You Don’t Have to Earn God’s Love

Today, I had a very difficult day. I ended my night, or should I say early morning weeping into a pillow. My eyes are swollen and heavy as I write this. Somehow, I’ve ended up in a place I’ve visited before. This place of self-righteousness, and feeling a need to earn the love of God. It sounds silly, I know. It’s amazing how our brokenness and the familiarity of issues we’ve had with people, shows up in our fellowship with God.I guess I’ve had a past of wanting to be liked by people so badly, that I often put on shows. Also, I’ve dealt with feeling like the kindness of people hung over my head. I’ve always hated the feeling of “being a burden” to anyone. I would have to quickly return their kindness, to feel at ease. So, I guess if this brokenness had not shown up in my relationship with God, it would’ve never been fully brought to my attention.

I love when words flow and compliment one another, but I’d prefer that my blog would be authentic.In my mind when I’m accomplishing the list of Christian duties, then I’m bringing God glory. When indeed it’s when I’m aware of my own weaknesses and I’m completely humbled that I can too bring Him glory.

I say these things to say that you, you reading this are loved by God. There is nothing you could’ve done to earn His love, nor is there anything you can do that will make Him stop loving you. He chose in His Son before the light overcame the darkness, God has been loving you for such a long time. He’s got such awesome plan for your life.That old sin that you’re clinging to, God has something better to give you. Your weaknesses and shortcomings don’t dismay Him nor can it remove His devotion. When the Father looks at you, He sees His Son. Yet, He does see you and loves you completely. Yes, you are a mess, but God still loves you. I don’t know what you’ve been through or what you’ve experienced, but you don’t have to EARN God’s love. God’s love is pre-existing and sovereign. His love is not fickle or feeble. No matter how much or little you’ve studied, or prayed He loves you just the same. You are loved by God. You are deeply loved by God.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you would remove this manmade equation from our hearts. This action plus that action does not equal Your love. Lord, remind us that it’s through Your Son’s actions that we are reconciled with you. Lord, save us from self-righteousness. It wrecks any hope of us enjoying You. It literally takes Your most deserved praise out of our mouths. Lord, let us accept our weaknesses and not resent them. Let us do things from our hearts and not from seeking to earn your love. God, let us strive for holiness with all of our might. And, when we make bad choices may we not believe in Satan’s lies. Lord, show us how to rejoice in suffering and in failing. Lord, we don’t want to be in this place again. Lastly, Lord fills us and make us whole. We love you. I say this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

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Singleness and Seeking

There was an intense period in my life where marriage became an idol in my heart. I was new-er in the faith, and I was slapped in the face with a desire for marriage. I had never experienced anything like it before I got saved. I wasn’t hardly aware that it became an idol, but it became an excuse for my discontentment. I couldn’t go on social media without pouting. It was a serious issue. And, to add insult to injury I wasn’t guarding my heart. I would see a man and think ‘Lord, is this, my husband?’ It was exhausting, thankfully God showed me the idol I’d made of marriage.

This began the process of realizing that a man and a ring could not fix any of my heart issues. God revealed to me that this exceeded far past marriage, I wanted love and approval. And, that was a heart issue, one that only He could fix. I soon realized how silly it all was, here it is I have Love, and yet it wasn’t enough. I have God’s approval, and yet it wasn’t enough. I wanted something “tangible”, something that could be applauded by the world I live in. God also had me informed by godly couples who were transparent about the fact that marriage is hard. Those butterflies in your stomach and that new love feeling eventually blows over. One couple even called marriage, ‘the cross’. Eek. That marriage shows us our selfishness, and for it to work we must die to ourselves.

I realized I had some very unrealistic expectations about marriage. I’m sure that is the reason why most marriages fail today. I believe we as women we expect men to be our Prince Charming. God had to reveal to me that what my Savior did on the cross for me, would always be unmatched. That only Jesus saves and satisfies. And, the expectations that I expected from a man (made from dust), were not realistic.

And, recently the Holy Spirit had whispered to me, “pray for your husband”. And, I was in shock. By God’s grace, I had removed marriage from God’s throne, and I was sure that praying for some man I didn’t know would lead me to right back where I was. The first few times I prayed for him, I could not call him ‘my husband’. It just seemed weird. I prayed that God would keep my mind and heart occupied before He sent me my husband. I was afraid of going back to that place of pouting and sulking.

