Monday, October 14, 2013

Jesus is Loving Barabbas

I had to do a devotional for one of my classes today and I based it off of a video called "Jesus is Loving Barabbas". So this is just sort of a summary of the video. If you want to watch the whole thing, I'll post the YouTube link to it at the bottom! It's some powerful stuff!

Jesus is Loving Barabbas

    So we all know the story of Jesus and his journey to the cross. He is betrayed by Judas, taken by the Romans, and goes through some of the most horrendous things a person could ever go through. In the midst of this, the people were given a choice: free Jesus who had never committed a single sin, or free a murderer. As we all know, the people cried for the murderer, Barabbas, to be freed.
    Now, we never really give much thought about one certain detail in this little part of the story. It appears to be just another point to prove that the Jews really just wanted Jesus to suffer and die because they hated him. But that’s just the surface. We hardly give much thought to Barabbas. Why should we? He’s just an awful, cruel, murderer who got to be free instead of Jesus.
    So let’s dig deeper. Barabbas: a thug, rebellious, cruel, deserved to be a prisoner, and just an all around bad person. Jesus: perfect, healed, loved, freed, performed miracles. But Barabbas is the one who is freed. He is welcomed by the crowd as he proudly takes his first steps into freedom. Not once looking back to the man who is now taking his place on death row. Jesus made no protests. He just stood there, silently, letting the man who didn’t deserve freedom, walk away. He knew that this was going to happen, he knew it was all in the Father’s plan. “For Jesus knew that the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so he could treat Barabbas like Jesus.”
    Barabbas gave the credit of his freedom to the people. They were the ones who voted and cheered for him. But was is really the people who freed him? No. It was the love of the Father.
    Who is Barabbas really? God loved him. He was an awful person. God knew everything he had ever done, and everything he was going to do. Barabbas never realized he was given the gift of freedom. He was so self absorbed and prideful. God knew that. He still loved him. So who is Barabbas? Barabbas is us.
    Sometimes, we think it is up to us and earthly things to get us out of the tough times. Sometimes, we think we have to do everything we can to get us down from that platform and set ourselves free. But it never really works out our way does it? We can’t overcome sin by ourselves. We can only do that with Jesus, who took our place, not only on the cross, but on the platform. How many times have we found ourselves on the platform with Jesus? How many times has Jesus set us free, whether we think we deserve it or not? Every time, Jesus tells us to give him our sins. When we think we deserve to be ashamed, he says to give it to him. When we think we deserve pain, he says give it to him. No matter how much we mess up, He will still be there. His love is so expansive, never ending, so perfect, so caring, so welcoming, that he will always love everyone of us. Everyone in this room, on this campus, in this state, in this country, and in the world. So when he says to give him our sins, that’s what we have to do. And he covers us in his forgiveness. He takes our sin to the cross with him to pay the price, as we get to walk free through the crowds.
    “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV
    There is no way we could ever free ourselves. It will always be Jesus. If his blood can give us salvation, then it can continue to help us through every challenge we ever face.
    “Jesus is enough.” 

Here is the link!

Monday, September 30, 2013


That one word, Respect, has so much meaning behind it.

The first thing that some people think of when they think of respect is the 5th commandment in the Bible. Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which that the Lord your God has given you."

But that verse is another topic for another time. This post is going to be about how we as single or dating men need to respect our women in our lives.

According to a man named, Clifford Pugh, a writer on the Houston Chronicle, he states there are 21 ways to be a true gentleman. I'll provide a few of his "21 ways" , if you'd like to see the rest click here.
1. Keeps to the right, whether he is walking on a sidewalk, down a hallway or on the stairs.
5. Waits until a lady at the table lifts her fork before he takes his first bite.
8.  Always has an umbrella to share.
18. Never wears the same pair of blue jeans two days in a row.

Now I don't know about you, but I don't own an umbrella. I also walk on the left of my Girlfriend, why? Because she's left handed and I'm right handed, and when we hold hands, it just feels right!

What does I mean to be a gentleman? Well I think the key word is RESPECT. Do you respect women as your equal? Or do you think of them as a lower sex than you and consider them servants in your eyes?

