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To The Person Who Has Bigger Dreams Than The Typical Life

Six months ago I moved from Philadelphia to Dallas. Through this process, I have never needed more faith and I’ve never been happier. Needless to say, it has been crazy, exciting, and terrifying the past six months. Since moving, every hour is jam packed, every day is different, and every week brings a new adventure. I know that I am sitting in the Lord’s will and I feel that I am truly starting to tap into the purpose God has for me.

You see ever since I was a little girl I wanted to do something big with my life. I desired to be married and be a wife but I want something beyond that as well. I want to leave a legacy and want my life to count. I’m not satisfied with what is normal. I have huge dreams and am sold out to God’s calling on my life.

Can you relate? If so keep reading because I want to share a few pieces of advice.

  1. Find Then Follow Your Vision – You may be in a season right now where you are searching for your purpose. Don’t take this season for granted. God has not forgotten you, rather you have been set apart. For a few years, I waited as my dreams and passions developed because I also knew that I wasn’t ready to know how they were going to be mapped out. Everyone has a vision for their life. If you were born into this life, God has a vision for you. The key is you need to seek it. Be active in seeking it. Many ignore the vision or settle. We are called to greatness therefore we need to strive for it.

2 Chronicles 16:9a says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

Devote yourself to seeking the Lords vision for your life. Once your call is revealed follow that dream no matter the circumstances

  1. Be Teachable – It’s almost laughable at how many mistakes I have made. When our team gets together we have conversations like, “Member the time when Katie…” then someone else will say, “Oh my goodness I remember when Katie did…” Even though I have been corrected, made mistakes, and have not always made the right call, I have made it a point to be teachable. We can look back and laugh about some of the crazy stories over the years because I have since learned from them.

REMEMBER: While it is awesome to have huge dreams and a major vision, please know, you do not                   know everything. Eat some humble pie, admit when you are wrong, and seek Godly counsel. I have been           blessed where I am constantly being poured into from people who will shoot straight with me. Because of           that I am able to mentor and pour into others. Unfortunately, you can end up being the biggest drawback           to your dreams. If you make a mistake, don’t let insecurity keep you from pressing on. It’s okay!! In fact,           correction is a GOOD THING because it is through that we learn.

Proverbs 12:1 tells us straight up, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

  1. Be Expectant –Faith is seriously one of my FAVORITE things to talk about!! It’s a major game changer. It will happen in the Lord’s timing so until then stand bold, stand firm, and do not waver. I have a list of things I am praying for and am expectant about. Think of an expectant mother. She is expectant because she can feel the baby and knows that the baby will eventually be born. Today, be expectant that God will give birth to your prayers!

Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” You need to be expectant by having faith in your prayers! If you aren’t going to expect what you pray about, why pray at all?

My challenge for you today is be hard core about all the desires, passions, and dreams for your life. Seek what the Lord wants, be teachable, and be expectant. Never settle, but rather, be buck wild about it. Doing this will be the best decision you make. I am living proof of it.

-Katie Dewan

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Each Punch, Each Stride, Each Step

So, I’ve been solidly single for ten years.

Oh, sure, I’ve dated a few guys and been on a few dates here and there, but I am still solidly single. Such a prolonged single season has really rocked my faith in God and my sense of worth so that I’ve had to practice self-control.

Self-control is one of those concepts that I know is a fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, etc., etc. and SELF-CONTROL.  But, I always thought of self-control as being more of a theory than a practical virtue to be practiced and maintained until I needed self-control in my singleness desperately.  At some point in my late 20s, I realized my thoughts were being controlled by fear and disbelief instead of faith.  My sense of worth was crippled because I thought I was less than because I wasn’t married, so that negative thought pattern determined my belief about myself.  Here’s the thing:  God doesn’t say that everyone is going to be married at 21, so it takes self-control to not surrender to disbelief, doubting that God has a plan during the period of waiting.  And He does have a plan.

