It’s All About Jesus

I made the decision a year ago that I would read the Bible in its entirety in one year. It was something I always wanted to do, but I usually fell off the plan after getting to Deuteronomy. I almost gave up multiple times, but God gave me the strength to keep pushing forward.

When I embarked on the journey of reading the Bible in an entire year, it was mainly because I felt that as a Christian it was hypocritical to say you believed in God but never even read God’s word to us. I felt that we should know the scriptures inside and out. But as I read, my perspective on this changed. While it is great to have read the entire Bible and to know it well, it is not solely necessary for salvation. Some may believe that eternal life comes by reading scriptures, but the scriptures point to who really brings eternal life: JESUS (John 5:39)!

I also think about those who do not have access to a Bible but have been told the gospel and have believed. They may not be able to read the Bible at all, but they believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). They will be saved!

I was all wrong when I first started my read through. I was seeking intellectual knowledge, not seeking salvation through Jesus or a personal relationship with him. I was also planning to post my accomplishment all over social media once I completed reading the Bible. Why? In order to brag or appear holy? As much as I hate to admit, that may have been the reason. Instead, I only told a few of my dear Christian friends that I meet with and a few family members.

As I embark on reading through the Bible again next year, it won’t be so that I can add a tally to how many times I’ve read the Bible. It will be so that I can see Jesus Christ shine brightly throughout the entirety of the scriptures (Old AND New Testaments) and to know Him even more as my savior. I need to get it ingrained into my brain that he is all I need for my salvation. I need to learn how to see others as loved by God. And I will do this while I still have free and unrestricted access to my Bible.

Forgiveness

Over the past few weeks, I have been learning about forgiveness. Forgiveness is not only important, but necessary. It is necessary not only for the person who offended us, but also for ourselves. Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, anger, stress and depression. It is so much healthier for us to forgive than to hold on to our pain forever.

I’ve been learning how to look at a person and look past their sin or offense…Lord knows that I’ve sinned and offended people. Beneath that sin or offense is a person. A human being with feelings, opinions, struggles and dreams…we can so easily just focus on the sin and not the person. 

This may be easier said than done and I respect anyone who is dealing with anger and bitterness. It’s hard to let go of the pain and forget the past. Especially when the person doesn’t ask for it. But it is so much better for our souls to let go. It may be cliche, but “let go and let God” is a phrase that fits here. Let go of the pain, the offense, and let God handle the person. Pray for them, since we are to pray for our enemies. Still be friendly to them, even if you don’t receive the same treatment back. Listen to them if they open up to you. Forgive them, whether they ask for it or not.

These past few weeks, I have forgiven a few people. It honestly feels good to relieve myself of that stress. Some asked for forgiveness and others didn’t. But either way, I am at peace and moving forward with my life and focusing on knowing Jesus, my Savior.

I challenge you to do the same thing. It will be hard and serious conversations will probably need to be had. But know that it is better for you and most of all, God wants us to forgive others like he forgives us (Colossians 3:13).  

Grace and peace.

Trusting God

Over the past few years, I’ve been learning something about trusting God. It seems like each day has been a test for me in trusting God! When I graduated from college and entered the real world, the test began. Being a working adult, not seeing my life pan out the way I thought it would, realizing that the world is truly cut-throat, and also realizing that I am not a special snowflake with the world in my hands was completely devastating to me. Sometimes I wonder if these notions were conceived during elementary, middle, and high school. But whenever it happened, it definitely wasn’t the right way to look at the adult life. Now that I’m married and fully in adulthood, I see that it’s really hard.

I don’t think there will ever be a day where I am not trusting God. I’m learning how to trust Him with my career, my marriage, and my finances. And what I’ve come to realize is that He is trustworthy! He has not let me down yet. Even when things don’t turn out the way I want them to, I know that it is ultimately for the best and that He can see the future…I can’t! Therefore, if God shuts down an opportunity for me, then maybe it really wasn’t the opportunity I thought it would be. 

And I can say the same thing for you. Sometimes we find ourselves in not-so-desirable circumstances and we want to do anything we can to get out of it. We start putting the weight on our own shoulders thinking that we have to get in control of this situation. And many times, we forget about God. That weight is way too heavy for us to carry on our own. We need to trust God in every situation and run to Him first when we’re struggling. Personally, I try to run away from the problem with hopes that the grass is greener on the other side. Each time that I run God brings me right back. He wants me to stay where I am right now so that I can learn how to truly depend on Him. And wow, am I learning!

Do you find yourself in a similar situation but God is constantly bringing you back to what you’ve been running from? If so, stop running. Stop worrying and being anxious. Start learning in your circumstances. God knows exactly what is best for you!