Serving Leftovers to a Holy God

Crazy Love written by Francis Chan

(excerpt from chapter five pages 83-88)

“…now we are going to look at scriptural examples of poor responses to God’s gift of love. Before you discount or ignore what I am about to say, read these passages objectively, without preconceived opinions staunchly in place. My examination of lukewarm Christians in chapter 4 was by no means exhaustive. However, it did serve as a call to examine your heart in light of the points I listed. As I see it, a lukewarm Christian is an oxymoron; there’s no such thing. To put it plainly, churchgoers who are “lukewarm” are not Christians. We will not see them in heaven.

In Revelation 3:15-18, Jesus says,

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.” But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

This passage is where our modern understanding of lukewarm comes from. Jesus is saying to the church that because they are lukewarm, He is going to spit them out of His mouth. There is no gentle rendering of the word spit in Greek. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament, and it connotes gagging, hurling, retching. Many people read this passage and assume Jesus is speaking to saved people. Why?

When you read this passage, do you naturally conclude that to be “spit” out of Jesus’ mouth means you’re part of His kingdom? When you read the words “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,” do you think that He’s describing saints? When He counsels them to “buy white clothes to wear” in order to cover their “shameful nakedness,” does it sound like advice for those already saved? I thought people who were saved were already made white and clothed by Christ’s blood.

…so I’ve spent the past few days reading the Gospels. Rather than examining a verse and dissecting it, I chose to peruse one gospel in each sitting. Furthermore, I attempted to do so from the perspective of a twelve-year-old who knew nothing about Jesus. I wanted to rediscover what reasonable conclusions a person would come to while objectively reading the Gospels for the first time. In other words, I read the Bible as if I’d never read it before.

My conclusion? Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. The thought of a person calling himself a “Christian” without being a devoted follower of Christ is absurd. But please don’t take my word for it. Read it yourself.

For years I struggled with the parable of the soils. I wanted to know if the person representing the rocky soil is saved, even though he has no root. I then wondered about the thorny soil: Is this person saved since he does have root?

I doubt if people even considered these questions back in Jesus’ day! Is this idea of the non-fruit-bearing Christian something that we have concocted in order to make Christianity “easier”? So we can follow our own course while still calling ourselves followers of Christ? So we can join the Marines, so to speak, without having to do all the work?

Jesus’ intention in this parable was to compare the only good soil to the ones that were not legitimate alternatives. To Him, there was one option for a true believer.

Let’s face it. We’re willing to make changes in our lives only if we think it affects our salvation. This is why I have so many people ask me questions like, Can I divorce my wife and still go to heaven? Do I have to be baptized to be saved? Am I a Christian even though I’m having sex with my girlfriend? If I commit suicide, can I still go to heaven? If I’m ashamed to talk about Christ, is He really going to deny knowing me?

To me, these questions are tragic because they reveal much about the state of our hearts. They demonstrate that our concern is more about going to heaven than loving the King. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). And our question quickly becomes even more unthinkable: Can I go to heaven without truly and faithfully loving Jesus?

I don’t see anywhere in Scripture how the answer to that question could be yes.

James 2:19 says, “You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” God doesn’t just want us to have good theology; He wants us to know and love Him. First John 2:3-4 tells us, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Call me crazy, but I think those verses mean that the person who claims to know God but doesn’t obey His commands is a liar and that the truth really isn’t in him. In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save is life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” And in Luke 14:33, He says, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples. I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded?

You’ll notice that He didn’t add, “But hey, if that’s too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians—you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.”

Pray. Then read the Gospels for yourself. Put this book down and pick up your Bible. My prayer for you is that you’ll understand the Scriptures not as I see them, but as God intends them.


I do not want true believers to doubt their salvation as they read this book. In the midst of our failed attempts at loving Jesus, His grace covers us. Each of us has lukewarm elements and practices in our life; therein lies the senseless, extravagant grace of it all. …His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3). His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). I’m not saying that when you mess up, it means you were never really a genuine Christian in the first place. If that were true, no one could follow Christ.

The distinction is perfection (which none will attain on this earth) and a posture of obedience and surrender, where a person perpetually moves toward Christ. To call someone a Christian simply because he does some Christian-y things is giving false comfort to the unsaved. But to declare anyone who sins “unsaved” is to deny the reality and truth of God’s grace.

