God is not dead

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I woke up this morning, and I did not feel like praying. I didn’t wake up with a joyful song in my heart, I didn’t wake up excited to see a new day. I woke up tired, sad, overwhelmed and confused. In cliche terms, I woke up with a bleeding heart…I felt heavy. It carried on for most of the day. I wanted to be in His presence, I desired His touch…but I didn’t have the words…I didn’t even know how to begin my conversation with Him. I felt numb. What am I doing wrong, why does it seem like nothing is working out? Why am I cornered in by walls of rejection? It feels like the roof is caving in, and there is no escape, no window to jump out off, no door to open or break down. Why? I pray everyday, I declare daily your truths, I have faith and I think I trust you do what you say you will do. Ah! There it is, I ‘think’. Shouldn’t it just be a knowing? Trust, trust, trust, trust….I need to scream! Your word says to diligently seek you…you said to ask, seek and knock. I follow your instructions, yet I feel like I am going round and round in circles. Why? What am I not doing right? Where did I miss the mark? Please God, talk to me…if I have ever needed to hear your voice, it is now! I woke up to a ‘no’ today. I really wanted it. I prayed for it, I saw myself in it, I sowed a seed towards it…yet, I got a no…really? When do I get to have a testimony? I am tired of feeling uncertain about every step I take. Reveal to me your plans in plain sight. I am out of breath from chasing…no more…

In Hebrews 11, God called Abraham to leave his life of comfort by faith, to a land He will show him. He did, not meeting everything rosy. The word says he lived there by faith. Seems contradictory…if I am following God’s instructions, everything should be fine, buttttt noooooo, Abraham had to earn the name Father of faith….kaiiii I fear God ohhhh…..your light affliction is but for a moment but its producing a far greater glory in you. Stay strong, we are going somewhere.

I got this from a friend this morning. She had no idea about my internal battle, but somehow she heard my silent cries…unknowingly, her response to God’s spirit to reach out to me turned on the soldier in me….God used her to calm my spirit in the raging storm, well it was more like a war. Talk about a timely word, a reminder that my life is in His hands, and He is guarding it selfishly.

Life is not a dress rehearsal, meaning I don’t get to have a second stab at it. The very thought of that scares me sometimes, and this triggers an internal dialogue heavily laced with feelings of fear and failure. But in that moment, just when I am about to tip over the edge in frustration and despair, I receive a note from heaven, a reminder that….

God is not dead.

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The ABCs of Faith…

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The concept of faith is mind boggling.

Is it really?

The Eiffel Tower sits majestically on the Champ de Mars in Paris. You have never been to Paris, meaning you have never seen the Eiffel Tower. You have never walked the grounds surrounding it, you have never dined in the restaurants featured on the first and second level, and you have never ridden the elevator up the beloved monument fondly known as the Iron Lady. All you have are pictures and perhaps, perky narrations by friends of this structure. Yet, you are fully persuaded/convinced that it exists.

Seeing the unseen so to say, would you now say that this defiles all human intellect?

You would have to trust that the pictures you have seen are real, and that the narrations you have heard are true to discipline yourself long enough to save up, and have ample courage to calm your beating heart when you click the pay button on the screen, purchasing an expensive ticket for a trip to France. Once the ticket is purchased however, you are consumed with excitement, because you know that you are one step closer to seeing Iron Lady. You find ways to slip it into conversations with friends, who after a while are probably tired of hearing about it. They can’t wait for you to go because yes they are excited for you, but they also want you to shut up about it…at least until you return with a mouth full of tales. Evidently, you can hardly wait to see it, and every waking moment, even while asleep, you are crossing off and writing items on your to-do list, in preparation for your departure.

Let’s pause for a second.

If you sit and think it through long and hard, chances are you will begin to over analyze, leaving room for doubt to creep in. In that state, you run the risk of convincing yourself that either the adventure isn’t worth the cost, or that the Eiffel Tower does not exist; even in the face of facts. You could reason that there is a possibility that the pictures are fake, and your friends are liars. The only truth you know is that you cannot be certain that the Eiffel Tower exists because you have not seen it with your very own eyes.

