A Willing Vessel

Guys, when I was a freshmen in college I vividly remember writing and turning in my very first composition. We all know I love to write, we all know I’m kind of nerdy, and we all know I wanted a good grade.

I came out swinging big time when I wrote the word ‘kinda’ in the very first sentence, or at least I thought. That was back when we still wrote compositions with a pen and notebook paper.

You can imagine the amount of red ink that the professor scratched and circled and underlined all across the top of my paper when he discovered that his student wrote “that” word in a literary composition.

Ouch.

I’m from a small town in Texas, and that’s how I speak. I didn’t think anything was wrong with writing the word ‘kinda’ until it was pointed out to me in blazing, red letters at the top of my C- paper.

C-, guys.

God’s funny, y’all. I’m writing a book. A real book that’s going to be in Barnes & Noble. That’s literally my favorite store on the face of the planet. I am still completely and utterly humbled every time I think about it.

I’ve said all that to say this, God doesn’t care if you are a C- student; He just cares that you’re a willing vessel.

And that’s kinda cool.

“20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[a] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:20-22 (ESV)

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You are God’s Girl

Because of Jesus I lack nothing.

And neither do you. It’s time to see yourself as Jesus sees you, and He thinks you’re awesome.

He doesn’t want us to be conceited, but He does want us to be confident in Him. He has given us exactly what we need to be exactly who He needs us to be. We just have to dig deep and unlock our true potential.

How?

It takes time. It takes studying God’s word. It takes a concerted effort of opening the door to your heart and mind every single day. It takes falling in love with Jesus, so that you are able to fall in love with His creation – yourself.

When you fill your mind with God’s truths and allow Him to fully take over your thoughts, you will start to see things through His eyes. You will see a broken but beautiful soul. You will look at what was once a big ol’ heap of ashes and see beauty.

Today I want you to remember these very true words: You are enough because God is enough, and you are His girl.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NIV)

Freedom in Christ

Freedom in Christ.

The power that those three words encompass is almost unfathomable.

The part of Christianity that boggles my mind the most is the fact that we still get a choice. The fact that the God of this universe sacrificed His only son on an old wooden cross for me, but still allows me to choose if I’m going to follow Him or not – it’s crazy to my feeble mind.

But this act of true love paints the most beautiful portrait of the freedom that the God of the universe wants us to experience.

As Christians, God is standing before us with outstretched arms. In one hand He holds freedom and in the other hand love. We just have to be brave enough to walk up to Him and take what is ours. In essence, to be free we have to surrender.

The freedom and love that God is offering us is interchangeable. Because He loves us he allows us the freedom to choose. Because of His freedom we are able to truly love.

I’m so thankful for a God that breaks strongholds. Im so thankful for a God that is stronger than any addiction, any sin, any hurt, and any chain that’s trying to hold us down. I’m so thankful for a God that bursts our hearts and lives wide open in the most beautiful way.

I’m thankful for my freedom in Christ. The freedom to choose Him every single day. The freedom to love. The freedom to walk in a way that is pleasing to the very God that created us. It’s our choice, guys. I choose Him.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV)

The Mother of Moses

Jochebed.

The mother of Moses.

She put her baby in a basket and sent him down the Nile River. I wonder what that felt like. I wonder what thoughts were running through her head. I wonder what the other moms thought and said about her. I bet the whole predicament made her absolutely sick to her stomach.

Can you imagine?

She was in a hopeless situation and didn’t see any other way out. She didn’t have a choice. Her love for her son was more important than her love for herself. When a mother is in a desperate situation she will do just about anything to save her child regardless of what anyone else thinks. That’s her baby.

So she did what she had to do to save his life. She put him in a basket. She placed the basket in the river, and she placed her trust in God’s hands.

We know how this story ends. Moses led God’s people out of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and eventually he received the Ten Commandments – because of a praying, believing, fearless, and loving mother.

Thank God for Jochebed. Thank God for her faith. Thank God for her love. And thank God for the compassion that Bithiah (Pharoah’s daughter) showed that sweet, helpless baby floating down the river.

“5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” Exodus 2:5-6 (KJV)

Mistakes

Sometimes it’s hard to love people through their mistakes. We live in a black and white world. Right and wrong. Mistakes are made in an instant but remembered for a lifetime.

But then I remember.

I remember the countless mistakes that I’ve made. I remember the times that I didn’t fully comprehend the repercussions of what I was doing and the lasting affects that said mistakes would have on others – not just myself.

As a young Christian mistakes were made. As a growing Christian – mistakes are still made. I’m not trying to make an excuse for the fact that we are human and that sin is inevitable – I’m just trying to say we should remember what it feels like to be on the receiving end of grace and how very important that grace is.

When mistakes are made there are inescapable consequences that linger – often for a lifetime. However, I would have to think that those lingering consequences shouldn’t be from other imperfect people’s daily and repetitive persecution of the accused.

We need to remember the grace that Jesus offers day in and day out to us. Over and over. One mistake after another.

Thank You God for grace.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Christianity

The initial giving of your heart, mind, and soul to Jesus is an amazingly pivotal moment in the young Christian’s life – but that’s only the beginning.

Christianity is a lifelong commitment to the one who sacrificed everything for us. Christ’s days spent on Earth portrayed a life of servanthood and selfless love to a lost and dying world.

His final days were spent in total mockery and brutality. In essence, to save the very men that were delivering him to his death was – and is – the greatest act of humility and love to ever grace the presence of all mankind.

Living for Christ is an honor that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Dying to oneself every single day isn’t an easy feat; however, as we draw closer to Christ He will give us the strength we need to fulfill the mission that He has set before us.

He will become more evident in our thoughts, our speech, our choices, and the love that we outwardly show to our brothers and sisters. His presence will guide our every move.

But it’s a choice. It’s a daily, intentional choice that will lead us to a place of joy, peace, and contentment that we’ve never felt before. I’m here to testify that it’s the best choice you will ever make.

Choose God. Choose life. Choose love.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

Let God love You

God sees you.

He knows you.

He loves you.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

He sees your mistakes, and He still loves you.

He sees your ugly, and He still thinks your beautiful.

He sees your brokenness, and He will make you whole. In fact, He would love nothing more than to start putting the pieces of your heart back together.

You can’t make Him not love you. That’s a lie straight from the devil. Nothing you’ve done is too small or too big for God to forgive. Go ahead and get that out of your head.

Let God love you, guys. You are worthy. You are His.

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15