The Lord Settled the Matter, But Have You?

Isaiah 1 18

Have you settled the matter of your sin? When we say yes to Jesus Christ as our Savior we have settled the matter. Christ paid for our sin debt in full, dying on the cross for every one of our sins, but the question is do we believe that the matter is settled? Or do we continue to live in bondage, shackled to guilt, and shame never fully resting in the blessed assurance of our redemption through Christ? The enemy stalks us with our sin. When we choose to continuously live in the shadows of our sin it distracts us from God’s work. Sin’s hold on you isn’t by mistake, it is a deliberate part of Satan’s plan to keep you distracted, and doubting your faith, and identity in Christ.

Our mind and spirit are in a battle with the enemy and every day we have to ask ourselves,”Who am I in Christ?” “Am I a new creature?” “Do I believe I am forgiven?” It’s one thing to say I am a child of Christ, it is another thing to live as a child of Christ. Jesus loved us enough and deemed us worthy to save us from death, but we must be willing to accept his grace and his forgiveness. Why is it that so many of us spend years living in shame, beating ourselves up and stuck in the past because we refuse to forgive ourselves for our sins?

Yes, we should repent, confess, turn away from sin, and be remorseful, but repeatedly punishing ourselves is useless. When we refuse to forgive ourselves we are saying that Christ’s forgiveness isn’t enough, that his death on the cross doesn’t cut it. There is absolutely nothing in this world you can ever do that Christ’s grace and forgiveness can’t cover.

You can’t live as a new creation if you’re living with an old mindset. You are divinely designed! God’s plans for you are bigger than your sin. Yes, your sin was like scarlet, red as crimson, but the Lord settled the matter, so let it be settled in your heart, mind, and spirit.

Defeat the Darts of Discouragement and Fear Through the Shield of Christ

joshua

There are two powerful darts that aim to shoot us down, snatch away dreams and inject poison into our hopes and tries to deflate our faith. Those darts are fear and discouragement. Have you ever got shot in the gut by one of these darts? Most of us experience the unpleasant effects of fear or discouragement when we are burning up to do God’s work. When we are on purpose and intentionally trying to live out God’s will for our life, that when the darts come flying out of nowhere.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Some of you are probably licking your wounds as you read these words. Maybe it was just a  few weeks ago that you had boundless energy to do God’s work. The path in front of you felt familiar because God had planted the seeds in your heart, to carry out his will and you felt fulfilled because that’s exactly what you were doing, then all of a sudden bam! You’re hit with a wave of fear, intimidation, pessimism and a stream of negative thoughts that scream how unworthy and ill-equipped you are to be on this path.  After the fear gets cozy it ushers in discouragement.  All the confidence and enthusiasm you were bursting with is slowly drained by the poisonous dart that has intentionally found its way to you.

Fear and discouragement are the heavy artillery used by the enemy to derail you and extinguish the fire you have as a follower of Christ. If you’ve been under attack you know how debilitating and paralyzing it is to your spirit. So, how do you loosen the grip of the enemy’s hold in your life?

Just as God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous he commands us to do the same. How can we do this when we can barely see above the fear that’s clouding our vision and the discouragement that invading our heart? We can only do it through the assurance that God is with us always. If God who is all-powerful, omniscient, never-changing, who is limitless in possibility is always with us then fear and discouragement are already defeated. The Lord is our shield protecting us from the darts of the enemy. Through our faith and assurance, our courage and strength are born. We can be encouraged by the knowledge of the scriptures that assure us that God has our back.

When I’m in my groove and on my path of purpose a  huge mistake I make that gives the enemy a clear shot is when I become self-reliant. The courage and strength I experience in the beginning are born from Christ, but then that old prideful self-appears and foolishly  I start to rely on my own abilities, skills, and strength,  placing my protective shield in a corner. The enemy is crafty! When he sees I’ve taken off my armor he will take full advantage of my unprotected state, target my weaknesses and vulnerabilities with a full-on attack. Suddenly I’ve veered off course. I’m deflated,  doubtful and feel like a balloon that’s been popped. All that zeal for God is replaced with a hesitancy to go forward. Ladies this isn’t what God wants for us!

The key to strength and courage is allowing it to pour in through Christ. Let him fill you with his blessed assurance, let him wipe away the tears of discouragement and resuscitate you with a heart of encouragement! You have nothing to fear as long as you continue to be rooted in Christ. We don’t have to be strong on our own, we can’t! We need the Lord of infinite power to permeate our life to be a force field against the darts of the enemy so that we can become the masterpiece the potter had always planned!

