What To Do When You Can’t Find Thankful (Guess Blogger)

Gratitude is not always second nature. There are days when it seems all hope is lost. One of those everything that could go wrong did go wrong type of a day and rock bottom turned out to be a few feet lower than you thought.
Finding God’s grace in struggles can be a challenge but it is possible. There are times you feel like you cannot find thankfulness. Regardless how devastating the struggle or if you are just drawing a blank there is always something to be thankful for.
There are many places you can look to count things to be thankful for. Go to your facebook news feed and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Did someones daughter take their first step? Did someones son graduate high school? Thank God for the family and the blessing. Still in need of more ideas? Head to the Bible. Thank God for the miracles, the stories told, the lessons learned, who He is, and His promises.

Worship music is a nice way to shift our perspective from us, our thoughts, sorrows, etc. to a Godly and heavenly perspective. Additionally, sometimes in the search for gratitude one simply needs to remember to take care of themselves, eating right and sleeping. Listening to others encounters with Christ and stories of His goodness encourages gratitude within. Sometimes we need to take time out to tend to our weary souls.
What do you do when it feels nearly impossible to find something to be thankful for?

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“Know this: my God will also fill every need you have according to His glorious riches in Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.” Philippians 4:19
Jehovah Jireh (God My Provider),
From the moment, I open my eyes at the break of day till the time the sunsets You provide. Daily, You provide me with food, clean water, shelter, clean air, and clothing. You surround me with lovely people whom I cherish. People who challenge me to grow closer to You, people who make me think, and people who support me. A wonderful church family. You have given me purpose each day air kisses my lungs.

Daily, You provide me with just enough to thrive. Enough strength, determination, compassion, love, and grace. You have provided the beauty of nature.
You have provided me with a thriving relationship with You. Blessed me with the Scriptures and the gift of prayer. You have blessed me way beyond my comprehension. You have blessed me in ways that I am unaware of. You have blessed me so greatly, yet so often I do not acknowledge the depth of all my blessings. You are my great provider. I will forever praise Your Holy name.

Amen

thank you Victoria her blog is Chronically Hopeful 2014

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The Mizpah Coin (Guess Blogger)

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But it was also called Mizpah (which means “watchtower”), for Laban said, “May the LORD keep watch between us to make sure that we keep this covenant when we are out of each other’s sight. Genesis 31:49

I have always liked these necklaces, I even had a mezzuzah on the door until the sun faded it, though I am not Jewish or Messianic, but grafted in through Jesus. I have a Catholic miracle medallion, and a necklace with water from Lourdes. My faith is not in these objects but in Jesus, they are not talismans or charms but reminders, they don’t make miracles, He does and love does.

The Mizpah coin uses the verse from Genesis, it is Laban’s covenant with Jacob, who was to work seven years from Rachel to be his bride, it was like no time because he loved her. But while apparently Jacob kept his part of the bargain, Laban deceived him with a well veiled bride, Leah, and it was seven more years for Rachel. Jacob goes on to deceive his father.

The Bible is full of covenants and promises, and while there grace in the beginning and a repentant Abraham who has lied ends up rich, and Jacob ends up with sons that become the twelve tribes of Israel, they made a lot of sacrifices. And the day of Atonement covered sin once a year.

The Ten Commandments were given because they wanted to follow them, anything God could command they said. And they could not, they starting breaking them right away. Thankfully, Jesus gave us a better covenant and promises, and like God, He cannot lie and keeps them, even if we don’t always, we are back under grace.

Paul even calls the commandments the ministry of death, and the era of grace with Jesus, the ministry of the Spirit, how much more should we be blessed, favored, healed and protected. The Holy Spirit is in us as believers to teach and guide and settle us in the one commandment given by Jesus to love, then we are not breaking all the others, but if we sin we have and advocate, He is our High Priest on the Day of Atonement, and really year round. His sacrifice was once and for all.

Whether you have a Mizpah coin or not, He is watching to see that you are keeping covenant, like marriage, business deals, ministry. He knows your heart and what you are keeping or neglecting and is there to help. I’m so glad he keeps His word even if we don’t always, whether by commission, or omission.

Mizpah was also a place where intercession was made and a rock was placed there. The Old Testament is full of altars, you can create your own in your home. I used to have a Bible displayed and a nice set of golden cups and a decanter for Communion. I still have a beautiful lion, lamb and dove painting over the mantle, and one called the Invitation, with a dinner table. Some things I have had to move at times because of children.

