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Finals

Only one more final left!

God has been so good to me this semester.

God’s grace in my life today:

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.

But I’m so thankful to be feeling this way now rather than before/during my big test this past weekend!

God’s timing and protection are perfect!

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I Met Jesus

My pastor just finished his sermon series entitled “I Met Jesus” which went through the encounters people had with Jesus as recorded in the gospel of John. Today’s sermon was entitled “They Met Jesus, Have You?”–he went through all the people we had studied and gave a recap description of the way their lives had changed after meeting Jesus. One of the most obvious things from each person is that they were changed dramatically after meeting Jesus. Two of my favorites are Peter and John.

I am His

Peter, the guy famous for saying “I would NEVER deny you, Jesus” who then proceeded to deny Jesus not once, not twice, but THREE times. The man who was quick to act/speak and often slower to think. He may have been quick to lose faith while walking on water, but he was also the only disciple who had the initial faith to get out of the boat and start walking on water. This man ended up being a martyr for Christ. He preached one of the greatest sermons in history (Acts 2). The man who denied Jesus three times (John 18)  was then reinstated by Jesus three times (John 21). He went on to write books of the Bible.

“The fact that Peter was clearly forgiven by Jesus and given new responsibilities, amounting to apostleship, despite his total denial of his Lord, can give genuine hope to Christians today who feel that they have denied Jesus and that this is unforgivable. He calls only for our repentance and for our love.” 

-D.A. Carson

And I love how Jesus reinstated Peter. One simple question asked three times: Peter, do you love me?

I am His

John. Now, I’ve always had this picture of John as being the opposite of Peter. Where Peter was quick to act and slow to think, John was quick to think and slower to act. John’s the apostle of love, right? The author of 1, 2, and 3 John, which speak of loving one another. The author of the gospel of John, which contains one of the most famous verses in all of the Bible: “For God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). However, this “apostle of love” had been an arrogant young man who had the audacity to ask Jesus if he should “call down fire” on a Samaritan village that wasn’t welcoming them (Luke 9:51-56). Not only was he ready to kill off a whole village, but he was also confident that fire would reign down from heaven at his command. He had also been a part of the brother pair that made a pretty cocky request to Jesus. Read it for yourself:

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

   “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

   “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

 “We can,” they answered.

-Mark 10:35-39

That’s pretty self-explanatory. And hilariously ridiculous. John and his brother not only want to be #1 and #2 over everyone, but they’re also sure that they can handle everything that Jesus is doing. However, after truly encountering Jesus as his Savior, John changed. He went from being an arrogant young man, deemed as one of the “Sons of the Thunder,” to being the apostle known for love. And here’s my favorite part: he never once mentions his name in his own gospel. I love that. He always refers to himself as “the other disciple” or “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He no longer cared about being seated at the highest position. It wasn’t important anymore. He was the disciple that Jesus loved. And that realization changed him…defined him. 

I am His

So here’s my takeaway from those two guys: 

I am His

Peter

The question that each and every one of us needs to ask ourselves is the question that Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love me?”

Do I love Him?

If we get the answer to that question right, we will get everything else right. 

If we get the answer to that question wrong, we will get everything else wrong.

My relationship with Jesus must be more important than anything else in the world because that relationship affects how I do everything else. 

I am His

John

I’ve got to see Jesus for who He truly is before I can understand who I truly am.

JESUS is the Lamb of God.

JESUS is the only way, truth, and life.

JESUS paid my debt.

i am a sinner saved by grace.

i am a child adopted by God.

i am the one whom Jesus loves.

I am His

God’s grace in my life today:

I met Jesus and He changed me forever.

I am forgiven, I am loved, I am His.

What joy comes from knowing Jesus and being known by Him.

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

-1 Peter 1:8-9

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Done!

I took a big test today after preparing for quite some time for it.

So relieved to be done!

Now the wait for the results begins…

God’s grace in my life today:

So blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family (and friends of my friends/family) who encouraged me and prayed for me!

Thank you and I love you all!

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Psalm 145

1 I will exalt you, my God the King; 
   I will praise your name for ever and ever. 
2 Every day I will praise you 
   and extol your name for ever and ever.

 3 Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; 
   his greatness no one can fathom. 
4 One generation will commend your works to another; 
   they will tell of your mighty acts. 
5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, 
   and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b] 
6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works, 
   and I will proclaim your great deeds. 
7 They will celebrate your abundant goodness 
   and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

 8 The LORD is gracious and compassionate, 
   slow to anger and rich in love. 
9 The LORD is good to all; 
   he has compassion on all he has made. 
10 All you have made will praise you, O LORD; 
   your saints will extol you. 
11 They will tell of the glory of your kingdom 
   and speak of your might, 
12 so that all men may know of your mighty acts 
   and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, 
   and your dominion endures through all generations.

