January 21, 2018

With Every Act Of Love

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

 Jason Gray

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Christmas is all so much about giving.  Even the stingiest folks that we know…you know, the ones with the ‘bah! humbug!’ attitude…understand the giving of the season.  Little children understand about giving; big kids, too.  So much of our conversation at this time of the year centers around the subject of giving.

Now…back to my first sentence.  What I first wrote is true. ‘Christmas IS all about giving.’  THAT is the absolute, total, complete, whole TRUTH!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16

But, wait…let’s look at those words again.  God ‘so loved the world…’ His love was the motivation.  And what He gave (His only begotten Son, Jesus), well that’s love, too.  Almighty God has set the standard for giving—LOVE.  Giving should be all about love.

  • Just like God, love should be the motivation for our giving
  • Just like God, love should be what we give

And we, as His children, have been enabled and equipped to be ABLE to love.

…for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:5

So, in the midst of the sewing, and the wrapping, and the baking, and the shopping, and all the other activities, here’s a challenge I would like to set before each of us: let’s purpose to give LOVE!  I can only begin to imagine the myriad of opportunities that we will have to give love if we look to do so!  Start small, perhaps…give love by smiling at those you meet.  Whether wandering through the aisles or in line at the grocery store…look into the eyes of those you pass and smile.  (Oh!  And pray for them!)   Or go a little bigger…there are so very many needs in this world!  Go to a battered women’s shelter and sit and talk.  Visit an assisted living community and sing Christmas carols.  If we ask God to lead us and give us opportunity to show His love…I KNOW He will!

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7-11

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Oh dear Father, You have shown such a perfect standard for giving.  And we thank You for that!  And You have enabled us to show Your love by pouring Your love into our hearts.  Help us, Father, especially during this Christmas season, to reach out with that love.  Help us to go beyond our comfort level, and be love to those who need love.  May You be pleased by our obedience and our actions.  And may the love we show draw others to You.  Thank You for Your love, gracious Father!  We love You so!  In Jesus’ precious name, we pray.  Amen.

Glow In The Dark

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Sometimes the world feels like a mess
Full of drama, full of stress
And life puts a fist right in your ribs
You can hide if you choose to
And no one would even blame you
Or you can let ’em see how you deal with it

That even in the darkest place
His love can make you radiate

Doesn’t matter how deep, how dark the night is
Keep hoping, keep on shining
And they’ll see His light burning in your heart
And if the road gets rough, just keep your head up
Let the world see what you’re made of
That His love’s alive in your deepest parts
Like a flame, like a burning star
You can shine right where you are

He made you to glow in the dark

Don’t be ashamed of your past
If you’re shattered like a piece of glass
The more broke you are the more the light gets through
Show your wounds and your flaws
Show them why you still need the Cross
Let them see the work He’s doing in you

That even in the darkest place
His love can make you radiate

Jason Gray, singer/songwriter

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

And you, beloved, are the light of the world.  You are like that illuminating light. Let your light shine everywhere you go, that you may illuminate creation, so men and women everywhere may see your good actions, may see creation at its fullest, may see your devotion to Me, and may turn and praise your Father in heaven because of it.

Matthew: 5:14-16 The Voice

For a long time I thought, as a Christian, I needed to hide my struggles, my flaws. Then I realized broken is still beautiful to God.

If you’re shattered like a piece of glass
The more broke you are the more the light gets through
Show your wounds and your flaws
Show them why you still need the Cross
Let them see the work He’s doing in you

This is my favorite part of the song and, I think, the soul of this song. Others need to see our brokenness and how we respond in times of desperation and despair.  Christians are not perfect.  We are imperfect people loved by a perfect God.  We need to let our imperfections, our cracks, and scars show…because His light shines through them. Our imperfections reveal God’s grace to the world. Our weaknesses reveal His strength. It is more about being who we are than what we do. In John 12:46 NLT Jesus says:

I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world,
so that all who put their trust in Me
will no longer remain in the dark.

