March 11th, 2011 — Grace
I have heard people say that “God doesn’t love me or can’t accept me because I have committed so many sins in the past. I am a complete screw up. I’m destined for hell.” I absolutely despise hearing this, because it is a lie straight from the deceiver himself.
There is no reason that any of us need to feel this way. We are all just as guilty as the next. If you hear otherwise, you ought to start listening to a different messenger, because without grace we have nothing.
April 13th, 2012 — Love
“I have even felt Jesus speak to me and felt His love, yet, me of little faith, thinks that God disciplines me (Despite having been abused as a child) roughly, and that He favors others over me and doesn’t really love me. Can you give me some reasons WITH BIBLICAL PROOF that ISN’T OUT OF CONTEXT to prove to me that God still loves me?”
I appreciate your willingness to reach out and be totally transparent. God deeply desires for us to ask these difficult questions and wrestle for his truth, and I hope these words will minister to you! Your question certainly addresses one of the most challenging aspects of our faith; which is that things in this world never totally add up.
October 23rd, 2011 — Thought Of The Day
Lord, purify my heart. Teach me to value human life as you do. Take my eyes off of myself and accomplishing my own dreams. Help me to look more towards the inward rather than the outward appearance. Show me how to live in silence, patience and stillness. Father, be the voice that I look to and rely on. Transform me so that my thoughts, words and actions reflect trust, compassion and love; not fear, bitterness or indifference.
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October 22nd, 2011 — Grace
Photo Credit: maHidoodi on Flickr
Throughout history we witness man’s constant struggle to earn God’s love, favor and forgiveness. Ever since the original fall of humankind, our natural inclination is always to seek how we can pay our way back into the good graces of a perfect and holy God.
Yet, as history clearly shows, every attempt ever made from daily sacrifices to offering retribution for our own choices and decisions always falls short of this standard. In fact, our good intentions can actually become a great hindrance to experiencing true healing and an intimate relationship with a loving God, as we hop on the proverbial treadmill of never ending performance and image maintenance.
September 27th, 2011 — Love
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! I have engraved you on the palms of My hands” (NIV, Isaiah 49:15-16)…
I want you to try something with me for a moment. Place your palms face up before you. Now, take a minute or two and thoroughly study the intricacies and fine details of every single indentation, imprint and wrinkle. Consider the many wonders and works your hands have experienced and accomplished over the years.
September 22nd, 2011 — Identity
If you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you are a child of God. Once this occurs, the Bible is clear that we we’re set free by Him and are no longer slaves to sin. However, although we can have a cognitive awareness and working knowledge of this, it is another thing for this to become experiential truth in our lives.
In John 8:34-36, Jesus declares, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
September 20th, 2011 — Grace
Recently, a lot of people have proposed the question, “Does God still love me if I continue to sin?” This is typically something that can consume our thoughts when we seem to be in bondage to making the same wrong choice(s) over and over again. In most cases, each act is followed by some form of guilt and shame, which are the end results of each sinful decision.
However, these feelings are never from God. The Holy Spirit will convict you of areas that need to change in your life, but these words will always be spoken in a gentle, loving and healing manner. God wants us to find freedom from our sin and not be held captive by it.
August 27th, 2011 — Surrender
What Does God want from me? In our performance based culture, it is easy to start finding significance in what we do instead of who we become along they way. When we define ourselves in accordance with our own expectations and agendas rather than listening to what God wants for our lives, things can become very overwhelming.
In fact, you see this everywhere you turn. Discover 10 ways to fix that or 3 ways to become this. Even well meaning teachers and authors can start forming the “do it yourself” steps to becoming happy or achieving “X.” However, this self help/image maintenance plan never leads to true fulfillment or peace.
August 8th, 2011 — Love
In many ways, love (even that among Christians) has grown very cold. I am no exception. We live in a very dark hour, and more than ever there is a deep need for a revival of God’s love in this world. It is so easy to become calloused to what is truly happening all around us. There are many who do not even believe in God; for those that do, the question “Does God love me?” still rings louder than ever in their hearts.
August 6th, 2011 — Thanksgiving
What if I started to live as if everything that I have comes directly from God’s hand? And not only possessions but also my relationships, health, and happiness. I think it’s easy as a believer to declare that God loves me and provides all things, yet act as if I earned and am even entitled to each and every blessing. Though I may acknowledge that God is the true source and originator of everything, my actions sometimes tell a different story.
August 4th, 2011 — Thought Of The Day
We define good by what makes us feel good. God defines good by what draws us nearer to Jesus…
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July 25th, 2011 — Love
Why does God love me? As much as I try, it seems I always fail to do what I know I ought to. Just as the apostle Paul declared, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate” (NLT, Romans 7:15). In fact, I can get so frustrated with myself because I constantly try to make every effort to put God first, take time to pray, and lay down my life daily to follow after Him. Yet good intentions don’t always make for strong follow through. And then I only begin to feel even more guilty and ashamed.
July 14th, 2011 — Love
By guest writer, A.H.—I find it interesting that most of the challenges in my faith have come from regular conversations with regular people during regular days in my life. I emphasize the word regular purposefully, because I have come to learn that God has done His most powerful work in me during the mundane parts of life.
Many of us have heard of extraordinary Bible stories where God has shown His might and Glory through supernatural encounters, such as Moses parting the Red Sea or Jonah being swallowed by a whale. Yet, it seems outrageous to most that something of this magnitude would happen in our modern day self-sufficient culture.
July 6th, 2011 — Identity
Lately I have discovered that living out of my false self instead of finding my identity in Christ is where a lot of my own insecurities, bitterness, selfishness, anxiety and pride can stem from. From an early age, each of us is externally and innately programmed to fabricate our own coping mechanisms in order to create a sort of “release valve” from inner struggle. It is only human nature (and healthy too) that we desire to be loved, accepted, significant and secure, so our natural reaction is to protect these needs and validate ourselves whenever necessary.
June 30th, 2011 — Love
My wife and I recently traveled with an amazing team of people to the nation of Haiti. It was a 7 day trip that would change our lives forever. There is little that can be said for the degree of devastation that these people have had to endure. One could easily propose the question “Does God love Haiti?”
With disease running rampant, piles of rubble everywhere you turn, people living in tents with little access to water or sanitary conditions and thousands upon thousands of bodies that remain undiscovered after the earthquake–this is their reality. It’s hard to imagine and even more difficult to be put into words.
June 10th, 2011 — Love
I was having a very intimate conversation with my father-in-law, Rick, the other day regarding my devotional time with God matched against my busy schedule. You know, it’s really easy to trick myself into thinking I’m pretty important. But as Rick so eloquently reminds me, “We’re not indispensable.”
For us guys, I think it’s easy to get all caught up in the moment of things. Like a scene out of Braveheart or Die Hard I will go after any situation guns blazing and expect to come out a conqueror. It becomes some sort of challenge or game to me. Now I definitely am a huge believer in putting up a strong fight to overcome the odds, but guess what happens when I try to become the hero in my own life instead of looking to God. I become consumed; addicted to stimulation!