And, because God is faithful I hadn’t experienced those feelings yet again. Until tonight, and it came out of nowhere. Well, Satan had been planting seeds today (as always) and I think I wasn’t capturing those thoughts as quickly as I should have. So, later on, while I’m trying to read my Bible. A picture enters my mind of a woman I follow on social media who had very recently gotten engaged. And, boy did Satan taunt me with it. The tears came out of nowhere. I thought my prayers were making me miss the future husband I haven’t even met. I even thought God was stirring me up to love and miss this man I hadn’t yet met. I’m not even sure what I believe.

But, I know that what I need is for God to continue conforming me to the image of His Son. I know I need to find my identity and worth in Christ, alone. I know I ain’t ready to be nobody’s wife, yet. I know I need to keep my eyes on Jesus and be present in my life. I need to continue to pray for my husband and our future marriage. It will be hard, but it will honor God. I also need to trust in God’s wisdom and know His timing is perfect.

So, I just wanted to encourage you that God is faithful. And, we need to stay in the Potter’s hands so He can make us all He intended us to be.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that we would seek the fountain of living waters. I pray that we would seek you with all of our hearts and might. I pray that when we feel lonely, we’ll sit at your feet God. When we want to belong, we’ll think about our adoption as your children. I pray that we will always seek you first God. I pray that we won’t count on anyone but You to make us feel valid. Lord, may we cling to you, and may you hold uphold us with a willing spirit. God, let your love and acceptance be enough. I pray that we would speak your Words to our seeking hearts. Lord, we know only You can make us whole. There is no one but Jesus who saves. We thank you for His blood today. We say this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

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The Mercy of God

I purchased a journaling Bible. Ever since I purchased my big ESV and KJV study Bibles, I have loved jotting little notes in my Bible. Yesterday, I played The Sims 4 video game for far longer than I ever expected to. And, because of that I felt condemnation and was upset at my little self-control. So, I prayed that I would practice self-discipline. Starting with reading the book of Jeremiah. Yes, all 52 chapters. See, I’ve never been able to stick to reading plans or even daily devotionals because of my lack of discipline. I also, decided I wasn’t going to resent the discipline that study and prayer call for. I was offended because I thought “God is too good and wonderful for me not to enjoy these things.” God’s goodness has not much to do with these in the sense that I have my flesh and Satan sucking the fun and joy out of both. I thought that thinking that prayer, fellowship, devotions, and worship required discipline, was legalism. And, yet if we approach these things thinking, “this is why God loves or is good to me”. That is legalism. I’m just realizing I have the opposition that attempts to get in the way of me truly enjoying my God. And, I have to put these things to the side and set strict discipline concerning them.

Can’t stop thinking about the mercy of God. Despite all of their abundant disobedience God still called them, ‘my people’. Also, thinking about how prone we all are to seek and that we don’t have the desire to rely on God. Here, God is the fountain of living waters(Jer 2:13), and they dug out cisterns that can’t hold on to the water they’ve filled them with. The love of the God that saved and preserved them in the wilderness; was not enough for them. They chased after the unreciprocated love of foreigners or idols. It’s insane that we seek, even when we’ve found all that we need.

There was a time when I’d laugh and shake my head at the Israelites. I couldn’t understand when they had God so near, why did they seek idols. They had, after all, seen all the mighty acts and wonders of God. It wasn’t until later, and with more maturity that I understand, I am them. I seek for all things outside the realm of God. God has brought me to see the errors of my ways, by seeing how fickle the love and acceptance of others are. But, that’s when I’ve appreciated God’s unchanging hand. And, how no matter what I’ve done or how I’ve sinned He will always love me. That is not a pardon to do the unthinkable, but to think on that fact and be amazed by the mercy of God.

He is so merciful and so long-suffering with His people. It must be His holiness and His love that we have and could never earn, that makes us whimper to foreigners who we have to put forth an effort to love us. Is the unmerited, everlasting love of God so obscene that we’d rather work for phony, and temporal love? Do we get frustrated trusting in Him? Is waiting on God so unbearable? And, then why do we finally turn to Him in the midst of our greatest need? Why, do we tell Him to, “arise and save us”, when we’ve clearly have forgotten His saving power? Why do we try to run from Him, Jonah? Why do we have a hard time putting all of our trust in Him? Why don’t we rely on Him, but formulate back up plans of action?

