I can’t do that!

“Don’t you think it’s interesting that the greatest sermon Jesus ever preached there’s no mention of the cross? Jesus had the purpose in mind on the Sermon on the Mount to prepare men and women to receive what he would do on the cross and to prepare them by ruining their confidence in their own good works.

We are supposed to come to verse 48, to that statement, ‘you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect’ and say “I can’t do that!’

So, what do we do? We look to the cross… Jesus says I did [lived perfectly] and if you put your trust in me I will give you the gift of my righteousness in your life. My righteousness will be yours.

We are supposed to regard it like this; ‘I thought I was a pretty good person until I heard Jesus really explain the law of God in the Sermon on the Mount. Now I know I really need a Savior.’ ” -David Guzick

Even you

You know what amazes me? The Great I Am, the Creator of all things, the one true God created me! Not only that, but He knew what I would do before He ever created me. He knew the sinful, hurtful life I would live and He created me anyway.What amazes me even more is that my sinful life didn’t stop Him from calling me. When my flesh pulls me to look back in regret then the Spirit reminds me “The Great I Am, the Creator of all things, the one true God called to you even then.” Right at the bottom of my brokenness.I love this song. Some people will say “I didn’t find God. God was never lost. I was lost and God found me.” The way I see it; God knew where I was the whole time. I wasn’t lost in a sense that He couldn’t find me. I was lost because I was blind and couldn’t see where I was going. Then one day, God showed me so much grace. He opened my eyes and let me see where I was going and I didn’t like it. He let me see that He has never left me. In my past, I found Him there. He let me see that He was calling to me and desired to save me. In my present, I found Him there. He opened my eyes to see who He truly is and He softened my heart so I could fall in love with everything about Him. In my future, I found Him there.It didn’t matter what I had done. He created me to truly love me, and He only desires that I truly love Him back. I am in awe of that. Even a sinner like me, Lord? “Yes,” He says.Even a sinner like you, my lost friends. Even a sinner like you.❤”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”Romans 5:8

Chasing the wind

Some thoughts I wanted to share after a quick Bible study on my lunch break. I hope it lightens your heart and puts a skip in your step as it did mine. ❤

Stop striving for what we think we need to be happy. The perfect husband, the perfect kids, the perfect body, the perfect house, the perfect finances, being the perfect Christian…all these pride of life things are under the sun! They never satisfy because they are never perfect. Just a chasing of the wind. Let it go and be free! Just enjoy the presence of a good, good Father!

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (what we need and what will bring true joy) will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

Let go of striving for happiness! Just enjoy our Father! Our Abba! Just enjoy GOD!! Only God can satisfy us! So be satisfied with Him! Be satisfied in Him!

Just go

To all the young families:

Go to church. Get an actual relationship with God. Not just that “oh, sure, I believe in God. I know Jesus.” type of relationship. But the type that He is all you think about and your whole life is centered around Him. And don’t think you are doing your kids any favors by “letting them choose for themselves”. I am here to tell you that you are not. They will choose the ways of the world everytime and follow your regret-filled footsteps and worse. Don’t you want more than that for them? Listen for God calling to you and go!

Let me tell you why:

If you don’t then you are going to have a past you deeply regret. Yes, once you truly come to Christ you are forgiven. But that doesn’t change what kind of parent you was while you strayed so far from God. It doesn’t change how you raised your kids while being so self centered because you didn’t come to God so He could pull you out of yourself and teach you to love others more than you love yourself. It doesn’t change the choices you made while you didn’t have your aim set on Jesus, the perfector of our faith.

You do not want these regrets. It is one thing to hurt yourself. It is totally another thing to look back and see the damage you did to your kids and others in your life. It is those things that your flesh will wake you up at night thinking about. It is what leaves you in tears as you see your adult kids struggling and you now know the cure but they won’t take it.

Yes, God redeems. Yes, He restores. And I am so thankful for that! Knowing that is what gets me through those painful thoughts and regrets. It is what brings joy and peace back to my heart.

Young families, you don’t want this struggle. No parent is perfect even if you have a God filled home, but the regrets hit a little different when you didn’t. I don’t know who this is for but go. Don’t wait for daddy to go
Momma, you take those kids. Daddy, don’t wait for momma to go. You take them. Just go. Grow. Take it all in and mature in your faith. Give your kids a strong foundation. Find that church that feels like home and truly loves you and your kids. Those churches are out there, I promise you. Seek until you find it. And then serve. Serve in that church and feel your heart fill with joy. Not because it is good work. Although it is. Not because you are being obedient. Although you are. But because it fills you with joy, peace, and love to serve a church that serves you! It keeps you from being self centered and opens you up to learning how to love others better. Especially your kids.