From other references in Scripture (Colossians 2:1; 4:13, 15-16), the church at Laodicea appears to have been a healthy and legitimate church. But something happened. By the time Revelation was written, about twenty-five years after the letter to the Colossians, the Laodiceans’ hearts apparently didn’t belong to God—despite the fact that they were still active as a church. Their church was prospering, and they didn’t seem to be experiencing any persecution. They were comfortable and proud.

end of quoting from book…


Dear friend,

My heart has been ever so challenged and extremely rebuked by these few pages. To be lukewarm brings no glory, no honor, no pleasure to God, but clearly demonstrates where the love of my heart truly lives.

We know that one cannot lose their salvation – once a child of God always a child of God, but just because one claims Christ doesn’t mean they are His. Scripture clearly states that “you will know them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16-20). This doesn’t give you nor I the authority to cast judgement upon one another, but rather to cast the judgement upon ourselves—to take our own blinding, humongous, pride-centered-filled beam out of our own eye, first and foremost, before we even attempt trying to take out the speck that is in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5).

  • So rebuked, yes!
  • Challenged, yes!
  • Warned, yes!
    • Am I lukewarm?
    • Am I cold?
    • Am I hot?

When you ask yourself these same questions, you know the answers, as do I. The question is what are you and I going to do about it?

  • What does my heart look like–is it filled with gratitude to my Savior or filled with pride because I somehow I think I am entitled to His grace.
  • My actions speak my hearts motives!

We only have but one life to live; it is either all mine or all His.

Blessings to you dear friends. May we be a sweet smelling savor into the nostrils of God and hear, ‘well done’!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Because it’s Today!!!

Have a wonderful God-abiding, Christ-joyed, fruit-bearing, God-given day!

Blessings to you friends,

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Is the Solution to Try Harder or Let Him In? What does God say?

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“You have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin” –there is a fear in writing or saying such words. A fear not in physically writing them or saying them for they are true; rather a fear that a hearer will only listen to their own evoking fears and guilt thus not seeing God’s love for them; therefore, not instilling a fire of love to begin within the them because they love God.

Actions that are driven by fear and guilt are not an antidote to lukewarm, selfish, comfortable living–it is LOVE!

Our relationship with Christ should never be out of duty, obligation, or slavery, but rather craved from a genuine desired love for God. We need only look no further than the cross– where God demonstrated His love for us that while we were YET sinners; Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)! God’s love hasn’t changed.

When we love we are free!

  • Galatians 5:13-14
  • Psalm 63:1-5
  • Loving God and loving people –isn’t that what it is all about?!

Lukewarm living and claiming Christ’s name simultaneously is utterly disgusting to God–when we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that it isn’t very fulfilling or joyful to us, either, but the solution isn’t to TRY harder, fail, and then make bigger promises, only to fail again.

It does no good to “muster up” more love for God, or to will yourself to love Him more. When loving God becomes obligation, one of many things we have to do, we end up focusing even more on ourselves.

So what do you do? The answer lies in letting God change you! He wants to change you, He died so that we could change!

  • Remember His counsel to the lukewarm church in Laodicea? “HERE I AM! I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK. IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICE AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN AND EAT WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME” (Rev. 3:20).
  • His counsel wasn’t to “try harder,” but RATHER LET HIM IN!!!
  • James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and HE WILL come near to you.”
  • Jesus died on that cross to save us from the bondage of SIN; not just save us from hell.
  • John 10:10 “I (Jesus) have come that you may have LIFE — FULL abundant life!” He was talking about this lifetime.
  • I NEED GOD TO HELP ME LOVE GOD and if I need His help to love Him it would stand to reason I need Him to love others: who are perfectly fault-filled…like you and I.


Excerpts taken from Crazy Love by Francis Chan; further comments written by Colleen Woodruff.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Remember the Past, Thankful for Today, Trust in God for the Future.

Today and everyday, we thank you men and woman of America that have stood, walked, fought, and struggled to keep America free and standing ‘In God we Trust.’

Thank you men and women who today are standing, walking, fighting, and struggling to keep our great land free and standing firm ‘In God we Trust.’

