Even when we sin, God delights in us. He cheers us on and is our number one fan. Always.
“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.” – Jefferson Bethke
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…)
You know those nights where you feel so unloved and alone? When you wish you could have someone to hold you and tell you they love you? The love we experience on earth will never compare to God’s love for us. Our hearts have been made to cry out for a love that can only come from our creator.
A guy may seem like the best fix, but only God’s love is a lasting solution. This truth is written all over the Bible.
Did you know that the Bible is God’s love letter to us? Isaiah 43 is a great example of a love letter from God. When I study scripture, I like to read it and then write it out in my own words. This helps me better understand what I have read. For this particular chapter, I read the passage as if God hand wrote me a love letter in beautiful calligraphy. I wrote it in my journal in the exact same way. You can do the same thing. (more…)
Sin is fun. If sin wasn’t fun, then we would have no problem walking away from it and constantly obeying God. I don’t always want to follow God and his ways, but I’m asking God to begin changing my heart. I want to view his commands as beautiful gifts wrapped in shiny blue paper. I want to desire to obey him more than I desire the sins in my life.
If I take the step and turn to God, searching for the answers, then maybe I’ll begin to understand the purpose of his commands. (more…)
When we limit God, we are also changing his character. For example, saying “I can’t” actually puts us in disagreement with what scripture says about God.
Scripture does not say anywhere that we are powerless when God is with us. In fact, every part of God’s word tells us we can!
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:12-13.
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:24-26.
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -1 Corinthians 12: 7-10.
If you are doubting the power of God, spend some time journaling and praying through these verses. You can also read two of my other posts about this topic: Stop Limiting God and “I’m not qualified”.
I pray that you will begin to understand that the power that created the world is inside of you. You can experience more life change than you ever dreamed possible.
“Why is my pain unceasing,my wound incurable,refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook,like waters that fail?” -Jeremiah 15:18.
When was the last time you cried out to God like this? Jeremiah was a lonely social outcast who wanted to be healed and find comfort. Today our cries might be worded slightly differently, but the pain is the same. Our prayers might be like these: God will you ever heal us? God will you make our pain stop? Will you take away this loneliness?
God listens to our prayers. God cares about our hurt. God replies with comfort. Here is how he replied to Jeremiah:
19 Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them. 20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the Lord. 21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.”
Read those verses again, and this time think of it as a letter written to you from God.
God promises that if we come back to him, he will restore us. God will take away our loneliness. God will protect us from our enemies. God will save us and deliver us. He will redeem us!
Lately, I’ve been asking myself why I value Jesus. Do I value him because he is useful or because he is beautiful?
It is easy to forget about the beauty of Jesus, and it is even easier to focus on your own needs and desires.
To figure out why I value Jesus, I went to my journal and looked at what I’ve been praying for. None of my recent prayers have been thanking Jesus or admiring Jesus. They have been about me and my wants.
Jesus, help my friend love me.
Jesus, help me rid my addiction to sugar.
Jesus, use me to further your kingdom.
In my opinion, this is the biggest lie that women believe when they’re thinking about doing ministry or joining a leadership team.
This thought first entered my mind when I was in high school.
I was trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. I was confused, unsure, and it did not help that people always asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Adults frequently ask this question. In high school, kids are between 14-18 years old. How do they expect someone to know what he or she wants to do for the rest of his or her life at such a young age?
During my 10th grade year of high school, I started to get the call that God wanted me to go into ministry. What ministry has meant to me has changed over the years, but I knew two things: that I wanted to help people and that God was pretty cool. Combining those two things seemed like a perfect option! But I believed a lie that I was not qualified.
So, when I was asked that question, I felt embarrassed to share with others my heart desire for my career, so I would always reply, “Orthodontist.”
This was the safest way to go. If I would say, “I don’t know.” Then, I would get additional questions, “Well, what is your favorite subject? Did you like math? How about teaching? Etc… Thus, I realized the safest thing to do was reply, “Orthodontist.” There were no follow up questions, just a nod of agreement and maybe an encouraging statement.
For a high schooler, it is extremely difficult to fully trust God with this subject. It is difficult to share with others when you are not 100% sure that this is what you will do. Students also worry about what others will think of their choice. I worried people would not understand or try and talk me out of it.
When I was thinking about going into ministry, I believed the lie that one had to be perfect. How could I help people in their walks with God when I was not perfect?
Again, when I was asked to lead a Bible study in Cru my freshman year of college I did not want to step up and lead because I thought I was not qualified. How can I lead other women when I have my own issues to work through?
It is common to respond to God by saying, “I can’t. I’m not qualified.” I’ve heard this in high school. I’ve heard this in college.
My response now is, “Well what is qualified? Name one person in the Bible who was qualified.”
Abraham lied about Sarah.
Noah was a drunk.
Jacob was a liar.
Joseph was abused by his brothers.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah was said to be too young.
David had an affair.
Elijah was suicidal.
The Samaritan woman had multiple divorces.
Jonah ran away from God.
Peter denied Jesus.
The disciples fell asleep while praying.
And there are more examples found all over scripture!
Friends, if you are thinking of going into ministry, leading a Bible study, or joining the leadership team at your church, I want you to remember one thing: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.
Think about a statue. On my college campus, we have a statue of Martin Luther King. What is the purpose of that statue? A statue is an image erected to display an event or a person who has achieved something in their lives that we want to remember. The image points to the original person and brings them glory.
We were created to be God’s statues and images.
Genesis 1:26-27:“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.”
God made human beings in his image so that the world would be filled with reflectors of himself.
Today there are over 7 billion people in the world. 7 billion people created in the image of God. 7 billion people who point to God.
God created us for his glory.
Here are some additional verses and questions to reflect on:
How are you pointing the world to God’s glory? For example, we can reflect God’s glory in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness.
How are you not pointing the world to God’s glory?
How will your thinking and feelings change if you truly understand why God created you?
Important to note: God does not need us to make him glorious. He does not need to be enhanced. When he calls us to glorify him, we don’t make him glorious, he already is. Being a statue for God means we are called to show and display his glory.
Who will you worship and serve, the God who blesses you or the gods you think will bless you?
Think of all the ways God blesses you daily, and yet we think other things will bless us more. How often do we think certain situations will bless our lives more than God can? For example, we live in a society that worships appearance, prestige, and success. These are good things, until they become gods in our lives. They become gods when we think they will bless and satisfy us more than a relationship with God.
God blesses us, daily, yet we think other things will bless us more. This is not a new idea. In the book of Joshua, Joshua lists all the ways God blessed the people. Here are just some of the ways God blessed the children of Israel: God made Abraham’s offspring many, brought them out of the plaque in Egypt, parted the red sea, led them out of the wilderness, destroyed their enemies, delivered them from their enemies, protected them, fought for them, and then gave them land to dwell in and fruit to eat (Joshua 24: 1-13). That is a lot of blessings.
Yet immediately after Joshua lists all of that, he warns the people that they get to make the decision of who to serve, and who to make their God.
Joshua 24:14-15 14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
God continuously blesses us, and what does he ask of us?
That we would choose daily to worship and serve him. What is interesting about this passage is the order of the sentences. First you have to stop worshiping (the lower case g) gods, and then you can serve (the upper case g) God.
How do we do that?
“Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” -Joshua 24:23
What gods, lower case g, are you worshiping?
Serving God is a choice that we have to make daily. Each day we get to choose if we want to serve the eternal God of the universe or the fleeting gods of this world. It is your decision to make, so what will you choose?
I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!