Don’t you hear Him calling? Just go.

I may regret a huge portion of my past but I never have regretted studying my bible, being in church, or serving. Just. Go.

Proverbs 29:15
The rod (the Bible) and reproof (Godly instruction to correct behavior or to rebuke) give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame (regret) to his mother.

Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Is Jesus just a remedy for a temporary affliction?

As I sit in this deer stand the story of the woman who came to seek Jesus in a crowd and was healed after touching the hem of His garment comes to mind.

In Luke chapter 8 it says a whole crowd had surrounded Jesus and was pressing against Him. That means many people were touching Him seeking to be healed. It also says that when the woman just touched the hem of His garment He felt power go out from Him. The woman was healed just by touching the hem of His garment, but for the others pressing against Him no power went out.

So, what was the difference between her and alll those other people that had pressed up against Jesus seeking to be healed? Faith. By faith, she was healed.

This tells me faith is more than just believeing what Jesus can do. It is about more than knowing who He is and what He is. It is about desiring a relationship with Him. It is about wanting HIM whether you are healed or not. It is trusting Him to know that sometimes the healing you are asking for, in the way you are requesting it, is not the healing you actually need. It is about coming to Jesus to be our savior and Lord of our lives. That means more than just using Him as a remedy for a temporary affliction, but to desire to follow Him into eternty.

For those that desire to know Jesus like that then they understand the power of the hem. For those that don’t then they call the hem of that garment foolish and will never feel its power.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

A foot in divination

Zechariah 10:2
The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

Divination: a corrupted seeking of spiritual knowledge. Such as: fortune telling, astrology, witchcraft, tarot cards, and spell casting.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Psalm 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Do you want to keep wandering around feeling oppressed without a shepard while seeking wisdom in deceitful places? From a deceiver that is only out to kill, steal, and destroy.

Or

Do you want the truth from the true Shepherd that gives wisdom generously leaving you lacking for nothing? To follow a Shepherd that went to the slaughter like a lamb to protect His flock so that we may have eternal life in heaven and a life more abundant on earth.

Your choice. He always leaves you free to choose. You can’t have one foot in divination and one foot in God.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

All about that peace

In John 16:33 Jesus tells us that He has spoken His word so that we may have peace in this world full of tribulations. He victoriously proclaims that He has overcome the world and we should be in good cheer!

Jesus did not promise us peace. He offers it to us. It is up to us to accept it. How do we accept it? That verse tells us we accept it by being in His word.

In John 17:17 Jesus is praying for us and asks God to sanctify us through the truth of His word.

His word is sanctifying, healing, cleansing, correcting and brings us good cheer! It is where we find and accept the peace that is so generously offered to us. We are to be in His word daily to build up our peace and faith and then again when we feel that peace and faith rocked to its core.

His word is the building blocks of the foundation to the house built on the rock. It takes us out of the sinking sand and keeps building, stone upon stone, a great mansion of peace! Matthew 7:24-27

Abiding in His word is where all the promises come to fruition. It is what truly makes us His disciples. John 15:7, John 8:31-32

So, my prayer for you all is that you get into His word so He, the God of all hope, will fill you with all joy and peace as you learn to trust in Him. I pray that through His word you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13In Christ name, Amen

Why?

Testimony time:

I lived so much of my life depressed. Depressed is only the surface word. Under it you would find despair, stress, anxiety, anger, and defeat. I tried covering that depression with all kinds of lusts of the flesh. I won’t go into detail because there are some readers that may not be at the maturity level to handle hearing the roads I have taken, but for some of you that knew me then, you already know. Those lusts of the flesh appealed to me because it was instant gratification. I didn’t have to face the pain for those brief moments. Those moments in the flesh promised me peace and good times and “great memories” to replace the bad ones. But that flesh lied to me. It created choas, more pain, and more bad memories. I also drew other people in to these fleshly ways and they also share these same bad memories. I hurt myself, my kids, my marriage, and my whole family. None of this helped my depression in any way. Such lies I believed!

