WHY YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT 2022 BEING “YOUR YEAR”

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Please, allow me to set your mind at rest about this new year, weary soul. I know that our frightfully busy world is in the business of making us think that everything is about us, about our happiness, about how well we can compete with those around us. We chase the new car, the big house, the money, the perfect body, a relationship. All of it.

We are captives to a lie that sounds as if it promises freedom. It sounds so good.

If we do more, be more, get more at some point or another we believe that all will be set right in our lives. That we will finally be at rest. That we will get to enjoy life.

Why? Why do we think that?

Is it really so hard for us to see that the “self” cannot be both the problem and the solution?

Listen, can I let you in on something that God’s really been pressing on my heart these first few days of 2022? This year should not be “your year”. It should be His year.

This, friend, is what true freedom is. When we come to the end of ourselves and stop thinking about ourselves, that is precisely when true freedom begins.

Romans 8:1-4 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

There is nothing worth doing this year if it is not exactly what Jesus has for you. If you have welcomed 2022 thinking that you must make this new year “your year”, hear me when I say with complete love that you will be a miserable creature if you continue down that path.

C. S. Lewis once said, “Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or happiness to the future.”

Why? You ask? Because you are not in control and will be disappointed time and time again if you do not cling to something much deeper and stronger than the fleeting and hopeful feelings that come with a new year or dreams of the future.

If, however, you want more than anything else for 2022 to be Jesus’ year, and that He may allow you to be a part of it in whatever way you can, then I promise that you will not be disappointed.

Y’all, our fresh started began when we found Him! A new year is simply marked by the page we flip on the calendar every January 1st. It won’t magically change your life and priorities. That’s what Jesus does!

The point: This year should NOT be your year anyway. It should be His and His alone. So, take the pressure off of yourself. Let go of the expectations you have for yourself to do it all, be it all, and get it all. Is that really how you want to spend the rest of your days?

The passion to live for eternity is pumping through our veins because it’s pumping through our Heavenly Father’s veins. That’s what I want to spend this year, and the rest of my days, living for.

If you want to have the best year yet, stop chasing what you want and start chasing what Jesus wants for you. If you’ve been found, why are you living like you’re lost?

What matters, what Heaven longs for and Hell fears, is that further step, out of our depth, out of our very control.

Let this be His year.

“It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go—let it die away—go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow—and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.”  (C. S. Lewis)

START 2022 OFF RIGHT

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Hello friends! Happy New Year! I wanted to type a little something up to thank each and every one of you who read/participated in BLOGMAS here on the Blog in December! We had a few guest writers who graciously took the time to share their hearts as well, and we truly can’t thank them enough for doing so. Our family has been incredibly blessed by the opportunities God has given us to preach the Gospel here, and we are so looking forward to what 2022 will bring!

Our mission remains the same. Madie & I, and our family, want to help people just like you get serious about being serious for Jesus. We don’t believe that anyone can take Jesus and living for Him too seriously. Sadly, so many Christians in the American Church today don’t know what that looks like or what it could look like in their very own lives. If you haven’t been following along recently, BLOGMAS is a great place to start if you desire to make Christ your one and only priority! Thirty-one days of posts are available on our Blog for free. We encourage you to challenge yourself to read one a day, allow Jesus to move in your life, and be obedient to what He has for you!

If you have been a part of BLOGMAS and Jesus used it to impact you in some way, we would love to hear your story! You can email us @ thefew.blog@gmail.com!

Let’s start 2022 off right, together, with Jesus!

GIVE YOUR YES (BLOGMAS DAY FOURTEEN)

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

I am prone to think that one’s lifestyle amidst the Christmas season speaks great volumes as to their priorities and what they value the most year-round.


Maybe you are weary of reading the same challenge on this Blog, but it will continue to remain the same. There is no better time than right now to get serious about living a life completely sold out to Jesus. I don’t mean start living for Jesus today and then stop the day after Christmas on December 26th.
No, what I am proposing is that we start now and never, ever stop.


After doing ministry for the extremely short amount of time that I have, there is one thing that commonly seems to be the reason for why people claim they just can’t follow Jesus. The reason is this… They don’t have time.


