by Briley Hancock,
FCS Student, 10th Grade
The past couple months have been filled with time in God’s Word and convicting lessons that have challenged me in various ways. All the lessons I’ve listened to and read have left me with at least one take away that has helped me become a more genuine follower of Christ. The Lord has been working on my heart through these lessons, and He is helping me grow in the areas that have been addressed in chapels recently and in a 40 day devotional book we’ve been reading, titled, A CALL TO DIE, by David Nasser. I’ve been challenged to “become a doer,” speak truth, love others, and have been encouraged to overcome temptations.
Become a Doer
With all the amazing lessons that God has sent my way recently, a few have really stuck out to me and have made me think twice. While reading on the topic of being a doer, from A CALL TO DIE, I was really convicted by the definition of an “armchair Christian.” I am often guilty of being an armchair Christian. I read my Bible, pray, and I get genuinely excited about God. Sometimes though, I don’t want to do what He wants me to do, so I sit back and pretend not to hear. I think this particular topic stood out to me because it’s a sensitive topic that doesn’t get addressed often enough. People who think they’re living right don’t want to hear that they’re doing it all wrong.
Then, after reading “Speak Truth” from A CALL TO DIE, I was challenged to get my heart in line with my actions. This relates back to “Being a Doer.” If I want to be a genuine, committed follower of Christ, not only do I need to do what He tells me and serve others, but I also have to do it with the right heart. This topic was tough for me to read because I know that no matter how big the smile is that I put on my face, God knows my heart and motives. Knowing that all my motives can be clearly seen by God is a scary thought and has motivated me to get my heart in the right place.
Love One Another
I was confronted with another heart issue when I read “Love One Another.” This topic went right along with “Speaking the Truth” because a lot of the time I have to put a smile on my face even though people sometimes frustrate me. While I can put up a front for a little while, I know it’s only a matter of time before my heart will be revealed. God doesn’t want me to pretend that I like someone, He wants me to truly love them as He’s loved me. Loving others is a command from God that isn’t to be taken lightly. I was reminded that every person is a creation of God, and every person is a sinner just like me. The topic hit the nail on the head when it talked about the people who are hard to love, but then it also pinched a nerve in my heart when the author reminded me that Jesus loved people who were unlovely. Loving someone with your heart takes time and work, but it’s something that will pay off in the long run.
Apart from A CALL TO DIE, I was challenged in chapel by Pastor Johnny Kjaer’s lesson on overcoming temptation. Johnny’s words encouraged me to take a second look at my life, and see where I was standing. I don’t think I could really say at that time that I was walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, or living by the Spirit. I still don’t think I’m doing that perfectly, but because of the lesson, I have been able to grow in this area by spending more time in God’s word, surrounding myself with strong Christian influences, and praying for God to lead me by his Spirit. This lesson stood out to me because it wasn’t like other lessons on temptations where I’m told to just be strong and don’t give in. Instead, Johnny showed us specific ways to prevent satisfying our temptations. One of the biggest takeaways from that lesson for me was the challenge to develop friendships with people who will help me please the Lord. There will be temptation in my life, but God doesn’t ask me to overcome it on my own. He gives me opportunities to surround myself with friends and family who will help me remain firm in my faith.
Matters of the Heart
Looking back, most of the topics that grabbed my attention and convicted me were the ones that deal with the heart. I have such a strong desire to have my heart in line with my actions, and these lessons gave me a starting place to make that possible.
I hope and pray that God will help me grow spiritually by:
- planting in me the desire to fully obey him.
- helping me see myself how He sees me, and stop lying to myself about my motives and actions.
- loving others the way He’s loved me.
I know these are big goals that will take time and commitment. Since they deal with my heart so much, I know the number one thing I need to do in order to accomplish these goals is to pray. I also know that I need to spend a lot more time studying His Word, and looking deeper into verses. Once I understand His love for me more fully, it will be easier for me to pour that same love out on others. While it can be hard to have accountability with matters of the heart, I think it will also help me to have someone to make sure that I’m spending time studying the Bible, checking up on me to see what I’ve learned.
I’m so grateful that the Lord has made clear to me the things He wants me to fix. I can rejoice in knowing that He’s given me a heart that wants to improve and become more genuine. I know the first step in fixing a problem is identifying it. I can also rejoice in knowing that even though I have a long way to go, I can tell I’ve grown in these areas by the tenderness of my heart towards these issues. The topics and lessons that have been taught recently have all been practical and relevant to my needs. Even though sometimes I don’t want to hear it, I know my heart always needs working on. I have no doubt that the Lord knew just what I needed to hear. I don’t want the lessons that have convicted me lately to be like all the others that get pushed away. I pray the Lord will continue working and pulling on my heart, and will help me look more like His son by keeping these topics on my mind.