Preaching the Gospel to Myself

the-GospelJust to set things straight, my husband is the preacher not me.

But there are some days, hard, dark days when I must preach the Gospel to myself.

Days when “life” is too much and the “pit” calls out.

Times when I don’t feel I can possibly go on.

On these days, I must preach to myself.

There are days when it feels no one cares and I’m left wondering where God is?

Days when it feels we have been forsaken, and forgotten.

These are the days when I preach the Gospel to myself.

Because on days like these, I must remember WHO God is and what JESUS has done.

On days like this, I must remind myself that He is enough (2 Cor. 12:9).

He cares (1 Peter 5:7). He has inscribed me on the palms of His hands (Is. 49:16).

His thoughts for me outnumber the sands on the seashore (Ps. 139:18).

He demonstrated His great love at Calvary (Rom. 5:8).

He is on His throne (Ps. 47:8). And He is all-powerful.

Yea, on these days I have to remember the Gospel, That Jesus came, lived and died in my place.

That I might have the abundant life (John 10:10).

I have to meditate on my purpose in life.

That my purpose is not to be happy, healthy and wealthy.

My purpose is  glorify God in whatever I do (I Cor. 10:31).

So on the bad days, days when life is just hard.

Maybe like me, you need to preach the Gospel to yourself.

Because the Gospel is so much more than accepting Jesus.

The Gospel is how we live each day.

A Sacrifice of Praise

praiseing godLet’s be real, it is super easy to thank God and praise Him when life is good.

When we have hope.

But what about when our world has been rocked upside down?

What about when we can’t see through the fog and our hearts are broken?

This is where the truth is revealed.

This is where we find out how much we trust the Lord.

Oh, we have our fits of anger, broken hearts and tears.

We wonder why, why, why… but ultimately we know there is no where else to turn but to God.

I love the song, “I”ll praise you in this storm.” 

Easy to sing, hard to live.

The Bible speaks much of sacrifices of thanksgiving and sacrifices of praise.

What does this mean anyway?

I’m learning, in the midst of heartache, what it means.

I’m finding that it means despite the pain, despite the confusion, despite the fears and unknown, we still praise the Lord.

We give thanks in the midst of the tears, because He is God and He knows best.

Recently, we got some hard news. At first, I reacted in anger, I cried many tears, I even just felt numb.

Then, I ran to the only One who can bring peace, the only One who can comfort my tired, weary soul.

I ran to Jesus. I read and read His Word and cried out to Him.

As I read I came across this verse, “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me (Ps. 50:23).”

And I got it, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, this is what I want. I want you to trust me. I want you to praise me, even though it hurts.

A sacrifice cost something.

A sacrifice doesn’t come easy.

A sacrifice of praise, then cost us.

Because in spite of our brokeness, we praise Him.

Despite our questions, we give Him Thanks.

Oh, I’m not saying it is easy, in fact it is very hard.

But the peace found here, is sweeter than any anger or tears.

And as we praise Him, the hurt and anger start to fade, as we are able to find rest in Him.

Giving Them Grace

grace1Do you ever wish you could take your words back?

Ever wish you could respond differently?

Today was one of those days.

Day’s I messed up and failed miserably with my kids.

Instead of being kind, gentle, patient, compassionate, loving in how I responded.

I was the opposite.

As I running some errands this afternoon, I cried out to God.

I told Him it would be better some days if I were mute or if I could just cut out my tongue.

I admitted to Him how I had failed and how desperate I was for Him.

I begged Him to change me and make me like Christ.

Because I can’t be nicer or a better mom on my own.

He has to do it, in and through me.

Often my kids tell me they can’t do this, they can’t do that.

I use to always tell them, yes you can. You can do anything in Christ.

But the truth is, they are right!

They can’t think of others more than themselves.

They can’t love their siblings.

They can’t do to others as they want others to do to them.

They can’t! We can’t!

But CHRIST CAN!

O if I could ever grasp that I can’t do it, I can’t be better…..

If I could ever grasp that He already has done it and walk in this reality.

What our kids need to hear is that they are correct, they can’t.

But Jesus can in and through them.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him!” Ps. 34:8

I don’t know about you, but I need grace every day.

Our kids need grace too.

May we as parents use every opportunity given to point our kids to Christ. To the work He has accomplished. To the fact that only in Him and by His Grace can we love, serve and honor God.

Let’s give them what we can’t.

Let’s give them Jesus!

The law says, “do this,” and it is never done. Grace says, “believe in this,” and everything is already done.” – Martin Luther

When what God ask…seems crazy!

faithHave you ever sensed the Lord asking something of you that didn’t make a whole lot of sense?

Ever wondered at the Lord’s direction and ways?

I’m sure Abraham questioned the Lord when He told him to take his son Issac and offer him as a sacrifice.

(The Lord surely hasn’t asked any of us anything so crazy as this.)

Yet, I’m always amazed as I read this story.

I wonder what Abraham must have thought. Did he question God?

It certainly didn’t make sense or line up with what God had previously told him.

But the Bible says, “early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.”

That must have been a REALLY long night.

Abraham probably wrestled with God on this one.Yet in the end he obeyed.

