The Little Light that Could…

Part two: Working out, working in…

You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. These are the words of Jesus. We are light. We are meant to glow (think soft candle light, not glaring spotlight) everywhere we go. We are meant to just be, and by being, we dispel darkness. But in actual practice, what does this look like.

Well I will tell you one thing, it doesn’t look like certain churches who spew “god hates fags” or “repent or burn”. God’s light is peaceable, gently, and willing to yield. God’s light is hope for the world, not condemnation for the world. Now that we know what God’s light doesn’t look like, how do we discover what God’s light is supposed to look like?

We found out in part one that God’s light is the proper understanding of God and His Word. And that as we begin to understand God rightly, our whole being becomes full of light and we shine. Paul say  “12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Phil2)

Paul reveals a great secret though most men have twisted this  and caused much damage and fear in the body of Christ. Paul says “keep going! Keep reverencing God. It is God who has worked inside your heart the desire and willingness, as well as the ability to live His ways. You just do outwardly what God has already done inwardly, and do it with respect of God and honor His body!”

So to work out our salvation, is to demonstrate through our actions and words, exactly who God is and what He has done inside our lives. Of course in order to do this we must first know Who God is, but we discussed that last time remember?

Being the light in this dark world is so easy when we know who Jesus is. When I think of someone filled with light and being light. I think of someone filled with joy and peace; someone who doesn’t have it all together all the time, and by no means there life is perfect, but they shine. It is fully possible to live this way.

Working out your salvation, being the light and being a city on a hill is not a difficult thing. It’s not laborious or hard. In fact if you are laboring hard to display this life then you have missed the whole point, and you need to go back to square one and ask Jesus Who He is.

Be encouraged today. The more you spend time with Jesus, the more your life is healed, and darkness is dispelled, and you shine inwardly. The more you shine inwardly, the more you shine outwardly. The more you shine outwardly, the more kings will be drawn to the brightness of your rising! You will be working it out without even knowing it! ( This is the way I wish exercise was haha)

It all starts with Jesus. It all is because of Jesus. It all is through Jesus. And it’s all about Jesus. Lastly it all ends with Jesus being glorified. If it’s about you your effort or your repentance, or your ability, then go back to square one.

Be the light today.

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The Little Light that Could….

Part one: A mysterious journey through a worm hole in inner space…

What is the antidote for darkness?

Light.

We were not created to live in darkness, not darkness on a social level, an economical level, a spiritual level, and especially not a deep personal level. Darkness can be simply described as lack of the proper understanding of God, and thus light is the proper understanding of God (and His Word).

There is so much to understand about the light, and I would love to be able to sit and expound someday and share all the truths I know, but for today I just want to encourage you. There is light even in the  midst of darkness right in the center of who you are. Darkness cannot overcome light.

Light is a threat to the darkness. When you start being exposed to light all the creepy crawlies that live in the darkness (fear, worry, anger, hate) flee when exposed to light! When you understand the truth it makes you free.

Today what area of your life has darkness abiding there left untouched by the light? Maybe you feel like your whole life is lit up and you don’t really have any areas of darkness left. Here is a great thermometer to go by. If you have any sense of worry, doubt, fear, anger, or the like, then there is still darkness.

Jesus said “Peace I give to you My peace I leave with you!” This means that when we stand fully in the light of knowing who Jesus is we have peace, not worry, not fear, not doubt. So if you experience any of those negative emotions then there is darkness. No need to worry about this however because Light is the remedy.

God’s remedy is not like worldly remedies. The only side effects to God’s light are good things like better health, stronger relationships, and a better life. And there is no need to fear the light because Jesus promises us we will never be put to shame when we come to Him. The only thing light does is lead us straight to the loving arms of a merciful Savior who is waiting to rescue us from all the evils in the world and give us Peace, Rest, and an Abundant life.

Knowing who God really is changes everything!

Knowing what God is like becomes light that illuminates your whole world and establishes you in truth so that you find freedom and joy that you were created to live in!