Self-control is mandatory if we are going to live lives that are pleasing to our God.  Paul said in I Corinthians 9:24-27 that everyone who competes in athletic and spiritual competitions exercises SELF-CONTROL in ALL THINGS.  The athletes he referenced were Greeks who trained their mind and bodyfor ten months to concentrate on winning their unique competition.  He compares our individual, God-given destiny to running a race or boxing with aim, so that each punch, each stride, each step of your life is focused at a the target of God’s purpose.  Paul disciplined his body so that he would not be disqualified because he relented to immorality, sensuality, anger, jealousy, strife, etc.   I’ve almost been prey to letting the same “deeds of the flesh” disqualify ME from my God-ordained destiny, until I realized that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free” so I didn’t have to clothe myself daily in my old sins, habits, and thought patterns – I was and am free because of Jesus.

Sexual sin, lust, and negativity may be what our culture permits and even encourages in singleness, but we cannot live effective lives for the glory of God if we let our bodily passions and minds run the show.

Keep your mind strong in the power of GodPractice self-control. He has set a race before you that only you, in whatever relational season of life, can run with boldness and courage.

 

QUITE YOUR SOUL — Worship Song:  “No Longer Slaves” by Jonathan and Melissa Helser.

“I’m no longer a slave to fear – I am a child of God.”

BE ENCOURAGED — Read these Scriptures:

I Corinthians 9:24-27–“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.  They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

Galtians 5:1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

DIG DEEPER — Life Evaluating Questions: 

  1. Evaluate your mind. Do you control your thoughts or do they control you?  What thought patterns have you allowed to dictate your worth?
  2. Identify areas in your life over which you need to control yourself. Pray over these weaknesses, allowing God to strengthen you in His power and truth
  3. Pray over yourself and for your God-given, unique purpose. What does God want YOU to accomplish with your talents and gifts for the kingdom of God, regardless of your relationship season?

 

-Heather Carey

Millenials

What’s Different About Millennials?

It was a colorful fall day in Virginia. After my daily workout with my best friend, we parted ways and made plans to meet back up for dinner. Usually, we did everything together, but today I had my end of semester meeting with my financial advisor. After sitting in the waiting room with my zip-up hoodie and Nike sneakers, I was called into his cubicle. After hearing about the debt I had accumulated thus far, I knew there had to be a better way. It was after that meeting that I devised a strategy to get ahead. One year later I found myself working at a prestigious company with a team that was heavily involved in planning Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. With this alternative method I was able to get my bachelors with experience rather than debt under my belt. Unfortunately for today’s generation, you cannot pay for college with just a part time job, and no white collar position is guaranteed post-graduation.

I am a Millennial. Despite our bad rep, I am proud to hold this title. There is more to us than Snapchat, Justin Bieber, and Netflix and Chill. Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S history. Millennials were born between the late 1980’s and 1990’s. We are engaged, focused on the future, and tolerant. Furthermore, we are the generation of entrepreneurs, we find pleasure in the journey, and we are the first generation to have personal media. Generation X focused on a work/life balance while Millennials have work/life integration. A Millennial self-brands weekly, daily, and hourly. Our mentality is different compared to generations before us as we emerge from adolescents to adults.

The traditional road map of life is:

1) Graduate college

2) Become financially independent

3) Get married

4) Have a baby

In 1960, 75% of people hit this complete roadmap by the age of 30, when in 2010, only 10% of people had completed it. For our generation, our 20’s have become a transition period. It is no secret that generations before us are critical. Can I be bold enough to say that we have aspects we need to work on as a whole? We have bigger issues than whether we should use the filter X-Pro II or Valencia.

Here are a few of them:

1) We compare.

Although social media has brought a sense of community, we also use it to compare ourselves to others. We compare each other’s lives and this causes considerable anxiety. Whether it comes to success in money or our bodies, we need to learn to be content and work hard on our own journey regardless of what others are doing.

2) Few of us plan for the future.

We all know that one guy who is 25 and his parents are still depositing his rent, food, and cell phone bill into his bank account each month. As a whole, our generation needs to budget and learn what it means to save. Many of us are privileged because generations before us paved the way. However, we need to follow their example and do the hard thing rather than make constant impulse buys.

3) We feel entitled.

No, not all of us are entitled. But I have seen far too many students graduate and assume they are starting out with a six-figure salary in a management position. We need to put in the hard work and earn it. We should never want to be known as a generation that is lazy. Achieving a goal when the road is hard is the most rewarding thing our generation could ever do.

