Saturday, May 10, 2014

in great {need}

"I am crazy screwed up.
And my only hope is my Jesus." -anything by Jennie Allen

That was the phrase that Jennie Allen decided should have been written on her forehead.  I think that would have fit perfectly on mine as well.  I am so messed up, so in need- in desperate need.

Sometimes when I read the Word I get this feeling, this conviction that I have been doing it all wrong.  The very sin that Jesus has saved me from has been covered up by my own pride, my own "righteousness"- as if the blood of Jesus simply wasn't doing a good enough job at covering my sin.  It doesn't matter what "good" I do, I will never be able to pay for all that I have done against my Father.  The issue is that even though I know I have been ransomed for, I have been graced, I have been pardoned, I still try to cover up all that Christ has done with things that I have done.  

When Jesus drew close to the society-proclaimed sinners and rebuked the Pharisees, it seems that my life would match up more with the hypocritical, self-glorified Pharisees.  My life should be rebuked by the Messiah.  Yet Jesus is still doing work in my heart, He is greater than my sin, my pride, my selfishness, my poor attempts to cover up, my shallowness, my dishonesty, my lust, my greed, my judgmental heart, my inabilities to measure up.  HE IS GREATER.

I am in need and He satisfies that need.

Today I am thanking God for His deep forgiveness, and for His love that drew me (and continues to draw me) near in the midst of my unworthiness.

Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5

Friday, May 2, 2014

Here&{now}

It has been a busy few months, and I apologize for my absence. But it has been a growing time for me too, full of change and trials.  Since my last post my family has since received our next assignment- we will be headed to Arlington National Cemetery in DC this June after my graduation. Then, I will head back south to Z'oranges, Haiti for about 5 days to help with a Teachers Conference... Then I will head to NW Haiti for about a month to work in a medical clinic for deliveries and premature babies... Then I will head to DC for a couple of days until I relocate to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute.  Needless to say, these next couple of months are going to be even busier than the last few that I've had (is that even possible?).  And as I look forward to these upcoming events, I am so completely excited to see what God has planned for every moment.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in this busy lifestyle that has engulfed our culture. I was reminded of this on Wednesday when I got a call from my school district at 4:30 am to inform me that school was going to be closed due to the inclement weather that has flooded our town. Wednesday was supposed to be my last day of high school, but because it was closed, Tuesday ended up being my last day and I had no idea at the time. While this wasn't a near-death experience, it made me think about how many people plan their lives, looking forward to the upcoming years without any concern for their current day. How many of us are already starting retirement funds so that once we turn 60, we can waste about 30 years of our lives vacationing and playing golf? It's the pinnacle of American society: plan your life, get as wealthy as possible, high status is a must, image is everything.  And as much as I am excited about graduating from high school, I am so burdened for my peers as they are being thrown into college life where this American Dream rules and dissatisfaction lingers.  I am so burdened for my friends who claim to know Christ but have knee-deep relationships... So they will continue to strive to serve two gods- Jesus and the world.  We can only choose one. You can't have the world and Jesus, it does not work.  I can't possibly strive to serve Jesus Christ while also serving idols, one has to be pushed aside or each get a half-hearted servant with shallow devotion.  And if we think that's acceptable, let me remind you that Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:16 that He spits lukewarm believers out of His mouth.  It's distasteful to Him to see people, His people that He died for, living lives engulfed in the passions of this world.

So as I continually strive to make Christ my sole passion, I am committing to living in the here and now.  Every day is a new beginning, every hour is a fresh start, every moment is an opportunity to share His sacrifice.  There is no time to waste on the idols of this world- there is an urgency in spreading the Gospel.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the LORD a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.  (2 Peter 3:8, NIV)