The Hope of Immeasurable Greatness

Much of what we do is set by a particular standard that is set in place. Maybe it’s how well you’re doing in school, how much money you make, or whether or not you are on the A team or B team in basketball. A way to measure how “good” you are doing at one of those things can be revealed by how those questions are answered.

 

These measures by which we gauge things can be good as they are helpful in seeing where we need to improve, but they can also be dangerous. To some degree, we naturally set standards, even if they are unspoken standards, we still acknowledge them. The standard of being a smart can be measured by one’s GPA. But if one doesn’t have a high GPA does that make them an idiot? Of course not! But if that’s the only way we measure it, then we can confuse ourselves into thinking that if standards aren’t being met, then we must not be growing. I say all this because not because it is a direct reflection of what I’m trying to teach, but just because I want us to realize how tricky standards can be.

When our thoughts aren’t held captive and they wonder around, we will naturally put standards and limits on God. We all do, because our finite minds naturally do that. But that doesn’t make it okay.

 

Ephesians 1:19 says, “and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might…” 

 

The greatness of God simply cannot be measured. So why do we keep thinking that we have the right to put a standard on Him? When our minds resort to a place of measurement when thinking about God, we aren’t serving God anymore, just a god that we can comprehend.  The standard and measure of God is complete perfection, but our minds aren’t able to fully process that, no matter how far along we get in our faith. And as odd as this may sound, it’s incredible news that saturated with hope.

 

It means we don’t need to worry. Why? Because worry happens when we are fearful of our standard for something to not be met. But since God is immeasurable in His greatness, He always fulfills the standard of perfection.

You have a chance. Get back up! Keep walking, keep trying, and keep your thoughts close to the truth of Ephesians 1:19. The magnitude of His might is limitless. He’s with you all the time and His greatness is without measure.

 

 

3 Reasons Why I Don’t Read My Bible

The Bible is, and will remain, the most widely sold book of all time. It’s a book that our grandparents read. It’s a book that their grandparents read. It’s a book that will always have a place in every people of every culture in every era. But… How often do we actually open it up? Do we realize the power in that dusty leather thing by our night stand? If I’m honest, I don’t do an awful job at reading the Bible. Sure, I’ve grown in consistency and love this Book, but I admit that I still fail to open it sometimes. Ironically, I usually fail to open it when I need it most. Why is that? Well, if you’re like me, and you probably are, you have reasons that you don’t read the Bible too. Some of you don’t even know why you don’t read it. But wherever you are at, here are the three things that I use as excuses to not open God’s Word. I’m being honest by writing this blog post, will you be honest by looking for reasons that you don’t open God’s Word too? I hope so and hope this will also be helpful as many people struggle with the same things.

 

1.) “I forgot…”

We forget stuff all the time. Our keys, wallets, phones, etc. But you know what I bet we don’t forget? Eating. I’m not saying we don’t get busy and maybe “forget lunch”, but you won’t miss the next meal will you? Why is that? Well, it’s because we realize that we NEED food. James MacDonald has a great quote, “When God’s Word becomes your delight it’s no longer something you can do without, something you cannot live without.” So it’s an issue of delight. It’s an issue of where we choose to find pleasure and enjoyment. Now, I love to eat and I know I’m not going to miss my meal in 45 minutes because I won’t let myself miss it. What if we had that same motivation with the Bible? What if we ran to God’s Word daily as eagerly as we run to get the best spot in the lunch line? Forgetting to read God’s Word is a result of use priorly forfeiting it. What does that mean? Well, it means that “forgetting” to read the Bible is merely a byproduct of denying your need for it. Because if you know you need it, you can’t go without it. Forgetting isn’t a good enough excuse anymore, we need to delight in it continually so we don’t forget anymore!

