That is if I didn't have 8 million things to do. What a busy week. School. I could say "ugh" but that sounds negative and I'm actually not in a negative kindof mood. Yes, the busyness is tough and I hate not being able to spend the time with my family that I've been used to the last few months, but I'm actually looking forward to school. I do every year. A new batch of kids = a new opportunity to influence kids and lead them toward God. Speaking of opportunities, my prayers these last few months have included a request for God to use me. I want to be His instrument and do whatever He needs done. I want to share Him with others as I've mentioned on here before. It's amazing how He is answering that prayer. People keep coming up to me saying that I need to talk to this person or that person. I hear about kids who are having troubles at home and need encouragement. Just a few days ago, God used a friend to tell me about someone that has fallen away and needs encouragement to come back to God. It's so obvious that God is answering my prayer so I'm going to do my best to talk to these individuals even though it's a little out of my comfort zone. God is calling. How can I not answer?
I got to meet a couple of very special people this past Monday afternoon. I had gotten an email from a friend that Todd Burpo, the author of "Heaven is for Real" (the book I menioned in the last post) was going to be signing copies at Lifeway bookstore nearby. I decided to go. That book helped me in the darkest point in my life and brought such encouragement and hope and I just had to thank this man. I got there 15 min. early but was still waaaaay back in line. There were a lot of people there. It's obviously affected a lot of people. I had no idea that his son, Colton would be there also. Colton is who the book is about. He's the boy that got a glimpse of Heaven. I waited about 45 mintues, longer than I was expecting, but it was worth it. When I got to the front, I told them both how grateful I was for the book and how much it helped me during a very rough time. They were both very kind. You can see their signatures. Notice that Todd wrote Hebrews 12:2. It reads...."Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." What a great reminder and summary of our goal and duty. In the book, Colton says he saw Jesus sitting there...at the right hand of God. I can't wait to see that myself.
Ok, back to Revelation. After reading Revelation, I got a strong urge to re-read the Left Behind series of books. I read these about 5-6 years ago and loved them. For some reason, I read 11 of the 12 books but didn't read the final one. Not sure why. But I've started them again. I read the first one very quickly and am now almost done with the 2nd. They are page turners and I look forward to reading each night if I have some time. I know there is some disagreement about the books and discussion about if they should be read, but I read them as fiction. They are a good story. Is that how it will happen when Christ returns? I don't know. Nobody knows exactly what will happen. We have clues, especially in the book of Revelation, but I don't read these books as an exact representation of what it will be like. Like I said, I just enjoy the story. But (you knew that was coming), you can't read those books and not think. And I think it's a good think. Huh? Did that makes sense? I just mean reading those stories does make me think about my own life and what would happen IF Jesus did come back today. Would I be taken or "left behind"? In the book, some great (and God-believing) individuals are left behind because they weren't sincere enough in their faith and I don't think it hurts to evaluate my own sincerity. I say I'm doing well with God and I feel like I am, but am I really? Deep down? Am I sincere in all aspects of my daily life? Something to think about for us all.
Now, that being said...I am comfortable with where I am. I'm not perfect. Not close. I have some hang-ups...some habits or tendencies that I know I need to work on. But I feel confident that if Jesus came back right this second, I would be welcomed home. And I don't say that with a sense of bragging or too much pride and I pray it doesn't come out that way. If it does, forgive me. But I think we are all supposed to "know" that we are saved. (I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. -I John 5:13) If we don't, we need to evaluate and figure out what's keeping us from knowing. And we need to be ready at all times. That's a good reminder to get at any time, even from a fictional book.
I've enjoyed my study of Revelation. I'm glad Carter is studying it for Bible Bowl. I hope to continue to study it and understand it because I'll be honest...I've got a long way to go. But I love the hope that the book brings. I can't wait to experience these things in eternity. And I also love that Christ himself speaks in this book. In the last chapter (22), verse 12, Christ says, "Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done."
Let us all strive to get that reward!
I love God, Griffin, my Girl, and my Guys.
Keep runnin'. The PRIZE awaits. (Php. 3:14)