He’s Got You Covered!

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So many thoughts cross my mind that I would prefer not be there.  I waste so much time focusing on things that I ought not to.  God loves us so much that he has literally stepped into our homes (no matter how messy or unlovely they are), and has come down to reason with us on our level (even though we are as dumb as sheep), and made a home with us who seek him in truth.  This is Love!  So even when my mind strays and I have thoughts I wish I hadn’t, and I focus on cares I shouldn’t, and with every mistake I make- God has me covered!  Psalms 91:1 explains to us that those who dwell in the shelter of the most high, will rest in the shadow of the almighty.  He’s got you covered!  You can rest!  Have peace!  For his love shelters me and makes me complete. I have no want for anything (Psalm 23:1) for the Lord is my Shepherd!  He’s got you covered, hallelujah you are so good to us God.  Thank you for loving me, my Savior and my Lord!  My prince of peace.  I will surely sing of your love forever for your love in unending.

Forgiven

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I had a dream this morning that I was tempted and eager to give into that temptation.  As  a matter of fact I had made a choice to give in, but while preparing to give in to the lusts of the flesh, I briefly looked to God and prayed.  What happened next was that he closed the doors.  I could have pushed them open and forced the sin, but instead I went with it and accepted that God looked out for me and prevented me from sinning.  While laying in bed awake afterwards I was feeling the weight of my flesh desires verses my knowledge of what is right.  I hate the idea of is standing before God after I had knowingly given into sin, especially after all that he has done for me, such as giving me the gift of knowledge and many mercies.  How can I not stand there condemned?  I would accuse myself!  I don’t need Satan to accuse me.  Usually scenarios like what happened in my dream adds to my anxiety because I know better, yet I choose to engage in that temptation anyways.  But, in my dream God delivered me.  God has forgiven me.  I also think of all the people who I judged because they gave into their weaknesses and knowingly sinned against me or a loved one.  Here’s a difficult concept for some people to accept, God knows we are evil in our flesh nature, and he has chosen to forgive us.  Jesus died so that when I sin, it can be forgiven.  Does that mean that I or anyone should knowingly engage in sin?  No, we should not knowingly engage in sins, yet there are times when we will.  If it was not for his forgiveness, great love, and mercy then who could stand?  No one could stand.  I am just not good enough.  No one is good enough.  We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  This is reason to praise God.  He loved us enough that while we were sinners he died for us.  Lord, please help me remember that forgiveness is necessary in relationships even when the other person lets us down, and that love covers a multitude of sins.  Thank you for reminding me that you love me despite my temptations and failures.  It is my desire that I won’t fail anymore.  Help me be stronger than I am, yet I am grateful that without your grace I cannot succeed.  It is because you love me and forgive me that I am able to stand.  Deliver me from evil, and from temptations.  Lift up my feet so that I will soar above the trials and not hit my feet on the stones.  I am righteous because you have loved me and because I said no even though I could have.  You want me to remember that.  I was tempted, but when you made a way out, I took it.  Thank you for making a way out.  Thank you for encouraging me that before your site and because of your great wisdom, I am righteous.  I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  Amen.  What the Lord is telling me this morning is that this is spiritual warfare, and that no weapon formed against me will prosper.  Hallelujah!

Forgiveness-Newsletter

The Essence of Salvation

 

 

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What is the essence of salvation?  It is that our heavenly Father rescued us from the death we deserved, because he loves us.  People say, “if God is really that loving then….” then he would do anything for the salvation of our souls, which includes letting us go through hell fire so that it is truly heaven that we learn to love.  A loving God would do what it takes to save us, and that is what he does.

The essence of salvation is that we are loved.  We are truly sought after, seen, known, cared about, wanted, taken seriously by and sacrificed for by the one who gave it all for each and every one of us.  In a world where we grow accustomed to not having our love needs met, we don’t yet comprehend the fullness of his love.  If we only looked for him, and sought him out, we could see just how much, how wide, and deep is his great love.

The essence of salvation is that God is always good, although life sometimes hurts. He will cause all things to work out for the good of those who love him and whom he called.  He truly cares about all of his children, and he is good all the time.  He is patient, and he has trust because he sees the truth within each of us, that we are like him too.  He calls us to love, but first he loved, and taught us to receive his own love.

