I’m turning 41. This is significant because when I was 14, I had a lot of experiences that I hope my children will never go through. It has taken many years to recognize who I really was and whose I was. Today, I look around and I see young people who are 14. I see a lot of my past ways in them. I want to help them, because I’ve been where many of them are going, but I know they will not listen. Many of them will need to go their own way and then spend many, many years trying to figure out a different way, if they are ever able to first recognize and question if this is ALL that life was meant to be.
But what do I know? I’m just 41.
What can I share with you?
I’d like to explain my message above in more detail. As always, contact me for questions or comments. I enjoy talking about spiritual matters with people who are open to hear and share.
Thank you that even when I was wrapped up in my own life, you pursued me.
I didn’t go looking for God. Truthfully, I did certain things as an adult because it seemed like the right thing to do. Also, I observed other people who were promoted going to church and/or thanking God whenever they were pinned their new rank, so, I made sure to do that too.
Even when I was going my own way, You paid a high cost for me.
The Bible says… (and yes, I do and will reference the Bible often. Why? Well, I don’t want to simply follow just anyone. People fail you. They are human, that’s what all humans do even if they didn’t mean to. We fall short. We miss the mark. But Jesus gave up His life to satisfy the wrath of a Holy God. (God’s standard from the Bible is that all sin demands punishment. The punishment for any sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 ESV) There is no scaling or class system here folks. Either you sinned or you didn’t. One time or a bunch of times. Knowingly or unknowingly. Simply put, ‘sin’ is defined according to CEF as “ANYTHING you think, say, or do that breaks God’s laws or makes Him sad.) The Bible says that every single person has sinned. Romans 3:23 I didn’t really need to think about that too hard. I knew I was wrong in several areas of my life before I was 14 and after I was 14. I knew because I was hiding things from other people. What’s done in the dark WILL come to light. We see that play out in the media where a person’s past is dug up and revealed for all to see, sometimes many, many years later even after years of great acts of service- the truth comes out. But with God, He already knows what we may try and hide. He sees it all- ALL OF IT- and yet, Jesus STILL, willingly, took the punishment for OUR sin (death, remember?) for me and for you when we didn’t even deserve it. Regardless of if we would care about it or not, realize it or not or just plain ‘ol rejected Him or not- Jesus Christ died for you. (Romans 5:7-8) We cannot make it right by God on our own. There is nothing that we can do or say or give to appease a JUST, Righteous, and Holy God because we are already tainted by sin. The bottom line is – we are all hopeless without Jesus. But, take heart! He has overcome the world! (John 16:33) Jesus PAID in FULL with His blood and His life on the cross thereby bridging the gap from us to a Holy God that ALL who believe in Him would be Saved. It’s as simple as that. Thank you Jesus!! (John 5:18-47; John 11:38-44)
So whenever I did my own thing, You cleaned me up and gave me my true purpose. It’s not because of anything I have done or haven’t done – this is all your free gift extended out to me.
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a]and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] 4 But[c] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.8 For 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. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV
Even when I was dirty and completely lost (but didn’t yet know it), you loved me.
Matthew 18:10-14 The Lost Sheep. That was me at one point.
Have you ever been through a situation and after it’s all over you look back and go, ‘Wow. This and this could have happened (but it didn’t)…’ Or you know of other people going through similar experiences and they’ve got it much worse and you look back and say to yourself, ‘Wow. That was hard. So, what do I do with this now?’ Well, that has been me for some time now. When I hear more news about tragic events I’m reminded the importance of sharing my own story. I know I need to share more about my life because there are others out there who need to hear. You need to know that you are not alone AND that there IS HOPE. He has a name. His name is Jesus. (John 14:6) He is accessible to EVERYONE and remember above? He already paid in full for you. There is FREEDOM in Christ. God’s still working through some residual strongholds with me but definately I am Free and I am so grateful.
When I think about my life and all the things that I have done, I am so grateful to you. Thank you for guiding me to where I am today. Help me to continue to follow You and not me.
I still have struggles, yes, of course I do. My natural instinct is to run and hide from drama and difficult people if you really want to know. I also don’t like to disappoint people, yet, God’s been working on me bit by bit through different experiences. I am definitely not the same person I was before. My thinking is different, my goals are different and my personal foundation is now built upon Christ (verses my own ‘bootstraps’ if you will). When God gets my attention, I cannot hide. I don’t even want to. I still need Jesus every day not just because that is what I ‘should do’ but because who else can lead me like He can? Nobody. Who else knows every single thing about me and yet is still here? Jesus.
God is not phased by our sins but He also won’t be mocked. Will you take time and think over what I’ve shared today? If anything stood out to you, take note of it. Talk it over with your mentor or spend time with God in prayer (just talk to God!) and reading His Word – the Bible – (it’s one way how God talks to you!) to get to know His character. Study it with expectation and delight to discover something new. You might be surprised!
So…. why Jesus? Why am I always referring to Jesus and God? Good question. If there was only one thing that I could pass on to you, it would be to encourage you to get to know Christ. I’d ask you to take time to consider important questions such as ‘Why are you here? What’s your life about? Is this all there is to it? Could there be more? What do you really know about Jesus? Do you love Him like He loved you? How about others…do you care where they are headed?” These are all thoughts I hope you will reflect and consider. If you found this helpful, let me know and maybe share your thoughts with others around you.? Thank you for reading!
And thank you for the Birthday wishes!!