Unfocused or Focused & Steadfast

Psalm 108 1:4 “My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. 2 Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

As we walk down these last few days before celebrating our Lord’s birth, where do you find your heart? Is it wondering constantly from isle to isle with only this earth and the things you must get done weighing it down?
Do you find yourself looking for reasons not to read his word, not to go to church? I mean you have things to do right?

We are a fickle lot, we can so easily get distracted by the things of this world, weighted with to do list, problems, selfishness even. Yes, it is the most giving time of the year, and yes we celebrate or should celebrate the greatest gift of all, Jesus; but do we?

Our hearts should be steadfast, in season and out of season. We should have our hearts so full of Jesus throughout the year that we have no misstep during the season celebrating his birth. We need to be grounded in the word, so when life comes at us full force we are immovable. When the business of the season or of just living life pushes in on us, we seek out the Lord, we take time to crawl in his lap and just be.

We need fellowship on a regular basis with the Lord and with other believers. This is what keeps us steadfast, moving forward, walking each day with a full heart and a clear mind. The devil does not have to use horrible tactics to steal our minds and hearts away from the Lord, he just uses every day seemingly innocent things to keep us bogged down and unsettled. He knows he cannot steal our salvation, we are marked with an eternal seal for the Lord and heaven bound, but if he can keep us from digging deeper and make our hearts wander to and fro, he will do it and consider it a great win.

We need to set Jesus always before our day, we need to exalt his name and praise him before anything else happens in our day. When we purpose to put him first all else will fall into place. Our minds will be more settled our hearts more focused. He loves us, that baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger was the King of Glory our salvation with tiny hands and feet. His loved moved him from heavens halls to an earthly stall. He is faithful and good. He has marked out each of our paths through this dry and weary land in which we find ourselves passing through. Every good or bad thing directed by his loving heart.

This Jesus born in a stable has seen us safely into this world and will one day see us safely out of this world into the paradise he has for us. Take the time to give him a little of your time. Get your heart and mind fixed and focused on the true reason we celebrate this holiday. Be the steadfast people he has called us to be shining your light into a dark world so others may see and wonder at what it is that sets you apart, makes you look different.

Sing and make merry as you go through this time of year, hearts lifted high in praise to the one who has redeemed you. I promise when you do you will float through this season on a different level. You will feel the power of the Holy Spirit in even the mundane of life. Others will see the light that is in you, and maybe just that will be enough to brighten their day!

Blessings to you as you celebrate our Lord and as your heart becomes steadfast immovable when the everydayness of life tries to sweep you away : )

From The Cradle…

Jesus, born of a virgin surrounded by animals in a stinky stall, laid in a manger. I am sure Mary was like most mothers with tears streaming down her face all the while smiling from ear to ear. I wonder if she inspected his hands and feet; yes, ten tiny fingers and toes, thank God. I am sure at that moment she was not thinking of anything but the moment. Enjoying the newness of it all. She probably wished her parents could be with her to see their new grandson.

It may have been later after she had nursed him and he had fallen asleep that she remembered the words of the angel and she pondered all of it. I wonder if a chill ran down her spine at what may lay ahead? Maybe she and Joseph discussed it, we may never know, but that night was special not only because Jesus made her a mother, but “The King of Kings,” came into this world, wrapped in human flesh all fresh and new, and one day he would make her new.

I find myself thinking about this tiny babe. As he grew did he know all along that he would one day hang on a cross bearing the sin and shame that did not belong to him. That he would be beaten, have his beard plucked out, and a crown of thorns on his head. See, he knew from the beginning of time that he was going to come into this world, how he would come and exactly what it would take to save mankind. But, did he know as he lay in the manger? As he grew and went to school with his friends, laughed and played, did he think about it?

Jesus was fully God and fully man. He experienced heartache, disappointment, and grief. He laughed and played, walked and talked with friends and family, ate and drank just like we do. Scripture tells us that he knows what we feel because he too has felt it. We see in John 11:35 these words, “Jesus wept.” He felt the grief of losing someone he cared about and the pain of his friends at their sadness and loss. We also read in John 2:15-16 that Jesus was angry and frustrated although without any sin. “He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables…”Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

We see in John 4:6 that he was weary and tired. “Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well.” He also suffered rejection, John 6:66 “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” He also felt sorrow, we read in Matthew 26:38 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” So, clearly, as a man, he felt the things we feel. Therefore, he understands us, he sympathizes with us. But, the difference in us and Jesus is he experienced all those feelings, yet did not sin.

