Psalm 147:1-6

Thank you Lord for this encouragement, hope, strength, renewal, and empowerment. Thank you for being for us, with us, and indwelling us. Praise ye the LORD! PRAISE THE LORD! Praise, praise ye the LORD! 

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

Church…we ARE Plan A there is no Plan B

3 Simple Reasons why Church is God’s Plan A.

Here are three simple reasons why “church” is GOD’S plan A and there is no plan B in God’s book. Why we must stop kicking and screaming and questioning God’s plan. It is He that is in change. It is HIS salvation gift to us. It is His death that paid the price…NOT OURS!

1. Church is plan A because God tells us NOT to forsake the gathering of ourselves together as believers. This is one of those hot buttons of the day and yes, I am going to talk about it! First, I’d like to say that I am truly sorry if you have been hurt, offended, or even abused in any form by the church as a whole. This is WRONG!! This is not pleasing, honoring, or glorifying to the Lord nor is it not His plan for His church.

But may I ask you a question? Have you ever bought something from a store, like meat, and got home to find out that it was bad? Did it stop you from buying meat for the rest of your life? 

Have you ever had food poisoning from a restaurant? Did that stop you from ever eating out again? Most likely NOT! 

SO…why is it when something “bad” at church happens we lump them all together and vow the mother of all vows that ALL Christians are hypocrites, ALL churches are filled with liars, cheaters, hypocrites, and rotten filthy sinners and we are never going back. 

I want to stop right here. I understand, I know I talk with ladies who have physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually been abused by family members, unbelievers as well as believers. None are right. None should have happened (mine included), but we live in a sin-filled world and we have a choice. Yes, we have a choice even in the midst of our greatest pain, sorrow and trial. Will I use this situation to grow closer to my Heavenly Father or will I take it and grow bitter by the the day.

So often, I see “church” used as an excuse and see bitterness grow by the day and the choice to live in disobedience to God spiral from that one choice! 

The bitterness will take you farther than you ever excepted to go. 

Regardless of what enters of life, we are accountable before Christ. When we use people as an excuses to not obey Christ, we justify our own actions and guilt to make ourselves feel better. 

I have another question to ask you. I am assuming you got over your food poisoning or got over that purchase of “bad meat.” If I opened your refrigerator door, I would find it full or at least part-way full and would come to find out that you have feasted on many meals “outside” of your home. You didn’t grow bitter at the “bad” meat. You didn’t call the store a hypocrite. You didn’t hold a grudge. You didn’t allow bitterness, people, or excuses from stopping you from shopping or eating, did you??!!

So why the double standard? Using people, excuses, our own bitterness and unforgiveness to NOT obey God is sin. If you are a child of God, you are part of plan A…you are not doing your part. You are needed, but you are choicing to missing out on God’s plan A. 

Because Matthew 18 wasn’t practiced like it should have been when the offense happened, sadly, you are hurting yourself, the church, fellow believers, unbelievers, and you are hurting the cause of Christ…for what “bad meat?” That didn’t stop you before!

Reconcile that “bad meat” even if the other party doesn’t want too! Make it right before God on YOUR end!! Go and confront that offense! Seek and be ye reconciled. Forgive.

I speak from experience! I have “abuse” in my background. What kind I will not speak of at this time, but believe me when I tell you, I know! I know what I feels like, how it hurts, the anger, bitterness, the confusion, the spiral effects. But I also know the healing power of God in ones heart and life. I know the comfort and release of walking in obedience to the Father and it is worth it all! I would do it a thousand times over!

It is one of the hardest things you will ever do, but it is one of the most spirit-freeing (bondage releasing) God+you experience you will ever do, because when you walk in trust and obedience, God blesses! You NEVER go wrong walking in obedience to Christ….NEVER!

Hebrews 10:25

2. The very second you accepted Christ as your personal Savior, He gave you at least one spiritual gift, at least one. You may have more! Do you know your spiritual gift or gifts? Do you know God wants that gift or gifts to be used? Yeppers, you guessed it! For Him, for His Glory in His Church! 

I hear the question already, can you use your God-given gift in other places? Sure! But the primary place is where He wants, within His Church. Again, this is not our plan or trying to make our plan work…this is God’s plan. We either obey and do or not!

I Peter 4:10-11

3. Church is Plan A because it is the only plan! We are to be proclaiming, mouthpieces, ambassadors, of what and who God is and what He has done for us to everyone soul we come in contact with. To fail to accomplish the great commission is to live in disobedience to Christ. 

Matthew 28:18-20

  • The bottom line is this: God’s Word is clear. The choice is in your hands…your heart.
  • How will you choose to walk before the very God who gave you your eternal life? 

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

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

img_20171013_103839_998000-339584810.png

“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.}

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.

Hope you have an God-encouraged day!

 

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 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.}


the proof: for our human hearts

  • Psalm 18:1 “I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.” 
  • Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
  • Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
  • John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
  • Isaiah 41:13 “For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”
  • Isaiah 43:1-5a “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee:…”
  • Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • Ephesians 2:4-10 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
  • Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 
  • Ephesians 3:17-20 “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”
  • I John 4:4,8b,9,17-19 “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.”
  • …and there are so many more verses, demonstrations of God’s love for us. Think of the Cross.