The stories in the Bible are quite grand, and God’s promises are very ambitious and somewhat illogical. We hear of people like Daniel who was thrown in the lion’s den and came out unharmed, Sarah who bore Isaac at the ripe old age of 90, Moses who parted the Red Sea, Elijah literally flying into heaven in a chariot, Mary who got pregnant without having sex with a man, the adonis that was Samson who had the combined strength of a multitude, and Jesus restoring the sight of a blind man with a mixture of his spit and mud. It all seems very far-fetched, and each story could serve as a Hollywood blockbuster if you throw in a bunch of a-list movie stars, that are currently all the rave. As if that isn’t enough, we hear of promises like; the spirit of life in Christ has set you free from sin and death (Romans 8:2), I am giving you a kingdom that can never be shaken (Hebrews 12:28), my great peace will guard your heart and thoughts in Jesus (Philippians 4:7), I will meet all your needs so you can overflow with good works (2 Corinthians 9:8), if you remain still, I will do your fighting for you (Exodus 14:14), because of Jesus, you are free from all condemnation (Romans 8:1), I will be your safe place in difficult times (Nahum 1:7).

You read these stories & bold promises and you are thinking….really though?

Faith is beyond feelings, it is a conviction. There is a linear progression from hope (a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen) to believe (accepting something as true) to faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something) to trust (firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something). Faith does not deny the existence of a problem, it simply sees beyond that problem. Faith sees the bigger picture, it apprehends the results and answers. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to fruits in a barren situation. Faith is aware that there may be road blocks along the way, but considers only the final destination (big picture). You could say that faith is a husband to a woman who doesn’t even have a boyfriend. The husband is the Eiffel Tower that she is convinced exists even though she has yet to see it/meet him. Faith is not a free pass to laziness or passiveness. Faith requires you to prepare for what you know is yours. As you prepare (study, meditate, grow, talk to), your faith is strengthened and soon, you enter the realm of trust. You have faith that IT (whatever IT may be, is yours) and you trust that God is working on your behalf. Put differently, you know that your passport and ticket guarantee your entry into France because you trust the authenticity of both documents. In the event that issues arise, you also trust that the embassy of your country and/or the travel agency you purchased the ticket from will confirm/back you up.

Finally, you make it to Paris. You tour the grounds of the Eiffel Tower, and you take pictures every step and turn. You dine at its restaurants, and explore all that it has to offer. You have experienced the Iron Lady, and now, because of your leap of faith (ticket purchase), you have your own story to tell.

Why is it easier to believe in the existence of the Eiffel tower than to believe in God? Why is it easier to put your faith in the systems of man than in the principles of God? Why is it easier to trust the words of man than to trust the words of God? Many are afraid to tap into the unknown/unfamiliar, and understandably so. But opportunities and experiences are missed as a result. The Bible contains the word of God, which expresses a Father’s love, His promises & truths about who you are and all you could be. You have heard of testimonies and miracles, and you have also heard of people who have had heavenly encounters when in a coma. You are curious about this God, you want to know more, but you are crippled by doubt and fear.

God is more accessible than the Eiffel Tower and all the wonders of the world you hope to knock off your bucket list one day. You only have to ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and be willing to receive what He has to offer. You only have to shift your focus from the entertainment of the stories in the Bible to the guiding principles in the stories. You only have to locate yourself in the stories, meditate on the words until you see pictures, write down what you see and speak what you see. The people we meet in the Bible were courageous because they trusted God. They were faithful in their walk with God, and through them He did many awesome, out of this world, mind boggling things. It all started with a first step, a decision to live beyond the limitations of human intellect and experience God.

The only way to build trust is to practice trust, and that requires effort. I encourage you to take God at His word. When you desire something, ask Him for it, listen for His voice in His word concerning that particular thing/situation, remind Him of His words/promises, ponder on those words, see His word for you in pictures, and prepare for your answers/harvest.