I even decorated my Victorian Christmas tree, with crowns, crosses, keys, ( to the kingdom ) and angels, family photos and lots of things, doves and feathers, anything to remind me of the reason for the season, maybe, I can add some Judaica, I scaled down Christmas for a while but it might be back bigger and better. You can scroll back to July and see that I’m ready. Hanukkah coins, made of chocolate are called gelt and given to children as gifts. The Hebrew word for coin is matbea, mat bayh ah. Ancient coins were called zuz or zuzzim, and the phrase piece of money would have been silver.

Jesus even mad a point of a lost coin in a parable and sent Peter to get a coin from a fish’s mouth to pay taxes, He mentions widow’s mites, and once had to clear the temple of the money changers, and was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, so you see, coins are significant and not just tokens or so called good luck pieces, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in love. Look at all the coins that have bee found in the sea, they are considered treasure, Jesus is our and we are His, I hope this story is a reminder that He keeps His covenant, and watches while He is apart from us, though He is ever present by His Spirit.

Whatever traditions, jewelry, statuary, paintings or even baubles, whatever the meaning to you, It is important not to just remember the keepsake, but the sentiment and the promise, to keep covenants and promises. God holds them in high esteem, even with grace, it is sacred to Him, intimate, like a marriage vow or wedding ring. May He watch between us until you visit me again. Rebecca Jones / public domain

Thank You Rebecca for you blog post you can read more of Rebecca’s writings at adaughtersgiftoflove.wordpress.com

Consider The Source (Guess Blogger)

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Hello everyone today I would like to introduce to you Carole Anne:
Carole Anne Hallyburton began His Own Heart Ministries as a weekly devotional blog during her days as a graduate student of Christian Education at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary – Charlotte, where she also served as student body president for two years. In addition to her master’s degree from GCTS, Carole Anne holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. She teaches ancient Hebrew language, reviews books for B&H Publishing Group, Paraclete Press and Crossway USA. She additionally serves on the Board of Advisors for Bible Journey, LLC, a producer of online curricula for churches, small groups and individuals.

Sometimes it cuts like a knife and breaks a person’s heart.

It tops the proverbial list as one of the most all-at-once difficult things to do.

But then again – at times – it’s the only scriptural thing to do: choosing to respond with grace to a less-than-graceful situation. Consider the source, as my maternal grandmother often said. And let it go. Walk away.

Did you know, in fact, that Jesus Christ set just such an example for us on several New Testament occasions? One in particular involved the fateful decision of the rich young ruler who approached Him in search of eternal life (see Matthew 19:16-30). While Scripture doesn’t record that He did so, I can almost see our Savior concluding the conversation with something like, I’m so sorry you like this, but go your way in peace.

And of course His tantamount demonstration of the principle is seen in His response to those heinous accusers who mucked, taunted, humiliated, abused the Savior in His darkest hour as He hung on the cross. With thorns piercing His head, nails driven heartlessly through His hands and feet – and shouldering a world of false accusations, lest we forget – He asked that God the Father forgive [those accusers], for they know not what they do (Luke 23-24).

Never, ever in my humanity will I begin to possess even the purity that resides in the tip of one of the fingers on those beautiful, nail-scarred hand of Jesus, but the rich young ruler, the cross and several other scenes from Scripture rolled like a film through my mind late last fall. Numbly I turned from the grave of my beloved paternal grandparents. Just two weeks earlier, I had been excited while out with friends to find the ornamental vase on the military headstone empty – I’d waited patiently for several years to place flowers there. Since no one has a legitimate claim on the vase or the stone (Granddaddy earned them himself for his service to America in Tokyo Bay, Japan, during World War II), I went straight from the cemetery, purchased two sprawling, gorgeous bunches of artificial sunflowers and placed them. I wish you could have seen them.

But barely a week passed and my spirit went numb when – again with friends – I found this new bouquet replaced by a mini-poinsettia arrangement. The numbness later gave way to what felt like a knife twisting deeply into my stomach when, ironically, I learned that there was footage of the sunflowers being removed and replaced with the new arrangement. Although what I saw on the footage merely confirmed what I had to that point suspected, it was difficult to fathom there in black and white. Suspicion is simply suspicion until one is faced with undeniable fact; and when a fact what I saw emerges, it devastates.

