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Posts Tagged ‘meaning’

Discipleship in a Broken World (pt 2)

Part 2 of How Following Christ Transforms Everything

“Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you–I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus– I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.
For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved bother–especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.”

– Philemon 1:8-16 (ESV)

In these verses, Paul is talking about how a disciple intercedes in broken relationships. When Paul wrote the letter, he put the greetings and who was sending it at the top – that’s how people sent letters then. Unlike us, where we sign a letter at the bottom. Paul has the heart of a forgiven man, if you don’t know what this means – he knows what it’s like to be forgiven and is able to forgive and have grace. If you’re still unclear what this means, read part one of this series.

Paul, as we see, loved Philemon as a brother. He (Paul) has a high regard for Philemon, as he was an established man of power in the Roman Empire. Paul knew that Onesimus, Philemon’s slave, had run away and he had met him.

When Onesimus ran away from Philemon, Paul realized that he wasn’t running away from Philemon, but from God. Paul told him that he could go on and try to run away from God for all of eternity, but it’s useless, because God will always call and chase after us, only to pick us up in his arms and reassure us that we cannot live without Him.

Side Note: You may be thinking – running away. It’s not that big of a deal. I beg to differ. In the Roman world, running away as a slave was a huge deal, as it was punishable by death if you were caught, and you could be put to death right then and there. It also often meant that the master was cruel and such. It was quite a big deal and a huge demeanor to the master in the social realm. Philemon was no such master, he was kind, gracious, and caring towards his workers. But because Onesimus ran away, Philemon was ridiculed and mocked; he was put down by his fellow Romans. Philemon was willing though, to be a teacher. For when Onesimus returned, he was not going to punish him, but teach him.

God asks us, despite being ridiculed and mocked (etc.), to minister to the people who want to be taught. We need to pray for those who do not want to be taught – that their hearts would soften and they’d be willing to hear God’s word.

In verse 11, there is a play on words that the English translation misses. “Onesimus” means “useful” — and in verse 11, Paul said he was once useless to you, but now he is useful. In verse 13, Paul talks about not wanting to send Onesimus back, as he wants Onesimus to serve him while he is imprisoned, and in verse 14, Paul said, “but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord.”

Paul is saying we need to look from God’s perspective, forgiveness is the key to restoring a relationship. When we accept Jesus, it changes our life, and though you may not feel like their life is changed, God is working in you and you have to have faith and trust and obedience. A kind of forgiveness, the highest form, is when we have to forgive someone, and they know not what they have done. In Luke 23:24, Jesus cries out something similar like this as he is dying on the cross. Bloody, in pain, and suffering the world’s sin, as well as processing the emotional pain of his father turning his back on him, he said these words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

A lack of forgiveness impeded your joy as a Christian, if you hold back forgiveness you will not enjoy the forgiveness God has given us. Letting go of a wrong someone has done against you – whether intentionally or unintentionally – means more than just the words “I forgive you.”
A lack of forgiveness impedes your joy with other Christians – you lose the joy of fellowship.
A lack of forgiveness assumes against the role of God. In Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not repay evil fro evil.”
A lack of forgiveness makes you unfit for worship.
Lacking forgiveness misunderstands the nature of trials.
We need to have a good perspective of ourselves, and it is pride that often gets in our way – “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18 ESV).

Before wrapping up this post, I want to impose on you a few questions.

– Is it worth being miserable for the rest of your life because of the lack of forgiveness?
– How should you counsel someone who was finding it difficult to forgive someone else?
– What biblical principles apply?

Don’t just read through the questions and answer them in like a three-second answer. Take time, think about it. Write the answer down, if needed to help you truly answer in a truthful and honest way.

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The passage being looked at is in Romans, it’s Romans 12:1-8 (NIV):

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

In verse 1, we are urged by Paul to offer ourselves; our bodies as living sacrifices. Okay, now you’re already probably freaking out right now thinking, What? Living…sacrifices…our…bodies?? Stop. Don’t freak.  Okay? Let me continue…  it’s by God’s mercy we are able to offer ourselves; submit, to God as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to him.

