03 Jan LEARNING & LOVING: 2018
2018 was quite a long short year. I can remember some things that happened vividly while some seem like a blur but I’m grateful for the year. It was a giant rollercoaster of a year but I’ve grown.
There was progress in my faith; I stayed in the Word more and I believe I prayed better also. I shared the Gospel and talked about Christ. God was patient in teaching me a lot of things. I read more books and shared more by writing.
About my Joy in the faith, that bit was tested. I spent so much time worrying about so many things. From my career (this was the biggest chunk of my worry pie chart) to desiring friendships, my feelings for a guy and love life, my expectations for the future, my place of worship, doing more for the Gospel, growing in the Faith and many other things. Sometimes, it felt like my head was spinning with so many thoughts and I got overwhelmed a lot of times.
I took in the knowledge that my joy is not hinged on circumstances but Christ alone, the ever-dependable rock. My joy isn’t a response to the happenings in my life but a fruit of my born again spirit. I’m still confessing and meditating on that knowledge but I’m always certain that God loves me, always and forever, so I’m in the best hands possible. A big thank you to the sweet people who gave me their listening ears and cheered me on.
There was a note on my phone I kept for writing lessons from reading books, listening to sermons and songs, listening to people or any means really and from God to me and I believe sharing it would be helpful. So here’s a paraphrased version.
On purpose and being led by God:
- I am created for God’s pleasure! Philippians 2:13
- God’s purpose for my life is that I have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, grow in His knowledge and help others do the same. Simple. This purpose gives rise to assignments but assignments aren’t my purpose, just a platform to fulfil my purpose. Walk in purpose always. (Ephesians 1:4-5; 2 Corinthians 5:15). Maintain focus regardless of the circumstances.
- My purpose for living is to know Christ and to make Him known. Every other thing I do should have this as its ultimate aim. (Revelation 4: 11). His will, His pleasure; not mine.
- I must trust in God’s ability to communicate with me more than my ability to hear Him.
- God’s Spirit lives in me. He desires to communicate with me. Yield yourself to His Spirit with an open heart and a willingness to obey.
- Children are not taught to hear; they are born hearing. It comes naturally to them. I am God’s child; I can hear Him when He speaks to me.
- Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot. Luke 12:15
- God has given me everything I need that pertains to living a godly life. I walk as Light because I am now light. I can do because I am and I have all these things in me.
- ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Go do it.
On speaking up about your faith and sharing the Gospel:
- God being proactive towards our salvation was the proof of His love to us. I walk in His love when I am also proactive about the salvation of others and boldly declare the gospel to them.
- “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
- What are you doing of significance today that will matter millions of years from now?
Only one thing counts; salvation by grace through faith. It will matter whether you shared the most precious thing you have with everyone you could.
- The love of God in me spurs me on to reach out to the lost. I tell others how He loves them and demonstrated that love in Christ.
- Make sure your greatest investment goes to the things of God. Be purpose-driven. Reprioritize! (Mark 8: 36 )
What could you ever trade your soul for? Know Christ & make Him known. That’s all that truly counts.
- Don’t be in a “secret” relationship with Jesus. Tell it.
- Dear writer, keep shaping the world with your pen. Merely talking about your faith could spur on another’s faith.
- Make sure someone is growing spiritually because of you. Play your part in the body and supply!
On your new nature in Christ and growing in that knowledge:
- Let your new spirit reprogram your body and mind for righteousness.
- Be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19. Do The Word!
- Treat others the way God has treated you. Love others as you are loved by God.
- Christ had a choice and He chose us.
- My boast is in Christ and Christ alone. I put no confidence in the flesh. I have been saved from works, now I am God’s workmanship.
- You received a new heart when you believed in Christ. The stony heart has been taken out of your flesh. Your desires are now God-ward.
- Christ alone defines you!
- Strength is for service, not status. How can you help the people around you? (Romans 15:1-2)
- Your actions are a product of what you feed the most: flesh or Spirit. (Romans 8: 12-13; Galatians 5: 16)
- “Don’t let social media ruin your relationship with God.”
- The goal is not to entertain ourselves but to worship God. Endless life begets endless praise. The lyrics of songs you sing matter.
- “Interpretation of The Bible is to be discovered, not created.” 2 Timothy 2:15
- I may be “irritated” by repetition from The Lord but He will rather have that than have me hurrying off unto the next new information without me discerning how much something really matters to Him.
- Keep open house; be generous with your life. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 13-16 )
On praying instead of worrying:
- All anxieties bow in the presence of Jesus, the keeper of peace. Peace is a promise He keeps.
- Let nobody take God’s place. All my eggs are in His basket. In God, I will depend. I place all my cares and all my worries in His Hands. Jesus is my all in all.
- Don’t get too busy not to pray!
- Don’t make any major decision without praying! Even if you feel you’re sure, pray!
- Be a person of continued heartfelt prayer. Insist on the scripture in prayer.
- You get the best out of revelation when you pray.
- Exercise daily in God!
- Be persistent in Prayer: Maintain purpose in spite of difficulty, distraction or discouragement. Persevere! Continue!
- Be fervent in prayer: Involve your emotions.
- “Jesus is always better than any gift He gives you.”
On loving, friendship and other cares:
- A good friend is first defined in Christ.
- Advance decision-making is absolutely essential for sexual purity. Pre-deciding your actions involves being conscious that what you feed your mind will likely come out. Don’t look at what other Christians are doing to decide what you’ll do. You belong to God; honour Him with your body & mind. Pray and walk in His help.
- Break the routine. Get out. Connect.
- Share your lessons with the hope to shorten the learning curve for another.
- Don’t want a good thing too badly at the expense of your Faith in God. Christ alone defines you, Christ completes you; not any man’s love.
- Christ first, always.
That was a long list but I hope it was worth it and thank you for reading through.
Before 2018 ended, I had this huge excitement for the year ahead and I’m choosing to keep that hope alive. It’s a great year ahead. I’m choosing to pray more instead of worrying about the many questions about my career and “adulting” that I don’t have answers to yet. Now that I think I’m clear-headed regarding my feelings, I’m choosing to trust the best Chef to cook up the best love story for me. I look forward to nurturing great friendships.
I’m choosing to be thankful in all circumstances, rejoicing always, confident that I never walk alone! God’s got you and me!
Writing this made me remember a quote my chancellor from the university says “If you can think, you can thank”; I keep remembering happenings in 2018 and I’m full of thanks to God.
Cheers to the best year yet!
Happy New Year 🎉