Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting old journal entries starting at the beginning of college and up until recently. Often times we spend our days in fast forward. We achieve our goals only in time to look for the next step p the ladder. We overcome a fear only to worry about the unknown fears that can come. Let's make a toast to remembrance and celebration. Instead of looking ahead I am going to take some time to look back to see the lessons God has taught me that may have been forgotten in the fast forward approach to life that too often robs us of celebrating what God has done in our lives and remembering all He has taught us. I hope these entries will encourage you as much as they encourage me to look back at your life and think about what lessons God has taught you or in what ways God has been trying to get your attention in the rush we tend to embrace in our short-God-given life.
This was written at the beginning of my freshman year of college when I has first decided to truly make God 1st in my life rather than living half-heartedly for Jesus... This was the first time in my life I was spending time reading the Bible on my own to really get to know more about Jesus and how to follow Him. I know there were MANY lessons after this...but here's some thoughts I had in the beginning as I was 1st trying to really follow Christ daily...
October 30, 2003
1 Timothy 4:12-16 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, dvote yourselves to the public reading of scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourselves wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
The phrase "maybe when I grow up" is crushed by these verses! I used to say "I don't want to live completely for you "NOW" God I'll do that later "when I grow up." Even though I am young and have many more things in life to experience and lessons to learn I can still be an example of Christ to those around me by living for God "NOW" and not "later."
It's a challenge to set an example to other believers in speech, life, love, faith and purity. Sometimes I slip with words I say and sometimes my words are not kind about others, sometimes it's hard to love people who have hurt me, sometimes I have questions about my faith and staying "pure" in every sense of the word as described in Philippians 4:8 is hard. But I know that even though all these things are a challenge striving toward living as an example of Christ in all those aspects will only strengthen my relationship with God and they're simply bricks on the path of my journey with Jesus by my side.
Paul encourages Timothy to preach and teach devoted to encouraging the public with truth. With my family and friends I should also be devoted to sharing my faith with them and being an example in the way I live out my faith in my actions. Paul cautions Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely which reminds me to live my life in accordance with my faith...it reminds me not only to "talk the talk" but to "walk the walk." The Paul ends with an encouragement to Timothy to "persevere" in following Paul's instructions to save himself and also his hearers...those who watch how he lives and hear the words he says. The study notes for verse 16 says, "you will save...your hearers - "God alone saves, but Christians can be instruments to bring about the salvation of others. Salavation is both an event and a process. We are saved at the time of conversion but are still being saved in the sense of being more conformed to Christ's image."
1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."