So what if you’ve gotten on the wrong boat? What if you thought all along that you were headed in the right direction but it turns out that the course you’re on isn’t taking you where you thought it was going to take you?
Let’s talk about religion for a minute…my heart has been so troubled for the people that only know Jesus through religion and not through a personal relationship. There are so many people out there that are steeped in their religion and the traditions of that religion and as a result are completely missing out on what God really intended for them…a deep and very personal relationship with them through Christ Jesus. Religions are man made. Religions are based on people’s own efforts to be made right with God. Gods plan was not based on people’s efforts and works, Jesus was and is the plan! He made each of us to be in relationship with Him. Jesus bridged that gap and allows us to have a relationship with God the Father.
Religion says pray this prayer – Relationship says just talk to Me
Religion says do this or say this at this time – Relationship says follow the Holy Spirit that I’ve given to guide
Religion says you can only take communion if you’re in right standing – Relationship says all are welcome at My table, My blood paid the price for all and if you believe I died for your sins, you are in right standing
The only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus must be the cornerstone that our faith in God is built on…no one else and nothing else. John 14:6 says Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
What if you’ve been on the wrong boat this whole time and you just didn’t know it? Afterall, you don’t know what you don’t know…
Friends, this is something that has been constantly on my heart for the past couple of years. There are people that are on the wrong boat or have missed the boat completely and it saddens me so much that they are not able to fully experience all of what God has for them. I’ve started many blog posts on this topic over the past two years but the words never fully came together. A few mornings ago, I was in my prayer time and this sadness came over me again and the phrase “it’s like they’ve gotten on the wrong boat” came to mind. I guess it could have been the wrong train or plane or pathway, but God chose the word boat…haha! In any case, if this message spoke to you, then it was for you.
God is inviting you into a real relationship through His Son Jesus…make sure your current course is headed in the right direction…
The worship pastor at my church has recorded a song called “Our Only Desire”. The chorus of this song goes like this…”burn out the dross til your our only desire.” I love those words. How easy is it to get wrapped up in the things of this world and lose our Kingdom focus? We must ask our Father to refine us and remove all the impurities…burn out the dross…until all that’s left is our desire for Him and the things of Heaven and not of our flesh and of our circumstances.
Proverbs 25:4 “Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith”
Father, that’s my prayer tonight. Remove all the things in my life that take my focus off of You. Continue to burn off the dross in my life and refine me. Continue to mold me and change me into the person You would have me be. In Jesus name, Amen.
“Salvation is not a goal to be achieved…it’s a gift to be received.” -Robert Morris
That my friends, is called grace. Salvation is something we could never earn. It is a gift of grace, by faith in our Savior and Lord Jesus. How great is our God that loves us enough to give us this amazing gift of grace.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God”
I came across this quote from one of my favorite pastors and it echoes the very thing that I have to keep reminding myself of.
“There’s so much darkness in our world today, yet it’s important for us to remember that God is STILL in control, Jesus is STILL the answer, and we STILL need to do our part.”
He’s not kidding – there is a lot of darkness in the world today and it seems as if it’s spreading at a very accelerated rate. Anyone that takes the time to read about the current events happening in America and around the world can see it. I know there are people that start to lose faith when all their eyes see in front of them is darkness…but, God is STILL in control! He hasn’t forgotten about the innocent that are being hurt or persecuted. He hasn’t forgotten about your friends and family that are struggling and He hasn’t forgotten about you…He is STILL in control and always will be and Jesus is STILL the answer. Seek Jesus in every facet of your life my friends. The only way we can weather the storms ahead of us is to be nestled safely in His arms. Seek the Lord Jesus and the Father will light up the path in front of you. Let’s not forget the last part…despite all the negative coming our way we must remember that God works all things together for good. Everything is happening for a reason…we just need to trust. In our trust for Him, we need to steam on full speed ahead and complete the mission that each of us were created for…we still need to do our part.
Psalm 27:1-2 “The Lord is my light and my salvation so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
I had a moment today when I reflected on things I’ve said, thoughts I’ve had and things I’ve done that were disappointing to my Heavenly Father. I continue to let Him down. He reminded me that although I’m still learning and making mistakes, I always will be. He reminded me that He knows that I believe in Him and trust in Him. He knows that I break down in tears when I think about Him. He remembers all the times that He’s wrapped me in a blanket of peace when I’ve cried out to Him asking for a hug.
You see my friends, He also knows our hearts. He knows we’re going to continue to disappoint Him but He STILL loves us.
Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”
Oh how I love my Jesus…
I read this earlier from the Heart of the Prophetic…”People in bondage to religious thinking cannot fully understand spiritual things. They look to the letter of the law without the lens of the Spirit of God.” Well said!! Religion does not save you and give you hope and peace that passes all understanding. Our hope must be deeply rooted in Jesus Christ…our cornerstone, our Rock and our Redeemer! Instead of “religion”, seek a RELATIONSHIP with the Savior Himself!
It’s all about Jesus my friends! His blood shed on the cross not only made it all possible but sealed the new Covenant and PROMISES us that if we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we ARE saved! Thank you Jesus!!
What’s the foundation of your faith built upon?
Why is it that we find it so hard to surrender our lives to God? We say we have faith and trust Him, yet when it comes down to it we struggle with actually letting go and letting God be in control. Why? I think it’s fear. Fear of the unknown…fear of change…fear of getting out of our comfort zones. Ultimately, we are afraid of not being in control. We stand at the edge of the precipice and stare down, thinking only about how far down it is. I know it seems like a long way down, and in the flesh it is but there is no distance too far for the Creator. God will meet you where you are, but you have to trust Him. When God leads you to the metaphorical cliff, don’t just step off reluctantly…have a bold faith and jump! Each time I’ve “jumped”, I have found that the invisible safety net was right below me all the time. Don’t be afraid to make that move, take that job, talk to that person or make that decision…follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You know when He’s been talking to you. Surrender your life to Him…let Him be in control and JUST BELIEVE and TRUST!
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
Mark 5:36 “Jesus told him, Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
My family and friends that know me well know just how much I’ve changed since I started walking with the Lord. My entire life has changed including my character, my thoughts, my actions, my words, the way I give and the way I love among other things. God truly has made me a new creation; I have been changed mind, body and spirit. Praise God!! When we put our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, seek Him and obediently follow Him He does a miraculous thing in our lives…He changes us. Think about your own life – how have you changed since you started walking with the Lord? Let’s do something…take out some paper and a pen and make a list of all the things that have changed in your life since your relationship first started with the Lord. It’s easy to overlook how far we’ve come and start to feel like God is working in everybody’s life but ours. Write it down, I bet you’ll realize after making your list that He’s doing more in your life than your first realized.
My testimony (check out the about me page for the background) is a real life example of the way He can and does change us when we invite Him to do so. The change in your life is the outward evidence of the change that has transpired in your heart. There is nothing we can do to change ourselves…we are nothing apart from God. Surrender your life at the feet of the Savior and He will change you too.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away, behold, new things have come.”
Many of us have grown up in a family of believers, grew up going to church on Sundays, Sunday school, memorizing verses, religious observances, etc. Those are all good things. BUT…it doesn’t mean you have a personal relationship with your Lord and Savior. Head knowledge does not equal heart knowledge. Wow! Let’s let that sink in for just a minute…head knowledge does not equal heart knowledge.
Having family that are Christians and going to church every week does not make YOU a Christian. Your faith must be personal to YOU. This isn’t religion…this is a relationship. Think about your relationships with family members or close friends – how did your relationship with them grow? Your relationship with your mother did not grow from hearing about somebody else’s relationship with her. You grew your own relationship with her, day by day and conversation by conversation. A real relationship is built over time as you learn and grow together. It’s not something you can learn without experiencing it yourself.
The same is true with our Lord. It’s time to get to know Him. Talk to Him, learn more about Him by opening up your mind and heart to Him, invite Him into your everyday life, laugh with Him and cry with Him. Seek more than just your head knowledge. If you do, He will welcome you with arms wide open. He wants nothing more than to have a relationship with each of us. You will be changed just as I have been. Stop worrying about what your family and friends might think or say about you as you change and grow in your relationship with the Lord…the only one you should be worried about pleasing is God Himself. It’s time my friends, it’s time.
This is an example of just how much God loves us…
My six year old daughter Kelsie watched a show with her older sister in which one of the characters on the show, a little girl, was kidnapped. She developed a strong fear from this and started having problems going to bed every night because she was scared. As a parent, naturally my heart broke wanting to be able to take the fear away from her. I prayed that the Lord would show me how to help my little girl. One night as I was thinking about Kelsie and how I wished Jesus was able to just reach down and wrap His arms around her every night to reassure her, the Lord brought to mind the thought of a blanket. After a bit of searching online I was able to find just the right one…it has a picture of Jesus with some little children. He is walking with them on a bright sunny day and they are safe and happy. Kelsie now wraps herself up each night in a hug from Jesus.
Thank you Father for helping my little girl; I am so greatful. Thank you for the peace and comfort that she has each night now because of your answer to my prayers. Thank you that you are faithful and trustworthy in every situation. I love you Father.