Wednesday, July 4, 2012


While sometimes I think I hear the voice of God so clearly, I understand that some of you reading this think I am crazy. As I explained that I thought God is calling me back to Thailand in December to be a leader over APSAI to some family members of mine (whom I have a lot of respect for) – they expressed some realistic concern. What about your car, your cell phone bill, your insurance, your student loans, your house in Springfield that you have until at least May that is completely furnished with my parents furniture? And most of all, what about your teaching career? Interviews happen in the beginning of the spring semester (when I would be gone) and rarely do interviews happen in the summer.

Obviously, I had thought about a lot of this before, but I still had no answers. So after my conversation with them, I was very discouraged. I can honestly say, since the day I gave my life to Christ in 8th grade, I have never doubted Him or His plan for my life as much as I did after that conversation. I have second-guessed some of the things God has called me to do before, but until last night, I never thought ‘maybe I am crazy and just making this all up in my head…maybe God isn’t calling me to missions…maybe God doesn’t care if I do ministry in Thailand or in the US, as long as I am still serving Him and sharing His love and forgiveness with others…does God care about every single detail of our lives or does He just care about an overall picture…’ 

Something else they asked me is, ‘why can’t you just find ministry to do here in the states? There are lots of people that need to know Jesus. [Get a teaching job and be the sponsor for FCA or something.]’ And yes, they are absolutely right, there are a lot of people that think they know Jesus, but have never truly discovered His fullness of grace, mercy, and power. But, as I continue to think about all the people that need to hear the Gospel, I also think of all the people that need to hear the Gospel FOR THE FIRSTIME in Thailand. When it comes to Thailand, Matt 9:35-38 couldn’t be more true:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

I will tell you, just as I told them, ‘If I could pick my dream life, this wouldn’t be it. Living in another country, thousands of miles away from everyone I love, where I can’t have a normal English conversation, missing out on weddings of close friends, family events, and holidays. But I know without a doubt that God has placed me here for a reason. And for some weird reason, I fit in really well and love it here!’ And that I must hold on to. But again, that is where doubt has suddenly started creeping in big time! Could I be just as affective some where in Springfield or Omaha teaching and ministering to middle school or high school students? Would God be disappointed if I decided not to come back to Thailand for APSAI and instead pursued teaching, what I felt called to do prior to Thailand? Would God even open doors for me teach or sub? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I pray that I can start hearing GODS voice clearly, and not my own or anyone else’s. While it is difficult for me to accept this, I must start living my life for myself and not trying to please others – I am 22 and graduated from college. “Anyone who loves his [family] more than me is not worthy of me…and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:37-38).

1 Corinthians 1:18-30
For the message of the cross if foolishness to those who are [of the world], but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? (In otherwords, the things of this world are foolish to God and the things of God are foolish to the world.) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. [The world] demands miraculous signs and looks for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to [those who don’t understand or believe]…For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Not many of you, who were called, were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.

So, after reading that I realized that when God calls me to do something, it is going to seem foolish to many. That is not easy for me to accept – I don’t like to seem foolish. I want to be wise, but as a follower of Christ I must accept that it is my duty to do what God thinks is wise and not worry about what the world thinks is wise. Again, going back to humility, I must get rid of my pride in this life and accept that His ways are higher and will not always be popular. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made” (John 1:1-3); here, John presents Jesus as ‘the Word’. The commentary on this passage states this: God’s written Word declares that Jesus Christ is God’s wisdom for us in every way, helping us to understand, demonstrate and accomplish God’s purposes.

So now, I must ask myself – will I be accomplishing God’s purpose if I stay in the US or must I come to Thailand to do so? I suppose, in time, I will discover what I am supposed to do…even if that means looking foolish to those I care about the most.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Compared to Knowing Christ...Everything else is a loss

So, I never thought of myself as a blogger – but while I am here, I hear so clearly from the Lord and want to share what I learned because I think it so valuable. What better way for me to do so than blogging and praying someone reads it :) The following is my heart for Thailand and for the lost…

I love my devotional. Smith Wigglesworth is, as Susie says, ‘an oldie but a goodie’.  Today was talking about Experiencing the Resurrection Power as stated in Phil 3. While this is a much quoted passage of scripture, I had never really dug into for myself. It is all about having no confidence in the flesh because the flesh leads you astray.  And over the past year I can definitely attest to that!

