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Monthly Archives: February 2014

What’s it Gonna Cost (Following Jesus)

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The Bible says a wise person counts the cost (Luke 14:28-32). What does it cost to follow Jesus? It will cost you everything. God wants your heart, your time, your talents, your mind, your relationships, your pure devotion. It’s not about beating ourselves into submission to His will. It’s about falling in love with the One who loved us first and allowing that love to catapult us into reckless abandon.

All of this life, for the believer, centers around God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you relationships or friendships. The Bible is very clear about not being unequally yoked (spiritually incompatible in marriage) or hanging with people who are pulling you away from God.

Walking with Jesus might cost you time, energy…to serve those around you. Will we do it even if they don’t appreciate it? Will we do it when it’s inconvenient or painful for us? Will we do it out of love, to put someone else first? Will we do it when no one sees and there’s zero credit given to us? Will we serve those who have hurt, abused, neglected, or betrayed us?

Walking with Jesus will lead you to purity…denying fleshly desires to pursue holiness.

Walking with Jesus will cost you popularity. Not everyone loved Jesus. And if everyone loves what we have to say, we might not be preaching the Gospel. The disciples and Jesus were fiercely persecuted for their faith.

Walking with Jesus will cause you to be misunderstood. There are people who will be offended, hurt, angered, and feel rejected by your love for Jesus.

Walking with Jesus even in Christian community can be lonely. You will often have to rely heavily on the Holy Spirit because He never grows weary or tired. He never sleeps or slumbers. He is the source, everything and everyone else a resource.

Walking with Jesus may cost you your dreams. What if what God has for you is better than what you’ve dreamed up or thought of? What if God’s answer doesn’t match your prayers? God does exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ask or imagine. His will is perfect, even when we don’t understand it.

Walking with Jesus will cost you your pride…to give, forgive, sacrifice, and take the role of a servant.

Walking with Jesus will cost you comfort. He never promised a life without trouble. Life hurts at times. Sometimes it’s excruciatingly painful and disappointing. He did promise to never leave or forsake us. He did promise to work things for good. Even if it doesn’t happen here and now. We will see Him face to face in all His glory. No pain. No sorrow! Just joy!!!!

It’s gonna cost us everything to truly follow Jesus! I can say this with great confidence, He’s worth it ALL! I’ve found no greater love, friend, encourager, or Savior!

I have days where I need to hear Him say, “You and I will be together forever in paradise.” And I long for heaven with an intensity I can’t explain. There have been days, nights, and sometimes weeks of just grieving with God. So I can say with great confidence…no matter what you face or how bad it hurts…GOD is fighting for you, praying for you, and nothing you suffer will be wasted if you place everything in His hands. No matter what you lose, He’s willing to offer you all of Himself. It won’t remove all pain from loss, but it will infuse you with strength to continue on.

Give it all friends! Jesus is the greatest reward and how He loves us so!!!

Love in Christ,

Erin

You are loved. You’re in my heart and prayers.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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The Misrepresentation of God

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,~Romans 5:6-8.

There are so many lies floating around about God. There are numerous people claiming to represent Him that are doing more harm than good. Nothing saddens me more than the misrepresentation of God. He is glorious. He is good. While we were at our worst state, Jesus died for us.

God is love. There are so many Bible verses that affirm this truth, yet love is often misrepresented.

Love does not go along with what’s wrong. Some believe that because God is love, we should never correct others or point to truth. If you study the ministry of Jesus, He rebuked people…especially the self righteous.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives,~Hebrews 12:6.

God’s discipline is aimed at leading us to repentance (turning away from doing what’s wrong). Humans sometimes discipline to exercise control, to humiliate, or seek revenge. God longs to restore.

God loves all people! Heaven will be an ethnically diverse place.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands,~Revelation 7:9.

It’s sad that racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, and feelings of superiority have made their way into some Christian circles. God does not look at people the way we do. He looks at the heart.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus,~Galatians 3:28.

In God’s Kingdom, there are no inferior people groups nor is there an inferior gender. Division is a work of the evil one. The Holy Spirit works to bring about peace and unity. He does not change the truth to promote unity; He does place value and honor on people since they are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).

It amazes me that Jews and Africans have been the most persecuted and hated groups in history, yet the Bible is set on the Continent of Africa and in the Middle East. God does not hate dark skinned people or people from those regions. They were and are an integral part of His story. Jesus was born into a Jewish lineage. Many of the Kings, Queens, and influential people we read about in the Bible were African and others what we’d call today Middle Eastern.

God also does not devalue women. If you study the interactions Jesus had with women, He loved, honored, respected, and treated them well.

Sin (especially pride) brought about the mistreatment of people. It’s not God’s heart.

God wants to save people, not send them to hell.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,~2 Peter 3:9.

God sent His Son to save the world. So whosoever believes in Him could have everlasting life. Our role is to share the Gospel (which means Good News), not condemn people to hell. We leave the final judgement in God’s hands.

God didn’t tell us to force people into conversion or be the sin police for the world. He did tell us to hold other Christians accountable.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself,~Galatians 6:1.

This does not mean we are not to fight against social injustice. It does mean we not called to be the Holy Spirit for the world. God calls us to be salt and light. Light is a blessing (our role). Light shines (our role). Light guides (our role). Light illuminates truth (our role). God convicts the world of sin (Holy Spirit’s role). God empowers people to say no to sin (God’s role). When we take on His role, we end up doing more harm than good. We point people to God. We allow Him to work through us. We do not assume His role in their lives.

God hates sin not just because He’s holy, but because sin destroys who He loves.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,~Romans 6:23.

God doesn’t seek to humiliate or shame people.

Jesus dealt with all types of sinners. He did not seek to humiliate them. The Religious people of his day were looking for people to stone, humiliate, or condemn.

When they brought Jesus the woman caught in adultery here was His response.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”~John 8:7.

After her accusers were gone, Jesus told her to go and leave her life of sin. Love protects. Jesus protected her and told her to stop sinning. That’s real love.

God is not after your money; He’s after your heart!

There are people exploiting the gifts of God and the people of God for profit. God asks us to give to be a blessing to the poor and those around us. The gifts were never intended to exploit people. God cares deeply about the poor. He asks us to give to love on those who have not. When our heart is aligned with His, we care deeply for the poor and we want to give. He does not try to force us to give.

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection,~Luke 14:12-14.

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed,~Proverbs 19:17.

To sum it up…God loves people. He’s Sovereign. He’s holy. He’s good. He longs to help us in our weakness. He’s forgiving. The greatest detriment to our souls is failing to receive His Son. No one can come to the Father without the Son. Jesus is the key to eternal life. Even for those who reject Him, God still has love for them.

May we know Him for who He really is and represent Him well! God=Love!!! For more info on what He’s like, check out http://morena242.wordpress.com.

Love in Christ,

Erin

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2014 in From the Author, God's Heart

 

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