I spend my Thursday nights at a college-age Bible study at my church. We've recently started going through the book of Hebrews. I absolutely LOVE and highly recommend it.Something we talked about this week really made me think and I thought I'd share! Please feel free to comment your thoughts or questions. :)
"For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."
What a good reminder. Especially after being in a "Cedarville bubble" for a bit, it's so easy to get caught up in feel-good Christianity. Nobody talks about the hard stuff. But this scripture points out that we will be judged one day. As my leader said at study, don't be willing to fall into the wrath of a living God. If there is a sin in our lives that we choose to ignore...well, that sucks because we can't be chasing after Christ with everything. Confront the sin in your life, easier said than done, but for real. Do what you have to do. I am encouraging this in conviction, not judgement. As Christians, we already have to face judgement with a renewed heart and account for the sins we've already confessed and repented from. I don't think anyone wants to face that with an ugly sin that they willingly participated in despite knowing better. It's a scary thought, but one of the beautiful parts of our faith.
It's pretty well-known to my friends that my favorite band of all time is Needtobreathe. I love their lyrics, unique sound, talent, and maybe how they rock skinny jeans. Anyway, they have a song titled 'Slumber' and it contains some great lines I was thinking about and I thought I'd share.
"Tongues are violent
Personal and focused
Tough to beat with
Your steady mind
But hearts are stronger after broken
So, wake on up from your slumber
Baby, open up your eyes"
The truth and conviction in these words are incredible. To me, the idea of a tongue being 'violent, personal and focused, tough to beat with your steady mind' has come to light recently. The words we say are hurtful, a lot of times because we want them to be so. It makes the situation way more complicated to sort out with a rational, steady mind because your heart is aching and emotion usually trumps logic. But the next line is what gets me, 'hearts are stronger after broken.' Think of the times of hardship in your life, whether it involves relationships, family, school, or work, after the issue is resolved you walk away knowing how to at least get through if not handle it. You earn stories, emotion, connection, and most of all, new strength. I've had this happen many times in my life, and relying on Jesus to BE my strength showed me that indeed, my heart is stronger after broken. And although this may sound like an abstract or simple idea, let it be an encouragement to get through difficulties with a positive, upward looking attitude. Also, flee from hurting others with your words, it's not fair, despite what they have done to you. Being unburdened and positive doesn't make you vulnerable, it helps you open up your eyes.
"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment," Philippians 1:9 ESV
**Also, check out the song 'Slumber' on YouTube or iTunes!
Being an analytical English major and writer is a blessing and a curse, sometimes. I will get inspired from the smallest, off-the-wall things. This happens so much during my day that I decided to keep a blog containing some of the things that inspire me and lead me toward Christ. Whether it be lyrics, book quotes, people or an idea that pops into my head while drinking my morning coffee, I will post it here. I hope to be encouraging and push others to be aware of their own blessings even in hardship. I'm so fascinated with Jesus and his love for me, how it shows up in my day and how I can acknowledge him. That's why I call this 'finding open arms' because I come back to my father's embrace daily and I just can't contain that to myself! I hope you will be revealed to open arms daily, as well! It's an incredible journey.
Thanks for reading!