Philippians 3
1-3Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! …we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Jesus Christ, put no confidence in the flesh.

Easier said than done. It is only when I am humbled before the Lord that I realize my lowliness and am able to fully put my confidence solely in Him. While I feel like I have continuously stated throughout this blog ‘it is only when you are humbled before Christ’, I have been reminded so many times that humility must happen before we are able to truly praise Him and truly learn what He is trying to teach us. Without Christ, I would not be here. Without Him taking on every sin anyone has ever and will ever commit, none of us would be here but in Hell for eternity. And that itself destroys any pride, leaving only a humble spirit. Unfortunately humility doesn't last but slowly over time we go right back to putting confidence in our own flesh. When we begin to let our pride blind us from where we belong, that is when we get into trouble.

7-8But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage…

For those of you who don’t know Jesus Christ personally, I don’t know how to emphasize the beauty that lies in this verse.  Think of everything that you value – the things in life the mean the most to you and that make you the happiest…for me it is definitely my family; my incredible friends from Evangel, different camps and trips, and of course Hastings; the hopes of someday marrying an amazing man and having a family; working out and outward appearance; shopping, having a nice car or other nice new things; working hard and earning money; parties, having fun and laughing; my education and getting good grades; traveling; good food and quality coffee.  That’s probably much different from your list. BUT none of these even hold a candle to the joy that Jesus brings me! No significant other or family member or friend can offer the kind of love that Jesus does.

While it may seem silly or cliché to some of you to say that serving God is better than all of that – ask yourself this: do you really think I would choose to spend an entire semester in Thailand and then come back again this summer (my favorite time to spend on the lake, tanning, making lots of money, getting to go home and make memories with friends and family at home, etc.) UNLESS I THOUGHT THAT SERVING JESUS CHRIST IS THE MOST REWARDING AND IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE!! I come her with the hope of telling just one person about what this Phil 3:8 really means. I wish I could scream through a blog, ‘LISTEN CAREFULLY!’ because I promise, if you seek God with all your heart, mind and soul, you will find out exactly what I mean. There is nothing and no one that can bring as much joy and hope to your life as the message of salvation does.

that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his  death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

Smith says it best, “Look at the tremendous power of God behind our inheritance. First, we are adopted; then we receive an inheritance; then we are made coheirs with Jesus. God touches our souls…Do you want God? Do you want fellowship in the Spirit? Do you want to walk with Him? Do you desire communion with Him? Because everything else is no good! You want an association with God, and God says, ‘I will come in and dine with you, and you with Me’ Rev 3:20”. While it is hard to imagine having a coffee date at Starbucks with Jesus, that is exactly what this verse says He wants (maybe not necessarily in Starbucks :)

If we have faith in Jesus Christ, then we no longer have to rely on ourselves to figure it all out. He gives us a purpose. Imagine going through life with no goals, nothing to look forward to! How much more rewarding and fulfilling is life when you have a ______________?:
-job that you really enjoy or feel that you are making a difference
-a sport that you get to train for and demonstrate your talent and hard work
-a class that you are really good at and enjoy studying for, and always do well in
-a family to support and make sacrifices for, knowing you are making a difference everyday
-anything that gives you purpose – that makes each day bearable

Well a relationship with God not only makes things bearable – but it brings joy in the worst of times, it brings life to dullest days, it restores relationships, it makes life worth living, and allows you to live it to the fullest. He will give you power to overcome, the same power of Christ’s resurrection! Folks, this is not some Sunday School story anymore, it is a real life story full of power and redemption! And I want you to know the God I serve because He alone surpasses even the greatest things in life. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Big Decisions

Lord Jesus – I thank you for this time here. For this time away from everything, so I can be truly close to you and hear your voice so clearly.

Every Saturday is wonderful! I take that back, everyday is uniquely wonderful. But Saturdays are our day of rest, our day off. Today I did nothing. And I don’t ever get the chance to do nothing – but it is really nice to be able to one day a week here. So, I got up, laid in bed playing Sudoku on my phone and eating oatmeal. Then I did a really hard workout – started Insanity today and then went for a run and ran some stairs. Now I am at Starbucks.

