Search for Significance

“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom, and also knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” – Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Solomon was the richest and highest person in all of Jerusalem during the time period that he lived in. Other people envied him for all the fame and wealth that he had. The man had everything he wanted, but it was all still so meaningless to him. Maybe, on the outside, he looked like he was living the best life, but Solomon wasn’t satisfied.

Sometimes, I feel like I fit in with the “other people” category in this story. I want things that other people have such as grades or fame. Maybe, you can relate. But we have to remember that even when we have those things, we still won’t be satisfied. Solomon had all he wanted and still wasn’t satisfied because the only thing that can satisfy us is Christ.

Jesus is the only one who can fulfill us. It’s pointless to try and find that fulfillment in other things. Jesus knows that we are hungry and He tells us that HE is the solution.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35

Jesus sees that we are hungry. He knows that our desires are real and wants the absolute best for you. He wants you to spend your life well, but sometimes, this causes us to settle for less. Sometimes, we are searching for all the wrong things, like Solomon. We want the fame and the wealth, but Solomon knew it was all meaningless.

The Bible tells us that the only thing that will satisfy you is Christ. If we fulfill our lives with things or activities that don’t put Jesus first, then we will never be satisfied. You won’t be pleased and you will have lost more than you actually gained in those things.

Jesus came to give you life and He won’t stop looking for you until you are for Him. He is the bread of life that was broken for you. You don’t need to have this constant search for significance because it is found in the one that has saved you.

Love always,

Claire

 

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

Waiting For God’s Perfect Timing

You feel like you’ve been waiting on the street light to turn forever. You think “How much longer am I going to have to wait for this?” You want to run that red light, but you don’t move. You just sit and wait and wait. Is it ever going to happen?

If there is anything I have learned in life, it’s that having patience is a TRUE skill. Some people have that skill. Others (aka ME) do not. I am terrible when it comes to being patient. I just want everything given to me at that moment and I don’t like to wait. But God makes us wait for things all the time. He makes us wait for the right partner. He makes us wait for our food. He makes us wait for our grades to be posted. He makes us wait for our story to unfold. He makes us wait for everything.

But do not refer this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:8

Why? Why do we have to wait for things? What is the point? What is He teaching us with this? How is this helping me at all?

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. -Isaiah 40:31

I am guilty of questioning God’s way sometimes when it comes to patience. I get confused and I don’t know why He makes things frustrating. I wish He would just tell me what is going to come out of this. Its like watching a 5 hour long movie and waiting for the ending. There is a quote that is very overstated a lot of the times, “Good things come to those who wait”. You have probably heard this quote a million times, but honestly, this quote is so true, and it’s actually what God wants to teach us.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14

When dealing with patience, the Lord does want to teach us to become more patient with Him, but there’s something more to it than just that. Sometimes waiting is better than giving it to us right away. Sometimes, we aren’t ready for what is next in our life. Maybe, He wants to teach us something different, before something else comes into play. We might think we are ready for what the future holds, but God truly knows everything that is happening now and going to happen, and His timing is always perfect. He will give us what we need at the right time when we need it.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Waiting is not fun. Trust me, I know. But we can’t have everything given to us right away or we won’t want to rely on God. We have to trust Him. I know that is way easier said then done, but when our life gets shaky and we don’t know where He is or what He is doing, we have to pray and trust that He, the creator of the world, is doing what is needed to be done. He doesn’t like watching us suffer, but He knows something amazing is going to come out of it all. Talk to Him. Trust Him. His timing is perfect.

Love always,

Claire

Finding Time for the Lord

Life is pretty busy. We are all trying to go somewhere and get to the next place and then so on and so on. Its like a crazy rollercoaster that is just currently on repeat for some of us. Can we ever get a break?

I went to a Bible worship for college students the other night, and the man preaching really caught my intention. He said “When I was your age, I wish that I had spent more of my time diving into the word of the Lord”. After he said that, this lightbulb above my head just lit up. Recently, I have felt very disconnected from the Lord. I thought that I was doing everything right and going to bible studies and worship events every week, but I still felt like I was in this period of silence. However, I think I finally figured out what my problem was. I wasn’t making time to study God’s word. I always say “Oh, I’ll look at that passage later” or “I’ll do my devotional later tonight”, but in the end, I never do.

If you keep doing the same thing, you will still get the same answer. But, if you start doing it differently, you will get a different response.

If you’re a planner, like me, you like to write almost everything down, or you’ll forget to do it. I think one problem that I have noticed in my own life is that I plan everything but my “Jesus” time. I just do it whenever I have free time, but then I don’t really get much out of it. I’m not really focused on it. That being said, if you are struggling trying to find time and consistency with the Lord, I found some helpful tips that I wanted to share that might work for you. (BTW: The Internet is pretty awesome!)

Tip #1: Plan it! Find a time period each day that you can spend some quiet time with the Lord. Write it down in your planner. Make a note. Set a reminder. Do whatever it is that you need to do in order to get this done.

Tip #2: Get Comfortable! Find a place that you can go to so that you can get into the right mindset that you need to be in for your quiet time. This could be different for everyone. Maybe you prefer to be alone in your room with silence or with music playing. Or maybe, at a coffee shop with headphones in. Test different places out and see what works for you.

Tip #3: Find a good place to start! Personally, I always had a hard time figuring out where do I start studying in the Bible. Should I start at the beginning or pick a random part in the Bible and start there? The best thing that I have learned so far about this decision is to pick a book that contains topics interesting to you and focus on it. For example, you might want to learn about different topics such as the foundation of Christ and the lifestyle for Christians that is in Romans. Or you would rather learn about different stories the old testament and find the meanings through them. Try to google what books are about what and go from there. Start small and take it one day at a time.

Tip #4: Be Prepared! Use the materials that you are going to need for your quiet time. Maybe you like to use a hard copy of the Bible instead of using it on your phone. Get highlighters and highlight the verses or words that really speak to you. Write down in a journal about what you are reading and how it speaks to your life.

Tip #5: Talk to God! Remember, this is your time to pour out to God. He wants to hear it all. Everything you are thinking and all that is going through your head. Ask Him to let you have the mindset to approach Him and be comfortable. Pray about it all. Write down your prayers if you need to.

These are all the tips that I have used so far, and they have really helped me to get my quiet time done and make it consistent. Just take it one day at a time, and I promise, God will make sure you get something amazing out of it. I will put some links below that could also be helpful to you if you want more tips for this. I hope you find the time for God, and His fire continues to burn in you. I pray that whatever you are struggling with that God will help you through it.

Love always,

Claire

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-study-of-god/why-study-the-bible/how-to-study-the-bible

http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/tips/make-a-bible-reading-resolution.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/tips/3-simple-steps-for-studying-the-bible.html