So apparently this song came out in 2018 and I’m just now hearing it! I was listening to Amazon Music when this song popped up and literally stopped me in my tracks.
Take a look at some of the lyrics!
We want our coffee in the lobby We watch our worship on a screen We got a Rockstar preacher Who won’t wake us from our dreams We want our blessings in our pockets We keep our missions overseas But for the hurting in our cities Would we even cross the street?
But we wanna see the heart set free and the tyrants kneel The walls fall down and our land be healed But church if we want to see a change in the world out there
It’s got to start right here It’s got to start right now Lord, I’m starting right here Lord, I’m starting right now
What are we doing to bring others to Christ? What are we sacrificing? ARE we sacrificing? Or are we too caught up in our comfort zone to even think about lost souls?
As we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021 may it be our mission to start right here! To reach those who are lost, to proclaim the Gospel!
Why do we find it difficult to break the silence about the best news and most important Person the world has ever known?
Herb Vander Lugt
Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
***I’ve never had so much trouble writing a post. But Satan knows this message is meant to be shared and he tried everything, and I mean, EVERYTHING, he could to prevent me from writing this. But God wins. Every time, God wins.***
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16, NLT
What does it meant to be a light in the world?
As believers, we are called to be the light in the darkness of the world. But what does it mean?
Jesus is the light of the world. It says so in John 8:12! “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me you won’t have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Don’t hide your testimony or be ashamed to take your Bible to work. Don’t be afraid to pray over your lunch at school. Let others know that you love the Lord Jesus.
There is a movie called I’m Not Ashamed that I’ve mentioned before but it’s such a powerful movie that I want to talk about it again.
The movie is based on Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shootings back in 1999. Her story is so uplifting and moving.
I don’t understand this but for some reason I’ve always been drawn to her story. Her legacy has brought so many people to Christ. I have a couple of books that were written based on her journals she kept. She kept many journals. And guess what? She struggled just like anyone else.
She wasn’t perfect, not even close. She had her share of struggles with all things that most teens struggle with. She just chose to stay close to Christ in order to fight her demons.
Rachel genuinely had a love for others and was so compassionate towards them despite the way they treated her. She showed her love in many aspects of her life and worked hard to be the person God created her to be.
Rachel made the decision to “love people with a heart of compassion and see and love people as Jesus does.
Colossians 3:12-13 says “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another, and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” (ESV)
I want to live a life like that. A life devoted to Christ and serving His people. I want to be able to show compassion towards those that don’t necessarily show compassion towards me.
I don’t want to be ashamed. I want to be that light that shines so bright that makes people ask what is so different about me.
Living Like Jesus
There is a song called Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns that I absolutely love. I feel the lyrics say it all.
“The world is on their way to You But they’re tripping over me Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded A plank eyed saint with dirty hands”
How can we live like Jesus if we’re stumbling blocks to unbelievers? How will they see Jesus if we’re not living a life pleasing to Christ?
We must live like Jesus. Truly live for Him, living in such a way that oozes the love of Jesus and His light. So what does living like Jesus look like?
Romans 12:2 tells us “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)
By copying the behavior and customs of this world we aren’t living as a light in this world. We aren’t living like Christ. We are to let God transform us into a new person so that we can shine God’s light wherever we are.
Being a light in this hate filled world won’t always be easy but we owe it to unbelievers everywhere to live a life pleasing to the Lord.
Further in Romans 12 Paul tells us “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. When Gods’ people are in need be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. (Romans 12:9-13 NLT)
People notice our actions, our words. And by living as a light we have a chance to speak God’s Word without even saying a single word. People will take notice of the way we are living our life and it’s going to make them question what exactly it is that makes us different.
We must love like Jesus.
The light of the world we share is Jesus. As they see glimpses of Him and His truth, they are drawn to Him.
I started reading David Platt’s “Something Needs to Change” the other day and while I haven’t gotten very far into it, I can tell it’s going to be something worth reading.
