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Archive for the ‘My Love for God’ Category

We all know the verse… we’ve heard it so many times.  But…. are we really letting the meaning sink into our hearts and living it out?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34 


Seek FIRST His kingdom and His righteousness!  This is where we often miss the mark…. we seek everything else first, THEN see if there’s time left over for Jesus. However, the Bible tells us this just won’t do…. not anymore than it would for us. Jesus should come first for us and everything else come in at second. After all, that’s what He gave us when He lived a sinless life for us then was willing to die so we could be forgiven for our sins. He put us and our needs first. 

We are called His bride and surely a bride wouldn’t look at her groom and think… “Yeah, I’ll get to you later… first I need to watch this tv show.”  Or think, “Yeah maybe after I work then I’ll try to see if I feel like spending some time with you.”   No, a bride would never do this to her groom that she loves.  So, why is it that we think it’s okay to do this with Jesus Christ, our Savior?   This is something that is so NOT okay.  Yet it happens all over the world every single day by millions, billions, of people that, if asked, would claim that they are a Christian and love Jesus.  That just should not be so.

Jesus lived a perfect life and died FOR US.  Surely, we can give Him attention and seek Him first in our daily lives.

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There’s a big problem in the world today and it seems to be an outright epidemic here in the United States.  Christianity has become more of a hobby than a serious way of living every single day of life.  Church has become a social club full of entertainment for the masses.  This is a far cry from what our Bible tells us life should look like when following Christ.  This whole situation scares me, to be honest.  I cannot fathom a worse nightmare than to die and find myself facing Jesus, the King of Kings, and hear Him say to me, “Away from me, you evildoer!”

(“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of m Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!’  Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Matthew 7:21-24)    

Can you just imagine standing there and having Jesus say that to you?  I simply cannot handle the thought of that.  Yet, so many will experience exactly that.  They don’t have to… and they’ve been told by Jesus Himself that it can happen and what to do to prevent it, but still… it’s not getting through to people. I used to be one of those people who didn’t understand this very simple thing.  I went to church with my dad as a kid and heard all the same church sayings many others hear – still today even. And I believed it all. Hook, line, and sinker. I thought…. surely THAT many people must have it right after all! Regardless of the fact that the very Word of God tells us that FEW will find the narrow gate…..

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14

I got uncomfortable when that passage crossed my path and it would send me running straight back to my excuse bag, or my feel better about myself bag, or my great big ole bag of Christian lies – a gift from Satan himself given to all who will take it.

 “Yeah but alllllllll those people can’t be wrong and besides…. God is a loving God and Jesus died for my sins and I believe in Him so yeah…. relax…. it’s not about what I do… cause that would be works and didn’t Sue and George say that we can’t ‘work’ for our own salvation anyway?  Yes, they sure did and yeah they can’t all be wrong so I’m good… I mean I was baptized  when I was 12!  So yeah… Surely, it’s all good?  Oh yes, I’m a good person too…  I help people and besides…  have you heard what Johnny did last week?  I would NEVER do THAT so yeah… I’m good.  And we go to church too, especially at Easter and Christmas cause that’s the important days anyway.  You know how churches today are… full of hypocrites and besides… a lot of times I’m just too busy, but Jesus loves me and it’s not about what I do!  Remember?!!!  I have a personal relationship with Jesus and I read my Bible (well sometimes… but sometimes I do get so sleepy when I try and it’s hard to understand…. you know?) and just last week I prayed for everyone I know!  But that ‘organized religion’ stuff just isn’t for me cause I’ve been hurt by church.  People that go to church just look down on you anyway.  They judge you and decide who you are before they even know you cause you know…. they’re just hypocrites n all.  They sin too anyway, just differently than I do – we all live in sin and can’t help it.  We just can’t help it.”  

Sound familiar????  Heard any of those nifty little sayings/excuses?  Said a few of them yourself perhaps?  I spent years with all that mess and then some! I’ll never forget the day that God, in all His loving kindness, nudged me and said, ‘There’s more to it.”

