Posted in christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, godliness, grace, Jesus, love, redemption, rest

I Need Thee

Footprints in the sand with the Golden Gate bridge in the background in San Francisco
Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

I need thee oh I need thee 
Every hour I need thee
Oh bless me now my Savior 
I come to thee

 

There’s no question about it. I need Jesus every single day. Every single hour. Every single minute. Without Him, I am nothing. I am destitute. I am lost. I am confused.

But with Him, I’m SAVED! I’m a child of the King! I am FREE!

You can have this freedom too! Jesus didn’t just die for me. He died for you as well! He took the nails for us. He took our shame, our sin and bore it on the cross.

And guess what? One day He’s coming back for His children!

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One bringing
My Savior Jesus is mine

He can be yours too! Just turn to Him, confess your sins to Him and believe in Him.

Image result for glorious day casting crowns lyrics

 

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Posted in book review, books, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, godliness, grace, Jesus, love

The Christian Atheist, Chapter 1

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash

When You Believe in God but Don’t Really Know Him

Groeschel opens up the chapter with a story from his past regarding the time he met a young woman in college. As he got to know her, he grew more attracted to her and did what he could to impress her. Six months after meeting her, he proposed and 19 years later they are still together and happy as can be.

He uses that story to talk to us about how they know each other. However,

…despite how completely we know each other–even after nearly two decades–our intimacy continues to grow. We’re constantly learning how to connect and communicate deeply.

Believing Versus Knowing

Belief isn’t the same as personal knowledge

Groeschel continues by explaining the different levels of intimacy when it comes to knowing God.

“Some of us know God by reputation

  • We know a little bit about God–we’ve gone to church a few times, heard the Bible stories. We may even have a favorite Bible verse.
  • This knowledge is only secondhand, however

“Some of us know God in our memories.” 

  • “We’ve experienced his goodness, grace and love in the past.

“Some of us know God intimately.”

  • Right here, right now. It is THIS kind of loving knowledge that “God promises when we seek Him”

As we continue to seek God, we’ll grow to know him more and more intimately. When we hear God’s voice, we’ll recognize it instantly.

Not Knowing God

Believing God isn’t all He wants from us

In the book of James, it tells us that even the “demons believe in God, and yet they tremble because they know that they’re relationally separated from Him.”

Groeschel tells us there is more to being a Christian than just believing in God. We must experience God’s love. We must know him intimately.

He explains that growing up, he and his family were what you would call “cultural Christians.” They would go to church on Christmas and Easter. They’d help people in need. They donated canned goods to food drives. They’d pray at Thanksgiving meals.

But that was the extent of it. They knew about God. They didn’t know Him. And because Groeschel didn’t know God, he lived according to his own rules. He did what he wanted, not what God wanted. He didn’t have an intimate relationship with God.

In 1 John 2:3-4, it says,

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says “I know him” but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in him.”

Harsh, right? Not according to Groeschel. He prefers to think of it as “straightforward and honest.” It is “truthfully spoken by someone who truly cares and wants what’s best for us.

We are created to be living examples of God’s love to a hurting world.

Knowing God can lead to positive lifestyle, but the reverse isn’t true.

Our outward actions alone don’t prove that we enjoy an inward relationship with God.

Groeschel urges us to make an effort to get to know God.

“God is interested not only in our actions but also in our hearts–in particular our attitude toward him.”

We can look good on the outside, make is seem like we love God but if our hearts aren’t there, if our hearts aren’t in the right place then when life is over, Jesus will say to us “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers.” (Matthew 7:23)

Not Knowing God Well

In this section, Groeschel writes about when Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians. They had experienced the real, living God but had “recently become trapped in legalism.”

In other words they fell back into their old ways. “They knew God but not well enough to avoid getting sucked back into a life based in the law, rather than in love. In Galatians 4:8-9, it says “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning aback to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again.”

“In the 21st century, we would be wise to ask ourselves, ‘Is this us too?'”

Do you “sort of” know God?

Knowing God IntimatelyImage result for know God

Then there are those who “know God intimately and serve Him with their whole hearts.”

The psalmist, David, describes in Psalm 63:1-4 his relationship with God. In fact, he says that his experience of knowing the personal God creates a deeper longing for even more intimate knowledge of God.

David writes in the psalm “O God, you are my God” Did you catch that? David calls God “HIS God.” David continues to write, “Earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you.

What is David saying? He’s saying that there is absolutely nothing in this world that can satisfy him. Only GOD can totally satisfy.

Groeschel poses the question, “Have you ever felt that kind of love for someone? Now imagine that with God. Imagine that kind of love

Verse 3 says, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Better than life? He’s saying ‘If I had the choice–either keep God’s love and see my mortal body die, or lose His love and live–I would choose to die.

Matthew 16:26 says, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”

Or how about Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

What kind of love do you have for God?

Image result for names of GodIt’s All in the Name

What do you call God?

If you know God, you are likely to be far more specific with him and the words you use will reflect your accurate understanding of him.

There are many, many, many names for God.

He’s known as Savior, Healer, Comforter, Fortress, Rock, Strength, Provider, Friend, etc. The list can go on and on.

The Best is Ahead

Groeschel writes that it’s time to “be honest with yourself and with God.

“Do you know Him? If so, how well?

“Has God transformed you? Are you different because of Him? If not, perhaps you’re a Christian Atheist.”

But guess what? God loves you so much and earnestly wants a relationship with you.

If you don’t know Him, you can! “Getting to know God is not difficult and it isn’t about a bunch of rules. Yes, God wants your obedience, but he wants your heart even more.

