enough


All of You is more than enough

For all of me, for every thirst and every need

You satisfy me with Your love and all I have in You

Is more than enough.

(Enough, Chris Tomlin)

 

Have you ever tried to survive by just drinking water?  You can have as much water as you want, but you can only have water.  Nothing else—no food or other drinks.  Just water.  Or have you tried to survive by living off of only one specific food?  Like only bread, or only rice?  Probably not, unless you’re doing a 30-hour famine.  We know that it’s nearly impossible to eat or drink only one thing and be healthy.  The human body needs a variety of nutrients in order to be healthy.

The same is true for our souls.  Have you been trying to live off of only one aspect of God?  Maybe you’ve only accepted the part of God that forgives.  Maybe you only accept God if you forget about the side of Him that says to honor Him in everything you do—not just Sundays and youth group.  Or maybe you are okay with God in everything except loving your enemies.

But the truth is that we need all of God to be spiritually healthy.  True, some things about God don’t look appealing at first glance; such as we need to actively serve Him otherwise we aren’t truly following Him.  Or that we need to have faith when everything is falling apart and God seems to be nowhere close because He is faithful even when we can’t see Him.  Or those who are “good people” but haven’t accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour won’t receive the eternal reward.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(2 Corinthians 12:9a)

God says that His grace is sufficient for us.  It’s enough for us to live our spiritual lives off of.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

(Romans 3:23 – 24)

We are all justified by the grace of God.  We are made whole through Him.  If we accept all of God, He will accept all of us, just as we are.  It’s not enough to just accept a part of God.  It’s all or nothing:

 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

(Revelation 3:15 – 16)

God requires the whole of us and He requires that we put our faith in all of Him, not just the areas that suit our needs.  He is enough for us.  Is that true in your life?

Jesus swagger


Recently, I’ve discovered (via facebook) this website by Jarrid Wilson: jesusswagger.com. It’s awesome pictures of awesome stuff…you should just check it out. : ) It’s all facebook-postable, twitter-tweetable, pinterest-pinnable, and email-mailable. Each quote has a corresponding Bible verse or explanation too. Here’s a taste of what you’ll see when you visit the website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!! (Canada!)

Blessings!

it’s who I am


In the Christian environment that many of us experience, whether that is church, school, or work, we are encouraged to be imitators of Christ. On the other hand, the world tends to tell us two things: be perfect (fashion, etc.) and, more recently, to just “be yourself!” The world’s sense of being yourself and “standing out” include standing up for what’s right (which is great), not caring what about what anyone says about you (ignoring gossip mills — again, great), and wearing what fits your style, not anyone else’s (again…great).

So often, though, the world tells us to be different in things that don’t really matter. Media tells us that voicing our own opinions matters, that wearing what we want matters, that just…being ourselves is what matters. At a glance, this seems harmless. And if all you’re doing is wearing what you want to wear, that’s pretty harmless; there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you observe more closely what the world seems to tell everyone, you’ll realize that the world is really telling you to live for you. Wear what you want, do what you want, be who you want.

Many Christians have chosen to combine Christianity (imitators of Christ) with the world’s message of you being you (different, unique, etc.) and it looks totally okay. After all, Jesus didn’t blend in; he stood out. Jesus didn’t go with the flow. In fact, he went against the current and broke down social barriers. Which is great! God doesn’t call us to be one with the world; he actually tells us to be in the world, not of it.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

2 Corinthians 10:3

Nothing I’ve said so far is really wrong. Wearing the clothes you choose to wear, etc. is okay! There’s nothing sinful about that.

What I’m talking about is more along the lines of “this is me, everyone needs to get used to it. If they don’t like who I am, that’s their problem.”

This is not a Christian attitude. I’m talking about Christians who are rather opinionated and don’t mind letting others know. I have heard some say that it’s “just who I am.”

I know that we need to accept people for who they are, and I’m not saying that we should judge other people.

What I am saying is that being harsh in the name of Christ isn’t okay.

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.