The essence of salvation is that we finally met the only one who loves our soul, or that is even truly capable.  We met the good shepherd who aspires to give us peace and rest, all we have to do is finally trust him and we will find the truth and joy and be glad.  In him we can let our hair down and finally be who we are, and with him we are safe.  Not only that but he is our provider, and our confidant.  He is and will be forever our friend.  This is the essence of being saved by Jesus.

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Let the Guard Down, Trust in Jesus!

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I have noticed something that occurs within me every time I get close to someone for a relationship.  I get scared.  There is this subconscious thing that occurs in which I become hyper vigilant and  I start looking for everything wrong with them.  What happened to the days in which I just enjoyed a relationship?  When I didn’t question their words when they said “I love you”?  I mean, I enjoy those words for a moment, but later my guard is up and is questioning it.  We are certainly supposed to guard our hearts, and this is what the guard is doing, but what happens when that guard won’t let you live and enjoy a relationship?  Do we wait for perfect?  What happens when we discover that no one is perfect?  I have an off and on again relationship in which I just cannot let my guard down in.  Thanks to God’s grace, he has shown me the real issue.  You see, I can see green grass in other people’s yards, yet the minute that grass becomes my yard I get out the magnifying glass and look for dry spots.  When we look for dry spots, our lawn doesn’t seem so satisfying any longer.  The issue is that I have my guard up and it is time to let the guard take a break so that I can enjoy my relationship.  This is also true in our relationship with God.  We can either hear his voice and be satisfied with it, or we can keep searching for the answers in every  flower pot and vessel that comes along.  If we just remember what God said, and remind ourselves of this, then we can rest from searching.  The answer is already with us.  The Israelites questioned God repeatedly after he delivered them from captivity.  After they left Egypt, they just did not understand how to handle freedom.  God said that they tested him and tested him even though he constantly worked to prove himself to them, finally he had enough and promised they would not inherit the land he intended to give them.  He called their hearts hard and unbelieving.  That is really what this all amounts to, belief or unbelief.  Do I believe what God has told me?  Do I accept that no relationship is perfect and stop being so nit picky?  Do I trust God with my life?  Do I believe?  I am so grateful that God is patient with me.  I am so grateful for his mercy.  Without it I would have not hope.  Love is long suffering and all enduring.   We put our guards up because before God, we were at the mercy of a tyrant called Satan.  Now if God has delivered us from evil, and is leading us to our land that will bless us, won’t he take care of every need that we have?  No guard is needed when we have Jesus.  He is able to lead the way out of the desert.  I believe.

