Have you ever felt so controlled by a behavior that you felt enslaved to it? You may be experiencing the results of habitual sins.
Habitual sins are destructive. These are sins that feel addictive, controlling, and always present. Most of the time the sin remains in the dark and consequently the person experiences tremendous shame and guilt. Sometimes the sin even begins to define a person and becomes the main issue in their life.
Habitual sins destroy you emotionally and spiritually. Here are a few examples: over eating, lust, alcohol and drug abuse, fits of rage, dependency on a person, constant gossiping, pre-marital sex, watching porn, and masturbation. Regardless of the form of sin, there are many common characteristics one experiences when struggling with it.
Spending time with God is the answer to most of our problems, especially our trust issues. I realized, that the days I struggle trusting God most are the days I don’t spend time with him. Do you trust in God’s plan for your life? Do you spend time with God on a regular basis through reading the Bible or praying?
You will begin to trust God more and know God more, the more you spend time with him.
Often, we wonder why our plans for our lives are different from God’s plans for our lives. We question, “Why hasn’t God given me ___?” Then, we begin to think that God doesn’t love us because he has not given us what we want. This happens because we think our values are the same as God’s values. We think we share the same channel of thoughts as God. But If we don’t spend time with God, we don’t know his channel. This lack of time together creates miscommunication between God and us. And a lack of trust.
To know God and understand why he does things, we have to spend time with him. Even Jesus had to spend time with God, and he is God! It is that much more important that we spend time with God! (more…)
With the start of a new school year comes the start of new small groups/Bible studies! Small groups are the heart of every college ministry. Maybe it is your first time leading and you’re feeling a little nervous? I completely understand. I’ve been there!
The second semester of my freshman year I co-led a Bible study with 3 other leaders. I was the youngest leader and had never led a study before. Right before our first study, I sat with one of the other leaders outside the dorm where our study would meet. I said to her, “I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it.” Fear crippled my mind and almost stopped me from even walking into that building. My biggest fear was what people would think of me.
My roommate caught me red handed. I had lied to her face, and now I was plagued by guilt. I apologized and she forgave me, but I still felt blah. I needed to ask God for his forgiveness, but I didn’t know what to say to him. I turned to the Bible and found this passage in Psalms. David wrote this right after Nathan confronted him about his affair with Bathsheba. Imagine how David felt in this moment. Probably way worse than I felt. I bet he felt guilty, shameful, sad, angry, frustrated, and many other emotions. Have you experienced these emotions after getting caught in a sin?
In this psalm, David pours his heart out. It is beautifully written and a perfect prayer of forgiveness. When we sin, we turn away from God. We need to ask God for forgiveness. Thank goodness we worship a God who does forgive. Once we make the decision to give God our life, God looks at us and sees Jesus. Our sins have been wiped clean, and we become white as snow.
I want you to experience this freedom. I want you to be free of guilt and shame and experience God’s forgiveness.
Pray through this passage and ask God to forgive you. Confessing sin and asking for forgiveness is not a one time action, but a daily re-occurrence. That is something I have to continually remind myself. You can use this passage as a guide.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
On day. One mission. To tell others about Jesus. I am engaging on 10.14.14, will you? `
The Bible tells us that God wants us to engage with Him and then to engage the world with the gospel of Jesus. There is a movement happening across the world, and I am so excited to be a part of it! Engage24 is a specific time set apart for engaging the world with the good news of Christ. While Engage24 is intensely focused on a single day of evangelism (10.14.14), the mission is to promote a 24/7 lifestyle of evangelism and engagement with the gospel.
Engage24 is a 24 hour period when college students purposefully engage their campuses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The goal is to see every believing college student share the Gospel with at least one person that day.
On my campus, the University of South Florida, my campus ministry Cru is taking part in Engage24. We are wearing shirts that say ‘Tell Me Your Story”. The girls below are some of the girls in our ministry who rocked the shirts!
Our hope is that students at USF will see hundreds of students wearing the shirt and then will ask one of us what it is about. Here is our reply, “Today is Engage24, and we want to engage with the students by listening to their story. We would love to listen to your story and hear if God plays any part in it.” (more…)
During the Halloween season, it can be hard to come up with Halloween costume ideas that are easy and cheap to make, cute, and appropriate. Here is a list of 18 ideas! Yes, myself or my friends did wear all of the costumes below! =]
Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken. He came to save the sinner. In one of my classes, this thought came to mind as I heard sad story after sad story from my classmates. (Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?) This does not mean that he supports their actions, but his love for them will never change. Why is this? Because Jesus came to save the broken.
Jesus came to save my classmates, but they lack the realization that they need him. Maybe they think their lives are fine without him. Maybe they think they’re spiritually healthy.
While on earth, Jesus spent most of his time with the lost and broken. In Matthew 9:12-13 (NIV) Jesus states, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Healthy people don’t understand that they are sick, sinful, and in need of a savior. But the sick, they line up outside of the doctor’s office hoping for something to heal the pain. Do you realize that you are sick and in need of a savior? Maybe you are immune to the hurting in your heart. Maybe like my classmates, you think these feelings are a normal part of life. Or maybe you actually think you are healthy. (more…)