16 Sep “For All” – Day Eighteen
Scripture: Jude 1:20-21 NLT – “But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.”
Observation: We have the ability to build each other up all for the glory of God. Love is the driving force behind everything that he does, and it is an example of how we should live when encouraging and empowering others.
Application: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that being around other people going in the same direction as you can bring you back to life. In 2020, many people experienced nothing but grief, anxiety, fear, and pain. It was a time in my life where I questioned my purpose, and whether or not I was headed down the right path. At some point, however, we have to learn to accept our circumstances and stop trying to deny what we are going through.
We may find ourselves wanting more in life; and no matter what it is that we are after, we want to get to it quickly and painlessly. Oftentimes, there will be seasons when the escalator is broken and you’ll have to take the stairs. When we decide to take the easy way out, we are choosing a road that can lead to pain, sorrow and destruction. We serve a God who soars to places beyond our comprehension, and following in his example will allow us to grow. I’ve learned that taking the stairs and doing the work to make the climb will ultimately lead to a stronger and empowered individual.
In 2020, I was in a rough place where I not only embraced being alone, but found myself hiding in it. Eventually, there came a time when I could feel God calling me to get around other people and to not hold all of my feelings inside. Being an introvert at heart, this was not easy for me. So yes, I did indeed have to take the stairs, which was a more challenging process than I expected. Once I finally opened up to other people going in the same direction (towards Jesus) with me, I was instantly brought back to the real me. Coming back to The Journey and getting connected in a J-Group allowed me to build relationships with people who have now become my closest friends… friends I can go to when I’m facing tough seasons. God’s love was working in my life, giving me the courage and ability to lead others to be empowered by God’s love. In doing so, I’ve seen others grow in their walk with Jesus, and there is truly no feeling like it. Each and every one of us has God-given creativity and influence to construct his kingdom here on earth. However, it can be tough to find out what that is on our own.
Most of the time, my greatest enemy is fear. God spent a lot of time trying to get me to face my own fears. The Holy Spirit helped me to understand how they enslaved me and divided me from people, preventing me from doing what God wanted me to do. Through the brilliance of God’s love, I learned how we can be kept safe from our fears and overcome them. When we can conquer our fear, we can grow. It’s that simple, but we cannot do it on our own. We need the driving force of his love to build each other up. God wants us to grow. It’s one of his legacies, but it’s up to us to take the stairs, and live for him.
Prayer: God, through tough seasons, help me when I feel left out and unaccepted. Let me find you and know you are always with me. When I’m looking for comfort, assist me in getting around other people that can offer consolation through your example of love… Amen.
Creative Video Director
Brandon Forgione has been coming to The Journey for almost four years. He is grateful for the opportunity not only to work in the creative world, but to serve Jesus at the same time. In the winter of 2020, he was able to lead a J-Group called Faith & Film, where he and his group were able to create a visual project for Christmas. After that, Brandon wants to continue telling life-changing stories and creating projects in the world of video that can bring people closer to Jesus.