Sunday, February 28, 2016

How We Know

Asking ourselves if we really know we are a Christian happens.

Will I really spend eternity in Heaven?

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13

-maybe you were a kid when you accepted Christ
-maybe you were a teen
-maybe you were a young adult
-maybe you were middle age
-maybe you were older
-maybe you've never accepted Him and you wonder how you will know

Have you ever wondered if you really know. "Know if you know" you are saved. "Know if you know" you will spend eternity in Heaven. I mean you accepted Christ, right? Do you know?

Often our own thoughts stumble us. Or the enemy tries to steal what truth we already know by telling us "you don't know everything". The enemy may even go as far as distracting us so we don't find truth in The Word period. "What about the time or times I messed up?" You still believed didn't you?

Until we keep pushing those false thoughts away will we have true assurance. In the verse above, 1 John 5:13, John tells use in the concluding affirmation of his letter we can know. We can "know we know" we will receive eternal life.

We must cling to the truth heard when we first accepted Christ. As this is the moment recognizing the beginning of our walk with Christ. From there our knowledge of the Lord must grow. We deepen our understanding through study. Then we can use what we've learned. What we have grown from to help teach others. Although we learn more we must never abandon the truth about Christ.

Jesus will always be God's Son.

His sacrifice for our sins is permanent.

Nothing else can ever change this teaching.

As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us - eternal life. 1 John 2:24, 25

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11,12

The moment you believe, you have eternal life.

No need to worry.
No need to work for it.
No need to hope for it.
No need to base it off feelings.

It's guaranteed. God himself gives eternal life the moment you believe. This is based off facts, facts of God's truth.

If you are uncertain, ask yourself: "Have I wholeheartedly committed my life to Christ as my Lord and Savior?" If you answer yes, then by faith you know for certain you are a child of God. You are a Christian. By faith my friends. No reason to question anymore.

Hopefully, these words shared today clear the air for some of your questions. I am very thankful He laid it heavy on my heart to dig a little deeper in His word putting it out on the front line for others to read. As this was a recent topic in a Bible study I am doing this semester. The bottom line is if you were a child when you accepted Christ but since then have strayed away, walked through some raunchy paths or don't know Him as well as you think you should He is still your Savior. How awesome is that? Whisper a prayer today, ask God to draw closer to you and you Him (James 4:8). He longs for us to lean into Him. Even when we've messed up, have doubts or question if we know. Nothing is too big for Him.

You are His.

When did you accept Christ?
Would you like to accept Christ?
Did you whisper a prayer today?
Do you have a big story?
Do you have a small story?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Old Prayers

Looking through old notes on your iPhone provides great words.

If I had to guess iPhone's we created just for me. No, it's really affirmation real people need real phones to manage real creations. This week I started looking through old notes on my phone. In an effort to manage my jotted notes. I printed several note pages. Then deleted them from my phone freeing space. Notes dated from the year 2014. A year I walked in the mornings at a local park.

Today, I share with you a set of prayers from the twenty-second day of September two thousand fourteen. These prayers are me literally praying to myself as people passed my or vs. I passed them.

Prayers for others at the park:

The lady who appears extremely overweight. I am thanking Jesus for ruffling your spirit to start walking. May you have many more days walking ahead. Share your story with others. This will provide them encouragement seeing your starting point to how far you've come. Keep walking!

The two ladies who met in separate cars. My "good mornings" as we pass are truly Spirit lead. As I rock out to my morning L3 Bible reading, I pray you can feel His presence.

The two jail workers working the parks grounds told by your overseer "stay right here" while I go to the store. God sees your obedient heart. Stick with it!

The man in the old Ford Ranger truck who lost your entire load of wood taking off at the red light. I pray someone stops to help you. May no one be harmed by the traffic.

Praying for others helps us forget self-interest and begins interceding wayward for our friends, family. Unleashing God's power to those we pass on a daily basis. Let's be world-changers together. Find someone to pray for today, even if they aren't aware of it.

Maybe your like one of these I've prayed for. I pray for you too. Hold your chin up and listen to what the Spirit is speaking over your life today. Happy Friday!