This is describing our spiritual commitment of allowing Christ to live in us, so that we may worship him spiritually. Now, when it the verse first said, “sacrifice”  most discern a sacrifice as killing or offering something that’ll eventually have to die. Some may mistake this verse sacrifice as something taking possession over our bodies, in which, yes, Christ does take possession, but he takes possession of our heart. It’s not in a violent, stereotypical way (take the movie “Possession” for example) that most think of. He takes our hearts and keeps our attitude, thoughts, etc. in care.

He lives in us and when a dedicated Christians is living according to God’s word you can see there’s something different about that person. Most people -unbelievers- wouldn’t know that Christ was living in you, but people do notice how others (us) act – our kind “deeds.” Christians know what’s making a person act a particular way – it’s Christ living in them; their hearts. He uses us to show people what he’s like; we reflect him. So if we have a hard heart, do you think people will think highly of Christians? Or hate us? Hate us, right? Because who wants to act like that.

In the second verse, we are told in this verse that we must not follow the pattern of flesh – our world’s ways. Instead we need to let Christ transform us, we must change our mindset. When a person changes their mindset (in general) it varies what things get done, so when us (Christians) are able to alter our mindset so that we’re able to test and accept what God’s will is for us – his perfect will, planned millenniums in advanced, tons more things will be accomplished than following our flesh’s will.

Verses 4 and 5, talks about how as humans we have one body, one physical human body. Each person’s body is different – from blood type to DNA. With many others we make up many bodies – we create a church body. One that is one body because of Christ.

Finishing with verses 6-8… Because of how God made each and every one of us differently, so are our gifts given to us by God, according to the grace given. Whatever a person’s -or your- gift is, use it! If a person loves to help, let them help; if they enjoy teaching God’s word, let them teach; and so on! Do not hold back or be afraid to use your gift(s) God has given you.

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The verse that’ll be looked at in this devotion is found in 2 Corinthians. It’s 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (NIV):

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Starting out, in verse 1, one discovers that through God’s mercy, we have ministry – the opportunity to preach/tell the gospel to others, so that they may come to know Him and His word. Since we have that opportunity to minister and make it  so other people will have hope in something that’ll last forever, we need not to lose heart.

In the second verse, we see that it talks about our sinful ans shameful nature. We are often lost because of deception and we (as flesh) distort the ways of the Lord. But it’s because of the mercy God gives us, we have no need to lose heart; faith. By telling and recognizing the truth set forward by God for us to see, we gain trust from God to help preserve the truth. When we commend ourselves so that others trust us – mind, body, and conscience – we can then tell them about the word and God, too earns their trust – when they ask him to become their Lord and Savior.

The next two verses, verses 3-4, a discovery, too made here is that for those who try to “cover” the truth; God’s word, they are blinded from it, they are not able to fully see, because thy try to destroy it. For if you blind a driver, they cannot see, ‘nor drive safely. This is the same concept for when people try to hide; cover up, the gospel, they cannot and will not be able to “drive” – live a good safe live without it. It’s like driving without a license – it’s illegal! When you can’t see or understand or accept what Christ has done or see the light of the gospel, life isn’t going to be lived full – even though it may seem like it. Life can only be lived to its fullest with Jesus (the Holy Spirit) living and working in and through you. I can’t say it won’t be easy or anything, in fact life may get harder, but with Christ all things are possible and there will always be a light and reason at the end of each journey.

In verse 5, it’s here one can see -are told- that we ourselves do not preach, for sinful flesh isn’t capable of preaching God’s holy word alone. But it’s through Christ’s work we are able to preach the gospel – God puts the words in our hearts to speak through our mouths about his word. He makes is so that the itch on our heart to go out and serve him, just like Jesus did while he was on earth.

