Tag Archives: jesus

Are You Eating From The Trash?

Hey there!

So the other day my wife and I were still in bed as Sofia (our 2 year old) came into our room to say hey! We hugged and kissed her good morning, and we talked for a while. Then we noticed something that looked a bit odd. She was chewing gum! And none of us had given her any! Actually, we had purposefully hidden our stash from her. So after investigating the situation for a while, we decided to ask her firmly “where did you get your gum?”.

She smiled, and then answered: “I got in trash… I like it!”

EEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWW we both reacted! Did she really do that? How is this possible? Does she not know how disgusting that is!?

Well, apparently not. She loved it! And it was actually challenging to convince her otherwise. She just didn’t know the difference. She thought that what she had was great!

The whole story got me thinking (after controlling the urge to throw up). Is that not exactly how we live our lives. We see ourselves as being happy, and loving life. We enjoy our jobs, we celebrate our achievements, we even put our families first.

Could it be though that we’re content because we just don’t know the REAL THING? Could it be that what has seemed like REAL LIFE is really just us picking food from the trash and making it to be wonderful? Haven’t you ever asked yourself the question: “Is this it?” I know I have. If what we’re living isn’t the REAL THING, but just the “left overs”, then where do we find TRUE LIFE?

I don’t know your faith, and I don’t assume that you believe in the same God I do. But consider this for a moment: The only person to ever claim to be the source of life, and actually life itself, was Jesus. Jesus said in one of the gospels: “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b) Later on in the same gospel he says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). 

You see, Jesus didn’t claim to know the way to live better, or a technique. He didn’t write a book entitled “5 keys to a successful life”. According to Jesus, He himself is the way to life. But even if you already believe in this Jesus guy, chances are you only get half the truth.

We’ve all heard about heaven and hell, and how Jesus is the way to heaven. But what about RIGHT NOW?? Are we just living in a glorified waiting room, trying not to mess up until we finally get to go to heaven?

Jesus’ words don’t seem to be distant. They don’t sound like they’re meant for an afterlife. And his actions seem to agree with me. He healed the sick, offered hope to the poor, became friends with outcasts, and gave peace to the suffering.

I believe Jesus offers us the same thing today. REAL LIFE. ABUNDANT LIFE. TODAY. And it’s not about doing something, trying harder, making money, taking a vacation, etc. It’s about believing in a person, and FOLLOWING him.

The Bible says in the book of Romans: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Don’t let the world around you convince you that the trash it offers you is actual life! It isn’t. You can do better! Jesus offers you better!

Are you wondering if there’s more to life? Are you on the fence about this Jesus guy? Let us know in the comments section or write me: jlopes@surfsideumc.org

Blessings,

Paulo Lopes

Youth Ministry Team

 

 

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“Wait For It…”

My wife and I are huge fans of “How I Met Your Mother”. And you just know something funny is coming up when you hear Barney Stinson’s (played by Patrick Neil Harris) line “wait for it…”.

Before I go further into the whole “wait for it…” thing though, I’d like you to consider another well-known saying. Most of you have either said or heard someone say “good things happen to good people”. Have you ever stopped to think about it carefully? Do you really think it’s true? I happen to believe it’s not true. Actually, I really think its one of the most misleading, most insensitive sayings out there!

Think about it for a moment. How many of us know of people who are REALLY GOOD but have had some TERRIBLE THINGS happen to them? Some of our youth who were in Bennetsville this week were able to see this first hand. Most of their stories have to do with how much suffering some people are living through. And these are REALLY GOOD people! I bet some of you right now are thinking about your own situation and wondering what you did to deserve it.

Now back to the title of this post. It’s true that it’s a funny saying, right? What’s not so funny is how true it actually is in life. When all seems to be going well, you can almost hear it… “wait for it…” and surely enough something happens! That’s life. It’s hard. And it has nothing to do with deserving it or not. It has nothing to do with Karma. It’s just the result of a VERY BROKEN WORLD.

Jesus once told his disciples I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He wanted his disciples to understand that following Him and living righteously would not keep them from troubles. It would actually probably worsen their chances!!

Now you might be thinking “well that just sounds hopeless”. But the most important part of what Jesus was teaching is that we need to shift our question from WHAT? – What are the circumstances around me? What am I going to do? What did I do to deserve this? – to WHO? And the answer can only be found in JESUS!

That’s what Jesus wanted His disciples to understand. “…you will have trouble…” but “in me you may have peace“. Do you see now? That’s the reason why so many of those people our youth were serving this past week seemed to have an amazing joy in spite of their circumstances. Many of them simply understand that their circumstances shouldn’t dictate their peace and joy.

When all around us is falling apart, we can only find peace and joy if we only look for it in… “wait for it…”

JESUS

May you find true peace and joy in Him!!

What do you think? Are you going through tough times right now? Do you need to find Peace? Share your thoughts with us.

Blessings,

Paulo Lopes

Youth Ministry Team