Titus 3:1 – 2

It’s one thing to stand up for what’s right, but it’s quite another to be inconsiderate of other’s feelings and be harsh with them. Let’s face it — no one is perfect, or ever will be. But we as Christians should strive to demonstrate the same loving-kindness that Jesus did in his ministry. Jesus never ran after the Pharisees yelling, “You bunch of sinners! Follow me or you’ll go to hell!” No. He instead showed the love of God to them (although he did sometimes use harsh words with them out of righteous anger at their pride, but again — he never cut them down as people but rather showed them where they were wrong kindly, in the hopes of gaining their repentance). Similarly with other people, he never sat there telling them what was wrong with them, or was inconsiderate of their feelings. He did quite the opposite, actually. He talked with people, got to know them. Showed them love.

God calls us to be loving:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

2 Peter 1:5 – 7

(Check out 1 Corinthians 13 to see what love is: patient, kind, etc.)

God calls us to be different for him; we need to be different with the intent of bringing glory to his Name. Being opinionated and harsh with others will not bring glory to him. If we truly desire to please him, we will allow the meek loving-kindness of God to shine through us, pointing to his presence in our lives. Ask God to use you and help you practice meekness and love in everything you do. He will!

years to treasure


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about teenagers. I go to school and see so many teens wasting their time, it seems, heartbroken over a lost “love,” coming up with ways to get back at those who hurt them, trying to keep up their marks and all the while working to afford post-secondary education…and their iphones.

I look around, and I don’t see teens going that deep; focusing on what really matters. Girls are too obsessed trying to get guys’ attention but be secure in who they are, while guys are too obsessed with x-box. COD. Halo. Whatever.

It’s sad, really.

Have you ever thought what it’ll feel like to be thirty years old and look back on your teen years and go, “Wow. I did nothing…I wish I had done so much more while I had the chance. Before life got really crazy. Before I had 50 million responsibilities”? Not many people have. I’m not saying you should take a step back and know you’ll live to regret your life; I’m saying that you should use these years to your advantage.

I often say to my mom, “Teenage years are often harder than a lot of adults think.” What I mean is this: sure, the problems of the average youth may seem trivial to adults since they’ve already gone through them and faced bigger things, but it’s when you’re trying to get into college/university, trying to decide what to do with your life, getting your first part-time job, getting your driver’s license, and all the while juggling sports and social life…it’s a time full of firsts. And probably one of the biggest periods of “firsts” in your life.

This stage of your life will make you what you are as an adult. It’s when you shape and mold your character. It’s when you choose your friends. When you seriously begin to follow God with an adult-like faith (no longer a child-like faith).

I see the teen years as a prime time to serve God in big ways. God sets before us tons of opportunities to give glory to Him. Often, though we don’t recognize them. We sit back and go to youth, church, maybe join a small-group Bible study. But when it comes down to practical things, we don’t do much.

Although the teen years are busy, they are critical for serving God. They are the years which make you into the adult you will one day be. It’s so important to spend these years closely following God. Reading the Bible, becoming involved in youth activities at church, and focusing on God instead of the latest celebrity magazines are all ways to deepen your relationship with Him.

Ask God to use you to do big things for Him. He may not give you much at first, but as you honor Him with little things, He will give you bigger and bigger things for you to do for Him.

But above all, everything (everything) must be for His glory. Never for your own glory. Don’t go on a missions trip so others will see what a good Christian you are, etc. Ask yourself: if I was the only person on this earth and God was in heaven, and no one else saw me do this but God and I, would I still want to do it? This is a good way to check if you’re doing things for His glory or your own.

These years are the time in your life when you’ll have the most time and maybe the most money to do things like go on a missions trip. Don’t waste it on things that won’t matter in two years. Instead, invest your time and energy into things that will last you an eternity. Things you can stand in front of God for one day and say, “I took this time on earth You gave me and used it for Your glory, not my ‘down time.’ ”

Glorify Him always, and He will bless you and keep you and you will be rewarded.

double agents: the secret life of a Christian


More and more I’ve noticed how Christians act. One thing that has struck me is how Christians often live double lives.