I’m constantly reminded God is not like man that He’s created, no. Plenty of times in Scriptures I’ve thought ‘I would’ve given up on them, Lord.” I would’ve told Hosea, “you’ve been through enough with that wife of yours.” But, God’s mercy endureth forever(Ps.138:8). God is always willing to forgive the confessions of our sins. Always.

Not only is God eternal, but so is His very character.

I praise God for Him loving us, His former enemies(Rom. 5:10). I thank God for being so stable and unchanging. I praise Him for the mercy I simply don’t deserve. I didn’t deserve Christ’s death on my cross. I don’t deserve His immaculate Holy Spirit. I’m just thanking God for salvation, and His mercy that chose me. We would love to think it was because of our ‘cuteness’, attributes, or even the misfortunes in our past. But, no it was His mercy(Titus 3:5). And, it was His ability to love people who truly hated Him(Rom. 1:30.

I’m just blown away by God.

Prayer: Lord, make us a people who are led by your Spirit, and not by our flesh. Lord, you’ve already given us a Spirit of self-control. So, we are not hopeless or helpless. We can put down that extra cookie, turn off our favorite TV show and pick up your Word. We can put to death every sin that besets us. God may we be a people constantly after your own heart. Lord, may we never turn again to broken cisterns. And may we never create back up plans, but rely on You. May we be a people that count everything as a loss and see Christ as far more worthy. God, help us to be the men and women we know we can be. I say this prayer in Jesus name, Amen.

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When God Closes A Door



The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.                                                                                                                                  When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.                                                                                                                     Psalm 37:23-25

Dear Beloved,

I know that God has closed a door, that you desired to keep open. I want you to know that God only closed it out of His love for you and His infinite wisdom. I know that stinging tears can blur the truth. I know that you are confused and surprised, but God isn’t. You can’t see now that closed doors are protected. A closed door means there is yet another door. Closed doors indicate the beginning of a brand new season.

Don’t look back, and don’t live in the past. There is nothing you could’ve done to keep that door opened. God knows what is best for you. God is a great Father who knows what we need. The best fathers aren’t those who give in to their child’s every whim or demand. But, those who know that the needs are always more important than the wants.

God is with you and for you, until the end of time. Someday you’ll look back and you’ll know why that door was closed. And, you’ll thank God for it.

I don’t know who this blog post is for, but God I pray it helps.

P.S I’ve been there before. You’re going to be just fine.

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Persecution: The Envitable

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. John 15:20

 

 

This week this verse became a reality for me. Often times we read about things in Scriptures and because God hasn’t yet ordained them for us to know about the depth of it, we can read past it. Sure, I knew that persecution was sure as the sun; yet I would be lying if I said it didn’t surprise me.

There is something about righteousness that convicts people of their unrighteousness. For some reason, I believed that my personal pursuit of holiness wouldn’t stomp on others’ toes. And, I was yet again wrong. My God granted righteousness rubbed people like sandpaper.

The hardest part of all of this was being an actual follower of Christ through this. And, to follow the direction of Scriptures. I wanted to curse those who cursed me. I wanted to return their unfriendly fires. I wanted to tell my side to all who would listen. I wanted to get revenge! Instead, I blessed and prayed for them(Ro 12:14). I trusted my cause to God, I decided to believe that vengeance is God’s and that He would repay(Deut 32:35).

 

There something about suffering inside the will of God, that is so assuring and comforting. God was ever present. There is something magnificent about fellowship and worship during struggles. The happiest days could never compete with the joy, love, peace, and comfort that I experienced during the difficult days. There is something amazing about suffering for Christ’s name, it is beyond joyful and fulfilling. To taste a small bit of what Christ suffered for my sins has been exhilarating in indescribable ways.

I never doubted that this test and trial came from all of the goodness of God. And, yes there were tears. There were moments all I could do was weep. Satan has tried to use this suffering to make me hate, resent and curse. While I gave the hurt and anger of persecution to God, Satan would dredge it right back up. I constantly had to pray for those who persecuted me, to keep me centered. But, God is good. And, He gives us exactly what we need to get through it.