 

Trust, Seek & Know the Lord’s Name

Psalm 9-

The Lord has been speaking to my heart to dive deeper into the scriptures, to look behind the words and their meanings to understand the context in a way that is powerful and applicable to my life. This scripture in Psalm 9:10 has three words that have been piercing my spirit in this season. The words are trust, seek, and forsaken. I want to give you my study notes as I let this Psalm sink into my mind and spirit.

Trust: To have confidence, to entrust, firm belief, reliability, the strength of someone or something. :

Seek: To search for, sought after diligently, to reach out, a desire to obtain, to resort to, to discover.

Forsaken: To leave behind in the sense of abandoning, to leave in straights or helpless, to set apart, to turn away from entirely or renounce. 

There is no other word that brings more comfort than His Name…Lord. When we know His name, and really understand the significance of his name and who the Lord is in our life as our deliverer, our Father, and our Savior we should be overwhelmed with the assurance of his love.

We can trust in His name, meaning we can have complete confidence and a firm belief in the reliability of his strength in all our circumstances and in every season when we are weak. Our God is unchanging and stable in all his ways. We can believe in his promises and entrust to him every fear, uncertainty or hope we have because he will safeguard as only our heavenly Father can do.

God never leaves our side, even when we feel alone. It isn’t God that’s grown distant it is us. That’s why we need to diligently seek the Lord and the word that is life-giving. When I feel distant from God I have to ask myself have I stopped desiring Him, his word, his commands. Have I gotten lazy in discovering and digging deeper into who the Lord is to me?

We will experience seasons, where we will wonder, ‘where are you, God?’ In those difficult days, we have to remember His promise to never forsake us. God will never abandon you, renounce you, or leave you behind because His love for us is eternal. His death on the cross is an unbreakable bond of his love us in our sinful natural self. Even in the darkest days, you can trust that when you seek him and know his name that the Lord will comfort and keep you.

30 Day Gratitude Project- Day 6!

Day 6

I’m so grateful for my favorite book… The Bible. I love that some of the pages are hanging on by a thread, that there are notes written in its chapters, and there are scribbles on the front page from when Anya’s was a toddler. Everywhere I go my Bible follows. I’m eternally grateful for the book of life that has been so life-sustaining to me and is my blueprint for this journey.

bibletim

Scriptures for Thanksgiving!

Scriptures We Can Meditate on this Thanksgiving!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 2:7 “Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Colossians 3:17 “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, bu in everything by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving and present your requests to God.

1 Timothy 4:4 “For everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his love endures forever.”

Psalm 69:30 “I will praise God’s name in song and will glorify him with thanksgiving.”

Ephesians 5:4 “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

Hebrews 13:15 ” By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.”

Revelation 11:17 “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign.”

Thursday’s Daily Dose of Scripture-Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Give Your Children The Gift That Matters Most

Deuteronomy 11:18-19″Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Moms, God has given us a serious responsibility when he blessed us with our children. We not only have the duty of putting a roof over their heads, clothing them or feeding them, but we are to teach them the Gospel. Nothing you give your child can compare to the foundation and blessing you give them when teaching them God’s word. We are told to talk about God’s word with our children when we are home, outside, in the evening and in the morning. Why? Because the world is trying to teach them the exact opposite. We only have a short amount of time with them before they are out on their own, facing decisions and dealing with the pressure that our culture puts on them. So we have to equip them with the truth! We need to be in the word with them and not just a prayer before bed time. But, we need to lay down the spiritual foundation that is built scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer, deed by deed, and we must show them how to stand firm in this foundation when the world wants them to fall into it’s snares. The Word needs to be fixed in our own heart and mind so that we can lead our children, otherwise we can’t teach them. We all should ask ourselves if we are consistently practicing this scripture in our homes or is the busyness of life getting in the way? The importance of a good education, the exposure to extracurricular activities and anything else we may feel pressured to supply our children with all pales in comparison to the mighty responsibility we have in instilling the word of God in our children’s minds and hearts. Will they always follow it? I pray they do, but even when they don’t, you laid the spiritual foundation which is powerful and is the best gift you can ever give to this little person that God so graciously gave you to guide, love and teach him about his love.

Give Your Child The Gift That Keeps Giving

Give Your Child The Gift That Keeps Giving