Be Bold Like a Lion

Is fear stopping you from becoming the person God wants you to be? Is fear keeping you from experiencing the power of God?

Going to these questions, fear stops me sometimes. I have a fear of rejection that the people I talk to won’t like me or think I’m strange. I have let this fear stopped me from telling people about Jesus before. However, God tells us that we don’t have to fear because if you believe in Him, His spirit is always with you.

In Acts, chapter 4, there are two men that show the boldness of Christ. But before we get there, let’s talk about what’s going on before this story begins. Jesus has already been crucified and resurrected. Jesus has been taken up to heaven and has told the disciples to go and tell the all the people to the ends of the earth about what Jesus has done. In Chapter 3 of Acts, this is where the first part of the story starts.

Now, Peter and John have been going around, teaching the Israelites about the story of Jesus. During their journey, Peter and John are stopped by a beggar asking for money that cannot walk. They do not give him money, but instead this is what happens:

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. – Acts 4:6-10

The man jumps to his feet and begins to walk. He goes into the temple and everyone recognizes him and wonders how can this man walk now?? Peter then begins to explain that he did not heal the man, but by faith in the name of Jesus Christ, this man can now walk.

Now this is where things get interesting……

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. – Acts 4:1-10

Now keep in mind that this Peter that stands here and shows much boldness, is the same Peter that denied knowing Jesus, three times. He is also the same Peter that doubted Jesus when he tried to walk on the water. Peter has made some mistakes in the past, but he still shows his boldness even though he isn’t perfect.

As Christians, we need to have a desire to make a difference for the kingdom, and most of the time, that requires us to be bold. But when we let fear get in the way, we tend to want to hide. If you go to Genesis 3:6-10, God is looking for Adam and Eve. He says “Where are you?”, and Adam says “I was afraid, so I hid.”

It is so easy for us to let fear overcome us and say no to boldness. The enemy wants you to do that. He tricks us in to doing that all the time. But we need to have boldness when sharing the truth about Jesus Christ. Like I said, we need to have a desire to make a difference for the kingdom. Whether that’s inviting people that don’t know Christ to your church, or just telling people around campus about Jesus, we need to have boldness in that.

Maybe, it’s not fear that’s getting in the way for you. Maybe its doubt or shame or guilt or etc. But whatever, it is, Jesus what’s you to overcome it and find boldness.

Going back to one of the first questions I asked y’all, God wants the absolute best for you. God isn’t the same as “everybody else”. He’s not just some other person. He doesn’t want fear or doubt or shame or anything to stop you from experiencing all He has planned for you. He’s your Father and God sent His son to this Earth to die for YOUR sins because of the love He has for YOU. So, find courage through Him and let His Spirit allow you to be bold.

Love always,

Claire

The Lost Sheep

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully put it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep’. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Luke 15:1-7 (NIV)

Think for a second. If you had ninety-nine sheep and one of them got lost, would you really go, wander around, and search for it? Jesus tells us that He will go and find this one sheep, and when He finds the one lost sheep, He will rejoice because what was once lost is now found.

Why would He do that? Why would He spend all His energy and time for just ONE sheep when He has ninety-nine other ones? He tells us right here:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Because God loves you so much, He sent Jesus to come into this broken world and die for our sins, so that we can have eternal life with Him. Isn’t that amazing??? And now, because of His amazing love, we can find joy in even the smallest things around us.

I pray that today you will find joy in the things around you. I pray that you see God move in amazing and miraculous ways. He is so good to us. He gives us life and love, so enjoy it.

Love always,

Claire

 

Don’t get too comfortable

Remember when you first moved into your college dorm room. You took most of your things and moved into this tiny room with two beds, two desks, and a bathroom (if you were lucky). You got it the way you wanted and this was your new living area. After a while, you got use to living there, and you tried to make it your new home. However, it still didn’t feel like home. You were comfortable in the room, but you’re dog wasn’t there and the smell of your mom cooking in the kitchen wasn’t there either. It was just a room with your things in it.

