Thursday, April 26, 2012

God in Our Life

God is so many things into our lives and always gives us what we need. The piece below came out of one of the times I was dwelling on God's prescence in our lives.




Through all the stress and turmoil,
all we have to do is call out to you,
Our Abba Father, Jehovah-Rophe, Jehovah-Shalom,
and Jehovah-Shamma.
So many things you are to us, you fill us,
soothe us, carry, provide for us,
heals us, and gives us great peace.
All we have to do is come to you and lay it all at your feet.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Loving Others


          Loving each other, is what the Lord calls us to do. Not an easy task. Especially, when the person you are called to love has hurt or wronged you.

          The Bible has several scriptures on this; Leviticus 19:18 says, "Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself...", Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Matthew 5:44 says, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,", and John 13:34 says, "I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another."  

          The above scriptures tells us how we are to love each other (and be an example for the generations to come) and as I said before it is easier said than done. I believe most of our problem is that we want to 'feel' love but that is not what love is, after all we are all sinners and have more than likely been on the opposite end of being the one who has hurt or wronged someone. We tend to expect others to love us when we do wrong but are we able to do the same? It is a two way street. I for the longest time did this, I expected people to forgive my behavior and forgive and love me but I was not being very loving in return. I would act loving to those that were easy to love but those that drove me nuts or wronged me in my life I was "nice" to but not very loving. I even wished that they would "get what they deserved" which was not extending love, grace or mercy to them.

           I have learned through many of these relationships that I needed to extend love, grace, and mercy to them. It has been an amazing experience seeing the change in my relationships as I extended love (even when it is not deserved) without expecting anything in return. Also I have learned that love is not a 'feeling' but an action.

           As we live this way people and our younger generation sees this and learns through our example. We as humans will slip up but God offers us love, grace, and mercy which we do not deserve due to our sin nature. So we should extend this to each other being the example loving regardless of what we 'feel' or 'get' in return. 


























Thursday, January 12, 2012

You are God's Sermon

      

     Made in God's image and we are His Sermon. What does that mean? A while back I had listened to Paula White speak on this topic and was intrigue as to what it means.

     On my search and through scriptures she lead us to I found that anything the enemy meant for bad God turns to good.
  
20You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that he could save all these people, as he is now doing. 

Genesis 50:20(CEV)

     So what did this mean exactly? I have found on my journey to becoming 'A Woman After God's Own Heart' that all the things that I was mad at God for where the catalyst to me actually recommitting my life to Him. The abuse (all kinds), the broken relationships, and just all the hurt and shame from my past. These things, yes these things with all there hurt and sorrow. These things that I have cried about a hundred times or more and the pain never seemed to go away. They were what have brought me home to God's Kingdom, they are what makes me want to glorify Him with all I say and do. I realized as Paula was saying 'I am God's Sermon', little ole imperfect me. All my weaknesses, baggage, and all of my past, was God's sermon. Our lives, our story, our testimonies are God's sermon. That is how others will see the Kingdom of God at work and it may be the only Jesus they get to see, that doesn't mean we are perfect or that we are better than anyone else. We are human and falter but, our relationship with the Lord is the difference. It is a heart issue and us going to the Lord and laying our mistakes and sins at His feet with a humble and contrite heart. It is the fact we say I was wrong, that will be a testimony to the Lord's Kingdom.

     God has a plan for our lives, and we are what represents who Christ is in our lives. We do not have to preach the gospel, all we have to do is live it. Nothing is greater than Victory through Jesus.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who am I in Christ

          

          Who am I in Christ? This used to be a question I had and still have sometimes as I have developed and keep developing a personal and deeper relationship with the Lord. You see, I thought my sins were too horrible to be accepted by God or fellow Christians. Also, growing up I was told things that did not exactly boost my self esteem very much, but I was looking in the wrong places to find out who I was let alone who I was in Christ. I actually was looking to others and not God for who I was and that just resulted in greater shame and lower self esteem.

