Need You Now

Related imageI watched “I’m Not Ashamed” yesterday for like the 4th or 5th time. And as always, I bawled like a baby at the end.
I don’t know why I’m so drawn to Rachel Scott’s story but it really intrigues me.
In the movie there is a song called  “Need You Now (How Many Times)” by Plumb.  It’s a great song.  I urge you to listen to it when you can. And if you get a chance, watch “I’m Not Ashamed” It’s a great testimony to who Rachel was and what she stood for.
It will be 19 years on April 20th that Rachel went to be with her Lord and Savior. Her story continues to inspire many, myself included. Her love for Christ was evident. Here is an excerpt from her journals that were published not long after her death. She wanted to be different from her peers. A God fearing Christian. Not a “worldly Christian”Image result for rachel scott journals
Reading this posts the question: What kind of Christian do I want to be?
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
How many times have you heard me cry out
God please take this?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take
How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now

The Cost of Following Christ

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Matthew 16:24-26

If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a persons cannot be my disciple

Luke 14:26

Photo by Jake Blucker on Unsplash

HATE our parents? HATE our siblings? HATE ourselves? Did Jesus really mean that? Does Jesus really want us to HATE? Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Especially since one of the 10 Commandments tells us to “Honor our father and mother”

 

No, He doesn’t really mean for us to hate our loved ones. What He is trying to say is that our love for Him must be so much stronger than our love for family. Our love for Him must be so strong that it SEEMS like we hate our family. That we aren’t paying attention to them because we’re so devoted to God.

Today marks the 11 year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. Among one of those killed was a young woman named Lauren McCain who was a devoted follower of Christ. She was a woman of faith. She kept the faith and ultimately lost her life. But she is now in Heaven, face to face with our Savior. She is reaping the benefits of having kept Christ #1 in her life. There is a great book written about her life called Lifting Our Eyes: Finding God’s Grace Through the Virginia Tech Tragedy I highly recommend it.

Rachel Joy Scott @karlafabiolaOn April 20, it will mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings in 1999. There was a young girl named Rachel Scott who was the first person killed that horrific day. It’s been said that when Eric Harris approached her after having already shot her, he lifted her by her hair and asked her, “Do you still believe in God?” Rachel responded, “You know I do.” and Harris said to her “Then go be with Him.” and he shot her in the head. Rachel Scott never backed down from her faith. She remained faithful even at the point of her death.

In a booklet from the Discovery Series called Keeping the Faith: The Cost of Following Christ, we read about how following Christ will not be easy but it’s so worth it.

Jesus wasn’t asking his disciples to hate their families in the literal sense. He was challenging them to weigh the cost of discipleship and ask themselves if they were ready to make Him the Lord of their lives.

Basically, Jesus was asking this of his disciples, “How far are you willing to go to follow me? Are you ready to put me before your family? Are you prepared to give up everything you hold dear, including your life?”

Following Jesus won’t be easy. Jesus, himself, tells us this.

But in the end, it will be totally worth it when we come face to face with our Savior, who died a horrible death for us so that we might have eternal life.

Paul tells us in Philippians that “Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel. Without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed but that you will be saved–and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him. (Philippians 1:27-29)

“Not that I have obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

A person wearing jeans and a yellow coat holds a book while sitting on a wall in the snow.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

I consider following Jesus to be an honor and privilege. He lost his life so that I may receive life. He did it for me. He did it for you.  He did it for everyone!

 

Are you willing to sacrifice your life for Jesus?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Ashamed

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.

Masey McLain played Rachel in the movie and came out with a devotional based on the movie a few months ago. It’s really good. Is it full of theology and big words? No, it’s simple and to the point and that’s what I enjoyed about it. It was more of a “‘back to the basics” type of devotional because as she said sometimes ” we tend to forget them the most.”

Masey, like Rachel, wants 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 belovedcompassionate 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.”

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.