November 28, 2016

Not Another Fan

Photo by Naypong
at freedigitalphotos.net
I don't want to be just another fan.

There...I said it. I have been a fan of Jesus, but not always a true follower. Now I know that my friends and family would argue that, but if I truly search my heart, in some areas of my life I have been just another fan.

I saw on Facebook a book that my sister-in-law Elizabeth posted. They are starting up a study based on this book Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman and I was curious. I looked it up on Amazon and promptly ordered it. I started it this morning and am halfway through.

It's not easy reading, as I have had to examine my heart and my motives against the challenges that Jesus set forth to his disciples and the crowds that followed Him. Yikes.

You see, a fan is excited about their team until the team begins to falter. When tough times comes, the fan becomes disillusioned and becomes a fan of the next great team.

A follower on the other hand doesn't give up God when the going gets tough.

A follower counts the cost....and there will be a cost...and steps out in faith regardless.

A follower is excited about God and His mission in this world.

A follower is full of the Spirit, and is aware of His presence.

While I have been able to say yes at times to all of these, I have been lukewarm a good part of the time. I get weary. I become afraid of what others think. I get tired of Satan's attacks and give up on my zeal for the Lord.

I want a close relationship with God. I want to fear God and give Him the honor, respect, and reverence He is due. I want to live a life of love for God and for others. I want to be used by Him. I want to surrender to Him completely...wholeheartedly...unashamedly.

Oh God, the cry of my heart is I want to follow You. 

I don't want to be just another fan.


November 02, 2016

Trials, Faith, and Pushing Through

Photo by George Stojkovic at Freedigitalphotos.net
You know it's coming. It always does.

Things are going well and life seems to be rolling along with a smile on its face, but you know things are going to change. Good things can be happening...encouraging and uplifting things, and yet all it takes is one downer to make you lose sight of all the good and focus on that one depressing thing.

Discouragement hits you like a dump truck, piling the questions and doomsday
scenarios upon your head. Fear begins to leak into your soul and you wonder if you are really up for all this trouble again.

But Lord, I am following You. I've dedicated my life to being in Your service. Why does it have to be so hard?

You know the answer right? You've heard it preached. You've read it in the Bible. You've seen it played out in the lives of good people everywhere.

We are not promised an easy life. In fact, we are promised the opposite. Jesus says outright, "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16:33)

Okay, so how do we deal with all this trouble?

We focus on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

We remember that these troubles develop our character and refine us to become more like Jesus. (Romans 5:3-5)

We recognize that these trials help grow our faith. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

We thank the Lord that He gives us the strength we need to endure. (Philippians 4:13)

Good things to remember, don't you think?

 I wrote this for me - to help me remember God is with me, loves me, and will never leave my side.

I feel better already.


What do you do to remind yourself of God's presence in the midst of hardship?


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