As we are celebrating 1 year of Connect, we have made a letter about what has happened in this first year of our church!
But we have just shared the blessings, yes we have had a full year of miracles, blessings beyond what we could expect. But we didn't share all the trials and difficulties that we have faced to get here today, everything that we have passed to be able to share these blessings with you!
To be honest we have done it on purpose, as we are celebrating all the good that has happened to us, and we want you to take that with you, but in fact it helps us to reflect on one thing: we only show/tell people what we want them to know/see in us/about us.
I confess that we have done it with this letter, although it is all true don't reveal all that happens behind the scenes.
How many times in our lives we do precisely the same? When someone asks: How are you? Not bad (What does not bad mean? ; or we affirm that we are okay when in reality we are very far from being good/feel right. The truth is, we don't like to expose ourselves, for many reasons – maybe we feel ashamed, embarrassed, depressed with our own reality… desperate. I don't know why you hide your feelings, thoughts, situation, I understand why I sometimes hide mine, but here is the deal:
We usually don't share the full story of our own lives, the whole truth but we seek for it – we hunger for the truth, for a guidance, for stability, for leadership, for order from chaos – look around you – there are so many different religions, political party, diets, movements all seeking the same thing: the truth – the real one! Do you know why they are asking for it outside and not within themselves? Because we all know that 'we don't have what it takes'. We are not owners of the truth.
The bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts are deceitful – I cannot trust in my own heart. I don't know about you, but I change, oh yes how I change! Most of the times on the same day! I wake up happy, and by lunchtime, I am fed up, in the afternoon I have cried, and in the evening I am very excited about planning my life for the next year ahead!
If you are a bit like me, there is no way we could have all the answers, no way we could hold the truth!
So we do need to seek the truth in another source apart from ourselves. Right? The good news is there is the truth – the fact that's real, unchangeable, eternal and this truth has a name: Jesus! He is the truth, the way and the life! And the fantastic thing is that everything that we need to know, the letter that God has written and given to us it's real. The bible doesn't tell us only the blessings, but tell us what comes behind it, tell us about people like you and me that messed up, made wrong choices but have found a way out through Jesus Christ!
Despite all the lies that you see on TV, all the half-truths that people tell us or we tell them, all the untold stories there is ONE truth available to us – Jesus – and there is ONE letter – that we can read and trust – the bible!
If you crave for what is real, what will endure, what is entirely true I want to challenge you to dive in the word of God to discover more about Him and more about how to have a relationship with Jesus!
Today I want to give you 3 reasons to read the letter that God has left for you:
Some people may say that the bible is a Love Letter; I think it is a lot more than that! It is a Real letter, with real people, real struggles, real messy, real mercy, authentic restoration, real healing, real lessons, tangible and practical way to achieve the real joy in this life surrounded by trials.
A love letter is primarily about the recipient. It's all about that person! – When Luiz and I were dating, I use to write long love letters to him - telling him how special, unique he was/is, how my heart would beat and still beats when I see him coming towards me…
Don't get me wrong, it's undoubtedly addressed to us, and we can locate ourselves within the sacred words. The bible is also for us, able to teach, reveal, instruct, rebuke, and encourage. (2 Timothy 3:16)
The bible is for us and not about us! The Bible Is A Love Letter From God…About God…to us, and how relieving is to know that?! The bible is trustworthy; it's the truth because it's not about me! It teaches me, instructs me to be more about Him!
I believe today people are craving to find the truth. Look what is happening in this nation! When we turn on the TV in the morning it's on thing-one 'truth', but when we come home from work, and we turn on it again what she/they have said, what was 'the deal' it's not the truth anymore, it has changed!
Let's be honest; it is tough to live in times of uncertainty, not knowing what will happen next!
And these uncertainties are everywhere, even in our diet! I was doing some research about a food that has been the most discussed of all times: the egg – hero x villain. I found 2 different articles from NHS talking about the egg – on the first one said that egg is right for you as it is a good source of protein, in another article from the same NHS the title of it was: Eating egg yolks as 'bad as smoking'! Can you imagine? And still talking about food the same happens with Fat – hero (Keto diet/Low Carb-High fat) x villain (Low-fat diet).
Sometimes I wish to live in a world more stable, confident, secured…but it will never happen if we still putting our trust, our belief in what is changeable! The truth is that we are unstable, we change our minds, and we may even twist the truth to make it convenient for us. But God is not like us, like our society, like our rules, like the thinkers of this era! The bible says in Numbers 23.19 that: God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?
We change our minds, but God never changes His.
Do you know the name of this ring? It's called the Eternity ring also knows as infinity ring. Is a woman's ring made with precious metal (usually gold) set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones (usually diamonds) to symbolize never-ending love, usually given by a spouse to their wife on the occasion of a significant anniversary, typically after 50 or more years of marriage.
Unfortunately, nowadays we see many women wearing an eternity ring in a destroyed or ended marriage. Nowadays pictures posted on social media shows that the relationship it's for real, it's for all eternity, but the reality is very different. There is a saying in Brazil that says: "May it be eternal while it lasts."
But what will last? We all know that we will not live forever, the things that we have, all the earthly things will pass. People that we love will leave…20 years ago my dad passed away, and last year I saw my mum in an Intensive Care having a heart attack in front of me, while she was recovering from bypass surgery.
Eternity never felt so far, we live as we will exist forever, we think that our parents will live forever but when you face a situation that confronts you with the reality that we are limited, that we are not eternal, makes you really think. I remember while I was on that Intensive Care I felt terrified, afraid, hopeless but after all these feelings that came at once, I started to talk to God and ask Him to hold me in His arms, to believe in His truths, to trust completely in Him. I remember I felt eternity fulfilling my heart, not a false feeling that we will live on this earth forever, but an assurance that I had the eternal God in me! And then I felt that Jesus was right there with my mum and me and didn't matter what could happen, I knew that I could trust and rely on Him because He never changes and He is always good!
In 1 Peter 1.24-25 says: "For All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever."
Secure/guard the word of God in your heart, so when difficult times comes you will have where to go, you will remember what you have read, listen, and you will be able to use it, to declare to yourself the truths that can really comfort, guide, teaches you!
Today if you want what is real, what is truthful and what will last forever stop trying to seek it in what is not. Stop trying to find the truth, the meaning for your life in other people, in philosophy or in religion. But start to open your eyes, your ears, your mind, all of your senses, your heart, your soul to the ONE that is the truth in itself, that is the word since the beginning of times, that is the light of the world that destroys all darkness!
Written by Daniele R. Cardoso.