What I mean by this is how Christians often tend to act one way at church at act another way at work or school.

When I became a Christian (when I was little!) I basically became a Christian because I wanted to go to Heaven, and I knew I had to accept Jesus into my heart in order to do so. I accepted Jesus into my heart twice (I didn’t think I was serious the first time). I struggled with doing devotions on a regular basis because I didn’t want to do them.

Despite my salvation in Jesus, I didn’t become a Christian until this year.

“Hold on. If you’ve accepted Jesus into your heart and made Him your Savior, you’re a Christian. So why weren’t you a Christian until several years after you asked Him into your heart?!”

When I became a Christian, I understood God’s end of it. I’m a sinner, so I can never go to Heaven ’cause it’s perfect and so is God. God sent His Son Jesus to Earth to die for us (John 3:16!) so that we can go to Heaven with Him when we die. In return we need to try to do what is right all the time and we learn what’s right through the Bible. When I became a Christian, I did it because it was the right thing to do. Still, I somehow never felt like a true Christian. I always knew something was missing.

But I now realize that being a Christian is so much more! It means literally giving your whole life to God. I have to not just be a good person, but I have to dedicate my whole life to God. And that goes beyond going to church and singing during worship, taking sermon notes and being involved in all the church functions.

That means getting rid of anything in my life that doesn’t give glory to God.

This means a serious self-check. All aspects of your life — music, friends, books, magazines, clothes, activities — need to be checked for Christ-compatibility. If it isn’t for God, weed it out.

I’m not saying that God is completely opposed to every secular piece of music out there. But I think that as Christians, we too often try to get by rather than to be unwilling to compromise. Our idea of doing what’s right it toeing the line instead of fleeing.

Romans 12:9 says,

Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.

*Note: anything that isn’t FOR God is AGAINST God; thus anything that isn’t completely for Him is evil because God is good.

Jesus wasn’t kidding when He said,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

That’s pretty much everything in your life.

Being a Christian isn’t just something you do on Sunday mornings with just your soul. It’s something that shows in every area of your life. Like an elder at my church said, “It’s easy for me to be a Christian on Sunday, in the presence of other believers; but what about the other six days of the week in the workplace or school?

One person’s testimony goes like this:

I was trying to get this kid [who wasn’t a Christian] on my basketball team to come out to church with me one Sunday morning or youth. He never wanted to go, but I kept bugging him. Finally he said to me, “Why would I want to come to church or youth? What’s so special about them? You’re no different than I am; if they’re so good, how come you’re the same as me?” This really hit home for me because I realized that even though I claimed to be a Christian and salt and light, I was really no different in my actions than anyone else at school.

If we are called to be salt and light but act the same as other non-Christians, how will they ever see the Light?

Jesus literally wants us to be different from others. At school, I don’t do anything that other kids do that goes against my faith in Jesus. My friends notice this. I’ve been called “innocent” and “perfect.” I know I’m the farthest from those but I’m happy that my friends notice a difference. I’ve chosen to take their observations as a compliment, because it shows I’m succeeding in being set apart for Christ.

If we can’t follow Jesus with everything in us, we will never be a true Christian. I had to realize this before I felt like a real Christian.

God doesn’t require just your soul, or just your heart, or just your mind, or just your Sundays, or just your Bible reading.

He requires all of you.

the modesty survey


A few posts back, I posted about the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. They are the authors of the popular Christian website therebelution.com. Anyhoo, in connection to that site is the Modesty Survey. It’s an excellent resource for Christian girls who desire to dress modestly. It has hundreds of opinions from Christian guys ages 12 – 19 who have done the survey, as well as many open questions which many guys have answered. A quick preview below:

It’s probably a bit difficult to see; but essentially, there are several categories you can select, such as “Swimwear,” “Skirts,” etc. You then click on a statement you would like to see survey results on. These statements are not the results on the survey but are “questions” asked those who took the survey.

You can then view a bar graph which shows what guys chose: strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree. As you can see in the picture above, the statement is: “Bikini swimsuits are immodest.” Just over 50% of guys said “Strongly Agree”, and about 25% of guys said “Agree.” That’s over 75% of guys who agreed. Only a very small amount disagreed (strongly or otherwise).

