Lessons Learned 4: Another Beginning

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Six weeks have come and gone of my second year at The Ohio State University and with those six weeks are tons of lessons. The start of this new school year has provided me a new beginning that is so different from how last year began (a metaphor, I think). God has blessed me with an overflow of joy in this season – I’ve literally danced and smiled like a fool each day of the past month. God continues to reveal to me truth and life and I want to share what He’s continued to teach me in the midst of this joy:

  1. “Humility is not about thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”
  2. God is a friend – a best friend – and just like your friends right now, you should set aside time each day to catch up with Him. He doesn’t judge your flaws and shortcomings and He wants to know you.
  3. Friendships have the ability to do just about every positive thing in your life – cherish them.
  4. Be intentional. People appreciate it when you make time for them and respect when you need time for yourself.
  5. Talk to your family. They miss you and you miss them even if you don’t want to admit it.
  6. The way we spend our time is indicative of how much of it we think we have. You are eternal. You have infinite time. Choose to spend it like you believe that.
  7. Be bold. Be courageous. You have nothing to fear because you are perfectly loved and perfect love drives out all fear. The payoff is outstanding.
  8. Be still. You show God your worth and identity is not in your works by stopping and allowing Him to work where you aren’t.
  9. Contemplate the word “eternal” and how it applies to you and your life. How are you leaving an eternal impact? The world will end. Science shows that. So when the world ends, what was your purpose? How did you impact something more eternal than mankind, more eternal than the earth?
  10. God made this world out of a chaotic, shapeless void. He can calm you, give you purpose, and shape you like those formless waters that we now call Earth and the Universe.
  11. Do not prolong and multiply your suffering. Pharaoh told his men to disprove God and increased the plague in the process. He put off his healing and the healing of all the people he led until tomorrow though it was able to be done today. We tend to do the same. (see Frogs, a Pharaoh, and Love)
  12. Suffering and pain demands to be felt. It’s real and the Bible doesn’t deny it. God is, however, the Great Deliverer. He won’t let you suffer without victory and reason. (check out this video “Why Is There Pain and Suffering?“)
  13. Our hope doesn’t come from our circumstance, it comes from the promises we’re given. The promise given in Jeremiah 29:11 had to be made because God knows we live in a broken world. He knows that if we focus on our broken circumstances we wouldn’t have hope; we wouldn’t feel like we are prospering; we wouldn’t feel like there is a future for us; we would feel harmed. However, our hope doesn’t come from our circumstance, it comes from a promise from a God who never fails and never lies.
  14. We’re no longer slaves to fear. Fear of the future. Fear of our past being brought back up. Fear of God. Fear of evil. Fear. Jesus Christ took away those chains once for all time. Live in freedom of truth.
  15. God made us to be in community with others. That doesn’t mean just going to church with people and a bible study with people. That means being real with people. That means taking a risk to share with people and have fun with people and make time for people.
  16. “The gospel is not just good news in general – it’s good news for you and your particular struggles.”
  17. Conflict is an opportunity for growth – not an inconvenience.
  18. Disappointment isn’t supposed to be felt. The feeling of disappointment points to sin and brokenness. It shows us the things we valued higher and expected more than God. It shows us when we fall short or another person in our life falls short.
  19. Pride says, “We’re both wrong, but you’re more wrong.”
  20. Being exposed for who you actually are shouldn’t be scary; it should be seen as an opportunity. When people know you as you are, that is when you can understand and embrace unconditional love.
  21. Nature points to God’s goodness. Nature as a whole: its diversity, beauty, and power; and nature’s small pieces: the breeze today, the rain falling from the sky, the grass beneath our feet. God teaches and speaks through nature.
  22. Stop trying to defend your faith on your own – let God lead the conversation and your actions. He is a lion – unlock His cage and He can fight for himself. Notice in Ephesians we are given an armor of God and the only weapon given to us in that armor is the “Sword of the Spirit” meaning the Spirit of God does the fighting, not us.
  23. Testimony is powerful – share yours.
  24. Old Testament is the bomb.com and points to Christ and our need for Christ in every verse.
  25. God is love. God radiates and overflows love. God loves each of us despite how much we think we need it or think we deserve it. God designed this whole thing called life so that He could make you and share His love with you.
  26. Pray. Pray pray. Pray. Pray. Prayer is powerful and God will answer in a craziest ways.
  27. We are called to pray about certain things. Reflect on the things you’re praying about and contemplate what God is calling you to think about.
  28. If you say, “Here I am,” He will send you.

That’s all I have for Part 4. Thanks to everyone that has made this new beginning so full of life. If you relate to something written above, I’d love to hear your story. If you’re curious about anything else, your questions are more than welcome!

 

God Bless,

Sam

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