“I need to hear this message again and again, because I drift into a peacetime mind-set as certainly as rain falls down and flames go up. I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth “home.” Before you know it, I am calling luxuries “needs” and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don’t think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set.”—John Piper
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost." Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:4-7 ESV)
I am convicted to say this to you guys. I pray that you will humbly listen… rather read this post. I say the following in the most loving way.
You are most likely thinking: YOLO. Senior year comes once. It’s about to all end so let me just chillax and enjoy it. I DESERVE to enjoy and have fun the last few months. I worked SO hard…I deserve a break before I start full-time work.
Brothers and sisters. I caution you to this thinking. You don’t deserve anything. There is no ‘rest’ and ‘break’ in your spiritual life. Just because you serve as a small group leader or ministry leader does NOT mean you are spiritually there enough to chillax. If you do, you are in for a rude awakening. There is SO much of God to know and for God to reveal…. don’t cut it short. Thinking you “deserve” to relax will NOT make you desperate and hungry for God. If you feel that you aren’t connecting with God…be desperate. Finishing Cornell does not entitle you to anything. Really. You did not endure that much suffering. (complaining to one another does not help the situation) The all-nighters and bad prelim grades….it’s insignificant. I assure you of that. God wants your heart and wants to continually transform you. God favors the humble. Keep working God’s field.
There is a difference between fellowship and fun. Dont confuse the two and use them interchangeably or just stick “fellowship” anywhere. Take FULL advantage of true fellowship because what you have is SO precious. I’m being dead serious. Ask any Cornellian who graduated…they will agree with me. It’s the one thing I miss.
You dont want to have regrets. I regret many things such as not investing in non-core members, having so much pride as a senior, etc. There is so much God’s work to be done here on this Earth. So ready yourselves by sharpening your swords and strengthening your shields… not laying around and being lazy and slow.
Enjoy the last few months in the Lord. I assure you…if you do…you will NOT go through a spiritual “dump” post-college as many rumors say. They are rumors. God blesses and convicts you in different ways post-college.
Man…. i don’t know how to love. I have been convicted of this one friend back in high school. She was so nice to me… very friendly… Christian. She helped me get an internship. And she would always make conversations with me.
But me…. my god. Now looking back at it, my thoughts disgust me. In my mind, she wasnt “cool” enough. Actually, people thought she was “weird.” And I was like “there is NO way I can associate myself to her. I can’t get too close to her cause it will affect my social status.” It will affect ME. Selfish…. self-centered thoughts.
God convicted me and reminded me of her as I was praying. God loves sinners like us…LOSERS like us…OUTCASTS like us…UGLY people like us. But yet, HE LOVES US ANYWAY. Who are we to cast judgement on others? Who are we to ignore others? Why does someone always need to “entertain” us? Why are we so superficial and get bored of people so easily?
How could I have done this to her?! My high school self and even now…. I am disgusted by it.
Is there someone around you who doesn’t get enough attention and is always by themselves or is not cool enough or loud and fun enough? Reach out to him/her. You are denying them and not showing them God’s love when you very well can bring out the full potential in that person. So after service, reach out to all people especially people who you are not close to. They need someone to listen to them and give them attention.
Stop being so proud. Love others as Jesus loves us.
I gotta be honest with you right now. I’ve completely gone astray from you. I was a Pharisee, complacent, a church-goer, rude, impatient, materialistic, lover of money, paranoid, hateful, unloving, selfish, proud, lustful…you name it. I was all that. I didn’t earnestly or honestly seek you. I was faking it to everyone. I didn’t feel a deep longing for you. I felt myself becoming more comfortable with myself and my status in this world. I pushed you away. I didn’t trust you even though I said I trusted you. If your agenda was not mine, I hated it. Actually, your agenda didnt matter to me.
But God, I repent. I truly do. And God…help me to go deeper. Help me to come back to you. Thanks for waking me up. For showing me that THIS WORLD CANT SAVE ME. This world is broken. All these talks about “freedom,” ”justice,”… they are all fake. There is no true freedom in this world. It’s all a cover-up. We all have selfish, money-loving motives. And life is such a vapor. You just never know when that moment can come when it’s all over.
I know that you will bring me back to you cause that’s who you are and what you do. You always accept us for who we are. HOW?! That doesnt make sense. How do you ever not abandon us cause you are so frustrated with our pride and stubbornness? How does the fact that we place other gods and idols before you not make you hate us? Can there really be a God that is so full of love that He loves us no matter what?
Jesus… Jesus… Jesus.
All I want is you. The ultimate giver of joy, happiness, and freedom. God…. I need you to be my God and Savior…not myself.
