Choose this day…

Affirming and celebrating a sin that is in someone’s life is not showing them love. Pointing them to Jesus, who can rescue and redeem them from that sin, is showing love. That means telling the truth about sin.

So many people want to stay comfortable in their sin. They are so bent on staying comfortable that they will worship any “god” that allows them to stay in that comfort. I have seen statements come across my news feed that say things like “Yes, this is sin but I know God will accept me with open arms at the end of my life.” Or “Yes, this is sin but I am going to show love by celebrating the sin and letting God sort that out in their lives later. I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable.”

These statements are proof that the person making them does not have any faith or trust in the power of God or His sovereignty over the sin in our lives. When it comes to something like homosexuality or any sexual sin, then the consesus is ” a loving God wouldn’t put this desire in someone and expect them to wrestle with it for the rest of their lives, being miserable, just so they can be right with Him.” This is a true statement. A loving God wouldn’t do that and He didn’t. He didn’t put that desire there. The father of lies did. And that father of lies will use a “Christian” to affirm this sin in someone’s life.

God, the Father of Truth, has given us an escape from sin. Not just to escape hell and make it into heaven but to escape it even in our lives here on earth. To those that are affirming sin, you are taking away the hope that God can heal, restore, and redeem them! Yes, He can! I don’t care if this sin hit you at 5 or 55. Let me tell you, the father of lies does not discriminate by age, gender, or race. The father of lies is all inclusive on who he attacks.

The Father of Truth is all inclusive on who He rescues. He does not discriminate in age, gender, or race either.

Your identity does not have to be a long list of adjectives and pronouns that are describing what kind of sex you prefer to have. God can and will turn your identity into one simple statement; “I am a beloved and rescued child of God.”

Abortion is another highly celebrated sin. When abortion is affirmed and celebrated it takes away the trust someone can have that God will fulfill a purpose through the preganancy no matter how it happened. It takes away hope! When someone affirms that women have a choice to abort their babies then that person is showing their lack of faith in the power of God and His sovereignty over us!

When someone chooses to walk in celebration and affirmation of these sins, they are walking hand in hand with the father of lies. They are following that father of lies to the pit. Listening to his flute of comfort and dancing all the way to mourning.

When someone chooses to repent of these sins and leave the comfort of them, then they are walking hand in hand with the Father of Truth. They are following Him all the way to the gates of heaven. Delighting in His truth, leaving their mourning behind and finding true and everlasting joy!

God accepts us just as we are and He loves us enough to change us to be more like Him. HE changes us from our very hearts that we have invited Him into to change! He changes us with His love when we invite Him to do it!

That is the truth. That is God’s Holy Word.

“Well, Monica, easy for you to say since you have never suffered those sins.”

Don’t assume you know my life or my sin. I have, in fact, suffered both of those sins. That is why I confidently come to tell you the truth. To testify to you the power of our almighty God! He has redeemed me! He rescued me! A full rescue! What I once desired, I no longer desire! God did that for me! He pulled me from the pit! He revealed to me the lies! He rescued me and gave me new desires that match His! Praise be His Holy Name!!

He offers this rescue to all people and all sin! Isn’t that great news?! We don’t have to affirm sin because we have a God who conquors sin! Completely! I am a living, breathing testimony to that and there are thousands upon thousands of testimonies that say the same!

There is hope! We have hope! YOU have HOPE!! REJOICE!!

Don’t fall into the pit with the father of lies. Be rescued! Choose this day whom you will serve. The father of lies or the Father of Truth. (Joshua 24:14-15)

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 7:21

God shoots His arrow

As I read through this Psalm this morning, I am envisioning these enemies David is talking about as my internal enemy that schemes against me. All those negative thoughts and past hurts that had deceived me into thinking they had laid claim on my brain and that was brokenness that I would always carry with me.

I see how God has led me to this place where I am learning how to recognize that enemy and pray against it. I envision God shooting His arrows at my enemies. And the biggest realization I have had through this is….I am not the enemy. I am the one God is protecting. ❤️

I pray this Psalm helps us all “come alive” today and fight against the enemy in our minds knowing that we have God shooting His arrows at them.

Psalm 64
1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the throng of evildoers,
3 who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
4 shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
5 They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
6     They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.

7 But God shoots his arrow at them;
    they are wounded suddenly.
8 They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
    all who see them will wag their heads.
9 Then all mankind fears;
    they tell what God has brought about
    and ponder what he has done.

10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him!
Let all the upright in heart exult!

We all need someone to run to, don’t we?

And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness;
I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
Psalm 56:6-8

Wow, David could really write! He had such a way with words. I can particularly relate to these verses. How often I also want to flee from strife and find peace in isolation. So many times have I prayed a similar prayer asking God to give me wings like a dove to fly away from my circumstances.

Can you relate?

Can I tell you where God has shown me true peace comes from? It is in the strength He gives us in the circumstances we so desperately want to flee. May our prayers turn to those of strength in the circumstance instead of only being for the freedom from the circumstance.