   The LORD is faithful to all his promises 
   and loving toward all he has made.[c] 
14 The LORD upholds all those who fall 
   and lifts up all who are bowed down. 
15 The eyes of all look to you, 
   and you give them their food at the proper time. 
16 You open your hand 
   and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways 
   and loving toward all he has made. 
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, 
   to all who call on him in truth. 
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; 
   he hears their cry and saves them. 
20 The LORD watches over all who love him, 
   but all the wicked he will destroy.

 21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. 
   Let every creature praise his holy name 
   for ever and ever.

-Psalm 145

I love You, Lord!

God’s grace in my life today:

He is near to me!

He upholds me, comforts me, strengthens me, teaches me, and is not only with me, but also in me.

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C.S. Lewis and Hou-baby

“Another type is the love of a man for a beast – a relation constantly used in scripture to symbolize the relation between God and men; “we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.” … Its great merit lies in the fact that the association of man and dog is primarily for man’s sake: he tames the dog primarily that he may love it, not that it may love him, and that it may serve him, not that he may serve it. Yet at the same time, the dog’s interests are not sacrificed to the man’s. The one end (that he may love it) cannot be fully attained unless it also, in its fashion, loves him, nor can it serve him unless he, in a different fashion, serves it. 

Now just because the dog is by human standards one of the “best” of irrational creatures, and a proper object for a man to love – of course, with that degree and kind of love which is proper to such an object…man interferes with the dog and makes it more loveable than it was in mere nature. In its state of nature it has a smell, and habits, which frustrate man’s love: he washes it, house-trains it, teaches it not to steal, and is so enabled to love it completely.

To the puppy the whole proceeding would seem, if it were a theologian, to cast grave doubts on the “goodness” of man: but the full-grown and full-trained dog, larger, healthier, and longer-lived than the wild dog, and admitted, as it were by Grace, to a whole world of affections, loyalties, interests and comforts entirely beyond its animal destiny, would have no such doubts.

It will be noted that the man takes all these pains with the dog, and gives all these pains to the dog, only because it is an animal high in the scale – because it is so nearly loveable that it is worth his while to make it fully loveable. He does not house-train the earwig or give baths to centipedes. We may wish, indeed, that we were of so little account to God that He left us alone to follow our natural impulses – that He would give over trying to train us into something so unlike our natural selves: but once again, we are asking not for more Love, but for less.

-C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Dogs rule.

God’s grace in my life today:

I am so thankful for my Hou-baby!

There’s nothing quite like sloppy, wet kisses from a huge dog who adores you!

And I’m thankful that God loves me enough to make me more like Jesus and less like my natural (sinful) self.

Lamentations 3

I read this passage in the morning:

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, 
   the bitterness and the gall. 
20 I well remember them, 
   and my soul is downcast within me. 
21 Yet this I call to mind 
   and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 

   for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; 
   therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, 
   to the one who seeks him; 
26 it is good to wait quietly 
   for the salvation of the LORD. 
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke 
   while he is young.

 -Lamentations 3:19-27
I will wait. 
I love that passage. One of my favorite things that I got out of it today was verse 24:
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'”
I will wait.
How often do we say that? Instead, aren’t we usually quicker to resort to self-pity or self-motivation? 
“This sucks. Why me? I don’t deserve this.”
“I can do this. I am strong. I am woman (or man)…hear me ROAR!”
 I will wait
What a different attitude is presented in this passage. Rather than pitying ourselves because of whatever loss/problem we’ve encountered, we can rejoice that the Lord is our portion. Everything else in this world may be taken away, but it doesn’t matter because my portion can never be taken away. Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).
I will wait.
And since the Lord is our portion, rather than rushing to find a quick-fix for the problem, we can relax and wait on Him. My God has a plan for the world and loves me enough to let me be part of that plan. So why do I worry when something goes wrong? In the eloquent words of Alan Redpath,
“There is nothing–no circumstance, no trouble, no testing–that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me.  If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand at the moment.  But as I refuse to become panicky, as I lift up my eyes to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no circumstance will cause me to fret, for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is–that is the rest of victory!”
I will wait
My desire is to have a heart that consistently says: “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
No matter what the circumstance: the LORD is my portion.
No matter what the problem: I will wait for Him.
 I will wait.

God’s grace in my life today:

He is giving me peace and strength!

What a faithful God.