Five life lessons I learned as an early Christian:
1) Now is not forever. – There will be ups and downs in your life. If you are going through hard times remember to pray and ask God to show you what He is trying to teach you through those things. Do not ever forget the hard lessons you learned and remember to draw close to Him even when things are going well. When God shared with me as an early Christian John 15:2, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit,” I was going through a tough time in my life but God meant it for good. Through bible study and scripture He later gave me this verse, “Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten away.” Joel 2:25. All those years prior that I walked without Jesus in my life. He came alongside me and helped me and ministered to me and healed me and blessed me and rejoiced with me. Now is not forever – even if things are perfect now you need to be reading your bible and staying close to Him because you want that close relationship when the trials come. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,” James 1:2.
2) Who wins when you feel guilt and shame over your sin? – How many of us have ever done something we wished we had not done? All of us. There is an enemy out there that wants to cripple you and make you ineffective to minister to others and aide the cause of God’s kingdom. Do you know how the enemy works? He wants nothing more than to lie steal and destroy. So the enemy lies to you and tells you that your sin is too much. That you are not worthy and that no one would accept you if they knew your sin. The enemy wants to isolate you with shame and guilt. Who wins? Take those feelings to the cross – Christ already died for your sins. Confess them to Jesus ask Him to strengthen you in your repentance and to replace your sinful habits with good habits that bring glory to God.
3) It is not about you. – We are here for His purposes, not our own. What an amazing thing it is to be used by God. The enemy wants you to think that it is all about you. And when you seek to satisfy only yourself is when he has you right where he wants you – because self-gratification never truly fulfills and keeps you trapped by the enemy. It is only God’s presence in your life – when you are reading His word, and praying for His will that you will ever feel truly satisfied. “In Your presence is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11. Jesus even tells His beloved disciple Simon Peter, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:17 Point being – it is not about you, God wants us to love Him first above all things and then through that to serve and help each other and that is the way to truly be blessed.
4) God does not call the equipped, He equips the called – When I felt the Lord leading me to start a women’s bible study I felt completely inadequate. What did I know about the bible? But God just chuckled and said that if I would open my home, He would take care of the rest. And he did. He gave me marvelous partners in leadership to aide in teaching and sharing of God’s word. And the women in the study were discipling one another, studying together and lifting each other up in prayer. God is so good and it is all His plan. If you feel inadequate – take it to God and trust in His plan. Ask Him to give you a purpose and a calling and He will do it.
5) Focus on the positive and what you “do” have – The enemy is so sneaky, he knows how to make us focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. Prayerfully think through today all of the things you do have. Ask God to show you where you have allowed envy to find a root to your heart and ask the wonderful vinedresser – Jesus – to cut it out. The enemy wants nothing more than to rob you of your grateful heart. When your spirit is one of envy and not gratitude you become ineffective at promoting God’s kingdom. Praise God today and be sure to thank the people you have in your life for their love and support because gratitude is contagious and it brings glory to God.
Just thought I’d share this old journal entry from my early walk as a new Christian. Refreshing to read it even now. Would love to hear from you if you have some life lessons to share. Please leave a comment below.
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