Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Servant's Heart

But it should not be that way among you. 
Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. 
Whoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest of you like a slave. 
In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. 
He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people. 
Matthew 20:26-28

I want to succeed! I want to be great! I want people to look at me and think I am just the absolute best at what I do and there's nobody better. When in help, I want them to run to me. I want this position; it will be the ultimate dream.

We think that. You know it's true. We may not verbalize it, but the thought will occasionally entertain itself across the front of our minds. Why? Because we're human. We have qualities in us that are ugly and far from perfect. We love the spot light and we love being noticed. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It can be pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, competition, or even just desiring so much to do well it becomes an unhealthy obsession.

Let me say it's not wrong to want to succeed and do well. I try for that all the time; sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. I tend to get really aggressive when it comes to doing well. I want things to happen and for plans to succeed so much it can literally place a huge ache in my heart. Then I walk around in emotional instability. I think of my dreams. I want them to happen so bad! I desire so much to get where my heart longs to go. 

Here's the deal through... As I was reading God's word today I came across Matthew 20:26-28. It struck a chord with me. How can I be so avid on moving forward and striving to be something great? There's a total lack of me serving. Now, I love to serve; I really do. However, I've noticed at times I want my dreams and aspirations to happen so much I forget where to start. It's all about serving. To take myself from attempting to be the greatest and thinking the least of me. And it's not serving just so I can become great. Jesus came to the earth and lived a life as a servant. I want to follow in the foot steps of Jesus; as He served so should I. I need to serve people around me, the body of Christ, and the Lord's house. How dare I be so consumed with other things than the Lord's path for my life? I want to be a servant! I want to follow God's will more than anything. The cloud blocking my vision of Christ right now needs to disappear because my eyes need to be on Him. I am here to serve. If it's God's will I be promoted then so be it, and in his timing. I want to serve just as Jesus served while walking here on earth. 

I remember during a chapel once, one of my leaders said a leader must have a servant's heart. A leader strives to help others and do all they can for the people around them. Their heart is for the service and well being of others. And they are a leader because they are the ones who choose to step out and get down to serve. It takes courage to see a need, step out, and do it. Imagine that... a leader who is a servant. It's a beautiful image. It's an image of Jesus and can be one of us, too.

My challenge for today is to become the servant; to think less of our needs and more of others. It can be hard at times because we may want to be in the spotlight. In all reality, we just need to serve. We need to be there for people as support. We need to serve our teams even when we don't get to do the things we want. As the body of Christ, we call ourselves followers of Jesus. We follow His life and His footsteps. If Jesus came as a servant, then we are to follow out of faithful obedience to God in being servants. I believe that if we really love the body of Christ and we love Christ Himself, a heart for serving will flow out of us and we won't be so consumed with our needs and wants anymore. And if that comes a difficulty, pray about it. Ask God to remove whatever it is that holds back from being a servant. I will be the first to say I do it. I ask God to give me more of a servant's heart; to remove envy, greed, pride, and everything not of him. And he does it because he loves me.

Happy Saturday!
❤ Ariel Christine

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Scripture That Speaks

I have Bible verses all over my apartment! Every area... my room, the bathroom, the kitchen, anywhere I go... there they are. There's certain verses I can look at and remember the moment I found them and what circumstances they spoke to. Sometimes, I'll even have a couple verses for just one moment.

I feel that there have been a few verses God has revealed to me lately and they just continue to remain in my heart. Yet, I've been praying, seeking, and asking God just to give me an answer of some sort for things pertaining to the future. Then it just hit me today like a ton of bricks: just as God has given me Scripture to encourage and guide me in moments of time before, he is doing it once again. I just didn't realize the verses stirring in my heart all meshed together and totally brought me peace now seeing the bigger picture. To some people it could have been obvious, but this realization just came to me.

Week by week, I would find a verse I felt that just spoke right to my spirit and would continuously run through my mind. What brought me to the realization was this past weekend I wrote each bit of scripture on a notecard then taped them to my wall. I stepped back, stared at the verses all next to each other, and just felt good about each verse. I felt they belonged on my wall for me to see daily; for me to remind myself this is what God is speaking over me. They were just exactly what I needed.