Driving post-Hurricane-Sandy was really eye-opening. Pitch black. No traffic lights (who knew traffic lights were so important! without them, it causes so much traffic). No gas. Seemed like a zombie apocalypse movie. No hot shower. No electricity.
Then you go to Palisades Park, Broad Ave. The only street nearby that has electricity. Every store is PACKED with people trying to charge their computers and phones. We are so attached to our technology.
Lately, I’ve been struggling with materialism and just giving into my worldly desires. I want this and I want that. But there are people who are in need! One of my co-workers’ home is in 6 ft of water and had to be rescued by a boat! Literally, it’s like a third-world-country in New Jersey. Seeing that, I was like “dang…I’m spoiled.” Here I am playing on my phone, watching TV shows, while there are people around the world who live in darkness with no electricity, no clean water, with diseases and viruses with no access to medicine. Reminded me of India.
So easy to lose sight here in America. And so hard to fight it. We know that we are privileged and we have a lot but it usually ends there. Right? It’s a constant battle…to remind myself that me myself will always be selfish and think about me-me-me. But God calls us to go out and serve others in need as He was the greatest example of that.
We think about what degree to get, what promotion is next, what tech gadget we get next, jobs, internships, class, exams. What do we have to do next to move up that ladder? It’s all about OUR SELFISH BENEFIT AND GROWTH! It blinds us from the truth and Jesus! What happened to glorifying God and maximizing His glory? We play “Christian” and usually over-credit ourselves in our Christian growth. We rarely follow through with our convictions all the way but we easily go back to our way of serving ourselves. I am guilty of all things written above.
But thank you Jesus that even in midst of my selfishness, you love me. Thank you for showing me how to love. Thank you for lifting me up even in my inadequacies. Thank you Jesus for freeing me from legalism and the law and standards I make up for myself and that I fall short on. Thank you Jesus for sustaining me and helping me persevere.
God…I want to deny myself and my desires to You. I need You. Use me. Help me to serve and love others like You did. May I not find contentment here on this Earth.
"So faith is a gift that God gives to us that then enables us to believe in Christ and be saved. It is not something we give to God or something we even have in and of ourselves. If the Bible is accurate in its description of our sinful condition, it would be impossible for something as precious and beautiful as saving faith to arise from our own sinful hearts. The only way we can believe is if God gives us the ability.
So what do we contribute? Only our sin. Only our need. Everything else comes from Jesus by the goodness of God.
For Of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. -Romans 11:36”
It’s interesting that this came up as I am struggling with this and this is my PR. From Crazy Love…a book that’s been on hold for couple months now.
If you merely pretend that you enjoy God or love Him, He knows. You cant fool Him; dont even try.
Instead tell Him how you feel. Tell Him that He isn’t the most important thing in this life to you, and that you’re sorry for that. Tell Him that you’ve been lukewarm, that you’ve chosen other things over Him time and again. Tell Him that you want Him to change you, that you long to genuinely enjoy Him. Tell Him how you want to experience true satisfaction and pleasure and joy in your relationship with Him. Tell Him you want to love Him more than anything on this earth. Tell Him you want to treasure the kingdom of heaven so much that you’d willingly sell everything in order to get it. Tell Him what you like about Him, what you appreciate, and what brings you joy.
Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love you and walk with you on my own. I can’t do it, and I need you. I need you deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don’t, I want to want you. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have your way with me.
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." Romans 2
We are too quick to judge. We are too quick to criticize others and gossip about one’s wrongdoing. But we also practice the same sins that we condemn in others. We are all sinners. We are prideful. We don’t want to see it in ourselves.
Let’s ask God for humility. We need God to convict us continually. By judging others, that’s how bitterness begins.
“There is no right understanding of yourself until you understand yourself in light of who God is. Pride, arrogance, haughtiness, boastfulness is what happens when you compare yourself to others. Humility, conviction, repentance is what happens when you compare yourself to this love.”—Mark Driscoll, “It’s All About Jesus: Humility”
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is amazing. This is true fellowship of believers. This is what we should strive for.
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”—
This goes for studying and jobs and really anything that you do.
You arent studying for your parents or for your professor or for your gpa. But you are serving the LORD!
You arent trying to please your boss or colleagues or yourself (self satisfaction). But you are serving the Lord!
Don’t lose sight of what REALLY matters and who we are living for and who created us!
I have a shelter in the storm When troubles pour upon me Though fears are rising like a flood My soul can rest securely O Jesus, I will hide in You My place of peace and solace No trial is deeper than Your love That comforts all my sorrows
I have a shelter in the storm When all my sins accuse me Though justice charges me with guilt Your grace will not refuse me O Jesus, I will hide in You Who bore my condemnation I find my refuge in Your wounds For there I find salvation
I have a shelter in the storm When constant winds would break me For in my weakness, I have learned Your strength will not forsake me O Jesus, I will hide in You The One who bears my burdens With faithful hands that cannot fail You’ll bring me home to heaven
Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our importance, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control.
