Living Sacrifice

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12:1).

In some religions, the follower is asked to die in the name of their god. This is how they live out what they believe. They are asked to sacrifice themselves (or someone else). To which, there is no words – only heartache.

It is different for those who have trusted in Jesus as our Savior and Lord. When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, our new life begins. We are forever His! Christianity brings us into relationship with our God and Creator, through His Son Jesus Christ!

Living Sacrifice

We are asked to become a living sacrifice, in view of God’s mercies who through His Son Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day to give us new life. The debt we owed has been paid in full!

While some may ask their members to sacrifice themselves “for the cause,” we are urged to do something very differently. We are urged to come and follow Jesus Christ, not religion. It is a relationship with the Most High God!

It Is Done!

God’s Son Jesus Christ has accomplished the work we could never complete. He is the One who has saved us. It is not about what we could do in the name of religion, but what has been done for us! “In view of God’s mercies, offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”

Highest Aim

Do you want to honestly please God? This is the KEY to doing so.

Give yourselves to God, through His Son Jesus Christ! Answer Jesus’ call to “come follow Me” and allow Him to make our burdens light (Matthew 11:28-30).”

Choose to live a holy life based on the Bible and keep following our Savior and King – even when temptation does come. It is where we find eternal life, freedom, and peace. When we choose to glorify God, we are seeking to please and obey Him (even when we do it imperfectly)

Holy (Set Apart) Living

Meeting with Jesus each day is an important of following Jesus. By doing so, I am placing myself in the right spiritual environment to worship Him and continually follow Him through the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with others who are following Jesus too.

Each day, we can choose to follow Him. His mercies are made new each morning. And He offers us His companionship, forgiveness, and amazing love.

There is no substitution for our relationship with Jesus Christ!

It is choosing to trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and King of our lives. And, this is how we will please Him.

This is the worship we can seek.

The Valuable

I know the value of words.

I know the value of speaking up.

I know the value of sharing my experiences to help others.

I know how it can impact others, by not sharing the words God gives me to speak

I know how it can impact others, by not sharing what God has and is doing in my own life.

This is why I can’t wear a mask.

I can’t be fake.

The people around me are much too valuable for any of that.

God deserves my best. Sometimes, that best means sharing. It isn’t things that make folks comfortable. It is the hard stuff. God requires my obedience- complete obedience. God sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. He rose on the third day. God wants us to share the very power of God. He wants to give us abundant life!

We cannot withhold the good, the beautiful, our testimony….Even the things like chronic illness, brokenness, addictions, bad relationships, past experiences, etc. Even that deserves sharing, because God is definitely working in our midst and teaching us all the while.

Think about it! <3

As the body of Christ, what do we want to be about? Do you want to have the blessings that God wants to pour over you? Then, we need to allow others to share how God is working in their lives. No judgment passed. No ignoring them, or choosing to look past them. But, let’s really listen. We, as a community of believers, cannot afford to be selfish about what we do or don’t want to hear. Allow God full authority to speak into our lives. We need to truly desire to hear from God!

Disciples of Nations

I am coming to a place of realizing that it’s about more than ‘fishin’ for people’. It’s more than witnessing. It’s more than words. It’s more than actions. It’s more than bringing people to Jesus Christ. It is more. It is so much more than all that. It all comes together! Jesus reminds us that it is so much more. It commands that it be so much more:

“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

As an introvert, I may do that differently. My life is a testimony. I may not walk right up to random stranger, and say something an extrovert would say. The bigger picture I learned yesterday is that desire to see people come to Jesus has to be greater than the fear/anxieties I wrestle with. Today, that reminder is discipling, building community, and edifying the body of Christ has be so much bigger than those same fears and anxieties.

I found a Bible verse today that I am barely understanding. I would say I have never seen the verse before, but I probably have. I probably skipped over it. Not realizing its significance, because I am human and that stuff happens. It is only through these last few days of going to share my faith in action not so much words, that I am being given understanding and can appreciate it. In 2 Corinthians 2, we are called to spread Christ’s fragrance everywhere. From right where we are to wherever He takes us. Begin today. Trusting Him to take control, give us the right words, work in others’ hearts. He is all powerful! He can do all this, and so. much. more.

As I said, today’s reminder is this applies to discipleship, building up my community of fellow believers, and taking new risks to put myself in a place where I can build up the body of Christ (even joining new small groups, etc). As an introvert, those risks are serious. They are dangerous. As a Christian, we are called to “count the cost” of following Jesus. As I count the cost (feeling uncomfortable, anxiety, and fears), I know He is greater. Scripture says, we are to be courageous and strong. The only way we can do that is by reaching the end of ourselves, and reaching out to God- placing our trust in Him!

A really good teaching that is helping me is one called “Dangerous” by Chris Walton (from July 27th, 2014). Check it out. It may help you also. We all have new ways we need to be challenged in our walk with Christ. Challenged to share our faith with others, to learn about Jesus Christ ourselves to understand His sacrifice and He paid our price, and His undying love for us, to be more consumed with Him than our fears, and seeking to build up the body of Christ.

Last but certainly not least: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.”

Fisher of People

Far too often, we let our emotions stop us from things. As an introvert, I have developed this “protective layer”. A lot of times when I speak, the words don’t come out right. They fumble out. I wonder if I was understood. In times of anxiety, many words begin popping out as I try to explain more and more…and it’s things that don’t need any additional explanations. It is just learning to accept and take social interaction as it comes. From my own experience, that “protective layer” of fear has stayed for far too long. Fear of rejection. Fear of miscommunication. Fear of being misunderstood. Those fears are big enough all on their own.

For five days, I spent my days at a friend’s house on a ‘staycation’. I spent my time spending time  with my Creator, sorting through my thoughts, processing my identity, and the frustrations of my identity- the very thing that is part of how God created me. I am wired differently. God made me who I am with a great purpose in mind. I am coming more to a place of trading the lies and guilt of who I am not, for the truth of who I am.

I am an introvert. Others may have their own opinion about me. I am someone who faces chronic illness. Others may have their own opinion about me. But, their opinion is not that of God. God loves me. I am accepted in His eyes. I am chosen by God. God has redeemed me, through the blood and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ!

Fisher of Men

“Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”

Now as a Christian, I want to see others come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I want them to experience the eternal joy and peace that only He can give them. I want them to know how He can satisfy their aching, longing hearts. I genuinely want this. I want to learn to love my neighbors and be a witness- to how God’s love and compassion for me can change everything when I came to Him.

Part of the transformation process:

I am learning to overcome anxiety.
It’s ridiculously easy to let anxiety or fear play the center part.
And, I hate conflict.
Conflict happens.
We live in a fallen world.
I believe I want to guard myself from that however possible.
But, I do not need to fear conflict or anything else.

My own questions

Is the anxiety, fear, and other things greater than my desire to see others come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and see His freedom and abundant life in their own lives? I don’t believe so. I know the passion I have to see others come  to know Christ and all He has to offer is greater!

How can I, an introvert, love others, bless others, minister to others, and share the Gospel in everyday life with others? What gifts can I be utilizing that I am keeping to myself?

How can I pursue deep fellowship and community? How could I be more about looking for opportunities to disciple others- teaching others God’s truth? How could I be more about pursuing God’s Kingdom?

All of this is something to pray on, because I know God has already equipped me for this. He has made my personality and all my traits as it is for a reason, for His purposes, to bring glory to Himself! He will use me to help others know more about Him, as long as I remain willing.