      To my future desires:

And this is the boldness we have in God's presence:
that if we ask God for anything that agrees with what he wants, he hears us.
If we know he hears us every time we ask him, 
we know we have what we ask from him.
1st John 5:14-15

      Trusting God with the now and the future:

Enjoy serving the Lord, and he will give you what you want.
Depend on the Lord; trust him, and he will take care of you.
Psalm 37:4-7

      I may not have all the answers, but my praise will go on daily:

The power of the Lord has won the victory; 
with his power the Lord has done mighty things.
Psalm 118:16

Then today, I added one more verse. What's a little comical to me is that this verse I found before the other three. So I wrote it on a notecard, tapped it to the wall, stood back, and felt even more confident; confident in God's word. His word is so right and brings me joy. It speaks comfort and direction into my life.

      God can do anything, even beyond my requests and dreams:

With God's power working in us, God can do much, much
more than anything we can ask or imagine.
Ephesians 3:20

Sometimes, I think I write posts that make no sense to anyone but me; kind of like I don't convey very well what's really rattling around in my brain. This is one of those post. If anything, my hope is that you would be encouraged to look deeper into the Scriptures for comfort. When it's hard to hear God's voice, we have a resource that is physically present in our hands. His word is a tool; we are to use it, study it, and live it. As you live it, I promise it'll breath life into you. It'll renew your mind and spirit with strength and truth. Have a hunger for God's word. It's so important to be reliant upon God's holy scriptures.

How can a young person live a pure life? By obeying your word. 
With all my heart I try to obey you. Don't let me break your commands. 
I have taken your words to heart so I would not sin aganist you. 
Psalm 119:9-11

I wear myself out with desire for you laws all the time. 
Psalm 119:20

I hope your Sunday is fabulous and the week ahead to be amazing!
❤ Ariel Christine

Monday, April 1, 2013

Post-Easter Report!

Hello! I hope your Easter was exceptional and now April begins! I just can't even fathom the thought of it being April 1st. I graduate in a month from leadership college and I'm just so incredibly excited! Yesterday, our church had our Easter Production and it went amazing! Three services between two campuses, and with each alter call more and more people kept coming forward for Jesus. It was truly amazing to just be a part of and witness the kingdom of God grow in size. We also had so many people get baptized! Easter was just absolutely amazing. It made every rehearsal, every decoration, every hour spent on preparation, and every prayer worth all the lives that were changed forever.

Now it is Monday: a new day of a new week. My stress level and busyness have completely dropped. As I prepare for school and get ready to begin my day, I spent my time dwelling on some of the Psalms.

He spoke, and it happened. 
He commanded, and it appeared. 
Psalm 33:9

The Lord looks down from heaven and sees every person. 
From his throne he watches all who live on earth. 
He made their hearts and understands everything they do.
Psalm 33:13-15

God has created all of heaven and all of earth, he uniquely designed you and me, and he fashioned every detail of our lives. He spoke and so it will be. He is almightly God and his words do not drop to the ground. If he commands, it will appear. What I love about that verse is that it makes me think God has spoke my life into being and a plan for it. Then reading verse 13 through 15, he sees me and knows my heart. He created me just as I am... sometimes I'm shy or sometimes I'm very determined. He knows these things and understands cause he created me. And though I am uniquely created, sometimes those qualities can bring about weaknesses. How am I to be bold when I am shy? Then I am reminded of God's power that he can do anything through me if I am willing to give of my all to him. God can do greater in me then I can do for myself. And it's not though as God wants to change how he has designed me, but he wants to take me and all that I am to a higher level in Christ Jesus for His glory. And I love that! I want to be all that I can be in Christ and for God to maximize my abilities and talents for him. Greater is He in me. By giving myself to God to be used by him, I become like an Ariel on steroids... holy steroids which get their power from God's Spirit. God's Spirit is strong and alive in me and he can be just as much as alive in you! God knows me and he knows you, and he created us with potential to awaken. By giving ourselves to him, he can fulfill the potential. It is his power that is greater in us. 

Have a happy Monday!
❤ Ariel Christine