My health teacher shared this fact last week, and of course, I forgot about it. After all, there's so many things going on, day-by-day; scrambling to jot down when homework's due, maintaining a balanced diet, rummaging through drawers to find the right amount of dollars so that I can buy a chicken schnitzel roll and a chocolate milk for my lunch order. Not to mention having to add up how much the order costs so that I can write the exact amount of change I'm owed because sometimes they rip you off and you don't get your dollar twenty back.
A Holy Experience, this website I found.
"The call to complete happiness is to come lay down your life completely, and the Call of Christ is always a call to come die and anything else is a lie."
I started this post a few days ago, my diary has filled up with words and verses and experiences and things. So much I have to say. I don't know how to say. It will be so long if I write it all down, and how can I put it? But I shall write.
It started with me coming to terms with the fact that when the Bible talks "wicked" it's talking me. I've disregarded even the thought of that my whole entire life. Of course that wasn't me. I was good. I was a Christian. I was most definitely the "good and righteous" person that the verse talked about next.
It's not until this year that I've begun to see otherwise, that I've begun seeing me and my life in the list of bad things wicked people do, and oh it is a long long list. Galatians 5:19-21 pretty much sums it up, and it's as if a massive light is just exposing how truly messed up and unJesuslike I really am.
And I guess that's when we say, "Forgive me Jesus." Breathe a sigh of relief -- phew! Saved!
But John 8, what does Jesus say? He says, "I don't condemn you." He forgives her. But he says something else, too. "Go now, leave your life of sin."
"It's obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time." Galatians 5. And it goes on... to describe my life.
How do I change? To live "God's way"? Because it tells me what happens when I do... but how?
"Legalism is helpless in bringing this about, it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good -- crucified."
"Since this is the kind of life we have chosen..." When Jesus talked about building our house on rock or sand, He said, "These aren't just home-owner improvements." He said, This is on which you must base your life. The foundation.
...what is the foundation?
It means that when I'm faced with a decision like, "Should I [insert hard thing]," YES is the right answer.
It means that I recognize that doing this means LOSING MY LIFE and that is a good thing.
It means that I will do it. Even if I am scared.
But something is missing, and failure is a certainty. "Alone? Impossible. With God? Every chance in the world."
"The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you." Galatians 3:11-12
I continually have to remind myself: I know nothing.
I remember what Paul said, "I resolve to know nothing by Christ and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)
In 02 Corinthians, Paul says -- as if Jesus himself told Paul how I was living --
"The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!"
How many times have I declared, "The old life, that's gone, the new has come!" -- and then adamantly refused to give it up because I LIKE what I have. WHY would I ever give it up?
Galatians 5; "If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God's kingdom."
Gosh, Paul, tell us what you really think.
No, but really, it's something I've been mulling over for awhile.
I don't know how I get by calling myself a follower of Christ -- that's what we mean when we say Christian, right? -- because I hold onto my life each and every day, "frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness."
It's not what we say but what we do, is that right?
John 3:16, "Whoever believes in me will not die but live forever."
Believe... faith, put trust in. It's a way of life.
"Make sure you do not use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom... rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows." -- Galatians 5:13
"The person who believes God is set right by God -- and that's the real life." Galatians 3.
It's like I've fallen into the hole of RULE KEEPING, sure it's the way to life, of life. Aaah!
"Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into Himself... because of that, the air is cleared... we are all able to receive God's life, His Spirit, in and with us, by believing -- just the way Abraham received it." Galatians 3:11-12.
I have to stop comparing myself with people.
I have to stop wondering and worrying what anybody thinks of me ; dots and stars.
"Accept the hard times along with the good." 02 Timothy
|this is definitely good.|
It says right here in Titus how to tell people who Jesus is: "Show them all this by doing it yourself."
ON: Making a life change.
Don't announce it with gusto. If you're anything like me, the eye-opening, good feeling, is mostly gone and you feel like the same kid calling yourself a Christian wondering if you're spirit's will pick up and be smiling by the end of the day, or picking through piles of grief, trying to keep it all from sticking.
It's right now, the way you smile, they way you go out of your way to help somebody else when it is so completely NOT helping yourself.
Things will be different. You'll be changing.
God will transform you.
