Today's The Day I Make Jesus Proud Of Me Again

Today's The Day I Make Jesus Proud Of Me Again

I may have accepted Him many years ago, but it's never too late to rededicate your life.
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So, I have the same story as quite a few others. I went to bible school in elementary school and did the ABC's of accepting Christ and "became a Christian." Sure, I've always believed in Jesus, no doubt about that, but accepting Him into my heart at 8 or 9 years old? I don't even think I really understood what I was doing. So that is what leads me to today, June 4, 2017, over 10 years later, being baptized for the first time and rededicating my life.

Of course, I wanted to accept Him at bible school because that's what I was supposed to do right? I had gone to church all of my short life so far, and now was time to make that next step. But what did it even mean? Okay, so Jesus is in my heart, now I have to mind my parents and be good and I'll go to heaven? I don't think I even began to understand what it really meant. And that's no one's fault because, I mean, how do you begin to explain faith to an 8- or 9-year-old when some adults don't even fully understand it? But I accepted Him, and I went home and told my parents and grandparents and everyone was so proud of me. And I really thought I was doing good, praying before bed every night, reading my little children's bible, going to bible drill and Sunday school, I mean, I was the perfect Christian right?

Well, it all seemed easy until I got older.

Faith is so innocent and pure as a child. It just seemed so much easier as a child. But then came middle school, and even worse, high school. It became easier to miss church and sleep in. I felt as if I had too much homework to try to read my bible. Kids started cussing, going to parties, drinking, and the list goes on. The kids who went to church instead of the parties got picked on and called "goody-goodies." If you read your bible in class you got weird looks. It just became easier and easier to drift away from Christ and follow the norm. And I did. I didn't read my bible very much, I hardly ever went to church, I only talked to God when I was questioning Him by asking Him why. I tried harder to be one of the cool kids and tried less to maintain my relationship with God.

But God doesn't let you get too far for too long. He sent some things my way that finally woke me up. From abusive relationships to major health problems to loss of family members and a lot of disappointment and regret, God brought me back. It was slow, but He brought me back. I'm now back in church, I now do my devotional every day, and I pray A LOT, and not just to ask for something, but to thank Him. Am I the perfect Christian? Absolutely not, but I am trying. I see what's important now. In my older mindset, I now am beginning to understand what faith truly is.

So it is perfectly fine if you became a Christian before you really even knew what that meant, and yes you can still call yourself a Christian. But what would that innocent little 8- or 9-year-old say about the way you're living today? That's something I had to ask myself recently, and I came to find she wouldn't be too proud because God deserves so much more. He deserves so much more than a lukewarm follower.

So today is the day that I make that little girl, and Jesus Christ, proud of me again. Today is the day I get baptized.

I know God appreciated that 8- or 9-year-old that tried to her best to follow Jesus so very much. But I know God is smiling down now without a doubt because after stumbling through life, trying to do things without Him, that little girl is back, and now truly beginning to understand why I need Him so much.

Cover Image Credit: Stocksnap

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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A Small Part Of A Great Plan

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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Here at Iowa State, I attend a church service group called SALT Company on Thursday nights, which is held at a newly developed, non-denominational church called Cornerstone. Nearly 2,000 other college students gather to worship Jesus by singing beautiful contemporary Christian music led by a band (my personal favorite part.) In addition to that, the pastors lead the auditorium through a certain section of the Bible that we are focusing on that week. We read through and break down the passage as the pastor explains what it means and how to live out the main ideas of God's teaching in our daily lives. I was raised in the Catholic church, was enrolled in the Catholic school system my entire life and attended mass twice a week. Coming to college, I was not at all used to the modern and contemporary type service that Cornerstone would offer, but it truly has been one of the most life-changing and faith-forming experiences I have had for that exact reason.

I want to share with you our focus message this past week, because it was one that I think everyone needs to be reminded of.

Have you ever asked yourself, "What is my purpose?" We, especially as college students, revolve our minds around this question so often. "How am I supposed to know what I want to do with my life, I'm 20 years old!" is the question I struggle with the most. We go through life searching for a purpose. We're searching for that "next step." Where am I going? Where am I supposed to go next? Where am I ultimately going to end up? This is human nature. We want to know everything about our lives, right now, at this very moment, all at once.

Instead of asking ourselves, "What is my purpose in life?", we need to shift our thinking to, "What is God's purpose for my life? Where does He need me, and how can I carry out my life in order to accomplish what He put me on this earth to do?"

Whether you believe this or not, we were made in God's perfect image to carry out His (remember, not OUR) plan for each of our lives. God knows our every next move, even though we may not. The questions that I mentioned above that constantly revolve in our minds -- God knows the answers to all of them. It is up to us to place our complete trust in Him in order to ultimately end up where God needs us to be. I almost feel a bit hypocritical for saying this, but I'm going to say it anyway because I need to be reminded as well: there is so much beauty found in the unknown. God has so many wonderful paths He is going to lead us down that we don't even know exist yet. Sure, we get down because something doesn't go the way we want it to. We don't get that leadership position, we didn't get accepted for that new job we really wanted, that relationship we loved ended. In those instances, remind yourself that if something is meant for you, it will be. Nothing that is truly good and meant for you will ever pass you by. It may leave you for a bit, but if it is meant to be there, it will be.


Hear this: God did not make any part of you on accident. Your passions, your strengths, your talents... they are all a part of who you are because God is going to use those things in you to carry out His ultimate plan. Our lives will be most fulfilled if we use those passions, strengths and talents to carry out what He needs us to do in this life.

I couldn't help but, at the end of the service, reflect on the final thought the pastor said. "Your past, your present, your future... it is all molded perfectly for how your life is going to turn out." I found so much peace in knowing that I have a God who is in complete control of every aspect of my life, including my past, my present and in what is to come. Think about that you guys. Everything that has happened thus far in our lives was supposed to happen. Though that reason may not be clear now, someday it will be. God works perfectly, without mistake. Trust in what He is doing for your life.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6

"It is better to play a small part in a Glorious story than be the main character in a tragic one." Place your trust in the grace and glory of Jesus. If we do that, our lives will fall perfectly into place. Are you willing to say, "For God's purpose, not mine?"

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