Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It Will Be Worth It All

(This went longer than planned, sorry.)
Since the time we were born, I believe we all wanted to be like someone we trusted, someone we looked up to, whether it was a parent, teacher, or someone who became a mentor to us.  Something about them made you aspire to be like them.  As we grew older, we felt the pull to be like everyone else and felt uncool if we didn't "measure up". We all want to be accepted.  I know I certainly felt that way, especially in my junior high years.  It was at that time, that I started to feel that being different was a bad thing.  People talked behind my back, snickered when I walked by them in the hall, and blatantly made fun of me.  Why?  Because I was different.  I looked different, acted different and for a time, I was mad about it. It didn't seem fair.  It was the most difficult period of my life up to that point.  I learned during that time, that I had to make my own decision about what I was going to believe. It wasn't enough just to go to church with my parents and follow their rules, I had to choose to serve God for myself, no matter what others did.  I could sit in my seat every Sun. and Wed. and have the message go in one ear and out the other or I could listen and apply God's word to my own life. When I did, I decided that having Jesus in my heart was worth all the pain of being laughed at at school. Jesus was more important and He would see me through. His love for me, the sacrifice He made for me was greater than anything I would ever go through here on earth.  How could I not accept such love? I found encouragement and strength in christian friends, family and youth leaders who really inspired me to stand and fight. We encouraged and prayed for one another and I am so grateful to God for them to this day.  It was during that time, that I really found out who I was.  I learned that we all had our own personal battles to fight and choices to make but that Jesus could help us if we just asked Him to. He could bring us through any storm we faced if we would just keep our eyes on Him.
Yes, you may be different, we're all different in one way or another.  But, don't be ashamed to be different.  We all have something special to offer God. We all have something He can use to help others. You know, as I got older, I fell away from serving God and so did some of my friends. I got my eyes on what I wanted and didn't trust God to give it to me in His perfect timing, instead, I tried to get it on my own.  I went through a lot before I made my way back home. I felt the world pulling me. Things that I knew were wrong didn't seem so wrong anymore and I started to compromise my beliefs.  I began to lose sight of who I was, my friends even noticed the change in me-I almost let go (as the song says) but then I began to feel God drawing me.  I would remember lessons taught in Sunday School as a child or something I'd heard over the pulpit, or a song and something started drawing me back.  I knew I needed to get my life back on track and really, totally serve God again.  Again, I had to make a choice.  Life is full of choices, isn't it?  You need to decide what you're going to stand for and do it with all your heart, soul and mind.  And when trials come and you feel like you're all alone, look to Jesus.  There are people all over the world serving the Lord.  You are not alone. If all your friends and family backslide and lose their faith, will you still stand for Jesus?  Sometimes we need to take a good hard look at ourselves.  Do you love God enough to serve Him whatever may come?  If you find yourself offended by something, causing doubt to begin to take root, are you going to let that keep you from making Heaven your home?  Is that little thing more important than Jesus and all He's done for you?  What will you say to Him when you stand before Him face to face and see the love radiating from Him-"They hurt me, they wronged me, so I walked away from you." He'll say, "I'm sorry, I never knew you.".  Is it worth it?  Do you want that pain and anger more than you want God? Don't let anything come between you and your Savior.  Get back to God, start really praying and pour yourself out to Him, get back to the altar.  He loves you more than anything in this world and He's calling you to come, come and surrender it all to Him.  Let Him take away all your pain and hurt and replace it with hope and peace and a sound mind.  I encourage you today to start praying and getting into your Bible, start reading it with a new zeal, with a desire to really know God and to have Him know you.  When you have that personal relationship with God, no one will be able to separate you from God. No one!    God Bless you.  
This song is called, "Far Above All Else, I Must Be Saved"
It's missing the lyrics, but they go like this:

More than eternity, more than success
If I must choose to own one thing, I'll take Jesus over the rest
For if I should attain the goal, to gain this world and all it holds
But then, if I should lose my soul, then I have lost it all.

And even though the souls of those that I love and hold so dear
More than others, I must make my own salvation sure
For if I to others show the way
And then I become just a castaway
But this price I can't afford to pay
My soul is worth it all

Far above all else, I must be saved
Far above all else, I must be saved
Lord, whatever you have to do to me,
Don't let me be lost for eternity
Far above all else, I must be saved

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