Now think about this Earth. You have all these things: friends, family, pets, food, clothes, shoes, etc. You have your room the way you want it. You plan your life and manage your time to do the things you like. However, this is not your home. Our home is with Christ who is in heaven. He created this Earth for us to live on, but He doesn’t want us to be comfortable here. He made us to share the gospel so that His children can eventually live in Heaven with Him and the rest of our family.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2

With that all being said, it’s sometimes difficult for us to not be comfortable on earth. I mean this is the only solid ground that we know of and live on. But Jesus wants us to set our eyes on things above, not on the flesh of this Earth. The world that we live on is difficult and evil comes because this is not our home.

Jesus came from the outside of the world, inside to save our lives.

Jesus wants nothing but the best for us. He wants us to enjoy our time on Earth, be surrounded by loved ones and have fun moments. But He doesn’t want us to get so comfortable with the Earth that we start relying on the earthly things more than Him. We always need to keep our focus on the REAL TRUTH.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. – Colossians 3:12

We do not need to conform to the world and be like it. We need to be a reflection of Jesus in all that we do. I hope you have a wonderful week. Praying for you.

Love always,

Claire

 

Submerge

Life is CRAZY. Am I right? We continually have so many things we have to do. We have all these things we are drowning in, school, jobs, internships, relationships, social life, and the list goes on and on. Over time, all these things get stacked on top of each other, one by one, and this causes us to be super stressed and overwhelmed.

And as much as I wish there was cure for stress, something that made it go away and never come back, there is no cure. We are all human beings. We are going to get stressed and overwhelmed.

There is nothing that WE can do to fix this. But there is something that HE can do. 

It’s hard for us to submerge into Jesus when we get stressed out. We want all the stresses to go away immediately and if they don’t, then we start doubting our God.

Think about Job. Job suffered so much throughout his life. He lost his family. He was attacked so many times by Satan. Yet, he still always had faith and trust in the Lord. Job realized that he came into the world with nothing and would take nothing with him, except the Lord. That was all he needed.

It hard for us and our human mind to believe that all we need is Jesus, but it’s true. ALL WE NEED IS JESUS. We don’t need all the fame on social media. We don’t need to have everything in our life planned out perfectly.

If we were perfect people, then we wouldn’t need a perfect God.

Instead of drowning ourselves in all these Earthly things and distractions, let’s submerge ourselves in Jesus. Let’s read His word and believe all the truths He tells us. Soak it up.

Love always,

Claire

#Godfidence

Do you ever feel like you just aren’t good enough? Either for yourself or just anyone?

Let me tell you something. The devil is a trickster. He tries to get in our minds and fills us with all these lies. He likes to make us think that we aren’t good enough to get the grades, to get the girl/guy, etc.

All these lies start filling our minds and they eventually influence our spiritual relationships with God. We start feeling like “Well, if I’m not good enough for so and so, how am I good enough for God???”

As Christians we aren’t suppose to be caught up in all this darkness. God called us to be living in the light instead. He wants you to step out of this cloud of doubts, insecurities, worries, etc. and be confident in Him and yourself.

We must remember the truths that God tells us, not what the devil tells us.

TRUTH #1: YOU ARE CHOSEN

God chose you. He was going to did for you, not because you wanted Him to but because He always had a purpose. His death enables us to be good enough. We are no longer bond to the flesh.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. – John 15:16

TRUTH #2: YOU ARE ABLE

Life isn’t going to be easy. It’s hard. Life is not fair. We don’t always get what we want. But even when we are tempted, He is going to give strength to endure it. He gives us an escape to get out of this situation, so don’t beat yourself up.

 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – Corinthians 10:13

TRUTH #3: YOU ARE UNIQUE

He made you exactly to be YOU. He knew who you were before you were even born. Recognize that you are God’s workmanship. Be confident in your gifts that He has given you and remember that you are not like everyone else, so don’t compare yourself.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. -Psalm 139:14-15

TRUTH #4: YOU ARE LOVED

In case you didn’t already know this, HE LOVES YOU. HE DIED FOR YOU. It doesn’t make sense. “How can God love me?” We don’t deserve His love and mercy but He gives it to us anyway. We are His children. He loves us so much.