I wonder as he felt these emotions if the thought crossed his mind that mankind simply was not worth the price he was going to pay; or maybe that he did not want to die so young and miss seeing his brothers and sisters grow and have families and grandchildren and all the living he was going to miss out on? As our King lay in the manger unable to feed or clothe himself was the joy inside so much that he almost spilled the beans and told them everything, I mean he was God so he could have. Am I the only one who thinks these things?

Jesus knew when he came through time and space and was born in a barn and laid in a manger that he would grow to thirty-three years old and then he would be crucified for our sin, yet, he still came. He left the glory of heaven and his Father to walk in our shoes, experience life as we do and then lay down his life for us. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? This unmerited favor, this grace, and mercy that moved a King to come. This LOVE like no other. HIS LOVE moved him from the cradle to the cross, every heartbeat he experienced on this earth had your name written all over it. Love, Love…Love, Love…and he is still loving and forgiving us today. Showing us how to live and be. His example is one we are to follow, however, we, being sinners from birth fail daily, but his grace is sufficient for it all.

Maybe one day in heaven Jesus will sit us down and tell us all about it. He will share what was or was not on his mind, the why’s and how’s of it all. But until then we are left to marvel at this grace so amazing, this love so unselfish and complete, this King who thought we were worth dying for and this eternal life that is ours when we believe and we receive the free gift of salvation. When our name is called and we suddenly in just moments become his children, it is then that the shadow of the cradle becomes the shadow of a cross that becomes the shadow of a heart, full of love, poured out for us.

Merry Christmas to you! I pray this Christmas is filled with all the beauty that is found only in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that as you look at pictures of a baby in a manger, you see the shadow of the cross and the love that brought the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to this earth to die for your sins. This truly is the greatest story ever told…and we get to live it forever!!! Unmerited favor and grace, mercy without end, forgiveness that goes on and on and on…Wow!

Where or To Whom Do You Run?

All of us has moments when we feel overwhelmed by life. It could be a problem in a relationship, finances, an illness, a friendship that has ended and a multitude of other things. We are fragile fickle people and we struggle with the day to day, but when you struggle where or to whom do you run? Some people go immediately to a spouse, others to a friend still others away to be alone. But there is a place we can go, a someone we can trust to meet us at our need and that is The Lord. We can go sit at his feet and allow him to minister to us.

We are told in Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe.” Think about it, a strong tower, always there to shelter us when we need it.” It is a place of safety and peace. We can tell the Lord all about our trials and burdens those things that are causing us to feel overwhelmed and when we do his sweet Holy Spirit ministers to us, guides us through the deep waters of our emotions or anxieties. You may think “well I don’t want to go to the Lord about this thing, it seems ridiculous,” well, the Lord already knows what is going on in our hearts and mind better than we do, so run to him and just see what he will do.

In Isaiah we read “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” He is ours and we are his. He loves to hear from his children. Like any good parent, he wants us to come to him when we feel overwhelmed and afraid. He longs to be gracious and kind to us, to walk us through our emotions, to show us a new way, or a new person or place he has for us. He wants to ease our anxious thoughts and to heal us.

We also read in Psalm 9:9-10 “The lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” This verse tells us what we should already know, we are going to feel the struggle of this life. There will be times when we feel oppressed and overwhelmed and it will be no surprise to our Lord; he says to us, “come.” When we do we will discover a new depth of our relationship that we did not have before. We will see that these words written in Exodus and Deuteronomy are so true. Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Aren’t those awesome promises! God is not waiting to zap you when you come to him with a problem or hurt, he is waiting to show you more of himself, to guide you through at the pace you can follow. He is a strong tower, he is ever present with us, he will not fail or forsake us. These are the promises that should motivate our movement in the direction of Jesus when life is too much.

I hope that if you have not made running to Jesus apart of your daily walk then you need to. I encourage you to go to him and see just how good and faithful he is. There is nothing too trivial for the Lord. He delights in hearing from his children and in helping them along life’s way. I will leave you with this verse.