You know what? I'm always so convinced that I know best, that I know what I want, my way...
When I read a verse like, "We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it," Proverbs 16:9...I suddenly have this thing of, I don't want what I want. I want what God wants. I want to trust God.
I was at a family thing the other day. My great-grandfather -- we call him Little Poppa -- he was sitting on the couch. He's ninety-eight years old, that's a lot of years, is it not? I watched, sitting on a chair in the edge of the room, as he said something -- nobody heard, they continued their own swirling conversations. He said something else, again nobody heard. In that moment, I realized that I hated being an observer: because if a person stays an observer, they can never... never give the ear that's needed, never hold the hand that is empty. They can pity, they can have sympathy; but they cannot have compassion.
As my mum and Auntie sat beside Little Poppa on the couch -- he held an iPad, I couldn't help wondering what an iPad was to this man whose friends went to war -- tears threatened to come as I realized: he is the boy in my story, the one I am writing. He is the boy the girl fell in love with, and she fell in love with him. But she, my great-grandmother -- Little Nana -- she died last year. And he, he is alive, but he forgets most, he doesn't know her, where she's gone.
We must love recklessly, fervently, without hesitation. Before we know it, we may forget. And if I end up holding on that long, to my life, I'll find that I lost it someplace along the way, unable to counter when the emptiness came.
"Give up your life and you will find it."
"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lost it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."
"It's best to start small -- give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance."
Just like Jesus by Max Lucado page 138; ask for Jesus' eternal view of the world.
Yes, dear Jesus. Then, I pray, I will know why we must love,
and will give up my life to do so,
We'll be old soon enough. We have to give our love and care to one another today.
How is it possible that Jesus could give up His life?
Because He knew Heaven.
Jesus knows the hurt, the pain, of giving up one's life. He knew Heaven, yet still He asked, begged, God to "take away this cup," to let Him keep His life.
"Yet," Jesus said, "Not my will but Yours be done."
"But," I say, "It's easy for Jesus -- He knew why He was here." To give up His life to free us; He paid the ransom. (Ransom. Funny word.)
Jesus came to give up His life.
If that's what Jesus did... then that's why I'm here, too.
Jesus gave up His life to save the world.
I give up my life because He did.
I could die today.
So it's today I'll give up my life.
Why am I giving up my life?
Because Jesus did.
Forget about me + love them.
GIVE UP MY LIFE.
Jesus moves in us.
Embrace His Spirit; trust Him.
Yes, Jesus. Yes yes yes.
See, I really know nothing.
I can live in fear... or I can give up to God.
Trust Him. Lean on Him.
I was looking at pictures I'd taken on my phone that I'd taken of old photographs I'd found at my grandparents house. It was of Little Nana and Poppa when they were kids, my age, having fun and camping and such. And it made me sad, because people end up growing up and it turns out that... you can't get to Neverland. This is why I am blessed to love the people around me: because we are alive.
"We don't know how blessed we are."
One photo, taken in 1939, it's the exact scene of a place in the book I'm writing.
"The grass wither's and flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8.
We were driving home from school, and I guess I said something that just came across as plain old rude, and you know how sorry can just be an incredibly word to say? And so I was like, "Well, God, guess I've failed, sorry." And then I just saw those words, give up your life.
People want to know why God doesn't 'do miracles' anymore, like in the Bible. Sure as life, He does. But maybe our eyes, they're closed. We don't believe, and we don't love as Jesus did, giving up our lives as He did. Maybe that's why we don't recognize them.
You were crushed with pain, Isaiah 53.
You were crushed with pain that was supposed to crush me.
Grace. We are whole-heartedly and completely and utterly by everything there is... saved by grace. We hurt one another and we don't know how to fix it, we judge one another and we're so afraid to love. But imagine if the world ended tonight -- all those times, all those people we care about and too afraid to love -- suddenly our eyes are opened to the realization that we must live now, love now, give up our lives now. #YOLO, mate. Be honest. Give it up, this holding-on, being afraid of rejection -- I'd like to call it being afraid of the high jump mat, because that is most certainly what I am. I didn't make it over because I was scared the pole was going to hurt me. No attempt = ...well, nothing.
You were crushed with pain, Jesus.
You were crushed with the pain that was supposed to crush me.