wow 2 posts in one day! this one is actually important lol. The 2009 MLB season starts in 6
days!!! I love this time of year because the weather is getting warm and nothing beats spending an afternoon or evening at the ballpark and the atmosphere of a baseball game! Opening Day 2009 is on April 6th and the O’s are playing the Yankees, could that be more perfect?! I’m trying to go to as many O’s games as possible this summer so I’ll let everyone know when the first game I try to go to is. Right now I’m thinking Friday May 8th. It’s another home game against New York. The New York/Boston games are always the best! Peace. See you at the Yard!!
I read something in my devotions today that I had never really considered before. I had heard about it from sermons and other people before but never really thought it through all the way. As Christians, we are image-bearers of God and we are supposed to represent God’s nature to the world. God takes much joy and is glorified when we act like He does. It pleases Him to see us reflecting His qualities to others. Our lives, as people who have been bought by theprecious blood of Christ, are meant to be a pleasing aroma to the LORD. Just as in the Old Testament, the temple and the sacrifices made there were a pleasing aroma to the LORD (Lev. 1:9), we are also to make sacrifices and offerings of our own. Not sacrifices and offerings of goats, bulls, and rams, but of our own lives. Of course we’re not supposed to slaughter ourselves for the glory of the LORD, but God is pleased when we choose Him over other things in our lives. When we decide to open the Bible instead of turning on the TV, or journalling instead of getting on facebook. God loves to see us make sacrifices, mainly of our time. When we do the things God calls us to do, He is pleased. And when we make God and Christ look more valuable than things of the world, He is pleased.
One thing I really struggle with is how I spend my free time. Most of the time I do not glorify God with it. I spend my free time advancing my own personal desires and interests. I would rather play video games and watch TV than work on homework or study God’s word. The first thing that needs to change is my heart towards these things. I have to realize that my time is not my own since I have been bought with the blood of Christ and knowing this truth will hopefully cause me to be less selfish with my time. I believe that God is just as pleased when I even choose to do homework over watching TV because I am choosing to spend my time wisely instead of wasting my life as John Piper would put it. I pray that God would grant me a new heart towards being about His kingdom and not my own purposes and leisurely activities. I want my life to be pleasing to God in all aspects, which includes my free time and the choices I make. God’s timing in revealing this to me is nothing but perfect because it’s that time of the semester when all of my projects and assignments are due and it really is crunch time. Every semester at this time I find myself needing to make adjustments to how and when I work, so God, once again, has reminded me of this and convicted me of how I’ve been living all semester in folly and laziness. As rapper Timothy Brindle puts it, “Sluggardly laziness, it shouldn’t be named among us just like nuns on a dating list!”. By His grace I will prevail from this semester still on my feet, but hopefully I will have a new heart towards pleasing God and what it means to offer my life up as a sweet aroma that is pleasing to God.
It’s always such a relief when you turn in assignments that you’ve been working on all semester! My accounting annual report project is finally done and turned in! I was very glad to finally be taking that burden off of my back, but at the same time I was really nervous because I need to do really well on it to pass the class. I have to get a C- to pass since it’s required for my major. It’s not impossible, but I definitely need to hit the books and grind it out for the last month of the semester. All I can do is work my hardest, not give in to distractions to slack off, and trust that God will deliver me from this trial and put me in the place He wants me to be in.
This week will be pretty crazy because I have an accounting exam on Wednesday and I have a consumer behavior project to finish by Friday. I know God will give me the strength and mental toughness to make it through and succeed. I’m also extremely thankful that God has provided me an oasis in which I can rest in and can trust for encouragement. My wonderful girlfriend is so great at listening to my many complaints about how much I don’t like school right now and always encourages me to keep going. She is such a blessing that I can forget about the world when I’m with her. I thank God for her everyday and how she is always there for me.
It’s been a while since my last post cuz school has been kicking my butt! But I’ve decided to kick school’s butt for the rest of the semester so I’m gonna try to get back into a regular pattern of posting. But I was reading Colossians 4:2-6 today and was impacted by the words in verses 5-6. Paul writes, “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let you speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” These verses stood out in particular because of this week’s care group discussion. We talked about our own successes and failures in personal evangelism. We just started reading the book The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever and so far it’s been very convicting. My recent evangelism history is pathetic and is embarassing to discuss because it is so poor and infrequent. During our care group discussion we mentioned how non-believers will see that we are different from the rest of the world by the way that we act and the things that we do and don’t do. We are set apart from the rest of the world, we are salty. Jesus says in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet“. God’s people are described by many analogies and metaphors throughout the Bible such as a beacon, the light, a city upon a hill, and the salt of the world. The salt metaphor is the strongest to me. Since salt is a seasoning and a preservative, we must be the same way with our thoughts, actions, and words. We season the world with the truth of God by representing the Gospel of Jesus and we preserve righteousness in the world by standing for truth and promoting the worldview of the Bible.
But if salt looses its saltiness it is “thrown out and trampled underfoot” as our Savior says. If we are not representing the truth of God in our every action, thought, and word then we might as well be thrown out and disregarded. God is all about His own glory and wants us to always put Him on a pedastal. If we are not doing that, we are not glorifying Him and are instead valuing ourselves. God has no use for people who think they don’t need Him. But for all who are in Christ Jesus, we are about our Master’s work. The Spirit of God that resides within us gives us a newborn passion for His glory and a passion to be salty. If we are in Christ we will be salty! So i pray for myself and everyone reading this that we would not hesitate to represent the truth of the Gospel which is the power of God to save our souls! Go out and be salty! Grace and peace.
brand new christian hip-hop artist Believin’ Stephen’s debut album The Perserverence Mixtape is available on Trailblazinministries.com and holyculture.net. Believin’ Stephen is the brother of Christian rapper Timothy Brindle who is the artist behind the albums The Great Awakening and Killing Sin. All three of these albums are must haves for any fan of holy hip-hop. Check out Tim and Stephen Brindle today!
The Perserverence Mixtape