I was in our laundry room, ironing my husbands pants, and thinking about the whole ‘being saved’ thing.  I was going round and round in my mind with the whole idea of  a person being able to pray a little prayer one day and then go on back to living life any ole way they wanted to, making up excuses for living in continual sin,  and how that just did not seem even close to being right.  I talked with a few people (who were basically in the same position as me) and they all tried to convince me that, of course, that’s the way it works cause well…. you know…  Jesus died for our sins and did all the work for us etc… and so on.  Still…. something about it all was bothering me.  I prayed and asked God to please show me the TRUTH.  HIS TRUTH.  Not what I wanted to hear, but the real truth – even if that meant big ole hard changes in my life.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

I started seeking and He helped me to find Him.  He keeps His promises!  I cannot begin to say how much has changed in my life.  He has turned everything upside in my life, in my husband’s life, and in my children’s lives.  I am not saying that life has become some awesome easy every day is great type of life.  Not hardly!  In fact, I would say that in some ways things are harder.  Harder based on the world’s standards and harder based on choosing Him over sin.  But is it worth it?  Ohhhh most definitely!!!  All of this here on earth that we think is going to bring us happiness – won’t and can’t.  Only Jesus will bring you permanent happiness.  His joy lasts regardless of your circumstances!  His joy is eternal without end.  His joy is worth everything and then some more!

Don’t settle for some version of nominal Christianity.  Truly seek and find Him and begin to live for Him the way the Word tells us to.  Best thing I’ve ever done.  Best thing you’ll ever do too.

You won’t regret it!

Is there anything that could possibly be more important in life than seeking and knowing the Lord and His forever kind of joy?

If you are interested in knowing more about Jesus, please feel free to contact me!  I would love to talk to you and introduce you to a life changing love with Jesus Christ! 

Quotes 307

 

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It’s heartbreaking to me seeing all the posts and listening to people talk about how they’d die for their faith in Christ, yet…. they choose sin over Jesus every day in the way they talk, treat people, what they watch on tv, read in books, post on Facebook, the jokes they enjoy, and the way they spend their time (“I’m too busy to read my Bible or pray or spread the Gospel… that Candy Crush Saga is so time consuming ya know!”).

As John McArthur wrote – “True repentance and faith in Christ denies the usual depraved longings of the human will.”
Or go straight to our Savior, Jesus Christ Himself, and see what He has to say…

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth; I did not come to bring peace but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.  And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.  He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.”  Jesus in Matthew 10:34-39 NASB

Folks… He is pretty clear on what He expects of us.  Don’t allow yourself to be fooled by false teachers and there are plenty of them out there!  Nothing is more important.  Nothing.

I share this because there was a time when I thought (was just positive) that I was in the “good” with Jesus, but I wasn’t taking up a stick for Him, never mind a cross.  I was living in sin, doing what I pleased while saying I loved Him.  I was lying to myself and Satan was loving it.  It’s Satan’s goal to keep us deceived.  Some of Satan’s greatest weapons are preachers and people that sit in churches each week thinking they’re okay and leaving the impression with others that they’re okay.  The Bible clearly states to KNOW FOR YOURSELF. Once you’ve heard the gospel message, you will be held accountable.

Please.  Get this right.

We never know what tomorrow will bring, or if we’ll get another chance.   Don’t break His heart by not taking His gift and living for Him.

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Did you know that sin breaks God’s heart?  Jesus dying for our sins did not make sin acceptable to God.  Actually, continuing in known sin, like it’s nothing – not a big deal, after having accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and accepting His death and blood on the cross as payment for your sins, is like stomping all over His cross and saying it was worth little, maybe even nothing to you.

 

You may say, “But D… it’s just so hard on me cause I love to (insert watch that tv show, listen to that music, read that kind of book, talk like that and so on…)______________!!!!!  I just don’t know if I can quit!!!”   God’s Word says differently.  We’re told in 1 Corinthians 10:13  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.  ❤

 

Choosing your sin over the Lord Jesus breaks His heart.  It’s really that simple.  Jesus Himself tells us in John 14:15 “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”   And in 1 John 5:21 we’re warned – “Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”  Choose Him instead of the world’s sin.  Choose life.

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In Acts 9:22 we’re told – “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.” 

So, how exactly did Saul (Paul) go about “proving” that Jesus is the Messiah?   Ever wonder about that?   I did and what I discovered was that it wasn’t proven by him simply because he was highly educated, brilliant scholar, though indeed he was.  No, it was more than that.

His relationship with Jesus changed who he was completely and people could see this.  They could clearly see the evidence that Jesus was indeed the Messiah because Saul’s life changed and he backed up everything he said with how he lived.  This is something that should happen to all Christians.