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Remember these truths. Have confidence in our Lord and in yourself. Don’t beat yourself up too much. God’s got a plan and we have to trust and be faithful in Him. I hope you can be filled with some Godfidence and believe these truths.

Love always,

Claire

Refresh Yourself

Growing up in the Bible belt, you have most likely heard all the VBS bible stories before, the story of Noah’s ark, the story about the parting of the Red Sea, the story of Jesus’ birth, etc. However, some places in the world haven’t heard these stories as many times as I did growing up. In fact, some parts of the world don’t even know what the Bible is.

While I was in Brownsville, Brooklyn over the summer, I met a kid named Ronnie. He was just like any other boy you would come across in you life. He was smart, athletic, basically your ideal elementary boy. He loved hearing about stories in the Bible. You could tell him a story a hundred times, and he would still look at you in amazement like it was the first time you were telling it to him.

So why are we not like Ronnie? As Christians, we get so numb to the Bible sometimes. For example, let me show you something.

GOD CREATED THE EARTH AND EVERYTHING ON IT.

That plant you are sitting next to, He created that. He made all the leaves on it. He made photosynthesis, which is pretty awesome if you think about it. He made all the ants that are on the ground. He designed them and gave them all the muscles, body parts, and everything else in them. He made YOU. He knows all hairs on your head by number. He knows how many cells you have in your body right now at this moment. He knows everything about you.

ISN’T THAT AMAZING?? Like for real, when you think about it, our God is SOOO creative. He made everything on the Earth. EVERYTHING. My mind can’t even wrap around that fact sometimes. But God created us to love others, serve Him, and glorify Him. He wants us to have CHILD-LIKE HEARTS.

But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. – Mark 10:14-16

We need to be like Ronnie and get amazed at how incredible our God is in bible stories and also just in our daily lives. HE IS AMAZING. HIS LOVE IS AMAZING. Refresh yourself and stand amazed in the presence of Jesus.

Love always,

Claire

Think Eternal, Not Earthly

I feel like most of the time, we get so caught up in society. We get attached to social media, school, money, what people think, how we look, etc. We end up stressed so easily, and at the end of the day, we feel weak. We spend so much time focused on all the earthly things of this world, but we forget to pay attention to the Heavenly things that Jesus wants us to strive for. We spend all this time trying to strive for earthly desires, but it’s never enough for us, only Jesus is.

Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2

Lately, I get the feeling when I am in a group of friends, that I am always the one who is not glued to their phone. Honestly, I hate looking at my phone. I only get on it now for a few minutes, and it’s normally to respond to a text message. I am a people person, which means I want to sit down with you and talk, not text. However, most people now are glued to how many people liked their post or who’s laughing at something that put in a group chat.

Here’s the thing: Earthly things are great. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching youtube videos that stupid yet funny. I love going on social media. I love seeing celebrity drama every now and then. I love a lot of things this Earth offers. But Jesus doesn’t want us to be soaked up into all the worldly things.

Let’s change our view to eternal, not earthly!

It doesn’t matter what you made on that one test, or if that guy/girl likes you back. Jesus didn’t tell us to get 2,000 followers on Instagram. He didn’t say you have to go to college. He didn’t say that being a Christian is easy. Life is rough. We get stressed, frustrated, hurt, and the list goes on and on. The world we live in is messed up, so let’s fix it. Let’s change the social norm of be on your phone 24/7. Let’s change our addiction to social media to an addiction of Jesus.

Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; make the most out of every opportunity. Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossians 4:5-6

In the end, all that matters is how you loved others, how you served God, and your relationship with Our Savior. God has your life planned for you. Your life is in His hands. He loves you and wants the best for you. He isn’t going to let it all fall apart. Trust Him and don’t stress yourself about the worldly things.

Love always,

Claire