Despite our shortcomings, Millennials should be immensely proud of the notable qualities we possess.

1) We can hear the hard thing.

We don’t need fluff, but rather we are attracted to boldness. As painful as it may be, we want to hear the truth. We can immediately spot when someone is being fake. Each of us is searching for authenticity, and that is something to be valued.

2) Millennials know how to follow their passion.

The 2014 Millennial Impact Report did a study which surveyed 1500 millennials. The findings showed that the main factor in determining whether or not they remained at their company was having their passions used and fulfilled. Our generation is driven by a group of people who must find a role where their values and dreams come to life.

Here is the question we really need to ask: Are we factoring God into our generation? 

What we need to remember, above anything else, is God and His Word are the ultimate authority. Because we are searching for authenticity, we can always turn to the Scriptures. In all of the examples above, whether budgeting, working hard, or following our passion, the Bible is extremely relevant. God’s word can be utilized to guide us in every single one of these areas.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” -Timothy 3:16-17

We are living in a different time. Often, lines are blurred and our generation comes to situations or decisions that aren’t black and white. This is when we have to set our feet on the solid rock and stand on what God’s Word says. When our generation is searching for discernment, His Word will be the cornerstone we need to ground ourselves in truth.

 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” –Psalms 37:23-24 

-Katie D.

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The Chains Are Already Broken: Choosing Grace

Sometimes it can be pretty tempting as someone saved by grace to become a little self-righteous and prideful when we look at others caught in sin. I think sometimes we forget what it was like to be in the grips of sin and death, to be caught in the addiction. Or, maybe by the grace of God you never had that one “big” sin struggle – but let’s be real, we all have a struggle with sin, hence the grace of God.

If I’m honest, there have been times that I have looked at others caught in certain habitual sins that I have been saved from and become angry, or hard-hearted, or anything but compassionate. Now, there is a place for righteous anger, don’t get me wrong, but there is a place for compassion, too! It’s as though I had forgotten that my escape from those sins was by the grace of God. I had no reason to be proud.

But I think our sense of pride can sometimes come from a forgetfulness of the snare of sin. Now, words are a funny thing. Sometimes they can be used so much they become “Christianese” or so cliché that we forget the weight of their meanings, but there is a reason we use those words! Let’s look at two words for a second: caught and snare.

Caught – past tense of catch; intercept and hold (something that has been thrown, propelled, or dropped).

  • capture (a person or animal that tries or would try to escape).

Snare – noun; a trap for catching birds or animals, typically one having a noose of wire or cord.

  • a thing likely to lure or tempt someone into harm or error.

Those are pretty strong words. Neither portrays exact willingness on the receiving end, but that is no mistake on Satan’s part! The Lord wins us with His loving kindness; the devil is conniving and has to manipulate us into what is essentially quicksand.

I was recently humbled – God is pretty good in that arena. Although God is good and faithful to keep us in His grace, I was reminded how once we choose sin one time, it becomes all the easier to choose it again, and again, and before you know it, it seems as though sin is grabbing you. Even when you know how bad, how wrong, how hurtful it is – to you and God – it consumes your thoughts and you feel almost like an addict feeding a fix. Sin is obsessive and completely insane. That is why we say people get “caught” in the “snare” of sin, because it truly does grab a hold of you making you feel powerless.

But there is hope for the sinner. Like Judas and Peter, there is the gift of grace and the offer of whether we accept it or mourn our sin in worldly grief. Judas chose the latter and it killed him – literally. He was so consumed by the guilt and shame of betraying Jesus that he hung himself. Peter was also extremely distressed by his denial of Jesus BUT Peter remembered the message of his friend and Savior – the message of forgiveness of sins. He remembered the grace that Jesus said was available. Peter’s sorrow was met with repentance and the acceptance of grace.

Accept God’s grace! Choose to use the power that is waiting for you in Jesus to overcome your sin. The chains are already broken; we need only to believe it.

 

Chelsea Prevosto – Intern

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Seeking God While The Rest Of The Women Are Seeking Men

People know me as a go getter. I have a business mindset, I’m driven, confident, and have finally found a sense of belonging when it comes to my social status and most importantly my relationship with God. People have said that college will be the best and most terrifying years of your life, and they were right. I have experienced highs and lows but through it all, I’ve had the privilege to see what God can do in someone’s life no matter the circumstance.