Freedom is not free nor should it be taken for granted. My family and I thank you! We are proud of you and our great county! Our prayers are with you and yours.

Dozing Church…”zzzzzzz”

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[excerpts from Causes of a Dozing Church | A.W. Tozer]

What is the present condition of the evangelical church? The bulk of Christians are asleep. I do not mean that the bulk of Christians who come to evangelical churches are not converted, because if I meant that I would say they were dead and never had been born again. But I say they are asleep. It is possible to be morally asleep yet mentally, intellectually, physically and theologically alert.

The present condition is that we are asleep. These sleeping Christians do two things that God must grieve over. One is that they control church affairs. We are democratic, and if we do not like a pastor we give him the bounce or pray that he will get another call. Then when the time comes we vote in whom we want and vote out whom we do not want. Church people control church affairs because they are intellectually, mentally and physically awake, but they may be morally and spiritually asleep. That is, they are so far down in the rut that they do not see up.

Many people who are asleep control church affairs. It gets into whole conferences. Representatives will meet at the expense of the local church people. They will read minutes and pass resolutions, but they are asleep. You know they are asleep by the way they talk as soon as the benediction is pronounced and they have adjourned. You know they are asleep by their conduct, the things they are interested in or lack interest in, yet they control church affairs.

The second thing sleeping Christians do is set the standards for new Christians. When you bring in a newly converted Christian, he or she automatically takes on the coloration, general mood and temperature of the solemn seats around him or her. Pretty soon he or she is where they are, and once again there are no good examples of the Christian life.


  • Revelation 3:14-16 says, “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
  • Matthew 7:16-17 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” (also see verses 20-25; 16:24; 10:38).
  • Isaiah 29:13 ” Then the Lord said, Because this people draw near with their words, and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
  • Titus 1:16 “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?”
  • Huge warnings for us to look at ourselves–daily heart checks in order!

[YOU] Shall not lack…

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want [having no need of want; lacking nothing]” Psalm 23:1. Oh Lord, you are so, so good! Help thou our unbelief.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

homemaking 101

Thank you Lord for this opportunity!!!

Today, I am reposting this picture/quote from in http://courage.me because it is such a biblical reminder of who I am as a child of God who happens to be a wife, who happens to be a mother, who happens to be a pastor’s wife, a friend, a daughter…and so on.

  • Homemaking is a gift from God.
  • It is a privilege and frankly, I need that reminder, I don’t know about you. Some days can get awful hairy and my focus because tainted and selfish, therefore, I need this reminder! So I guess in some sense, I am posting selfishly today! 😊

Remember, homemaking is a way to serve God and love His people well…and that start right in our homes and spreads out to which one of our Judea’s, then to the uttermost parts of the world! But if out Jerusalem’s aren’t well…Judea and beyond will not be touched for God’s glory. To prevent that, we must start with God above all else and allow Him to fulfill in us His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10).

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

the Perfectness of Unableness

I John 4 18


So thankful that in my limitations, God is boundless. I needed this today and thought maybe you did too. I am so imperfect in and of myself and unable without Him, but truly thankful that He is perfect and loves me boundlessly even in my boundaries.

My friend, whatever surrounds you today (internally or externally), know the Lord knows we are unable, but also know this that He is able to do great and mighty things with our unableness. You are empowered in Him!

Hope you have an God-encouraged day!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Rethinking 

Hank isn’t changing. He is a cranky guy. He has been cranky his whole life, and not just about church. He does not effectively know how to love his wife, his children cannot relate to him, and He has no joy. He’s been going to church his whole life — 60 years and nobody is surprised. Nobody in the church is surprised that he stays cranky year after year. No one is particularly bothered by it. It is as if we expect it — that’s just Hank. Nobody is expecting him to be more like Jesus year after year. Yet the Bible does expect it. The writer of Hebrews offers the following challenge:

“You have been Christians a long time now, and you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things a beginner must learn about the Scriptures. You are like babies who drink only milk and cannot eat solid food. And a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian Life and doesn’t know much about doing what is right” Hebrews 5:12-13 NLT

The Greek term used in the New Testament for disciple is ‘mathetes’, which simply means “learner.”

As Bill Hull has written, the wrong question for the church is: How many people are present? The right question is: What are these people like?