The last verse, verse 6, talks how the God, who made this earth and said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made it so his perfect light could cut through the darkness of our hearts. He gave us the light not only to see on this world, but so that we may acquire the knowledge of how beautiful his love and glory is, in the form of Christ and when he came down, died, and rose we’d fall over in sheer awe and submission to him. Just like servants ready to serve a wonderful master, who treats them like his own children.

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I’ll be trying out a new a study technique for this – hope all’s well. The study of the verses is going to “mix-matched.”

2 Timothy 1:6-10 (NIV):

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

In the verse 7, it tells us of what we are like. By ourselves in a time of crisis we are timid, but with the power of God in us, we are able to be bold, burning like a bonfire with plenty of fuel. In verse 9, it tells us about God. Through this we can see that God is a powerful God, one who is able to save; to redeem.

In the last verse of the study, verse 10, we discover that through Christ’s sacrifice death is destroyed and life is re-awakened (renewed to say) and it’s all brought back under the main spotlight through the gospel. In verse 8 there is something that we can be excited for, and it’s this: that we have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to be ashamed of for our faith; our belief in Christ. Though we’ll suffer – “pay” for our beliefs – we’ll have a prize and good feeling in the end. The over all concept: we mustn’t be afraid, ashamed, or put-down because of what people think of us. Instead, we need to go out boldly, proclaiming our faith and the wonderful message of Christ. Now, it won’t be easy, but with God on our side, anything is possible.

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View part 1 here: Trust Governs How We Love

The passage we will be looking at today is a continuation of 2 John; 2 John 1:7-13 (NIV):

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.

Our God is holy and loving to much; everything isn’t good, it must hate something, right? Right, that something is sin. Truth governs the expression of love. In verses 7-9 (the few two) it shows that we must beware of those who deceive us. Satan uses works in the realm of the mind, shifting the image of God; the philosophy, just a bit so that we may become confused and not know the right works of God. He (Satan) and his ‘servants’ are masts actors – “clothing” themselves as righteousness, even though they not really have that relationship with Christ.

The false preachers teach that Jesus did nothave a body, instead they teach that he was just a spirit occupying a body. This means if you don’t believe, you do not accept that Jesus, God’s one and only son, came to earth in flesh, and died on the cross; otherwise they are saying he’s not a savior. They teach that the Bible, well, it doesn’t have the answer we all are “searching” for. – But see, they had this “vision” (etc.) and they know how we can get to heaven and all, cause they  know it.

– Now, before we go freaking out, you have to realize, this is reality. As Christians, in this world, is just time spent in this awful battle; the battle between good and evil; righteousness, salvation, and love against sin. It’s the world between the two kingdoms; the battle grounds. And we are the soldiers. –

Continuing on, now just because out enemies, false teachers, have a different belief doesn’t mean we treat them like crap (excuse my language). Instead, we need to love the truth more. How does this make sense? How does it apply? You may be wondering? Read on and you’ll see why… it’s because we need to watch ourselves, we need to be more careful not to stumble and suddenly loose everything in a snap. This is because if you lose that spiritual stability, you lose the rewards that follow, because there are actually rewards for those who continue to truly believe.

Warning: If you aren’t loyal in truth, you destroy the works God has done.

Through our pride and selfish acts comes our ruin.

Whoever believes Jesus came to the earth, took on sin, and smashed it, then we can only, and only then, say we understand.

Where the believers in Jesus’ time often fell was with people who were the outcast; “underdogs” (whatever you’d like to call them). Why? Because the feeling of empathy happened. Letting them in their home and then suddenly those people would be teaching them false words. They needed to boot them out! But also they needed to just get to know them, to teach them the truth. This applies to us now-a-days.

For those who you push away, are travelers, Jehovah’s witnesses, etc. they use the “excuse:” But you’re a Christian. You have to let me in, what would Jesus do?  to get in, to get to you. Right, they have that right don’t they? NO! Absolutely not. That’s no excuse. That’s them trying to sell you out. You must be prepared to defend yourself and the truth of which you behold. What do I do though? You may ask. Well simple. You tell them this:

“I am no Jesus.”