Unworthy

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I am reminded today of how unworthy we are.  The Lord knew we were unworthy, so he died for us in order to fill in the gap for us.  First we have the law, man’s transgression against the law, separation from God, and then came Jesus.  He became sin, chastised and punished, so that we can be reconciled.  He knew we were unworthy.  He loved us despite our unworthiness.  Now we have Christian brothers and sisters casting stones at each other, they are saying, “you are unworthy of me!  You are unworthy of my time, of my energy, you are a leech upon my life.  You do not treat me with respect.  Depart from me, you are unworthy!”  They say these things because people generally are unworthy, but those casting judgments are not any better.  The Lord is showing me as I seek him about being rejected by friends who have said to themselves that I am unworthy.  I said something they didn’t like, so now I’m unworthy.  When we say a person is unworthy, we are saying to them, “you are not good enough for me, you do not measure up.  You do not deserve my attention or my love.  Depart from me”.  This has happened so much that it is evident that the Lord has a lesson in it.  So I asked him why, he told me that his people don’t know how to forgive.  They have their own expectations of what is the right way, as a matter of fact a friend shared with me a scripture in Proverbs where it says that every man thinks that they are right in their own eyes (Proverbs 21:2), but their way is not right when they judge others as unworthy.  That is the truth.  What is worse is that as I have sought the Lord in how to deal with these people who are now unworthy of my effort, in my own spiritual pride and feelings of rejection I want to move on and wipe the dust from my feet, but Jesus said, “no, forgive them”.  I told him that these people don’t even want anything to do with me, why should I pray for them to change their hearts.  He told me that it was wrong for them to settle in their hearts to not forgive, and that their rejection of me didn’t mean that I was unworthy, it meant that their judgement was wrong, and that there is no person who I am going to have a relationship with who I won’t at some point in time have to walk in forgiveness.  Jesus was surrounded by people.  He had devoted disciples, and he also had many more followers and admirers, yet when push came to shove, he was truly alone.  They didn’t love him because they were good people, rather they loved him because he first loved them and had something to give them.  He had a little piece of God in him.  Jesus couldn’t count on a single one of them to truly love in at the end.  When he hung on that cross, even God turned his face from him.  He was utterly alone.  We are to love people because they need it, not because they are worthy.  We are to forgive people because they need it, not because they are worthy.  In the end it isn’t about who was right or who was wrong.  In the end we are all imperfect.  In the end, what will matter is that we loved and that we are loved by the only one who ever truly loved us in the first place.  God is the one who is worthy.  Even Jesus was his design and his gift to us.  God gave him up.  It is time that we believers start showing the world a little piece of Jesus.  It is time that we start seeking deliverance from unforgiveness.  It is time that we rid the words “unworthy” from our vocabulary unless we are discussing our own worth while bowing at God’s feet.  It is time that we see that there is no person who is worthy, and at the same time every person is worthy because Jesus said he was.  If Jesus said that person was worthy, God forbid I ever say that a person is unworthy again.  Lord Jesus, please help us get this revelation.  Please help us have genuine love. Thank you for making us worthy even though we were not.  Thank you for loving everyone God.  We are worthy now because you said it, though we are all unworthy.

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Qualified- The Veil Was Torn

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Matthew 27:50-51 KJV

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.  And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent”

The veil was torn after Jesus died.  What does this mean?  It means that we were qualified.  Qualified for what?  Prior to the event of Jesus crucifixion, only the qualified high priest was permitted to enter the Holy of Holies, a small room with a candle and golden alter, which was hidden by the veil.  There, he burned incense and sprinkled sacrificial animal blood on the alter to God because this was God’s requirement for the remission of sins.  This was done once a year, and it was a solemn and sacred event.

When Jesus died, the veil to the Holy of Holies tore in half.  This means that we are now qualified.  We are now holy enough, righteous enough, worthy enough, esteemed enough, and honored enough to approach God.  No more veil, no more requirements such as washing the feet and hands for cleanliness because we were made spotless by the blood of the lamb.  No more blood sacrifices are required, because Jesus was our sacrifice.  No more justification by keeping the law is required, because Jesus became our justification.

Since Jesus’s death qualified us, God now calls us, and then justifies us (Romans 8:30).  Then, after he justifies us, he glorifies us as a royal priesthood, a spotless bride.  How does God justify us?  He calls things that appear to be not as though they are.  We see our failures, but he shows us our justification.  Just as one might justify a child’s behavior to someone, God justifies our behaviors to us.  He gives us faith.  So why do we need to be justified if we are already qualified?  We are not really justified until we know that we are justified.  We are qualified, but unless we believe that we are qualified, its as if we aren’t because the righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:17).

What have we been qualified for exactly?  For heaven, for life.  To live justified, redeemed, and forgiven.  To have unhindered intimacy with our creator who now dwells among us, in the spirit of our hearts, and throughout our lives.  To many he calls for them to join with him, but sadly they refuse.  Most don’t know that they had been qualified.  Some still erroneously think that Christianity is just for the weak, deceived, radical, or the perfect.  Jesus Christ gave his life so that yours can be saved, through faith.  Those who choose to live without Christ are also choosing to die without Christ.  We will live by what we believe, and we will die according to what we believe as well.

If you say that Jesus Christ is Lord, and you truly believe that  he was risen from the dead, then you will be saved (Romans 10:9).  Why do we have to say it if we want to be saved?  Because that means that you truly believe, because from the abundance of your heart, your mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  He has qualified us, do  you believe?