After people become Christians, the goal is for them not only to learn how to live like Christ, but to actually live like Christ. This involves nothing less than radical life change. If this is not happening, then discipleship is not happening, and rethinking must take place.

Excerpt taken from Rethinking the Church by James Emery White [pg 66-67]


In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Do you know your Jesus?

the Strength to Obey

Obedience.

This word means many things to different people: for some it is a scary even dirty word, while others totally disregard it in any form, while others struggle with it but do sincerely try.

  • Obedience isn’t to be feared if it is given, asked, taken, followed, submitted too through the thoughtful, loving, directed guidelines of Scripture.
  • Obedience is one of the foundational virtues that Jesus forms in those He calls. He gives us the strength to obey as we make the choice to obey.
  • Obedience is one of the chief ways we demonstrate our love for God. Not singing Christian songs. Not going to church services. Not having quiet times. Not taking mission trips or doing loving things for others. Yes, yes, yes, all of these are fabulous, needed things –you should be singing to your Lord for that is one way you can give Him worship. You should be active in your local church, for that is where you use your God-given talent(s). You should be having daily devotions/quiet time alone with your Lord, for without that time with Him, how will you grow? Taking missions trips will change your life forever (spiritually and mentally for you see more than yourself, your needs, your world, and you see God, His people and souls that need Him)! We should be loving others — to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as loving souls so much that we tell them about our incredible Savior so that they may know Him too! But do you hear what Jesus said:

“If you love me, keep my commands(John 14:15).

  • Don’t you see?
  • If you love HIM first and foremost all those other things fall into place. (the small list above for example)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and (and then) all these things shall be added into you” (Matt. 6:33).

Our list isn’t finished yet…

  • Some, in our finite beings, have chosen to accept, believe, and trust wholeheartedly what biblical obedience is; what it looks like, and how it is to be given or asked. Not because they think they are super spiritual but because they have chosen before God that despite what their flesh tells them, despite what they were falsely taught (unknowingly and knowing), how they feel, or what has happened to them in the past, God’s way is the only perfect way. God knows what He is talking about, God is God, therefore, obedience to Christ to non negotiable. He is Truth!

Obedience in Christ brings freedom.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Naps: Biblical or Not? 

This was just to great not to share. I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page today and I died laughing. Oh how good laughter is to the soul {Proverbs 17:22}.

See…NAPS ARE BIBLICAL! Aren’t we to be putting-on Christ? 🤗

Hope you have a smile on your face! Have a blessed day friend,

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Reality in Time: Living with an Flesh Expiration Date

Reposting. Still the burning of my heart.


Time.

What is time?

We freely bind ourselves to it. We accept it’s demands over us. We embrace it. We agonize internally over the power struggle it produces, yet we have an incredible gift in choice over this matter. A choice choice in we live this one live we are given. Freely in Christ or bound.

My mind and heart are filled with the essence of time, realities of life here on Earth, Heaven, the Lord, His will, and yes, even death itself. When you are struck with the reality of loss, sorrow, grief, and hope in Christ and life with Him in glory — it changes you, forever.

In exactly ten days, my family and I will be embarking upon a new journey, the one year Heaven-anniversary of my father. On July 30, 2016, Dad was serving His Lord here on Earth one moment and the next he was face to face with Him. Time. Life. Purpose. Reality. Grief. Sorrow. Hope. God. It all makes you consider life deeper and consider Heaven a whole lot more in ways you never did before.

We have but one life to live. We must make it count! We don’t know our flesh expiration date.

Heaven knows no bonds; has no demands nor struggles; it embraces none other than One. Heaven has One focus: the Almighty God.

Is it possible to have a bit of Heaven while on Earth?

We all have appointments in this life: specific time to start work or school, the bank closes at 5, church starts at 9:30am, the store closing at 10pm. We get it!! We all understand that we cannot live this life carelessly coming and going as we please, when we please, how we please. When our doctor appointment is scheduled for 10:00am and we arrive at 11:30 am — yep, you guessed it, we no longer have an appointment. We wouldn’t think of standing there arguing with the receptionist.

“There is an enormous difference in allowing time to rule over us and taking time by its horns and prayerfully living-out that time in a God-ruled manner.”

Meaning???