Like a blank cheque, faith offers infinite possibilities on a gold platter.

xoxo 🙂

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Sarah’s Womb

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When I think of Sarah’s womb, what comes to mind is the Sahara Desert. A vast mass of land destitute of life, vigour and activity. She experiences extreme weather conditions as it is either scorching hot or below freezing point. She is definitely not fertile ground for any form of breeding or growth. Barren and dead, she exists in the absence of promise.

Sarah’s womb represents a place of emptiness. A place of impossibility, were hope is regarded as foolish longing. Sarah, by all accounts was a very beautiful woman, so much so that Abraham had to lie twice, saying that she was his sister. He knew that Pharaoh and King Abimelech were both capable of killing him for the good pleasure of having her as a wife (ref. Gen.12:11-13 & 20:2). All I can say is she must have been all sorts of hotness!!! I also imagine that she accessorized her beauty with style and grace. Her husband was a very wealthy man, so it makes sense that she was adorned with the finest of everything, from jewellery to clothes. However, for someone who seemed to have it all, she must have felt insecure not being able to give her husband a child, an heir. The very essence of a woman is procreation. Her body is an intricately designed work of art, built to inhabit a seed (s) and intelligent enough to push out (birth) at the appointed time. Boy! The things a woman’s body goes through…whew*. As at 89 years old, Sarah had not conceived, and to the natural mind, her body was definitely too fragile to push out anything! Even Sarah laughed when God gave His word, (ref. Genesis 18:12). Her natural mind could not comprehend such an extravagant promise.

Impatient Sarah presented Abraham with a sweet proposal, one that was probably difficult to say no to. She asked Abraham to sleep with her maid, Hagar. As I write this, I find myself desiring a lengthy trip through Sarah’s mind, so that I could better understand her thoughts and feelings at that time. Maybe she thought she was doing Abraham a harmless favour. Maybe it was a desperate attempt to please her husband, while still being the general overseer by controlling who he slept with. Maybe she was trying to help God push along His plan (promise), through someone that was fertile. I guess all the maybes is water under the bridge, because soon after Abraham had ‘fun times’ with Hagar, she became pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael. In making a hasty decision, it seems Sarah did not stop to think about the consequences, and Hagar being banished from the house was indicative of her state of mind, I presume a volatile mixture of contempt and jealousy.

In Sarah’s womb, there is no hope, no expectation, no future. Sarah’s womb is pregnant with bitterness, shame, helplessness, pain, anger, frustration and tears. But, when Sarah was just about ready to bury her womb, God shows up! I need you to understand that God is bigger than logic, and He cannot be defined by human reasoning. He is all-powerful, and does not need human ingenuity to fulfill His promise. He spoke the heavens and the earth into being, He brought light out of darkness, He separated the sky from the ocean, He created an invisible boundary between land and sea. The Bible accounts in Gen. 1:2-3, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light”. Out of chaos and emptiness, out of deep darkness and nothingness, God brought forth the heavens and earth. Sarah’s womb was no different. His spoken promise was life to her womb, and she birth Isaac at the ripe old age of 90. She practically birth a nation, Israel – God’s first born! What a miracle!

When dealing with God and His word, two things are important, patience and consistency. Perception is key, through what lens do you view life? If you spend all your time dwelling on everything that is wrong, they will only get bigger. If you consider/focus-meditate on the great and mighty God, He gets bigger and everything else gets smaller, and soon becomes insignificant. Faith is the principle thing. When you know that your Father is a God of impossibilities, don’t bow over in doubt when He discloses to you His plans for you. Learn from Sarah’s mistakes, do not laugh at the audacity of God’s promise to you, and do not make haste – prematurely aborting/prolonging the manifestation of God’s plan with impatience and grumbling.

