When I Look Back

When I look back on my life, the only thing I regret is not living every moment with Jesus.

Call me crazy, but I mean these words with all of my heart. The absolute best moments of my life have been my sweet moments with Jesus. When I am with Him, there's no place I'd rather be.

Many people have told me, "I don't need Jesus. I am perfectly happy without him." Yet what we must realize is that there is a very significant difference between happiness and joy. I do not believe that you need Jesus to be happy. But I know without a doubt that you need Jesus in order to achieve true joy.

Happiness is temporary; joy is eternal. When I turn to the world for satisfaction, I feel happy "in the moment," while I am doing whatever I am doing. Yet when I turn to Jesus, the joy He gives me sustains me not just in that moment, but for many moments to come. I do not mean to portray the world as a completely awful place. There's plenty of brightness all around us. What I mean to say is that the happiness the world can give you is fleeting, lasting only for a split second, in comparison to the unending, unchanging joy of the Lord.

Take a moment to ask yourself: What kind of life do I want to lead? Do I desire temporary happiness or do I desire eternal joy? And, most of all, what kind of legacy do I want to leave? How do I want people to remember me?

A few weeks ago, one of my friends shared my blog with her new friend (we'll call her Emily) from college. Emily had attempted suicide recently. After reading my blog, Emily texted my friend, "I'm in love. With her blog. With God. With life." When we begin to live every moment with Jesus, we begin to fall in love with life. I know from experience that the only way to live this life fully is to live it with Jesus.

In July, my Christian summer camp and I served the homeless on the streets of Denver, Colorado. My life was radically transformed when one of the homeless men said to me, "I was addicted to drugs for years and years. But what I realized is that I don't need any therapist or any treatment, all I need is Jesus. I came to Jesus, gave Him everything, and today I am six years drug-free." Needless to say, this man wasn't too pleasing to the eye. It looked like he hadn't showered in months, and his clothes were filthy. Yet his words were the most beautiful words I had ever heard. I saw the beauty of his soul in that moment, and I could no longer see his filth, his need for a shower, or the extreme differences between his life and mine. Surely, "God chooses the weak people of this world to shame the strong" (1 Corinthians 1:27). God used this homeless man, who may appear to be one of the weakest members of our society, to teach us that all we could ever need in this life is Jesus.

My challenge to you this week is to start everyday with God. Wake up just five or ten minutes earlier than normal and spend some time with Him. Trust me, the day looks radically different when you start it with Jesus. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you start the day with Him. Say/write a prayer, read your Bible, etc. Remember, a good place to start reading is in the Book of James (in the New Testament). To those of you who read James last week, thank you! And I'm so glad you made the decision to start diving into His Word (shout out to Lexi and her friends at Spring Hill). If you're looking for a new book to read, try reading Ephesians, also in the New Testament.

Song of the Week: "Stronger" by Hillsong Chapel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tj8N5Bj6DE

Everyday, Jesus is the reason for the smile on my face.
P.S. IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW, NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL IS #1. So yes, that's also another huge reason for the smile on my face. Two greatest things in life: Jesus & Notre Dame football. But Jesus is better, obviously. Okay, I'm done I promise. Go Irish.

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