 

2.) “It’s confusing…”

Um yes, I completely agree. The Bible is the most valuable book that you could ever pick up, so listen to me, I understand that it’s frustrating when you aren’t understanding the points in the Old Testament. I get that it’s a lot to take in. I get that sometimes translations use words that you don’t know. But should that excuse us from reading it altogether? Of course not! If this is your attitude toward the Bible, then you won’t pursue anything worthwhile in life because everything that is hard or not ideal for you, you quit. We get annoyed when we don’t understand the Bible, but really, how amazing is it that we have a God who isn’t completely understandable? How shallow would God have to be to make Himself so comprehensible that it takes us little effort to know about Him? He’s bigger than that. Laboring in God’s Word always produces life-change, we just don’t want to make the sacrifice of labor. So while it may be confusing, keep pressing. Keep asking questions. Check other translations. Use the dictionary (seriously). Because God doesn’t buy into the excuse that it’s confusing.

 

3.) “It’s not relevant…”

Now, many of us won’t admit that we are guilty of this, but we practically prove this to be true. We think that the teachings of Scripture are something of the past and that it doesn’t add value to where we are at in our lives currently. Again, I find myself very practically guilty of this. It’s hard for me to feel like I really belong sometimes. You know what I mean? I stress over being liked and accepted. That’s reality for me every single day. Do you know how often I run to the Bible with that? Not very often. Why? Because in my heart, in some of those moments, I don’t think the Bible has anything to say about it. And I just want you to know that that couldn’t be more false. The Bible has something to say about everything! Whether it be directly or indirectly, I believe that the Bible is a book that’s words have valuable implications in every decision, thought, and action that we ever do. The Bible is relevant to your family issues. The Bible is valuable to your depression. The Bible is sufficient for your life. Please don’t think that your the exception to it’s importance.

 

So where are you at? What’s your tendency? Maybe it’s not all three, maybe it’s only one. But whatever it is, lets tackle it. While these may be legitament reasons why we don’t sit down and open up God’s Word, they certainly don’t excuse us from it. There isn’t a single circumstance in all of history that will ever excuse somebody from regularly reading and meditating on the Bible.

So don’t waste time, lets get right at it. I’m reading Proverbs 9 today, what are you reading?

3 Things I Learned in 2014

Well, another year has passed. Lots of things happened over the year. Lots of joyful things that I rejoice and am glad in, but also moments and seasons of drought where I was wondering if God would be able to come through. In case you’re wondering, He did. He always does. And He’ll do it again in 2015. But as I reflect on this past year and all that I experienced and encountered, I’m left inspired and humbled that the Lord came through in the way that He did. While I could go on for a long while about all that I learned this year, here are just 3 of the main things that I learned in 2014.

 

1.) If I’m not actively in God’s Word, I can’t be walking rightly with God.

Now, you may read that and think it’s a no brainer, but I’m convinced that practically, you are guilty to some degree as well. There were times this year where I decided not to read God’s Word, but still tried to walk in His Truth. Well can you guess how long that lasted? I couldn’t do it, and I couldn’t because I had no Truth to walk in. In response to coming to a “dead end” in looking for God’s truth without reading His Word, I started justifying things to formulate my own truth. The truths I formulated failed me as God’s timing proved them to be false. God’s Word is the only Truth that we have, and He always reveals that to us. In 2015, I want to run from self-created truths. I want to stand under the Word of God and know what it says. I want to remind myself that that I can’t live without being in His Word and letting it be the single voice of reason and truth in my life.

 

2.) We live in a broken world.

I’m constantly amazed at how often I forget this. I go to a conservative, evangelical school in the north suburbs of Chicago. I love it there, don’t get me wrong, but a bubble of oblivion to where I don’t truly comprehend the world I’m living in. I used to know it. Heck, I went to a public high school! But how quick are some Christians to forgetting that there are people in this world that haven’t tasted and seen that the Lord is good. That there are people we see everyday who do not know and love Jesus. Some of us are so numb to that sentence that we didn’t even read all of it. That has to change. We obviously know that we live in a broken world, but if we aren’t personally seeing and experiencing the brokenness of the world through relationships with those enslaved to it, then we aren’t going into THE world to make disciples of ALL nations as Matthew 28 commands,but instead we are going into OUR world “making” disciples of whichever nations we choose to. We’re ignoring reality and in doing so, we are allowing opportunities for gospel transformation to slip right by. The motivation of ones heart is cultivated by what breaks it. What breaks your heart? I hope that it’s, at some level, the world that we live in. I sure know it breaks mine, and in 2015 I want to keep coming back to this reality every day, so my passion can grow all the more, realizing that failing to acknowledge this will end in useless activity that isn’t edifying.