They set out and when they get to the mountain, Abraham tells the servants to wait for him and Issac.

Telling them that they would go up and offer a sacrifice. They’d worship God, then they’d return.

As they walk up the mountain, Issac become curious and ask his dad, “where is the sacrifice.

Good question! To which Abraham replied, “The Lord will provide.

Incredible. Here we find God asking Abraham something that makes no sense. Yet, Abraham obeys and trust God.

I believe with all my heart Abraham believed he and Issac would return. Either God would provide another way or God would raise Issac from the dead.

The faith of Abraham in this situation is baffling. Yet, He believed God, He trusted God and His Faith was placed completely in God.

In my own life, the Lord it seems is asking our family to do what seems crazy to most and appears impossible.

Yet, as I read this today, I was reminded that it doesn’t matter if it makes sense. It doesn’t even matter if it appears impossible.

Because what is impossible for man, is easy for God.

And I don’t have to figure it all out. God already has it worked out.

All He ask of me is to believe Him, to trust Him and to place my faith in Him.

For nothing is impossible for God and He will provide all that’s needed to fulfill what He ask.

So if it seems God is asking something impossible of you, or if the way He’s leading doesn’t make sense.

I encourage you as He encouraged me to just BELIEVE HIM, TRUST HIM AND PUT YOUR FAITH IN HIM.

As you do, He will begin to unravel the unknowns and will make a way.

 

 

 

Allowing God to Choose

God knows bestMost of us choose things based upon how they look, how they feel or how they taste.

We want what pleases us and our flesh.

But, there is a danger in this.

Today, I was reading the account of Abraham.

The Lord had told him to leave his land,his home and his family to go to the land the Lord would show Him.

This struck me!

Because Abraham really didn’t get a say in where he would go, he didn’t choose, God did.

The Lord just said, go and follow me. I will lead you to the land I have chosen.

So, Abraham obeys and his nephew Lot goes with him.

Eventually there is not enough space for both Abraham and Lot, so they decide to part company.

The Bible says that Abraham allowed Lot to choose the land he wanted.

And Lot looked upon and the land and chose for himself, the land of Sodom.

It looked good, it seemed the best place but it ended up being a disaster.

Abraham allowed God to choose and God gave Him the best.

I’m finding that often what I think is best, isn’t always God’s best.

I’m learning that it is better to allow God to make the choices.

The Lord is teaching me that when making decisions, I must let Him lead and let Him choose.

God is showing me that when I “seek first His kingdom” He will take care of everything else.

For His ways are greater and more wonderful than anything we can choose ourselves.

“What no eye has seen,what no ear has heard,and what no human mind has conceived”the things God has prepared for those who love him—” I Cor. 2:9

What If……

song of solomonWhat if there was more to this Christian life than going to church on Sunday?

What if there was more to knowing God than reading our Bibles and praying?

What if God was more than the one we pray to when things go wrong?

What if He truly wanted an intimate, relationship with us?

What if He longed to be the most important person in our lives?

What if, what if, what if????

To all of the above, the answer is YES!!

Yes, there is more to being a christian than just going to church!

Yes, there is more to knowing God than just reading our Bibles and prayer!

Yes, God is so much more than the one we turn to when life gets hard!

Yes, He does long for a close, intimate relationship with us!

Yes, the Lord does desire and deserve to be the most important person in our lives!

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!

He is our Beloved, Our Maker, Our Bridegroom

He longs to be the first thing we think of every morning, all through the day and before our heads touch the pillow at night.

Every decision made should be based on what He wants first and foremost.

Our time spent in prayer and Bible study should be our priority not our add-on.

And the Lord isn’t so much interested in us just learning what the Bible says.

No, in fact, He wants us to live it. For faith without works is dead.

Oh, there is so much more to the Christian life than most would think.

And He is there, watching and waiting for us to wake up and realize He is Enough! He alone satisfies!

Do Not Be Afraid

do not fearFear overwhelms.

Fear cripples.

Fear holds us back from God’s plans.

Fear is the opposite of trust.

Fear and faith do not mix.

No matter how many times the Lord deals with my heart on fear or how many times I think upon and write on it.

I am blown away with how detrimental fear is and how it consumes so many.

God tells us again and again, “Do not be afraid, Do not fear, Fear not.” 

We know He holds the world and our lives in His hands.

We know He is in control and that it is He who numbers our days.

We know we can trust Him…. and yet fear sneaks in and overwhelms us.

I think the real issue is, we long to be in control but we are not.

Fear overtakes when we feel helplessly out of control.

But God never meant for us to be in control

Because God IS God

We are His the sheep of His pasture.

And friend, we can trust Him.

He who sent His own son to die in our place.

He who demonstrated His love for us at Calvary.

He who has set us free from both sin and death.

He is God and He can be trusted.

For He will always be found faithful.

Therefore, we can Fear Not!!

I encourage you to remember who He is today.

The Lord Jehovah is His name and He is strong and mighty. He is all-powerful and in control.

I encourage you to find rest in Him as you fix your mind upon Him

“For He keeps in perfect peace, he whose mind is fixed on Him (Is. 26:3).”