Bloom

God did not make you for the sake of existing. God made you with a purpose. He made you with the purpose of glorifying His name. God made you to shine the light he gave you. God made you to bloom. God made you to be amazing. He has plans for you you can’t even fathom. He has made you for so much more than this. Continue reading

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Act Like It

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Colossians 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Especially when I read it in The Message version [by the way! I totally recommend The Message. I love my NVI, and the KJV is the version in which I’ve memorized most verses, but when I want to get a clear picture of what God’s saying, I use The Message.]. And I absolutely love how Paul starts Colossians 3.

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.”

How do you act like it? Let’s break down Colossians 3:1-8

“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.”

(Colossians 3:1-4 MSG)

If you are a believer, yay! Your old life no longer exists. You have a brand-new life. Christ is your life. And if you’re serious about this life, act like it. Set your mind on things above. Not on what’s happening down here on earth. Not looking at things on Pinterest all day [guilty!]. Not spending a whole Saturday on Netflix. Not following celebrities’ lives. It’s not that those things are bad, it’s not that you should ignore them, but that you should focus on heaven. When those things take up a lot of your time, when they become a distraction, that’s when they can become harmful to your relationship with Christ. They can keep you away from spending time with Him, from seeking what is eternal. Because, you know, we’re spending the rest of our lives in eternity. We need to learn about God, about the place we’ll be in, and about what God’s plans are for us, among other things. We need to spend time reading God’s word, and not only reading it, but meditating on it as well. How can you prepare for the place you’ll be in for the rest of your life if you don’t read the guidebook? Spend time with God, reading his word, meditate on it, think about it. Apply it to your life. It will help you grow. Make time for it. Don’t let earthly things get in the way of your growth as a Christian.

How do you grow?

“And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.”

(Colossians 3:5-8 MSG)

I think these verses sum up that question really well. Stay away from what hinders your growth. Stay away from what was part of your old life. Out with the old. [In with the new. Goodbye clouds of gray, hello skies of blue. A dip in the pool…was I the only one who thought about High School Musical 2? Let’s pretend this didn’t happen.]

You can’t live a holy life when you are doing what you were doing in your old life. You know better now. I love how Lauren from The Fulltime Girl puts it:

“If we have truly chosen to be the Bride, why are we still living like we are single? Let’s say a girl got married. It was a beautiful wedding and they were so in love. However, the day after the marriage, she went back home to live with her parents. She slept in her old bed, and ate her parent’s food, and drove her parent’s car. Sure, she was married. She had taken his last name, but she wasn’t committed.

That is all too often what we do with Christ. We claim to be a “Christian” in name, and yet, we listen to the same music we used to listen to, watch the same old tv shows we used to watch, do and say the same old things we used to do when we were not ‘Christian.’ “

If you are a Christian, act like it. If Christ is in your life, act like it. You are not who you were. The old you is dead. The habits that characterized your old life don’t exist anymore. You’re holding yourself to new standards. You view your life in a new, different way because you have a new, different life. Set your mind on things above.

You are not who you were. Act like it.

What are your thoughts on Colossians 3?

This post is also in Spanish!

I Know You’re Out There: Love, Waiting, & a Poem

I share my [lack of] love story to tell you that you don’t have to rush into love. You don’t have to be desperate. You don’t have to settle for any guy. God is writing your love story. He knows what is best. Get to know Him. Make God your first love and he’ll do the rest. Pursue him. Continue reading

Grace

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This post is in Spanish!

My favorite word in the dictionary is “grace”. Its meaning, according to A.W. Tozer is, “the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving”.

Let me break it down for you.

Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.
Grace is unmerited favor.
Favor for those who do not deserve it.
As in you and me.

Grace means that God loves us no matter what. It means that no matter how many times we’ve messed up and let God down, He won’t stop loving us. Isn’t that amazing? (Amazing grace, get it? I’m so punny, I know.) Grace means that God loves us and is merciful towards us even though we don’t deserve it. We are sinners, we make mistakes, we mess up- and yet God loves us all the same.

And this is the best part- you can’t earn grace. You don’t deserve it, but God extends it to you anyway.

If you’re reading this, and if you’re understanding what I’m saying, you should be dancing around and jumping and singing because God is giving you the best gift that you could ever have.

Go on. Dance. I’ll wait.
Done? K.

Now, just because God loves us and extends his grace towards us, it doesn’t mean that we can continue to sin and think that He’ll forgive us later.

“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”
(Romans 6:1-7, NLT)

This doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes. It means that God’s grace should make us want to leave our sins behind, let God work in us and live lives that glorify Him. I love what Jenn Arman says about this: “The point of grace isn’t for us to live however we want because we know God will take us back. The point of grace is God’s acknowledgment of our humanity. God knows we aren’t perfect, but He expects us to patiently allow Him to work in our lives and constantly make us perfect”.

Let His grace work in you.

I’ll leave you with some of the most amazing lyrics ever:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

–John Newton

Isn’t grace amazing?

What are you willing to die for?

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Today during AP Literature class we were asked the following question: What, if anything, are you willing to die for?

This was my answer:

Am I willing to die for something I believe in? Am I willing to die for my belief in Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ died for me 2,000 years ago on a cross out of LOVE. I wasn’t even born yet. Nor were my parents, nor my grandparents, nor my great grandparents, nor my great-great-great-great grandparents, for that matter. And yet He died for them, too, simply out of love. He has shown grace and mercy towards me and that is something I cannot repay. And even though as a Christian I am facing and will face trials and tribulations due to my choice to believe in Jesus and all that He stands for, I still choose to live for Christ. And if it came to the point that I would have to die for believing in Him, I would gladly accept it. I am not afraid of dying. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Dying for Christ means meeting Him face to face and listening to Him say “well done”.

Am I willing to die for Jesus?
Heck yes.

I choose Jesus.

Times

One of my favorite songs by the band Tenth Avenue North is “Times”. My favorite lines of the song that inspired this doodle:

“My love is over, it’s underneath, it’s inside, it’s in between. The times you doubt me, when you can’t feel, the times that you question ‘is this for real?’. The times you’re broken, the times that you mend, the times you hate me and the times that you bend. The times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks, the times that you fell like you’re fallen from grace. The times you’re hurting, the times that you heal, the times you go hungry and are tempted to steal. In times of confusion, and chaos and pain, I’m there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame. I’m there through your heartache, I’m there in the storm. My love, I will keep you, by my power alone. I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where you have been. I’ll never forsake you. My love never ends. It never ends.”

His grace is always there to reach us. Because of God’s grace we are here. He has unending, limitless love for us. He is always present. God is always there, in every situation we find ourselves in. When we’re worn, when we’re broken and hurt, even when we question and doubt His goodness, He is there with arms wide open, ready to pour His love on us. God is there all the time.

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