Today run to the light. Seek the Father. Ask Him what He is like. Ask Him to show you Jesus, the real Jesus not a counterfeit. The real Jesus gives rest. The real Jesus gives peace. The real Jesus always lifts up, and never discourages. His ways are not heavy, they are light. The real Jesus’ commandments are not burdensome or grievous. The real Jesus never, ever, not even once, points out your sin and makes you feel bad about it. EVER! The real Jesus is love, real love.

Soak in the light until you shine! And then keep on soaking in the light because it is when we see the glorious light of Jesus that we are changed and made like Him! (2Cor 3:18)

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In the Multitude of my Anxieties…..

I’m racing, pushing, pressing. I need to finish every last thing on my to do list before I can rest. But even after the list is checked off my mind begins to make a new list of things that should’ve been on the first list, but were not deemed important enough. Now those items seem more important and my mind begins to race again. Why can’t I just rest?!

This feeling plagues me in more than just the physical realm. Sometimes spiritually I feel a pressure to be something, to do something I’m not already doing; and to perform in a way I’m not. Sometimes I feel so frustrated by this feeling of unmet obligation and duty, that I shy away from my prayer times. And even though Jesus offers us rest (Matthew 11;28) I fear His heavy hand of punishment, or disappointment with my life and I run. Do you ever feel this way?

Paul talks to the Romans, and  Hebrews about a rest that God has purchased for His children to enter into. Paul tells them that the children of Israel couldn’t enter in to the rest God prepared for them because of unbelief. The story Paul is retelling is the from the Exodus, when Moses led the children out of Egypt, and to the river where they would cross over and take the land, driving out its inhabitants and entering the promised land. They sent spies into the land to spy it out but only 2 of them had faith in God to lead them and protect them.

God told them that because of their unbelief in Him they would not enter the land He promised. Paul tells us then that God’s promises did not profit them anything, because they did not mix the promise with faith that God would do it!

Today there are so many promises for us. God reveals His plans and will for our life by all the promises He has given through His Word. He says He has “given us all things that pertain to life and godliness” that ” all thing work together for the good of them who love Him,” and that “He will perfect all things concerning us”. Lastly God promises to “finish what He starts!”

So today I want to encourage you that when you are stressed to the max about deadlines, and responsibilities, when you are feeling guilty or discouraged because you messed up, or you haven’t been in the Word, or any other of the millions of reasons that the enemy throws you way, take heart. Stop. Take a deep breath. And remember these promises.

Though you are not perfect, you don’t do everything right. Sometimes you get behind schedule or have a bad attitude. You can rest. You can take a moment out of your day and look up to heaven and know that God has started a good work in your heart.  He saw you in this exact moment, and He saw the outcome of every choice you’d make. He knows.

It is okay to trust God. It’s okay to believe God’s promises. God really is good and you can have peace right in the middle of the chaos. Even when you know you’re not cutting it, and you’re not there yet, Jesus will finish what He started. And when He is done it will be beautiful.

God is more patient with us than we are with ourselves. He is so excited to see the finished product but He is not in a hurry because hasty work is work that has flaws. He does things well, and sometimes they take time. So laugh, relax, rest and have fun on the journey through the ups and the downs, because in the end you are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ! And He is one Beautiful Savior!

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Beauty from Ashes

I will be the first to tell you the crushing feeling you encounter when you realize you have failed. Imperfection is a common black thread that runs through the fabric of humanity. Every person has a past, a skeleton in their closet if you will, and every person has had personal failure and setback. If we took a magnifying glass to the personal lives of each human being individually, we would surely find a moment in time that the individual wished to remain hidden, never to be found again.

As members of the human race we are in good company. We all fail. But failure doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Even on simply human terms, we’ve seen men and women rise to new heights, post-failure. But when we bring our loving Creator into the picture we turn the tables in our favor and find strength beyond our own.

God’s family has a colorful past as well. As you read the bible you discover stories about murderers, prostitutes, drunks, and hypocrites. And what’s more, they are all members of Jesus family tree. Jesus identifies with us in our most shocking areas of compromise and failure. He irreversibly bound His identity to that of our frail frame when  He became and man born into the lineage of a horribly broken family. He rose above all the darkness to become all that God created Him to be.

