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Reflections from Russia

September 8, 2016

 

I’ve learned that I need to reflect and write down my thoughts after every trip or conference. Without this exercise, experiences don’t feel real; they feel like a dream. (I end up becoming detached from the experience and less compelled to change my life!)

 

Last month, I had the opportunity to serve in St. Petersburg, Russia. The two week service trip was rich with lessons that I wanted to share. We studied out Jesus’ “I am” statements.  These are four of my favorite insights that shed a new light on classic scriptures:

 

  • Jesus is the Bread of Life — Although Satan throws terrible situations our way, most of the time he works quietly and slowly to starve us from the Word of God. I have to continually ask myself: Am I letting him starve me? How rich are my times with God? Am I eating a crumb or an entire loaf of bread?

 

  • Jesus is the Light — The following analogy was shared by a speaker and it immediately touched me: If Jesus is the Sun, I am the moon that reflects the light to the world. All too often, I get obsessed with trying to live a perfect life. I feel that all my “t”s have to be crossed and all my “i’s have to be dotted in order to be a light to the rest of the world. But, this analogy takes that pressure off! It is a reminder that although I am called to be a light, I am not the source of the light. I am merely a reflection!

 

  • Jesus is the Vine — John 15 is an analogy about remaining in Jesus, but also about his relationship with us. Vineyards don’t grow in the wild. They must be taken care of. They are pruned, cut, and often left in a very raw state in order to produce the best crop. In the same way, God shapes us - often leaving us raw after being changed so much - to accomplish his good works.

 

  • Jesus is a Good Shepherd — I was surprised at Jesus’ concern with sheep that weren’t even part of his flock in John 10:16. I have to ask myself: Am I thinking about others that aren’t part of my immediate circle of care?

 

 

Travel is a precious opportunity to revive your faith and knowledge about the Bible. Come & Stay will make it easier for disciples to travel and stay with others in the Kingdom.

 

When's a time when a service trip or other travels deepened your faith in God and knowledge of the word?  Share in the comments section below. 

 

 

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