SO YOU SCREWED UP

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So you screwed up…now what do you do? Whether it be tests or a friendship or even something as trivial as forgetting you pencil bag at home, we’ve all screwed up. And sometimes these screw ups leave us with a sinking feeling that makes us want to scream and cry and yell all at the same time. The pressure to measure up to the rest of the world can sometimes be a paralyzing thing. But aside from dealing with the mess of failure in a worldly way, have you put much thought into how you deal with it spiritually?

We know that God is always there and that He is mightier than the world around us and all it brings, but rarely do we stop and actually appreciate this. We glaze over it because it’s “common knowledge” to Christians, but sometimes it’s the most simple things we learn as Christians that are the most important.

As John 16:33 tells us, God (through the use of His holy son, Jesus) has overcome the world. This means that the power of God is far greater than the anger and frustration and sorrow of the world.

Messing up is a basic part of life, it’s going to happen no matter how hard you try to perfect your every move. The problem isn’t the fact that we made a mistake, rather it’s the way we deal with the aftermath. Think to yourself. Is your first instinct to run to worldly things or to react with unchecked emotion, or even to criticize yourself when you’ve screwed up? Or do you run to God and take solace in His wisdom?

The emotions we experience when we know we have messed up are natural, but when we allow them to control our lives and tear us down, that’s when we have made a true mistake. I find that praying and even sitting down and looking through a few verses when I feel that I’ve failed helps me deal with the emotions and feeling of disappointment. Here is a list of some verses that I feel embody the subject of this devotional, and remind us all that God is always with us:

  • Proverbs 18:10
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Psalm 46:1-3
  • Psalm 16:8
  • 1 Peter 5:7
  • Psalm 120:1
  • John 16:33

Cast your anxiety upon the Lord (as 1 Peter 5:7 says) and He will surround you with His love. I hope you enjoyed this post and have a happy rest of your week!                                   -Jordan

 

 

 

 

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JOEL 2:13

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“Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.” -Joel 2:13 // NIV Translation

Today’s post will just be a short sequence of thoughts on this verse. I originally landed on this verse and decided to make it this week’s weekly verse last week. It was almost a call from God, me coming across this verse. Especially after last week’s post on returning to God, I thought that this would be the perfect way to start off the week with a little relation/connection to last week.

With all this talk of returning to the Lord, it’s no surprise that there would be a verse in the Bible that encompasses everything I wrote last week. The word of God is like armor, a way to protect us against the evil and trouble of the world. This verse is a great representation of that, we should shield ourselves with this comforting thought that God is always there waiting for us with open arms (much like the Prodigal Son).

God’s compassion and grace are overwhelming. Even when you slip up and drift from Him, His grace allows you to return time after time, and to continue to be forgiven. The Lord’s love is mighty and His anger slow. His love will always continue to flow into you, even in the midst of a messy mistake.

I know today’s post was super short but I didn’t think the verse needed a whole lot of explaining after last week’s post. If you haven’t read my post from last week, go check it out under the devotional tab (it’s titled Long Time, No See).                                                  -Jordan

LONG TIME, NO SEE

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After my month long slack-off from blog posting I am back and with a very real, very important devotional. So if you have it in your heart to forgive me for being gone for so long (and I really hope you do), please keep reading!

Have you ever felt yourself becoming distanced from God? Or ever in a situation where you feel completely lost and out of control and, let’s face it, kind of angry for no reason? Because I certainly have, especially in the last month or so of not posting.

Recently I came to terms with the fact that I was slipping away from God. I had stopped reading the Bible every night, stopped reading my devotional book, stopped journaling, and as embarrassing as this is I even found myself ceasing in prayer more and more every day. A nagging and incessant empty feeling filled me up instead of the usual warmth and comfort I get from knowing God is there. And from personal experience I can attest to the fact that once you’ve regressed from your daily routine of Bible study, it’s hard to jump right back in. And it’s not just because you now have to deliberately make time for your study sessions, but possibly because you have to face the embarrassing and almost terrifying task of turning back to the Lord when you’ve run from Him for so long. What seems like such a simple task, to open your Bible and read a passage or two, can become daunting and often leads to a feeling that is no better explained than by the word sheepish. But the story sounds a little all too familiar right? Our story is just like the famous story of the Prodigal Son.

In Luke 14  Jesus recites parables to the Pharisees, and in Luke 15:11-32, Jesus continues with the parable of the Prodigal Son. Since I am not typing the entire passage here, I would suggest reading it as a refresher, if you haven’t already.

Essentially the parable is the story of two sons and their father. The younger son asks his father for his share of their estate, and once granted his wealth leaves the estate and squanders everything he was given. The country then begins to suffer a famine, and the son, not having any place to stay or any food to eat, found a job feeding pigs. After laboring at this job day after day and spiraling even further into a hole of depression and anger, he pulls himself up and decides to return home. As he nears the estate, his father comes running out to him, and instead of punishing the son, he throws him a grand feast complete with a fattened calf. The older son, who never left the estate gripes to his father about the party, complaining that he was never thrown a party and he never acted foolishly with what was given to him. The father’s response is simple in saying that a celebration is in order for a son who was dead but is now alive again.

What a confusing thought it is that even after having throwing away his wealth and pride, the younger son’s father still welcomes him home with open and loving arms. It seems that it would be the exact opposite reaction. But when we take a closer look at this story we begin to realize that we are the prodigal son, and the father is God. While we may stray or cease our prayers, God will always be there to welcome us back to Him when we come to our senses. I think this is best explained by verses 21 and 32:

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” -Luke 15:21// NIV Translation

“But we celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” -Luke 15:32// NIV Translation

Verse 21 reminds us of our damaged pride and immense embarrassment, while verse 32 tells us that when we return we will be welcomed and will reap every benefit we had before because our Lord is just that kind and forgiving. And if you still don’t believe that after everything you’ve done, the Lord will welcome you back to him try taking a look at verse 16. The younger son literally longs to be able to eat the food of the pigs he is charged with feeding. Yes, the food of dirty pigs who eat slop out of a trough. If the son’s father can forgive him even after he had reached rock bottom, then God can surely forgive you.

Finally, I beg you to find a trusted friend to use as an accountability partner. When you have someone making sure you are staying the course, it becomes easier to continue with your studies and prayer, and you’re less likely to have a “long time, no see” situation on your hands.

Thank you thank you for reading! I promise to continue with my posting every week.

Have a blessed day,                                                                                                                                             -Jordan