Jesus’ Light shines through us. As this song says

That even in the darkest place
His love can make you radiate

It is the brightest in our darkest situations.  In Matthew 5:16 we are called to let our light shine.  Not only in the good times but in our dark times also.  Then we can illuminate others in the darkness as well. This is such a joy-filled song. We can experience joy in our darkest nights because of His love. It doesn’t matter how deep or how dark our night is—we can still “glow in the dark,” radiating joy and the love of Jesus.

*   ~   ♥   ~    ✞    ~   ♥   ~   *

Thank You, Lord, that Your love makes us radiate even in our darkest place.  I am so thankful You find beauty in my brokenness and can use my imperfections and cracks to shine Your Light through.  In Your Holy Name – Amen, it is so!

Remind Me Who I Am

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

When I lose my way
And I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don’t wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is

Tell me, once again who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You, to You

When my heart is like a stone
And I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it

I’m the one You love
I’m the one You love
That will be enough
I’m the one You love

Singer / Songwriter: Jason Gray

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it,
and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions,
I obviously need help!
I realize that I don’t have what it takes.
I can will it, but I can’t do it.
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it;
I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.
The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.
Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.
Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7:17-25 MSG

I must admit I am feeling pretty worn and weary.  I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to make the changes I desire in my life. I have lost my ‘want to...’.  Lysa TerKeurst puts it this way:

“It’s not the how to I am missing. It’s the want to…really wanting to make changes and deciding the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice.”

As I was deciding which song to blog about, I was torn between this song and “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. God whispered to my heart “You must know who you are before you can thrive.”

  • How do we so easily forget who we are and Whose we are?
  • Why is it that “…in the mirror all I see is who I don’t wanna be…”?
  • Why do I struggle to do what I know is right and not do what I know is wrong?

I read an article on the story behind this song.  In it Jason Gray says this:

“Most, if not all, of the time I really don’t want to sin, so that I do so seemingly against my own will.  Or as the apostle Paul famously said, “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway…”
So sin begins to look more like addiction than anything else, as though there is a ravenous hunger deep inside of me that demands to be fed. What is that hunger, I wonder? Genesis Chapter 3 tells us that one of the first consequences of sin entering the world is that the ground would be cursed, that we would eat by the sweat of our brow and the soil would produce weeds and thistles. This carries in it the idea of futility: that our efforts are frustrated, that no matter what we do, we feel it’s never enough–that perhaps we are never enough.”

Oh, how I can relate.  I have been ready to throw in the towel.  I am “afraid I’ll never be enough.”  Why?  Because I have been trying to do it on my own. No matter how much effort I put into it, I am doomed to fail on my own. Only when I realize who God says I am and rely on Him to lead me will I have success.

Who does God say I am?

  • Colossians 3:12 AMP says I am “well-beloved [by God Himself,”
  • 1 John 3:12 NASB tells us “now we are children of God,”
  • Zephaniah 3:17 NIV states “The Lord your God is with you…He will take great delight in you;  He will rejoice over you with singing.”
  • Isaiah 49:16a AMP reminds us “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands;”

Think about Isaiah 49:16 for a minute.   Can you imagine the pain of having something inscribed (or tattooed) on the palm of your hand?  How much more painful was it for God to sacrifice His only Son for me?  I need to remind myself that God gave up everything for me so I don’t have to do life on my own.

All I need to do is ask God…
If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it?

Nothing Is Wasted

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The hurt that broke your heart and left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted, nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds that beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end that every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus and what’s lost will be found again

When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you halfway there
You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you
Give it time…you will believe it too

That nothing is wasted nothing is wasted
Sometimes we are waiting in sorrow we have tasted
But joy will replace it nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer nothing is wasted

From the ruins, from the ashes—beauty will rise
From the wreckage, from the darkness—glory will shine

Jason Gray ~ singer/songwriter

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

As we hold onto our brokenness, that is all that can be seen—by ourselves or anyone else.  But as we intentionally choose day-by-day (ok, sometimes it is moment by moment) to let a tiny bit of joy shine in…or to reach out with Jesus’ love to someone who hurts more than we do…than His glory will shine through us.  And, as it does, our hearts will brighten just a teeny-tiny bit.  And we will be encouraged ‘cause nothing is ever wasted when it is done with the love of God.

