Marriage is a beautiful thing, and while most people can agree with that, many still live under the impression that you get married when you’re done having all the fun, or simply tired of sleeping around, and finally found someone you think you can put up with for a while.
Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Mt. 5:16 (NIV)
These are Jesus’ words when preaching to a captivated crowd during the Sermon on the Mount. It’s a reminder that the difference He makes in our hearts and in our lives isn’t just for us, but for those around us, too. Whether the people you’re around are followers of Christ or not, they should be able to see the transformation taking place in your life because of Jesus. It should help them understand that:
1. Change is a good thing.
So often times people use the phrase “you’ve changed” negatively. However, in Christ, change is not negative at all but life altering in the best way. Following Jesus isn’t about looking better than others, but about shining brighter so that others can see just how life changing it is when you make the point to follow Him. So when it comes to the things that God has delivered you from, don’t be ashamed to share that part of your story. Share with your friends the story of how God healed your broken heart. Tell your little sister the story of how you learned to know what you were in Christ. Your transformation is a powerful tool that can truly bless those around you.
2. Change is something they too can experience.
When you begin to shine your light, others will take note. They will notice that you’re different and they will want to experience what you have as well. But keep in mind that this doesn’t always mean that they’re going to walk up to you and say, “wow, I really admire your life…how can I be like you?” Sometimes, they might disagree, or maybe they won’t understand at first. They may question what you do, not because they doubt you, but because they’re trying to learn what it means to let Jesus into their hearts themselves. Sometimes, they might not say anything at all. But don’t let that stop you from shining your light! You are called to be an example even when others say”you’ve changed” and even when they question you, keep on being a light and let God be the one who transforms them!
Further reading: Mt. 5:13-16
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – Jer. 33:3
1. Don’t overlook your opportunity to call on the Lord
In Jeremiah 33, Jerusalem is falling to their enemy, and the prophet Jeremiah is actually shackled and imprisoned when God reveals His plan to restore Israel. This verse is a reminder that even when you feel like you’re missing so much in your life, God still wants you to call on HIM because He wants to speak directly to YOU. Sometimes we can get impatient with God and think He isn’t speaking because a certain thing hasn’t been revealed to us yet, but He IS speaking to you, guiding you in this very moment. He wants to you call on Him. So when you’re searching for something more, remember that to the Lord is where you need to go before anywhere else!
2. Worry less about what others are thinking of you, and focus on the what God says!
Have you ever been interested in a guy and wondered if he was thinking about you in the same way? Have you ever wondered why someone gave you that funny look when you did nothing at all? If you’ve ever experienced anything like that, you know what it feels like to momentarily be consumed by the thought of what could be. You’ve spent time analyzing that person’s actions, wondering how it’s going to affect your relationship with them. If that’s ever been you, let this verse be a reminder that even in those moments where we feel imprisoned by the things you can’t stop thinking about, we have the opportunity through Jesus Christ to shift our focus to the One who already knows how this is going to pan out. This week, I challenge you to look at those moments where you find yourself wondering if so-and-so still thinks about you, or if you’ll make a good impression in front of that one person, that you’ll instead go before the Lord in prayer, asking Him to reveal the kind of things you need to focusing on instead. Spend time in His word daily, knowing that He IS going to speak to you through it!
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. – 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)
1. If you’re a single woman who desires to be in a Christ-centered intentional relationship, take this time in your life to focus on the Lord more than ever before. Even if the guy you’ve been kind of talking to goes to your church. Even he’s a really great guy you go to school with and loves the Lord just like you. Even if it’s someone you’re just texting: continue to keep your focus on the Lord and let Him be the one who strengthens you in every area of your life–including dating.
2. The more you talk to someone and spend time with them, the more you become invested in them. It might not seem like much, but every time you stay up texting each other back and forth, spending your lunch break on the phone with him, going out of your way to make sure you look nice on social media and in real life for them, you are making an investment in showing them that you want to be apart of their life. Even if you’re “just friends,” if you’re not focused on guarding your heart in this process, it’s easier to get caught off guard. It’s easier to start saying “yes” to things in a relationship or in a “friendship” that you know aren’t good for you. So in the same way Apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian church with the words in today’s verse, let them encourage you too. Be strong in the Lord and don’t just say yes to anything. Even when it comes to relationships.
3. If you’re frustrated because it seems like guys won’t step up to the plate these days, remember there’s a bigger picture. There are men around the world learning what it means to be strong in the Lord too. Don’t be fooled by what you see online or on TV. In the meantime, continue to spend time with the Lord more than you spend time talking to someone who isn’t being intentional about you! It’s okay to show the world you have standards, and it’s a wonderful, rewarding thing to wait on the Lord!