I hope everyone has had a great start to the week!! Today was a good day here in Adana. The weather has been gorgeous :) I slept in, worked on some school work, baked cookies, had practice, and then had dinner with some of my teammates. My roommates friend that is visiting made chicken parmesan for dinner that was AMAZING!!! :)
This evening has been one of relaxing and catching up with family and friends.
I wanted to fill you in a little bit on the message yesterday. So first off, I had quite the ordeal getting to church, but it all worked out. I got on the wrong bus inadvertently, but praise the Lord was able to still make my way to church :). The service was a great one and one that I needed to hear. The pastor spoke from Luke 19:1-10. These verses are referencing Zacchaeus the tax collector. Zac (shortened name ;) ) was a man who was not liked by many people. His job was to collect money from people. Not only would he collect money for the government, but he would also keep some for himself. As Jesus was walking down the street He spots Zac up in the tree. He then asks Zac if He can eat with Him. This was a huge thing for Zac to accept, because numerous people were staring at him. Here is a man who is hated by many, but has just been asked by JESUS to eat with him.
"And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner."
*Zac had a choice to make. He could accept the invitation or he could reject it. Well, Zac chose to accept, and as a result hi heart changed drastically.
Verse 8 says, "And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold."
*Can you imagine what a difference had taken place in Zac's heart? He goes from taking money dishonestly to all of a sudden releasing half of what he owned back to the poor. Zac realized that his dishonesty and also money was hindering his relationship with the Lord. My question for you and for me is, what is hindering our walk with the Lord? Is it money, a relationship, school, job, fill in the blank ___________? I was challenged by this message. We need to daily surrender ALL to the Lord.
I will let you know how tomorrow goes! We play game #2 of the playoffs at 6:00 p.m. which is 11:00 a.m. EST. I have been told that the normal link does not work to follow live stats, but maybe it will this time. My family was able to find a different random link, but it did not accurately do the live stats, so I am not going to post it.
I hope everyone has a great evening!!
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."— John 13:21 (NIV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...I can still remember my friend saying it in church one Sunday: "We think so badly of old Judas for betraying the Lord for 30 pieces of silver, but how many times do we betray him for nothing?" Ouch! What makes this so difficult for us to bear is Jesus' anguish knowing one of his own would betray him. Let's make every effort and call upon God's strength so that such betrayal can never be true of us! And if it ever is, let's make sure we run toward his grace with an honest desire to escape sin and come back to him!
My Utmost For His Highest:
Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can’t see anything (see Matthew 14:29). But faithfulness to my own ideas means that I first clear the way mentally. Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can’t see the way ahead.
Are you debating whether you should take a step of faith in Jesus, or whether you should wait until you can clearly see how to do what He has asked? Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy. When He tells you something and you begin to debate, it is because you have a misunderstanding of what honors Him and what doesn’t. Are you faithful to Jesus, or faithful to your ideas about Him? Are you faithful to what He says, or are you trying to compromise His words with thoughts that never came from Him? “Whatever He says to you, do it ” (John 2:5).
Our Daily Bread:
At the 2009 Kansas high school state track championship, an unusual thing happened. The team that won the girls 3,200-meter relay was disqualified. But what happened next was even more unusual. The team that was awarded the state championship by default turned right around and gave their medals to the team that had been disqualified.
The first school, St. Mary’s Colgan, lost first place because judges ruled that a runner had stepped out of her lane as she handed off the baton. That meant the second team, Maranatha Academy, moved up to first. After receiving their medals, the girls from Maranatha saw the downtrodden looks on the faces of the St. Mary’s girls, so they gave them their individual medals.
Why did they do this? As Maranatha’s coach Bernie Zarda put it: “Our theme for the year was to run not for our glory, but for God’s glory.” As a result of the girls’ action, their story was told throughout Kansas, and God’s name was lifted up.
When we set aside our own interests and accomplishments to recognize that it’s better to care for the interests of others (Phil. 2:4), we see God’s name glorified. Acting with grace and kindness toward others is one of the best ways to point people to God.
Love is not blind but looks
Abroad through others’ eyes,
And asks not, “Must I give?”
But, “May I sacrifice?” —Ziegler
When we love God, we will serve people.