I so appreciate what Jason Gray shares in this videoclip before he begins to minister these beautiful words.  He says, “I believe…help my unbelief.”  Friend, ‘cause nothing ever is wasted as we seek and rely on and trust the One Who is always there to help us!  So when ‘hope is more than you can bear’ (at that moment) and when it does seem ‘too hard to believe it could be true’ and when ‘your strength fails you’ even though you are trying, call out to your Father…He is listening!

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to You; save Your servant who trusts in You.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to You all day long.
Bring joy to Your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in You.
Psalms 86:1-4

You, my dear friend, are not the first to have gone through these hard, hard things.  Though at times it does feel that way, draw strength from the examples of others who chose, like you, to call upon God.  And believe these Truths—God’s Word is truth.

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.
Psalms 59:16 and 17

And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
Psalms 63:5-8

Cling, my friend, to every shred of hope, every drop of  precious light, every tiny bit of joy you can find.  I would love to share with you one of my very favorite passages in the Scriptures.  Truly these two verses have helped me to hold on and cling and believe many, many times!

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and  hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13 and 14

And trust in the One-Who-loves-you-so that you will see before the end that every broken piece is gathered in the heart of Jesus and what’s lost will be found again.  He loves you, my friend!  And nothing ever could or will separate you from His love.  (He has promised!)

Remind Me Who I Am

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

When I lose my way
And I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don’t wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is

Tell me, once again who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You, to You

When my heart is like a stone
And I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it

I’m the one You love
I’m the one You love
That will be enough
I’m the one You love

Singer / Songwriter: Jason Gray

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it,
and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions,
I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it.
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.
The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.
Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.
Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7:17-25 MSG

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

I must admit I am feeling pretty worn and weary. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to make the changes I desire in my life. I have lost my ‘want to...’.  Lysa TerKeurst puts it this way:

“It’s not the how to I am missing. It’s the want to…really wanting to make changes and deciding the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice.”

As I was deciding which song to blog about, I was torn between this song and “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. God whispered to my heart “You must know who you are before you can thrive.”

  • How do we so easily forget who we are and Whose we are?
  • Why is it that “…in the mirror all I see is who I don’t wanna be…”?
  • Why do I struggle to do what I know is right and not do what I know is wrong?

I read an article on the story behind this song.  In it Jason Gray says this:

“Most, if not all, of the time I really don’t want to sin, so that I do so seemingly against my own will.  Or as the apostle Paul famously said, “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway…”
So sin begins to look more like addiction than anything else, as though there is a ravenous hunger deep inside of me that demands to be fed. What is that hunger, I wonder? Genesis Chapter 3 tells us that one of the first consequences of sin entering the world is that the ground would be cursed, that we would eat by the sweat of our brow and the soil would produce weeds and thistles. This carries in it the idea of futility: that our efforts are frustrated, that no matter what we do, we feel it’s never enough–that perhaps we are never enough.”

Oh, how I can relate. I have been ready to throw in the towel. I am “afraid I’ll never be enough.” Why? Because I have been trying to do it on my own. No matter how much effort I put into it, I am doomed to fail on my own. Only when I realize who God says I am and rely on Him to lead me will I have success.

Who does God say I am?

Colossians 3:12 AMP says I am “well-beloved [by God Himself,”
1 John 3:12 NASB tells us “now we are children of God,”
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV states “The Lord your God is with you…He will take great delight in you;  He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Isaiah 49:16a AMP reminds us “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands;”

Think about Isaiah 49:16 for a minute.   Can you imagine the pain of having something inscribed (or tattooed) on the palm of your hand? How much more painful was it for God to sacrifice His only Son for me?  I need to remind myself that God gave up everything for me so I don’t have to do life on my own.

All I need to do is ask God…
If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it?