Over the years, I have had my doubts and insecurities, one of the most difficult obstacles I’ve had to overcome is being 20 and never having a boyfriend. Having always been told it was because I was “too intimidating,” gets a little old when you’ve heard it for 20 years. In the back of my mind I began to think that maybe it is me and maybe it’s something that needs to change. My grandmother tells me to this day I need to “dumb myself down so the man can feel like a man”. I have since then taken these excuses as more of a complement. I know that the reason I’m “too intimidating” is because God made me that way. Don’t get me wrong, I have my flaws and need to be guided at times but I don’t find my identity in men, material things, or success, if there’s one thing that college has taught me it’s that if you don’t find your success in God then you will not find success at all.

Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Reading this verse allows me to see that regardless of how many times I see my friends get boyfriends, or I get called “one of the guys”, become too stressed over whatever my day entails, or feel unworthy of someone to intimately love, I have the blessing and the wonderful opportunity to look to God. Expanding and deepening my relationship with Him has allowed me to feel a sense of belonging, love, and security. I have the ability to cast my burdens to God and ask of him amazing things. He is the creator, beginning and the end, there is nothing He cannot do and I have the astounding opportunity to be in relations with The Creator. I could not ask for anything more.

College has taught me many things:

  1. Don’t pull an all-nighter, it will never be as beneficial as you think.
  2. Don’t avoid your workouts, they may not be fun, but once you’re done you’ll be thankful you did it.
  3. Smile at everyone your walk past.
  4. Don’t sit on your cell phone all day, engage with those who are with you physically.
  5. Find friends who love you, encourage you, and help you grow in your faith.
  6. Challenge yourself and what you believe.

And most importantly…

7.    Ask great things of God, He is capable of so much more than you could ever imagine and don’t be afraid to trust Him and the wonderful things He can do in your life.  -Morgan Buhrow, intern

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Your Identity in Christ

It happens to all of us. That moment when you step back and realize that this life goes by really fast. You feel like before you know it, it will be over. “Is 2015 really three-fourths of the way over already? How did that happen?” Last night I was eating dinner with my family and looked at my younger brother who just turned 11 and thought, “I remember when I was 11… It felt like yesterday!” As the waves of memories and nostalgia hit me I started thinking, “I’m 20 now and what do I have to show for my life? There’s so much more I want to do and so much I want to see! What if I run out of time to do everything?” I was sharing my thoughts with a godly friend of mine and after I began to settle down from my “mid-college-crisis” he helped me remember some important things: What is most important to me? Having a good time?—that’s selfish. Having a life that others look at and think, “Wow, she sure is cool!”—that’s prideful. Your life is an idol if having a noteworthy, fun or comfortable life is what matters most to you. The problem isn’t having goals, ambitions or things you desire to do. The problem is when you cannot be satisfied unless you can reach those goals. When we surrender our desires to Jesus we’re saying, “God, this is what I want, but I want You more so even if it never happens, You are still good and I still love you.” Dear friend, your identity is not being a beautiful person, it’s not being a smart person, and it’s not being a creative person or a talented person or the best player on your sports team. Some (or even all) of these things may be true ABOUT you, but they are not who you ARE. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” As a Christian, your identity is in Christ and Christ alone! You are His beloved child and you have nothing more to prove. I know I constantly need to be reminded of this, but when I start to grasp the meaning of it, a huge flood of peace washes over me. I am not defined by my past. I am not defined by how good of a person I am. I am not defined by my accomplishments. Jesus loves me and you just as we are. It has NOTHING to do about what we do an EVEYTHING to do with what He did!

Do you know what this means?

We can live fearless.