They don’t have time to study their Bible. They don’t have time to spend in quiet prayer and communion with the Lord, or to disciple someone else. It’s why they can’t commit themselves to spending Sunday mornings at church with other believers or a Bible Study small group during the week.
I’m here to tell you that we’ve gotten it all wrong. As a Church, and as individuals. We’ve gotten it so wrong.

The question is not do we have time for Jesus, it’s will we MAKE time for Jesus?


If Jesus isn’t our life, then we will spend it in hot pursuit of the world. The world doesn’t “take breaks” so that you can spend time with Jesus, your family, in your Bible, etc. Its primary goal is to keep you as far away as possible from each one of those important things.


Will we choose to engage with the story that is unfolding right before our eyes? Do we long to rise up and open our eyes to His coming this Christmas season and in this New Year that is before us? Just as Gideon, Mary, Joseph, Noah, Peter, Simeon, Micaiah, and many other heroes of the faith all had to choose whether or not to engage with the story before them, so do we.


We will either build the Kingdom or make a life, but have no doubt, we cannot do both.


Deuteronomy 10:20 says, “Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.”


I have always loved the “holding fast” part of that verse. Holding fast to the Lord means loving Him, following Him, diligently obeying His Word, devoting ourselves only to Him, and serving Him. Holding fast requires us to not compromise in our relationships, behaviors, or anything that might pull us away from our covenant with God.


Being so content with our small and humble place in His story, with our only desire being that we never forsake the roles we must play in it as the pages turn. When Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear the Son of God in her womb, she never asked “why”. She only asked “how”.


She longed to engage in God’s miraculous story.


Proverbs 4:4 says, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.” Even in the New Testament, holding fast is an appeal, complemented by a conditional promise of life. Paul said, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)


My longing for Christians living in this generation is that they would simply give their yes. That they would say yes to engaging in the story before them, not forsaking their role in it. Will you be bold enough to hold fast to Jesus though everyone else’s grasp is firmly placed on the temporary and fleeting things of this world?


Start by making time for the One who always has time for you. Give your yes.

FROM EAST TO WEST, FROM SHORE TO SHORE

From east to west, from shore to shore,
Let every heart awake and sing
The holy Child Whom Mary bore,
The Christ, the everlasting King.

Behold, the world’s Creator wears
The form and fashion of a slave;
Our very flesh our Maker shares,
His fallen creature, man, to save.

For this how wondrously He wrought!
A maiden, in her lowly place,
Became, in ways beyond all thought,
The chosen vessel of His grace.

She bowed her to the angel’s word
Declaring what the Father willed,
And suddenly the promised Lord
That pure and hallowed temple filled.

SHAKE THE DUST OFF

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

Have you ever taken notice of the natural desire for honor that we have? Whether you have or not, it seems to consume us in more ways than I think we’d all like to admit. However, the desire for honor is something I believe is meant to bring us closer to Jesus (because He made us with it), yet we have confused its purpose, as we have with many other desires, and instead used it for our own glory.

Which is usually how the story goes when Jesus isn’t our only priority in life.

You see, we want to receive honor from our employer, from our followers on Facebook, from the teacher grading our papers at school, from our pastor, from coaches and organizations, from friends and peers, or even from leadership positions in the Church.

Here’s what people don’t want to tell you, though… Your choices have consequences, and you get to choose whose honor you receive.

It matters who is giving you the honor.

I’ve always struggled to understand the meaning behind Acts 13:50-52 which says, “But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing women and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their district. But Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.”

I used to wonder why Paul and Barnabas “shook the dust off their feet against them”, and you may be wondering what this has to do with honor. Allow me to explain, because I believe that this could be really impactful for the American Church if we got this today.

In Biblical times, pious Jews would often shake the dust from their feet when leaving Gentile cities to make clear their separation from Gentile practices and refusing to honor them. However, here we see that Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from a Jewish town off their feet, which is interesting because they were both prominent Jewish men. But this action spoke volumes because it made clear their separation from the Jews who rejected their Messiah. Their very own people.