The "21 ways" that Clifford was talking about may help you appear to be more like a gentleman, but it doesn't necessarily show you respect the women in your life.

Single guys, think about this one. If you can't respect the random girls in your life as equals or do kind and nice things for them (holding doors open, talking appropriately, not ignoring them, etc.) than how do you think you'd be able to have a girlfriend, let alone a wife?

At the beginning of my relationship with my girlfriend, I didn't treat her with the amount of respect that I do now. Sure, I would hold the door open for her and stuff, but I treated her like a pet. I would buy her stuff, have fun with her and would expect her to love me and only be around me.
However, she has her own life. She is her own person. She has her own soul. She has her own personality. I can't control her. I have to respect her as her, being herself.

And let me tell you...on a personal testimony... After respecting her more, I have come to learn to love her more, I have more fun with her, I trust her more, and I love to be with her more. It's amazing.

So men, respect those women in your life. They deserve it and so do you.

God bless,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Modest is Hottest

I'm just going jump in and start things off by coming out with one of my biggest struggles (and something I will be posting about a lot): Fashion.
When I say fashion, I mean worldly fashion. Growing up, my parents were very strict about what I wore. Shorts and skirts could on be a couple of inches above my knees and shirts couldn't be strapless, spaghetti strapped, or too low cut. This of course is all good and modest, but I hated it. I spent so much of my time wishing I could wear shorts like that girl in the magazine or a skirt like one of my friends. As I got older, I pushed and pushed at the rules. Finally, when I was 17, they basically dropped all the rules for me since I was "almost an adult." I got to wear the outfits I had dreamed of being able to wear.
But, during that time, I also wasn't exactly into being a Christian.
Things were rough at home. I wanted to do my own thing because it felt better. Deep down, I was an angry person and there was no room for God anywhere.
Most of the time, I just didn't want to be me. I wanted to be like models and actresses whom I thought were beautiful and had the dream life.
I also wanted to be someone and mean something.  In my mind, that meant being famous, looking good, and being "all that".
Boy, was I so wrong.
I've been thousands of miles away from home for about a month now. It has been some of the most life changing weeks ever. I rededicated my life to God. But with that has come the struggle of letting things go, like the kind of clothes I loved to wear. And this is honestly one of the toughest things for me to do.
There was a feeling a freedom when I could wear whatever I wanted to. I could expose my body as much as I wanted, and even here at the Christian college that I go to, I could get away with a lot.
But having that kind of mindset is careless.
Something I've learned the past few weeks is that there are so many more aspects to modesty that are really important. 
 The Bible says that girls should be modest. 
1 Timothy 2:9: “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel and moderation, not with the braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing."
Along with that, being modest is respectful to not only yourself, but to others. Especially when you have a boyfriend. 
Showing off your stomach, bum, and all the kind of stuff may considered "pretty" and "cute", but that's not going to get you a guy who respects you and wants you for you. It attracts attention for the wrong reasons. If you're looking for a relationship, it should not be based off of your body, especially when it comes to having a Godly relationship. 
I feel like Christian girls still parade around showing off all they have. I know I have. And I've found out that it makes things very complicated and such a struggle when it comes to guys. 
If you want to have a solid, Godly relationship with a guy, and yet you wear exposing clothing, it's going to bring you and your guy down. Guys think totally different then girls, and clothing is so distracting to them. It's harder to stay on track. That's not good. 
Not only is it distracting to your guy, but it can be and is to other guys. Not only are you exposing yourself to that one guy, but everyone else can see what you have. 
Trust me, it'll make your guy a nervous wreck. But he doesn't need the stress of that. Neither of you do. 
Respect yourself, and your guy. 

Like the title says, modest is hottest. Some of the most beautiful women in history are models of modesty. Coco Chanel is one of my favorites. She was a designer and revolutionized women's fashion. She popularized pant suits and trousers for women. But she also emphasized the power and elegance of women by keeping that modest image.

It is possible to be beautiful, feel beautiful, and be fashionable in a modest way. Don't feel pressured by the media and mindset of today's mindset. True beauty comes from within.