Archive | October, 2013

Walking in Grace

12 Oct

Psalm 92:14
Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

Walking in Christianity. What I understand it to mean. Biblically.

I have believed in God my whole life; believing in the resurrection, that Christ died for me and because he did that, I will go to Heaven, as a believer. This makes me a Christian [Saved]… at quick glance. My mustard seed of faith.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Matthew 17:20
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

The challenge and debate starts here. I will share what God has brought me to understand. I am not God. No one will ever fully know God until we are sitting with Him. What we do have, is an account of those that have spoken to Him, those that have walked with Jesus, even those that were non-believers and haters of Jesus, that got to know Him after resurrection. Now, I am not a scholar, I am not a prophet, and I am not someone that has scripture memorized. I have to google it or search my concordance. I have Bible Hub, Bible Gateway, You Version bookmarked and open most days to help me navigate, learn and study. What I know for certain is this: the more I read and understand the bible, the more I realize I don’t know and need to study further. Each time I visit a scripture, I mark it. Each time I read the same scripture, it has changed to meet my needs. The Living Word. Like water, it flows unending.

I have the defining moment, July 10, 2010 when my walk changed completely. When the “scales fell” from my eyes. Nothing was ever the same again.
Acts 9:17-18 So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

I began to walk with Light in my heart. I understood that I was new. I understood this incredible Love for me. Now this didn’t happen all at once, I don’t have this sudden Jesus came into my heart moment, because he was always in my heart; what happened was a saving time, a brilliant, inspired time. What did change over night was I realized His Great Love and Mercy applied to me and I didn’t have to earn it anymore. That began a shift in the relationship. A shift in the whole way I walked this world.I had to know this Savior that died for me. I had to know a God that would sacrifice His own Son for me.

My journey from that day, wasn’t one that was cemented in the Word (Bible), it was one of relationship. Yes, I was hearing The Word in sermons,in fellowship and with my beautiful girlfriends. I did look at a couple devotionals. What I really did, was talk to Him. I began to pour my heart out to Him. The budding relationship of trust, of hope, of peace. That is what Faith is. That is what I view as my Christian walk. It is my Faith Walk. I had to remove the ego, the defenses of not understanding Grace, not understanding my value to Christ, to be able to move forward in trust.
I no longer had to take care of things on my own. No longer was I alone! I have not been alone for a single moment since that day.

I was transformed in ways that you won’t know, and I am still being transformed. There were great changes instantly. There are even greater changes that I am still in the middle of. I am His to mold at His will.

Being a Christian isn’t about me. It is about Him. It isn’t about my love, it is about His love. It doesn’t make me righteous, it is a journey to understand righteousness, to know how to put that cloak on. It is about becoming obedient, not self-seeking yet it is always seeking. We learn over time. We mature in our faith walks. It is give and take. We bless others with our journey. Our greatest blessings are the hardships we endure, the broken heartedness, the betrayals, the losses. We find Him there, and we become blessed so we can bless other’s as they walk through the dark times.

Being a christian is not about perfection. Perfection is a worldly term and one that will separate us from Him. As we journey through our lives, we will stumble, we will fail, but not without learning and growing.

I can count on two hands the days in my life, that I’ve spent completely connected to Him, from sunrise to sunset. Where His peace flowed through my veins, His amazing love for the people of this world beat within my heart,my eyes were filled with His compassion, my thoughts were His thoughts, where the world did not distract me, my gratitude overflowed and my sin was kept at bay… the abundant beauty I saw on those days is beyond description.

The world defines Christians by the sinner. Christians defines Christians by the sins. God defines Christians with Grace and Mercy. Thank you Jesus! for your amazing sacrifice.

If you do not know if you are saved or not. If you do not trust Christians, or the bible or even God, I would ask you to consider beginning a conversation with Him. Begin by asking Him to listen, because He listens so perfectly. Ask Him to hear your words. Ask Him to show you truth. HIS truth. Suffering is part of life, so don’t ask Him to not suffer. Ask Him to show you truth and how to walk in the light even in dark times. I am warning you though, He WILL show you.But what a beautiful show. ~ God bless.

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Psalm 86:15).

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13)

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love (John 15:9).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2).

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5).

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

“O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long] will ye love vanity, [and] seek after leasing?” (Psalms 4:2)

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For
every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
 we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
 let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

Ephesians 2:4-6 (MSG)
He Tore Down the Wall

2 1-6 It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (AMP)
4 But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

James 4:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 But He gives us more and more grace ([a]power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it).

My Baptismal Testimony

8 Oct

Your Love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.~ Jesus Culture

I found this in some notes as I unpack from yet another move. I wrote this the morning of my Baptism; re-baptism to be exact. It makes me smile to see how far I have come from such grief to such joy. God is so good…so very, very good.

I had a testimony written last week but last night, I asked myself why am I being re-baptized. I know all the things that lead up to it, but why re-baptism?
I had originally planned on the August baptism, but it just didn’t work out with my work schedule. Now I know why, I wasn’t ready.
I always had my faith,I never doubted,always accepted Jesus. My own way at times yes, but it was there.
A little over a year ago, my whole world came to a halt and turned upside down. I lost my marriage, my job, my home, my belongings, financial security, my pets, my stepchildren and all that I knew my life to mean; my worth, my definition. My own children were not here, all lived out of state,living their own lives.
The extreme loss of it, all at once, nearly did me in. Only by God’s Grace am I here, literally. I almost didn’t survive it. I know my suffering brought me closer to the Lord. I know my gratitude for the deep suffering and all it has blessed me with in the end.
I know all that I have learned this year; I know that I have been blessed 10 fold with beautiful loving people in my life, faithful loving family, some are here today and I am so very grateful.
It’s huge, all I have been thru, still am going thru as I continue to let go and now, again, lost my job a week ago. I’m grateful for how joyful I am today. It’s a great testimony in its own right and I don’t mean to take away from the magnitude of it. I will suffer hardship and loss again in my life but I won’t suffer because I am not trusting, or grasping to redirect God’s plan, or even when I am afraid.
I will lean on Him, trust in Him and he will get me thru. I will grow and I will learn and each time I stumble, each time I lose something; I know clearly that what he replaces it with will be amazing and wonderful and I know it. I trust it. I trust Him.
But still, the nagging question kept bugging me… why re-baptize?
I am being baptized today because I commit my life to Him today. I lay my whole being before my Lord. I give myself to Him. I am worthy of it, and so is HE. We got here together. He stripped me, pruned me, brought all the right people to help me thru it and I accepted. I followed, He lead. I gave myself up and didn’t even know it. HE loves me unconditionally and I love HIM. Because I am all in; He knows it and so do I. Now, I submit, and He will take me where he wants me to go.
The day after I didn’t take my life, July 9, 2010, the day I found this joy in my heart that never leaves, I read this scripture and it will be forever written in my heart. My baptismal Scripture is from The Beatitudes’

~Matthew 5 3-5 ~in The message.
3″You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. 4″You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.5″You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

The more i seek you,
the more i find you.

The more i find you,
the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming ~ Kari Jobe