If you did not read my last entry, here is something you need to know before reading the rest:
…And a prayer request for me. God has opened up a huge door for me to come back to Thailand in December. I would be on a MAPS assignment to Bangkok, in charge of a group of APSAI Students (APSAI is the program that I went to Bangkok with last year for a semester of my college to teach English, while still continuing my studies). I would be able to study Thai language again, continue to build on the relationships I made in Bangkok the first time, as well as new relationships with local Thai people and churches, and have the opportunity to lead a group of college students in devotionals and their spiritual walk. I would love this job! I pray that I can go. The timing is as perfect as ever, since I will have just gotten done with my student teaching and cannot get a teaching job until the next fall. HOWEVER, the trick is that at some point I need to get a paying job and start to save money as well as pay off my student loans…

While most people might say, ‘oh your young, travel and do missions when you’re young and aren’t tied down’, it scares me. I want to be financially responsible and get a job – but more than that I want to be obedient to God. So, I know if he wants me in Bangkok, He will provide everything, both finances for the MAPS assignment as well as to pay off student loans. I don’t know how or where it will come from, but I know He will work miracles. He always does. But that does not ease my nerves! So please pray that I will be obedient to whatever he calls me to do, and that he will miraculously provide money for me if I am supposed to go. Let the money come in quickly so I can focus on the trip and the spiritual aspect of it rather than worrying about the finances.

So, since I was worried about that here is what God spoke to me as I was reading my devotional about being “Equipped for Service”.

Romans 12:1-13 is a very familiar and favorite scripture of mine. My Bible study leader during high school, who is an incredible woman, encouraged us to memorize this passage. But when I read it this time, God applied it to the current ‘worry of the week’ and really confirmed that I should take this MAPS assignment.

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
            I know that I have been called to missions. I love it! When I am here, it feels right and I know I have been created to do this! So when I read this verse I know it is telling me I need to forget about my selfish desires back in America for a time, and come and serve. I need to lay myself down and pick up the cross and follow Him. And for some reason, He keeps leading me to Thailand. So unless He tells me otherwise, I am going to continue to pursue this APSAI position. As soon as I read this, I heard Him clearly saying that I need to offer body as a living sacrifice and serve him in missions in Thailand.

2Do not conform to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

            Again, I felt him shouting at me through this and urging me that I am not like the world. I never will be, nor am I supposed to be. And while I have had it ingrained in my mind that I am supposed to graduate college in 4 years and get a job – that is not the plan he has for me. For me, I am supposed to keep serving in Thailand. As much as this excites me, again it makes me nervous. Nervous because I don’t feel like I am being responsible and nervous because I don’t have control. But, I suppose that is not up to me. So I will renew my mind from the things of this world for the rest of my time in Thailand, and I will do just what he commands. This way, I can test and approve of His perfect plan for my life.

4-For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is…serving, serve! If your gift is teaching, teach!...If your gift is giving, give generously!!

            So, my part of the body is to serve and to teach. I am called for this time in my life (and maybe forever) to serve the people of Thailand. And I am called to use my skills to teach them English and befriend them, and hopefully giving many the opportunity to hear of the Good News. However, the rest of you have also been given gifts to make the Church body function properly! So – what is your spiritual gifting? What is your ‘part’ in making the Church run smoothly and properly? Are you using this spiritual gifting? I ask this because many times in my life, I would have had to reply no to this question. But when I can say yes, that is when I am the most joyful and living life to the fullest because I am serving in the part that God has specifically made for me.
            I have been given the word humility over and over and over in the past year. So apparently God must be wanting me to work on this area. The opposite of humility is pride. So, even though I hate to be dependent on eopel, and I really don’t like to ask for help, and I really hate to ask for money, God has called me to be a missionary. Missionaries typically spend ¼ of their time iteneratiring and asking for financial support. Ha! So, I think once again, God is trying to working on my pride and keeping me humble. So, I also have to ask, who of you are called to give, and give generously? And not that I am asking you to give to me, but we must all do what we are called to keep the Church working properly. So I will rely on those called to give, and since those called to give are usually not able to go on mission trips, are reliant on me to spread the Gospel. They are both equally important – just different.