With Every Act Of Love

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart-cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

Singer/Songwriter Jason Gray along with Jason Ingram

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

As I was listening to these lyrics, I realized that there is one act of love…in my opinion the greatest act of love…that makes all this possible. The one time that Heaven came to earth—the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Look at the following verses:

Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth,
while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47 NLT

He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others];
he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth,
and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint].
He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others.
John 3:31 AMP

Christ came from Heaven for us.  No other reason.  He brought His Kingdom to earth so that we might join Him one day in Heaven.  Because He did, we who believe have Christ within us.  We can let His light shine through us.  In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:49 (AMP) states:  “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.”

In Zechariah 7:9 (HCSB) we are given these instructions:

The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Make fair decisions.
Show faithful love and compassion to one another.

And 2 Thessalonians 3:5a (AMP) says:

May the Lord direct your hearts into [realizing and showing] the love of God….

When we reach out with Christ’s unconditional love we bring a piece of Heaven to earth. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Simple words of kindness and forgiveness can have a huge impact. A small gesture like a smile or a touch could change a life. It is in the acts that come from the heart that others are able to see Christ’s heart. John 13:35 (HCSB) states: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” And, of course, Matthew 25:40 (HCSB) reminds us:

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you:
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

I want to carry Jesus alive in me. I want His light to shine through. I want to be the bridge that allows Heaven to touch earth once again.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

Abba, I am so amazed by Your selfless act of unconditional, unfailing love. Let me carry You alive in me, allowing Your light to shine through me. Remind me that with every act of love, Heaven touches earth. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen – IT IS SO!

Acts Of Love

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart-cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Written by Singer/Songwriter Jason Gray along with Jason Ingram

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Over on our Seeking Him devotional blog, we are just finishing up nine weeks of studying the Beatitudes.  Y’know, the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught the blessing of having certain ‘heart attitudes’ i.e., being meek, having humility, mourning, etc.  This past week, our focus was on Matthew 5:10.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

It almost seems that, in this beautiful song, Jason Gray could be offering up a suggestion for an addition to the Beatitudes.  “Blessed are those who do acts of love…for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”  Living our lives with a heart to carry out acts of love definitely puts us in the category of those who are ‘blessed!’

Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

This verse follows along after the great ‘LOVE’ chapter in 1st Corinthians.  No words minced here:  ‘Let a-l-l. that you do….’  Not some things, not a random act, not one good deed per day—but all that you do.  Whew!  Really?!?  When Paul penned this (inspired by the Holy Spirit…2 Peter 1:21), he wrote all and all was the directive.  And we CAN do this!  Here’s how….

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:17 AMP

(Thank You, Lord!)  It is not in our own strength but in dependance on Christ Who dwells in us.  Just as our Lord truly did all in love, so can we!  We have the mind of Christ, remember?

But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts of His heart.
1 Corinthians 2:16

And so, we determine and choose to live as Jesus did. As Laura reminded us the other day, “WWJD—What Would Jesus Do?”  We are His hands and feet in this world.  No longer does the Savior walk this earth reaching out to and ministering to all those around Him.  Just as Jesus was the physical, living proof of His Father…we can, too!  Remember, Jesus encouraged His disciples that they would be known as His by their love (John 13:35)!  Us, too!!!

No one has ever seen God;
but if we love one another,
God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
1 John 4:12

And so we should be living our lives with acts of love as the standard, the norm, the given…truly, our hearts’ desire. We have been enabled…we can do this!

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,
compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other;
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue
but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:16-18

An act of love can look like oh-so-many different things…

  • to a relative living cross-country, it could be a photo montage of your kiddos latest antics…
  • to the elderly widower who around the corner, it could an invitation to have supper with your family…
  • to the crossing guard who is there every morning and every afternoon to guide the kids across the busy city street, it could be a cup of hot coffee…
  • to another mom sitting watching tee-ball practice, it could be a listening ear…
  • to your super-tired hubby who has worked extra late for the third-night-in-a-row, it could be some freshly baked cookies and a shoulder rub…
  • to the friend anticipating another round of chemo, it could be the promise of going and sitting with them during that time….

