Losing My Life for Christ

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Something stirred inside me just now telling me to revive my blog, so here I am.

Over the past few years, I’ve done nothing but agonize. Over everything. Decisions, people, opinions, my hair, my weight, just everything! I’ve turned situations over and over in my head trying to figure out what happened, what I should have done, what I could have done, especially what everyone else in the world should have done. The one thing I have failed to do each and every time is give my situation over to God. The Bible tells us so many times in so many different ways that if we just leave our problems in God’s hands, He will help us and give us everything we need. I make the same excuse every time. “I don’t know how.” But that’s silly, isn’t it? Really the only thing I have to do is pray about my situation, ask God to handle it, and stop thinking about it. Leave it ALONE. 

But I find that very difficult. And that’s why I almost started this post saying “Being a Christian is hard.”

Don’t get me wrong. Being a Christian is hard.  The Bible says the world is going to hate us and persecute us just because we believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. But I have created my own personal hell because I’ve been disobedient and refused to give my problems to God.

I regularly set down my cross and blame those around me, my depression, my childhood, really anything that’s not myself. I regularly minimize God’s power in my head and disregard all His promises because I prefer to wallow in self-pity, seek it from others, and just generally avoid changing because that will be hard and I’ll have to accept responsibility for my own actions.

I’ve literally spent my entire life running full speed away from anything that’s hard.

Let me tell you something. Running all your life is exhausting. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of making bad decisions. I’m tired of not using the self-control that God gave me. I’m tired of being a bad example. I don’t think I have led one single soul to Christ in my 21 years on this Earth and I’m ashamed of that. What am I doing with my life if not following God’s Great Commission? I’m tired of trying to rely on myself and my fellow man when that has failed EVERY SINGLE TIME!

God says that in Him we will find rest. That in Him we will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. I want to say I’m ready for that, but I know it’s going to take some work to change the way I’ve been doing things.

However, I have to do it. Because though it’s never been just about me, that holds even more true now. I have to be a good example.

The time for acting like a child as I so often have done is past.

It is now time to walk by faith, let trust be my first response instead of worry, pray fervently, study my Word without abandon, praise in every situation, allow God’s love to change my heart, encourage my fellow man, practice self-control, stand on the promises of God, place my problems in His hands, leave them there, let go of things I cannot control, live out the life that God has given me in the fullest way possible, and in the process, lead many people to God.

I’m thankful for second (and thousandth) chances and a God who has promised to never give up on me, despite my issues.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”” Matthew 16:24-25

To my beautiful LGBT (et al.) friends and supporters, a sincere letter from your Christian friend

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Star Dust

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 26:  Rainbow colored lights shine on the White House to celebrate todays US Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. Today the high court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 26: Rainbow colored lights shine on the White House to celebrate todays US Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage June 26, 2015 in Washington, DC. Today the high court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage in all 50 states. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Dear friends,

This is the most difficult blog I’ve ever written. Get a cup of coffee, it is also kind of long. I’ve been working on it for several days.

I am a Christian, and I’m basically supportive of the Supreme Court’s decision to recognize gay marriage on a state and federal level.

The reason why I’m supportive, as a bisexual friend of mine put it, as well as the world-renowned Christian author C.S. Lewis also put it, most people aren’t Christian and should not be expected to live Christian lives. God gave us free will, and I…

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John 3:17

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“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

This is another verse that continually blesses me.

It’s good to be reminded sometimes that Jesus came to save us and not to condemn us. For me, this is especially important. I always get bogged down thinking that God is like humans. A lot of people that I have encountered in my short time on this earth have just put me down and held my transgressions against me. Because of this, it’s been extremely easy for me to think that all people and even God is like that. But our God is not like that. Our God forgives completely. God’s forgiveness and mercies are new each day no matter what we do. This has been the biggest blessing to me because trying to become a better person has not been easy for me, but I know that God will finish the good work that He started in me because the Bible tells me so. I hope that my testimony will be a blessing to everyone to whom I tell it.

Revelation 21:4

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“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”

This verse makes me want to cry (in a good way!) because it is so beautiful. This verse signifies the immense and complete hope that we have in Christ. This verse states that God is going to wipe away the tears of His people! Imagine the God of the entire world comforting you and wiping away your tears…what could be a better feeling? The comfort that God brings just from His word is unlike anything man can give to you. So, to actually be in His presence which would already be fulfilling in itself, would just be an emotional overflow in the very best way.

No more death — No more grieving from the passing of loved ones because we will already be in heaven with them.

Neither sorrow — All sufferings will be washed away

Nor crying — There will only be happiness

Neither shall there be any pain — Have you ever just had pain in your body? A constant pain? Imagine it gone…

For the former things are passed away — Everything bad that you have ever done or that has ever happened to you…even all the good things, all gone and replaced with better days.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this verse with you guys because it blesses me every time I read it.

On Being a Christian in College

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That’s right, guys. I’m in college. In fact, I’m only 18 years old. But I love the Lord and that’s all that matters.

Being a Christian in college is quite a difficult accomplishment. However, I have managed this far. How did I do that? Well, I found a fellowship on campus. And without them, I never would have grown closer to God at school with all the temptation. But with them, I got closer to God and got a group of friends that I can rely on whenever I need someone to pray with, read the bible with, or just laugh with. The group I joined is called InterVarsity and they have, in short, been a tremendous blessing to me.

Every Tuesday, we have small group meeting. In small group, we have a student leader and he or she guides us through talking about the bible and how it relates to our lives and any personal issues we may be going through. Small group is great because it allows you to get personal and as a result, you get this amazing bond with your small group members.

Every Thursday, everyone comes together to sing and worship in our large group meeting. In large group, we have a speaker along with several worship songs. This gets everyone in the mood to serve God and after a ling week at school, it’s the perfect release. Let me tell you, when you’re young, there’s absolutely nothing like looking around you and seeing your peers happily and eagerly worshipping the same God that you serve. To know that other young people follow God and want to be on fire for Him is just the best feeling.

So, if anyone in college is reading this and your school has InterVarsity, I encourage you to get involved. I promise you, it will change your life!

~Xena Callaham
Do better. Think better. Be better.

Santification

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Three Iron Nails

Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us . . . sanctification
1 Corinthians 1:30

The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to me, not gradually, but instantly when by faith I enter into the realization that Jesus Christ is made unto me sanctification. Sanctification does not mean anything less than the holiness of Jesus being made mine manifestly.

The one marvellous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you.” It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification, and imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace. Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His word?

Sanctification means the impartation…

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