Simple. Smart. Leaves them shell-shocked (supposedly) .

People these days advertise false things, at first you criticize, but soon people send in money asking for that thing, and everything goes down hill from there. Satan tries to do the same thing, he tries to get us to spend our money on everything, instead of that which is right.

You remember the person John is writing this letter to? If not go back and take a second to read part one, it’ll tell you who the audience  is; the recipient of the letter. The recipient is a woman. John wants to give the woman more, to talk to her face to face, not formally from which he wrote this letter, but personally. He wants to teach her for hearing the truth governs the pure; true joy.

The application is this: When you aren’t believing that Christ dealt with sin, how he came, died, and vanquished sin, well I can tell you this: It won’t get you far, not far at all in your journey of life. You must not believe every word someone who claims to know everything, cause even though they claim to know everything, it doesn’t show that they accept Christ’s sacrifice, because they truly aren’t a believer.

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I’m going to be doing this post a little different that the recent ones I’ve done, being I’m doing it off of some notes I have.

The passage I will be “dissecting” is 2 John 1:1-6 (NIV):

The elder,

To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth —and not I only, but also all who know the truth — because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.  And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

First we’ll look at the theme, which is this: “Truth governs how we love.”

Second, let’s ask ourselves, “Who’s the audience?” in most cases it’d be a man, but in this case it appears to be a lady, unnamed.

Thirdly, the base of the passage is that there were “fake leaders” entering the houses of the real – to say – leaders of the church and staying, afterwards they ask who the other leaders of the church are and earn their trust so that they may preach and teach false – only known to them – scripture. Thus, converting, turning, and confusing people.

“Truth is that which accurately reflects God. In the end, that is the scripture.”

The Greek word for truth is “αλήθεια” (pronouced “al-líth-ei-a”). In our time, the 21st century, the post-modernistic era is a talented bender at truth. Companies use “trustworthy” sayings, like: 9 out of 10 Doctors recommend and say it will make you better in beauty (phyical appearance) if you buy our product. They make things sound safe and usable. They want you to love it, not like, but love it, and they even heap all those guarantees and such on, “We’ll guarantee 100% satisfaction, and if you don’t like it you can send it back for a refund, but please keep this (product from us) as a gift (in remembrance of us).” But are they really telling the truth or just trying to get people to suck up and buy it? It may be a cheap product, it may not.

But people (especially in politics) stretch the truth and bend so often it’s hard to tell if they really mean it or not, especially with relationships, sometimes people just fake their love to use people – which is just gross and selfish.

 “Truth defines the love to one another.”

Marriage. Committing your life to someone you absolutely love is huge. And when you say your vows, and mean it truthfully, you really love them, now in some cases it lasts for 50+ years… others 2 years.

Taking a somewhat temporary detour… I want to kind of use my grandparents as an example. They show an amazing example of God’s love for others and are wise people, because of time, and it is always the people like your elders, who know more  than you and can give you advice, and when they do: listen. They’ve been through more and understand how to get through. My grandmother and grandfather are an amazing example of the quote, they are strong Christians, are always full of amazing stories and advice to give, and their love for one another grows stronger each day and hour. They have been married for over 50 years.

“Relationships in the church can only thrive as much as we dwell in reality.”

For the first and second verses, a summary of them is this: “We are love in Christ in truth.” Being part of a local church is not just attending, but in knowledge, truth, and understanding in Christ. When Jesus addresses this woman, look at the detail he uses. “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” The Israelites were very formal when writing a letter and most often they always put their name at the beginning of the letter, instead of the end, like we do now, so that other can see who it’s from better and not having to read down to the bottom and then discover who it was from.

“If you don’t understand Him, you don’t know how to walk.”

Jesus gave us his all, love is natural, but we as flesh need commandments to help us love like we are supposed to. Loving and showing it properly is hard, even if you really don’t want to. And when I’m talking about love, I don’t mean it in that “ooky” way, I mean it as “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14) way. We need to understand Christ’s view, and that’s being kind and loving all who persecute, make fun of you, etc.

