Browsing Category: Faith

Glory

We read, and I have heard often that God has intrinsic glory. It is a part of him; it is who he is. There is nothing we can do to take away from it, or add to it. Gods glory is infinite; there is no such thing as wanting more glory, it is unchanging.

So why were were created to glorify God? If He is glory, just as He is love, then why does God need his creation to glorify Him? 1 Chronicles 16:29 states:

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!

Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

We have a command to glorify God. He does not have a desire for more glory from us to boost His ego. God does not need this glory. There is nothing He needs from his creation. The glory that we give God is unlike the glory that He is. The glory we give is not infinite, it can increase and decrease. I believe the way that we show glory to God is one of our greatest tools in showing unbelievers that God is real and that we are all accountable to Him.

What is glorifying to God? I think it is glorifying to God to aim at His glory, but I believe it is one thing to aim at His glory and another to add to it. God has to be the ultimate end to all we do. How do we aim at Gods glory and how do we add to it? I think we aim at His glory when we want Gods glory to come above our own credit, or relations. We aim at His glory when we are content to let His will take place, even if it crosses with our own desires and plans. We aim at His glory when we are okay with being outdone by others through gifts so that His glory can be increased.

How can we glorify God practically and in our every day lives? There are so many ways we can do this. We glorify God if we are obedient to Him, when we praise Him, when we pray to Him in His sons name, when we put Him first in our lives, when we use our gifts that were given by Him, and we glorify Him when we stand up for His truths. Those are just a few ways that we can glorify God.

I desire to give glory to God in everything that I do, whether it be great or small. God is so magnificent, and I am ashamed of all the times I have failed to give glory to Him. I should never want anything but to give Him glory and to glory in the cross.

A New Year

I have been pondering about what I wanted to write for my first post of 2012. Did I want to go the obvious route and do a “New Years Resolutions” post, or did I want to stop blogging all together… I couldn’t decide. I think the first post I ever posted was in April of 2008, so on December 30, 2011 I decided I would shut down my blog. I never actually did it, and now here I am writing the post that prompted me to shut down my blog (won’t be doing that after all). I won’t be writing about New Years resolutions, but I do want to open up a bit of my heart and let those of you who read this know what I have been discovering and going through in the last years.

Before I started writing today I looked through all my previous posts and started to delete certain ones. I was embarrassed, and I saw a lot of negativity that I was not proud of. After deleting numerous posts I realized that I had grown since then. Not only had I grown, but I came out of what I now realize was a pretty dark place. I am quiet and I would also consider myself to be a pretty shy person and I realize how much easier it would have been for me had I admitted the feelings of depression and darkness to someone. I decided to write today to give God the Glory for the change in my life. There is no way that I would be where I am today without His intervention. As I mentioned earlier I suffered silently. I am sure those close to me and those around me sensed it, but it wasn’t something I opened up about. There are really no words that I can say other than words of thankfulness to The One that created me.

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

I remember so many nights where I would sit in bed and quote every verse that was dear to me, anything that would offer me hope for the next hour. God is true to His word, and I felt His strength more than ever during some of my darkest hours. I know that God was trying to teach me something, but at the time my lightbulb just would not turn on.

How did I come out of the darkness I felt? There isn’t a short way to write it, but I will try. I realized that as a born again believer in Christ that I could not base my life on my emotions. I needed to base my life on Gods truth and not my feelings. James 1:2-3 says:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

I think that James is not telling or commanding us to feel super joyful during these rough places, but rather to chose to think about your situation as a place where you can have joy. (I am not sure how to put into words what I mean)

Choosing to trust truth from God rather than my own feelings proved to require a lot of faith on my part, but God was my strength and I was able to give it to Him and learn to live by faith. A lot of people speak of faith as if it is some sort of vague hope that God will pull you through, but it is not like that at all. When I let go of my own pride and started to fully rely on God I finally saw the power He had. The power and strength I felt in Christ was unbelievable. It is not something I can comprehend. We really serve an awesome God.

I want to give God the glory for the healing He has done in my life. I hope that me sharing my experience can be an encouragement to you if this is something you struggle with, and I pray that this post will draw you to Christ or closer to Him, because that is the goal… to have more people turn to Christ in repentance.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

-Ephesians 3:20-21

Beauty

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths . These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of  life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. 

-Elizabeth Kubler Ross

 

I love that quote, and it is something that I will always strive to be, but I always feel that the quote is missing something important… God. I want God to be the one to give me an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills me with love, compassion, and gentleness that enables me to help others wherever I am, and in my every day life. I have known some level of defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss, but I have never been able to find my way out of all of that without Christ. He is my ever present help, and He is the only reason that I will ever be able to come forward in beauty.

