SEPARATED and SATISFIED


                                            TAYLORE GILLS

LET GO 



At the end of all the days God grants us on  earth, the relationship that matters most is the one we share with Him. When this life is over, it’s over. I can’t take my friends, family, my phone (AKA my bestfriend), or anything else the world offers me.  
  Sometimes we fail to remember what is really important because all the world around us cherishes material possessions. This world isn’t even our final destination, so why worry unnecessarily about something that won’t last forever? Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is,  seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (NIV)
  When your life down here is finished, God isn’t going to ask you if you copped the latest Jordans or the new iPhone. Don’t get me wrong, those  things are cool, but nothing is better than knowing that you have a reserved spot in heaven. Do what you have to do so you can spend a lifetime of peace, love, and joy in the presence of the King when your time here is up. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. 
   God desires for you to live a great life, but that’s not even possible if you don’t put Him first. When you really know Him for yourself, nothing will ever mean more  to you than Him and being in His presence; you cannot know God without taking the  time to dig deep into  His Word and without simply opening up your mouth and praying to Him. Surrender all that you have to God. How can you live a life of true contentment without the One who granted you life to begin with? You can’t.
    I’m young, so I understand how easy it is to lose your appetite for God and desire to be like everybody else.
But after a very short while, I come back to the realization that no one can make me whole and that nothing can satisfy my soul and my spirit like the love of Jesus can. He constantly reminds me that I am His and that I was created to be different. He also reminds me of my purpose to worship and to live a life fully devoted to Him, and that  gives me joy. I know that all things are working together for my good because I love God, and I am the called according to His purpose. I am intentional about putting Him first. In Jeremiah 1:5, it tells us that even before the Lord formed us in the womb, He knew us and that He set us apart. Don’t let anything or anybody cause you to forget that. 
   You were called for greater. The epitome of greatness is God—not a car, house, job, relationship, fame, fortune, or success. Be satisfied with God’s love and your relationship with Him because after it’s all said and done, when it’s all over, what will matter is what flowed from your heart, how you changed somebody’s life, and how you let His glory show through you. Share your light with others, and let God be glorified through everything you say and do.
   If you have to let go of something that’s holding you back from a closer relationship with God, let go! If you have to let go of some relationships, let go! Holding on is not even worth it.
  Personally, constantly remembering how great God is keeps me going. As the songwriter said, “Some folk would rather have houses and land. Some folk choose silver and gold; but these things they treasure and forget about their souls. I’ve decided to make Jesus my choice.”

By TAYLORE GILLS, Youth Editor

SURRENDER ALL


When God created humans, He created us to be solely dependent upon Him—not dependent upon ourselves, our possessions, our relationships, and certainly not upon our own understanding. However, God also granted humans the opportunity to exercise freedom of choice. If you want to depend on God, that's great. If you don't, He will not force you to. His love will always prevail even though our actions sometimes fail to connect with it. In this life, we must make the conscious decision to depend of God by acknowledging His love, surrendering to His will, and believing in the fruits of His goodness. 
   The first step towards a life of dependence on God is acknowledging Christ and the love He has for us. No one wants to depend on someone who fails to keep their best interest at heart. Thankfully, Christ does not fit that description. From the time we were formed in our mother's womb to now, the love of Jesus has been stretching from heaven to earth to meet us exactly where we are. Paul writes to the people in Ephesus and says, "May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”  (Ephesians 3:19 NLT) 
   This love, life, and power should not only lead us to acknowledgment, but also to a desire to show appreciation for it through our actions. When we please God, we open the door for Him to take control of our daily lives and allow Him to work through us. This "open door" is also known as humble surrender. 
   We must surrender our lives to God and totally depend upon Him. When I say surrender, I don't just mean the physical act of lying on the altar with tears rolling down your face but an authentic act of yielding to the will of God for your life. We must present our bodies as living sacrifices to God as our true and proper worship (Romans 2:1). That is what God desires.
   Once God's love is accepted and surrender follows, your viewpoint about life will change; you won't see people the same or situations the same. When adversity presents itself, you will remember that your resting place is in the presence of God. When trials appear, you will remember who brought you out of the last one. And even when life is fully joyous, you will be mindful of the fact the no one carried you to that place but God.

   It won't always be easy, but this state of dependency brings endless peace and satisfaction. God is sovereign. When we let God take over our lives, we become unstoppable. Our joy is unstoppable, our peace is unstoppable, and our worship is unstoppable. And this, is the life that God desires for His children to live daily.