YOU ARE LOVED

Loved.jpg

Do you ever forget that you are loved and lovely?  I do.  I'm not talking about your physical appearance, but because you are a child of God. Sometimes life throws so much at you that you forget who you really are in Christ.  That you are loved and lovely because Jesus made you so.

Thankfully, Jesus died for us while we were still sinners - before we were born - before we even cared. (Romans 5:8) He didn't care that we were unlovely at the time.  But once we accepted His gift of salvation, He saved us and made us loved and lovely.

Sister, never forget that you are His!  (If you're not saved, He wants to save you and make you His!)  As His child, all the sin that you were saved from is gone.  You have been saved even from all the sin you will commit.  You are no longer a slave to sin! Day by day He is changing you.  YOU ARE LOVELY to our Saviour, no matter what.

You are lovely because you are His.

You are lovely because you are covered in the blood of Christ.

You are lovely because He cares for you.

You are LOVED!

 

I know what it's like to be reminded of your past.  I know what it's like for Satan to throw discouragement your way; for you to think there's no way God can use you.  But God reminds me that He is greater than our sin and our past.  He is the Victor! He proclaimed "It is finished!"  And He has saved me and considers me lovely because I have been covered in the blood of Christ.

If any of that resonates with you, let me remind you that you, too, are loved and lovely; you have been covered by the blood of Christ.  You are loved! I can't say it enough. Your past has been forgiven.  Your future is secure.

I'm so thankful that God's love is not based on what we've done, but on what He has done on our behalf!

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
— -Psalm 36:7

Chasing Your Passion

Photo by ilya-pavlov

Photo by ilya-pavlov

What's your passion?  Do you know?

That's definitely something to think about, isn't it? Maybe it's been a while since you felt it or even thought about it. I believe God gives us all a passion.  Certainly, all believers should be passionate about their walk with Him, but how about the path we walk with Him.

In a sermon I heard recently, the preacher asked how we define ourselves.  He asked, "Are you a doctor, fireman, clerk, etc. who is a Christian OR are you a Christian who is a doctor, fireman, clerk, etc.?" If someone asked you to tell them something about yourself, what would you say?  What would you lead with?

What does passion have to do with who we are, you might ask.  It's more than a vocation; it's more of a calling or personal ministry.  I don't meant that we need to have a written plan or a mission statement.  You know those folks who it's evident that they are close to the Lord and when you are in their presence their focus and concern are on you.  They encourage you in the faith by their presence and conversation.

There is a contemporary Christian song that talks about a believer being angry that God would allow certain travesties in the world.  The believer asks why God doesn't do something about it.  In the song (as in life) God says He did, He created you. What powerful, convicting truth is in that statement. That's where, I believe, our passion comes in. That passion to do something.  Maybe it will be on the level of Billy Graham or maybe it will be a parent raising their child to love Christ.  Both of those are high callings, but we don't often view them as the same.  Priscilla Shirer stated in a video that she was admonished to be sure she is faithful in whatever the calling God placed on her whether she felt that calling was great or small.

That was great advice.  You see, God created me to do something.  He created you to do something.  I think sometimes our passion may be carried out differently based on our season in life.  What I mean is a young mother with small children may be working her passion for Christ by living as an example before her children as she holds a job, maintains a home and teaches her children about Jesus.  Then her passion for Christ may be carried out on volunteer mission trips during vacation time once her children are grown.  But whatever form your passion may take, it takes faith, courage, and action to go and DO it.  

We have many examples in our Christian faith of men and women who chased their passion:

  • The Apostle Paul
  • Martin Luther
  • Lottie Moon
  • Jim Elliott
  • Elisabeth Elliott
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
— Psalm 20:4 ESV

    I'm sure you know people who have chased the passion that God placed in them. Perhaps you are living the very passion that God has placed in you.  I hope so!

    What spark of passion has the Lord placed in your heart and soul to do?  There's nothing too big or too little here. I would love to read your comment below about your passion!. 

     

    Looking for Donkeys

    photo by milivoj-kuhar

    photo by milivoj-kuhar

    I was reading in my quiet time the other day in 1 Samuel 9 about Saul being sent to find some donkeys for his father.  He had a servant with him.  After they had looked in many areas or regions Saul wanted to return home as his father may now be worried about them.  The servant suggested that they ask the prophet which way they should go so as to find the donkeys on the return home. Saul agreed to that.

    But God (my favorite phrase) had already told Samuel to be expecting the man he was to anoint as the first King.  As Saul was coming toward Samuel, God spoke to Samuel and said: "There is the man."

    The study I am reading pointed out that Saul was living life, being obedient when He found himself smack dab in the middle of God's divine plan. Are we any different?  We so often want to see the end - some big dramatic outcome - when God is directing us to be obedient now and just do the next thing.  "That" is often part of His divine plan, we just can't see it.

    You know, the more I study scripture, the more I realize that many of the heroes of our faith did great things for our Lord in the midst of a difficult life. Some of those mentioned in Scripture did things that we wouldn't even call great, but they are pointed out and remembered in the Bible.  Like the servant girl of Naman.  She was a slave in his house and served them well.  She had respect and compassion for Naman and told his wife about God's prophet.  Well, you know the story - Naman was healed.  We don't even know the girl's name, but God does!

    Sometimes I think I should see some grandiose ministry or outcome in my life for God, but we are taught in His word to be faithful in the little things.  And just as Naman's slave, we may make a huge difference in the world because of the impact we had on one individual.

    Being part of God's divine plan comes from living in daily obedience to Him.  May we always remember that! Where are you in this journey of obedience to our Lord?  Are you serving Him daily doing the next "obedient" thing?  Or are you stalled out oblivious to His plan or 'wishing' for something more when in reality you may be about to walk smack dab into His divine calling?

    That's food for thought, isn't it?  Saul had no clue what God was about to do with him and, yet, as he lived life being obedient one step at a time, God called him to become Israel's first king. Now, I don't suppose God is about to move me into a role such as that, but I am seeing Him at work in my life!  I hope you are, too. 

    Blessings to you, my friends!

    Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.
    — 1 Samuel 15:22

    Hope is in Christ

    photo by Mark Bethea

    photo by Mark Bethea

    My friend took the above photo and his sweet wife added the verse.  When she posted this on Facebook, I had to ask if I could use it.  She said yes, so I am sharing it with you.

    Today, more than ever it seems people are without hope.  Depression and despair are on the rise as evidenced by the climbing suicide rate.  What a shame that so many people feel they have no hope!

    Are we as believers hiding our lights under bushels?  Are we keeping our Hope in Christ to ourselves?  How can our neighbors not know of the hope in Jesus Christ?  

    13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

    14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

    15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
    — Romans 10:13-15 ESV