Monday, October 24, 2011

The Need and the Challenge

Today in my World Evangelism class  (basically a world religions class) we heard from a nun. She came to our class and told us about her life and her beliefs. I was so challenged by her. She was so incredibly dedicated, like the Muslim who prays five times a day. She did the same, she told us she was constantly studying the Scripture and spending time in prayer. I was embarrassed to be honest, even though she didn't know me, I was embarrassed because I felt like she was more to devoted to her religion than I can be at times. (Yes, I am calling Catholicism a different religion than Evangelical Christianity) I want my life to be completely sold out on God but how can I be if I only spend a limited amount of time praying and reading His Word? It really challenged me to realize how much time I waste. How instead of mindlessly searching the internet I could be searching His Word.
Not only did this sweet elderly nun challenge me she also got me stirred up about evangelism. For all her devotion and sincerity, she is not on the right path. She believes that her works are bringing her salvation. She does not believe that Jesus Christ paid it in full on the cross and with His resurrection. I left that room absolutely heart broken to tears because of her state. Every time I spend time with a Catholic I am reminded of how incredibly close it comes to true Christianity. Yet, it is a false religion. Like I said, it teaches that you receive heaven by your own works.
Yet the Bible contradicts that. It says in Ephesians 2:8,9-
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ultimately, it is not a question of the life we lived and what we did. It is a matter of Jesus' saving blood and salvation only comes through Christ alone. 
Jesus Christ is the only way to God and eternal life with Him in heaven. 
As Jesus Himself says in John 14:6
"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

So today I was challenged very much. A lot of my relatives are "catholic" (mostly non-practicing). I was just insanely burdened for them and their spiritual state. I pray that God will use me to reach them in some way. I don't want to allow fear to overtake me so that I do not take advantage of the opportunities God gives me. Instead, I want to tell anyone and everyone God allows about Him and His salvation. I pray that for you as well, wherever you are. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Little Faith

It's October, I can't believe it. I don't know where the time goes anymore. It's seems lately that I am being attacked in every area of my life.  It really was starting to get me down; worry was overtaking me and I hated that. I hate worrying because it shows that I am not depending on God and I want to depend on God alone. Yet, worry is one of the things I deal with the most. Another thing I've been struggling this week with is being joyful, even sincerely happy. It's so easy for me to fake a smile and say "I'm good", but I don't want to be an artificial person, I want to be genuine.
I know though, that only being in constant prayer and at peace with God will bring joy. Thus when I worry and do not pray, I take matters into my own hands which only leads to heart ache. I think of Matthew 6:25-34
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29yet I tell you,even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
 34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This week I was blessed to attend Bible conference week here at BBC, one session our speaker gave a message on this very passage. It was exactly what I needed this week. I have been so worried about finances, my health, others' health, my grandfather, dramatic situations going on with friends, etc... It seemed that life was just too much and I didn't even have time to catch my breath. Yet, when I heard that message I was reminded that my worry does nothing to help these situations. It simply stresses me out, making them worse. I am the one Jesus is talking about, sometimes my faith seems so little. I forget what a VERY BIG GOD I serve. I forget that the same power He used to form the mountains and the stars lives within me as the Holy Spirit. I forget that He holds the world and my future in His hand. I forget that nothing happens that He does not allow first. 
So this week I have been praying that God would remind of what an awesome and all-powerful God He is. And you know what? My problems don't seem as big as they used to, because I know that they are out of my hand and in my Father's.