 

3. God is sufficient.

I’m always amazed, and honestly embarrassed, when I look back at how many things I did in hopes of being satisfied in the process. Sure, I wouldn’t say I was pursuing them for satisfaction, but I definitely was. Sometimes bad things that were sinful, and sometimes good things that I stewarded in a sinful way. I’m single, and I don’t want to be sinful all of my life. Possibly the biggest things I learned in 2014 is that God can show you is sufficiency in your singleness. While it might feel like being in relationship with another person will satisfy us, even a God-honoring relationship, time will prove that to be false. Everybody you know and are in relationship will fail you because everybody you know is a sinner in need of God’s grace. Forming habits of contentment now will be a blessing in the future! If satisfaction in our heads are contractional to the presence of a boyfriend or girlfriend, then we are in a world of hurt. God is sufficient in your singleness. He’s sufficient in your depression. He’s sufficient in your inadequacy. He’s sufficient in your sin.

 

God is who He says He is and He will always do and accomplish what He sets out to do and accomplish. I pray that 2015 is a fruitful year, and that we would learn from experience and reflection on the past so that we may earnestly seek and yearn for the fullness of God to be revealed to us all the more through faithful obedience.

Feel free to let me know some things that you learned in 2014, I would love to hear it!

A Pitfall of Fear

Growing up I was terrified when night time came around. I mean you can go ask my parents, they would surely agree! I can’t even count how many times I came into their room at an early hour in the morning, asking if I could sleep on their floor.

This was usually caused by a movie I saw or something I heard on TV. Scary characters in movies just haunted me! And don’t laugh, I know you’re right there with me. But seriously, I would think that these scary guys in movies were coming after me! My parents, who were probably exhausted from having a wiggle worm on their floor every night, explained to me countless times that these people aren’t real, that they were just actors in movies. They were right, yes, but I still didn’t always believe them.

I share this story with the theme of fear because I see fear in the lives of many Christians today. It’s sad, and I’m right there with them. We get dragged into a pitfall of fear.

We feel like there isn’t a way out of where we are at.

We feel like we are the only ones going through something.

We feel like there is not a chance that God will provide

We feel like we will never find our spouse.

…… the list goes on and on. But those examples above usually lead us to the fear of whether or not God will prove Himself to be sufficient in our situation.

As I’m drawn to the Word of God, I’m reminded that everything is going to be okay. That he DID NOT give us a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear is an illusional reality that Christians result to because it looks real and feels hopeless.

Stop living in a place that doesn’t exist. Fear, for Christians, is an emotion with no substance because the weight of it was defeated by Jesus. As ridiculous as it might sound, many of us are living like I did as a kid with the scary movies. They aren’t real… but they sure feel like it don’t they? Nothing fractures the faith of a Christian more than fear… And getting drawn into a pitfall of fear causes us to live lives of compromise and doubt, which leads to lots of sin that we told ourselves we would never get into… But because we don’t trust God and because we live in this false reality of panic, we forsake our faith for fear.

 

I’ll leave you with this: Jesus wins. He does. He always has and He always will. How will He be victorious in your situation? I’m not exactly sure. But I promise you that He does all things for your joy, that He loves you, and that He would never put you through anything that wouldn’t be for your greatest good and His highest honor.

Don’t fall into fear. Get out of it. Don’t forfeit your joy because things aren’t ideal. Here’s something to know: a Christian is rarely living with and through circumstances that they consider “ideal”. But we trust God anyway. Hurt is present so hope can be seen. We wouldn’t have any use for hope if everything was awesome… So God is gracious in allowing us to suffer and wrestle through fear so that we can see the hope at the end of the tunnel. O what a glorious day it will be when we see for ourselves that fear has truly been defeated, but until then, we fight.