I must once again thank God for allowing me this day off and this refreshing day of soaking in His word. Thank you Lord for being a personal God and speaking to us and being specific. I pray that God blesses you as you read this and that you will be faithful to whatever ‘part’ of the body of the church God has called you to. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

God is so good!

There were so many amazing things that happened this week, I cannot begin to explain all of them. I was going to write this on my blog, but one of the things I want to share with you involves a few of my friends here that might read my blog. So, here are a few things that I would love you to pray about.

-I wish I could say more but a girl who we've grown really close to came to church for the first time this Sunday. Please pray for her - I know God is working in her life and I could see the need for something more in her eyes on Sunday.

-I am somewhat scared to share my faith as many people are. And just because I have been on a few mission trips does not mean I am a pro. So please pray that God will give me the words to say and when to say them, as well as who to say them to. I always pray for opportunities to talk about my testimony of God’s grace, but it is not always easy when those times arise.

-However, I was teaching one-on-one with a student recently and was able to talk about my favorite book. So, I got up the courage to talk about the Bible and that opened the door to more conversation about God. Please pray for her. I don’t know if she understood, because she does not speak very good English, but pray for more opportunities and also that every time God will speak to her and help her to understand the meaning of His love. Every Wednesday, the missionary has a discussion group about Christianity and it focuses on a certain topic such as prayer. I am talking to her about going this Wednesday, so pray that she will have the desire to go!

-I have established a really good relationship with a girl who lives close to me. She doesn't go to church or the English center but we met near my hotel. I pray that I can continue to hang out with her, and build a good relationship with her. I pray that the there will be a moment that I can invite her to church or share the love of God with her. Like many Thai people I meet, she is the sweetest thing. She is so precious and deserves to hear the Good News. They are searching for something, and I pray that one day they will all turn to God for fulfill that emptiness. She is going through a hard time right now, so I know she is really sad and lonely. I pray that myself, but mostly God, can be there to comfort her.

-And a prayer request for me. God has opened up a huge door for me to come back to Thailand in December. I would be on a MAPS assignment to Bangkok, in charge of a group of APSAI Students (APSAI is the program that I went to Bangkok with last year for a semester of my college to teach English, while still continuing my studies). I would be able to study Thai language again, continue to build on the relationships I made in Bangkok the first time, as well as new relationships with local Thai people and churches, and have the opportunity to lead a group of college students in devotionals and their spiritual walk. I would love this job! I pray that I can go. The timing is as perfect as ever, since I will have just gotten done with my student teaching and cannot get a teaching job until the next fall. HOWEVER, the trick is that at some point I need to get a paying job and start to save money as well as pay off my student loans…

While most people might say, ‘oh your young, travel and do missions when you’re young and aren’t tied down’, it scares me. I want to be financially responsible and get a job – but more than that I want to be obedient to God. So, I know if he wants me in Bangkok, He will provide everything, both finances for the MAPS assignment as well as to pay off student loans. I don’t know how or where it will come from, but I know He will work miracles. He always does. But that does not ease my nerves! So please pray that I will be obedient to whatever he calls me to do, and that he will miraculously provide money for me if I am supposed to go. Let the money come in quickly so I can focus on the trip and the spiritual aspect of it rather than worrying about the finances.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Humility: A modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness

As I sit again in ‘my perfect day’ place, sipping Starbucks coffee and indulging in a Blueberry Muffin, I am again reminded of the word humility.  I believe there is a reason this word has remained tattooed on my heart since I left Bangkok. This word and all its meaning came flooding back to me as I walked on the campus of CBC for orientation, as I flew by myself across the world in hopes of telling at least one person the message of salvation, and as I read the book Humility by Andrew Murray. This book was given to me as a gift right before I left, ironic? I don’t think so.

While I could attempt to summarize what Murray states about humility, it would do no justice to the best attempt to define what humility looks like. While this book may only be 100 pages, each one is loaded with potent and humbling statements. It has taken me several days to finish the preface and Ch 1. I would recommend reading it, but here are some of my thoughts on his points [warning: you will mostly likely have to read some of these statements several time in order to grasp their impact]:

Jesus, the Son of God, the Almighty One, the only human to ever live a sinless life, is the prime example of viewing oneself as lowliness. Therefore we must attempt to find common ground with the One who found his glory in taking the form of a servant.

