What if…

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…

What if…

He works all things together for good…

I want to share something with you friends…a real life example of Gods provision, His answer to prayer and how He truly does work all things together for good. 

My church has an outreach program called Second Saturdays. The second Saturday of every month, the church sends a group that has signed up (usually about 250-450 people) to help out and serve the local community in various ways. Last month our group served the Phoenix Rescue Mission by cleaning and  painting a new kitchen space that would be used for in house job training for the women’s facility to train the ladies on a skill that could be used to find employment, we also did deep cleaning of their main kitchen and cafeteria as well as packing 1,000 lunches for the homeless downtown and making gift bags for the staff and residents of the mission. I had a great timing serving at the mission that day, fellowshiping with the residents and fellow volunteers and being the hands and feet of Jesus! Today at church, I found out the rest of the story and how God had even greater plans for what we were doing there that day. 

The 1,000 lunches that were packed were supposed to be picked up by someone that day and distributed downtown Phoenix but the man that was supposed to come pick them up never showed up. The outreach pastor from our church was sitting with a van loaded with 1,000 packed hotdog lunches and now had no idea what he was going to do with them. As he sat in that van, he asked the Holy Spirit what he should do and was guided a few blocks away where he came across a team of people in matching t-shirts from another church that were downtown sharing the good news of Jesus with the homeless. You see, this group had been praying for food that morning so they could feed the people that they were trying to share the gospel with. Praise God!! I mean come on people…Praise God!!! He is so great and is always faithful!! What the enemy means for bad, He always turns around and works every little detail out for good. 

Thank you Father for Your constant  provision and your faithful answer to prayer. 

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”

Nail it to the cross.

You’re struggling with something right now, aren’t you? Pain, fear, depression, financial issues, anxiety, loss, addiction, worry, illness. Maybe it’s not you but a loved one. Nail it to the cross my friends. Right now I want you to picture in your mind writing down everything on a sheet of paper that your worrying about right now. Write down your struggles, write down your pain and your addictions, your anxiety and your fears…write it all down. Now I want you to picture a large wooden cross in front of you and a hammer and nail in your hand. Now take that list of all your struggles and nail it to the cross. I want you to picture every hurt, every illness, every doubt, every worry literally being nailed to the cross. As you take that hammer and drive the nail into the wood of the cross, I want you to picture surrendering every single thing on that list over to Jesus. When your done, step back and take a moment to soak in how it feels having just lifted every burden off of your shoulders. Picture the relief you now feel that the weight of the world no longer rests with you. Look at how much more comfort and peace you now have and notice how strong that cross holds everything you once held. You didn’t hurt the cross, the cross is unchanged by the weight of what you’ve just nailed to it.

Jesus can not only handle the weight of everything you’re carrying around…He was born to carry it. God sent you and me a Savior…His only Son to carry it for each of us. We have pain and illness, depression and anxiety, loss and hurt because we live in a fallen world that is full of sin. But Jesus…Jesus died for ALL sins. He took on everything for you and for me. It’s done friends…every sin has ALREADY been accounted for. He took on it all when he died on that cross for us…It is finished. If you have faith in Jesus and that He died for your sins…it is finished for you too. 

The next time think about the struggles you used to face, go back to the cross. Remember you nailed everything to the cross, it’s no longer your worry. Don’t try to pick back up what was too heavy for you to carry the first time. Jesus paid it all…paid in full. 

Friends, I once struggled from food addiction. For me, it took hitting rock bottom to realize the end of myself and to reach out for His help. Jesus will meet you wherever you are. Take a step in faith…pick up the hammer, reach out…nail it to the cross, surrender your life and all your worries to Jesus and He will gladly take them on and carry them for you. Paid in full. 

Colossians 2:13-14 “And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside nailing it to the cross.”

Thank you Jesus!! I will praise you forever…

A thankful heart…

One of the things I have learned in my walk with the Lord is how important it is to start each day with a thankful heart. My best days are those that I start my day by thanking and praising Him for everything He’s doing and providing for in my and others lives. 

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be a part of an evangelical outreach mission called Revive Twin Cities. I had such a truly amazing experience…can’t even put it into words! I spent a week enveloped in an event where the power of Holy Spirit was so strong and we saw God move in such powerful ways. Of course when I got home I was completely fired up and had a new stream of people and things to pray for and about but I was completely surprised when…every single time I would start praying for these things, the Holy Spirit would tell me to “thank Him”. Over the course of the next few days, every time I would think about Revive, I would be redirected to thank and praise Him for every aspect…the way He had changed my heart through this event, His power which I had experienced, the people I had met, the testimonies I’d heard, just everything. So I thanked and I praised Him over and over…He is SO worthy of all that praise! Every time I would thank and praise Him, I would get this burst of excitement all over again for what I had just experienced. It was through this that I learned the true importance and significance of starting my time with the Lord with a thankful heart that praises Him.

It’s no wonder why my best days are those where I start with a thankful heart…we were made to worship and praise Him! 

Our thankfulness acknowledges His presence in our lives and prepares our hearts to humbly bring our requests before the Lord…which He faithfully responds to! Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.” 

Heavenly Father, you are worthy of all our thankfulness and praise! You…who created Heaven and Earth and each of us in it. You…who sent your Son Jesus to save us and give us hope. You…who is faithful and answers our prayers. You Father…are worthy of all praise…thank you! 

Jesus is our High Priest…

Jesus is a compassionate and faithful High Priest. He intercedes for us directly to our Father God. You do not need someone else to mediate for you…you can approach Christ yourself! Seriously people, how awesome is that?! In fact, that is exactly what He desires from us. He wants a relationship with each of us…how do you get to know each other if you don’t talk to each other directly? Jesus is our Savior and He alone is all we need!! Please my friends, don’t be deceived by false teachings that say you cannot approach our Lord Jesus directly. It IS possible to have a personal relationship with God, through Christ Jesus. Thank you Lord!! 

Hebrews 4:14-16

” Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 

Note that word CONFIDENCE…let US (that’s you and me) approach the throne of grace with CONFIDENCE…just sayin’… 🙂

Amazing Grace…

“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”

Oh how I love my Jesus…

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…