Jesus wants you to know that David though a murderer and adulterer, became the greatest King to ever rule. Moses though Prince of Egypt, murdered and was exiled, became the deliverer of God’s people. Rahab, the harlot, looked down upon by all of society, became the grandmother  of King David. And an unwed mother shamed by her family, and almost deserted by her fiance, was the mother of God.

Jesus showed us that dark people are the only people there are. Everyone is broken. But when you place your faith in His love, and trust His promises you too can be all that God created you to be. He has a plan and nothing can stop His plan in your life! Your mistakes are no obstacle for Jesus. He overcame the world, He can help you overcome too. Trust Him.

Dark but Lovely

Have you ever felt unlovable? Has there ever been a time when you were certain no one liked you, or that you had to do just a little bit better in order to be worthy of affection and care?

Well boy do I have great news for you! God does not see the way man sees. God looks at your heart. He sees what everyone else can’t see! He sees beauty locked deep down inside of you. The Shulamite woman from Song of Solomon knew this exact struggle. In chapter one she is talking to her beloved and she tells Him that she is dark, stained by the sun.

What she doesn’t know is the Beloved is looking at her and tells her “You are fair my love!” He is rapturously in love with her. He doesn’t care that the sun has darkened her skin or that her hands have become calloused from working. He has looked upon her and compared her to a most delicate and beautiful filly among all the thoroughbreds of Pharaoh’s chariots!

You may not know this, or fully understand its significance but Song of Solomon is more than just a record of King Solomon’s love. Experts and theologians all agree that the relationship between the King and the Shulamite woman is symbolic of the relationship that Christ wishes to have with us. And what more, that the things that Solomon says about his beautiful lover are in fact prophetic of the way that God through Jesus feels about us!

We are loved more than we know. Jesus is always watching over us, His heart pining for the moment that we will be together as one in His heavenly mansion. He is our bridegroom married to us for better or for worse, and His faithfulness is unlike any earthly love. He will never leave us! He will never turn His back on us, and despite all our unloveliness He calls us beautiful!

The hard part for us is that we have eyes that see only physical things. We see our mess-ups, and failures. We see the way we have treated others, or hurt others. We see the mistakes in raising our children, or the way we’ve treated our parents. We see each flaw as if it were magnified under the brightest of spotlights like a black stain on the front of a wedding gown. We place our darkness as triumphant over all, and fully believe that everyone who looks at us sees it that way too.

The truth is while some people in this world may look out for the wrong, see the mistakes, judge and criticize all the failures, God does not. Man has a hard time with this; they cannot forgive and let go of the past and let others move on and grow because they only see the physical. They see the effects of what you’ve done, or they’ve done. But God doesn’t see like that.

When God looks at you He doesn’t see the mess. He doesn’t see the failure, or the mistake. He doesn’t see that blow up or even the outright rebellion. When God looks at you He sees His Son, hanging on a tree, bleeding, suffering, and dying. When God looks at you and all you are on this earth, He see someone so loveable, so worthy of affection and mercy, He cannot resist Himself. He cannot help but run to you and place a crown on your head and a robe on your back.

When God looks at you He sees Jesus. He wants you to have confidence that none of the mistakes you make matter anymore. You are loved. You are cherished, and you are safe! Man looks at your life and says “failure”. God looks at your life and says “daughter! You are loveable!” And He can do this today not because He is going easy on sin, or becoming weak. He can do this because all the shame, rejection, judgement, and punishment that you deserved for all your unloveableness, fell on Jesus on the cross. And when God looks at your life He remembers the cross, and not your sin.

Be encouraged today that no matter the bumps, no matter the bruises, no matter the scars still the truth is the cross has made you flawless!

Hello world!

If you have happened your way upon this blog welcome! This blog was designed as a tool for encouraging God’s daughters. As part of the You are because I Am family we pray that you will be strengthened with might by His Spirit in your inner man; to know the love of God.  I look forward to sharing all that the Lord puts on my heart with you.

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