Been there yourself? No fun, is it? I’ve learned over the years that a spiritually intimate communication system with Jesus can and will go a long way in carrying God’s child through the mire of devastation, betrayal and heartbreak when dreaded suspicion turns to cold hard truth. So take heart: there is a workaround.

But it demands that God’s child make the difficult-yet-deliberate choice to step back from human emotions, grit her teeth, hit her knees and ask Christ to lead the way. It’s a challenge that grows easier for the Christ-follower who has fallen in love with Jesus as opposed to simply loving Jesus out of some obligation. That’s a whole different blog post, though.

By His grace and to His glory, He enabled me to hedge my feelings about the flowers and the frustration and ask for grace to process them all in His way for His purpose. Within the hour, He brought the Aaronic Blessing to mind (Numbers 6:24-26). Also called the Aaronic Benediction, it contains the words used by Aaron and other priests as a sending-forth of Old Testament Israelites from worship services in the tabernacle and is still used to dismiss many of our church services today. Yesterday, however, it was the ancient Hebrew rendering of the passage – in other words, what it meant to its original audience instead of America’s perception of it today – that God had me to apply in response to the situation at hand.

The English rendering of the blessing reads thus:

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

It’s actually a beautiful blessing but it’s also a blessing easily memorized and often recited without much thought. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the English words to get a grasp of their specific Hebrew meanings and images they involve: bless, keep, gracious, grant and peace. Note that I have italicized the transliterations following their Hebrew forms below.

– Bless
In the passage, the Hebrew verb ברך (barak) is written in its piel conjugation and means to show respect, to bless, at times to kneel. These definitions, though, carry a bit of an abstract flavor; by looking at other words related to the verb, we can find a more concrete interpretation for a more focused phrase. Such words include the nouns ברך (berek) meaning knee and ברכה (berakah) meaning a gift, a present. From this we can see that to bless in this case insinuates the bringing of a gift to another while kneeling out of respect. The extended meaning of this word is to do or to give something of value to another. So we’re actually asking God to bless a person by gifting him or her with something of value.

– Keep
A nomadic people raising livestock, it was not uncommon for Hebrew shepherds to spend nights in a field with their flocks, away from other Israelites. In order to protect his flock, the shepherd would construct a makeshift fence of thorn bushes or brambles, thereby guarding his flock and creating a literal hedge of protection around them. The Hebrew rendering of thorn is שמיר (shamiyr), which is derived from the verb שמר (shamar), literally meaning to guard, to keep, to protect. Here, then, we’re asking God to place a stalwart hedge of protection around the person of our focus.

– Gracious
While most theologians tend to define grace as unmerited favor, the idea of grace takes on a slightly less abstract meaning in the Aaronic Blessing. The Hebrew verb translated as gracious in the passage is the verb חנן (hhanan) and is often grouped with Hebrew words meaning to heal, to help, to be lifted up, to find refuge, strength and rescue. From a more concrete Hebraic perspective this verb means to provide protection beyond the aforementioned hedge. To obtain protection, a member of a flock typically looks to its shepherd. We are asking Christ – the Good Shepherd – to provide a haven of comfort and safety for the subject of our prayer.

– Grant
The Hebrew verb שים (siym), means literally to set something or someone down in a fixed and arranged place. Read on to learn the significance of this word within its phrase.

– Peace
Ah, we have arrived at the final and often most pivotal word of the passage. Our Western culture tends to associate peace simply as an absence of war or strife, but שלום (shalom) as used in this passage has quite a varied meaning. It is derived from the root שלם (shalam) and is generally used in the context of restoring or bringing restoration to one who is missing something needed in his or her life. The verb shalam literally means to make whole or complete. The noun shalom has the more literal meaning of being in a state of wholeness, or being without deficiency. So in the phrase grant you peace, we are asking God to restore the person to physical, emotional and – most importantly by far – spiritual wholeness by setting the person down in a divinely-appointed place for said restoration to happen. That’s something that only He can do.

Now – get this – while Old Testament priests spoke blessings like this one in front of the entire Israelite congregation, the verbal conjugations in the Aaronic Blessing are specifically written in singular form, not plural. In other words, and although the blessing was spoken over a group of many, its phrases were directed at each individual within that group. In the midst of a public gathering, then, the priest recognized and blessed each person in an individual, personal manner.