I often realize how much effort goes into physical beauty; clothes, hair, makeup, dieting ect. I am not saying that all of that is wrong, but I do believe that way too much emphasis is put on physical beauty.  People might try and tell me that I am just saying this because of  my physical attributes, and that is fine. I fully believe that God gave us our physical bodies  and that He intended for us to take care of them to the best of our abilities, and I try to do so.  Lately I have just felt God giving me a desire to strive more towards becoming beautiful through Him and my relationship with Him.

I hope that one day God will bless me with a husband if that is His will for me, and that the man He may bless me with will see the beauty I have through Christ. I want everything I do be glorifying to my Saviour and I hope to one day share that with someone. I know that without Christ working through me I cannot have the gentle and quiet spirit I need to be the person I want to be. I  want to serve my Saviour in a glorifying manner in all that I do no matter what it is, be it living my single life or sharing my life with someone . I want to focus on God and let Him be the center of my life and the reason for my beauty.

[Just a note: I had an extremely difficult time getting the words I was typing to match the ones in my head. I hope it makes enough sense.]

Repost: Jesus Cries

I am reposting this blog post that I wrote in 2008 because as I was reading it again I was struck by my own words, and the comfort I found in them then I found again tonight. I am by no means suggesting that this is how things unfolded at the grave of Lazarus, but it is how my mind somewhat imagines it.

*******************************************

“Jesus wept”  one of the shortest verses in the Holy Bible, found in John 11:35. One noun and one verb – the sentence could not be simpler; yet, the complexities of its meaning defy human comprehension. The realization that He wept is always something that speaks to me and intrigues me. Jesus our Savior crying, why? Although I cannot fathom as to what our Lord must have felt in the moment that this verse speaks of; I have found those 2 words so encouraging this last week.

Jesus stood in the midst of the people mourning the death of Lazarus. He heard their cries of pain and loss, as the stench and ugliness of death engulfed Him Lazarus had died four days ago. It must have been a chilling scene. In the midst of this dark moment of weeping and sorrow, Jesus felt intense pain, in the loss of His friend and we are told that He groaned in the spirit and that He was troubled (John 11:33) and then He wept. I ponder the moment of my Savior crying at the grave of Lazarus, I seek to understand the reasons for His grief.

An important point to remember: throughout this ordeal, Jesus knew that, in a matter of minutes, He was going to be raising Lazarus from the dead.  John 11:4speaks of Jesus acknowledging that it would all be for the glory of God, and that the Son of God would be glorified through it. He was aware that He would be performing a miracle. If Jesus knew that Lazarus would soon be alive again, why the tears? Why would He feel such deep sorrow just before He was due to perform a joyous miracle?

I believe that Jesus felt a deep love for Lazarus and all mankind, and when you love someone, you empathize with that person’s pain. This verse speaks volumes of the extraordinary love of Jesus Christ for each soul that He created. He felt the heartbreak of those around Him. Such feelings would be painful enough, but I believe His pain and sorrow went even deeper than that single moment in time.

The heart of Jesus was sensitive in itself, but He was also aware of the thoughts of all the mourners around Him. We are told often throughout the bible that Jesus perceived the thoughts of those who were near Him. He felt the pain we all feel when someone we love dies or when we see others suffer, but, I believe, that pain was multiplied many times over as He also felt the pain of the dozens of people surrounding Him. It was as if the grief of each person present was laid upon the heart of Jesus. The heavy burden of their anguish would have been agonizing to the loving heart of Christ. Jesus was being bombarded by an incredible, overwhelming sense of loss that brought Him to tears.

This sense of loss He felt for Lazarus’ death was intensified as He considered the impact of death on mankind. This was just one situation out of countless millions throughout the world and across centuries — in which death seemed to be declaring a victory. Jesus had come to this earth to bring life, to trample death underfoot, and to bring eternity into the hearts of men and women. Yet, here He stood, observing the power death still had on men. The depth of His sorrow must have spanned the ages, past and future, and He wept for every soul who would ever lose a loved one to death.

After the display of Jesus’ humanity, love and empathy He spoke the words “Lazarus Come Forth!”. Jesus conquered death through His sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary. The resurrection and eternal life in heaven are promises for all who believe on His Holy Name.

As long as we live on this earth, we will be subject to all the sadness that surrounds us. It may not be something as final as death. But we all go through times that we feel sad and we just want to cry. To me the most comforting thought is that Jesus knows when I am sad and I believe He still feels our pain like He felt the pain of the people mourning Lazarus’ death. I truly believe that Jesus empathizes when we cry, and He picks us up in His loving arms and we feel His precious love anew again.