Jesus wins. He supplies every need of ours according to the riches of his glory, and He is our only hope. He’s patiently waiting… and it’s time for us embrace the reality and acknowledge that yes things may be difficult and our lives may be contaminated with anxiety, but we have reason to rejoice because of the hope of the gospel.

 

 

 

An Unusual Gift

What’s the best gift you have ever gotten? For me, I think back to a Christmas where my brother and I got the original XBOX. Oh my gosh we were so pumped.. This was evident in the endless hours that we played in Madden..

That wasn’t the first time you’ve been asked that question was it? We get asked what our favorite gift was all the time. No matter who gets asked the question, we always think of something. But hey, what exactly are the qualifications for the best gift you’ve gotten? It probably has something to do with prize, the usefulness of it, how popular it is or was. Something like that right?

 

Well in Exodus 19, we see an amazing gift brought to the people of Israel. It wasn’t “the most popular thing”, worth a ton of money, or anything like that.. But the gift itself was amazing. Let me catch you up quickly on the story.

 

God was using working through the very under qualified Moses to lead the nation of Israel. The people of Israel were currently in captivity to Pharaoh, the leader of the Egyptians. Pharaoh was in control of the Israelites and didn’t give up his authority, although he flirted with the idea of it a couple times. So the Lord provided, as He promised, and led the people of Israel out of the hands of Pharaoh.

 

All this is incredible! You have to use your imagination. Picture somebody who was enslaved and was saved by somebody. From there enslavement, the person saving them takes them back to a place of safety. God does this, but He didn’t bring them to a place, He brought them to a person. Read in Exodus 19:4:

You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself.” 

God saves the people of Israel by His power, and while His power is evident in many forms, it’s all brought back to the person of God.

The greatest gift that God gives us isn’t grace. It’s not love or forgiveness. The greatest gift that God gives us is Himself.

 

In the midst of conflict…. He gives us Himself

When we are worried…. He gives us Himself

In our rebellion…. He gives us Himself

When nobody else is there…. He gives us Himself.

 

Depending on where you are at in life, this post could be encouraging, confusing, depressing, confusing… Whatever it is, the truth is the same for every person; this unusual gift of the person of God is available to everybody. No matter how much you have done, no matter the doubt, no matter how unworthy or unqualified you may feel, we ALL have the opportunity to accept this gift. Don’t clean yourself up, the gift that God wants to give you does that!

 

May we rest in the person of God as He has always proven to be enough, even through a doubtful and messy people.

 

3 Things to Ask Yourself When Having a Hard Conversation

I, for the most part, absolutely hate conflict. I usually don’t go looking for it, and if I’m caught in it, I usually resolve the conflict by starting a new conversation. If you aren’t like me, you are probably more of an instigator. You LOVE conflict. In fact, your brain is so used to it that it subconsciously is on the prowl for conflict and you don’t even think anything realize it.

Now, those are just brief overviews of the two extremes and I know there is more to it, but we don’t need to go much more than I did for right now. The dilemma here is that both of those extremes can be extremely dangerous. They both, in their own ways, are extremely offensive and arrogant. Can they be good? Yes, but they won’t always be good.

Something I want to do is acknowledge that having a hard and conflicting conversation is something that needs to happen sometimes. Now if you don’t mind conflict, don’t think that you are off the hook! There is a proper and appropriate way to address conflict, and failing to do so will cause even more damage. I’m no expert, but here are just three questions that I ask myself when regarding conflict and whether or not my heart is in the right place to initiate a hard conversation.

1.) Are my aims to honor God?

It’s often easy to go about conflict with your primary motivation being to prove a point. The funny part is that you might even be right and have a legitimate claim, but that doesn’t make it honoring. In each instance, you have to check your heart. Are you having the conversation to honor God or are you hoarding His glory to highlight yourself? Now that’s a tough conclusion to come to and it’s hard to be honest, but I think lots of times I am more motivated by proving myself through a point than honoring God by having a conversation. Don’t justify it by saying the conversation needs to be had; it may need to be had, but it shouldn’t be initiated until your heart is in a state of honoring God through your approach of conflict.

 

2.) Will it be helpful?