The irony of this individuality struck me on that autumn evening as I quietly spoke the Hebrew version of Aaronic Blessing while thinking of the poinsettia arrangement, the sunflowers Granny would’ve loved, the ones I’ll always miss.

And – most importantly – the irony struck me as I spoke the words of the passage over the party who replaced the latter arrangement with the former. The words, at their most literal level, translate to English like so:

May God kneel before you, presenting gifts and guarding you closely with a hedge of protection. May His gaze illuminate the wholeness of His being toward you, bringing needed order to your life, giving you comfort and sustenance. May He lift up His wholeness of being and look upon you with love. May He set in place all your mind, body and soul needs – everything – to be whole and complete and restored in and through Him.

It was indeed all-at-once one of the most difficult things to do and the only thing to do: consider the source, then let it go.

Before I walked away.

(A beautiful rendition of The Aaronic Benediction, performed by Joshua Aaron and Misha Goetz, is available for listening here. May it bless you.)

Copyright 2018, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

He Calls Me Beautiful (Guess Blogger)

Today I would like to welcome Jennifer: Today, I am a stay at home wife, dividing my time between taking care of our home, directing church outreach, and blogging about life lessons, joyful living, and Christian values. When I’m not writing, I am typically curled up with my husband, binge watching Netflix, drinking caramel coffee, or snuggling our two cats, Basil and Mocha Rose!
Welcome to our married life! We’re so glad you have chosen to join us as we laugh and cry together in this amazing life adventure!

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Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help me keep this site up and running and keep it ad-free! Please check out my disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
“You are beautiful. I know, because I created you.” – God.
I don’t know about you, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in the everyday of our lives. I get so focused on the here and now… on my curves and rolls, on the unmade dishes, on our current situation in life… that I forget to step back and remember just what a miracle this life is. It’s easy to thank the Lord for the obvious blessings in our lives. I thank him daily for an amazing husband. I thank Him for J’s job and our home. I thank Him for our kitty. I thank Him for what He gives, but I rarely thank Him for the miracle of life that He gave me or for the amazing relationship I can have with Him. The fact that the Lord of the universe wants to love and care for me deeply and intimately still overwhelms me to this day. I’ve never deserved His love and grace, and I never will, yet He still offers it. he still pursues me. He still wants me and calls me His beautiful one.

Knit Together
It is easy to forget that we are not here by accident. There was no explosion of atoms that suddenly became you. You did not suddenly decide one day to walk upright and speak intelligently. You were not a mere accident, an “oops” resulting from an unplanned moment of intimacy. The Heavenly Father was diligently at work, setting forth a plan for your life. In Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord declares that He knew you before He created you, and He set you apart for a very special purpose. Before you were even conceived, much thought and planning went into who you would be. In Psalm 139:13-14, the author reveals that the Lord knit him together, a carefully crafted being. He praises the Lord for being “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The word fearfully here does not mean timidly. The Hebrew word used here for fearfully, yare’, means reverently or awe inspiringly. Like an artist, He lovingly designed every intricate aspect of you down to the finest of details, including the tilt of your nose, the slope of your eyes, and the arc of your arch. He wove together your DNA to create the unique and beautiful woman you are today.

The idea of being delicately knit together is one that resonates with me. The planning and design going into each creation is critical. What type of fibers do I use? How much fiber to use? What color combinations? Will my project be practical or merely decorative? How long will it take to complete? Do I need a pattern? I don’t know how many times I have had to tear apart my knitting and start all over again, wondering why I’m even attempting something so complicated, because of a single dropped stitch along the way. God definitely does not need a pattern and absolutely does not make mistakes. He certainly does not drop stitches! The thing about knitted items is they are made from one single strand fiber, looped together in an intricate pattern, to create a something greater than itself. That strand by itself is weak, but once knit into a beautiful design, it is suddenly quite strong. It is durable. It stretches and adapts. It is versatile. It can be made of the most basic wool fiber, rustic and tough, or as airy and soft as mohair. When it comes to the Lord’s knitting, no pattern is ever the same. We are as distinct as the snowflakes. Like Psalm 139:14 declares, His works are wonderful!