You get the picture. It is not in the bigness nor the smallness of the act…it is being Jesus’ hands and feet.  It is loving with His love!

“God put a million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you”

Jesus our Messiah was THE Door (John 10)…the Way, the only Way, to the Father.

May we, as He was, be a door for others to walk through to reach God’s love.

CHRISTLife — Week Seven

cl part three banner

I would like to start off by asking you three questions:

Do you feel that you belong?…that you are worthy?…that you are competent?

I know…NOT easy questions!  Here, let me ask them again with a small (but HUGE!) different slant, ok?

Do you feel that you belong to Almighty God?
…that you have value and worth to your heavenly Father?
…that you are competent and can do what He asks you to do?

How about now? Are your responses different; perhaps more positive? Oh, I truly hope so!  And you know why?  Because you DO belong to Almighty God!  His Word tells us: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people…(1 Peter 2:9).”  And you have MUCH value and worth to your heavenly Father!   His Word tells us, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…but with precious  blood, as of alamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).  And you ARE competent and you CAN DO because you have Christ IN you!  His Word tells us, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

God doesn’t see us the way we oftentimes see ourselves. God see us the way we are…the way He has made us to be…the way we are in Christ. God sees us accepted; as His Bride, friend…and more; as worthy; as loved; and He delights in you, favors you, and honors you.

In our continuing study of CHRISTLife: Embracing Your True and Deepest Identity, we have entered into Part 3: The Three Pillars of Your New Identity. For the next two weeks, we will be focusing on the Truth of these ‘pillars of our new identity.  This week,Mrs. Myers writes on the following topics in chapters 31-35.

  • Accepted
  • Bride, Friend, and More
  • Worthy
  • Loved
  • Delighted In, Favored, and Honored

So I am back with a question.  Now being reminded of the Truth of who you ARE—the Truth of what God says… Do you feel that you belong?…that you are worthy?…that you are competent?  (Yes, i know…still the same question.  God wants you to know that you DO belong, and that you ARE worthy and competent! His opinion and thoughts towards you will never change!)

May the words of this song help to bring you to a place where you can sing along with your brother, Jason Gray, confessing the Truth that you are…

   Forgiven
   Beloved
♥    Hidden in Christ
♥    Made in the image of the Giver of Life
   Righteous
   Holy
♥    Reborn and remade
   Accepted and worthy
   This is who you are now

Nothing Is Wasted

 

 

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

The hurt that broke your heart and left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry will seed the ground where joy will grow

Nothing is wasted, nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds that beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end that every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus and what’s lost will be found again

When hope is more than you can bear
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true
And your strength fails you halfway there
You can lean on me and I’ll believe for you
Give it time…you will believe it too

That nothing is wasted nothing is wasted
Sometimes we are waiting in sorrow we have tasted
But joy will replace it nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer nothing is wasted

From the ruins, from the ashes—beauty will rise
From the wreckage, from the darkness—glory will shine

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

As we hold onto our brokenness, that is all that can be seen—by ourselves or anyone else.  But as we intentionally choose day by day (ok, sometimes it is moment by moment) to let a tiny bit of joy shine in…or to reach out with Jesus’ love to someone who hurts more than we do…than His glory will shine through us.  And, as it does, our hearts will brighten just a teeny-tiny bit. And we will be encouraged ‘cause nothing is ever wasted when it is done with the love of God.

I so appreciate what Jason Gray shares in this videoclip before he begins to minister these beautiful words.  He says, “I believe…help my unbelief.”  Friend, ‘cause nothing ever is wasted as we seek and rely on and trust the One Who is always there to help us!  So when ‘hope is more than you can bear’ (at the moment) and when it does seem ‘too hard to believe it could be true’ and when ‘your strength fails you’ even though you are trying, call out to your Father…He is listening!

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to You; save Your servant who trusts in You.
You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to You all day long.
Bring joy to Your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in You.
Psalms 86:1-4

You, my dear friend, are not the first to have gone through these hard, hard things.  Though at times it does feel that way, draw strength from the examples of others who chose, like you, to call upon God.  And believe these Truths—God’s Word is truth.