One could attempt to define humility as the place of entire dependence on God. Therefore, it is the only soil in which grace roots. The lack of it sufficiently explains every defect and every failure. Then, pride – the loss of this humility – is the root of every sin and evil.

If we acknowledge this, then we regard nothing so dangerous as pride.

But study the character of Christ until your souls are filled with the love and admiration of His lowliness.

Jesus came to bring humility back to earth, to make us partakers of it, and to save us. He humbled himself in heaven so much in order to become a man, and became obedient to God unto death.


The secret to Jesus’ blessedness is humility and nothingness, therefore leaving God free to be all.

Because of our fallen state, we have nothing to offer God. We deserve to spend eternity away from Him, burning in hell! But Christ paid the price for us on the cross. So the only way through which we can return to our right place is through coming to Christ in humility.

If we look at it this way, we realize absolutely nothing is more natural, nothing is more beautiful, and nothing is more blessed than to be nothing. This allows God to be all.

“They shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying: Worthy are you, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power; for you did create all things, and because of your will they were, and were created” ~Rev 4:11

How often do you think about humbling yourself? It does not come naturally; but through prayer, faith, practice, obedience, and a desire it is possible. Our call to humility is rarely regarded in the Church because its true nature and importance have been too little thought about. But look at it this way, humility is simply the sense of entire nothingness which both allows us to see all that God truly is and which comes when we make the way for God to be all. Just acknowledge the truth of his position. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Aren't we all constantly searching to be loved?

Are you still searching for love? Aren't we all! Everyone, everyday, is searching for love and attention. While we may stereotype girls yearning for that, in all reality everyone has this desire in their heart to be loved. Loved by many. Shown attention by someone who truly cares about them. Someone to notice when they have done well and someone to support them when they have failed. Genuine love! No judgement.

Well, even though we have all been told this, as I study God's Word - HE IS CLEARLY THE BEST LOVER OF ALL! The search is over. Even if you have lots of friends or a significant other, you are still always wanting more. The reason for this is:
God has created us with the hope that we will live in holiness and be a lover of Christ above all things. And, because we are sinful creatures, until we come to that place - there is an emptiness inside of us that can only be filled by Him. Yet, every single time I come to Him - that void is filled. While I wish I could learn my lesson, I will always fail. However, because I fail and I cannot save myself, it gives me and desire for Him more. He is the only one who can help us out. And the best part is, His plan for us is incredible - better than we could ever imagine (Jer 29:11). While many people quote this verse, they forget that in order to see this plan revealed, we must be obedient to Him!

So, again, stop searching. God is the only one who can satisfy that desire to be loved in full.

1 John 4:16-5:5 (my thoughts and paraphrased)
We must rely on the love that only God can offer us. Why? Because God is love! [He created love.] Therefore, love is made complete in us when we realize that we can only come to the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. Since we know we are helpless on our own, but that God has chosen to save us. Fear has to do with punishment. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing to fear if we are in Christ. Because the Creator of Love is with us and overpowers/drives out all fear. We can love only because He loved us first and chose to send His only Son to save us from our sin. We continually turn our backs on Him and disobey Him, yet He still loves us. So, how can we not love the people around us? *This is love for God: to obey His commands.* While that may seem hard to some, He has given us these commands with Jer 29:11 in mind. He wants only the best for us, even things we could not imagine; therefore He has lid out some guidelines to get there. But instead of looking at these guidelines as the key/path to life more abundantly, we see them as restrictions. But don't look at them as burdensome, for God loves us more than anyone.

So, stop looking for someone to fill that void in your heart to be loved. Because God is the one who created it and He is the only one who can fill it.