Masterpiece
Have you ever looked at something so breathtakingly beautiful and wondered how it can possibly exist? The first time I experienced the Northern Lights, in my Midwestern backyard, I was dumbstruck. Those dancing green lights in the sky were unlike anything I had ever beheld. In that moment, reverence and awe filled my heart for the Creator and reminded me once again, just how big the universe really is and just how minuscule I am in it. Over and over again, the Scriptures reveal the masterpiece that is the Lord’s creation. He Himself proclaims His creation as “good.” This is the same God who spoke the cosmos into existence, who numbered the stars in the sky and knows them all by name. He is the same God who feeds the sparrows and waters the lilies of the valley. He makes all things beautiful in His time. (Eccl. 3:11) His creations sing His praises and give Him glory, yet it is Man that He set apart, distinct from all other creatures. It is Man that is made in His image. Man is His ultimate masterpiece. How can the God who speaks complete solar systems into existence love someone as small and insignificant as me?

King David also pondered this question. In Psalm 8:3-4, he asks, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” The Hebrew word for mindful is zakar, meaning to remember, to mention, or to think on. It is easy to get caught up in this life and forget that the Lord not only made us, but takes the time to dwell with us, and more profoundly, dwells in us through the Holy Spirit. David used the Hebrew word paqad, “to visit”, implying more than the polite occasional guest, but to seek, to want, and to enjoin to. We are set apart, above all of creation, to be companions to the Living God. Isaiah 43:7 declares, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” He goes out of His way to pursue us. He showers us with blessings and shows us His love and His thoughts for us. “How great are your works, oh Lord, how profound are your thoughts.” (Psalm 92:5) Like a groom thinking on his bride, the Lord’s thoughts are always turned back to us.

In fact, you are cherished…. yes, YOU are cherished by the Creator of the universe, who delicately placed each individual star in the cosmos. You were chosen, sought after, and called. You were bought with a price, the blood of His perfect Lamb. You are His precious child, adopted into the Royal Priesthood, not a step, foster, or half child, but a full heir with His Holy Son, Jesus, and a daughter of the Most High King. You are dearly loved, unconditionally, beyond any human comprehension, a love from which you cannot be separated. You are His beloved, and He takes joy in you. You were made in His image, meticulously knit together in the womb, and anointed, set aside for a holy purpose. You are God’s workmanship. He calls you holy, righteous, and blameless. He adorns you in His robes. You are broken, yet He transforms you and makes you into a new creation. You are complete in Him. You are His servant, His bride, and His temple. By His grace, you are justified and sanctified. You are not merely an unworthy dust speck in the vast cosmos. He calls you His friend, for you are His.

https://thenewlywedchronicles.com/he-calls-me-beautiful/

Spread the Love

 

 

In His Eyes (Guess Blogger)

Hi, I’m Crystal, I am wife to husband Michael, mother to 3 growing kids- Anna, Grace & Jonathan. God’s Word is my greatest passion. I studied Theology (Bible) at Dallas Christian College where I had the best professors (I am a little partial) who not only taught me about the Bible but because of them, I fell in love with God’s Word. I enjoy drawing and painting when I can squeeze it in. When you mix a Bible student with an artist you get me, many of my recent paintings reflect whatever I was studying at the time. I am enjoying this because when I show my paintings I am then able to share my passion, God’s word.

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One day we were driving home and I had music on as I often do… my 7 yr old little girl began to sing a song “In the eyes” (1GN).

I am valuable
The singer begins by singing about how the world views you, broken. She then says “you are perfect your worth more then you know… in the eyes of the one who made you”. I was just listening to the words that day, it is a song that seems to speak to me because I don’t think I’m anyone important and know I’m a little weird (I’ve embraced this now).

She is Perfect
But when my little girl began singing this that day I listened closely as she said
“You are treasured, you are beautiful, in the eyes…in the eyes, of the one who made you. You are perfect your worth more than you know, in the eyes… in the eyes, who made you”.
She was singing the word “you” but it was as if she were singing “I”.

