It’s Up To You?

This week my evening ESL classes started up again. Last night my highest level class started. I began the class by saying to my students, “It is up to you.”

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I shared a true story about a young woman who was in a group that I mentored to prepare for university. I encouraged her to enroll in an Intensive English Program at the university here. She confided in me that she heard from others in my Sunday morning group that the program was not very good. I explained to her that the people telling her that were not motivated and did not try very hard. I told her, “You will get out of the program what you put into it. It is up to you.” She took it to heart and applied herself. She passed the TOEFL test to be able to enroll in the university after one 8 week session.

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A few other young people in my Sunday morning group at the time took notice and asked what she did. She said, “I studied with Matt,” I had offered them help, but they did not take me up on it. Because of my young friend’s achievement, suddenly they took note and asked me to help them too. But really she achieved because she put in a lot of effort.

So what does that have to do with me and my readers?

When it comes to relationship with Jesus, with God our father, in many ways, it is up to you, it is up to me, it is up to us.

What do I mean by that?

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God always desires relationship with us. Think about how far God went to have relationship with us. Jesus came and died for us. If we are not experiencing the great blessing of knowing God, the problem is not God, but ourselves. He is always willing, ready, and much more than able to have deep meaningful relationship with us. He is eternal and never grows tired of meeting us where we are in life.

The only limitation on experiencing and benefiting from relationship with God is- ourselves. God is eternal. He wants relationship with us.

We limit ourselves by focusing on our circumstances, giving in to temptation, or not fully realizing how great God is.

God wants to walk beside us in life. He wants to empower us. He wants to free us from the things that entangle us in life. He has all power. He can do as it says in Ephesians 3:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us “

The question is not if God can or wants to have relationship with us. The question is do we want to seek him for relationship.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

25 thoughts on “It’s Up To You?

  1. It’s true, walking with Christ Jesus takes effort. To know Him was must seek Him. I see we were both thinking of Ephesians today. Enjoy your day big brother. ❤️

  2. Amen. If we belong to Christ we will know joy and peace only to the extent that we walk with him in close obedience and devote time to being with him in prayer. I have had long periods where I have kept the Lord at arm’s length for various (bad) reasons and all I knew during those times was insecurity and doubt and the heavens were like brass and my prayers were wooden. Praise the Lord that he seeks us out and draws us back, he is so good!

  3. Good message! I was once confounded by a Chinese woman who responded to my invitation to Christian life with, “Oh I tried Christian once. It don’t work”. Now I have an answer other than trying to figure that remark out! It’s up to you. You get out of it what you put into it.

  4. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing better than an intimate relationship with our Lord God–I only wish I’d understood that much earlier in life, but HE has been gracious to give me time to catch up, for which I’m very grateful. May HE bless you abundantly!!

  5. Excellent advice. 😊 It really warms my heart to see others being an encouragement, so I really enjoyed your post, Matt. You’re awesome. Keep doing what you do. It’s obviosly making a difference.

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