Feb 15, 2012

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Romans 2

Happy Wednesday, SHINE girls! Hope your Valentine's Day was extra sweet! For the record, I have eaten every piece of conversation heart candy (orange and purple only) from here to New Mexico.

Yep, I have. Not lying.

Pray for my waist line. (thank you in advance.)

Didn't you just love Leslie's story yesterday? I'm telling you, one of these days we are all going to get in a big room and hug each other's necks!

I cannot wait for that day! Every single one of you are special and treasured.

Yes, YOU!

Okay, let's jump right into Romans for a minute. Whew! That Paul is something, isn't he?

He is one of those friends that tells it like it IS...and THEN some. This is exactly what I LOVE about him!

If you are not familiar with Paul, (which the only reason that I am is because I did a tiny little study on him a few years ago), he was a man who persecuted those who followed Jesus. Can you believe that?

His name was Saul, before his conversion to Christianity.

Did you catch that? Saul?

 Another Saul.

After his conversion he became "Paul".

Got it?

Okay, good.

I have often wondered if the reason Paul was so passionate in his mission to spread the gospel was because of his filthy past. If so, I can totally relate to Paul.

My past has some very ugly places that I would just rather not remember. However, I believe it makes me want to tell others the TRUTH even more because I know what it's like being in the filth, just like our friend Paul.

When we know what life with Jesus is like, we want to tell the world. Don't we?

 If we haven't been on the ugly side of the street, we don't realize just how beautiful we have it over here on this side with Christ.

Are you following me?

Paul was passionate because he KNEW first hand how lost he was before he came to Christ. He probably shuddered (just like I do) at some of the things from his past.

We all have a story and a past. This is what makes us relevant to the unsaved world. If we were all just pretty, cleaned up, perfect little Christians, who in the world could relate?

Nobody.

People would not  listen to a word we had to say. They would think that there was NO way that we could understand their circumstances.

Right?

This is why, girls, our testimonies are our treasures. Our testimonies draw others to Christ because of their realness. The more vulnerable we are, the more effective we can be to someone.

My little heart hangs on my wrinkled white cotton sleeve every single day. It hasn't always been this way, though.

 For many years, I wanted to hide my heart and my story because of the embarrassment and humiliation it brings. If I had an eraser, I would have taken that eraser and wiped that part of my story clear off the board.

God showed me that He wanted to use my story, even the ugliest parts, to glorify HIM.

What?? Seriously??

That big ol' ugly mess of a story can be used to bring glory to the Lord?

YES!

Just like our friend Paul, He can use us and He will use us.

Girls, be real with each other. The best way to minister to a hurting heart is honesty and realness. If we can't be authentic, then what's the point?

You all have a story. Every single one of you. Thank the Lord for it. He brought you through it, didn't He? If you are still in it...hang on, sister. He's carrying you through.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9


using my story for His glory,


jill

p.s..one more thing. my high school friend, Mandy Nobles McKnight, is having a fundraiser for the adoption of her baby girl, Anns Faith, from China. The fundraiser is on her blog at www.mcknightdiary.wordpress.com. If the Lord leads you and if you have a heart for adoptions, please consider visiting her blog. She is giving away a $200.00 gift card to Amazon as well. :)