A few thoughts...Or many

While I always have the hopes of Blogging every epiphanic thought that crosses my mind while overseas, I often do not because it requires me to gather all that is going on in my brain and record it on paper.  This is not an easy task for me – hence why I decided to major in Math.  However, I feel the need to share with you these live changing ideas – at least to ponder.  They have challenged me greatly and have brought me to the point that I am at now, which is to give my earthly life to Christ completely, even if that means living apart from everything that I love.  While this is not always the easiest decision, it is the thought that God might work through me to decrease the number of people who will never hear about the hope, joy, peace and love our Savior offers.
With all that to say, here are a couple notes I jotted down after reading just the introduction to John Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Missions: Let the Nations Be Glad!  The ironic part is that I bought this for a friend doing mission work in India, than wasn’t sure how closed the country was. So, instead of possibly putting him in danger, I decided to keep it for myself J. It’s turned out to be a blessing so far!
1. “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” (Psalm 67:4) captures the heart of missions.  Until we can say this is true for every nation to its entirety, our mission is not complete.  Everyone deserves to have the chance to hear the Gospel and respond to it. While many may choose not to “take up the cross and follow [Christ]” (Mark 8:34), they at least deserve the right to make that decision.  As a powerful video once stated, how does one who has never heard of the name Jesus think to look for the Truth and a Savior? So, my question to you is why does God ask some to give up their lives for the sake of the Gospel, literally lay their life down for him, yet others ignore the leading of the spirit to even help financially (or in some other way)? This is not to condemn you, I am just sharing my own personal convictions in hopes that you might ponder the same question!

2. While many “prosperity gospel” preachers are having success in numbers, is this a true conversion? John Piper states (25):
The great tragedy of prosperity preaching is that a person does not have to be spiritually awakened in order to embrace it; one needs only to be greedy. Getting rich in the name of Jesus is not the salt of the earth or the light of the world…they have not been truly converted but only put a new name on an old life
So, how does a true conversion happen, even in the midst of hardship? One of my teammates on this trip is reading a book about Heaven and has challenged me to really look into what Heaven is like. Why? Because if we can get a glimpse of the splendor of Heaven, wouldn’t we be more willing to suffer a little bit here on earth. When we realize how short this life is, would we not be more willing to give our time, money, desires/wants, earthy possessions, and every aspect of our life to God? While I can’t think of an exact reference right now, how many times does scripture mention something along the lines of ‘our life on earth is like the BLINK OF AN EYE in comparison to eternity’? 
So when Matthew states in Ch 5:
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.
With respect to eternity, it makes it much more bearable. Why not suffer some on earth in trying to give others the opportunity to hear the Gospel, leading to riches for eternity. 
Ever since I stepped foot into the orientation for this trip at Central Bible College in Springfield, I felt the joy of the Spirit.  It is impossible to explain, but it only occurs when I am obedient to God and am doing exactly what He intends for me to do. While I continue to sin just as every human, I am no longer living a life for my own selfish desires, but for the Lord and for the lost people of the world.

3. How different do Christ followers look when we clothe the eternal gospel of Christ in the garments of worldliness (Piper 21)? In other words, if we are living a life of luxury, with mansions, extremely nice cars and clothes – how can we preach from the same Book that states, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!...It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God”.  Let’s be honest, a camel will never go through the eye of a needle; and while we cannot make ourselves stop treasuring money above Christ, the good news is God can!
But we all – poor and rich – are constantly in danger of setting our affections and our hope on riches rather than Christ. This “desire to be rich” is so strong and so suicidal that Paul uses the strongest language to warn us (Piper 22)
So consider this life-changing mindset! :
Since stealing is obviously wrong, the alternative is hard work with our own hands. But the main purpose IS NOT TO HOARD OR EVEN TO HAVEbut the purpose was ‘to have in order to give.’ (Eph 4:28). This is a call to make more, keep less, so that you can give more. When earnings increase, consider capping your expenditures and giving the rest away, rather than  increasing the lavishness of his lifestyle indefinitely!

Heb 13 states, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Because of this we can confidently trust God also with our needs.

The prosperity gospel promotes flourishing (in the world’s eyes). But we must be careful, because if we are desiring to be rich, we are leading ourselves and most likely others to pursue the very thing that Jesus warns can ‘choke the riches of life, and lead to a life lacking fruit’ (Luke 8:14).

Shocking as it may sound, I will 110% agree when Matthew states in 7:14, “But even though self-denial is a hard road that leads to life”, it is the most joyful of all roads. Going back to my original thought, my life is unexplainably full of joy and peace when I am doing kingdom work – even if that means living all the way across the world and sacrificing some of the most precious things. It is worth it! And unless you give it a try, you will never know.