked about a few things, but the part that really hit me was when he talked about the transfiguration.
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
You know when you get a glimpse of the glory of God you never want to leave. You want to stay there. You want to set up camp and stay there forever. But the pastor made a good point when he said we weren’t made to spend our lives “on the mountaintop”. We were made to live in the valley. When I first heard this I questioned it, but he went on to say, Yes, the mountaintop is the best, and He gives us those seasons, but you can’t always stay on the mountaintop. He puts us in the valley for a reason. He puts us there to build our faith. He puts us there to help…to make disciples. The valley is a privilege. If we always stay up on the mountaintop how can those who don’t know Jesus come to know Him? How can we bring hope to those hurting? We were made to live in the valley. So the encouragement I got is that whenever I go through a season that isn’t exactly what I want and isn’t a place that is comfortable it’s not always a bad thing. And I have realized that I need to work on thriving in every place God puts me…not just on the mountaintop. So wherever I am I need to press in more, seek God more, and pray more. Bless the Lord in EVERY circumstance. On the mountaintop and in the valley.

Faith in Action

Lately the Lord has been pointing something out to me…the fact that today could be the last. 

I walk down the street and the halls of the college and I’m struck with the fact that tomorrow is never promised and many of the people around me wouldn’t be going to heaven if today was the last…including a lot of my family.

The Lord is calling me to be a light…he is calling ALL of us to be a light. The question is will we be obedient to that or will we let our own insecurities or selfishness or whatever get in the way? If we are just focused on preserving our own life the Bible assures us we will lose our life.

“Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it”-Luke 17:33

I’ve been discussing what Authentic Christianity is with a few people and we’ve come to this conclusion.

We would define authentic Christianity as faith in action, fully seeking God at all times and trusting that HE has a plan and it is right. Authentic Christianity shouldn’t be hidden, but it should be lived out in our daily lives. People should be able to see us living out our faith, trusting God, and striving to please Him and do what’s right. 

I wonder if people around me-who don’t know me- can tell there is something different about me. If that definition of authentic Christianity is what I believe why am I not living it totally out?

As I hold back the light he has given me to spread to the world I can feel the separation that is happening between me and God. It’s as if I am ashamed, but I’m not. I want to let that take over me; the fact that I am unashamed of the savior of the world.

Another question I brought up is,  Do you believe it’s alright for people to come up with their own opinion of what authentic Christianity is and mold the definition to fit their life? Or do you believe you can’t mold the truth to fit what you want?

This is what we came up with through looking at what scripture says and what we believe the Lord has shown us: I don’t think that authentic Christianity can just be molded to what anyone “wants”. Authentic Christianity is living like Christ and trying to be like Him as much as possible; although, no one can match up to Him. If we aren’t living like Christ then we aren’t living an authentic Christian life. There are lots of ways to live an authentic Christian life, but I think all the true ways lead to living like Christ and striving to be like Him.

So many times I see people deciding that they need to follow what the crowd does as to not offend them, but show love. I think that‘s an excuse to be able to do what is clearly wrong in God’s eyes but feel no guilt about it. Honestly, I feel that if we don’t stick up for what the Bible says then we aren’t living out a Christian life. Having said that I don’t necessarily believe we should be going up to everyone we come across and saying ‘are you a Christian ’cause if you’re not you’re going to hell,’ I mean if we are going to be honest, sadly that is the truth, but if we aren’t sticking up for what the Bible says than we aren’t truly following God. I have no doubt that the people who say or think these things believe in Jesus Christ, but I believe they are missing a key component of being saved. Repentance. 

I went to a church in Oregon the other week and the message was just PURE truth. Mark 1:!5 says this,

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; REPENT and believe in the gospel.”

The preacher went on to point out 2 main elements of repentance

1. Intellectual Element of repentance is a change of view; a recognition of sin as involving personal guilt defilement and helplessness.

2. Emotional Element is a change of feeling; a hatred of sin manifesting itself in sorrow for sin committed against a Holy God

He gave an illustration.  He had a BB gun and he said “who believes I can hit that balloon over there in one shot?” The majority of the church raised there hands. He then said, “How many of you think I can hit the balloon with one shot while someone is holding it out from their body without injuring the person?” About 60% of the church raised their hands. He then said,”How many of you think I can hit the balloon while someone holds it closer without injuring the person?” Less people believe he could do that, He then said, “How many of you believe I can shoot this balloon while someone holds it in their mouth without injuring the person? One person raised their hand so he said come on up and he popped the balloon perfectly (someone was behind a door and poked it with a needle) 

His point was are we willing to put the balloon in our mouth for God? Are we willing to go to that length to be obedient to Jesus?

We are called to action, but that’s not usually our response as Christians in America. We have to have a changed heart and a changed mind that leads to action. The kingdom of God advances when their is repentance AND belief.

He referred to this belief without repentance as Cheap Grace

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said,

“cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”

What we should want is to fall so passionately in love with Christ that we can’t help but obey his call. Being in love with Jesus Christ means we can’t contain ourselves…we HAVE to tell people the good news of God.

The fact is many of us have been so in love with God at one time but STOP evaluate yourself. 

Maybe you need to fall in love with Him all over again.

Who do you need to tell the good news to before it’s too late? 

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Teresa
Are you ALL in?

 

Learning To Be The Light

It’s so much easier for me to keep to myself at school. SO MUCH EASIER!!! I know what the Lord is trying to teach me though…GEEZ!!!

I’m learning to be the light.

My passion is to tell people about Jesus and lead people to him.

I’m trying to accept the fact that evangelism starts right here.

I’m learning to be the light right where I am today. I pray that you are too 🙂

It’s so much brighter living in your world
Savior, what you did for me
You gave me something I want everyone to see
When we struggle and it all goes wrong, only you can make it right
So I say oh oh oh oh oh
I’m learning to be the light

-Ally