I had my mind blown at bible study two weeks ago. It was one of those moments when you hear a message and you almost fall out of your chair. We have been watching a video series on the book of Colossians by Louie Giglio. In this particular video he told the story of when he was giving a message in Tyler, TX and afterwards a man approached him. They talked about how Louie was heading back home and that he was excited about the upcoming message that he was preparing regarding the human body. The man asked Louie what his plan was to bring the message together. At that time he wasn’t sure so the man told him what he thought it should be- Laminin.
If you are like me you have never heard that term before, much less know how to spell it. When I google searched it the first time, I totally butchered the name. Laminin is essentially a protein molecule that binds cells together and we have a whole bunch of them in our body. Essentially it is helping hold our bodies together. Ok, well what makes this so cool you ask? They are in the shape of a cross. Yes, the very thing that is keeping you from falling apart looks just like a cross.
Over two thousand years ago Jesus took on extreme punishment for our sins. He was the lamb that was slain. He willingly was nailed to a cross as the sacrifice to God for all the sins we have committed. The very same cross that was used for punishment now is an emblem that signifies Christianity. This led me to think about the principles taught in the bible and the topic for today’s blog. How could I narrow this down to only a few items? After some time in prayer God gave me the answer. What holds us together as Christians? I believe it is Faith, Hope and Love.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love”1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)
I have personally experienced and heard about too many miracles to not believe in God. He has never left or forsaken me. The road was not always easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Was it tough getting released from my contract as a player and sleeping in my car at night? Heck yeah it was! Did it suck sleeping on top of the 1st base dugout when I didn’t have a place to live? Uh, yeah. I got released or told I wasn’t good enough by 5 teams in one summer alone. I traveled about 7000 miles that summer traveling between those teams, but at the end of it helped hoist the Northeast League championship trophy. The one thing that never waivered during this time was my faith in God’s plan for my life.
The easiest way I can define faith is having trust in something I can’t see. It is assurance that God has an amazing masterpiece that he is painting for you. It’s just hard to see your life looking like the statue of David when you feel like Homer Simpson. While this can be hard for some to do, we are called to be all in for God. You can’t expect full time benefits at your job and only put in part time work. Scripture tells us that God will not honor lukewarm Christians. So, get on board or jump out of the boat brother. Be all in or all out. Poop or get off the pot. Ok, that last one doesn’t really apply, but I just wanted to sneak in a potty reference.
“But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!”Revelation 3:16 (TLB)
Having hope that something will happen accompanies faith but is different in its own right. I think that feelings are attached to hope. We have expectations that what we want will work out for the best. It is a desire of our heart. Hope encourages us when things are looking grim. Sometimes though hope can be wrapped in uncertainty, which may derail us during our tough times. That’s when we take our hope up a notch and turn it into assurance. That is where our faith kicks in and helps us focus back on God instead of the situation we are currently in.
This was the hardest one for me to grasp personally. Growing up I looked at love as something between two people. Not in a sexual way, but more emotional. I was forced into adulthood when I was 12 which hardened my heart. I didn’t look at things emotionally. Everything was black and white, right and wrong, yes and no. My mom and I didn’t have much and most of the time I just felt like we were in survival mode. Thriving was not even a thought. I came to the point where I didn’t really think I would ever be blessed and in a way didn’t really feel loved by God. He was the creator of everything, so how could He have time for a personal relationship with everyone?
Things changed when I gave my heart over to Jesus and went from talking the Christian talk to walking the walk. I began to read the bible daily and looked for opportunities to bless others. I didn’t expect something in return for helping a person in need. I just wanted to bless them with my time. God started to soften my heart and revealed so many things to me. Many of my scars were healed and I was now able to love someone else the way that they deserved to be loved. Love to me has everything to do with establishing a relationship with Jesus Christ. He then allowed me to bloom so I could love others.
“Teacher , which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied “Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”Matthew 22:36-38 (NIV)
Here are some things to think about this week and apply to your life:
- Believe that God has a plan and purpose for your life.
- Pray about your situation and have the confidence to take a risk on God.
- Open your heart to God and be vulnerable before Him.
- Practice love in your everyday life by going out of your way to help someone in need.
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