The breakthrough is coming…

This thing called life is a real struggle sometimes, isn’t it?! We go through seasons in our lives when things are going along great and we’re on top of the mountain and we go through seasons where we can feel like we’re wandering through the desert. I’m thankful for those mountain moments but I’m also thankful for those moments in the desert because they bring me back to Him. 

I don’t know if you’re like me or not but it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the undertow of life…it can start to sweep you under. I believe there are times that our Heavenly Father allows us to feel overwhelmed. He wants us to need Him! He wants us to KNOW that we need Him. He wants us to ask for His help and rely completely on Him! I have this verse on my desktop right now: 

Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” 

This is such a good reminder for me and I hope it will be for you to on those days when you start to feel like you’re walking alone in the desert. He’s right there with you…but He’s waiting for you to ask for His help. He’s waiting for you to KNOW that you need Him. He’s waiting for you to literally raise your empty hands up to Him and say “Father, I can’t…but I know you can.” Jesus is not only our Savior…but also our Lord. He IS our Rock that is higher than we are. He is the one that we must cry out to when our hearts feel overwhelmed. He wants to help us…but He wants us to ask Him. He wants us to have enough faith to truly believe that He’s working it all out for us. He wants us to trust Him and completely surrender it all over to Him. 

Oh Father, I can’t…but I KNOW You can. My breakthrough is coming…

But it’s a long way down…

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.” 

Is it head or heart knowledge?

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.

A hug from Jesus…

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. 

Let’s get personal…

This is a topic that has been on my heart for a long time and I have been waiting on the Lord to give me the words, but now is the time.

I’m very saddened that there are people that are being deceived by the enemy in thinking that they are right with God, when really they are not.

Matthew 7:21-23 “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. On that day many will say to me “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

“I never knew you”…let’s reflect on this for a moment. Jesus is saying you did all these works but at the end of the day, I still didn’t have a relationship with you…I never KNEW you. How do you honestly know someone if you don’t have a first hand relationship with them?? All the works, good deeds, rituals, ceremonies and everything else still does not equal a first hand relationship with someone.  The people Jesus is referring to do not have a real relationship with Him, all they have is an empty religion.

Religion cannot take the place of relationship. We are able to have an actual personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus. Jesus bridged the gap between our Holy God and us sinners. The only way for us to know God and for God to know us is by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Believing in God, going to church every Sunday, and reading the Bible is not enough to secure your eternal rest in Heaven with the Father. The ONLY way to spend eternity with God the Father, is to accept, follow and have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus. In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I have a personal relationship with Jesus. I not only have faith in Him as my Savior, but I trust Him with every aspect of my life.  I love Him, I tell Him about my good days and my bad days, I ask for His help, I laugh with Him and I cry with Him. BUT…a relationship cannot be one sided. Here’s the really amazing part… even though I can’t see Him, He makes His presence very known in my life and shows me that He loves me too. He brings me peace and comfort in the bad days and joy in the good days, he answers my pleas for help, and reminds me of hope through the tears. To me He is a parent, a friend, a provider, a helper, a teacher…sometimes when I think of Him, I refer to Him as “my Jesus”… it’s personal to me…HE’S personal to me. In order to completely surrender your life over to someone and agree to follow them regardless of what you’re asked to do or go through, it HAS to be personal!

Do not be deceived by your religion – the only way to the Father is through the Son. When we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness – we must bring them directly to Jesus, our Redeemer.

Friends, if you are feeling that you are missing something from your “religion”- you’re feeling that way for a reason. You’re missing out on Jesus. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). If you are feeling like you are unfulfilled in your beliefs, your religion or your church…that’s because our Lord is seeking you and wants to save you. He is calling you to a personal relationship with Him…answer the call. Step out in faith, it’s time to get personal…

 

 

Sharing your hope…

For those of us that know Jesus, we have hope because we know that we have a Lord and Savior that loves us, is looking out for us, that goes before us and with whom we will spend eternity with. Imagine what life is like for those people in the world that don’t have hope through Christ. They are lost, in despair, and looking for solutions to their problems in all the wrong places. Imagine a life with no hope…I honestly can’t anymore! I can’t imagine my life without Jesus in it and I don’t want to. So for those of us that know Jesus and know His hope…what are we doing to share that hope with others? What are we doing to share that hope with our hairstylist, with the barista at the coffee shop or with our co-workers?  In the words of the pastor at my church “WE are God’s plan A for sharing the Good News of Jesus…there is no plan B. We are the method He has chosen to spread that message of hope.” 

So my question to you is: how can you share the message of hope with others? You are part of God’s plan A too…

Thank you Jesus that I have an eternal hope through Your redemptive work on the cross. Thank you that I have hope walking through everyday life because you are walking right beside me. Lord, please guide me to the people that don’t yet know You, prepare their hearts, and give me the courage to boldly proclaim the hope that I have through Jesus. Amen.

God is with us…

How do we know God is with us if we can’t see Him? Let me ask you this – can you see the wind? We can’t actually see the wind, however we can see and feel its effects. We feel it’s presence as the air brushes across our skin, and we see the rustling of the leaves on the trees, it’s with us and very real indeed. Just the same is God. Although we can’t see Him, the effects of Him  are all around us! We can see His creation in the mountains, the rays of sun streaming through the clouds and in the formation of a rainbow.  We can see the changes He makes in the people we know and feel it in our own hearts. He IS with us! Just think of the wind…

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.