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Love God Because of Not Instead of

by Jeff Houdyshelt  
8/12/2012 / Christian Living

Today is a truly glorious day. A day unlike any other, yet it is one of the most important of my life. This day will define me, and all the other days of my life, and will sustain me for ever and ever. By this point, you are wondering just what I am referring to. You've come to use your brain to try and calculate just what my revelation is.
Today is Sunday, August 12th, 2012 and I am going home. Not to my childhood home, nor the home in which I live today, but the one in which my soul will rest until God calls my name and says " You've done well my faithful servant, it is now time to come dwell with me."
At 8 a.m. I will be making my way inside the doors of my church in which I have been gone for almost nine weeks. I did go for a prayer service this past Thursday evening, but today my forever family will be with me as we worship our God.
My eyes are already full of tears, and I may blubber like a schoolchild when I enter, but God knows they are tears of great joy. The past few weeks, have been fraught with despair, sickness, pain, and at times, loss. But, God was with me at each and every turn.
I've changed the past fifty- two days and nights. No longer am I a Christian instead of, but because of. No longer will I go to church because I need to, but because I have to. There are no more days of being a mediocre Christian. God has declared to me that I am, to use all my suffering and pain of the past decade to glorify him.
All the days of rehabilitation, the thirteen surgeries, the days of deep dark depression, the failed suicide attempt, the days of questioning my faith, and yes even those days where I said that I did not know my God.
God has made me take a long look at my life, and he has fueled my need and passion to lead others to Christ. Today that journey begins; there will be people that know that will not recognize me. Some will not understand me, but God almighty will.
He will understand when I ask to take a bigger role in our church, and he will understand my dedication to my graduate studies. He will know that a role as a Chaplain will be in my future with the blessings of my Pastor and God. He will drive me to complete both my Graduate studies in Counseling, and my training as a Chaplain.
For when I have completed both, my life will be spent ministering and counseling to people in the most dire and grievous of circumstances. I don't want the job where I can make a lot of money counseling people that feel their life is not fulfilled because they weren't accepted to a college, club, or society position.
Those people need help, but I am going to use all of my pain, grieving, and self-loathing to find people that others have cast aside, the people that we call outcast the drunkards, the drug addicts, the people with addicts of the body, mind, and spirit.
I will be the person that receives a call at 4 a.m., and has to go tell a mother that her son has died in a horrible accident. I'll be the one to comfort them, and tell them that God has taken their child their child is no longer hurting and in pain. I will also be the guy that calls a church member just to say I love you and ask if I can do anything for them.
You may be thinking that I have gone off the deep end, fell off the stupid rocker. Nope, I haven't lost my mind, I've found my soul. God has settled my account, and gave me a raise. My new endeavors will not be financially rewarding, but ones that will give me the greatest reward of all a content heart and a full soul.
In Matthew 25:21 it says: "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
God has seen fit to restore my soul, and give me a change in position, he has chosen to add to my plate. And I am the better for it. We often get caught up in life, with our careers, money, and all the other stuff that gets thrown our way. But things in the big picture, aren't why we were put on this earth.
There is nothing wrong with doing all of those things, God blesses us with jobs, families, friends, and some are fortunate to have great wealth. But we need to put all of those things into context, into perspective.
Enjoy and do all of those things because you need to, but not instead of God, but for the glorification of God. I felt like I just gave a sermon, and maybe I did. Guess it will be the first of many such speeches.
You see all of the things I mentioned here will all be used to help others find salvation, find solace, peace, and comfort in their God. I want no recognition or fancy title, or initials after my name. I simply want to be a humble behind the scenes man of God.
Jesus spoke to the multitudes, and my Pastors speak to our flock. I want to be the person that comforts, and help them through their troubles. God has seen fit to put me through a lot these past ten years, and I won't lie, I used to blame God and ask why oh why if he loved me did he keep putting me through all this mess.
Well during these past weeks, I found my answer. He wanted me to experience those trials and tribulations so I could minister to people that have lost all hope. Just like I had, and what a wonderful gift it will be to use all that to help restore people back to spirituality. Those TV guys can have their huge congregations. I'll be happy with an office in the broom closet.
Enjoy your day with the Lord, and try to do things because of, not instead of. God bless you all my friends. Pray for me and each other. Be strong, stand proud, and sing the praises of God. Amen.

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Jeff Houdyshelt and Christian Writings by Jeff 2012

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