Psalm 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and rescues them from all their troubles.” How great is this, the God of all listens for my cry and rescues me in my distress…priceless and precious to the believer isn’t it?

A Little Thing Called Abounding

What does it mean to abound?” The Webster dictionary says it this way: “To have or possess in great quantity; to be copiously supplied; followed by with or in; as to abound with provisions; to abound in good things.”
This certainly applies to our walk with Christ. He gives us plenty, sometimes so much that we cannot contain it; and I am not talking about the getting of physical things. Yes, he supplies all we have need of when we have need of it. We do not usually get beforehand. He even supplies many of our wants, giving to his children in large and small ways.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58 we read, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” What does it mean to abound in the work of the Lord? It means to continue in it, be more in practice of it; whether in a particular ministry God has called you to or other good works which he tells us we are to do. When we continue on in whatever area of service/work and we give it all we have for him then we will find ourselves being fruitful and blessed in what we are doing. We are not told to do good works as a mean of keeping ourselves saved, Christ does that! No, we are told to build the body of Christ up in whatever way he has called us to do it, and because of our overwhelming love of God it compels us to minister, to teach, to help, to love and so on, and all of these should increase as we mature in the Lord and walk with him.

We are told in Philippians 1:9 “And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernment.”
When we are born again we are filled with the Spirit of God and because we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are filled with his love, because God is love, it is a fruit of the Spirit. And as we grow in Christ we should begin to walk in love, exercising it at all times. We are to allow that love to blossom and bloom in us and pour out to all who are near to us. Grace had been implemented in them at the time of their saving and it should be reflected not only in the principle of our hearts but in our words and our actions.

We have the bubbly well of living water flowing through us and because of this, every aspect of our lives should have evidence of this living water that flows from Calvary’s cross all the way to our hearts, spilling out in all ways, increasing more and more as we walk in Christ. We can never be extreme in the love that flows from God’s heart to ours, mans love can be extreme and sometimes compel even bad behavior, but the love lavished on us, the love that fills our hearts and is from God cannot ever be too much. As the Spirit fills us he will also guide us in every aspect of our lives and our love, showing us and helping us to do all things in ways that please the God.

In Romans 15:13 it says: “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Hope if from the Lord, the giver of grace, the giver of hope. Jesus is our hope, we look forward with anticipation to seeing him face to face. We hope and rest in the promises He made to us. As we journey through this life with all its ups and downs, hurts and heartaches, we march on in the hope of better and we look back in time and are strengthened by all that the Lord has brought us through in the past. The times when we were pretty sure we would not, could not make it through, but God worked it out and we find our hope increased because of it.

Hope is where we Christian’s reside. Confident that the God who called us will keep us even all the way through deaths doors and into the remainder of our eternal life with Christ Jesus. Hope sits with us as we wait in hospital rooms with sick loved ones. Hope stands with us next to the grave of a loved one. Hope calls to us as we get downtrodden over the earth’s difficulties and hurts; every time we hear a news story of another senseless act of violence Hope whispers to us, encourages us to keep marching on in the name of Jesus and reminds us to look at all that God has already done, all those times he showed up right on time. We can take a long look back at the prophet and people of times past and read one account after another of all that God did for those then and what he still does for us today.

Yes, it is possible to abound in hope, it can increase as we start counting our blessings. There is an old hymn that says: “Count your blessings name the one by one, count your blessings see what God has done.” Oh, friend, he is the same God today as he was way back then. He still operates in the same salvation, the same compassion, the same love and hope, the same justice, grace, and mercy. He never changes! Just knowing that God is and will always be, that he loves you and has called you his own is a good place for hope to bloom and abound, don’t you think?

I want to abound more in those things God has called me to do, no matter how small the task or how hard the day. I want my heart and mind so focused on the Lord that I see the world through him and not him through this world. Everything we do should be “unto the Lord.” With that as our hearts prayer, our work and our hope cannot help but abound!

Blessings to you as you continue on in the work he has called you to, as you grow in grace and walk in the hope that we have in Jesus. As you put one spiritual foot in front of the other, the Holy Spirit is there leading, teaching, growing and helping, you can be confident that anything you do for the Lord is never ever wasted in your own life or in the Kingdom of God.