 

~Karinna Johnston

 

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I am a Daughter of the Star Breather

As girls we tend to get hung up on the dumbest things. And don’t ever believe a girl when she tells you that she doesn’t. Despite how hard we fight it and how much we pretend it doesn’t exist, our emotional nature was literally woven into the deepest parts of our DNA. It’s beautiful. It’s fiery. It’s loyal. It’s a little obnoxious sometimes, even to us. And it gets a terrible reputation. And, like most women, I have a little bit of a soapbox about that.
It literally weighs on my heart every time I see a movie where the leading lady is one who “puts up walls” and “doesn’t let people in.” I am here to tell you that there is nothing about that that echoes any part of God’s desire for us as women. And sure, the girl usually ends up dropping those walls and opening those arms in the end. But who is the one who breaks through all of those smokescreens? It’s a handsome boy. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Do boys rock? Yes. But is that honestly how we want our stories to play out? Do we really want to be the girls who carry a banner declaring just how wounded, damaged, closed off, and independent we are until that sweet-talking jokester with the really pretty eyes comes along? All too often I hear girls talk about how they just “don’t do emotions” and “just don’t let people in, because that’s easier.” Have I said these things before? Yes. Was I trying to seem cool and self-actualized as I said them? Unfortunately, yes. I got stuck in this lie that somehow my claiming to be incapable of emotion made me this super irresistible mystery of a woman. Until one day the floodgates opened and I realized that quieting my God given instincts would never get me anywhere. He wrapped those emotions into our beings. He made us sensitive, discerning, strong, intuitive, personable, and brilliant. When we shut people off and when we put our hearts in a steel cage, we are denying those around us that fiery and vast capacity to love that He has sewn within us. Ladies, please hear me when I say that you are brilliant. Your heart is capable of so much for so many… Including you. You are sparkly and full of strength and charisma. Please let the world see how staggering you are. You are a daughter of the Star Breather. You are a force to be reckoned with. And the depth of His love through your heart is something the world needs.
Let me add a little disclaimer here: I am fully aware of the kind of emotional damage and heartache that most girls have fought through to make them say these things, and I do not discount that at all. Life can be rough. It can kick us around in ways that we never imagined when we were 5 years old and dancing on our daddy’s feet. But our story doesn’t stop there. Your story does not end with wounds. It does not end with defeat wrapped with a smile and tied in a bow. Your story ends as a beautifully woven tapestry of God’s unending, unbreakable, unchangeable power to put even the tiniest broken pieces of your life back together again. Your story ends dancing on Daddy’s feet. And your Daddy is the Star Breather.

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Victims Become Conquerors

When victims find their voice, they release healing to others who are still being held hostage by sins that where committed against them.

There is power in your testimony. There is a release that occurs when we share how God has come into our lives & healed the darkest & deepest pains.

We can release healing when we share the love of God with others; victims become conquerors when they find their voice.

We, as women, need to rise up and empower each other.

Empowerment means to give power of authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means.

Through the death & resurrection of Christ, God has given us the power and authority over those things that have hurt us.

In order for us to go from victim to conqueror we must be courageous.  We need to dig deep inside of ourselves and find that courage we once had to get past the sin that was committed against us.   When I was a child & I was being molested it took courage for me to look others in the face as if I wasn’t carrying around this huge burden of guilt, shame & fear. It was then that courage was built into my DNA.

In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses is speaking to the children of Israel, he is worried that once he leaves they will leave God.  He gathers them together to give them words of encouragement / words of empowerment.

“Be strong & Courageous. Don’t tremble! Don’t be afraid of them. The Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He won’t abandon you or leave you” [Deuteronomy. 31:6]

When God raises up those He wants to carry on his work (you & me) He ensures their success.  How do you know you have been called?  You did not fall victim to your circumstances, therefore you have been raised up to carry on His work.

While the children of Israel had the power of God fighting for them, they had no reason to fear all the power against them.  They found their strength in God. They were no longer victims but became conquerors.

We must trust God that He will give us everything we need to be courageous.  We must encourage and support each other to not give up, to fight the good fight for our freedom and to break the chains and bondages of our past.

1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters STAND FIRM. Let nothing move you.”

Courage is something every Christian possesses. For we have no reason to be fearful for we have an everlasting God and we will live with Him for eternity.  We must however, ask God to equip us so that we can be ready for anything that comes our way.

I believe one of the most courageous things we can do as Christians is to look into the eyes of those who have offended us, hurt us and or committed sins against us with the love of Christ.  This does not mean we are approving of what they did or that they get a “get out of jail free card” this simply means that we are looking at them from a conquerors perspective and not a victim perspective.  Know that our God is bigger than any hurt or sin. Knowing that God is for us & longs to give us everything we need.