Not allowing “time” to run your life {taking you on a roller coaster ride screaming and holding on for dear life} but rather you taking those demands, appointments, schedules, activities, church, work, school, {whatever it may be} and prayerfully seek God’s wisdom first then create that schedule of time with God-purpose, God-Truths, and God-blessed plans!

Choosing to live out the Word throughout your time accordingly to God-first in every area of your life, will bring glory to God! Isn’t that what He deserves! Use your God-given time to share Christ with those you come in contact with. Be purposeful. Be diligent. Redeem your God-given time!

  • Don’t stop with your day, what about your month? Your year? Stick to the Word. Stay God-minded.
  • Bless your Lord throughout your day, week, and year! Use it for Him, not yourself — without Him you wouldn’t have this day to begin with!

Being of One focus: the Almighty God!

Setting your affections on things above and not on things on the Earth, Colossians 3:2 tells us is so key. Don’t allow time to rule you, we only have one earthly life to live — make it count for Christ!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

that Wee Little Man…

  • Most of us know this little childhood song…sing it with me:

Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
A wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see;

And as the Savior passed that way,
He looked up in the tree,
And He said, “Zacchaeus you come down!”
For I’m going to your house today,
For I’m going to your house today.

  • The author is unknown. The imparted profound. The account of Zacchaeus is found in Luke 19:1-10.

Zacchaeus

  • Will the LORD not do the same for YOU!?!?
  • He is still the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
    • The same Jesus that prepared that sycamore tree for Zacchaeus, the same Jesus that walked by Zacchaeus, the same Jesus that talked, ate, and changed Zacchaeus’ life — is the SAME Jesus today that prepares the way for you. The same Jesus that walks with you through the valley of the shadows of death and rejoices with you on the mountaintops. He is the same Jesus that talks with you: through His Word and uses your Pastor(s) in that process as well. The same Jesus that changes your heart.

Zacchaeus, you, and I know the same Jesus — the difference is our response.

What will you do with Jesus?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

a Soul Killer

Ahhhh yes, the whole comparing yourself amongst yourselves and not being wise. Oh, how we short circuit ourselves in our lack of faith; how comparing kills the soul.

I love how God knows what He is talking about. All throughout Scripture, time and time again we see the written words of God penned for our good…for our best…because He knows what is best for our soul fueled by intense love for mankind which includes you and I (doesn’t that give you goosebumps!!!!).

If only we trust Him wholly!

Can you imagine how different our lives would be?!

  • Trust His Word — it is Truth!
  • Trust God — for He is trustworthy!
  • Stop comparing yourself with others; they aren’t the standard, God is!

Blessings to you, friends,
In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

In Christ…

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Eyesight Matters


This past week I read through a 5-day devotional on “Who Am I” — Our Identity in Christ. Though the author had made some very good points throughout the week, one was very flawed. At first it hit me softly. Truthfully, it kind of bugged me, but I really didn’t know why because it ‘sounded’ good. The more I thought — the more bugged I became, so finally I asked my husband what his thoughts were. Sure enough…it was biblically wrong.

We must be ever so careful that what we read is biblical…grounded in God’s Word. It doesn’t mean we need to stick our heads in the sand, but we need to make sure that what we are in-taking lines up with Scripture. Our mind, heart, soul should be saying to self, “If that’s what God said — that settles it!” Quiet frankly we don’t have to get it…because HE DOES, [that is not a requirement for obedience] and that [should be] okay with me!

Friends, it’s Monday. [HAPPY MONDAY to you!!!!!] May you have a beautiful, GOD-centered, CHRIST-focused week. May you share what HE has done in YOU with at least one person this week — how can we not? God has done so much for us. Take a few moments and read Ephesians 1:3-14. Oh, how I have been soooooooooo utterly humbled, put in awe, sorrowed in my soul in seeing who I am, convicted yet thankful beyond words to God for being His, a child of God. I have fallen on my face this week [being honest here] confessions of sinful pride of wanting more, of my ‘ideals’ and my sin — and truthfully not being satisfied with the incredible grace of God itself, which I do not deserve — because if that is all I had, that would be MORE than enough!

I am full. I am bountiful. I got off the throne. How about you?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

24/7

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Heart of Gratitude | 1 Timothy 4:4-5

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

He Satisfies | Psalm 107:8-9

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Happy Thanksgiving

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}