Going Deeper

I have something going on within myself lately. I can't explain exactly what it is but it is a longing to serve God deeper than I ever have before. It's almost a pulling at me that I cannot resist. I started this blog to document our family and the activities that go on around here, but I also feel the need to use it as a way to share with you what I am learning in scripture.

I have been studying the Bible inductively through Precept Ministries materials for about 5 years now. It has been the most life-changing thing I have been a part of. For the first time since becoming a Christian I feel like I can understand scripture and how God is speaking to me through it.

I did not become a Christian until I was 23-years-old. I had a lot of screw-up time before then. I actually have a 'past'...and a rough one at that. I have done things, said things, and smoked things that would make my straight-laced southern Baptist friends cringe. I have been a poster child of the rebellious teen and an example of what not to do in your life.

Somehow, through all of this God felt the need to call me as a young adult to want to learn more about him. It was a slow process. At a Wesleyan Church in Michigan in 2000 just before my wedding to my husband I was drawn to the alter to give my life to Christ. I had been questioning and reading for months before this. I had several good friends who were Christians who were mentoring me and doing Bible studies with me. They were so patient with this girl.

Do you want to know something though? I didn't change overnight. I had years of bad habits built up within me that has taken many years to undo. I still have things that God is working on in me. But suddenly this thing called the Holy Spirit started convicting me of things - things I said, things I listened to, things I watched. I become somewhat uncomfortable in certain atmospheres that before I was the life of the party, if you know what I mean.

Slowly God has revealed himself to me. I must admit that when I first became a Christian it was strictly out of fear. I'm not sure about you, but Hell doesn't sound like any place I would like to visit or stay anytime soon. Fear may have brought me to the alter but it is grace that has spoken to me the most since then. It's through His word that I have discovered how much He truly loves me. And at first I tried to obey him out of a state of mind that I had to because He said so but now I do it out of my deep love for Him.

Without God's grace I am nothing but a lost and hopeless person searching for things here on earth that will never satisfy my longing. God is my Father, my Daddy. He is the one who has loved me when no one else could (accept maybe my mama). He looked at this broken and abused little girl and saw something I couldn't see.

He has brought me farther than I ever expected I could go in this life. He has revealed His mercy and love to me in ways that I will forever be thankful. He has brought people into my life that loved me even when they knew me. That may sound funny, but how many people really know you. Know your faults, your temperament, your quirks, and still choose to love you? I have people like that in my life, and I am so thankful.

Do you want to know something? He loves you too. Every screwed up bit of you. All the mistakes you have made, all the unkind, awful words you have spoken, all the choices you have made that seem unforgivable - they aren't. Nothing is bad enough to keep you from His love. He is longing to have a relationship with you if you would just take that first step.

I won't lie and say it's always been easy. I have suffered through things even after becoming and Christian, and so will you. We will experience trials here on earth no matter if you are a Christian or not. The difference between them is that a Christ follower has a hope in them that that world cannot offer.

If you are already a Christian, I challenged you to go deeper. Don't let your Bible sit on a shelf and collect dust. Read it, study it, learn from it. Go deeper friend, you won't regret it.

If you're not a Christian and you have questions, you can email me at danahomestead@gmail.com
or find someone who is and start asking questions. Ask all the questions you want. I did, and I may have drove my friends crazy but they were patient and answered them all as best they could for me.

And to the ones I mentioned above...if you call yourself a Christian and your Bible sits on a shelf and you never go deeper, how can you answer the questions of the one who is not a Christ follower?

I have some more stuff I want to talk about. Things that I have learned lately in my studies and I want to share it. I will be writing more about that soon. I hope you have a blessed day and I hope you take the time to ask some questions or to find a class at a local church to help you grow in your faith.


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