He says over and over again that if you seek Him, you will find Him.

How do you find God? By reading your Bible. He’s there. Pray. He’s there.

“As you get to know him better, you will change……Instead of living for yourself and for the moment, you’ll live for Christ and for eternity. Your heart will begin to break for the reasons and causes that break God’s heart.

“Get to know God. When you do, you will never be the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, Faith, godliness, rest

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane….

wing-plane-flying-airplane-62623.jpeg….don’t know when I’ll be back again….

JUST kidding! I’ll be back May 8th. I’m leaving tomorrow to head to California to see my dad for a week.

I may or may not have time to really check in with you all so I just wanted to let you know!

Verse of the Day: Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Trying to figure out what God’s will for our lives can be difficult sometimes. But the more we draw close to Him, the more we lean on Him and turn to Him for answers, He WILL make His will clear. We just need to “be still.”

Being still can be hard but in the end it’s worth it!

Posted in christian living, christianity, Faith, godliness, Jesus, Jesus Freak, song lyrics

Need You Now

Related imageI watched “I’m Not Ashamed” yesterday for like the 4th or 5th time. And as always, I bawled like a baby at the end.
I don’t know why I’m so drawn to Rachel Scott’s story but it really intrigues me.
In the movie there is a song called  “Need You Now (How Many Times)” by Plumb.  It’s a great song.  I urge you to listen to it when you can. And if you get a chance, watch “I’m Not Ashamed” It’s a great testimony to who Rachel was and what she stood for.
It will be 19 years on April 20th that Rachel went to be with her Lord and Savior. Her story continues to inspire many, myself included. Her love for Christ was evident. Here is an excerpt from her journals that were published not long after her death. She wanted to be different from her peers. A God fearing Christian. Not a “worldly Christian”Image result for rachel scott journals
Reading this posts the question: What kind of Christian do I want to be?
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
How many times have you heard me cry out
God please take this?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Though I walk,
Though I walk through the shadows
And I, I am so afraid
Please stay, please stay right beside me
With every single step I take
How many times have you heard me cry out?
And how many times have you given me strength?
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
I need you now
I need you now
Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, giving, godliness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, song lyrics

Fix My Eyes

Image result for fix my eyes on jesusHave you ever just stopped and listened to this song? I hear it all the time but never truly paid attention to it until today. The message is a powerful one. We need to fix our eyes on our Creator who gave us life and longs for a relationship with us.
He loves us that much! So much that He sent His only Son to die for us. To die so that we might have life! That’s LOVE, y’all!
I especially love the line, “Find faith in the battle, Stand tall but above it all, Fix my eyes on You.”
Life is going to hand us trials and tribulations. We’re going to meet hardships throughout our life. But through it all, we must fix our eyes on Jesus! He knows what’s best for us and He is the only One who can get you through life’s trials. You may think you can handle it all on your own but you can’t. Only Jesus can and will carry you through life’s storms if you will just surrender to Him!
We can be confident that if Jesus did not leave us in HIS darkest hour, He won’t leave us in OUR darkest hours.
J. D Greear, Not God Enough
So when condemnation whispers “You are finished”, we need only look to the cross to hear Jesus’s triumphant answer: “No! IT is finished!”
J.D Greear, Not God Enough
(Y’all, I really recommend this book by J.D Greear. It’s AWESOME!)
For King and CountryFix My Eyes
Hit rewind
Click delete
Stand face to face with the younger me
All of the mistakes
All of the heartbreak
Here’s what I’d do differently
I’d love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you, on you
I learned the lines and talked the talk (Everybody knows that, everybody knows that)
But the road less traveled is hard to walk (Everybody knows that, everybody knows)
It takes a soldier
Who knows his orders
To walk the walk I’m supposed to walk
And love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you, on you
The things of Earth are dimming
In the light of Your glory and grace
I’ll set my sights upon Heaven
I’m fixing my eyes on you, on you
I’m fixing my eyes on you, on you
I’m fixing my eyes
Love like I’m not scared
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak out for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall but above it all
Fix my eyes on you, on you
I fix my eyes on you, on you
I fix my eyes on you, on you
Image result for fix my eyes on jesus
Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, godliness, grace, Jesus, love

Stop Remembering What God Has Forgotten

Amen!Do you have a tendency to remember your past sins that the Lord has already forgiven? Do you tend to harp on them?

I know I do. Sometimes I will harp on them, wondering how in the world God could forgive me. But here’s the thing: HE HAS!

If you have asked God to forgive you of your sins…..He has and He forgets them!

Psalm 103:12 says,

As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgression from us.

And look at Isaiah 43:25!

I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and remembers your sins no more.

Why harp on something that has already been forgotten?

I tend to harp on my past sins, thinking to myself “how could God forgive that?” I’m slowly learning to stop doing this. I’m slowly learning that when God has forgiven me of a sin, I am to do what he does: put it in the past and forget about it.

Is it hard? Well, yes, of course. It’s in our human nature to dwell on things. At least it is for me! person-clinic-cross-religion-54333.jpeg

But once God has forgiven our sins, we are FREE! Free from the bondage of sin. There is NO condemnation!

Romans 8:1-2 says:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE from the law of sin and death.

What can separate us from Christ once we become a believer?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?……….No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:35, 37-39

Simply put, God loves you. And He longs to have a relationship with you. But until you confess your sins and become a believer, that sin you are harboring is separating you from Him.

Won’t you come to Him today?

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, godliness, quotes, rest

Daily Exercise

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. 

James 4:7-8a

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Are you walking with the Lord daily? Are you getting your exercise in?