No matter where you may be on your spiritual journey, we all wake up each day in need of a reminder of how great God is. In a recent post on the Desiring God blog, Matt Reagan, talks about his personal need of daily reminders. Reagan writes, "Somehow during the night I’ve forgotten the big realities about God and the universe and myself and the gospel. I desperately need to steady myself with biblical truth rather than stumbling forward to live from unbelief."
In his post he lists 10 truths about our Creator God. Here are the first two:
1) God exists. (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58)
It seems so simple, so basic, but I tend to wake up a naturalist, and a narcissistic one at that. I assume that all there is in the world is what is in front of my face. My bed, my wife, my kids, and most importantly myself. The simple yet ultimate existence of God immediately clears my lens, makes me small, and infuses meaning into every step. God exists — and that changes everything.
2) God loves you. (Romans 5:8; John 16:27; Jeremiah 32:40–41)
Another massive biblical reality, this immediately counters my hesitation to embrace God’s ultimate authority, reminding me that he has set his affections on this little speck of a person. He is far from indifferent toward me.
Click here to read the rest of the Ten Big, Daily Reminders on Desiring God's blog.
Relevant magazine recently published an article by this title on their website. Perhaps you've had to wait for something before? In a store, at a restaurant... or for a season of life? We often find ourselves waiting on specific things in our lives: a spouse, a house, a child. This article gives 5 reasons why God sometimes allows us to wait for certain things. It is important to fix our eyes on Him as wait instead of the thing we are waiting on.
Eric Speir writes, "God always has good reasons for making us wait. Waiting is a part of life and one of God's tools for developing people. The Bible is full of stories of people having to wait on God, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Daniel, Jesus, Paul and countless others." Be faithful in the small things as you wait on God to bring about His work in your life.
Click here to read more from Relevant's 5 Reasons God Makes Us Wait article.
Calculating God's will is not a formula or magic equation. Knowing God's will for your life comes from knowing HIM intimately. When you are closely aligned with Him by studying His Word, praying for wisdom, praising His goodness, and keeping Him first in your life you will find it desirable to trust God for your next steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Click here to read more about knowing God's will for your life.
College is an exciting time for young people. New friends, new freedom, new teachers, new experiences, etc. The next four years will bring lots of excitement, but don't forget what matters most. If you've been raised in a Christian home or have parents who value Sunday mornings in church, it might be second nature for you to find a new church home or community of believers. For others, it may not be so easy. Either way, you will be faced with new choices. The choices you make can push you towards Christ or pull you away. That's why it's imperative to make the ultimate choice before you even get to college to put Him first above all things.
This article on Christian College Guide shares more insight on how you can keep Christ first in college.
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” –Francis Chan
We live in a world that constantly markets good things. Success, popularity, and money, just to name a few. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of those things, they certainly aren’t suitable foundations upon which a life can be built.
Before Jesus began His public ministry, John the Baptist was growing in both success and popularity. He was proclaiming a message, and people were responding in large numbers. Crowds began to gather and follow him around.
However, once Jesus came on the scene, some people who had been following John actually left him to follow Jesus. This didn’t escape the notice of John’s inner circle, who interpreted this as a ministerial failure:
“John, don’t you understand what’s happening? You’re successful – people are responding to your message! But now people are leaving you to follow Jesus. Do something! Your popularity and success are at stake!”
John’s response provides a glimpse into his heart’s motivation, a stark contrast from the focus of his friends: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John wasn’t enthralled with the praise of men or devastated with their desertion; either way – popular or unpopular, successful or a failure, rich or poor, well-liked or despised – his focus was on pointing others to Jesus.
The aim of John’s life was to proclaim Jesus, viewing his circumstances as a platform from which he could re-direct the gaze of his audience. He set the stage and drew a crowd. But at the critical moment, when the spotlight flickered on, John knew in his heart where he rightfully belonged. Figuratively, he pushed Jesus into the spotlight and was content to slip behind the curtain. He had done his job.
It has been said that “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” To spend our lives on good things might mean missing out on giving ourselves away for the greatest thing – knowing Jesus and making Him known.
Let us with dignity and joy follow the example of John, content to sink into obscurity as the name of Jesus grows increasingly cherished in our particular spheres of influence.
He must become greater, we must become less.
Written by: Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry
"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11