Following Christ makes you totally different in ways you can’t begin to imagine until you’re living it.  The people around you should be taking notice.  Often times, it’s not something they really like either.  Being a true follower of Jesus isn’t always popular with friends and family, but it will bring you to a new place unlike any other.  It’s amazing.

How has being a Christ Follower changed your life?

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What is your definition of a Christian?    I’m surprised by the various meanings people attach to that one word.  Some people think of a Christian as someone who attends church each Sunday, others think of it as someone whose parents were church goers and therefore they attended church their entire lives, maybe even being baptized as a young child and now going is simply part of what they do; a habit.  Others still, consider a Christian as someone who has prayed the “prayer of salvation” at some point in their life.  But what truly defines a “Christian”?

Wikipedia shares information on the etymology and states that:   The Greek word Χριστιανός (Christianos)—meaning “follower of Christ”—comes from Χριστός (Christos)—meaning “anointed one”[5]—with an adjectival ending borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.[6] In the Greek Septuagint, christos was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ,messiah), meaning “[one who is] anointed.”[7] In other European languages, equivalent words to ‘Christian’ are likewise derived from the Greek, such as ‘Chrétien’ in French and ‘Cristiano’ in Spanish.  (Borrowed from Wikipedia.org)

A Christian is a follower of Christ.  What does that mean though?  What does it look like to “follow Christ”?

Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 7:21-24 –  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’   Then I will tell them plainly, ‘ I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!’  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  

Mark 8:34-38  says – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

In 1 John 2:3-6  We’re told – We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands.  Whoever says, ” I know Him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys His Word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.  

And in 1 Peter 2:21 it says – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

There are plenty more Scriptures to show us how as a Christian we are called to become more like Jesus Christ and follow in His example each day of our lives.  Not in any effort to “work for our salvation”, because we already know we can’t “earn” that.  Instead it’s to show the world that we ARE indeed followers of Him that first loved us and died in order to pay our own debt for our sins.

James 2:14 – 19 shows us the importance of our actions in day to day life –  What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep arm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.  You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.  

Let’s make it our life’s mission to be sure and follow Christ every single day, giving Him our very best in all that we do, and show the world what Christians really are!

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Gently Speaking has been more than “gentle” in her speaking lately…. downright silent would be a more apt description.   Shortly after the beginning of the year, I made the big decision to go back to school.  I decided to attend Luther Rice University and Seminary and get my BA in Religious Arts with a minor in biblical counseling.    I’ve always been interested in counseling, and God really just started pushing me in that direction, pushing me to take it seriously.   Being a dog trainer too, I’d like to combine the two and help people train their dogs as Service Dogs for issues such as severe Anxiety, Bipolar, Aspergers and other illnesses like them, as well as help them in terms of counseling.

In addition to getting things in line to start attending school for the summer quarter, there have been tons of other things going on at our house.  It’s been totally crazy!   Good stuff, as well as lots of bad (illnesses and injuries etc..).  Oh and I also ran (umm… actually walked…. lol) with my youngest daughter in our very first 5 k race in April!   We were so excited!   We helped to raise money for wells to be dug in Africa.   It also started a love for walking in us!  We hope to be able to turn the walking into running (for real) one day – God willing 🙂

The summer semester starts this Monday (June 3rd) so I don’t know how crazy my schedule will become, but I hope to be able to get over here more often than I’ve been able to lately!

God is doing a lot of work on my whole entire family right now, no doubt.  He’s refining us all, one by one.  What I love though, is the being closer to Him and gaining in trust through all the hard times.   He’s there for us, always.   My family and I would greatly appreciate prayers as we are going through this time of new things, old things, beginnings, endings, joy and sadness, hurt and hope.

May the Lord totally bless you and yours daily!

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I saw this posted on Facebook today and simply had to share.  Please share this with others too.  So many people think that because they prayed a little prayer as a child (or even as an adult) that they are “saved” and Heaven bound, regardless of how they live.  After all, we’re all saved by Grace, right?  It’s not about our “works”, right?  Jesus did it all, didn’t He?  Therefore, don’t JUDGE!  Cause, well… that’s wrong ya know.    We’ve all heard it.

Listen folks, the Bible is clear about this and everyone should take it very seriously.  1st John 3:7-10 states clearly : Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared  was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.  This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are; Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.  

