reap & sow

This week, I was reading through Galatians. The entire book is full of reminders of who Jesus is and what he did for us, but Friday, one verse stood out to me. Hit me in the gut, so to speak.
 
Read this (Galatians 6:8): “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” 
 
It stopped me in my tracks. How often am I sowing to please the Spirit? In other words, how often do my thoughts, my words, and my actions line up with the Bible? Because I’ll reap whatever I sow. Catering to my flesh (aka my worldly, sinful desires) doesn’t reap fulfillment and peace in Jesus.
 
But to be honest, it’s hard. It’s hard to stay on guard, always making sure my thoughts, actions, and words line up with Jesus. And that’s why Paul penned the next verse—an encouraging reminder, a little extra push: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
 
So hang in there. The one who started a good work in you will bring it to completion. He who promised is faithful. Let’s sow to please the Spirit.

struggles and grace

Sometimes, days don’t end up like you planned and you struggle to accomplish anything worthwhile. Sometimes, you feel overwhelmed at the pile of tasks on your to-do list and wonder if it’s really possible to get it done. Sometimes, you feel like your goals are just out of reach and that you will fail if you try to grasp them.

But in those times, it’s important to remember that God gives grace abundantly. It’s important to pray as David did: “lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” And it’s important to remember that just because your day hasn’t been productive up to this point, it can be productive from this point on.

So here’s to the hard days, for they teach us how to press on. And here’s to the good days, for they give us hope for the future.

the gospel

Justified. Forgiven. Redeemed.

As we approach what is traditionally known as Holy Week, let’s take a minute to remember what the Gospel truly is. Let’s remember not only what we have been called to, but how we are called to go about it. This video is a powerful reminder of what Jesus did for us and why we have chosen to follow Him.

He’s very good at being God. Are we good at following?

come & see

Though the sun was shining brightly overhead, Philip knew he couldn’t stay still. He had just met someone–someone special, someone different–and he had to find his friend. Finally, he found him: resting under a fig tree, trying to find relief from the relentless sun. Philip called out, “we have found Him whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph!”
Nathaniel looked up. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
“Come and see,” was the only answer Philip gave.
His curiosity fully aroused, Nathaniel followed his friend to see the man spoken of by the prophets.
[paraphrase of John 1:45-46]

“Come and see.” Three simple words that have life-changing meaning.
Philip wasn’t the only one who used those words. Jesus used them, as well. Two disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus where He was staying, and Jesus answered, “come and see”–an invitation into the personal life of Jesus. John’s disciples ended up staying with Jesus–the King of Kings!–all because of three little words.
The Samaritan woman also spoke those words. A few chapters later, she encountered Jesus by the well. After a life-changing conversation with the Living Water, she couldn’t keep her joy to herself. She “left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, ‘Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?’ They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.”
“Come and see.” That’s all it took for Nathaniel to meet Jesus.
“Come and see.” That’s all it took for John the Baptist’s disciples to enter into a close relationship with God.
“Come and see.” That’s all it took for a group of Samaritans to enter into salvation.
If Philip had merely told Nathaniel about Jesus, he might not have become a disciple. If Jesus had merely told John’s disciples where he was staying, they might not have spent the day with Him. If the Samaritan Woman had merely told the men what Jesus did, they might not have gone to meet Him.
“Come and see.” In essence, “come with me; come into my life. Let’s find Jesus together.” A vulnerable invitation hidden in three simple words dramatically changed the lives of many.
Come. And see. An invitation, a simple beckoning to witness something great. Are we inviting those around us into our lives to see what God has done, and not just telling them? Are we letting down our facades of perfection and letting others see the grace of Jesus and how much He has done in our life?
If we invite those around us to come in and let them see us at our lowest; if we share with them how we were once dead, but by the grace of God, are now alive; if we let Jesus live through us so vibrantly that He is the one they see…that is a testimony. If we invite others into our lives—not just our church buildings; if we aren’t afraid to show them the mess that we are (because only then will they be able to see the true mercy of redemption)…that is a testimony. That shows the grace of God. And when others see who Jesus really is? That’s when they let down their wall and open their hearts to God’s salvation.
We have been given a tremendous mission—to build relationships with those who need Jesus. To be real with them, to let Jesus shine through us. To pray for them, for their hearts, and for their soul. We were put here to be a shining light in the darkness. We were put here to invite them to come and see God’s love, power, majesty, and holiness.
Come and see. A beautiful summation of the gospel, really. I don’t want to shy away from being real and showing people just how much Jesus has done in my life. Will you commit to joining me?