There is beauty in rebellion. When I first started living my life for God, I felt the weight of shame from my past of rebellion. I hated myself and the sins of my past. It took a few years for me to begin to break free from this shame and begin to experience the beauty of rebellion. I’m praying that you will experience the beauty of rebellion and the freedom that comes through Christ. xoxo Joy (more…)
Archive of ‘Devotional’ category
In today’s world the phrase “Daddy Issues” is so common and popular that the hashtag #daddyissues often trends on social media. It is heartbreaking that our culture has reached a point of acceptance of this problem and even makes a joke out of it. I understand why – it is easier to laugh than talk about our hurting hearts. But this problem needs to be addressed.
The reality is that the way you see yourself now, was shaped early in your life by the words and actions of your father. No matter how much you deny that statement, it is the truth. You can’t do anything to un-do your childhood and you can’t change your father, but you can pray that the love of your heavenly Father will be enough for you and would satisfy your every longings. You can pray for healing and surrender to God your hurts and your pains.
The point of this post is not to make you feel bad about your life, or to point a finger at our earthly dads’ mistakes. The point is for us to realize that even when our earthly dads fail, our heavenly Father will never fail. I pray that this Father’s Day, if you are struggling with a daddy issue, that this post will comfort you and start you on a road to healing. (more…)
Are you worried that you will miss out on God’s plan, specifically by missing out on “The One”?
Guess what – you can not screw up God’s plan for your life.
Early in college, I dated a guy who was a Christian, but was not running after Jesus. I was afraid to break up with him because I thought, “What if I mess up God’s plan? What if this is the guy I’m supposed to marry?” Throughout the relationship, the Holy Spirit kept showing me that I should break up with him. If he was “Mr. Right”, there would not have been so many red flags. (more…)
Do you ever wonder if God cares about the people who don’t love him? While being a college student, I wondered this daily. I questioned, “Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?” I recently read through Psalm 62 and found encouragement, hope, and some answers.
The main point of the passage – we can never give up on others because God never gave up on us. (Tweet this!)
Do you spend time thinking of your past mistakes? Do you beat yourself up over your failures?
If you have surrendered your life to Jesus, he has saved you from your past mistakes and sins. We can not keep beating ourselves up. Scripture tell us, “He (Jesus) himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:24 (ESV). God has forgiven you. Jesus died for you and your past. Every part of your past, even the things you hide away in the dark closet of your mind – Jesus died for those sins. Jesus died for our sins to make us righteous. (more…)
We like to think that we are in charge of our life. I have a friend that is exploring her faith and she told me, “The biggest thing that is holding me back from making the decision to follow Jesus is that I still want control.” My friend wants to be king over her life. She understands that if she follows Jesus, she has to give up control.
Giving up control scares us, because the uncertainty freaks us out. But when we give up control, we gain freedom.
We want to be king. In our eyes, being king equates to having control of our lives and fulfilling the desires of our hearts. But there can only be one king. You or Jesus.
Taking off your crown and giving it to Jesus is not a one time decision, but a daily decision.
The word “crown” is mentioned 57 times in the ESV Bible. Here are a few of those verses and the importance of a crown.
- “And he took the crown of their king from his head.” – 2 Samuel 12:30. David took off the crown and placed it on his head. What does this mean? There can only be one king.
- “The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.” – Ester 2:17. Their can only be one queen.
- “He has stripped from me my glory and taken the crown from my head.” – Job 19:9. If we don’t remove our crown from our own head, Jesus will.
- “You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” – Isaiah 62:3. When you give Jesus your crown, you become a crown of beauty in his eyes.
- “and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ ” – Matthew 27:29. Jesus wore a crown of thorns. If we continue to make ourselves kings, we are mocking Jesus. Jesus wore the crown of thorns for us. He took on our sins for us. And what do we do? Take the crown off his head and place it on ours.
There can not be 2 kings.
We need to pray for strength to take off our own crowns and give them to Jesus.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:10. Humble yourself by taking off your prideful crown, giving it to Jesus, and then you will experience the true prize – being exalted by Jesus the one and only King.
What area of your life is it hardest to take off your crown and give Jesus control?
Bonus: Here are more verses about crowns you can read: Rev 2:10, 3:11, 6:2, 12:1, 14:14. 1 Peter 5:4, Jas 1:12
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Have you ever felt so controlled by a behavior that you felt enslaved to it? You may be experiencing the results of habitual sins.
Habitual sins are destructive. These are sins that feel addictive, controlling, and always present. Most of the time the sin remains in the dark and consequently the person experiences tremendous shame and guilt. Sometimes the sin even begins to define a person and becomes the main issue in their life.
Habitual sins destroy you emotionally and spiritually. Here are a few examples: over eating, lust, alcohol and drug abuse, fits of rage, dependency on a person, constant gossiping, pre-marital sex, watching porn, and masturbation. Regardless of the form of sin, there are many common characteristics one experiences when struggling with it.
Spending time with God is the answer to most of our problems, especially our trust issues. I realized, that the days I struggle trusting God most are the days I don’t spend time with him. Do you trust in God’s plan for your life? Do you spend time with God on a regular basis through reading the Bible or praying?
You will begin to trust God more and know God more, the more you spend time with him.
Often, we wonder why our plans for our lives are different from God’s plans for our lives. We question, “Why hasn’t God given me ___?” Then, we begin to think that God doesn’t love us because he has not given us what we want. This happens because we think our values are the same as God’s values. We think we share the same channel of thoughts as God. But If we don’t spend time with God, we don’t know his channel. This lack of time together creates miscommunication between God and us. And a lack of trust.
To know God and understand why he does things, we have to spend time with him. Even Jesus had to spend time with God, and he is God! It is that much more important that we spend time with God!
Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken. He came to save the sinner. In one of my classes, this thought came to mind as I heard sad story after sad story from my classmates. (Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?) This does not mean that he supports their actions, but his love for them will never change. Why is this? Because Jesus came to save the broken.
Jesus came to save my classmates, but they lack the realization that they need him. Maybe they think their lives are fine without him. Maybe they think they’re spiritually healthy.
While on earth, Jesus spent most of his time with the lost and broken. In Matthew 9:12-13 (NIV) Jesus states, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Healthy people don’t understand that they are sick, sinful, and in need of a savior. But the sick, they line up outside of the doctor’s office hoping for something to heal the pain. Do you realize that you are sick and in need of a savior? Maybe you are immune to the hurting in your heart. Maybe like my classmates, you think these feelings are a normal part of life. Or maybe you actually think you are healthy. (more…)
Even when we sin, God delights in us. He cheers us on and is our number one fan. Always.
I love Jefferson Bethke, and this recent video of his was so spot on. In the clip, he states, “There is a level of bond in love that a parent has for their kid that you don’t have for anyone else… There is something special about the parent-kid love.” That is the kind of love God has for us.
God loves us even when we are struggling through seasons of sin. He loves us when we fall. At my church today, my pastor Aaron Proffitt said, “Even in our most sinful moments, God wants to be close to us and encourage us.”
Is this hard for you to understand? It is for me. (more…)
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