Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On My Mind

Your favorite color was purple. Mine was orange.
You liked cats. I liked dogs.
You had big sisters. I had big brothers.
You wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be a writer.
        You were fearless. I was timid.
And we were the best of friends.

You taught me how to ride a bike.
I taught you how to swim.
You promised I would be in your wedding.
I promised you’d be in mine.
You vowed to be my best friend forever and always.
I echoed your words.
And I think that was the only promise we ever broke with each other.

        You grew up too fast, while I remained a child.
You were fun and popular, while I was shy and awkward.
You sheltered me from your darkness, leaving me to walk in ignorant light.
        You remained up north, while I moved down south.
        And with that move, everything shifted.

Sure, we’re still friends, but it’s different now. The distance has taken a toll, separating our worlds. We grew up side by side for so long, then suddenly you were 17 and I 16, living such different lives on what seemed like other sides of the world. I can't help but wonder when things changed.
Nothing will ever take away our childhood together. Those years we spent together, laughing and crying, going on adventures and making memories – those are the things that made us who we are. It is because of those things that, despite the fact that we don’t talk much anymore, you are still one of my close friends. No one else knows me in the way that you do. We will always have that special connection.
I don’t know where you are right now. What friends you have, what struggles you’re fighting, what wars you’ve lost, what battles you’ve won. What makes you happy, what makes you cry, what your fears, hopes, and dreams are. But I think of you often, and I want you to know how much I love you.

Just know that you’re on my mind.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Treasure of Jesus

What can I do
How can I live
To show my world
The treasure of Jesus

What will it take
What could I give
So they can know
The treasure He is

And if I can sing 
Let my songs be full of His glory
If I can speak
Let my words be full of His grace
And if I should live or die
Let me be found pursuing this prize
The One that alone satisfies
The treasure of Jesus

~The Treasure of Jesus {Steven Curtis Chapman}~


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Truth Will Make You Free

        We've all heard this verse before.

Notice that it starts with ‘and’? That means that it is the continuation of a sentence. And you will know the truth. There must be something we say or do that enables us to know the truth. Let’s go back a verse and look at this in context.

        So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” ~John 8:31-32

Where does freedom come from? Knowing truth. Where does truth come from? God’s word.
You see where this is going? Reading and believing and acting upon His word – His truth – brings us freedom. Freedom from sin, freedom from fear, freedom from death.
        The word freedom implies that we are enslaved; there has to be something for us to be set free from. That thing would be sin.
We are human. Our bodies are made of flesh, and our hearts are born with a desire for the things of the flesh. God’s standards are totally against the grain of our hearts, which is why He must give us the desire. If you long for what is good and right in His eyes then thank God, because He is the one who put that hunger in you. Nothing else possibly could.
But despite the fact that we long for God and long for what is good, we’re still human. Sin is still an inherent part of our nature. We cannot and will not be perfect on this side of eternity. This doesn’t mean that we should just sit back and not even try. The Christian life is a battle, fighting against the hold of sin on our hearts. We must constantly fight against it, or we will succumb.
So... how do we fight?
John 8:31-32 says it all. Continue in the word; know the truth and be set free by it. When we constantly immerse ourselves in God’s glorious truth, sin loses its shine because the glory of God shines so much brighter.
We will enslave ourselves to sin many more times in days and weeks to come. Failure is a part of life. But by continuing in the Word, we will also continue to be set free by the grace of God.
       What a beautiful thing.

        "You have to kill pleasure with pleasure. 'No' will not work in the long run. Enjoy Jesus more than sin." ~John Piper