Characteristics of God, Compassion, Godly Living

The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

Characteristics of God, Godly Living

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Thessalonians

Week 1: Learning About His Love

How is everyone doing with this week’s study and memory verse? Our memory verse for the week is found in 1 Thessalonians 1:4, which says –

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you…

The Spiritual Election

We need to know deep in our spirits that election, which has already taken place. God has chosen us. There is no other’s vote who counts more than God’s. God has specifically chosen you, to become His own son or daughter, through the sacrifice and salvation found in our Lord Jesus Christ.

We recently went through a significant presidential election. One filled with emotions and arguments. This is not the sort of election that has taken place in Heaven, concerning us. God specifically and lovingly chose us. He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3), and this is why we have been chosen. Being chosen has absolutely nothing to do with our appearance, talents, health, or how far we have come in our lives. We are chosen specifically, because God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him!

Being chosen by God is fully dependent upon who He is. He desires to spend time with us, who are uniquely made by Him. He is our good good Father, and honestly wants to be with us more than anything else!

Loved Anyway

It’s hard for me to envision in my mind that God has seen all of humanity at their best and worst, yet He has still chosen me.  Especially on days like today, where my struggles are real, I cannot imagine the process of being chosen. As hard as it is to believe, because I wouldn’t choose me on a day like today, God has purposely chosen me and dwells with me in my moments of trouble.

He has chosen us. He wants to just love us and be there for us. If we could grasp this truth, our entire perspective would change. As we grasp this truth, we begin to look at our relationship with Jesus differently and become increasingly more transformed than the day before.

This kind of love is what led the prodigal son home. The Father’s love is incomparable to anything else we could ever experience. We are fully welcomed into our Lord’s presence, because of what Jesus Christ has done. We have been ushered into our heavenly Father’s presence, from the moment we begin to follow Jesus Christ.

We might liken this moment to being invited to a party, but it is far different than anything we could ever experience. We are invited to sit at the table with the very guest of honor Himself – Jesus Christ. We are fully welcomed, involved in heartfelt conversation, and given the tremendous privilege to enjoy Him and His presence.

We need to realize that… God’s relationship with us is the highest thing on His “to do” list!

The Ultimate Love

This is the ultimate kind of love, where we will be welcomed, entertained, to be fond of, and to be dearly loved. Also, to be well pleased and contented with. This means: we will always have God’s full attention. He is not going to get restless in His relationship with us, and move onto the next one. God is fully invested in our lives, and desires to be with us more than anything else!

Because of His enormous kind of love, God has chosen us. We have been hand-picked by God to have our relationship with Him restored, through His precious Son Jesus Christ!

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Updates

ONE Week Away – Meeting the Thessalonians

Friends, Our study is only one week away! I am excited to share this journey with you all! The study of “Meeting the Thessalonians” has been such a rich time of worship, that has led me closer to God. Honestly, God has used this study to prepare my heart and mind for the season He is allowing me to enter into. I am eternally thankful for this time of study, and that I have been able to daily commit myself to taking the time to scripture write 1 Thessalonians. As I conclude my last week of 1 Thessalonians for this study, I am thankful for this time of preparation for our study together.

God knew it was exactly what I needed. So now, I invite you, dear friend, to join me in “Meeting the Thessalonians”. This is where God is going to meet us and speak tenderly to our hearts – no matter what we are facing in our daily lives. No matter what circumstances we may find ourselves in.

Honestly, life has been tough for me lately. There was even a millisecond of hesitation of switching the study date. Fear not journal lovers (if there are any of you out there), we are pressing on and going to begin our study in one week!

While there is a lot of things I am currently facing, I also have a lot of things on my heart and mind that I believe God is leading me to share with my fellow bloggers and readers. But this study isn’t solely for me, it is for you too. God has a specific word He wants to share with you personally! God wants to meet you right where you are, even if your life seems like mine – a big mess.

Even in the mess, God wants to show us Himself. He wants to reveal Himself to us, even in times like now where life is far from perfect. These are the exact moments, where we need to draw nearer to Him. We need to experience the faithfulness and presence of our great God!

With all that said, I hope you will consider joining me for our study. “Meeting the Thessalonians” is our nine week Bible study. There will be something for each of us to read, during the weekdays. We will meet back here, during the week to grow and learn together.

As a way to prepare ourselves for this study, I advise grabbing the journal. If you can afford it, please consider purchasing the official “Meeting the Thessalonians” journal. It helps to support this blog, plus all new format to help us gain a better quiet time. The new format will be utilized in all upcoming studies. I wasn’t able to afford the journal this time around, but I am looking forward to getting one of the future ones. They look really good, and helpful to move me in the right direction in growing spiritually.

Whether you use the journal or a notebook, you will have all you need to enter into this study with confidence that you will abound in your faith and relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ!

We begin January 29, 2017. Get ready, my friends, for you are going to love all that God will show you during this time of spiritual worship!

You can find the Thessalonians reading plan, by clicking here.

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The Overcomer Life, Truth in Trials

When The Holy Spirit Speaks…

A few days ago, I mentioned things have been increasing in their difficulties. While things may seem to get worse before they get better, I am sooo thankful for the Holy Spirit. I have had many “ministering moments” lately, similar to what we see in chapter 4 of Matthew. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and that’s the One who is doing a lot of comforting in my life lately. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, making sure I know that He is with me in this!

I wanted to share a few truths, today. These are truths I am learning to hold onto in my trials. And, it is my hope that they will help you too – in whatever season you find yourself in today!

  1. Jesus promises to be here with us.
  2. Jesus promises that He knows the weaknesses we face, and that’s exactly why we can come to Him.
  3. Finally, the problems of today mean glorifying God for all eternity. I don’t understand or like my trials, but it is comforting – just knowing that God will use this for something good, something eternal, and this won’t last forever.

Psalm 23 teaches us about the sovereignty of God and how He meets us – even caring for us and pouring blessings over us in the presence of our enemies. Let’s listen to a small portion of this Scripture –

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need… He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me (Ps. 23:1, 3b-4, NIRV).

Hebrews 4:14-16 proclaims the truth that King Jesus knows exactly what you are going through right now. None of your family or friends may know, but God knows it all. In Psalm 139, we are reminded that God is our Creator. He made us. So, it makes sense to us – as believers in Jesus Christ – that He would know the exact trials or times of weaknesses that we are going through right now. And, He is interceding on our behalf. He is going to love us through it! He is going to make sure we know that He stands on our side! This is our blessed encouragement and a good reminder of why we can keep the faith, even in the middle of trials. In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that trials show us where our faith is. Keep on believing, and trusting Christ!

We have a great high priest. He has gone up into heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us hold firmly to what we say we believe. We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us boldly approach God’s throne of grace. Then we will receive mercy. We will find grace to help us when we need it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reminds us why we can keep going and not give up. Our trials are not for nothing. Because we are in Christ Jesus, they can be used to bring glory to God!

We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.