My thoughts today are courtesy of Jessi Connolly and the Influence Conference. (And if you think I'm going to stop talking about Influence any time soon, you are wrong. I have been deeply impacted by this community.) I was familiar with Jessi and had occasionally read her blog for some time before I met her at Influence, but let me tell you, she is 100% genuine, straight-up amazing in real life. But the thing is, her amazing-ness does not come from herself. Yeah, she's all kinds of adorable, but I see Jesus in her through and through, and that is what makes her so amazing. I experienced His love through her and for that, I am forever grateful. She's the real deal.
Jessi shared her life story with us (which will be available for purchase online for those of you who weren't at Influence- sign up here to be in the know). It was a story of hopelessness and despair turned into beauty and grace. She encouraged us to "minister out of vulnerability." Our mess can be used by God for His glory. We are fragile, imperfect human beings, but our purpose and greatness comes from our merciful Savior and what He wants to do in our lives through our mess.
So often, we try to do it all ourselves (because we are part of the DIY generation, after all), which would explain why so many people live burned-out lives, not able to put anything more on their plate. Where is the joy in that?
"When we minister out of ourselves, we will bleed out."
We can't minister out of ourselves- we aren't good enough. "We want to be the sacrifice, but He's the One who did the work."
God has taught me a lot about the blood in the past several years. It is only by His blood that I am redeemed. His blood is life-giving, salvation, and the only way we can stand before God unblemished. Have you accepted the gift of His blood, of His forgiveness?
Let's stop doing it all ourselves, and let Him do it through us. Let's agree together to be sold-out for Him, to approach each day asking Him, "What is Your list for me? What do You want me to do?" We can't do anything for Him without first letting Him fill us up.
The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!