Those who do truly believe can now “give joyful thanks to the father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12 NKJV).  Thank you God for sending us Jesus, who was your Son, to qualify us to also be your sons and to enjoy all of your inheritance.  I believe!  Thank you Jesus for dying for us.  I praise you God.  Amen.

The Eye of the Storm

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The life of a Christian who wants to be close to God can be like a major storm.  Everyday for a long time my life felt like a storm.  First the storm was a a result of bad choices I had made, but then I decided to surrender my life to Jesus Christ.  I had given my heart to him already, but this time I made a real commitment that no matter the cost I would follow Christ.

The storm for a Christian who is struggling against the pull of the world, and turning to God to walk the straight and narrow is a bumpy one.  There is the temptation to follow old patterns, and when there is no longer old patterns to deal with new ones arise.  We are striving to be in our rightful place in the Kingdom of light, yet the darkness is still clouding our eyes and fogging our feelings and our thoughts.

New idols call to us to be focused on and worshiped.  Things in our life goes wrong, for me it was a vehicle, a water pump, a home, slander, rejection, loneliness, fear, doubts and more.  Probably the hardest hardship I’ve endured is overcoming myself.  Letting go of old thinking patterns and belief systems.

There is certainly resistance when we first start walking with the Lord.  There will always be resistance.  It gets easier when we learn how to dwell in the eye of the storm.  This isn’t about being a better person, or by sheer will power.  This is about being in-step with the creator.  Hiding under his wings, embracing him as a Father, and letting him be in charge.  It isn’t until I started listening to his voice, and dying to my own will because I believed he had so much more in store that I started moving about life in the eye of the storm.

The storm still rages but greater is he who is in me.  We can look at the odds, fix our eyes on impossible outcomes, on unmet perceived needs and wants.  We can focus on failures within ourselves or blame our problems on others, or we can turn and look at God and tune out everything else that swirls around us, about us, breaking our house windows, blowing out the doors.

When we focus our sight on what is wrong with life, then we are navigating life in the storm, dodging debris.  Fighting the fights that were not ours.  As long as we keep looking to physical evidence and expectations, only feeling frustrated, we will remain in the storm.  It won’t stop.  Even if you overcome this one obstacle, then bam there’s another.  You dodge the metal pipe blowing by your head only to side step and be knocked over by the door.

I am grateful now that God allowed me to be in the storm long enough to get the hint that the storm just does not stop, unless God stops it.  I had to learn how to simply step into the eye of the storm.  Walk by faith, not by sight.

The eye of the storm is where God is, and it is always calm there.  It is always safe.  It is always sunny, except when it is time to close my eyes and rest, but even in the dark there the peace keeps in my heart.  His mercies are knew every day.  He has died for me unconditionally and as long as I still have breath I can repent, over and over again.  He is faithful, his love is enduring, he is slow to anger and to find fault.  His love is genuine and true.  He is always in control.  God, through Jesus, is the eye of the storm.

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Boast When You Are Weak

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I think it is safe to say that most people are not proud of their weak moments.  It is better to boast on what makes us weak, rather than on what makes us strong, because it is in our most vulnerable moments that God’s glory shines through us.  In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus gives us examples of two men who went to the temple to pray, one man was thanking God for how strong he was and how righteous he was, yet the other man was sorrowful due to all that was wrong.  Jesus then explained that the second man was the one who went home justified.

Jesus said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14).  Why?  Doesn’t God want us to obtain righteousness after all?  Then why would God want us to not glory in seeking and obtaining righteousness we might ask?  Does God contradict  himself?  I’m confused…. What I have found out through trial and error during my Christian walk (actually what God has graciously taught me) is that true righteousness comes from the heart.

Psalm 51:17 NLT “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God”.  It is not our works that makes us righteous, but it is our faith that confirms to us that God sees us as right.  According to Romans 8:30 Paul explains that it is God who first called us, and then justified us.  Those he justifies he later glorifies when the time is right, but this is something he does.  It is from the heart that righteousness comes from.  It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, and when we have a heart full of humility, knowing that nothing within ourselves is good except that which God refined in us, then when we speak it adds life to the listeners and confirms the truth.