Shout Joyfully

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our Salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.” Psalm 95:1-2

What are you thankful for this holiday season? There are the usuals for most which are family, friends, and health, but is there more to be thankful for? I think so! If you are a child of God, all of your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future, your future home is in heaven with Jesus then that is something to shout joyfully about!

So often Christian’s forget to be truly thankful for our unmerited favor. The God of the universe, maker of heaven and earth came down from his throne on high and came through time and space to await his entrance into this world in the womb of a young girl. He suffered with her through the birth pains and came into the world small with hands reaching out needing to be comforted. I wonder sometimes was it a quick journey through time or did he take his time, stopping along the way to encourage the prophets of old, even speaking with some. I do not know, I like to think about it though. Maybe he just thought it and it was done. We may never know that part of the story, what we do know is he was born of a virgin and came into this world as a baby, the only sinless person to ever live and walk this earth.

Before my name was on my mother’s lips before I was a thought anywhere I was already in the mind and heart of God and he decided I was worth saving. It absolutely humbles me to no end thinking about it. He decided what my life would look like, who my parents would be, how much pain, joy, happiness etc., that I would need to make my life perfect, my steps leading me to him. He ordered my steps.

I am so very thankful for each moment that he has filled my lungs with air, for every sunrise and sunset I have seen. I am thankful for times of tears that make times of joy so much sweeter. I am thankful for a God who looks into my heart and love and forgives me anyway. I am thankful for his goodness and mercy that follow me each and every moment of my life. I am so very thankful that he died so that I might live.

My life has been orchestrated by the One who sees into time and space, who looks into the soul of man and sees the wickedness therein, the one who hung the stars and calls each by name. My heart cannot contain all of it, my mind is blown by the love and mercy of Christ. He did not have to do it, he could have wiped the earth clean of people when the flood came, but he didn’t, his love compelled him to allow us to walk this earth, his love decided to die for us, it is all about him.

I pray that I never forget the goodness of God. I pray that I represent him well while I walk this earth. I pray that his light shines forth from my eyes and others see him in me. I may favor my earthly parents, but I want to look like my heavenly Father.

I pray as you love on family and friends, sit around the table and laugh, that you remember to be thankful for Jesus and his unmerited favor; I pray you will take a moment or more and shout joyfully to the God of our Salvation for all he has done! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

Happy Thanksgiving friends and may God richly bless each of you!

Make Me New

If you are like me you have days where you do not like yourself so much. Days when you feel you have a handle on stuff and days where you think oh my goodness, what is wrong with me? Everything you do seems to go somehow a little or a lot wrong. Simple things like trying on clothing make you want to carry a hammer in your purse so you can break the mirrors and fluorescent lights, anyone else ever feel that way?

The Lord is always using the circumstances in our lives to move us closer to him, in thought and deed. His desire is that our focus goes from looking at us and picking our failures and faults out to looking into his face and believing the things he says about us is true. Things like we are fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14 and hearing that we are made in the image of our heavenly Father Genesis 1:27.

He also tells us that we are His, He called our name and we have been forgiven of every sin we have ever committed or thought and every sin we will ever commit, as far as the east is from ther west we are forgiven. Psalm 103:12 Think about that, no matter how vile it was as soon as you said yes to Jesus and surrendered your heart and life to him it was gone!

We will live forever, all eternity with the one who gave his life for us John 3:16. Everything we need is found in him, all we have to do is ask Psalm 16:5. He gives us hope Psalm 27:13-14. He strengthens us and upholds us when we are in need Isaiah 41:10. He is working all things out for our good Romans 8:28 and He gives us the victory through our difficulties and there is nothing that can separate us from him or his love Romans 8:37-39

We also read that his thoughts of us outnumber the grains of sand Psalm 139:17. He hems me in, protecting me and holding me close Psalm 139:5-6.
It as though we are surrounded all the time by God’s big arms. He gives us our daily bread, we have enough no matter the season of life. Matthew 6:11.
He is abounding in love to all who call. Psalm 86:5. He has compassion on me, he understands how I am made. Psalm 145:9, Psalm 103:14 and He is rich in mercy Ephesians 2:4.