You may currently be dealing with a ‘Sarah’s womb’ situation. It could be your family life, marital life, spiritual life, career, finances, relationships, health et al. Maybe you are loosing the fight in you and you can feel weariness cascading down your face, helplessness tightening her grip around your waist and fear standing triumphantly on your shoulders. Sometimes, it takes getting to that low point, being barren and empty of your own will, for your faith to be big. Even though God should have been your first contact, you looked elsewhere for answers, and you were left feeling more confused, with no results. But the wonderful thing about the God that I serve, the One I call Daddy, is that He is merciful and He never turns His back on His children. Furthermore, He specializes in impossible situations and delights in creating something glorious out of nothing. Remember that when the contractions get faster and more painful, birth is near. During contractions, the devil will stop at nothing to keep you in a state of despondency. He needs you sad, downtrodden and distracted because he knows you cannot birth a promise in that state.

When there is an unusual form of prolonged barrenness, there is always an unusual form of blessing attached to it. Whether it is a week you spend waiting expectantly or 5 years or more, know that He will use your situation to bring glory to His name. It will literally be a matter of it is not by power, nor by might but by His spirit. Do not let the devil sabotage you and your walk with God. He can only go as far as you let him. Put on the whole armour of God, perk up, gear up, and open up because you are about to birth Isaac, your promise…greatness.

xoxo 🙂

Heaven’s Spotlight

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You are centre stage, and the adrenaline is high, so much so that the little hairs on your back and arms stand in response to your present euphoric state. You can sense the anticipation, you can feel the admiration and at the resounding applause, you know that it is your time to shine. In that moment, you think, Finally!

These people do not know the disappointments, heartbreak, loneliness, emptiness, and pain you have had to endure. It was no fun being in the shadows, having to walk around in ill-fitting shoes, living a life based on the expectations of others. It felt okay at times, but your gifts and dreams were being stifled, and you were suffocating in unfulfilment. You searched high and low, in the corners, valleys, hills, mountains; pretty much anywhere, for an opportunity to showcase you and all that you have to offer. Opportunity knocks, and you grasp at the hems of liberation. Like one who has been under water for too long, you surge out for air, and as a plus, you accept the warmth and brilliance of the morning sun. However, somewhere along the way, you lost sight of what was important. You had been blind-sided for so long, you were just fine being outside of the shadow, it didn’t matter the quality of light, dim or bright. Your search became a frenzied fight to win a popularity contest, and in the process, your purpose dived into obscurity.

All that glitters is not gold. This is a saying known by many. My mom practically drummed this into my ears as a kid, and I carried it on into adulthood. Its funny though that I only just recently fully understood this phrase in all its entirety. Some desires are practical, some are valuable, and some are necessary, all depending on your situation at the time. As an adult looking back, there are things that seemed essential, they appealed to my senses, I could almost hear them calling my name…actually, they did. That’s how much I desired them. Years have gone by, I got to have some of those things, and for the most part they brought distress and/or heartache. They were all so shiny and bright, they begged for my attention, beckoning me to lay hold on them. Soon, I realized that the shiny outside didn’t transcend any deeper. The excitement started and ended at the shiny and bright surface.

Words are gold. They can be a staircase to your destiny, building you up every step that you take, or they could be fire in a hay stack, burning your gifts and dreams to ashes. It takes a lot of confidence to be able to filter the words coming at you daily, and mute the background noise. But how do you do that without a solid foundation? Seeing as our senses are constantly being assaulted by all things sensational, if care is not taken, it is easy to get buried in the maze, and round and round we go in circles. You are constantly out of breathe, yet you make no progress. This is what happens when you try to figure out life on your own. Life is like an egg, it’ll either crack or shatter if tossed around like a ball. Putting your life (destiny) in the hands of man is an unwise decision, because the same individual (s) that positioned the ladder for your ascent is the same individual (s) that will kick the ladder from under your feet when you are no longer ‘trending’; and they won’t even have the decency to give you a soft landing spot. Your crash becomes the new lifetime soap, and your downfall becomes meat for the sharks.

Close your eyes for a second (or two), and imagine that you are centre stage. The silence is deafening, as everyone waits in anticipation for your next move. In that moment, you remember the highs and the lows, the unexpected twists and turns, the betrayals, and the pain, the loneliness and the emptiness. There is something brewing within, and like wind that causes ocean waves, you are now ready to make an impact, leaving your foot prints every step of the way. Now, you are in control, and walking on water no longer seems impossible.