Basically, these two behaviors communicate that t’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won’t be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.
Why are we so quick to forget God? Who do we think we are?
This is reality about humanity. We are each born with an evil, God-hating heart. Many people say, “well, I have always loved God,” but the reality is, no one has. We may have loved a god that we made up in our minds, but the God of the Bible, we hate.
In our evil we rebel against God. We take the law of God, written in His Word and on our hearts, and we disobey it. This is the picture of the very first sin in Genesis 3. Even if God has said not to eat from the tree of knowledge, we are going to do it anyway.
We spurn our Creator’s authority over us. God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator…until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, “No.”
—-Radical by David Platt.
We reduce and humanize God down to our level. We think that we are in control of God. We think His patience is like human’s patience. We think we can argue with God like we argue with our parents. But God is so much more than that. He is our Creator. Without God, we cannot set ourselves free or we cannot bring life to the dead! ”We are not evil, we think, and certainly not spiritually dead.” Are we giving ourselves too much credit and glory? How do we see God in our minds?
If God asks us to follow and trust Him…are we saying “no?”
There are many ways the Lord may lead a CHristian during his or her life, but I’m convinced that the path of every believer will sooner or later include suffering. The Lord gives us these trials to keep us humble and dependent on him for our sustenance. 1 Peter 4:1.
The Lord wants us to embrace suffering as a friend. We need a deep realization that when we’re persecuted for Jesus’ sake it is an act of God’s blessing to us. This might sound impossible, but it is attainable with God’s help. Matthew 5:11-12
We can grow to such a place in Christ where we laugh and rejoice when people slander us, because we know we are not of this world, but our security is in heaven. The more we are persecuted for his sake, the more reward we will receive in heaven.
Have faith, stand firm in Him, and be bold brothers and sisters!
Someone says, “Hey. Can you donate to the poor?” How many times do we say/think: “Oh…I dont have enough money. I’m a poor college kid” and you dont give but you really want to give and you are wrestling so much? How many times does $5 seem like so much money to give?
And how many times do we think that even if we were to give $5, it wouldn’t make a difference cause it’s such a small amount.
Well…God commands us to give to the needy and poor. So what if you eat Subway sandwiches for a week to save $5 to donate and not spend it for yourself. It’s not the end of the world. It’s still a 1st class meal in the eyes of like over 95% of the world.
When you give to God, you get back much. We have to sacrifice our simple pleasures and we cannot hold onto our material/financial possessions! Giving money requires faith…faith that God will pulls us through. We are learning to depend on Him more as we give. And I think it’s important to start giving early. Don’t keep pushing it off because as you make more money, it gets harder.
But here is a great opportunity. For just $3…you can give a Bible to an unreached area!
THREE DOLLARS! That’s it! Three dollars and you can share the gospel with a nonbeliever. Now you tell me if a small amount cant make a difference! You can give someone a new life through a Bible! A small amount, and God can use it for His kingdom!
It’s finally time. What have we been going to all this schooling for? From middle school (and maybe some of you elementary school), our parents told us, “You have to do well in school to be successful and live well in the future [by being a doctor—-sorry mom].” Then we study our butts off for the SATs and in high school it’s all about getting into a good college. Then when we think it’s over then we stress in college to do well so we can get a good job.
In less than 36 hours, that phase in my life will begin. But where’s the end? What will I work towards next? I am not really starting a new “phase” in life. I am just continuing the calling I have been given. In this world, it’s a new “phase” but in God’s eyes, I am still a servant of God just in a new location: the workplace.
Am I anxious and afraid? Yes. It really start kicking in yesterday and today. I don’t know how things will turn out. I’m afraid of failing my projects. I’m afraid of not gaining status. I’m afraid of being a nobody. I’m afraid I won’t find a community. I’m afraid I will get too comfortable in this world. I’m afraid of change…readjusting to a new environment and community. But why fear? In Matthew, it says “Fear not. Do not worry.”
I don’t want to go already declaring defeat. I know in God, we are victorious. But it’s so hard to trust and believe it. So pray for me brothers and sisters that I won’t lose sensitivity and that I may continue to push hard for more truth and that I would continue to be a man of God. I know it’s not easy out there. But Mark 8:35 reminds us: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” May we continue to lose and deny ourselves and our selfish desires and ambitions so that we can save and find life in God.
I’m excited to see what God has in store for me at Kraft!