When I take the focus off of me and stop seeing myself through the lens of this fallen world and I start meditating on how good God is, how great his love and forgiveness is, how awesome his creation truly is (including me) and how amazing it is that the one who spoke the world into existence wanted to share eternity with me, I am humbled, overwhelmed and incredibly grateful for every moment of every day that brings me one day closer to eternity and shows me how loved I am by God. Warts and all, I am His and He is mine, it does not get any better than that! Every second of every day I am being made new. Being stretched and molded by the Master’s hands. Maybe instead of fighting against it I should lean in and breathe in His scent.

The Cause, The Cure

The other night out of nowhere I found myself reliving a time when my dad was abusing me. In my mind, I saw all of it happening. There were no tears attached to it, instead, as I watched the scene play out in my mind I found myself wondering what my dad was thinking as he undressed me, washed me and abused me. (no more details needed) Was there any hesitation, or was he totally devoid of feelings only acting on the lust in his heart? I do not know and honestly, I do not think he would either if he were here to ask.

I wanted to get into his head and find out where the disconnect was, the place that was supposed to love and protect me from any harm and danger.
I did not feel sorry for myself, I cannot really, because I already know the outcome for each of us. I know I am saved, the daughter of the King of Kings and completely fine and at peace with my life with all of its ups and downs hurts, sorrows and losses. Instead, I wanted in his head, I wanted to see in his mind what motivated him. Funny, today our pastor pretty much answered it for me. Yes, sin was at work in him, ruling his desires, but also selfishness was at work because sin makes us selfish. We are like toddlers, we want what we want when and how we want it, no matter what it costs. He had some internal demon/need that drove him to do the unthinkable. I feel in my heart that to him he did not see his actions as damaging, but somehow in his own twisted way showing me selfish love.

I felt sorry for him as I watched him take away my innocence. I felt compelled to tell him that Jesus died for him, that whatever was making him behave this way could be somehow redeemed by the blood of Jesus, I also wanted to tell him that one day God would call his name and he would surrender his life to Christ and be made new. However, after the newness came he would wrestle inside his heart and mind with the whys of his behavior and ultimately be unable to completely forgive himself.

Now, I would like to tell him, it was selfishness that motivated your behavior. Your sin nature wanted what it wanted the way it wanted when it wanted it with no thought to the person who was receiving it. Sinful selfishness, aren’t we all guilty in some way or another. Yes, of course, we are! We all have a sin nature that wants the desires of the flesh satisfied; whether it is buying something, eating something, hurting someone to get what we want, sin does not count the cost, and the cost is high. Sin will take you further than you ever thought you would go, keep you longer than you thought you would stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay, can I get an amen!

I will never know if my dad ever had moments where he wrestled with the should I/shouldn’t I do this evil thing. I will never know if he cried over what he was doing. I would like to think he did, but it could be that he was totally devoid of emotion during that time in our lives. There was more he was doing than abusing me, he liked to beat my brothers and I with whatever was handy, he had affair, he got a friend of my mother’s pregnant and ultimately ended the babies life by abortion. Ours was an emotional rollercoaster of one bad event to the next growing up. I like to tell people I had a colorful upbringing, my own little chunk of hell here on earth, LOL.

I know that three years before my dad died he was truly born-again, made new by the washing of the blood. I know that after the new man was born, he struggled with the old man and could not understand what had made him do and be the way he was. I feel my dad died with a broken heart, unable to mend all the broken fences in his life. It hurts me for him, it really does. How hard it is to carry the weight of our failures. When we do not surrender them to Christ and allow him to be our burden bearer, we cannot lose our salvation, but we can be heavy laden Christian’s unable to fully find the joy and peace Christ offers. I think when my dad finally left this earth to begin his eternity with Christ it was a blessed release from the guilt he carried, the scars of his own making that he wore on his heart.

We are all sinners. The only thing that separates us is that some of us have been called by the one who can redeem us, cleanse us and give us a new heart and mind and some have not heard that call just yet and may never. Some will continue to reject Christ all the way to hell.

Maybe you find yourself struggling with a sin that you just cannot shake, or you find yourself the victim of someone else’s sin, just remember this, God can save, God can heal, God can turn a wrong into a right. God is the answer to any and all questions and the healer of all things sinful. Yes, you are made new, but the old man inside that has that sin nature will ever so often show his/her face, remember you are not the only one who wrestles and victory is found in Jesus Christ. Time in his word and praying. His sweet Holy Spirit gives us all the power we need to say NO to sin. Read all of Romans 7, but here is a snippet to help you on your way.