Jesus called me out of all of that. People talk about finding joy the moment they were saved. Can I be honest? I didn’t feel the joy of my salvation right away. I knew God was the answer but I still felt depressed and defeated. I would sit back and constantly ask “why, Lord? Why me? Why my family? Why did I do that? Why didn’t you stop me?” God didn’t condemn me for those questions, He just kept guiding me. One step in front of the other was all I could do for a long while. Just stay the course, Monica. One step at a time. I KNEW God was the answer. I had no where else to go.

Me and God have been a team for a few years now and I am here to tell you this: I have learned crying out “why?” to God doesn’t get the problem solved. When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water with Jesus he started to sink when he looked at the storm instead of focusing on the power of Jesus. (Matthew 14:22-33) Peter could have cried out “why?!” as he was sinking, but what would the answer to that “why” do? How would that answer save him from drowning? Instead, he cried out; “Lord, save me!”

That has been my biggest lesson as I have learned to trust God with my life. It has been the cure to my depression and all that goes with it. Crying out “why?” does not bring the solution. I trust the One that carries that answer and I trust He will reveal it to me should it ever be something that I need to know. That question of “why” does nothing for me when I feel like I am sinking. The only thing that saves me from drowning is when I cry out; “Lord, save me!”

And He does. Every single time.

I do feel the joy of my salvation now that the depression has been defeated. I feel it so much at times it is hard to contain, and maybe I shouldn’t contain it. So, if you ever hear me yelp out in excitement or jump in the air in celebration, just know that I am remembering where I was and where I am not anymore and where I am going when it is all said and done. I am remembering just how much I can trust God in this life and I have no reason to fear or have anxiety or be in despair! I am remembering just how long and wide and high and deep God’s love for me is. (Ephesians 3:18) And not just for me but for all of us, including the ones I have hurt.

All thanks to God who sent Himself in the flesh as Jesus to live amongst us and go through this troubled life with us. Then to have every bit of evil this world contains thrown on Him on His way to the cross where He took on the wages of sin for us so that we can have an eternal relationship with Him unhindered by that sin. He gave us a way of escape! (1 Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 68:20)

I will never be defeated again! Yes! I have joy!! An everlasting joy!

Psalm 61:2
“From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 107:19
“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.”

Isaiah 51:11
“Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

Business as usual or unusual business?

Matthew 24:37-39
“As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. This is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be.”

At the time of the flood everyone was caught living their life business as usual. Everyone, except Noah and his family that is.

Noah and his family were caught being about the Father’s business. They were living life yet their business was not usual at all. Sure, they had usual business in their lives but that isn’t what they were all about. Their main focus was on God and His business. God led and guided them in their usual business as they fulfilled His.

Those who lived their life only focused on worldly business as usual ended up falling away into great evil and no righteousness of God could be found in their hearts. Their focus were in the ways of the world and the world became their ruler. This is the danger of living a life business as usual with your focus on a corrupt, fallen world that will soon pass away. Taking your life out of the usual to live a life doing God’s extraordinary, out of the usual work leads to great blessings now and in the end.

Will you be caught being about the Father’s unusual business and following Christ or caught only doing the usual business of the world?

Matthew 24:36, 40-41, 46
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.

Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left.

Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing His business when He comes.”

Maybe you are someone that has never decided to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Maybe you are someone who did, at one time, say a prayer for salvation but now realizes you never really started living your life for God and never really started following Christ making Him Lord of your life. Let me tell you some good news. That is a decision you can make right now at this very moment.

Christ willingly left His rightful seat in heaven to come die on a cross so, even while we are still sinners, we could be saved from the wages of sin. (Romans 5:8) When Christ died on that cross He opened up a fountain of living water that washes us clean and redeems us until the very end. (Zechariah 13:1) He was buried in a tomb and rose 3 days later with only the scars of His sacrifice remaining. Scars left behind not to remind us of what our sins have done but to shows us how they are healed. He ascended back to the Father so He could send the Holy Spirit to teach us and remind us of His word. (John 14:26) As we abide in His word He remains abiding in us and changing our hearts and granting God’s will in our lives. (John 15:7) Then, as we stay in His word, we become His disciples and joyfully, passionately live to tell the world about Him! (John 8:31, Mark 16:15)

This is our good news! This is what keeps us about our Father’s business! If you are willing to admit your need for a Savior from your sins, believe and have faith that Christ died for those sins, and confess Him Lord of your life with a desire to turn away from your sins and follow Him then all I can say is… “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
Ephesians 2:8