Identity

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Hello again. It’s been a while; last week I was moving back home for the summer, and this past week has just been a whirlwind of starting a new job and trying to settle into my life here at home again. There really is no place quite like home.

A couple days ago, I started a summer discipleship course. One of the speakers honed in on how we must know our true identities and be able to hear God in order to grow closer to Him. This world constantly tries to tell me that I am not worthy of being loved, that no one could ever or should ever love me. This world tells me that unless I’m a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or successful businessman, I’m useless. But Jesus wants us to get rid of these false identities immediately, because they’re not real. This is not who we truly are. Yes, to the world, we may be all these things, but to God, He has given us and created us with a much greater, much more real identity. I may be broken, but He still receives me, pushing my brokenness aside, and gives me a new name. God calls us the opposite of what the world calls us, because He wants us to be lifted up. He calls me beloved. Continue reading “Identity”

Dear Younger Me

What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in time? What do you wish someone would’ve told you, if they really knew how you were feeling and what you were going through then?

Dear Younger Me,

You’re angsty, and you should acknowledge that. But more importantly, maybe slow down to ask yourself why. I know you must think you’re so on fire for God, ready to balance everything – church, dance, internships, and, oh yeah, classes. But you can’t do it all, and you can’t even balance what you end up doing. And you’re gonna freak out. Continue reading “Dear Younger Me”

Promises

What’s ironic is that those who don’t have the courage to take risks and those who do, experience the same amount of fear in life. The only difference is that those who don’t take chances worry about trivial things. If you’re going to have to overcome your fear and doubts anyway, you might as well make it count. [John C. Maxwell]

I heard this quote today during a message, and like many other moments in life, it was not a coincidence that it paired so perfectly with a song that’s been on my mind recently, ‘Your Promises’ by Elevation Worship. We only reduce God’s perfectly crafted message to us to a coincidence when we don’t take the time to reflect on our lives. That being said, I think His message to me now is to take a risk. Seek first His kingdom, worry less about all the other things. Seek first, and all these other things I no longer worry about will be added to me. Continue reading “Promises”

Fruits of Our Lives

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Please forgive the terrible drawing and photograph.

Belief is not a doctrine; it demands expression. People can see what we believe based on how we live our lives. If I believe, as my drawing shows, that I am worthless, I bear the fruit of insecurity. If I believe that I need to work for everything in life, my life is filled with competition, dissatisfaction, emptiness. If I believe that everything is justifiable in the end, I will be reckless in my ambition as I try to prove my worth. Continue reading “Fruits of Our Lives”

The Cross

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At a conference I went to last weekend, the pastor illustrated our Christian walk through the above diagram. The first picture reflects how the greatness of the cross increases as we see our own sinfulness more and more over time, compared to God’s holiness. The bottom picture depicts a life where we begin to drift away from God, slowly justifying our own sinfulness as not being that bad, while also being unable to truly see how set apart and different God’s standard is; this is when the cross shrinks, when we don’t see the difference between holiness and sinfulness anymore, and we no longer see a need to be saved. May the weight and wonder of the cross grow in each of us.

 

Holy, there is no one like You. There is none beside You. Open up my eyes in wonder. Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart and lead me in Your love to those around me. [‘Build My Life’ – Housefires]

Human Nature | Journey Through Romans

Humans are not complex creatures. Humans are so utterly simple. Humans are unrighteous. Humans are cursed with human nature.

As part of an outreach event for my fellowship this week, we surveyed people about the troubling and disruptive question of “What do you think abut human nature?” There were 4 options for them to choose from on a cork board: ‘mostly good,’ ‘mostly bad,’ ‘broken,’ and ‘neutral.’ I was not surprised to see many had answered that we are mostly good, but I was shocked to see many had also said that we are broken. Continue reading “Human Nature | Journey Through Romans”

Do You Want to Be Healed?

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. [John 5:1-9]

Jesus asked this question of the blind man at Bethesda. But rather than responding with a straight answer, he blames the lack of people to bring him into the pool and the other people who beat him to the pool when it stirs. He became incapable of answering that question because his heart had become too hardened. Self-pity and wallowing feels good almost, as it excuses us from our own actions.  Continue reading “Do You Want to Be Healed?”