In our Father’s eyes
Tears ran down my face as I listened to her continue to sing this song that talks about who we are in our heavenly Father’s eyes. This is the little girl we were told to go abort because the doctors in that room didn’t value her life, she was broken. This is a little girl who the world labels as different and not worth much. But as the song says “you are the vision of the Father’s heart”. This echoes scripture

Palms 139:13-16 says
“For you have created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. I was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book ” (emphasis add mine)

https://godsstoriesofgrace.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/in-his-eyes/

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Point of View
I see my daughter through the eyes of a mother and love her more then words can say. But I have struggled with and questioned why God would choose this life for her and haven’t always praised Him for making her the way He did.
Listening to her sing the words to this song that is telling her she who she is in God’s eyes, she is not “broken” but “perfect” just the way He made her.
This is what brought tears to my eyes… that she was singing these words!
I pray they will be words she will never forget!
The songs ends by repeating
“when the world has told you lies… you are priceless in His eyes”

I can’t think of anything better to fill this little girl’s thoughts with and even my own.
She is surrounded by people who love her and know she is priceless but the world will not always tell her this. I don’t look forward to the day she understands them.
I certainly don’t understand God’s ways but I take comfort in knowing that she is treasured and perfect in His eyes and He loves her much more than I ever could.

       MY PRAYER
Father, you know how I have struggled and every question I have asked. Thank you that I can come to you with my questions and tears. I may never get the answers I think I want so badly. But, I am given the promises that you won’t waste anything (Jeremiah 29:11) and that even the things that are not good, the heartache of this world, you will work it together for good (Romans 8:28). Thank you for this song that reminds me that I am your beloved daughter. Thank you that Grace will grow up hearing that she is priceless in your eyes. Thank you for Your Word that tells us just how much you love us.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen

 

Carrying His Peace (Guess Blogger)

I would like to introduce to all you my fellow blogger Rebecca:

I’m a writer, Christian, I love music and art. I am hoping to encourage others, to inspire them to follow their dreams and trust Jesus. I am always working on improving my blog, keeping with the theme of teaching women to rest and be the beloved, and to depend on the mercy and grace of our Lord. It’s all for His glory. Thank you reading or following, blessings. https://www.pinterest.com/beckyspage1916/

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Isn’t it nice to get rid of baggage and exchange it for His peace? It’s not fair is it but the Lord took it for me. I was so desperate for Jesus to heal me, to help me. I never knew what His peace really was. It is a gift, a precious gift. One of many the Lord blesses a believer with. I had been a believer a long time and still had no peace. I don’t think it was because I chose to be disobedient, it was more of a constant oppression and the many rejections I had faced.
Of course, I knew the Word, I knew how it applied to me. I was convinced I was doing something wrong, when, in truth, the enemy was walking off with a lot of blessings, not because I didn’t hold tight to them, or believe Jesus, but because I never knew what was against me.
I knew the Word said that if God was for me then who in the world was  going to stand in His way. Yet, there is that enemy back, sneaking in there with thoughts of unworthiness. The self deprecating sense of humor I used to laugh off the wisecracks made about me, wasn’t making me laugh it off. It was killing me.
Jesus did not see me the way others did. His thoughts are so much higher. I suppose that made me have high expectations of others, and when I did not fully understand grace, I would have held them to a higher account. I still will, but I have to remember that His mercies are new every morning. He never changes but we have to in order to be like Him.
But whether or not we receive it or recognize it, His peace is there. We carry it in us because the Holy Spirit is there, and if you have experienced being baptized in the Holy Spirit, it should be and even more and ever present peace.
It is like the joy Jesus gave us and said that no man takes it from you. It is true. No one can take Jesus from us. He will always be there, it is the enemy, the accuser, the devil, who attempts to derail God’s perfect plan for our lives.
We don’t have to let him if we recognize what he is. Fear, worry, torment, chaos and confusion. The troublemaker, the obnoxious, belligerent and angry one who keeps annoying us in hopes of us losing our joy and His peace.
I know I didn’t always recognize it but I do now. I’m standing firm in Jesus and I will not be shaken, He is my hiding place, my rock and fortress, my sun and my shield, my everlasting love, my eternal life.
Yes, Jesus is all that and so much more. I suppose I can write a blog for eternity if I have to and never sing His praises enough. Never let the wicked one tell you that as a believer in Christ, you are anything less that what He created you to be.
You are worthy, beloved, wonderfully made, God is our Father, He gave His Son freely for us so why would He not lavish love upon us. Stop carrying a cross and understand He was speaking to the disciples before the crucifixion, we are partakers of the resurrected Christ, God will know we are seated in heavenly places and be pleased with us not because of us but because of Jesus.
We can partake of His body and blood through Holy Communion. He carried a cross we could not bear. So we could carry His eternal life, His everlasting love, His joy. And most of all our hearts do not ever have to trouble us, because we carry His peace. Rebecca Jones