You are no longer hopelessly confused, and you no longer feed on fickle and lustful pleasures. You are focused, and your mind is set on the horizon that now serves as your backdrop, causing you to glow anew. There are some waiting for you to fail, but you are not perturbed, because you see failures as springboards, and you know that even your mistakes work out for good. They can’t understand your new resolve, and they wonder what changed. They do not know the times you spent burning the midnight oil, soaking in God’s word. They do not understand that your feet are now deeply rooted in Christ and that you are no longer easily swayed by the winds of life. You now know whose you are, and you no longer tell yourself lies, talking and thinking defeat. Now, your words are encased in love, love for self. Being centre stage is no longer a selfish desire, it has matured into a burning desire to be a pleasing aroma to those in your sphere, giving words of encouragement and a helping hand when needed. Your light shines to bring to bare the gifts of others. You are like refreshing dew, causing others to blossom.

In this movie called life, God is your director, you are His lead act, and the world is your oyster (stage). There were many vying for your role, but He chose you. He is your number one fan; your triumphs cause Him to smile, and the angels to clap their hands in admiration. Your failures and mistakes cause Him to re-write the script, with the final scene untouched. He directs you to your expected end (Ref: Jeremiah 29:11).

At the end of the final scene, when THE director yells “cut”, you bow out with a smile knowing you have lived life on purpose.

Heaven’s spotlight is on you, are you ready to play your role?

Xoxo 🙂

My Love Story

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Love stories have the ability to tug at the strings of your heart. There is a certain hope we feel at the possibility of “happily ever after”. However, life experiences have a sneaky way of giving you a doze of reality check; a cure for the momentary bout of cinderella syndrome you were apparently suffering from. I have heard love stories that literally squeezed my heart into a mushy state of ‘awwwwwwwwwwww’, causing a plethora of emotions that even my mind struggled to understand. Yes, it was just that magical. These are love stories that have the essentials, boy meets girl, boy chases (sometimes literally) girl, girl fronts (maybe) for a period of time, boy remains persistent, girl gives in, circumstances try to tear them apart, but they tarry and they go on to live their happily ever after. I have come to learn however that love stories are meant to be personal, not a re-enactment of fiction or someone else’s story. Your love story is customized to you, designed (depending on the creativity level of the couple lol) to wow your senses. After all, conventional is quite boring.

My love story is perfect. It is a 100% pure, no inconsistencies or imperfections. He knew me way before I even heard about him. Basically, he loved me from afar. He orchestrated a grande show of His love for me, I was aware of it, but didn’t connect to it. All I remember thinking was oh, how sweet. He was persistent, and very strategic, sending people my way to get my attention. But I was too busy being distracted by the shadows of boys pretending to be men. He wrote me love letters bonded like a book (cheesy right?), professing his undying love for me. I read them, but the words never jumped out at me. Thus, I left the book in my pile of “to do”, gathering dust. It took a series of events, to get me to stop. In being still, I was able to reflect. In reflecting, I opened old wounds and a flood gate of emotions I wasn’t equipped to deal with. The scars they left behind deceived me into believing I was completely healed. In that state, when I felt most ugly and unwanted, he came right back into my life, with open arms and I willingly ran into them. The year 2009 marked the beginning of my perfect love story.

It took me quite a while to accept the reality of his love. It seemed unreal, the fear in me could not comprehend how anyone could so willingly love one so imperfect. I remember once, he said to me, nothing you confess or do could make me love you any less, allow me love you, let my love for you nourish and sustain you. He always knew just what to say to make my heart smile, one of the many perks of having him as my love. It is his love that nursed me back to whole. His love is energy for me. His love is food to my soul. His love pumps life into my days. What did I do to deserve this kind of love? The answer….nothing, absolutely nothing. He knocked at the door of my heart for so long, with a desire to fill me up with goodness. Out of curiosity, I peeked through the window, but foolish me didn’t let him in. The wonder of his love, he embodies patience.

