Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, love, redemption

Always Be Prepared

In Our Daily Bread’s devotional reading for today the subject was on how we must demonstrate our faith. We must be ready to give an answer for why we behave differently than the world.

When suffering and hardships come our way, how do we respond? Do we respond with a Christlike attitude? Or do we fall apart?

When people ask us why we are “different” we must be ready to give them an answer and we must do it respectfully and gently.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. Keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:15-18

People must be able to see a difference in how we act when hardships arise in our life. If not, if we fall apart, how will they see Jesus? If they see us act one way in church and then a completely different way when bad things happen, our testimony is ruined.

I love Jesus with all my heart. I strive daily to please Him in all I say and do. I mess up, yes I’m human, but thankfully I have a God who is a God of second and third chances….and fourth and fifth chances, etc.  He is always willing to forgive and loves me and you so much.

Like I’ve said before, He longs to have a relationship with you. Won’t you come to Him?

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Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, Jesus, love, redemption

Philippians 3-Following Paul’s Example

Paul says in Philippians 3:10:

I want to know Christ–yes to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

Many Christians want the first half of this verse. They long to know Christ and his mighty power. But seldom do they think about the second part of the verse–suffering as He did. They don’t want that part.

But to know Christ…..to truly know Christ is to know his suffering. He suffered a bloody death on the cross for US! He was persecuted and shamed and rejected by men. He was mocked, abused and hated by many.

And still……he went through all the torture and abuse for who? Yes, that’s right. FOR US! Because His love is so great for us. His unconditional love for us will never end.

Are we going to suffer the way Christ did? Maybe not. But there are people in the world who ARE tortured and killed for their belief in God.

Paul tells us further in chapter 3 of Philippians to follow his (Paul’s) example:

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Did you read verse 20? Our citizenship is in HEAVEN! We need to focus not on earthly things but on things above. Things of God. We are temporary citizens in this world. One day we will be in heaven, living with Christ forever. And ever.

When we get to heaven, our “lowly bodies” will be like his “glorious body!” Our worn down and falling apart bodies will be brand new! There will be NO pain, NO sickness, NO tears! Praise the Lord!

The Lord is coming back soon, people! We need to be ready? A quote I found sums it up:

Live as though Christ will return TODAY!

How is your relationship with Christ?

Are you walking with Him daily? 

If you don’t know Christ as your Savior, please feel free to contact me so I can share with you the Good News! God loves you!

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, grace, love

Loving the Unlovable

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen

1 John 4:20

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves…….Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Romans 12:9-10, 14

beach coast island landscape
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

We’re going to encounter some people in life who are just hard to love. Maybe they are constantly complaining about life. Maybe they live in a state of anger all the time. Perhaps they just hate life. Perhaps they have hurt you in some way and loving them just seems impossible.

1 John 3:15 tells us that

Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

Jesus calls us to love everyone! Including our enemies! Including those who persecute us! Including those who are unlovable!

I’m going to be honest here. I struggle with loving a particular person in my life. This person has hurt me and has hurt others way too many times to count. Loving this person just seems impossible! They MAKE it impossible! But the longer I continue to harbor ill feeling towards them, the longer I am hurting myself. The longer I continue in my “inability” to love this person, the longer I’m straying away from God.

So this is something I am struggling to work on but if I just give this struggle to God, I can start to love this person. Because with God, ALL things are possible!

1 John 4:8 reminds us “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

God is love!

God loves us!  And can’t we be unlovable from time to time? Yet God loves us despite that! I know that *I* can be unlovable at times. Yet God still loves me. His love is  merciful! It’s faithful! It’s unconditional!

But you, Lord are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Psalm 86:15

With God’s help, we can love those who seem incapable of being loved.

Is there someone in your life who makes it difficult to love them?

Give it to God. God is love. God loves you.

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, Jesus, love, redemption

Until the Whole World Hears

Lord I want to feel your heart
And see the world through your eyes
I want to be your hands and feet
I want to live a life that leads

sky earth galaxy universe
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I love this song by Casting Crowns. It reminds me of the passage in Romans 10.

13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Last night in church, we were reminded that we are all ministers of the Gospel. We are called to serve and to preach the Good News.

I don’t know about you but I am constantly thinking about the Second Coming. I long for the day when I can see Jesus and live with Him for eternity.

But when will this happen? When will the end come? Well according to Matthew 24:14:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come

I take that to mean that only when the last person has heard the Gospel, only when the last person has had the opportunity to make a decision for Christ that Christ will return for His children.

God longs for everyone to turn to Him. So let’s do our part and lead others to Him! Let’s have a heart for God’s people!

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

 

Posted in grace, Jesus, love

Stuck?

Have you ever found yourself stuck? Like, you just don’t know which way to go? Like life is just knocking us over and over?

Does life seem pointless sometimes?

Do you feel unloved at times?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Turn to God. He will show you the right way to go. He will be your guiding light.

Look to Him always. He will never fail you.

He loves you so much. He longs to have a relationship with you.

Romans 5:8 tells us this:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He loves us so much despite our sinful nature. Despite our shortcomings. Despite our failures. God. Loves. Us.

His love is unconditional.

Simply put, he loves us with a love that overcomes our failures.

Simply put, God IS love.

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, forgiveness, grace, love

Hurt People Hurt People!

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Colossians 3:12-14

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

I touched on forgiveness back in December but I decided to come back to this topic as it can be very touchy.

 

Forgiveness can be hard. I know this. I have struggled with this. We all have at one point or another. But we are required to forgive! Just as the Lord forgave us we are required to forgive.

I’m doing a forgiveness reading plan on the YouVersion App as part of my devotions this week and came across this quote:

God freely forgives us and gives us eternal life. But he also expects us to extend that same mercy to others, with strict warnings to us if we don’t. A life of judgement, condemnation and unforgiveness is a prison.

Refusing to forgive someone puts us in prison! A prison full of anger and bitterness! We must be willing to forgive! To let go of the anger and bitterness and move forward.

Yes, I know. Some hurts are hard to move on from. But the longer a person stays unwilling to forgive, the longer it will control us. And the longer it controls us, the longer the anger and bitterness remain, causing us to hurt others.

And as the saying goes, “Hurt people HURT people!” We tend to take the hurt we’ve been dealt and lash out towards others. Sometimes these people haven’t even done anything to us but they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

Holding a grudge toward the person who hurt you just isn’t right. It isn’t what God wants from us. He wants us to “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31:32)

 

Forgive. You’ll feel so free when you do. 🙂