Are there situations we need to flee from? Yes. Oddly enough, it is those situations that we find ourselves scared to leave and need strength to run to freedom. Even still, it is not to escape the circumstances. The storm of the situation is still brewing even if we are ignoring it and pushing it away. The circumstances of the situation are still there and need to be dealt with. Emotions need to be processed and healing needs to occur. Running from them won’t make that go away.

Are there times we need to be alone with God? Yes. This is not isolation but getting into God’s presence. This isn’t running and hiding from the circumstance but bringing it to God to cast our burdens on Him so that we may be sustained through them.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;” Psalm 55:22

Peace is not found running away from circumstances or trying to ignore them but only in running to God and bringing them to Him.

We all need someone to run to, don’t we?

Good news…we all have Someone. His name is Jesus. Can I tell you more about Him and what He has done to heal my soul? Can I tell you how He can do the same for you?

“But I call to God,
And the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I utter my complaint and moan,
And He hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety
From the battle that I wage,”
Psalm 55:16-18

A simple prayer

Please Lord, I ask that You help us stop taking the path of least resistance. Lord, help us to not choose what seems like an easy out when the flesh creates tension with the Spirit. Help us to resist and lead us to Your path of a light burden and an easy yoke. Lead us to Your path that gives us wings like eagles and makes us run and not grow weary and walk and not be faint. Please build our strength and endurance in this area as we lean and trust on You. Please Lord, lead us to You and away from evil.

In Christ name I pray, Amen

It’s not about…

It’s not about the suffering. It is about His joy in the midst of the suffering.

It’s not about the discomfort. It is about His comfort in the midst of the discomfort.

It’s not about the choas. It is about His peace in the midst of the choas.

It’s not about the hate. It is about His love in the midst of the hate.

It’s not about the lonliness. It is about His presence in the midst of the lonliness.

It’s not about our weakness. It is about His strength in the midst of our weakness.

It’s not about the evil. It is about His goodness in the midst of the evil.

It’s not about the pain. It is about His healing in the midst of the pain.

It’s not about us and what we can’t do. It is all about Him and what He can do.

Surrender and be blessed

When we make God the focus of our lives and depend solely on Him then this is an act of obedience that is called “surrender”. This act of obedience puts us in a blessed state of God’s guidance.

When we don’t surrender to God, we will still have a longing for guidance and will tend to look in other places like psychics or even trying to call upon the dead. This is no small thing. It is always destructive. Not only in your life but the lives of others around you, and it is certainly destructive in your personal relationship with God.

Hear the Lord your God and surrender to Him. Heed the warnings placed in His holy and true word. Come to an obedience of surrender and be blessed! ❤️

The below screenshot is from Enduring Word commentary over 1 Chronicles 10:13-14

A Hard Truth

This is going to be a very hard truth for some of you but it needs to be heard.

Heaven isn’t meant for everyone. Heaven is only meant for those who believe Jesus and confess Him Lord of their life. (Romans 10:9)

God reigns over Heaven and earth.

Earth is the only place that you will be able to even remotely feel His presence in your life without choosing Him as the One you will follow. He will show up in your life to draw you to Him yet still allow you to have a choice. If you don’t choose Him then this earth will be the closest to Heaven you will ever be.

Heaven is the home of those who chose to believe in the truth of Jesus as their savior. Heaven is not something that is taken away from you because you chose not to believe. Heaven was never ours to begin with. Our sin destins us for hell, but it is Jesus who rescued us from hell and made a place for us in Heaven with the Father. (John 14:3) If you do not believe that then you have no other rescue. He is the only way. (John 14:6)

Another glorious truth of this is not only are we saved from hell but we are saved from ourselves. We are saved from sin ruling our lives. Once we believe in Jesus and confess Him Lord of our lives then we receive the Holy Spirit to be our helper, to testify the truth of Jesus that creates a relationship with Him, and to lead us into good and away from evil. We change! (John 14:26)

If you believe you have accepted Christ as your savior and Lord of your life but still feel comfortable in your sin then I challenge you today to ask yourself, “Am I a fan of Jesus or a follower of Jesus?” It is not too late to lose a fan status and ask Jesus to lead you home to the Father.

This is the truth even if you deny it. Just know, though, God does not desire you to deny it but He desires you to accept it and be with Him for eternity. (2 Peter 3:9)

What do you desire?

I pray you let the Spirit come in and do His work and allow Him to give you a new heart with new desires that reflect your love for God and His love for you. (Ezekiel 36:26)
In Christ’s name I pray, Amen

New Blood

“My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Proverbs 3:1-3

In our youth group last night we spoke about what happens when something dies. We were going over the story of Lazarus and why Martha would say “surely by know he stinks.” If you don’t know the story, it is in John 11. Go give it a read, and I pray God brings you closer to knowing Him through it.

Anyway, we talked about how a dead body stiffens up. Most of us have seen road kill a time or two and can know how a body goes through rigormortis, where the body gets stiff. God started speaking a word over me in that moment. I didn’t get a chance to share it in youth but He has continued to speak it over me this morning so I would like to share it here.