While leading a team on a week-long trek of the Himalayas, bestselling author and pastor David Platt was stunned by the human needs he encountered, an experience so dramatic that it “changed the trajectory of my life.” Meeting a man who’d lost his eye from a simple infection and seeing the faces of girls stolen from their families and trafficked in the cities, along with other unforgettable encounters, opened his eyes to the people behind the statistics and compelled him to wrestle with his assumptions about faith. In Something Needs to Change, Platt invites readers to come along on both the adventure of the trek, as well as the adventure of seeking answers to tough questions like, “Where is God in the middle of suffering?” “What makes my religion any better than someone else’s religion?” and “What do I believe about eternal suffering?” Platt has crafted an irresistible message about what it means to give your life for the gospel–to finally stop talking about faith and truly start living it.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
I’m hurting again. I’m exhausted…again. My body is in so much pain that I just want to give up. But I know I can’t. This is a daily battle. It’s a battle that rages constantly, pulling me down with it sometimes. I don’t always win. Today feels like one of those days.
Fibromyalgia. Why must it exist? Bipolar disorder…why must I suffer? I just want to be normal. What is normal though? Does it even exist?
I am not writing this in order to get you to feel sorry for me. Rather I’m writing to get my thoughts out, to express how I’m feeling. But due to brain fog I can’t find the right words to truly express how I’m feeling. I have to save this as a draft, walk away for a little while, then come back. Most of the time that works but today I’m struggling. My brain just doesn’t want to work today.
As I was writing this, Jamie Kimmett’s song “Burdens” came on. Coincidence? I think not! This is ALL GOD!
I don’t have to fight this battle alone. The Lord is with me. He wants me to lay my burdens down, to give everything to Him!
Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.
This virus is causing so much havoc in our lives. I lost my job temporarily because the mall I work in shortened their hours, causing Barnes and Noble to cut my shifts. So I’ll be filing for unemployment. Ugh what a mess!
I am actually getting over the flu. It’s been a long week, lol. I’ve been trying to stay away from my mom as much as I can because I’m worried about her getting sick. She’s 76. So I’ve self quarantined myself to my room. Luckily I have a DVD case FULL of movies and I have TONS of books to read.
I was reading Matthew 24 last night and came to this passage:
….His disciples came to him private and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?
Jesus told them, “don’t let anyone mislead you for many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Messiah. They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars but don’t panic.
Yes these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains with more to come.
Matthew 24:3-8 (NLT)
Y’all, this pandemic is just another sign that the end times are coming. And we must be prepared! We must be on alert!
Further in the same chapter, we read
When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away.
That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.
Matthew 24:37-39 (NLT)
A few verses down in verse 44, it tells us to be ready! “You also must be ready all the time for the son of Man will come when least expected. (NLT)
Honestly? Things are going to continue to get worse.
I don’t say this to scare you but to warn you!
We as believers can take heart though! John 16:33 tells us this:
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world!
John 16:33 (NLT)
None of this has been a surprise to God. No, He saw this coming way before we did.
This outbreak is perhaps just one more way for God to get our attention!
…Being a Disciple Costs Everything…AND HE IS WORTH IT!
Then He said to the crowd, “if any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily and follow me.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
Luke 9:23-24 (NLT)
What does “take up your cross daily” even mean?
To me, I think it means taking all the burdens you bear and giving it to Jesus. It means walking with Him through the good times AND the bad. When temptations come our way, we hold them up to Jesus and keep our focus on Him alone.
We are called to give up our selfish ways and look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God wants us to deny our own life and desires and pursue HIS life and desires.
To be a disciple of Jesus, we must learn that this world has nothing to offer us. No matter how pretty or shiny the thing the world tries to offer us we must refuse it and keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore since we are surrounded by such a huge crowed of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
A Call To Listen to God
Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refuse to listen to Moses the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from Heaven!
Hebrews 12:25 (NLT)
Being a disciple of Christ means listening to Christ when He speaks to us. By rejecting Him, we’re rejecting his love, his grace. We’re rejecting eternity with Him.
But by listening to Him, by accepting His love and grace we have a kingdom waiting for us that cannot be taken away.
Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshipping Him with holy fear and awe.
Hebrews 12:28 (NLT)
Our Eternal Home
You guys! This world is NOT our home. If you know Jesus as your personal Savior, you have so much to look forward to when Christ comes back. This worldly home is temporal. Our eternal home is with the One who created us, the one who loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we wouldn’t have to die in our sins! Because of His great love for us, because of the gift of salvation…we are free!
For this world is not our permanent home, we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Psalm 73:26 is one of my favorite verses. It says,
My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (NLT)
No matter what the doctors diagnose me with in the future, no matter what they’ve already diagnosed me with…it doesn’t matter because GOD remains a constant in my life. Like the verse says, He is MINE forever! I never have to worry about Him leaving me. I never have to worry about Him forsaking me. He is mine forever!