This is another question that’s easy to breeze by. It’s easy to look at all that is wrong and say that the conversation needs to be had. Don’t get me wrong, you may be right and the conversation may need to be had. But sometimes initiating a hard conversation produces more hurt than help. As awful as it may be to admit, we say, respond, and act in ways to the people around us that are extremely hurtful. Maybe not physically, but people are definitely offensive mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by how we interact with them at times. We don’t take into account HOW we are talking, we just look at the content of our claims and think that since they are right, we can say them as we please. Not true! Your body language matters, your tone of voice matters, whether or not you have been praying for this person matters. Does hurt happen? Yes, of course it does! You can’t always avoid it. The person you’re talking to might take it the wrong way and won’t trust that you’re trying to help in talking with them. You can’t control that, but what you can control is making for certain that your desire in having that hard and conflicting conversation is to help, not to hurt.

 

3.) Where is the hurdle?

Every single hard conversation has a hurdle that is in the way. The hurdle is the reason behind why the other person or persons claims. So you have to find it. Just as you have reasons for doing the things that you do, the person you are looking into having a hard conversations has reasons also. Ask yourself ahead of time where you feel the opposition. Be prepared! Because if you go into your conversation with just what you think, not giving time to ask yourself what the other person might think, there won’t be any resolution to your conflict. Know the opposition that is coming your way, and be able to answer it in a clear and reflective way. People don’t change by you telling them to, they change by you showing them how. So find that hurdle, and have a plan!

 

Now, some conflicts just simply won’t end in your favor. You can ask all three questions, be well prepared, full of love and compassion, and the other person still might not change. And you know what? That’s okay! You aren’t called to change people, you are called to obey Jesus! Let God be God. Don’t be disappointed.

 

Lastly…

Aggressive conflict seekers: Chill out and check your heart! Don’t say anything that is not out of sincere and genuine love.

Passive hideaways: Don’t think that staying quiet is always being obedient. Don’t think that “actions speaks louder than words” means that you don’t ever need to step up and say something tough.

Sometimes conflict needs to be embraced, but it shouldn’t be entered ignorantly. Sometimes conflict needs to be avoided, but it shouldn’t be resisted stubbornly. May we have the wisdom and honesty with ourselves so we may choose rightly.

The Person of God

I was driving to church the other morning with four words glued in the front of my brain. I couldn’t escape them! They were four words that God was speaking to me when I was reading, and for some reason He wouldn’t let them go.

“I am the Lord.” Exodus 6:8

Four words…

But is it just four words? Why does God say this to Moses? We know that Moses knows that the Lord is the one speaking to him.. So why would God do this?

Well I don’t know where you come from, but I have amazing parents. They really are truly incredible! They aren’t perfect, but they love me unconditionally, provide for me, tell me they’re proud of me, practice repentance in front of me, and show me what it looks like to follow Jesus. I’m definitely fortunate, but would it surprise you that I forget how fortunate I am? Because I do… I forget how fortunate I am because I get used to it. I don’t tell them enough how thankful I am for them. Similarly, Moses is in the presence of God and knows that the Lord is speaking to him, but he, like us, needs the reminder of exactly who is speaking to him.

These are no small four words, they are extremely significant. The person of the Lord is what makes His promises plausible. He’s no impostor. He is exactly who He says He is, and this is what changes who we are.

See God for who He really is this week. Before your feet hit the ground in the morning, remind yourself “He is the Lord”… We aren’t without a plan, but have a purpose because of the person of God.  If we see God as anything other than the Lord, then we will live a disappointed and pessimistic life. We have to have fortify ourselves against false identities of God, lest we will formulate an idol who we recognize as God but is actually somebody else.

So I want to leave you and I thinking about that. How will you remind yourself that God is the Lord this week?

Where is your gospel?

One of my favorite books is The Explicit Gospel, by Matt Chandler. I don’t want to give it all away, but trust me when I say it’s an amazing book that will challenge your perception of the gospel message.

I do want to give you a little snip of what I continually reflect on from that book, even after reading it months ago. Chandler lays out two areas in which our theology of the gospel tends to derive from and both of them are dangerously perverse. Real quickly, let me just sum up what he proposes and then I’ll leave both of us to reflect on which side we tend to gravitate towards!