We can be bold and free when we are in the presence of God and therefore have the courage and confidence to look the past in the face and conquer it with the love of Christ, allowing us to empower each other.

-Laurie

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Don’t Settle- Waiting for your True Love

Last night I laid in bed wide awake. Yesterday was a crazy day of emotions as I was helping a close friend of mine with her current relationship. This relationship is one that is full of degrading behavior along with a lot of verbal abuse. As I received texts about their current fight and all that had happened, I was greatly heartbroken and after many calls and texts she still didn’t want to end the relationship because they are “in love”.

As I lay in bed last night I thought, if only she knew about true Biblical love. True biblical based love is:

  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Does not envy
  • Does not boast
  • Not proud
  • Not dishonoring of others
  • Not self-seeking
  • Not easily angered
  • Keeps no record of wrongs

This is taken from 1 Corinthians 3:4-5. The relationship that she is currently in does not fit these characteristics of love; therefore, the relationship that she is in is not a loving relationship. God has painted such a beautiful imagine of what love is by sending Jesus to die for all our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 writes, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (New International Version). God did not send his son because we loved him, he sent his son because he loved us!

If you are currently in a relationship, take a step back and see if your relationship fits the characteristics of love that has been laid out by God. If not, then don’t settle for the mirage of worldly defined loved—but pursue a relationship that is founded on Biblical love—this is what God’s desire for you!

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11-12 (NIV)

-Blush Intern

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Humble Beginnings

We are not defined by our

  • Beginnings
  • Past
  • What others think of us
  • What we think of ourselves

We can, however, influence our course in life by thinking negatively about our worth.

I want to cancel the negativity of this type of thinking and focus on our worth in Jesus Christ.

When Philip told Nathanael, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” in John 1:45, Nathanael responded “Nazareth!”  “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

Nathanael judged Jesus because of his birthplace in Nazareth. The area of Nazareth was never mentioned in the Messianic prophecies; therefore, it is possible that Nathanael was not merely showing contempt, but was instead looking to what he believed.

Humble beginnings do not limit us to a humble life. 

Beauty, wealth, knowledge and power are idolized these days as being true indicators of success or worth. That is not what God rewards. God rewards those who have a heart for Him.

 John 14:15 says, “If you love me, obeymy commandments.   

Notable Humble Beginnings:

Acts 4:13-14 – “The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say.”

Here, Peter and John had just been used by God to miraculously cure a man who had been crippled since birth in Acts 3:1-8. They were dragged before the Jewish religious leaders for interrogation, and Peter answered that it was “by the name of Jesus Christ that the man had been healed. The high priest and other Jewish leaders were astonished that what they perceived as “unlearned and ignorant men” (vs. 13) could do such a miracle. The Jewish priests, scribes, and elders suffered from elitism, believing that only a limited number of people in high positions could be used by the Lord. That elitism continues in the thinking of many religious people to the present day. But God confounded that prejudice. He chose to use those that the snobbish might consider just ordinary, everyday people, such as Peter and John, to do great things for Him.

Acts 22:12-13 – “A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!”

Here the apostle Paul was recounting the incident where a man named Ananias was singled out by God and sent to Paul to heal his blindness. And that he did! Ananias was not a great preacher, a church leader, or anything else. He was a devout, respected disciple of the Lord. After the events in Acts we do not hear anymore about Ananias, but a humble, simple man through the Lord was able to cure blindness in a future apostle. This is the case of an apostle being cured by a disciple. We expect the apostles and other “spiritual giants” to do the remarkable ministry, while the other followers of the Lord remain humbly on the sidelines. That has never been in Gods plans. God uses many humble, common, even ignorant people – to do his work. Moses was tending sheep in the desert before leading Israel out of Egypt. Daniel came from slavery in Babylon to become the assistant to the King of Babylon. The Apostles Peter and John had previously been fisherman.

There are several stories in the Bible of people doing amazing things with very little status or reputation. Let’s consider why this is:

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthywhen God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world;things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.  As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

Our worth comes from Jesus Christ alone.

-Vince