Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

God Loves the World January 4, 2019

Filed under: Melissa's devotions/articles,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:17 pm
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Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash

Sometimes I don’t like the world, if I’m being honest. I get so frustrated with all the things that are wrong. I’ve especially been struggling this year with keeping a positive attitude and loving people.

Just being real here.

One day as I stood in my classroom waiting for my students to come I overheard student’s using Jesus’ name over and over. Not the first time. This seems to be more of a “thing” now. I have even heard middle schoolers do it. Let’s just say they aren’t praying or praising Him.

My heart breaks because these kids don’t know the power of Jesus name, what it really means. To them it’s a substitute for a swear word. I was even in Christian book store and my daughter told me later that a costumer got frustrated with an employee and whispered “Jesus” under her breath. Again, it didn’t sound like a prayer or a praise.

Anyway, back to my classroom (where I have also had a student tell me she is now transgender and I need to start calling her by her male name, yet she wears a skirt and full on make-up two weeks later…hmmm). I stood there wondering what is wrong with the world and these kids and Jesus whispered in my heart the most basic of all verses, John 3:16.  “I love the world. I love them.”

We brush over that verse, don’t we, I do? It was the first verse I ever memorized, probably like most of you, and now it seems cliché. Yet, it’s anything but.

God SO loved the word. God loved the world and He still does. He loves those kids that throw around his Son’s name, He loves them even though they don’t know Him. He loves the girl who is confused about her gender.

The question then becomes will I love them? Will you love them? Will we look at them with different eyes?

Instead of being judgmental and disgusted we need to see them the way our Father sees them. We need to remember we were once there too.

God loves the world. I see the world as the people, not the things we/they do, but the souls. He loves their souls and wants to save them. The crazy part is He uses us to do that, to reveal His Son.

How are we doing?

Me?

Not so good. I will even isolate myself so I don’t have to deal with people. This isn’t what Jesus would do. Yes, He withdrew to be with His Father, but He didn’t hide and I can find myself doing that. Ugh.

My prayer:

God so loved the world that included a broken little girl named Melissa. This caused Melissa to so love the world that she laid aside her own desires and thoughts and simply love the world too.

Feel free to replace my name with yours and see if that stirs something up in you.

Make 2019 the year we remember how much God loves the world and may we lean into that love and learn to love the world better.

 

 

 

Ariella’s Story-Part Three November 14, 2014

Filed under: Other Genesis 5020 Stories — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:29 pm
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church

By Jeff Sheldon

As I got older boys started to notice me. I developed early and looked a lot older than I really was. By the time I was in eighth grade high school boys on the bus started talking to me.

My  heart bloomed under their attention. I felt like someone saw me for the first time and liked what they saw.

Eventually, I started dating a boy. He was seventeen and I was thirteen. He told me he loved me. Oh, how I wanted to be loved. I never heard those words at home. I just felt like I was in the way there.

It didn’t take much for him to convince me to have sex with him. Soon after I did he stopped talking to me. I was crushed, abandoned again.

Not long after another boy came along and I knew what I needed to do to feel loved, even for a just awhile. I was hungry, desperate for even a few moments of being wanted, of being seen.

Thus began a cycle that I didn’t know how to stop. Or even if I wanted to.

With every relationship I hoped this one would really love me. And with every relationship I lost another piece of my heart. My whole body ached with the brokenness inside me. I was empty and knew no one would want me one day. My own father knew I was trash and it was a matter of time until the whole world figured it out.

One day as I was walking around town, trying to avoid going home I walked by one of the local churches. I walked by there several times and never paid much attention. That was one place I wouldn’t be welcome.

A young women was headed in the building and I tried to walk past her without making eye-contact. No one ever really saw me so that should be easy.

“Hey, are you okay?” Her voice pulled me out of my tangled thoughts.

I just nodded and kept on walking. I heard her footsteps shuffling behind me.

“I’ve seen you walk around town before. My name’s Carrie.”

I stopped walking, I didn’t want to be completely rude.

“We have a youth program here. Why don’t you come on in and check it out if you think your parents wouldn’t mind.”

I wanted to laugh. Yeah, like my parents would even notice if I didn’t come home.

I glanced up finally and saw some of the kids walking into the church. My heart sank. I saw a few boys who had pledged their love to me and then left me. So church was for liars. I didn’t need any part of that.

“No thanks.”

Carrie scrambled for her purse and drew out a piece of paper and pencil. “If you ever change your mind we meet every Wednesday. Here, I feel like I’m supposed to give you this.” She wrote on her piece of paper, folded it and handed it to me.

I took it, shoved it in my pocket and walked away.

“It’s the truth. What’s on that paper. It’s true.” Carrie’s voice called from behind me.

The paper seemed to burn my fingers as I picked up speed to walk home. I wanted to stop and read it right then but didn’t want Carrie to know how desperate I was. I waited until I got home. I ran to my room and drew the paper out:

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:13 NLT

I crumpled the paper up and threw away. Just more trash.