Do you pray for others?
Do you keep notes on your phone? How long?
Do you need prayer?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Twenty Reasons

20 Reasons I attended my high school reunion:

1. Reunite with friends not seen since our 10-year reunion.
2. That's what we do right, attend reunions.
3. Connect with old friends face to face-beyond Facebook.
4. My high school peers were ones I did a large portion of life with.
5. Meet classmates spouses.
6. Hear about classmates parents.
7. Hear about classmates kids.
8. Feel the feeling of what a great job my parents really did.
9. A chance to dress up.
10. A date night with my husband.
11. Celebrate the wisdom in being a 20-year high school graduate.
12. Feel my dad's presence-he's been gone for almost 20 years.
13. Reminisce over old times.
14. Be with people who truly know my humor.
15. See people I may never see again.
16. Curiosity-who would show up.
17. Remind myself how far I've come in life.
18. Celebrate being alive-15 year cancer survivor.
19. Come to terms of aging.
20. Conversations with other adults.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Source of Love




Exemplifying love is an all year reaction.

Many get wrapped up in the "he/she didn't do enough for me" mentality around February 14th, a day marked on the calendar representing love, Valentines Day. All of us want to see and believe we are loved. We want to be and feel special. 

A special person in our life doing things for us on Valentines Day like giving us flowers and a card is great. 

Then, I am reminded of the whole big idea where we are rooted in love and that is by our Creator. God is love. You probably heard those words before in your life but do you really believe them?

We as humans are unable to provide unconditional love from our own hearts. It's not a capability for humans. In fact it's impossible. 

Agape love.

Agape love is something only God can do. He uses us to express His love through us. See, He uses us daily! Think about that for a minute. Any time you express love He is using you. 

He is the One and only Source of love. 

We all fall short demonstrating sinful natures from time to time: selfishness, hatred, pride etc. 

That's when we seek His guidance to cleanse us each day. Ask Him to continue shaping and modeling us like Him. Because He is love. 

I want to love my spouse.
I want to love my kids. 
My parents.
My sister.
My in laws.
My friends. 
My Bible study partners, leaders, pastor, neighbor, people I pass in public, on the soccer fields etc. 

It is only through Him I can do this. Years ago, I learned to take my eyes off those around me. Of what they were doing for me and not for me. Making me feel loved or not. Now, I focus on the One. Until, I did this, me loving and me being loved was impossible. The pressure I put on myself and those around me was unmeaserable. Because they alone can't fully fill my love bucket. 

He tells us in His word, 1 John 4:7 Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 

When we see ourself, when we see others, exemplify what love is….

patient-kind-selfish-thoughtful-not rude-not irritable-believes the best-not jealous-makes good impressions-unconditional-cherishes-lets others win-fights fair-takes delight-honorable- intercedes- seeks understanding-Jesus Christ-satisfied in God-faithful-protects-forgives-not lustful-responsible-encourages-makes sacrifices-motivation-brings unity-completes-celebrates godliness-accountable-God's word-endures-fulfills dreams-a covenant-etc.

we know they are of God and know God. 

Always pray for your heart first. Then pray for those around you, but remember not to get caught up in the he/she's not doing. You can't make others love. It's not up to us. And even when they do love it's not their love that completes us. Only Christ completes us. His love in us completes us and flows out around us. When it flows and those around us aren't full they must find their completion from Him alone. He is the only One who completes us. When you are full in Him and when those around you are full in Him, then you come together and the overflowing love is His sprinkles of love, the extra, good stuff. 

When He is fully allowed in our hearts (not halfway- one foot in Him and one foot in the world) we receive the Spirit of Christ. Not until then are we able to use love's real power. 

He tells us apart from Him, "you can do nothing". (1John 15:5)

The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is the same in us. (Romans 8:11)

My encouragement is you heard His voice today while reading this. 

He stills our soul. He leads us. Even when we might not fully understand and everything gets twisted up He will come alongside us to reassure us. He enlights us. He encourages us. He comforts us. 

May His calmness wash over you. 

Be reminded conviction is from Him. It is good. It is healthy. It allows us the smartness to turn to Him asking for His help. 

Condemning is not from Him. Clearly, it is the enemies way. The stupid way, we must put our foot down requesting to get out of our life. Just as being rush, pushed, frighten, confused, discouraged, worried, obsessing is not of the Lord. Anytime those pop up over our heart, mind and soul we must whisper a little prayer for them to leave. They are not welcomed in this place.

Biggest takeaway...

You can't do this on our own.
I can't do this on my own.
She/he can't do this on their own.

Your love for those around you maybe a simple pray this weekend, they will see Him.

I am glad the pressure's off me.
How bout you?


If you'd like to read deeper beyond this blog post. Check out this book, The Love Dare, on Amazon. I read this book years ago and my outlook on marriage change and I grew spiritually.