Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Beauty of Being a Sheep

Several years ago I had hit a wall in my life. I was trying, trying, trying, trying to be perfect at everything. I was the person who got stuff accomplished at any cost. I was so busy with ministry and life that I was not even really enjoying God, just occupied with being good enough for Him. Doing my best to fulfill every condition that I thought needed to be fulfilled so that He would bless my life. I have one word for all this, EXHAUSTING!

When I hit this wall I heard the Lord speak to me, He said "I will teach you how to rest." I didn't realize how beautiful those words were at the time. But now they are more precious than gold to me.

Our culture and the majority of the christian body believes and teaches that this walk with God is far more dependent on us than it is on Him and His faithfulness to us. We are taught that WE have to get it all just right and meet all of these requirements in order for God's promises to manifest in our lives. But I have good news! God has shown me that the Bible teaches that Jesus got it all right and met every requirement for us! We qualify for God's promises and His blessing because we believe Him, just as Abraham did.

Now if you are thinking that this might be a dangerous thing to tell people because they might go off and do whatever they want, and not care about God's ways, reading the word or praying...your right some might do that. But, if they do their hearts were not right before God in the first place, they have not been changed from the inside. They are goats and will have to be bullied and persuaded to follow. This message is not for goats.

This message is for the sheep. It is for those filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit...SHEEP. Sheep want to follow their Shepard but have been so loaded down with religious bull crap (excuse my language :)that they are not truly free. This revelation will set you free!

The reason I bring all of this up is because God again this week showed me the beauty of his grace and power operating in my life, simply because I believe Him.

I had been asking God to show me how to get my kids hungry for the Word. How do I get them to want to read it, to want to pray? So, I asked my Daddy to do this work in them, and show me what to do. Yesterday the kids and I sat down to start school work, we read about Abraham and then they took their books and headed off in different directions. My youngest son came back in the room about an hour later with his finished school work and I noticed that he was also putting his Bible away. I asked "Chase what were you doing with that Bible?" He looked at me as if I had asked a stupid question and replied "I was reading it...I didn't really know a lot of the words, but I read what I could." BEAUTIFUL!

I could have forced him to read, but it would not have been as beautiful as God's grace operating in his life. Now, I realize that he may not read his Bible again for a couple days, weeks or months. But, I also realize that God has committed Himself to me and to my family. He will do the necessary work in us, my part is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit daily and trust and believe in His power and goodnes, operating in our lives!

Know that God is I AM...He is all you will need today, trust Him!

Lets Talk Grace! How about you, do you have any encouraging stories of God's grace? Do you have a comment for those of us here at Grace Talk? We would love to hear from you! Lets Talk Grace!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For God So Loves His Children

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ( unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16

I have had a fear in my life that surfaces it ugly head from time to time, it is that something will happen to my youngest son, and he will be taken from me. This morning I was lying in bed, not wanting to awake yet, and that fear arose from within my heart. I asked the Lord to speak truth to this fear and help me stand on His promise of protection. A few minutes later I felt like the Lord used this to help me see a greater depth of His love for me. If I think about how much I love my children, I couldn't even imagine giving one of them up as a sacrifice for another person, yet God did this very thing for you and me. He gave His only son.

John 3:16 says that God so loved the world, we were the world when by His grace we were saved, how much more will He do for us now that we are His children? Just imagine the depth that His love must run for us. This makes me ask why I, why do we, question His love and His desire to work in our lives at every turn. If He gave the most precious and dear thing He could think of to bring us into unity with Him,then how much more is He wiling to do in our lives now. Now that our hearts are in tune with His and His very own Spirit lives inside of us, guiding us and leading us to His promises. What do we have to fear?

We have a heavenly Father who loves us more than we are even capable of imagining. We have a Father who laid down His heart to give us His Spirit and lead us to His promises. We have a Father who's love is beyond understanding. So, whatever you may be dealing with in your life today, be reminded as I have been reminded, that your Father loves you, and He wants to work in your life in ways that are beyond our wildest imaginations.

Lets Talk Grace! Do you have a word of encouragement for someone today? Do you have any fears that are robbing you of your peace? Do you believe that the Father loves you this much? Please leave a comment and check back often to get in on the conversation here!Lets Talk Grace!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life Upside Down

It feels like life has been turned upside down the last few months. There has been one thing or another happening at almost every turn. The good news is that even though most of my situations have been or still are difficult, God is good. He is teaching me to more fully depend upon Him and His beautiful grace working and operating in my life.

To tell you every detail of all that's been going on would consume far more room than what is available here, so I will sum it up. In the last few months I have been challenged with my children being sick, hospitalized and sick again. My husband has been laid off more than he has worked, my oldest son moved home and is turning his life around (this is good though it comes with its own set of challenges), the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I had been holding unforgivness in my heart toward my husband from many years past (I really had no idea it was there), I recently found out my grandma (who is the best grandma ever) has lung cancer (there is no treatment), I have also realized I have insecurity issues, and tend to not feel confident being me in certain situations, I sense a transition taking place in my life and really have no idea what to expect from here (though I know that God is good) Hmmmm...Whew! Oh, and then on Easter while in Ohio with my grandma and family my youngest son broke his arm so I had to return to Illinois to go to the doctor and then I will be traveling back to Ohio so that I do not miss my grandmas birthday. Okay...now...Whew! Oh, one more thing, I have also realized that one of the reasons I have been so frustrated lately is because I am focusing on the wrong thing...what I am to do instead of who I am, because of who He is, and what He has done (why do we not realize this until after it happens)....Whew!

I tell you all of this because even though it is a difficult and challenging season of my life I realize the benefits of pruning. It is important to remember that even though we may not feel or see God working, we have to continue to believe by faith that He is; everyday, every hour and every moment. Resting in the finished work of Jesus means that we trust in the unseen God to become visible through the work He does in our lives. Resting means that we do not feel that we have to figure out how to fix everything, but that we trust in His power operating and working through us to fulfill His promises in our lives.

What challenges are you facing in life? Are you focused on Jesus and the finished work of the cross? Do you trust in the power of the Spirit operating in your life or have you too, believed the lie that you must find a way to fix it? Lets talk Grace! Please leave a comment. Maybe you too are going through difficult times or maybe you have a word of encouragement for someone else. Either way we would love to hear from you!