 

Gospel on the Ground:

The gospel on the ground is where you find dead churches. It’s where service opportunities aren’t being pursued, it’s where people are judgmental of others who don’t agree with them. It’s legalistic, rule following, conservatives who know exactly what other people are doing wrong. Rather than going to those people, they yell from the ground and invite them down. Now, I don’t want to sound like these people are these irritable jerks, because they aren’t at all. Gospel on the ground people have sound doctrine and understand what’s in the Bible.. But what’s unfortunate is that they hold those truths too close to their eyes. They see it for themselves but are blind to the need of what they know in the world that they live in.The picture of being “on the ground” is worded that way so we would envision having a firm foundation, to be grounded in a state of belief. Again, nothing wrong with that at all; but we know that while it’s good and essential to have that grounded stance in what the gospel is and means, it’s not okay to stay on the ground. The gospel of Jesus is to be proclaimed to the ends of the earth, and that doesn’t happen when we keep the gospel is kept on the ground. Is your gospel found on the ground? I hope that it is to some degree, because there has to be some essential beliefs of Christianity that must first be formed from the ground. But are you staying there? Are you pointing at all the people that aren’t grounded like you? Don’t stay where you are at and hope people see your state of being grounded and magically change, go to them! Take your gospel off the ground. Basic principles of Christianity are obviously important, but if there is not attempt for transparency in delivering the gospel to your broken world, then you are missing the whole point and purpose of the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

Gospel in the Air:

Moving from the gospel on the ground, we will now go to what Chandler calls the gospel in the air. The gospel in the air is founded in moral people. Many people in church have a gospel in the air attitude and outlook of their faith. It’s amazing and inspiring to see their passion of service and mannerisms to everybody, but it’s heartbreaking to see that their motivation in doing what they do is not influenced by Jesus. It’s people pleasers. People who have their gospel in the air wouldn’t want to offend anyone by saying that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light; so they open it up to just exercising morality as they see fit in their context. But that’s not what a Christian is called to, is it? It may look nice to do good, but are we really doing good when it’s about us and not about Jesus? What if we are actually doing more harm than good when we act like that? Why do you do the things you do? Are you serious really serious about Jesus? The answer to these questions matter, because from them we find the location of our heart. “…but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4 

 

The truth is that at the core of both the gospel in the air and the gospel on the ground is a idolatry. It’s giving devotion to a gospel that you are comfortable with. The gospel in the air is full of self (be like me), and the core of the gospel in the air is also selfish (as long as you’re doing something you’re good!).  They both can look good, but once they are unpacked, it’s linked back to you and not to Jesus. And speaking for all of us here, that’s not good news! May our aim be to please the Lord. May we tremble at the sound of His name, in that we are able to be apart of His mission of making Him known. Find a middle ground where you are both staying restricted by your grounded gospel (so you don’t float off into la la land), and being challenged to leave the home of simplicity..

Float. Don’t fly so you’re in the air, and don’t sit on the ground; but float.

Lower is Higher

What does it mean to be humble? Really though; I mean what does it look like? I think that sometimes, especially in Christian circles, we tend to pin down exactly what a humble man looks like when seeing what he does. Whether it’s giving sacrificially, cleaning up after youth group, giving somebody a ride, spotting somebody when that person is short a few bucks… Whatever it is! Now, none of those things are bad at all. What I’m going towards is that it’s really easy define a humble man by deed rather than what’s dwelled about in their heart. Keep this in mind as I try to unpack a few things I’m learning from the Lord about being humble:

 

Humbleness isn’t a formula. It’s not something that you create, it’s something you acknowledge. Being humble means looking to Jesus, the hope of the world, while looking at yourself. It’s seeing you as you truly are, in all of your brokeness and sin that should separate you from God… But then contrasting that with the light of the Gospel of Jesus calling you, in all of your mess, to be a part of His kingdom in all of its glory. That’s the most humbling reality one could every come to know.