Romans 7:21-25 “I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

We all struggle in some way with sin. Sin is sin to Christ, we want to grade it to make ourselves feel better, but God does not see it that way. Anything that goes against his holiness, his word, is sin. God makes a way for us to be free from the bondage of sin, we do not have to obey the lusts of the flesh. Fill your mind with the word of God, surrender daily to his leading and prompting. Pray always about all things, the sweet Holy Spirit is inside of us empowering us to live victoriously in this life. Yes, we may occasionally stumble and fall, but sin will not be a way of life for the believer.

Colossians 3:5 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”

2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

Jesus is praying for us, the Spirit is at work in us, we are victorious!

Romans 8:31,35, 37-39 “What then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us”
35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
37 “No, in all these things, ‘we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, 39 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 our Lord.”

We all fall, but because he lives, we will live also…if you are his, you will remain his. He will convict you of your sin, but he will not pile on the condemnation. We are good at that on our own. We will never completely win the war on our sin nature, but with his help, we can go from one victory to another and our failure will begin to be less and less as we mature and rest in him. He sees our hearts, knows how wicked they are and still died for us, Oh, what manner of love is this?

He Gets Us

He gets us, who you ask, Jesus. He knows all those crazy thoughts that run through our heads a thousand times a day. He knows our intentions, our anxiety, our needs, our longings, our desires, our hurts, our confusion, our hopes, our dreams, our sin and so much more. He gets us!

He who formed us knows all the reasons we do or do not do something. He who formed us is pleased by his creation. Genesis 1:31 “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Wait, he said everything was very good, that means you and I. Wow, God not only loves me, but He likes me as well. I am made in His image, when someone looks at me they see some of my Heavenly Father in me. Sometimes, I struggle with seeing it, sometimes I struggle to let him be seen, do you feel the same way? Do you feel that somehow you were the one thing He created and he said “oops” because he made a mistake? Oh, trust me I have been there, probably camped out on that thought waaaayyy to lllooonnngg!

No, I am not perfect, on my own I am a sinner, unrighteous, unworthy, unable to get myself to Heaven, but in Christ I am able, I wear His perfection and righteousness, I am more than a conqueror, I am new, I am given all I need on a moment by moment basis. Roman’s 8:31-32 “What, then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? We have all we need inside of us to be successful at those things God has called us to.

Our success may not be measured out to meet the requirements placed on us by society, we may seem like a failure in societies eyes, but it is how Christ sees us that matters. Can God be disappointed in us…no I do not think He ever is, He formed us, He wired our minds and bodies together and He has such a deep beyond our minds ability to know us and to understand who we are, what we need and everything in between.

We might say, what if I don’t pray enough, read my Bible enough. Surely, when I do those things God is disappointed. No, we are disappointed in ourselves, we think we have to meet some sort of quota on prayer and what we forget is that Jesus is first interceding for us in all things. He hears even our sighs and low whispers and groans that we cannot form into words and offers them to the Father, explaining our deepest unspoken secrets that we could not form words around if we tried. We condemn ourselves and we get disappointed in our actions or lack there of. However, Jesus continues in his intercession, the Holy Spirit continues in his teaching and molding and shaping and growing and the Father looks upon us and sees us through the blood of the lamb and all agree that we are good, not because we are good, but because he is good. Romans 8:34 “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

Even Paul struggled with himself and why he did or did not do what he thought he should, but he kept on going, learning, growing and yielding to the Holy Spirit and all the while he was fully loved, fully accepted by God.
Romans 7:15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Our old selves wage war against us sometimes every second of the day. We know what God’s word says, we desire to do it, yet find ourselves falling short. God knows our sin nature, He understands our inward struggles and He never moves away from us because of it. He is always there, we may move, but God remains the same.

He gets me, He gets you! What a joy and peace knowing this brings. We did not save ourselves, we do not keep ourselves saved and we on our own cannot get to the Father, but through Jesus, we are all these things and more because He is all things good and perfect and we are in him and He in us. I will leave you with this verse…meditate on it, let it sink into the very marrow of your being and remember you are a dearly loved child of God, and although you cannot, you are not, He is, He can and He will.

Romans 7:21-25 “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”