My gosh, why did I deprive myself of this for so long?

Butterflies; I don’t get those when I am with him. What I get is peace, that feeling of home. He gave all he had for me, such an unselfish kind of love. Gone are the days of waterfalls, that craving for momentary excitement. He is my running water, oh so soothing. He is my excitement, dynamic yet consistent in all his ways.

I never thought I would trust again, just like I never thought I would love again. But he got me soo good, walking with me, and getting me to a place of contentment and balance. He infuses in me a daily doze of sweetness, as he gingerly peels off the layers and knocks down the walls. I don’t even know how he was able to get past the bolted door, but he did. I shed the weight – the baggage, the drama. I am naked before him, and it bothers me not. The once forgotten love letters have become my road map, and my source of hope.

There is no fear in our love, there are no insecurities in our love. He showcases me with gladness, he takes pride in me, and I am quick to declare my love for him.

The Bible is my daily reminder. He sacrificed His one and only, Jesus Christ for me.

He reduces me to love.

I am his lady, and He is my Lord.

Signed –
‘Chelle
A letter from me to my Father in heaven.

The Spouse and I….

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Marriage can be scary, especially when you think about the ‘forever’ side of things. I happen to think of marriage as a gift, a celebration of love. I suppose individual reactions to the idea of marriage would differ based on life experiences, ideologies and values. I see marriage as God sees marriage. It is a perfect institution, that has unfortunately been distorted by carnality. That being said, I am not ignorant of the pending trials and issues. However my responses, given my progressive intimacy with God, will be measured and wise. This is a journey I choose to embark on, and yes there will be days I would crave temporary insanity, however I have come to know that God does not give you what His grace cannot sufficiently cover. To love my husband in submission and respect is in reverence to God, and also my response to him loving/covering me like Christ loves/covers the church. A personal revelation is that love flows through a marriage that lives up to mutual responsibilities.

There is such a thing as speaking the truth in love, reference: Ephesians 4:15. I got an apt excerpt from a Christian website, which says “our tendency is to do well on 50% of that verse. Some of us have mastered “speaking the truth.” We’re quick to point out anything that we see or perceive in our spouse and are willing to use any method (attacking, judging, etc.) to drive the point home. Others of us are stuck at the “in love” part of confrontation. We’ve come to believe in complete acceptance and tolerance of any behavior. Often we become paralyzed with a fear of hurting someone’s feelings and withdraw into passivity and silence. Speaking the truth in love combines both of these concepts to allow us to confront sinful behavior without compromise, yet with absolute care and respect for the individual, saying things in a way that the person can accept. When a couple takes the stance of living out Paul’s challenge of “speaking the truth in love” to each other, the old models of judging and passivity must disappear.” I totally agree with this, because walking in love is a conscious partnership, and a display of consistent wisdom, “a fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise (wo)man keeps (her)himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11). Once words have been said, they cannot be retracted. Reckless words pierce like a sword – they leave a scar – but the tongue of the wise brings healing – like a kiss on the lips (Proverbs 12:18). What folks need to understand is that love is an act of will, both an intention and an action. “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

I am not married yet, but I SO look forward to it. I actually get excited when I think about it. Being married to my best (most important) friend = love on fire, that’s a steady volcano type of love :d. ‘Erm I’m sure I’ll have more to add when I am married. LOL

I came across this amazing website, http://www.fancylittlethings.com. Its a Christian website I absolutely loooove. Think tea sipping, couch laying and article reading. This website literally brings true, pure and lovely into my life. However, the article I read that sorta prompted me to write this post is called 7 ways to be your spouses best friend you can find it here: http://www.fancylittlethings.com/2012/09/7-ways-to-be-your-spouses-best-friend/
Totally relatable and applicable, enjoy!

xoxo

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The Fragrance of Grace

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A song by Bebe and Cece Winans, called Grace numbs my human senses, shuts down my mind (1 Peter 1:13), and speaks to my heart. I AM, because of His grace. His grace carries me; in my weakness, His power is perfected. This consciousness makes my heart smile. Man may fail me, but He – looks not to the works of my hands, but to my heart, and loves me inspite of myself. If we were perfect, there would be no reason for Christ. Salvation is the first step towards perfection. What a glorious revelation.

