Posted in christian living, redemption

Counterfeit or Real?

I just came across a blog post from Jon Wood at DailyPS entitled “How to Make Counterfeit and Quivering Christians” and it really got me to thinking about my life and my salvation experience.

I grew up in church. I did the whole church thing. I participated in Bible competitions, memorized tons of Scripture and was convinced I was a Christian. I mean, c’mon, I KNEW a lot about God. Or so I thought.

When I was a senior in high school I fell into a deep and severe depression. I went from being an honor student with a 3.7 GPA to barely hanging on enough to graduate. I hated life. I lost a ton of weight. I wanted to die. And on December 27, 2000 I was checked into a psychiatric hospital because I started cutting. I just wanted to end it all.

I got the help I needed and was put on medication. I went back to school and made an attempt to raise my GPA and by the end of the year I had raised it back to 2.9. I was a tenth of a point from a 3.0. I graduated June 13, 2001.

I started attending a local community college and then transferred to a Bible College in Tennessee after a year.

All this time I was still convinced I was a Christian.

Then I came home for spring break. My church had an evangelist come and speak and it was during this sermon that I realized my life had been nothing but a lie. The evangelist’s words spoke to me like none other. He made a statement that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “You can be 99% sure (of your salvation) but you’re still 100% lost.

It was right then and there that I knew I was a counterfeit. I grew up following the rules, I memorized Scripture. I had all the head knowledge but my heart wasn’t right. I gave my life to Christ on March 16, 2003. I became a new creation!

2 Corinthians 5:17: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is GONE; a NEW life has begun!”

Now, of course, life hasn’t been perfect since then. I’ve messed up and I’ve slipped up and I’ve tried to give up. But I found my way back each time. I’m a sinner! I’m going to slip up. I’m going to make mistakes. But God pulls me back in with his love for me. He loves me too much to let me go.

And I love Him too much to let HIM go.

Are you a counterfeit Christian or are you real?

 

 

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

Glorifying God

A life that glorifies God is a life that reveals God

Beth Moore

Does my life glorify God? In all that I say and do, does my life reflect Him? It’s a question I ask myself constantly.

Life can get overwhelming at times, we all know this. And in those difficult times, are we focusing on the Creator rather than the created? Is our focus half-hearted? Or does our light shine before men, oozing out Christ’s love for others?

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

We are called to lead others to Christ. We are called to love these people and show them Christ’s love. After all, Christ died for our sins. He literally took our sin upon Him. Why? Because He loves us so much. He loves us unconditionally and undeservedly.

Does our life glorify God? Or are we just going through the motions, just pretending? Pretending to be on fire for God? Do we act one way around our Christian friends and a completely different way around non believers? How will that bring others to Christ?

Christians are called to walk through the world with the heart of Christ.

Louie Giglio, “Goliath Must Fall”

I struggle with selfishness. I will admit that. But if I’m being honest with myself, being selfish is definitely not Christlike. Unfortunately, while I have selfish tendencies, I also tend to be a people pleaser. Kind of weird, huh?  I struggle with how and what people think about me and strive to please them and because of that I lose my focus on God.  I take my eyes off of Jesus and I start to sink like Peter did when he got out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus. I should live in a way that pleases God and not man.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

 

And whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men

Colossians 3:23

Now, as long as we live on this earth we will never be perfect. We will slip up from time to time. But thankfully we have a God who welcomes us back into His arms. His love is that strong. He IS love!

 

 

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?

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, 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 bible verses, christian living, Faith, fear, forgiveness, grace, love, redemption, rest

When Will It Stop?

There was another school shooting today in Texas. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones.

It’s infuriating!

WHEN WILL ALL OF THIS MADNESS STOP????

Well according to the Bible, it won’t end until Christ comes back. We live in a fallen world and it continues on its downward spiral into more evil each and every day.

While we do not know the day nor the hour in which Christ comes back, He does give some signs to look out for:

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 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.

Matthew 24:3-14

Why does evil even exist? Simply put, because of Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden. The very second Eve took that bite, sin entered the world. The very moment that forbidden fruit touched their lips, it gave birth to a world of sin. Changing the world forever. 

(Call me crazy but I’d like a word with Eve when I get to heaven! She had it made! She just HAD to eat that fruit! Thanks a lot, Eve!)

Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, the lives of future generations became cursed. Women would now face the excruciating pain of childbirth. Men would experience a lifetime of hard labor.

All because curiosity got the best of them. All because they gave in to Satan’s lies and deceitfulness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that as long as we live in this fallen world, tragedies are going to happen. Sin has overtaken this world and will remain until Christ comes back for His children. All we must do is persevere to the end. Remain faithful to Him. Fight the good fight. Finish the race.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I long for His appearing…..don’t you? I’m so ready to see Him, to spend eternity with Him.

 

 

 

 

Posted in christian living, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, redemption, song lyrics

“In my weakness, You are strong!”

All of us have weaknesses. It’s a part of being human. We’re going to slip up. It’s inevitable. Satan has a way of throwing our weaknesses in our face just when we least expect it, just when we think we have everything under control. He’s that sneaky. (What a jerk, am I right?)

But isn’t it great that we serve a God who is STRONG! We serve a God who accepts us for who we are, weaknesses and all. He loves us that much!

Grace wins in the end. Just putting that out there.

I thought I had a particular weakness under control until Satan decided to throw it in my face recently, causing me to stumble, reminding me how weak I truly am. I took my eyes off the Lord for just a second. For ONE second! That’s all it took! And now that weakness is threatening to consume me. That one second caused me to stumble, falling flat on my face.

But I’m reminded of the words by Mandisa in her song “Overcomer:”

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ’til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when he reminds you
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Don’t quit, don’t give in
You’re an overcomer

As long as we live on this earth, we’re going to have to face our weaknesses and all the shame it may bring us. But praise Jesus, one day we will be made new in Him. One day we will be perfect and complete. And Satan will no longer be around to throw our weaknesses in our face, to laugh at us when we stumble and fall flat on our face.

We just have to keep fighting our battles until then. We have to keep our eyes on Christ. He will never cause us to stumble. But when Satan comes back around, and you know He will, if you stumble….just fall into the arms of Jesus. He overcame death on the cross so that we can overcome our weaknesses.

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, redemption, rest, song lyrics

Good Morning!

It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning

Mandisa, “Good Morning”

Good morning y’all! I’ve been up since 5 and normally I’d be grumpy because I’m totally not a morning person but today feels different! It’s going to be a great day!

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m still completely exhausted but after spending time in God’s Word I’ve determined that today will be a good day!

I came across these 2 verses today in Colossians that really spoke to me:

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14

Wow. Powerful stuff right there. We are redeemed! If we know Christ, if we have invited Him into our lives, we are REDEEMED! We have been RESCUED from the darkness we lived in. He took our place and he bore all of our sins on the cross. He was rejected and despised for our sake. That’s how great his love is for all of us.

It makes me think of this verse in John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

That’s what Christ did for us! He laid his life down for us. He proved His love to US, it’s time we show that love to Him and others.

A cross against a pink and purple sky
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I want my life to show God’s love to everyone I meet. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the group for King and Country but there is a song they sing called “The Proof of Your Love” that really speaks to me.

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of your love
Let my love look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love

for King and Country, “The Proof of Your Love”

I am constantly asking myself this question, “Do people see Jesus in me?” When I am out and about, do people see Jesus in the way I act?

Image result for john 15:13

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, love, peace, redemption, song lyrics

Love Broke Thru

But you loved me enough to pursue me.

TobyMac, “Love Broke Thru”

Image result for love broke thruI was a hot mess before I came to know Christ. Aren’t we all?

Before I experienced His love, I hated life. I was depressed, full of darkness.

But the Lord loves me so much that he continued to pursue me despite all the times I tried to flee from Him. But guess what? We CAN’T flee from Him, no matter how hard we try. He’s everywhere!

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Psalm 139:7-8

He is everywhere we go! It does no good trying to run from Him. He loves you too much to let you go.

I was driving down the road this morning when the song “Love Broke Thru” by TobyMac came on. I love this song.  It reminds me of God’s great love and how He broke my chains of darkness when He came into my life. He gave me light to replace the darkness that was engulfing me.  His love broke thru my stubbornness, my hardheadedness and my darkness. His love saved me.

He loves you! His love can save you as well!

TobyMac-Love Broke Thru

When love broke thru
You found me in the darkness
Wanderin’ thru the desert
I was a hopeless fool
Now I’m hopelessly devoted
My chains are broken
And it all began with You
When love broke thru
And it all began with You
When love broke thru