It’s been a while…God is keeping me busy..with…life. Somehow, content, hopeful, loved. Joy peaks out under the little things.
Big things aren’t unimportant, but there are just bigger things that are more important.
Meanwhile, this song is stuck in my head.
Cause I don’t wanna lose you now
I’m lookin’ right at the other half of me
The vacancy that sat in my heart
Is a space that now you hold
Show me how to fight for now
And I’ll tell you baby, it was easy
Comin’ back into you once I figured it out
You were right here all along
It’s like you’re my mirror
Mirrors - JT
Yeah. lots of thoughts. good thoughts. everything is okay. i’m back.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
How to Avoid Jealousy
We all know what it is like to be green with envy. We all struggle with jealousy at some point in life. Let’s be honest. How often do we look at another person and covet what we perceive to be their success? How many of us are not content to serve God with the gifts He has given us while whining about the fact that others have the gifts we want. We convince ourselves that our longing for a bigger platform is to further the Kingdom when, in reality, that longing is for self-promotion, fame and recognition. Ugly, isn’t it? Jealousy is one of the most dangerous emotions because it is one of the most destructive.
“Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but who can survive the destructiveness of jealousy?” Proverbs 27:4 (NLT)
There is no reason
To let it be the way it is.
To let it float away, in the encumbering mist.
Of static noise and empty glasses,
You’re turning away, leaving empty facets.I’m drowning in disregard, in complacency.
It’s not getting the best of you, nor the best of me.
But too often I find myself with you,
Loosing control together in spiraling, riveting truth.These is no reason
To move forward, to move on,
When we knew the very reason all along.
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Seeking more of God’s character, so that I may see Him. Not just what He can do.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.
A few verses before this one, Paul is talking about not causing each other to stumble in regards to disagreeing on food and drink. But “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking”. In fact, it’s about “righteousness and peace and joy” that can only, most certainly only, be found in the Holy Spirit.
Satisfaction when things go right is fleeting, just momentary. True satisfaction and joy comes only through God, and if you’ve felt it before, you’d know. Trying to find satisfaction in anything else will lead to disappointment, and continuing to do it over and over again will just keep pushing you to the same end. Paul tells us not to quarrel over “food and drink,” the petty things in this life because there are things much more important. We’re talking about righteousness, peace, and joy here…things that can’t be bought, given, or earned. There are people who are dying, starving, who don’t know the Gospel, who won’t make it to the end of the finish line, and here we are, expending our energy and time on trying to satisfy every little need.
Make the decision that will bring peace. The decision that will bring joy. Make the decision that will build up the entire body of Christ, even if it means self-sacrifice. I’m not going to get stuck on the little things when the eternal things are at risk. If this is causing your brother/sister to stumble and grieve over it, then just take the stumbling block away. Deal with it and let it go.
The body of Christ is more than just you and me, or me and her, or you and him, or whoever. It’s us as a collective whole. Make the decision to bring peace and mutual upbuilding to the entire body, never destroying the work of God.
“If you don’t understand that Christ is the essence of your life, that your hope, your future, your joy, your power are in Christ, you will either become arrogant trying to be a trunk, or you will become discouraged knowing that you can’t change your life, and you can’t do all that you’re supposed to do and be all that you’re supposed to be. But if you understand that your identity’s in Christ, then suddenly you understand that your hope is in Christ, and your power is in Christ, and your fruitfulness is in Christ, and that gives you great courage, and it also gives you great humility. “I can change by the grace of God.”
You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us.”
— Beautiful Things
Real Sam, right here.
I was talking to an old friend. She has an internship of a lifetime. A shot at my dream job. And so my mind started to wander…what happened to me? Where’s the drive? Achievement and success? I want it! The career path I always dreamed of. Little girls dreamt about their wedding day. I never did. I dreamt about the office I would sit in, the table I would write on, the team I would lead.
As my mind wandered more and more, I wanted it all again. I felt like my pursuit of God lead me to disregard the pursuit of my future. That’s suppose to be a good thing right? More God because God is greater than money, wealth, and success? It didn’t feel right. But then I remembered the article I read this morning (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/career-money/does-god-care-where-you-work). No matter where I work, whether it’s my dream job or not, if I’m not doing it all for the glory of God, I will never be happy. “God doesn’t care where you work; God cares HOW you work”.
I’m so excited for her, because out of all the people I know, she deserves this job. But I know what job I want in the future. It’s the job that I can glorify God the most in. The one that will lead me to delight in Him more. I’m not here for the money, the success, the wealth. I’m here for the glory of God.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and it shall be lifted up above the hills;
and peoples shall flow to it,
and many nations shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
— Micah 4:1-2, ESV
This was taken from a facebook message from a sister of mine who went to NYU. It was written back in September 23rd, 2010 and I randomly stumbled upon it and still saw great significance in it’s words!
I hope you can feel encouraged reading it too. Enjoy!
A word of encouragement for you.
In 1 John 2:12-14 it is written:
“12 I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father.
14 I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”
This is God’s message to you, a message of strength, power, and victory.
The passage points out 3 groups of people: children, fathers, and young men. But only the young men are called to fight. Why? Because God knows that you are the heart and fire in the midst of an ongoing battle. Children need protection, fathers can provide wisdom and direction, but only you, my brothers are fit for battle. God has made you to be carriers of steady hearts and minds, with courage that demonstrates the capacity to fight and lead others to victory.
As a woman I’m not saying that we cannot do the same. However there is a restless spirit in men that searches for those moments when they can become victorious in one way or another.
Therefore do not be afraid to share your strength with others because it encourages us to fight.
This week I was witness to a powerful display of strength. A brother, humbly bowing his head in prayer, asking God to lead him, and surrendering to the throne of God.
Our culture tells us that to be a man, one must show no sign of weakness (physically, emotionally, even spiritually). That to be a man you must be overly confident in your abilities, outspoken, and rebellious even.
That’s not true.
The ability to acknowledge your weakness is what makes you strong. Especially in a world that is so afraid of being considered weak. God’s strength is what makes you strong.
Now strength is shown in many different forms. Brothers who have a natural affinity towards people display strength in forming encouraging relationships with others. Brothers who love to read and write help us interpret scripture. Brothers who love music help us worship and praise God. Brothers who can mobilize people help to support the work that God is doing in the world.
And then there are those brothers with strengths that often get overlooked. Like brothers who are the last ones to leave because they stack the chairs and wash the dishes. Brothers that wait to be seated last in order to make sure that everyone else has a seat at the table. Brothers who are always the first to help without even being asked. Brothers who never speak in conversation but in doing so let us know that we matter, because someone actually cares enough to listen.
Every type of strength I mentioned is a characteristic of Jesus. Whatever strength God has given to you, use it fully. You always have something to offer.
As a sister I am encouraged by you (which I don’t say nearly enough) and the strengths God has given you.
So thanks. =)
1 Samuel 16:7
Praise God that my outward appearances don’t dictate how He loves me.