          I have done many bible studies and thought I was getting to where God wanted me, but outside the bible studies I was not digging in the Lord's word. So I was not fulfilled, I still had a longing that was not being satisfied. I also felt that I was not "Who" God wanted me to be. He wanted me to be more than just someone who knew Him in bible studies. He wanted me to know Him up close and personal and wanted me to also know exactly "Who" I was in Christ.

          So who am I? I am beautiful and flawless in the eyes of my God. Song of Songs 4:7, 5:2,
I am chosen by God. I Peter 2:9, I am "holy in His sight without blemish." Colossians 1:22, I am God's masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10, I am "fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14, I am "strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." Ephesians 6:10 and so many other things that I could not possible list them all.

          The point...as long as I am in Christ and obedient I am who He wants me to be. As long as I give all of myself to Him and not just some of myself I am who He wants me to be. No need to look to others but look to God and His word because He has all the answers.  



  

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Impossible


          Today at church we started talking about the 'Mission Impossible' that we think that God has us on. Life its self can feel like an Impossible Mission for some of us. I used to think that and think that my life had no purpose but how God has changed so many things for the good in my life. He has taken me to places I did not want to go (because they seemed to hard to do and it seemed easier to keep following the well walked path.), lead me from the lie that I was a victim and freed me from my bondage.
          Also during this sermon there were several verses that were shared that God has been bringing to my attention continually for awhile now. Those verses are Philippians 4:13 and Psalm 46:10. They remind me that I can do all things through Christ because He strengthens me and that all I need to do is be still and rely on Him and not me because He is God. As a reminder I have them tattooed on my leg and arm. These scriptures as they have been brought to me in many ways (through different sermons, people, articles, during quiet times etc...) I have obtained a deeper understanding of what they mean to me and my life.
          I spent so long trying to do it all on my own that I did not know how to depend on anyone but myself. I also depended on my own strength and not God's and guess what? I failed every time. There would be temporary success and gratification but they were just that temporary. What God showed me and what I thought was impossible has actually been a life line to me and I am able to bring that into others' lives as well.
          So yes life may seem impossible but God is a God is possibilities and so much more. He breathes life in things that seem to have no life. He also gives us the peace that surpasses all understanding. All we need to do is to be still and realize He is God and our strength is in Him. 




 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Made in His image





So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

          What do you think of when you read that we are created in the image of God? For me it is a WOW factor. I recently started reading a chronological bible and this verse has been running through my head since. This for me is God's first evidence of how much He loved us. He loved us so much that we were made in His image. No other thing/creation that He created did He esteem to the point that He made them in His image.

          Then He goes on in Genesis 1:28 and He gives us dominion over His creation, telling us to be "Fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it.". That is how much He loved us, enough to allow us to take care of His creation that He had taken His time making. This is just wonderful to me and I am humbled and in awe of His gift. His first gift, the best gift He gave us was Jesus but that is for another time. I want to focus on the first gift He gave to us.

          In reading this verse I decided to look up and see what comentators and theologians had to say about God creating us in His image and leaving us to have dominion over the earth. In doing so, I came across Barnes' Notes on the Bible and that is what I will leave you with today. Enjoy and bask in the gift that God first gave us and how He esteems us.

"The divine blessing is now pronounced upon man. It differs from that of the lower animals chiefly in the element of supremacy. Power is presumed to belong to man's nature, according to the counsel of the Maker's will Genesis 1:26. But without a special permission he cannot exercise any lawful authority. For the other creatures are as independent of him as he is of them. As creatures he and they are on an equal footing, and have no natural fight either over the other. Hence, it is necessary that he should receive from high heaven a formal charter of right over the things that were made for man. He is therefore authorized, by the word of the Creator, to exercise his power in subduing the earth and ruling over the animal kingdom. This is the meet sequel of his being created in the image of God. Being formed for dominion, the earth and its various products and inhabitants are assigned to him for the display of his powers. The subduing and ruling refer not to the mere supply of his natural needs, for which provision is made in the following verse, but to the accomplishment of his various purposes of science and beneficence, whether towards the inferior animals or his own race. It is the part of intellectual and moral reason to employ power for the ends of general no less than personal good. The sway of man ought to be beneficent."