Challenging.

Hi hey hello,

Wednesday night, we talked about what truly guides your life. As the teaching continued, our youth pastor applied that to Christian beliefs. He said that we should be all in for God. We were studying Acts 5, which is the story of Ananias and Saphira. Basically they sold some land, took the money to the apostles, gave them part of the money, but told the apostles that it was all of it. In the end, they both died because they were not lying to Paul, they were lying to God. The moral of this story is not that God needs your money, in fact God doesn’t NEED you at all. At first, this statement can seem sort of depressing, but then you see the other side of it, that God desires you even though He doesn’t need you. That is really cool, the God of the universe desires to be with me and to have a relationship with me. Dude, I utterly suck and God wants to know me and for me to know Him. That is really cool.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Our pastor was talking about giving our all for God, all the time. Not just at youth group or church or whatever. He then began talking about a huge reason why people don’t go all in for God, people’s opinions. He started talking about how the only opinion that really matters in the long run, if God’s. That means that even if those other guys pick on you or bring stuff up that you don’t know the answer to, it really doesn’t matter what they think, don’t let them get you down.

He then moved into the parable of the fig tree. This is in Matthew 21. The moral of this story is that the tree looked like it was bearing fruit, but it wasn’t. It had leaves, which meant it was supposed to have fruit, but it didn’t. This is an example of many American Christians today. We live our lives at church and we look as if we should have fruit. We pray, we listen to the sermon, we may even take notes, or even, dare I say, raise our hands during worship, but the moment we step out of the doors of the church building, everything is back to normal, there is no real change. We are completely different people outside the church walls, than we are inside.

This part especially was really challenging to me, because I am so very guilty of it, particularly recently. I have gotten out of the habit of talking to God on a regular basis and having a regular quiet time. But, I do just what I talked about earlier, I pray at church, I listen to the sermon and take notes, and I raise my hands during worship, but when I walk out, while no, I may not go do drugs or get drunk that weekend, I don’t directly apply whatever it was that I learned. I know that is how so many American Christians live their lives. While they may not get drunk every weekend and hang around with a terribly bad crowd, they are not doing what God has directly called them to do, which is just as bad.

I am challenging everyone of you that reads this, to break out of that mold that we call Christianity here is our rich, spoiled, easy-living America. I challenge you, as well as myself, to really truly go all in for Christ. To have no fears about what everyone else will say to you. Don’t let people beat you down. Trust God. Listen to God and really try to do what He wants you to do. And for anyone that reads this that is not a Christian, I challenge you to go sit down and really search for God. Really go looking for Him because He says in His Word (Matthew 7:7-11) that whoever seeks God will find Him. This is not just a challenge for you all, but for myself as well. I would love to hear your thoughts.

-LC

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