Grace is often defined as unmerited pardon, however I believe this to be insufficient. The scope of meaning for the word grace is far greater than ‘undeserved forgiveness’ . The Bible is full of references to grace and these verses speak to building up, perfection, strength, favor and LIFE (salvation).

I wanted to have a deeper understanding of the word grace, and during my search, I came across a website, http://www.servantsnews.com, which had a write up by Loyd Hohertz called The meaning of Grace. It is a long write up that requires further study, however he gave bullet points, divided in three sections, that I will share with you.

Characteristics of Grace
~ Grace is a free will gift, not something that is coerced (Matt 10:8).
~ Grace always remains within the parameters of God’s law.
~ God’s grace always expresses love (John 3:16, Heb 2:9).
~ God’s Grace demonstrates His truth (John 1:17).
~ God’s grace encourages and empowers a Christian to do righteous works of grace (2Cor 9:8).
~ God’s grace promotes abundant living (John 10:10).
~ Thanks and praise, whether given to God or man, is a form of grace (Heb 13:15).
~ Sometimes the blessings of grace are obvious, at other times they are extremely hard to comprehend.
~ Sometimes the blessings of grace are received immediately; at other times they are a long time in coming.
~ God’s grace establishes His righteous character in Christians.
~ God’s grace provide for all aspects of salvation (Eph 2:8–10).

What Grace Is Not
~ Grace is never something given out of fear.
~ Grace is not a license to sin. The Apostle Paul makes this statement in Romans 6:1-2: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”
~ Grace is not a license to vegetate by believing that all that is necessary is to have faith in Christ and let Him do all the work. In Philippians 2:12 the Apostle Paul writing to converted Christians says: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Christ also tells us in Luke 13:24: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate…”
~ Grace is not selfish, but is given without expecting something in return. Christ’ instruction on this matter is found in Matthew 6:2: “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
~ The granting of God’s grace to an individual is not a guarantee that he/she will be in the first resurrection and the kingdom of God. Hebrews 12:15 gives this instruction (which is in part quoted from Deuteronomy 29:18): “see to it that no one falls short of the grace of God, and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many”.

Who Will Receive God’s Grace?
~ God gives grace to the humble (1Pet 5:10).
~ God gives grace to those that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).
~ God rewards those that diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). God rewards by giving His gift of grace.
~ God gives grace to those that give grace (Matt 6:4).
~ God gives grace to those who obey Him: “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb 5:9). Titus 2:11 and other scriptures show that salvation comes about because of God’s and Christ’ grace.
~ God will give extra grace to the person who makes full use of the grace he has already received.

In your spare time, please do listen to this song by Bebe and Cece Winans, Grace. Release all inhibitions, and let your heart soar. The words are below:

Heaven knows I’ve done wrong; mercy helped me see I’ve been living a lie.
And while writing this song, thinking ’bout Your goodness I started to cry.
Yes, oh oh oh grace; what would I do without grace (do without grace)

Hide behind a painted smile; you lash out and sing while you’re spiritually die, yeah
There’s no need to sit in denial; He knows all about it and understands why (yes He does)
Oh oh oh grace (oh grace oh grace); what would I do without grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be, where would I be without grace

How can you love me still when I’ve done wrong (grace)
And how can I make it through this angry storm (oh grace)
Say oh oh oh grace; what would I do without Your grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be without grace (where would I be without grace)

What can make me whole in my soul (grace grace)
What can wash my sin (grace)
Say grace; what would I do without Your grace (couldn’t make it)

Tell you what lately I’ve learned; He picks me up whenever I’m down
(Have you ever been down? I’ve been down.)
Nothin’ I’ve done or can do can take away this love, this love that I’ve found