 

You can be humble in any situation you ever encounter. Really though, I mean being humble is just making much of Jesus and less about yourself. I define that as plainly as I can only because many have altered what being humble truly means. Humbleness has become a SAY thing and not a DO thing. I think humbleness is what we say we do on the surface, but something that’s not pursued in our hearts, it’s just thought about analytically.

 

What we have done is acknowledged that humbleness is a good thing, and haven’t moved away from the “knowing” of that truth. In doing that, we then clog the pathway from our head to our hearts, causing the two to be disconnected. This is a scary spot, and most people unfortunately aren’t honest enough with themselves and God to admit that they are guilty of this mindset. But the truth is that if intellect and obedience aren’t fluctuating, the heart will die. Intellect and obedience must fluctuate or the heart will harden.This way of thinking, and my attempt to redefine humbleness in a world that rejects it, is not an easy thing to consume. “He must increase greater, I must decrease.” -John 3:30  Christians want Jesus to increase in their lives, but we take it back when we read the rest of the verse and realize what’s required in us in order for Him to increase.  

Now contrary to what might feel right, being lower is actually being higher. Do you know what I mean by that? Being on our knees in humbleness is where we belong. Fame, attention, rewards, acknowledgment; all are things that should ultimately be credited to God and not to ourselves. But that’s not always how things turn out… So here are 3 things that I think are worth mentioning when considering living a humble life:

1.) Humbleness is hard –> Seriously, being humble is hard! It’s not always comfortable, it doesn’t always seem profitable or worth your time. Being humble is hard because we are surrounded by a culture that encourages everybody to scream about themselves in their own way. Knowing that being humble is easy; but actually putting your knowledge into action is no easy task for anybody. Nobody has a default setting of being humble… NOBODY! 

2.) Humbleness is holiness –> The difficulty of humbleness is unfortunately focused on more often than the holiness that we are pursuing. Scripture says that we are to be holy as our God is holy.. Pretty hard to do that, but it’s what we are called to. We understand that it’s hard, but it’s also moving us in a direction of greater holiness; and the portions of joy that we receive in our efforts are unbelievable.”For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” -Luke 18:14 

3.) Humbleness is harmony –> There is this level of proportion between God and man. We live like the level should be straight… But humbleness actually points us downward and God upward. It’s like a titer toter and we’re on the bottom. When our location is low, we are in accordance to what God says our relationship with Him should look like. So what does your relationship look like? Are you and the Lord separated in proper proportion? Is it easy to distinguish which one is higher and which one is lower?

 

Pure humbleness alone is something we will never perfect; we will constantly be in the process of humbling. It’s not a spiritual gift or something that people are natural at. It’s a heart that’s muted itself so that the heart of Jesus can be heard.

Honestly, I really suck at being humble. But you know what, I bet that you probably do to.. So let’s work on it! Put yourself in a low position and let your humble posture aid to a clearer Lord that people will see in who you are.

 

Healthy Habits

As I go into my second year of college, I can’t help but reflect on all that I learned last year. I can honestly say that my freshman year was one of the most life-changing and uneasy years of my life. I learned a ton about myself; my hopes and dreams, and I learned a lot about Jesus.

If there is one big thing that I see as a necessity for college students, it’s to build healthy habits.

Journaling daily, praying consistently, and meditating on Scripture helped place a deep passion for the glory of God. It particularly kindled my service in the local church.

The result of these healthy habits were incredible for me! I can’t imagine where I would be without them, but that doesn’t mean they were easy to stick to.

 

I wanted to sleep in instead of going to church…

I wanted to pure selfish desires and lust…

I wanted to compare myself to others…

 

I wanted to do all of those things, and that’s not to say that I didn’t slip sometimes. But the key is that you can’t do both. You can’t implement healthy habits AND live in sin. They can’t exist with each other! Are you supposed to be perfect? Of course not, nobody will be flawless in their faithfulness; but there’s a difference between making war with sin and being a slave to it.

 

My best advice to any student: Don’t be lazy. Dream big, God’s Word will completely change your life. Die to yourself every single day; taking your thoughts captive so that you can clearly see the hope in Jesus that your heart longs for.