What is the truth?  The truth is that none of us are truly righteous.  Yet when we confess our sins, God then purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  It is the person who is first full of their own weakness and humility who once they are lifted up, understands that it is not of themselves.  Therefore, when they approach someone who is full of sin and seems lost, they are able to season their words with salt from a heart full of humility rather than arrogant pride.  When we become strong and righteous, when we finally overcome… do you know that we become least in the Kingdom of God.. that is the more proud we become, the more unrighteous we become?  A heart full of judgement and pride cannot love as Jesus loved.  Jesus was only able to love because he was lowly in spirit.  Even though his actions were blameless at all times, once he was called “good” by someone, and he corrected that man saying, “why do you call me good?  There is only one good and that is God” (Mark 10:18).

Please don’t get me wrong, it is God who inspires us to do good works.  It is God who leads us on his paths of righteousness.  It is God who calls a pure, spotless bride.  The catch is, it is also God who justifies and purifies.  It is the heart attitude of a person that makes a man/woman right.  It is humility, faithfulness, loyalty, genuine love and consideration, esteeming others above themselves that is right.  What we eat, what we wear, and the works of our hands never makes us right, this is why I rarely judge a person by their outward appearances.  A person covered in tattoos smoking a cigar and drinking a beer can be more righteous than the man standing across from them wearing a suit with a tie, who would never touch a cigarette.   Does that make the first person right?  We all know that some things that we do to our bodies or put in our bodies are not good for us, and it is common to see a born again man of God start to put away such things as they are purified.  Yet, it is not the putting away of those things that makes that man righteous, it is their contrite heart before God.

When I am weak, then I am strong.  Oh, I love this verse yet I still abhor being weak sometimes.  I would rather be strong, never giving into temptation, never having a bad moment.. but it is the desire to do right that begins to purify us (1 John 3:3), because … righteousness comes from the heart.  It is the hunger to be right and the knowledge to know I am not.  It is the cry of a contrite heart that pleases God.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Apostle Paul says, “I will brag all the more in my weakness, so that Christ’s power will rest on me”.

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God’s Love Is Perfect

God’s love is perfect. He loves us when we don’t deserve it, and because he is so loving, he will justify us when we trespass against him because he came to us first. We love him because he first loved us. His love is perfect. When men and women did not esteem him, and even hated him, he died for them on the cross. He did this even though they would not recognize what he had done. He received no recognition from many for his sacrifice. He didn’t do good to us so that we would love him in return, rather he did good to us because of love. His love is perfect. When we looked to the world to make us whole, and it chewed us up and spit us out, and we cried, wondering who was there, did anyone truly care, he was there and unlike no other he understood because he was alone too while he was being treated like a criminal when he was really innocent, hanging on that cross. God’s love is perfect, and it was manifested in his Son, who died and gave his life for us. Not so that we could ever give him anything in return, but because he truly loved us. His love is still perfect.

Even When It Hurts

I’ve found that some of our most destructive patterns occur in the midst of pain. When we get angry, hurt, offended we become defensive and in an attempt to defend ourselves we can say mean and hurtful things to others. We didn’t mean it that way, we hope they will forgive and understand us. In time they might. Some wounds can take a life time to heal. Yet there is hope. There is a way around the destruction that wants to destroy our friendships, relationships, and our homes. We can obey God even when it hurts. We can seek out his answers to our pains, and be willing to be objective to our pain, rather than offensive while in pain. Take the time to hear the other side. Listen to their pain, understand their sorrow, even when it hurts. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, what we call the love chapter in the bible, the first descriptive word that is given to define love, is patience. Love is patient. Love does not need absolution right now. Love does not need its own needs met right now. God is the greater judge and he sees all, and he promises that when we sow seeds while we have sorrow, our harvest will be joy. Love bears all things, hopes all things, believes the best. It is patient and kind. It listens. It considers the other person. It puts its own feelings and thoughts aside so it can be the healing salve for another. If that person needs space from you, then pray they will find the care and comfort they seek. Pray they will be protected, well fed, and nourished. Love believes the best in every person. Love conquers all. Love is not self-seeking. It does not count another’s faults. Love, even when it hurts, and we will reap our reward, even if it is only helping another through their trials.