Oh oh oh grace (grace); what would I do, what would I do without grace
Oh oh oh grace; where would I be without grace

Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found, I was blind but now I see

That’s why we say amazing; that’s why we sing amazing grace (I can’t move without it)
I can’t live without Your grace; thank You for Your grace.

xoxo #hugs #kisses #smiles

God the businessman

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God is the greatest and wisest businessman. In His infinite wisdom, He spoke you into being, breathing life into you. You are His creation, His number one business. He invested in you when He gave His first fruit – Jesus Christ – to die on the cross for you. This investment cannot be quantified, love cannot be broken down to numbers or science.

You may ask, what is the return on investment for God? Romans 8:19 says, the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. His ROI is you being a fruitful branch in the vine – body of Christ, which translates to you being the light of the world. In you and I lies greatness, and once realized and manifested, we bring glory to His name. Unfortunately, there are too many Christians that are yet to scratch the surface of the greatness within them (myself included). To be fruitful in the kingdom of God, you need the word seed. His word deeply rooted in your heart, and consistently watered by your word declarations births life. His word is life. To grow in God, you must be ready to be pruned, which means dying to self and resurrecting with new -divine- life. Do not fooled, this process is painful, but oh so rewarding. What I mean is, being disciplined in God requires fasting behaviours, attitudes and conditions, and cutting out unecessities, which sometimes includes people that add nothing of value to your life. The reward, is seeing God move in your life. It is that feeling of lightness, no heaviness, no baggage. Please please please, should you fall off or back slide, do NOT make the mistake of condemning yourself – that is of the devil. Know that it is not by power, nor by might but by His spirit. Let Him Shepard you, let Him crown your efforts, let Him perfect you.

The beginning of greatness is knowing who you are in God. This knowledge shines a spot light on your abilities/talents, which when understood and utilized lead to realizing your divine purpose. I truly believe that everyone wants to live a purposeful fulfilled life. It is a matter of taking the olive branch God is stretching out to you, finding yourself in His word and tuning your spirit to His. He wants to make you profitable!

Have a blessed day.

xoxo

A Higher Life in Christ

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Have you heard the saying, the physical realm parallels the spiritual realm? Just as there are different levels in life, graduating from one class and moving on the next, there are levels in Christ. Being born again is the rebirth of your spirit man. When you confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God is Lord over your life, you are transferred into the kingdom of His dear son – ref. Bible, Romans 10:10. However, this is only the beginning of your Christian journey.

Allow me digress for a second to say that Christianity is not a religion. It is divinity at work in you. Christianity is life, meaning that as a born again christian, you have the God kind of life -Zoe – in you. Your new nature is divinity at its best.

Though you are given the gift of righteousness, it is up to you to obtain and enjoy the beauty therein. As with anything one has passion for in life, you have to put in the effort required to ensure it yields fruits. This will include setting a table for two, for you and your Savior, meditating on His word and confessing His word, until you become His word. Just as a person cannot go to bed a janitor the night before and roll out of bed a doctor the next day, a new Christian cannot expect to enjoy the fullness of God without seeking His face, and learning the word – your road map. The Bible says, the entrance of thy word giveth light. You have to search the word to gain a deeper revelation of God. His word must take root in your spirit.

Pardon me, I meant to mention earlier that you cannot understand an infinite God with a finite mind (intellect). Man is a spirit being, he has a soul (mind, will and emotions) and is housed in a body. Your body was given to you so that you can comprehend your current locale – earth. However, what you must realize is that your 5 senses are limited to the physical realm. All senses want gratification now, they cannot comprehend faith. Your spirit/inner man – the real you is who connects to God. As you feed your physical body with food, feed your spirit/inner man with God’s word. After-all what good does it pay you to have a fit body and a malnourished spirit? Do not be imprisoned by your physical body, break free, and let your spirit soar on the wings of His word.

When you are located in Christ, you can never be dislocated in life. There is so much more than the mind can think of or comprehend; all available to you in Christ Jesus. Come up hither!

xoxo 🙂