Are y’all getting this? Paul and Barnabas didn’t want their honor. They answered to a higher authority (Jesus) and wanted to be honored by their Savior, not the very world and people who despised Him.

Now, let me ask you this question… Whose honor do YOU want? Whose “well done” are you ultimately after?

Some of us have purposely been sitting in the world, conforming to all of its standards, just because we desire their honor. I am so sick of that! Why would we want their honor??

A.W. Tozer once said, “We cannot afford to let down our Christian standards just to hold the interest of people who want to go to hell and still belong to a church.”

That’s where Paul and Barnabas were at. They were not willing to compromise under any circumstance because they knew whose honor really mattered in the end. The devastating thing is that I don’t see very many Christians who have a relationship with Jesus like that now.

Instead of being bold and shaking the dust off, most Christians like to sit on the sidelines and claim that they are being “persecuted”. Listen, most Christians today aren’t being “persecuted” because they love Jesus and have the desire to be honored by Him alone. No, they are actually being held accountable for NOT acting like Him.

We’re running out of time. I want to hear “well done, good and faithful servant” from my Savior. I answer only to Him. I am after His honor, and I am not willing to compromise under any circumstance.

“Stand up, shake the dust off yourself!…”   (Isaiah 52:2)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Whose honor have you been after as of late?

= Are you all in to this “Jesus thing”?

= What are you going to do differently?

THE WAY I AM

(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

I suppose that a lot of people think I’m crazy for saying and doing the stuff I do on a daily basis. Not just within The Few, but daily life. I’m not going to lie. So often I question why many Christians do not show any sign of change or of being radical for Christ.

I struggle a lot with that. Maybe you do too?

Madie and I are usually labeled as the “crazy girls” in friend groups because we don’t “take a break” when it comes to talking about what Jesus would want us to do, or spending time talking to that individual girl that’s struggling and needs someone to just speak into them spiritually.

People don’t like that. They don’t like that when Madie and I choose to hang out with them it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to go along with what everybody else may be in favor of doing. Not because we are anything important, but because He is our priority.

Can I just share my heart here?

Truth is, I’m sick of the American version of Christianity. It’s not Biblical! The American Church has turned church-goers into consumers instead of contributors (1 Cor. 12), and it’s the exact opposite of what Jesus has called His followers to.

We are no longer focused on the mission, and we quickly forget that there are real people going to a real hell.

There have been more times than I can count that I have questioned if I am too overbearing or if I’m too serious when it comes to this whole Jesus thing. But, then I read verses like this…

Matthew 24: 42-44 says, “Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

The question I want us all to ask ourselves today is whether or not that verse has any kind of effect on our everyday way of life? Let’s get more specific… Does it effect your choices? How about your time?

How you spend your time, is how you spend your life.

One of the craziest things that I do NOT understand about Christians today is that they don’t even try. They don’t even try to be like Jesus even though they claim to believe He’s coming back, yet they can certainly train and try out for a sports team or a job they want.

Not only that, but they also seem to be completely ignorant of the fact that they can grieve the Holy Spirit within them! When we are disobeying the commands of Christ, we are grieving His spirit that is inside of us. See Ephesians 4:30.

What’s actually important? Have you ever asked yourself that question?

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 says, “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”

The one thing I’ve been asking of the Lord recently is that He would give me a heart for the people who are lost and that I wouldn’t be so focused on myself. I think that a big reason many Christians aren’t even trying to be like Jesus and trying to be holy, is because we really just don’t care about anything except for ourselves.

However, we are told that the present form of this world is passing away. This is indeed no time to be inward focused. Jesus should not have to beg us to get our acts together. It should be a natural response on our part.

The time is short, and it is getting shorter second by second, day by day. You and I need to get serious about Jesus, now. It’s time to start trying.

I am the way I am because Jesus has radically impacted my life. I wouldn’t want to be any other way, and I certainly won’t apologize for it.

“For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.””  (1 Peter 1:16)

SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Has Jesus radically impacted your life?

= How are you “trying” to exercise your faith?

= What are you going to do differently?