How do you start following Jesus? It is easy and it is hard. First, ask Him into your heart. Tell Him you want a relationship with Him. Second, you show God you are dedicating your life to him by being baptized. (and no, it doesn’t have to be in front of the entire church, it can be a private affair). Third, you wait for God to move in you.
Take your first step. Go away from what is holding you back and go toward the one that is holding His arms out to you. It’s hard to leave this life behind. It’s hard to give up control. It’s hard to trust in someone you don’t see. Trust me, I struggle with some of these issues. Even in times when I gave up control and things were so much better when God stepped in, I still want to control. I am getting better every day.
Here is a silly example but it just shows how hard something is once you start doing something you shouldn’t do. (and vice versa- once you start doing what you should do, it gets easier to do the right thing each day) I started grabbing a handful of m&m’s after dinner. It started out as maybe 5-6 pieces, something to have with the rest of my milk. That turned into two handfuls. After a few weeks it was hard to stop. It took me a few weeks to not want to get a handful and the urge still hits me, and sometimes I give in. Then I have to fight it all over again. I can not imagine what an addict has to go through but from reading about addiction (that does not make me an expert) that the first step is always the hardest. Admit you have a problem. God wants you to confess to Him. He will then help you through it, even though that temptation is always there, you have to decide to take the first step to God rather than the first step to the problem.
God wants you to have a relationship with Him. He loves you and accepts you for who you are. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Isn’t that why so many people make mistakes, looking for love and acceptance. You fall into the wrong crowd, do things you know you shouldn’t do. God accepts YOU for who you are.
When you are a parent, do you not want the best for your child(ren)? Do you not love them unconditionally? Do you not protect them with all you have but yet sometimes bad things still happen to them? Do you not discipline them when they break the rules? Do you not give them wings and let them make their own mistakes, even it if means they have to suffer some for their choices? I know my parents let me make some bad decisions, even when it broke their heart and even though they knew I would suffer for them. It allowed me to be the person I am today.
Now let’s change the above paragraph.
Does your Father, God, not want the best for His child, you? Does God not love you unconditionally? Does God not want to protect you at all times but yet sometimes bad things still happen to you? Does God not discipline you when you break the rules? Does God not give you wings and let you fly and make your own mistakes, even if it means you have to suffer for some of your choices? Does it not break His heart and does He not know you would suffer for the choices you would make? It allows you to be the person you are today. You persevere and you become stronger, your character builds.
Yet, that is the argument I hear from people. I can’t believe in a God that lets bad things happen, that lets suffering happen. I know there are starving children all over the world. Why does God let that happen? Did you know in America we throw away 263 million pounds of food every day? (endhunger.org) Just a 15% reduction in losses in the US Food supply chain would save enough to feed 25 million Americans annually. (Huffington Post 8/21/12) I ask you, is it God that allows children to suffer in hunger or is it ourselves? Look in the mirror, does God make you suffer or is it the choices you make that make you suffer?
Take that first step. Everything happens for a reason and everything happens on God’s time, not ours. Most of us would like to think we can make it happen if we force this issue or if we hurry up and do this or try to control that. I used to think that. God, I am doing all I can here, a little help would be nice. James 1:12 states : ” Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. ” Romans 5:3-5 states ” Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,”
Have a great Sunday!
Day One by Matthew West –
City On Our Knees by Tobymac –
Startin’ With Me by Jake Owen –
Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets –
All You’ve Ever Wanted by Casting Crowns –
How Can It Be by Lauren Daigle –
Reason For Hope by Ron Pope –
Lifeline by Papa Roach – God is your lifeline
In My Room by Thousand Foot Krutch – have God meet you where you feel safe,
Love Like Jesus by Rhett Walker Band –
Lay Down My Pride by Jeremy Camp –
All Yours by Kutless –