Friday, June 22, 2012

Rich People Can't Get Into Heaven




Matthew 19:23-24

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Before April 26, 2012,  I always took this verse literally, and thought that it was only talking about rich people. Then God gave me a spark of wisdom.  

In this verse, Jesus was saying it is hard for people to get into Heaven if they are satisfied with things of this world more than they are satisfied with Him. One example can be if someone loves money more than Jesus, but that is not the only example. If a person loves popularity, food, sex, alcohol, shopping, their iPhone, friends, family, or anything else more than they love Jesus, they are less likely to go to Heaven than it is for a large Camel to get through the tiny tiny eye of the needle. 

Wow, my chances are not looking good.  I had to ask myself, is there anything I love more than Jesus? There are some things I really love. I love my family, I love being with my friends and having heart to hearts all night, I love that feeling when you're wearing a new outfit, I love singing music in my car, I love apple pie, I love swimming on a hot Summer day,  I love playing flag football, I love making Pinterest crafts, I love that feeling accomplished, I love a lot of things. And I do love Jesus, but sometimes he somehow gets lowered on my priority list. 

Other things seem more important than my relationship with Jesus during certain times, like trying to get good grades or trying to lose weight. Those things need to be important because if I fail out of college I can't go to seminary and if I don't stay healthy, I would have less time on the Earth doing God's work. They are important things in my life, but I can not let them become more important than my love for Jesus. 

Sometimes I wonder if it is possible for me to always put Jesus first. I wonder how it is possible for me to be saved. If you continue reading verses 25-26, it tells you that the disciples asked the same thing.

"When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

ALONE it is not possible for us to be saved, 
We can't do it on our own, but if we pray for help, we can put Jesus at the top of our priority list. I think we all need to spend sometime in pray figuring out what things we love more than Jesus, and what things we desire more than a relationship with Him. Don't get discouraged if the change doesn't happen over night. Our relationships with Jesus are life long journeys!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Praying for a Sign

Why do people always pray and ask God to show them a sign or a miracle to help them believe in Him or trust Him?

I find myself doing this all the time without even realizing it.
"God just show me that this decision I made was the right one"
"God just give me a sign that you are there listening to my prayers"
"God show me a sign that you care and love me"
"Please God, just one little sign just so I can know and believe"

This past semester I prayed to God asking Him for a sign that everything would be okay. He gave me a sign back, actually gave me 21 signs back in only two weeks. He placed the verse Jeremiah 29:11 into my life 21 times in some of the craziest ways. Here are just some:
1. I googled verses about trusting in God and picked it as my favorite
2. I wrote it down in my journal
3. My friend Amanda's cousin adopted a baby named Jeremiah
4. I opened the book God Girl and the first sentence I read was Jeremiah 29:11
5. A man named Dr. Finch said to a small group of people and I that he loved the verse Jeremiah 29:11
6. I went on a Women's Retreat with CRU and the speaker Kerri quoted it
7. My roommate was talking on the phone and quoted it to her boyfriend
8. I called my friend Evan to tell her this story and she texts me a couple hours later saying she just met a guy named Jeremiah
9. My friend Chandler texts me to tell me she keeps seeing Jeremiah 29:11 everywhere!
10. I called my mom to tell her the story and that day a guy named Jeremiah came to measure our kitchen for new counter top

So while this was happening to me I said to myself I need to trust God. It is time to listen to Him. It took a sign like that for me to believe that God was listening to my prayers and to show that He did care about me. But shouldn't I have trusted Him and known he listened already? Why did it take a sign for me to believe?

Jesus said that humans need signs to believe. 

John 4: 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

It is not just the humans of our generation who demand signs, I Corinthians 1:22 says, "Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom", so people have always wanted a sign to believe. 

But why do we think this way? Why do we need proof to believe? Isn't the bible enough proof? Why can't we just have faith? 

I wish I knew the answers to these questions. All I know is that God listened to my prayers and showed me that he cares and that I need to trust Him and His plans for my life. So that is what I will do.