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.
Psalms 59:16, 17

And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,
For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
Psalms 63:5-8

Cling, my friend, to every shred of hope, every drop of  precious light, every tiny bit of joy you can find.

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!  Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and  hope for and expect the Lord.

Psalms 27:13 and 14

And trust in the One-Who-loves-you-so that you will see before the end that every broken piece is gathered in the heart of Jesus and what’s lost will be found again.  He loves you and nothing at all ever could or will separate you from His love.

“I AM” Chapter 1 – Day 1: Introductions

 

“Hi, my name is Teresa and I AM ____hmmmmm_____.”  I AM one of those people who would rather not be in the spotlight.  It makes me uncomfortable.  I look at those people who can talk to strangers, speak in public, and smile during awkward moments—and I AM in awe.  Literally.

To me, those people are butterflies.  I am a moth.

  • They are comfortable.                                   I AM self-conscious.
  • They are graceful.                                           I AM clumsy.
  • They are special.                                             I AM…me.

THEY are butterflies; I AM a moth.

And then…God showed me something very special.  He created the butterfly and the moth with care.  Neither winged creature is lacking anything for its existence.  Did you notice this?  Did you also notice that there are MANY more moths than butterflies?  Somehow that fact made me feel better.  Maybe I notice those butterflies because there are fewer of them, not because they are better or more needed than me.  After all, God did create more moths than butterflies.  Didn’t He?

“Our differences make us beautiful and unique. 

We have the same Creator God who wants to show us who He is.”

I was envious of those butterflies until I saw myself the way Jesus did.  This Bible we have and the world we live in are God’s introduction to us.  He invites us to get to know Him.  He is God, “The Great I AM.”  The identity of God in the Scriptures is truth.  Any question or doubt I have can be answered in the Word.  When I doubt my purpose or position in this world, all I have to do is look to Him.

He is the True Light that draws this moth to Him.  Butterflies flit around in the day being all graceful and pretty.  The sun is their friend.  We could stop and watch them for hours.  Moths are also visible in the day, but are most noticeable at night when they are seeking a light source.  We all need the Light source.

Both creatures crave the light.  One is not better than the other.  Butterflies make me think of sunshine while moths make me think of electric bug zappers.  You know bug zappers, don’t you?  In the southern U.S. they are very common.  (Electric bug zappers control flying pests by drawing them to the light and then frying them.)   As I expressed this thought to a friend, she reminded me of a very important truth.   “Bug zappers are FALSE light…you, my moth-y friend, are drawn to the TRUE Light.”

I AM a moth with a purpose.  I want to be known for seeking the Light.  Recently one of my friends shared a picture of a moth she found in her garage.  I saw myself in that moth.  Look at it and see if you see yourself in it, too.

Clymene Moth compliments of Jane Dixon, Photographer

Clymene Moth
compliments of Jane Dixon, Photographer

 

We bear the mark of the One we serve.  Who has placed their mark on you?  Do you know the “I AM?”  Come with us as we seek the TRUE LIGHT together.  This journey is for moths and butterflies alike.  Our world would not be the same without either of these winged creatures and it will not be the same without you and me.  Let’s discover who we are and Who we belong to.

We all have a purpose in the Kingdom of God.  I AM honored to walk this path with you.  As God began to reveal the truth to me about Who I AM, I realized a few things.

I AM…  

A moth

A mother

A child

A child of God

A dearly loved child of God

Hi, my name is Teresa and I AM Beloved by God!!!

PRAY:

Father God,

I thank You for these friends You have given me to walk this path with.  Thank You for revealing Yourself to us so we may know You.  You are our TRUE LIGHT and we seek You only.

Thank You for Your love and for the purpose You have placed in our lives.  We want to seek the TRUE light and live.  Keep us away from the false light of the worldly “zappers.”

Be with us as we learn about Your character as You reveal Yourself through Scripture.  Tell us once again who we are to You.  We belong to You.  We love You.

AMEN