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Quotes 089

WHY JESUS DOESN’T WANT YOU TO “ASK HIM INTO YOUR HEART”

I’ll never forget it. I was in middle school. All around me were other middle school kids crying. Hardly anyone was standing. It was a powerful moment—so much so that even now when I think about it a range of emotions come over me. Where was I? I was at a youth camp. It was the last night where everyone “asked Jesus into their heart.” Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” was playing while the camp speaker asked all the kids to bow their heads and close their eyes. He would then say, “ok whoever wants to receive Jesus repeat after me….”

Sound familiar?

Have you ever asked Jesus into your heart?

Now first let me say this—I am not arguing in this blog that Jesus doesn’t save through this method (because He clearly does). Also, John 1:12 would suggest we do need to receive Jesus in some way or another. But my question is why has it become so mechanical? So forced? So calculated? Receiving the grace of Jesus is a beautiful thing. We tell people it is free (which it is), but we forget to tell them it will cost them their life (which it will). I’m humbly submitting that this might be the main thing contributing to our lethargic, apathetic, and consumer based Christianity that’s plaguing our nation right now.

Doesn’t it haunt you that this “prayer” is never uttered in the New Testament?

Have you ever asked yourself why?

Doesn’t it haunt you that people never made a “decision” but rather gave up all they had to follow Jesus?

Why is the life we are calling people to, so different from what the original disciples called them to?

When I first became a Christian about 4 years ago, the church I went to would give an “invitation” at the end of every sermon. It was very similar to the experience above. He would have people bow their heads and close their eyes, and “accept Jesus into their heart.” He would then usually say something like “I see your hand, God sees your heart.” I think about 15 people would get saved every service. At this time they were probably a 3,000+ person church with multiple campuses in a tiny town. I remember thinking after about a year, that if 15 people were getting “saved” a service in a town of around 20,000 this city should be upside down for Jesus. But Monday through Saturday nothing seemed much different. Why? Also why do they bow their heads and close their eyes? I struggled with the fact that if someone can’t proclaim Jesus is Lord and that their heart has been changed by His grace in the safest of all places—a church full of people who already love Jesus!—then do we really think they would proclaim Him boldly out in the world, where He’s hated?

Let me clarify though before my email inbox fills up with not so happy Christians defending this method. I don’t care how you preach the gospel, as long as its the gospel that’s actually being preached. Is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the focus? Is there blood? Is there cross? Is there persecution? 2nd Timothy 3:12 says all who seek to follow Jesus will face persecution. Too many times we proclaim “your best life now”, instead of a rugged cross. If they are being called to more than a stirred heart, but called to an abandoned life, then by all means do it. But, people aren’t being called to die for the sake of God’s glory and His mission, then I’d be careful to call it the true message of Jesus.

Jesus isn’t after people “accepting Him into their hearts” He is after people boldly giving up all they have and following Him by faith, death, and suffering.

Nothing makes me tremble more at night then knowing there are millions of people (most likely in churches) who don’t know Jesus at all, and are being led to hell under the pretense that they are “good to go” because they prayed a prayer. In fact the main reason they stay distant from Jesus is that they think they’ve already “taken care of that.” The truth is, if a boulder dropped on top of you, you’d look different after the fact. Why is it then that supposedly when the most glorious, holy, amazing, and beautiful infinite God of the universe “drops” on us we don’t look any different? You are saved by grace, but real grace changes you.
Is that you? Do you actually know Him?

I’m not asking do you struggle or wrestle (you should) but I’m asking do you know Him? Do you love Him? Do you want more of Him? Even if you are struggling, if you can answer yes to those questions, you are in a safe place. But, if you are simply clinging to something you did years ago, but you have zero intimacy with your Creator, I’d tread softly.

From now on what do you say we….

Stop asking Jesus into our heart, and start asking Jesus to change our heart.

Stop receiving Jesus, and start following Jesus

Stop raising our hand for Jesus, and start raising our obedience for Jesus.

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”
Luke 9:24-25

Link to the original post below:

http://jeffbethke.com/why-jesus-doesnt-want-you-to-ask-him-into-your-heart/

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Future. Flying. Saucers  ( http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/  )   is one of my favorite blogs here on WordPress and I just had to share her blog post about Easter.  I love her honesty and courage in sharing her faith and pray that this post will be as much of a blessing to you and yours as it was to us.

 

I’m Sorry…My Kids Don’t Believe in the Easter Bunny..

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Happy Easter 2013!

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