We can say that the body can’t live without oxygen or food or water, but ultimately the body can’t live without blood pumping through it. I am not a medical professional but it makes sense to me that the body’s main goal is to keep pumping blood so that we can breathe and our brains can function and our muscles stay alive and active. The Bible speaks a lot about blood.

In fact, in the Old Testament, blood was highly respected. Why? Because blood is life. When the Bible speaks on forgiveness of sins it is met with the pouring of blood. In the Old Testament that pouring of blood comes from unblemished lambs. In the New Testament the pouring of blood comes from our perfect, unblemished Jesus and He is the final blood that ever has to be poured for our forgiveness of sins.

The wages of sin is death. (Roman 6:23) Sin brings death. Without sin there would be no death. In Jesus, we find eternal life. How? “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” He washes away our sins because He paid the wages of it once and for all with the pouring of His blood that brought His death. He also resurrected out of death and into eternal life and through Him, someday, we all will ressurect into eternal life if we believe in Him and His work on the cross.

But did you know He even resurrects the living? (Romans 6:5) How? Go back up and read Proverbs 3:1-3. If blood gives life and scripture tells us to write God’s word on the tablet of our heart, knowing that our heart pumps our blood, then that means our hearts will be pumping His word through our veins. Our very character changes through the sanctification that happens by the Spirit testifying to our hearts the truth of His word that we are writing on the tablets of our hearts. It is in our blood! It gives us new, resurrected life!

Ephesians 1:5 tells us that He predestined (decided beforehand) that He would adopt us as His children through Christ. This isn’t a “signing His name on a legal document” kind of adoption. This is a “giving of the blood” adoption. A full adoption. We have been born again through His ressurection. (1 Peter 1:3) It is now His blood that flows through our veins like a stream that will never run dry but will bring eternal life. (John 4:14)

Along with that new blood comes a new heart with new desires. (Ezekile 36:26-27) It is a desire to write His words on our hearts so, now, this new blood is pumping His truth through our veins. Not only have we been saved by His blood but we are being sanctified by it.

This blood gives us new life. New breath. He becomes the daily bread and the living water that we need to keep that blood flowing and giving us that new life. We desire it!

We change not because of our blood but because of His! We are saved not by our works but by His work on the cross and His sanctifying work in us. It is all Him. It has to be Him. Where else would we go? He is the only One with the words of eternal life. (John 6:68)

“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

‘This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.’

Then he adds:

‘Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.’

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
Hebrews 10:16-23

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:5

Come home

As I lay here awake again at 3 in the morning with several negative thoughts flowing through my head; I finally surrender them all into prayer. I remember all the times God has spurred me awake and allowed these thoughts to flood in. I know He has something to say over the thoughts that I even wrestle with during the day and at 3 a.m. I am still enough to listen.

The thoughts I was having doesn’t matter, at least not right here in this post but what He said matters.

“I brought you out of that and put you in My home. I was with you then so don’t you know I am with you in My home?”

Oh man! God brought me out of such darkness and He placed me in His home. His spirtual home (in my heart), His eternal home(He has made a place for me in heaven), and His physical home (church).

This reminds me of how He brought the Israelites out of Egypt where they were oppressed and enslaved for 400 years. Then led them to the Promise Land. They still had struggles with their faith in that land but God always gave them a solution. If He was with them in Egypt, if He was with them in the wilderness, then, of course, He was with them in the Promise Land. All they had to do was surrender to Him and stop surrendering to other gods, lies, and temporary comfort or excitement. In Him, they would find forgiveness, joy, and freedom from the evil He so desired to purge from them.

Now, here it is, Easter. What does Easter mean for you? For me, it is a celebration of Jesus Christ who has risen! He took my curse and my punishment to the grave and He arose as a new covenant. The veil that separated us from God has been torn and discarded! The work for our salvation is done but that isn’t all that happened! When Jesus ascended back to heaven He left us another gift that can be so often overlooked. He left the Holy Spirit to abide in us and change our hearts.

How do we get that Spirit? We surrender to Him instead of other gods, lies, temporary comfort or excitement. Through the Spirit that we receive by our faith in Jesus we are led to forgiveness, joy, and freedom from the evil that God so desires to purge from us. This is called sanctification and it doesn’t end until the day Jesus returns.

Have you felt that change? Do you feel that you surrender more to the Spirit or more to the desires of things you know are sin? Do you feel a struggle in your heart to let go of sin? Do you feel a desire to have a prayer life and study His word? What is your honest relationship with Jesus?

Talk to Jesus about that.

Today is the day, friend. So many will visit His physical home this morning for Easter. When the pastor ends his sermon and invites you to seal your salvation in Christ, please know that is a moment that God is using to invite you to His spiritual, eternal, and physical home. Not just to visit but to be a family member that lives there. Aren’t you weary of just being a visitor?

You, who are weary, come home.
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling.

Calling, oh sinner, come home.