God’s Greatest Story of Grace (Guess Blogger)

I hope you are having a lovely day. I am extremely excited to be having a sweet sister in Christ share a beautiful blog post with you.  A little about Crystal:

Hi, I’m Crystal, I am wife to husband Michael, mother to 3 growing kids- Anna, Grace &

When I am not at home taking care of my family you will most often find me at my church. There I serve in AWANA as a leader and I am happy to help with anything else that needs to be done. I will join our ladies Bible study group as often as I can. I love to be able to dig into Scripture and share it with friends.

God’s Word is my greatest passion. I studied Theology (Bible) at Dallas Christian College where I had the best professors (I am a little partial) who not only taught me about the Bible but because of them, I fell in love with God’s Word. I enjoy drawing and painting when I can squeeze it in. When you mix a Bible student with an artist you get me, many of my recent paintings reflect whatever I was studying at the time. I am enjoying this because when I show my paintings I am then able to share my passion, God’s word.

God’s greatest story of grace the story of Salvation.

The Gospel is the most amazing story of love that you will ever find. It is simple enough for a child to understand and so that is how I am going to talk about it today. Not that you are a child but there is no point in making complicated what is simple.

God made everything, including you and me. In fact, we are God’s beloved creation made in His very image. He loves us deeper and wider then we can ever imagine.

The Bible is the story of His great love for us from Genesis to Revelation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – Genesis 1:1

You are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being  -Revelation 4:11

 

 no matter who you are you can see that this is an imperfect world. It is imperfect because of something the Bible calls sin; because of this sin we are separated from God because of sin we deserve to go to hell and be separated from God for eternity.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God  -Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord  -Romans 6:23

 

God loves us so much the He sent Jesus.

Jesus was born of a virgin, a miraculous conception and the only way He could be born sinless.

Jesus did many signs and taught while He walked this earth proving that He is God.

He Chose the Nails

He chose the nails – for me & for you

He was betrayed by one of His closest friends. This was allowed so that He might be our perfect sacrifice taking the punishment we deserve for our sin.

Jesus was beaten and hung on a cross though He was the only one who has ever been and will ever be sinless.

After He died this horrible death, His body was then taken and placed in a nearby tomb, guarded by Roman soldiers. But just 3 days later something amazing happened, the tomb was opened reviling it was empty!

 

He is not Here!

He is not Here

Jesus had done what He said he would and rose from the dead!

He defeated the power of sin and death… He made away for us to be free and now able to join Him in heaven one day. There is nothing we can ever do to be good enough or pay for our own sin it is only through the shed blood of Jesus that we are forgiven.

For God so love the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life  -John 3:16

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8

For by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not of works, so that no one can bost. -Ephesians 2:8-9

All we must do is believe and accept His free gift of eternal life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. -John 14:6

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -Romans 10:9

 

Gospel - ABCsYou may have grown up in church or maybe you have never walked through the doors of one it doesn’t matter, God loves you! He made away for you to live with Him eternally in Heaven.

I will ask you this one question; has there ever been a time when you have accepted this free gift of salvation from your sin?

If you have and know without a doubt that you are saved, great!

But, if do not know of a time that you have done that then allow me a minute here to explain how you can do just that.

You can simply pray,

God, I admit I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell for my sin,
I believe that you sent Jesus and that He paid the price for my sin.
I chose today to accept the gift of salvation you have offered me
and want to live with you forever in Heaven.
Please forgive my sin, come into my life and change me,
teach me to follow you for the rest of my life.

in Jesus name Amen

 

If you have prayed this for the first time I encourage you to find someone you know is a Christian or just walk in the doors of a church, go tell someone.

I promise you there is nothing that will bring them greater joy then you sharing this. I would love to hear from you too!

I told you it is not complicated simple enough even a child can understand and yet it is the greatest story of grace ever told. God loved us so much that He made a way to save us from our own sin and now He offers us the gift of salvation.

 

I was a young girl when I accepted this gift. I will share my story of salvation next time.

Be sure to check out Crystal’s blog.