I had another MRI of my head on Monday. (Praise God I got through it…well, with some help from Lorazepam, LOL. No matter how many MRIs I have, the claustrophobia NEVER goes away!) Anyways, my new endocrinologist is checking to see if my pituitary tumor has returned. My prolactin levels indicate that it possibly has.
If it has, it has and we will work together to come up with the right treatment plan. These type of tumors are usually benign and will shrink with medication. It CAN be removed and I’ve been thinking about asking my doctor if that’s a plan we might come to. This type of surgery will require them to remove it……wait for it….through my nose! It’s much less invasive, obviously, than having brain surgery.
Most likely, we’ll try to treat it with medication but if it doesn’t shrink then surgery could be an option.
I’m not worried. God has me in His hands. He is allowing these health issues to keep me humble, to keep my eyes trained on Him, to remind me to lean on Him through it all. Can He heal me completely? Absolutely! But like Paul, I think this is my “thorn in the flesh,” And I’m fine with that now. I didn’t used to be. There were times in the past that I would just cry out to Him…begging Him to make me whole, begging Him to heal me.
One day I WILL be made whole! It may not be here on earth but oh…when I see Jesus face to face….that will be glory!
The Lord is the strength of my heart. He is Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals)
Look I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book! (NLT)
“People get ready!
Jesus is coming!
Soon we’ll be going home.”
–Crystal Lewis (song “People Get Ready…”)
I have so many family and friends who are lost. Who need the Lord in their life. They are blind to the fact that they are in need of Him. And it breaks my heart.
Yes, it breaks my heart but am I doing anything about it? Am I lovingly witnessing to these people often? Is my light shining for them to see?
I should want to see these people come to know the Lord! Where they spend eternity is crucial!
We should be on fire for the Lord, spreading his Gospel! There are countless souls who have never even heard the Good News. That needs to change.
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone TELLS them?
Romans 10:14 (NLT)
We must TELL them about Christ! We must be witnesses!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth!
Acts 1:8 (NLT)
We don’t know the exact hour Jesus will return but He IS coming! And we must be right with the Lord.
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
If you are familiar with the YouVersion app, you’ll know that they have different mini devotional plans you can follow. Currently I am reading the plan by Skip Heitzig called “What’s Next? Revelation Series” that takes me through the book of Revelation.
(Going through this plan has also made me want to reread the Left Behind series. So I’ve started book 1 once again. )
While we don’t know the day or the hour that the rapture will occur, (Matthew 24:36) it’s something I like to imagine will happen in my lifetime. (Though I’m probably wrong….) I would love to be alive when that trumpet sounds!
It’s like the lyrics from the song “Fly Away” by FFH says,
Okay you win, you caught me day dreaming again
About our sudden evacuation
Okay I give in, I can’t help but wondering
But it seems I can’t get enough information
Curiosity has got a hold of me
Tell me how it’s gonna be-when
One day I’ll see you coming back for me
And all together we’ll fly away yeah
One day I’ll hear that trumpet loud and clear
And all together we’ll fly away
Oh how I long for the day
When we’ll fly away
I can’t WAIT for the day when we get to meet our Savior face to face!
Matthew 24:44 tells us to be ready!
You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.
In 1 Thessalonians 4 (NLT) we read that the Lord will come down from Heaven with a commanding shout!
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God. First the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
Our lives here on earth are temporary! Our citizenship, our permanent dwelling place will be in Heaven, with the Lord God Almighty!
Paul tells us this in Philippians 3:20-21 (NLT)
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Always be ready for Christ’s return! It will happen in a “twinkling of an eye!”
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.
But I came across several verses in 2 Corinthians 4 that reminded me that our present troubles will not last very long. In verses 8-9 we read:
We are pressed on every side by troubles but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down but we are not destroyed.
Then further down in verses 16-18 we are told,
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever.
It’s so easy to feel sorry for ourselves, to have pity parties when things get rough. But God’s Word tells us that one day all our troubles will be gone. We will be forever in His presence where everything is perfect.
Also, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul reminds us that God’s grace is all we need.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Can God take away my health struggles? Absolutely! Will He? I don’t know. But what I do know is this: His grace is all I need.