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Know Who You Belong To

KnowWhoYouBelongTo

As I was thinking about this, I was thinking it would be mainly for single Christian girls.  But no matter what stage of life you’re in or if you’re a guy, I think we all need this reminder – and often.  Or maybe it’s just me.  

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price.  So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT). 

While this passage is discussing avoiding sexual sin – scratch that, fleeing from it – in order to honor God with our bodies, there is a deeper message behind Paul’s words here.  Our bodies and our lives are not our own.  God literally purchased us at a price – the death of Jesus on the cross.  God created us to be first in relationship with Him.  And in order to restore that relationship, He allowed His Son to be sacrificed on the cross for the sins of all humanity.     

The past few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  And in the process of that, I managed to be incredibly angry with God, question what God was doing in my life, and where He was in the midst of my struggle.  But through all of that, the main thing that I realized was that I am a child of the King of Kings.  And that is all that matters in the end.   

I know that no matter what I’m going through or how bad of a day I have, my God allowed His one and only Son to die a horrific death on the cross so that I could live a joy-filled life while I’m on earth and have life eternally with Him.  So I will continue to surrender this life to God, no matter how crazy y’all think I am in the process.  And I just want to encourage you to seriously consider where you find your worth, because if you find that worth anywhere but in Jesus, whatever that is will let you down at some point.  

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Obedience of Faith

If_You_Love_Me_Keep_My_Commands_John_14:15

This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.  

I just started classes this week specifically devoted to studying the book of Romans in context as well as a class about the book of Acts.  They both already have individual categories under Bible Study. That’s your “head’s up.”

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bing about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to be saints” (Romans 1:1-6 ESV)

As I was reading this, one phrase in particular jumped out at me: “obedience of faith” (v. 5).  Faith means trusting that God knows what is best for you better than you do.  Then, in that trust, you must submit to God’s plan for your life.  We have to be able to simply obey Him and His Word.  No, it’s not always easy, in fact most of the time obedience to God will be the harder path to take.  However, obedience to God is always the right choice. 

 

Faith_Means_Trust_In_Gods_Plan

The most simple way this is stated in the Bible is found in John:

“If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV)

These are the words of our Savior Himself.  Please don’t skim over them.  A relationship with Jesus starts with falling in love with Him, but Jesus came to give us new life here and now.  That new life is abundant because it doesn’t involve worldly things.  Look at the example of the early church and see how drastic the life change was.  We are not to continue living however we please and expect that whenever we die we will be in heaven with Him.

If_You_Love_Me_Keep_My_Commands_John_14:15

What obedience looks like for each one of us may honestly look different.  Some actions, mentioned in various places throughout the Bible, are clearly disobedience.  Others may not be so clear.  Let me give you an example: I’ve written before about feeling God calling me to be a pastor.  I initially felt that call during my sophomore year of high school and honestly I completely ignored what God was calling me to do and focused on my plans and my goals for my life.  It took me three years to finally accept God’s calling for my life and be okay with it.  It still makes me really nervous just thinking about it.  But the entire time that I was chasing my own dreams instead of following His will for my life, I was disobeying Him.  I was still saying no to His plans and yes to mine.  But at that time I had zero contentment in my spirit about what I was going to do and would constantly say “I wish I knew what I was going to do with my life” even though I thought I had it all figured out.  The second I made the decision to accept that God’s plans for my life are so much better than mine and to trust Him with my career path, that contentment that I lacked was there.

So for me, obedience in that area of my life didn’t require a change of schools or even a change of major but instead a change of heart and a willingness to go wherever God takes me.

I don’t know what obedience needs to look like in your life right now, but you probably do.  If you truly don’t, just pray about it and ask God to show you what area of your life you need to trust Him with.

 

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That Email!

I got the email a few days ago that I’ve been waiting for!  Approval to post this.  And I’m so excited about it I just didn’t know how to put it into words.  But here we go.

I’m writing a book…(which I’ll give you more details on in the future ;)).  That book is almost complete.  And that book is getting published, thanks to Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I said something along the lines of “God’s going to use this” to my mom and grandma.  But at the time, I don’t know how much I truly believed that.  Reflecting on the last three years, I can tell you this:

  • I can see many blessings that have come and that are developing from suffering
  • God is using the things that I’ve been through already to shape me and is going to use this to impact the lives of others.

While I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to say about this, I was reading Leighton Burley’s post, “Finding God’s Will Where Your God-Given Passion and Talent Collide” where he says

“God’s will is not hard to find; it’s actually very simple: Fulfill the great commission. It’s how each of us does this that differs. Each of us has a platform – It doesn’t matter who you are! God has given you a special skill set, social status, or physical ability or disability that He expects you to use as your platform.I don’t know what this might be for you. Maybe you’ll be a phenom athlete, using your talent for His purpose. Maybe you’ll be a doctor, helping people both physically and spiritually. Maybe you’ll be a great evangelist, filling stadiums with people who are anxious to hear about Jesus. Perhaps you’ll be a politician, standing boldly for what you know to be right. Again, maybe God has planned for you to be constrained to a wheelchair or bed, demonstrating to the world the power of Jesus’ love, as you live your life infused with passion.”

Just as Leighton says, we each need to use the platform that He has given us so that we can share the gospel with the world, as we are commanded in the Great Commission. And here we find ourselves back at the Great Commission (like I promised in my last post!)

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

I obviously now 100% trust that God allowed me to have epilepsy so that He could use it as a way to reach others through me.  But it took me quite some time to also have a passion for it, because I resented it.  Even during that time, though, God was working so that I could eventually stand up, dust myself off, and use it as a specific avenue to be able to reach people.  I now have both the passion and the platform to share Jesus’ love and grace with others via the platform He has given me, and I cannot express enough how excited I am to see where it goes.

Go check out my Epilepsy Awareness page, as well!