Category Archives: Faith

When Christians Deny What Jesus Died For

It's ok to receive blessingToo many people feel that blessing belongs to others — others more important, or more spiritual. Many people don’t believe they even deserve blessing. We’ve been taught to earn our rewards, but blessing from God is a gift. We are blessed through grace, not works. There is not one thing that you can do to earn God’s blessing. He blesses because He loves you.

Because some feel the need to earn what grace gives freely, they reject it in their low self-esteem. Even when it’s freely offered, they will refuse it because they don’t feel worthy to receive it. This is a very dangerous attitude to have. Imagine standing before God one day and explaining why you refused to receive His gift that Jesus suffered and died to give you.

David wasn’t shy about asking to be blessed:

Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, Whose mouth speaks lying words,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood— That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; That our daughters may be as pillars, Sculptured in palace style; That our barns may be full, Supplying all kinds of produce; That our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our field. (Ps 144: 11-13)

When we receive salvation through Jesus’s sacrifice, we become a new creation. (2Cor 5:17) We are remade to be like Jesus, with His Spirit inside us. That package includes God’s blessing. He can’t help Himself, He loves us so much. But we have to be thankful and receive what He has given. Believing that we can’t receive His comfort, His provision, His grace because we don’t deserve it is a lie from the devil. 

If you need to repent and ask God to forgive you for not believing that you deserve to be blessed, do it. Repentance is a wonderful thing. And it’s not sinful, or prideful, to ask for blessing. There is so much that God will do for you if you only trust Him and ask. It’s time to see what that looks like.

Comparing Yourself to Other People is Not Trusting God

Trust God to be there for you.We always think that other people are more spiritual. God uses people like Daniel and Joseph, not us. But the truth is, God uses people like Daniel and Joseph AND us. Remember Jacob? Remember Gideon? God is not looking for perfect people, He’s looking for obedient and loving people.

We lose so much by short changing ourselves. Our assumptions rob us of freedom and blessing. God wants you right now, just as you are. Do you have room to grow? Of course, but He loves who you are and all the gifts and talents He put in you. Use them. Enjoy them.

We compare ourselves to other people, and it’s a huge mistake. There is joy in working with God in the big things as well as the small things. It’s your heart that matters. He wants your willingness to trust Him. That’s all. That’s all Eve had to do. Instead, she listened to someone else and allowed her mind to be changed. We have to stop doing that. If God says something, He means it. He can’t lie, so His Word is truth.

Trust Him. Be who you are meant to be. There is fulfillment and joy in doing what God is leading you to do, even if it’s difficult at first. Read His Word and start living it, no matter what others say or do. God is with you, because He said He would be.

Fear Is Evil, But You Can Be Free At Last

Fear not, live in peace.

Fear not, live in peace.

Fear is evil. Call it stress, anxiety, worry — it’s still fear and one of the worst killers there is. Not only does it ruin your faith, it will kill your body. Stress kills and it’s so unnecessary. It is a very effective attack of the enemy, but there is an awesome offense against it. It’s called trust.

God tells us over and over and over to fear not. He really is a good Father, and like a good Father, He loves His children with limitless love. Imagine a parent encouraging a toddler to walk. A loving parent will be right there with her to make sure that, when she falls, and she will, that she won’t hurt herself. The parent will hold onto her hands and be there for her every step. They will rejoice over and comfort and protect that child because the child is precious to them.

Can you believe that you are that precious to God? In order to trust the way you are meant to, you have to understand how much you are loved. If that’s hard to do, it’s because you’ve been hurt in the past and love comes with bad memories. You have to let them go. You may need to repent and forgive, a lot, until you can love freely again, until you can receive love again. The Holy Spirit will help you do that. Ask Him to help you. He’ll show you the areas that are hurting you. Follow His lead and allow Him to clean up that old pain.

When you know that God is holding your hand as firmly as any good parent would, you know you can trust Him. The job layoff, the car repair, the kids’ tuition, the doctor’s bills, everything that seems to demand more of us than we have to give will become something we just hand over to our Father. Trust Him. Your fear won’t help, but your faith will.

I find that I have to consciously put myself into a place of peace to trust. I have to say no to fear and invite the peace of God into my heart. When I’m calm, I can hear Him. When I’m fearful, I cannot. But when I relax in His peace, I give Him the freedom to work things out for me. And it really works. Are there times when I forget and stress a bit? Yes. But I always repent and ask Him to forgive me, and then I go back to that place of trust again.

Learn to trust God like you mean it. It’s always been His plan to take care of you and bless you, if you let Him.

A Young Boy Shows Us How To Trust God

Sometimes we can be like Eve and suddenly stop believing that God will do what He says He will do. God says that He will be with us and never forsake us. He says that He will protect us and love us like no one else. This came home to me in a story from social media. It turns out to be a year old, but still a great story.