As one anonymous 21-year-old said on the website:

A girl who is immodest presents her body as something that anyone can stop by and partake of. She is selling herself for nothing. A girl who is modest presents herself as a pure and beautiful prize that must be won. She will not easily give herself to any other. She may be attractive to many, but she keeps her body for Christ and for marriage. That, I think, is the primary difference between immodesty and attractiveness.

I think this paints a beautiful picture for modesty and describes it very well. 🙂

This survey, as said on the website, is to be used as guidelines, not as a set of rules to be followed. You must make your own decisions but basing them on this survey is extremely helpful. 🙂 I have also linked to this survey on my sidebar, along with TheRebelution.com. I strongly urge you to check it out!

Blessings,

Emily-Sue

The Best Is Yet to Come…


For you, is the best yet to come? For me it is!

It’s been a great summer. Most of us are sad to see it go. I spent my summer working on my uncles’ farm, working in corn, being a leader at my church’s vacation Bible school, camping, swimming, babysitting, and relaxing. Now onto the school year with school, Bible quizzing, piano lessons, Bible study, youth group, and teaching piano. Both seasons are busy in their own ways, but the school year is the busiest because that kind of busy it work-busy, while summer-busy is social-busy. I just read that sentence over again and I’ll never look at the word “busy” the same again. It reminds me of the word “bees.” Totally off-topic. (I’m not random, you just can’t think as fast as me. ^_^ )

Is the best yet to come? Or are you entering this school year wishing you could sleep in, trying to weasel out of homework and “get by” in your subjects?

Or are you going to wake up each morning with a sense of ambition (ambition: an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction; the object, state, or result desired or sought after; desire for work or activity; energy)? Are you going to get up each morning, on your way to work or school, with the mindset, “I’m going to succeed today. I’ll give my best and more. I’ll do what’s required of me, going above and beyond. I have a purpose in everything I do today.”

Success counts on your attitude. Why is it that some people are born poor and destitute; but later in life, end up going to university and becoming wealthy, while others are born wealthy yet never get anywhere of significance in life? Ambition. The poorer person had it, while the wealthier didn’t. Ambition requires goals.

To be successful, one must have goals; and to achieve those goals, ambition — the drive to achieve those goals.

However, what must those goals be?

To honour and glorify God in everything you do.

To hold others in higher esteem than yourself.

To serve God, working for His purposes.

Those should be your goals. A good verse for us all to remember is Micah 6:8:

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

We are to treat our fellow Christians with justice, mercy, and the Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control), as well as “walk humbly with [our] God.” Walking with our God requires a bit more than is plainly stated. We are to put every effort into following Christ and doing His will. God isn’t fooled by our perfect church attendance, or our service in the community, or our behavior around other Christians. Those things are important, but not as important as our personal relationship with Him.

This year, make Him first in your life. Go to school with a determination to show others Christ’s love. Think of new ways to help others. Be a secret server for God.

A while ago (June 2011) I posted on my old blog about work. I said:

I’m here at my uncle’s farm working for a bit, and remind myself to work hard — not only doing my best, but doing what’s expected of me. And even to go a bit above and beyond. There are a few reasons to work to just above your employer’s expectations: to keep your job, get promoted, make more money…but there’s one very important reason that stands above the others. What if you were about to get fired? Or here was no chance of being promoted? Then what would you work for?

The reason that stands above the others is to please God. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. For there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.” So basically, we are to do any work we do with everything we have because now is our only chance to do it. We can’t work after we die. Also, we need to glorify God and work for Him, no men.

So do it now, not later. Do it with all your might, not just enough to satisfy…because you may not have many other chances to honour God.

Remember that in all you do, work for God; not men.

I spoke earlier about success. There are many people in this world who will never be on the “high end” of society. To God, that doesn’t matter. All that matters to Him is your spiritual success — how you grow in Him, serving and glorifying Him in all you do. Make the decision to this year honour Him above all else.