Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dear Me

Dear me,

Can you please cut yourself some slack? You are not abnormal. You are a little weird, but that's okay.

It's okay to not have everything figured out. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to admit that sometimes everything is not okay.

It's okay to not be okay!

Dear me, sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward. Take a deep breath and stop over analyzing everything.

You are valued. You are loved. There are people around you who care, but you have to stop letting people's opinions and reactions control you!

Your validation comes from Christ!!

Dear me, God could not love you any more or any less than He does at this moment! That is enough!

Life is but a breath, so stop spending it trying to please people who will never be pleased!

On that note, self, just admit that you are a recovering people-pleaser! It's okay! You have been given a spirit of power, love and self control! You know you have been given everything to overcome that!

Dear me, you are not defined by mistakes you made in the past. There is no condemnation in Christ! He's forgiven you, so you have to allow yourself to move forward. It's okay to learn from the past, but you don't live in it!

If you are abiding in Him, then everything else will fall into place. Cast all your anxieties on Him because HE LOVES YOU!

Dear me, never forget that in all things God is good, faithful and sovereign.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paul and His Support Staff

Have you ever been reading and something unexpected jumps out at you?

Yesterday, I was "that girl" who locked her keys in her car and had to wait for her brother to get finished at the gym so she could actually get home. I know, it was sad.

Luckily it was one of those rare "fall tease" days and I did have my bible with me. Even though I was fuming with frustration, I figured I would read a little while I waited.

I flipped around a bit to several random readings before I started reading Titus. I don't think I ever actually read this book until I got to college. It's not the source of many Sunday school lessons or sermons. In fact, it's always seemed a little odd to me.

Paul wrote this letter to the young pastor Titus. As with all of his letters, Paul makes an opening greeting:

"Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior"

There's a lot packed into that greeting! I wanted to share a few things that God spoke to me about this section of scripture:

1.No matter my title, responsibilities, or position, I am first a slave.

That may seem a little extreme. The word "servant" that is used in this greeting is also the word used for slave. Nobody really likes to be called either of those! Our society (and if we're honest, often times ourselves) are all about climbing the ladder. We want to achieve. We want to be somebody. It's crazy to think that Paul wrote so much of the New Testament. He was, by worldly standards, somebody! But here he calls himself a slave. Even more unusual is that this is a theme in his writing.

No matter what I do, I am first and foremost a servant of God. Crazy enough, that's not a bad thing! I am somebody because God has called me his own! I don't have to play society's game and feel defined by the question "What do you do?"

There is joy in serving the one who saved me, who is always there for me.

2. It's not about me!

Everybody needs a dose of humility sometimes. Right after Paul calls himself a servant of God, he says it's "for the sake of the faith." 

He's not a servant of God to pad his resume or have something to "write home about" (HA! that's kind of funny if you think about it..... no? just me). He was a servant of God for the sake of the faith. His highest purpose was to make the name of Jesus known and see people come to Christ. It wasn't about him!

Here's something earth shattering: It's not about you! It's not about me! It's about Jesus. 

Once we (including myself) can have a consistent understanding of that fact, we will be able to become an unstoppable force for spreading the Gospel.

3. Support people are important!

Okay, that may seem a little random but stick with me! I currently have a supportive role. I love it! I love helping people anyways and I enjoy organizing stuff and putting things together (crazy I know). There are occasions when I want to be different. I want to be a leader over people. 

Truth is, God created each of us with gifts and a specific purpose. My purpose is not to be Beth Moore. I'm probably closer to being Beth Moore's assistant. You know what? That's important!

It's interesting to read the very end of Titus. I honestly, find myself skimming these sections, but this time I paid attention:

"When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing."

Say what? Do you know that we really don't know anything about these guys? Here they are just mentioned in the farewell greeting of Titus. The world would see these guys as nobodys. They were just messengers for the great Paul. They were pretty much his secretaries.

Have you ever thought about how instrumental they were? These men carried Paul's letters to many of the early churches. They assisted him in his ministry. Without them, many of the churches would have never received Paul's instructions. We might not even have a record of Paul's letters! 

While they are seemingly unknown, behind-the-scenes guys, they had an important purpose. However, their purpose wasn't about them! They served God for the sake of the faith.

I have to ask God continually to remind me that it's not about me. I also have to remember to thank him for even wanting to use me! 

God gave you a specific purpose. What do you need to let go of to come fully into it?