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Monday, September 1, 2014

Finding Satisfaction in Christ

How do we find satisfaction in Christ? When we lose something important to us or feel like we have to have something God has not given to us, what do we do then?

I can definitely relate to those questions. I found myself in the same situation recently, wondering what to do next. I felt that a sure answer to my problems was for God to give me what I wanted if I just prayed to Him. Here are the conclusions that I came to after a time of fasting and praying:

First of all, we need to realize that God may not give us what we want. Yes, He has the ability to give us what we want (I'm speaking of desires that are not evil within themselves), but it's not always in our best interest for Him to do so. After all, we cannot see what the future holds. Only God can, and He knows what is truly best for us. Sometimes He chooses to give us the desires of our heart, and other times He does not.

After realizing this, we need to be willing to submit to His decision, even if the outcome is not the one we want. A tender, submissive, and obedient heart are exactly what God wants from us. We aren't of any use to God when we come to Him with unreasonable demands. Do we really think God will answer us when we treat Him like a cosmic genie? God uses those who are willing to be used. He works in the lives of those who are completely surrendered to His will. Choosing to surrender to God's will even if the outcome is not the one we want is not necessarily a feeling. It's an action. Sometimes we get caught up in thinking you have to feel happy in order to surrender, but that's not always the case. We may be very unhappy about doing so, but as long as we make the commitment to surrender and stick to it, we need not worry coming sorrowfully to the throne of Grace. God will give us the joy we lack when we surrender. It may not be instantaneous. It may be gradual, but it will come, just be willing to submit!

In order to be satisfied in Christ, He needs to be our number one priority. We will always be dissatisfied in life when things don't go our way if we constantly look to those things to make us happy. When we take our eyes off of Christ and focus on the things before us, we lose sight of what real satisfaction looks like. So how does He become our number one priority?

Through increasing your time in prayer and reading The Word. If you're spending 15 minutes a day in reading The Word and 5 minutes in prayer, think about the percentage of time you spend with God on a daily basis. Is that even 10% of your daily time, what is normally required when giving? No. It comes very close to only being 1% of your time. Think about that. You are giving God 1% of your daily time. Does that sound like God is your priority? Now think about all the time you spend eating, sleeping, working, and doing anything else such as hobbies. The percentages of those are probably significantly higher. Now you see why satisfaction cannot occur in Christ when we spend the majority of our time doing other things. I would encourage you to constantly increase your time alone with God. If you read and pray 15 minutes a day, why not turn that into 20 minutes a day this week? And in a month why not turn that into 30 minutes a day? And continue increasing it on a consistent basis. When we increase our time with God, we will find ourselves enjoying God more than before, and thus our focus will be filled with such delight in God that we will find ourselves still happy even when things don't go our way.

Satisfaction in Christ is a very hard thing to learn and put into practice, but when we apply these steps to our lives, we begin to realize that the sacrificing of our time and desires is worth it!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Amazing Salvation Testimonials

I'm not sure if any of y'all have actually seen these salvation testimonials all organized by Billy Graham, but if you haven't, take the time to. They are incredible! I cried watching them just in awe of how great our God is, how kind, and how loving!

I do want to say that before you watch these, I am not exactly an advocate of all that Billy Graham stands for, and I do not agree with the easy believism he advocates at the very end. Aside from that his message intertwined with salvation testimonials was amazing. If you like this on, find his other video on Youtube with three more amazing testimonials!

Oh, and if you like these as much as I did, you can sign up on Billy Graham's website to receive the full video for free to share with someone else!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Where are the Christians?

The new trend these days is Random Acts of Kindness- spreading kindness to others in the hopes that it comes back to you- aka Karma. That's how the world perceives it at least. Just google the word or the acronym RAK and you will find a website dedicated to it, blogposts, and youtube videos about it as well. It's the latest and greatest trend.

The problem with this new trend is not necessarily the fact that its roots are based off of Karma, because we all expect that out of an unbeliever, it's the fact that it seems this trend is done 99% of the time by unbelievers. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if you go to youtube and look at all the Random Acts of Kindness videos, not many will say they give because of Christ.

So where are the believers? I mean, if you and I call ourselves Christians, why didn't we start this trend? Why didn't we jump on the bandwagon and turn it into Christ-centered acts of kindness. Aren't believers the ones who are supposed to be kind at all times, especially when others are mean, but also when all is at peace? Why is it that non-believers are taking credit for these nice gestures and called the "good people" of the world? What happened to the Christians being the "good people" (good in the sense of the world's goodness, not the Bible's) of the world? Why are we being replaced by those who should not even be thinking about being kind for no good reason?

I recently came across a Youtube video that was trending in popularity of a young man videoing himself giving away $1000 to a homeless man. This homeless man was so moved by this unbeliever's gesture that he cried and said nobody had ever treated him kindly like this young man had done. At that point I was upset. Why? Not because the young man was generating applause for himself by videotaping this act, rather I was upset that the homeless man had been sitting out there for weeks and no Christian took notice of him, rather an unbeliever did. No Christian had ever showed love to him, and that's wrong. We are NOT doing our job as Christians! It's time to wake up and realize that unbelievers are taking over our jobs, because we are too greedy, lazy, or selfish to do it.

So I bring a challenge to everyone reading, this month either give more of your money or time to others OR perform a random act of kindness for no other reason than that God has blessed you and you want to share to others about His love for us. Random acts of kindness can be used to present the gospel as well. Hand a tract with your gift to let them know why you are doing this, not because of karma, but because of God's great love for us!