Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“About four years ago, I put a piece of notebook paper in my Bible on which to write down things said during the meetings that really stood out to me.”
“Most people say, ‘Who am I hurting?’ Well, who are you helping?”
As a bonus, we add the following wonderful testimony from Rebekah, on her birthday - today!
Misery and Joy
I was at the gym tonight and, although I had my headphones on listening to a good CD, I was watching all of the people walking around in the gym. I kept thinking in the back of my mind about how miserable everyone looked or seemed to be. Some of them were very out of shape and miserable because of it, and some of them were very much in shape and, although they strutted around proud of their bodies, I saw their misery too, because they were trapped in the reputation they had built up around themselves.
Near the end of my time in the gym, I was lost in thought and my eyes wandered over to one of the TV screens when this commercial came on for some new “comedy” movie that is soon to come out. I couldn’t hear the TV, but I had to turn my head away in disgust before the commercial had even ended because of the utter filthiness and pointlessness that was being advertised. As I thought about all the wonderful things that Jesus can make you feel, I felt very confused as to what it was that would make a human being ever even want to contemplate using their money and time on this planet to go stare at something like that for two hours. I literally could not even stomach two minutes! Then, I had a thought: And it’s all the same thing! Every single joke, every single punch line, contains the same old stuff. The same yucky things are being laughed about, just from different angles – though often times not even that! It’s all the same garbage, recycled over and over and over and over... there’s nothing new! Although it’s marketed to people as “new and exciting”, it’s a lie; sin offers you nothing new. It made me even more puzzled, because not only is it not funny or worthwhile to begin with, but people spend their whole lives laughing at those same things repeated again and again! Why?? I was trying to come up with an answer, but I just couldn’t comprehend it.
Then, I thought of my life. And I thought about how it is the opposite if you are living a life in God. In the Lord, there is always something new! I started thinking about the new things that I’ve learned about God just in the past year, whether on a personal level or through emails or in the meetings, and I couldn’t even think of them all! One thing I was thinking back on was the whole message on the Book of Job back in December -- that was brand new! New, right thoughts replacing old, wrong ones! And I have really, really needed what I got from that message lately, that God really does always have a purpose in putting you through something, for your good. And aside from any messages and understanding that you get, think about all that actually happens to us or to those around us – we never know what God is going to do just around the corner! This life is so exciting. It makes you want to keep doing the right thing because you want to be around to see what is going to happen next! A lot of people think that living in sin is “liberating” and that serving God is hard; but that’s only because they aren’t really serving God, or don’t know how. That thinking is so backwards: The people who go and watch that movie are the ones who are boring! They’re the ones who are missing out on the fun. There are bad things, there are good things; there are corrections, there are blessings . . . but, a life serving God is never dull, and it is certainly never the same! It is always changing – and it’s always changing you! And it made me feel so sorry for people in this world who have to settle for the same old stuff over and over that makes them feel bad inside (whether they know it or not), just because they won’t give in to Jesus! I’m glad that I am free from that kind of life.
Thank you, Jesus!