Let Your Light Shine

Welcome back y’all! I’ve had a lot on my mind recently and have really wanted to share with you. This year is almost over and I’ve been going over my posts and realizing that when I first began this blog in 2012, I started out strong and posted very often, but this year I’ve posted very little. It’s not because there haven’t been things I wanted to share with you, but simply because things have really started to kick off this year and I’ve been pretty busy.

Believe

At the beginning of the year our church decided on the theme “Believe” for 2014, and we started out by filling out these little “Believe” cards, on which we wrote down things for with we were believing God to do in our lives this year. For me, the areas that I was praying over and believing that God would take care of involved my relationships, ministry opportunities, health, and a job. Since then, the only one that I’m still waiting for God’s hand to move in has been career wise.

I began dating someone from church back in July and have been working on strengthening my relationships with other women, as well. I got good news from my doctor a few months ago, that some cell abnormalities finally came back normal—I hugged my doctor and left the office praising God. Then the ministry opportunities began springing up! I’d been involved in the worship team, but then I decided to also help out with the children’s worship ministry, and then I was asked to teach our Young Adults class on Wednesday nights (score!). If you’ve ever read my About Me section you’ll find out that I love to teach; that’s why I began this blog to begin with! I still feel like God isn’t done with me, yet. My heart for young adults and the vision I’ve had for them include a Young Adults worship team, small group meetings outside the church, and students with such a passion for God that we’re unashamed to share the gospel with those around us and moved to be involved in outreach and services to others, which brings me to my next point.

The Great Commission

Just a few weeks ago, we began studying the book of Hebrews. This book begins by describing who Jesus Christ is (Hebrews 1:1-4):

  • The heir of all things.
  • The One through whom God made the universe.
  • The radiance of God’s glory.
  • The exact expression of God’s nature and being.
  • Sustainer of all things by His word.
  • The One who made purification for sins.
  • The One who sits at the right hand of Majesty on high.

It also talks about Jesus being greater than the angels and how important it is to obey what He commanded so that we don’t drift away; as well as the importance of Christ coming to us in human form. According to Hebrews, Christ’s purpose for dying on the cross was to destroy the Devil, give us freedom, and to reach out to us so that we would have opportunity for relationship with God (Hebrews 2:1-18).

In my personal Bible study I’ve begun the book of Revelation, of which the first three chapters describe the state of the 7 churches in Asia, which really had me thinking about the state of our churches now; and the state of the American Church, in particular, as I read Revelation 3:14:22 regarding the church at Laodicea being lukewarm.

Furthermore, in the world around me, I’ve noticed recently an excessive amount of sickness, tragedy, and death that has been pricking at my heart, basically screaming at me to share the Truth before it’s too late. But how? Do you notice that the question is not “why,” but rather, “how”? Because the why has already been answered…because of these Truths that I’ve just mentioned! Because of Who Christ is, because He suffered and died for us, because He took on the wrath of God for our sin (Hebrews 2:17; propitiation = wrath-bearing sacrifice) so that we might be reconciled—our sin debt paid for—to the Father. He loves each and every one of us—even those who have done horrible things—and wants us ALL to turn away from the things that we’ve put first in our lives to follow after Him.

So, back to my question, “how”? To be honest, I’m a much better writer than speaker. I always seem to have trouble searching for exact word I want to use, when speaking aloud. I have shared my testimony with a few young women from my church, but now I think I’d really like to share it with you all. I’ve been making some changes to this blog, and I feel that after I finally finish my testimony, I’ll be making a few more in light of my testimony. I want y’all to realize how much God loves us, how much He’s done for us, and how He’s called us to be a light in this dark and dying world. As believers we are called to be different, called to be set apart, but we are also called to love and serve those around us; and what better way to love those around us then by sharing the most important gift God has given us? I encourage you, if you have not already done so, write out your testimony and share it with those around you. In today’s world we have so many platforms in which to do this…in person, through blogs, books, videos, letters, art, song etc. How will you share your testimony? And with whom will you share it?

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The Samaritan Woman

Tonight I read John 4, which includes Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well and noticed a couple new things as I read. We’ve covered this story quite a few times over the past few weeks in various Bible studies at church, so there’s much to be said about this encounter.

First, let’s point out that Jesus was a Jew and the woman was a Samaritan. Jews and Samaritans had nothing to do with each other; in fact, in the footnotes of my NIV Bible, it states that the Jews wouldn’t even eat out of the same dishes that the Samaritans used! So, immediately, this woman of intrigued by the fact that Jesus is even talking to her.

Second, Jesus offers her living water (which, of course she doesn’t understand). One of the young ladies in my young adult’s Bible study described the woman’s situation this way: “This is a woman who has been doing everything she can to make it on her own. In a land where women held no power, authority, or property, she’s married multiple times in order to be taken care of and have her needs met. And here, Jesus is offering to meet all those needs!” I love this, because that’s exactly what Jesus was doing when He offered her living water! He was offering to satisfy every need and longing of her heart, if she’d just turn to Him–the Messiah.

Third, when Jesus disciples return to Him, after buying food in another town, Jesus tells them to stop worrying about food for the moment and take a look at what’s going on around them. He says, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and looks at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:34-35).

Lastly, the woman went back to her town and testified on His behalf! The book of John says, “many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:39).

What have I learned from this encounter? I’ve learned that God offers many opportunities for us to reach the lost. Most often, they’re right in front of us: the lonely student, the despised boss, the struggling single mom, the stripper, or drug addict. As His followers, we’ve already been offered and have accepted that living water; our duty is to pour it into the lives of others. But how often we get distracted by our daily tasks–or worry about what others will think of us because we’re associating ourselves with someone of “unsavory” or questionable character–that we miss out on what God is doing around us and what He wants from us! Jesus reached out to this woman, whom the disciples most likely would have overlooked, because 1) she was a woman and 2) because she was a despised Samaritan, but obviously, God had much more in store for her. And finally, we ought to be doing just what this woman did upon hearing about Christ’s goodness, sharing it with the world; so that others, in turn, will do the same.