“If you don’t have an understanding of truth, you cannot love correctly.”

In 1 John, he [Jesus] talks and teaches about love, in 2 John he teaches us how to balance love with truth. In 1 Timothy 3:14-16 (NIV) it says “truth never changes.” Neither should our love for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we see a friend who needs help we should do it out of love, not hate or to make ourselves look good. Before you act to anything big, think this:

“What would Jesus do?”

Application: That we never lose sight of Christ.

Concluded Moral: As Christians we need to keep a watch for the fake leaders. Make sure you dig for evidence and truth, before you love and become attached.

“Truth is that which respond to reality.”

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“Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.”

-Psalm 25:20 (NIV)

Suicide. It’s a sensitive topic, to everyone. Before I go into the biblical study of the topic I want to share some statics, ways to prevent, review, and at the end, story with you. A site called TeenDepression.org, which is a site that has information on teen depression and such, states,

“Teen suicide is a major cause of death among teens, though many do not recognize suicide as a serious threat to a teenager’s well being. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and teenagers. According to the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH), about 8 out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000. For every teen suicide death, experts estimate there are 10 other teen suicide attempts. In a survey of high school students, the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center found that almost 1 in 5 teens had thought about suicide, about 1 in 6 teens had made plans for suicide, and more than 1 in 12 teens had attempted suicide in the last year. As many as 8 out of 10 teens who commit suicide try to ask for help in some way before committing suicide, such as by seeing a doctor shortly before the suicide attempt.”

It’s surprising and sad. For everyone. I know a friend who experienced almost losing a friend while talking to her. I won’t say what happened further, but  I know for people who see, hear, add to the cause, or are actually the ones who hit the person (like with underground subways) it’s very depressing and can send that person into a total shell shock. It requires a lot of strength and help to overcome, and even with professional help, it can still be hard. People nowadays go to the furthest extent to keep teens from slipping up, people too. In high school there are counselors who keep up with you and check in, or who you can go to vent to. There are “procedures” you can go through to attempt your best to prevent someone from committing this undo-able act.

The Teen Suicide site lists warning signs of someone who may attempt or is thinking about suicide.

Somethings that can lead to suicide:

  • Emotional distress brings on physical complaints (aches, fatigues, migraines)
  • Hard time concentrating and paying attention
  • Problems at work and losing interest in a job
  • Substance abuse, including alcohol and drug (illegal and legal drugs) use
  • Behavioral problems
  • There are also verbal hints that could indicate suicidal thoughts or plans. These include such phrases as: “I want you to know something, in case something happens to me” or “I won’t trouble you anymore.”
  • Creates suicide notes.
  • Expresses bizarre or unsettling thoughts on occasion.

Also, verbal things like “I want to kill myself,” “I’d rather die,” “I wish  I could just die,” etc. are also things to take note of and investigate with seriousness.

In Ecclesiastes 7:17 (NIV) it says:

“Do not be overwicked,
and do not be a fool—
why die before your time?”

For those struggling: remember: God has a purpose for you and you alone, no one else can fill that spot where your life is. He also has numbered your days specifically to what you’ll do and what’ll happen in your life. Let me ask you some questions –

Do you really think there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, to live for? 
What “evidence” do you have to have the right to kill yourself?
Is there no hope left, no “second chances?”
Are you willing to give up everything for something you’ll never live to do again? Because there aren’t any second chances.

If you answered, “yes” to the first question, I’m going to say you’re wrong, you may think that, but there’s plenty to live for. What would your family do if you left the planet? They absolutely adore and love you. What about your friends? They wouldn’t know what they’d do if you were gone. For who’d fill that hole when shopping or playing a sport together? None, but you. Even your pet(s) love you. And there’s someone who loves you more than you can imagine; God. He created you in his amazing, and perfect image. There’s a verse that goes:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation —
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?”

-Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

What shall we fear? People? No. Not fitting in? No. Death? No. What will my life be like? No. It says, “The Lord my light…” he’s the one we need to be focused on. [He] “Is the stronghold of my life,” he’s the one who’s holding down your life, my life. Keeping it safely in his hands that comfort and help. The Lord has many names of different meaning, but they all refer to the same person. There’s El Roi – the God Who Sees Me. He sees you in your worst and best moments of life; the most depressing and joyful. Yahweh Raphe – God Provides. I have this written on my right wrist. And on my left I have written in Hebrew, “Yahweh Nissi” which means “God is My Banner; My Refuge.” He’s the one I go to in time of trouble, the one I let all my anger, sadness, and feelings go and let him guide me.

God didn’t make life perfect, I can testify to that. But he made it so that in times life would be easy; leisurely, but God knows when you start to stray, just like he knew that Adam and Eve would leave; human would leave him because who needs a God when everything is perfect, no granted, God didn’t create sin. He didn’t make Adam and Eve sin, it was their faults that got them to sin and fall. He creates those hills in your life that can test your faith and trust, making you run to him.

Now, for the second question that you may have answered “yes” to. There’s no evidence you can say that makes it right for you to kill yourself. Or for anyone to kill themselves as a matter-of-fact. You may be thinking, No, you’re wrong. My life stinks. My friends abandoned me. My family hates me, my parents are divorced. School is so hard, I’m not sure if I can bare it. No one cares for me, who’d care that I was gone anyway… no one would notice... Stop.

Yes, your parents would notice. Your friends would notice. People who are aware of you and know you would notice. God would cry at what would happen. Sure, sometimes there are friends who leave or ignore you. I know the feeling. But there’s always at least one friends who’s your real friend,you can tell that friends are real friends when they stay by your side no matter what, and care about you like a sister or brother, when they express concern. Sometimes, though you may not notice, but that people push others away, instead of you thinking they blocked you out, make sure you’re not the one actually blocking them out.  Now school. Oh boy, no one likes it. Especially when you have to wake up at (what seems) the crack of dawn. You may be failing your classes, or suffering with some part, but never fear! Most teachers are eager to help if you seek it and are willing to work hard. People care for you, for who you are- fun, energetic, intelligent, kind, silly, etc.

“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

-2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV)

There is hope. There are counselors, your parents, youth leaders, and people who are trained to help you and want to make sure you live a life that’s amazing, even God wants and makes sure your path is made for you! There is always room for second, third, and fourth, (so-on) chances. God gives us hope and tells us to live a holy life, one made possible by his death on the Cross (and rising again).

Would you be willing to give up everything? Your amazing and precious life, love, and future. The fun, spending time at the amusemet park, riding the roller coasters, going to the mall, or going to that concert you dreamed of going to? You may think it’s your fate – well Humph! Fate. Only God knows your fate, not you, remember that. He’s in control of everything.

Now, I’d like to tell you a few stories, one I heard, or watched at my Youth Group meet, and the second will be a personal story; journal, from my life…

There’s a story of a woman, who’s two daughters where abducted and killed; murdered. And the woman couldn’t let go of what that man had done, she started to turned from God. Thoughts like, Why did he…? and How dare he… started to course through the mother’s mind. She suffered depression and the feeling of lost. It was when someone came and helped her realize, praying to God, confessing and handing over; letting go, of those feelings she felt a weight be lifted and was able to forgive the person who was responsible for the murder. This was about 10-20 years (if I remember right) after the incident.

Amazing, huh? God provides and he’s all sufficient; El Shaddai.

There’s a song by Matt Redman, actually a couple songs, one called You Never Let Go and 10,000 Reasons.

I’d like for you to listen to them – You Never Let Go and 10,000 Reasons.

Remember and “absorb” the lyrics, when I find myself in a situation that seem hopeless, if you will, I remember theses songs, and repeat them in my head.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

-Romans 12:2 (NIV)

“If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.”

-2 Corinthians 1:6 (NIV)

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.”

-Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

If you or you know someone thinking about Suicide, call the National Suicide Hotline at: 1-800-273-TALK

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