It’s time for one of my favorite reads!
My goal was to finish Jeremy Camp’s memoir before I go see the movie in theaters. The movie came out March 13th and I finished it a few days later. The coronavirus has hindered me from seeing it in theaters like I planned, but I’m sure I’ll see it sometime online!
There were so many great things that come from Jeremy’s story, I’ve had to cut back, split and trim what I put into a post. I hope you’re able to read his full memoir sometime if you haven’t already!
I wrote “I Still Believe” in ten minutes. But, in essence, I had been writing the song for all my life.”page XI, Prologue, Jeremy Camp
Have you ever gotten to a point in your life that just seemed like everything from your past was leading up to that one defining moment?
Faith and family are seamlessly knit together in my life’s story.
My parents provided me with what they did not have growing up: a Christian home. That in itself was a miracle.page 1, Chapter 1, Jeremy Camp
His parents were the same at church as they were at home – what Jeremy said in his memoir. When reading about his childhood and the life his parents had before Jeremy was born, it was like Wow, for us, only God could have done all that He did to bring them all to where they are now. That was one of the most fascinating moments in his memoir to me. I love hearing the stories of redemption, healing and complete life changes. God provides in so many ways.
I encourage you today to believe in the truth of his provision. he has provided thus far and he will continue to.
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.2 Peter 1:3
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:19
When we are in sin, we mistake sin for freedom because we can do whatever we want. But we’re wrong. Despite how that lifestyle can seem for a while, it is not freedom. It’s bondage – bondage to sin.page 28, Chapter 3, Jeremy Camp
I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So, you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.Romans 7:21-25
God gave us free will. We can make decisions, but those decisions can either be aligned with His will or just flowing with the sin we’re in. When we live in sin, we’re out of His will and we’re putting ourselves out there to be slaves to it.
are you mistaking your sin for freedom?
When I was younger, I had struggled with insecurity because I was trying to find my security in things. But when I began serving God with all my heart, my security was in Him.page 34, Chapter 4, Jeremy Camp
You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father.Matthew 5:14-16
Truly experiencing a life-changing faith in Jesus means taking His Word off the pages of the Bible and allowing it to sink into our hearts so that it directs our actions.page 45, Chapter 5, Jeremy Camp
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8
It wasn’t that I needed to change so I could benefit. It was that I needed to change so others could benefit – and God could be glorified.page 48, Chapter 5, Jeremy Camp
This was something I hadn’t heard this way and I really liked it. It was a theme throughout Jeremy’s writing, too: to glorify God, benefit others and not self. How often do we do things or see things from a “self” view instead of outward and putting others lives or salvation status above what we want?
when was the last time you followed one of god’s urgings in your life?
He referred to his lean times to being fruitful times. We are in lean times now, to be honest. Millions of people are without work, the economy keeps falling like the price of oil. While there’s some of us still working – either in the workplace or at home – it’s still scary out there. What if something else happens? What if I end up losing my job anyway? Something I’m learning and trying to get used to right now is that even when we feel like we can’t do anything with all the restrictions, there’s so many ways we can still be fruitful in our faith. Let’s practice our faith and be fruitful in these lean, uncertain times.
“How are you doing?” I asked. Her answer still inspires me: “If I were to die from this cancer and just one person accepted Jesus because of it, it would all be worth it.”page 76, Chapter 8, Jeremy Camp
That would have been hard to hear. Of course, you want good to come out of it, right? But you don’t want the person you love so dearly to go either. This story is so powerful and the way Melissa was able to handle her difficult and painful circumstances at such a young age is admirable and an example to everyone of any age, in any difficult circumstance.
A verse came to mind: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” As I later contemplated about receiving that verse in that moment, I realized that Paul was talking about not just our gain when we go to heaven but also the gain of others here on earth who would come to Jesus as they observed how we dealt with difficult circumstances.page 77, Chapter 8, Jeremy Camp
Our actions speak SO loud. How are your actions presented? are they reflective of your intentions and the words you speak?
For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.Philippians 1:21
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.Jeremiah 29:13
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18
For we live by believing and not by seeing.2 Corinthians 5:7
Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way?
Will I receive the words you say
Every moment of every day?
Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares your will for me
Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With one breath you make me new
Your grace covers all I do, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah yeah
~Walk By Faith by Jeremy Camp
Remember when Melissa said that if even just one person came to faith through all she endured, it would all be worth it? Well, her nurse did. She witnessed her faith and was spoken to in that way. How powerful that God can work that way. When so many people would look at the circumstances as unfortunate and wonder where God is, how He could let that happen, this woman saw the power and strength through Melissa’s attitude. How we respond to challenges, however heartbreaking, again, speaks volumes to the unbelieving world. Good comes from our challenges! God is good all the time.
After Melissa went to be with the Lord, Jeremy completed another song:
Consider my affliction and please deliver me
Plead my cause and redeem me
Salvation is not for the wicked
For they don't seek your word
Great are your tender mercies Lord
Revive me, according to your loving kindness
Revive me, that I may seek your word
Revive me, according to your loving kindness
Revive me, oh Lord
You give me understanding
According to your word
Great peace for those who seek your face
I long for salvation
My lips shall praise your name
I rejoice in the treasure of your keep
~Revive Me by Jeremy Camp