A young boy was kidnapped in Atlanta and what he did was amazing. He sang a gospel song over and over again for three hours until the kidnappers threw him out of the car. This boy trusted God with his life and God protected him. See the story here.

Just believeThis is our God. If we would only believe what He says about Himself, we would live such amazing lives. Stuff will still happen, the boy was kidnapped, but trusting God will make a way where there was no way.

Now, what about those issues in your life that you don’t know what to do with? Believe God. Fear not and trust Him. Put it all in His hands, watch, and learn. The only reason you’re not seeing help is because you haven’t really believed that God will do what He really can do. All that little boy had to do was trust God and his life was saved. Your issue is probably not that scary, but the size of the issue doesn’t matter to God. Just believe. Your testimony is about to happen.

 

It’s Not About Bible Study Or Signs And Wonders

There’s a lot to be said for Bible study. It teaches you the truths of God and the stories of what He has done. But that’s just knowledge. There’s no life in just reading the Bible. Knowledge of God is not the same thing as salvation. The demons know God better than the average person who claims to be a Christian.

And then there are those who live and breathe the experience of signs and wonders. When God is present, anything can happen and there are groupies who seek after that as their goal in life. Signs and wonders are cool. They really are, but seeking after miracles is like a child following daddy around hoping for candy from his pockets.

Jesus warned that He would turn away those He did not know, even if they did signs and wonders. The intimacy of salvation is not in knowing the Bible or experiencing the unusual. It’s in desiring the heart of God. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek after Him, of those who seek Your face. (Ps 24:6)

Love theEmmanuel is intimate with us. Lord your God with all your heart. Be drawn into Him. Share His love, His joy, His peace. You are His lover as much as He is yours. Seek His face. Seek His heart. Ask to know His thoughts. Emmanuel is God with us, in us, for a reason. He wants intimacy, communion. Desire Him, and the bells and whistles will follow.

God Doesn’t Care That You’re Not Perfect

God doesn't care that you're not perfect.We are all called to serve the Lord somehow. All of us. We are all called to make disciples , teaching them what Jesus taught. Many people will never obey this command because they think it’s the job of pastors and ministers. They are wrong. But there are others who understand the commandment, but feel unworthy to obey. This is not a bad thing.

I understand the feeling of unworthiness. I too struggle with feeling like the last person on the earth that should be discipling anyone. The enemy can get into our heads and make us feel like losers who don’t deserve to go to heaven, let alone lead anyone else there.

But the reason I say that unworthiness is not a bad thing is because it shows a level of humility that God can use. I recently had a heart to heart talk with God about why I was not the one He could use to do anything because of all the bad things I felt I had inside me. I know I am a work in progress, but I didn’t feel that He could use me until He took care of my laundry list.

But God just smiled. He wasn’t surprised by my list, and He didn’t change His mind. He said He would use me despite my frailties. He would show Himself great and it wouldn’t have anything to do with me at all. In fact, if I had the opinion that I was “all that”, He couldn’t use me because I’d take His glory.

Remember Gideon? That encourages me. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we will ever become perfect here on earth. We look through a glass darkly, but then we will see face to face. We know in part. God is aware of our humanity and He chooses to use us anyway.

Do not beat yourself up about your shortcomings. We all have them. Keep your heart clean. Confess what you need to confess and give everything to Jesus. Admit that you don’t have all the answers and trust Him. Allow God to show Himself through you — a clay vessel shining with the light of heaven.

God Did Not Give You Cancer

Learn to love God with everything in you.God did not give you cancer — or MS, or a broken leg, or a failed marriage, or [insert your life problem here]. God does not give us cancer to make better people out of us, or to see what we’re made of. If your natural father did that, he’d be thrown into prison.

If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your  heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:11-13)

If your natural Father wouldn’t give you cancer, it doesn’t make sense that God would. In fact, God promises to protect us.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91:1)

It’s a promise, but it is contingent on the second verse: I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalms 91:2) Your trust in God has to be more than claiming to be a Christian. You have to put your entire life in His hands. You have to love with Him with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. You have to hear His voice and be in relationship with Him. 

Having head knowledge of God without a heart relationship is not what will protect you. Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice. (John 10:27) Learn to hear His voice in your heart. Learn who He is. Wrap your head around how much He loves you. Learn to love Him back with every fiber of your being.

When you live in a love relationship with God, you are protected under the shadow of His wings. Will bad things happen to you? Probably, we still live in this world, but the power of God in your life when you have His protection is an entirely different dimension than claiming to know Him when you don’t.

Stop blaming God. He loves your wildly and passionately. He’s waiting for you to really trust Him. He’s waiting to be your miracle. Decide if you really do love Him with all that you have and square up with Him. It’s time to really live in the kingdom.