So, friends if you haven’t yet suffered for Christ’s name, I pray that you wouldn’t fear it. God will be with you the whole way. And, to those who understand this post on a deeper level- isn’t God good?  Didn’t He blow your mind? Wasn’t it amazing not to follow the flesh but the Spirit?

Comforting Verses for the Saints:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-14

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Why God Sends Us Afflictions

***I’ve been busy writing something pretty special, so just to keep my blog updated with content I’m going to share some of my personal journal entries. I hope you enjoy.***

Lately, I’ve found myself getting frustrated with Scriptures. Yesterday, I posted on social media how the Bible is a treasure. While sitting here today the Holy Spirit. reminded me of that saying. The thing is I know there are innumerable treasures to be found in Scriptures, often I just don’t want to dig. Sigh. I’ve been mostly reading the NT epistles and the book of Psalm. I find there is treasure above ground with this books/sections. Ugh. I can’t be a lazy Bible reader. I was reading the Book of Job, Elihu statements about God. A lot of the gospel in that. A lot of God’s redeeming power toward the Saints.

He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity Job 36:16

God uses what we would rather not experience, to save us. I can’t help but think about the affliction God so sovereignly planned for me. Eczema. I couldn’t explain away these splotches, or no cream could save me. I used to be so itchy I couldn’t sleep at night. I remember I had joined a Reddit board of eczema-sufferers and poured through a lot of posts. I was seeking a remedy. Well, one day a young lady posted she’d been meditating on healing Bible verses. And, while I wasn’t interested in the Bible, out of desperation I was like ‘sign me up.’ Then, I found how people believed unrepressed anger could manifest itself in various diseases, including eczema. And, I was ANGRY. I was angry at God for allowing my Mom to die. I had stuff pent up on the inside of me that happened when I was in Elementary school. I always thought it’s better to keep it inside than to be confrontational about anything. I thought I was BETTER than those who ranted and raved. I thought anger was ugly and I wanted to avoid it COMPLETELY.

Most of those people recommended therapy and all sorts of new age things. I’m not saying therapy isn’t helpful, it is. But, as a Christian, I now know that He is the remedy. He remedied my skin that felt like it was on fire. He remedied repressed anger, that I didn’t have enough time, money or skills to deal with or compartmentalize. My spirit was like a stuffed closet, full of mostly anger. All the advice I saw online was for me to attempt to pull stuff out, and put it in neater. Only God could have rid me of repressed anger.

So, I know God will use the most difficult times in our lives to open our eyes, draw us near and to save us. No one likes suffering, but it’s the best remedy. We need to be saved from the pit, we need to draw near to God and we need for God to open our eyes. And, I hope not to speak as if suffering is behind me. We will leave it behind us for good when we enter heaven’s gates.

Porn

 

The subject of #PORN came up at work today. And, I wasn’t exactly proud of how the conversation went. And, I take all of the blame. ABOVE is what I should’ve said. ABOVE is what God had to teach and show me about porn. ABOVE is how God had to reveal to me that my value isn’t based on ‘know-how’, my gender, or if someone is attracted enough to me, to do the things I watched in uncounted videos.
✨God’s word says who I am, nowadays. I am made in His Image(Gen 1:27), God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14). God says the sole fact of me bearing His very image, and the blood that ran down on Calvary IS my value. Those two reasons, and those alone.✨

Don’t be mislead, PORN isn’t sexy, it’s DISGUSTING. Watching actors on film isn’t the true representation of the beauty that is the marital bed.
I’ve too been misled by pornography. I’ve too felt that dirty feeling after watching it. Turn from it brother and sister, allow God to tell you your worth. Let His word build your confidence back up. Pick up a Bible, or download an app- and see what God says about you. He loves you, and He’s more than gracious to forgive you. And, remove your sins as far as the east is from the west(Ps 103:12). Confess and repent, God’s grace covers your sins. Pray that God will remove the taste of pornography from your mouth. Pray that God will make you see pornography as it truly is: EVIL, DECEITFUL, UNGODLY and UGLY. You are not of the world, but you are the Almighty’s loved child.

P.S. Do you see how God will use every tear, fear, shame- nothing is wasted. The thing I repented for, and felt quite shameful of (my former involvement with porn and the conversation from today) and use it for my good, and the edification of the body. He’s awesome!

I love you, but God loves you more!!