1. When I Thought I Had It All Figured Out …

    Last week was a pretty awful week for me, but on Friday I spent some time with my friend Toya. I caught her up on some things going on in my life and she told me to read Ephesians 1 & 2. I haven’t read 2 yet but chapter 1 BLEW.MY.MIND !!!! If you ever need to understand how precious you are go to Ephesians 1 !!! If you don’t mind…I’m just going to share what it means to me…because I mean from line to line it was gold ! The word is TREASURE you guys, etch it in your heart. <3 

    In the very first verse it reads, This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I’m sure everyone knows this but Paul persecuted Christians…He was a murderer, hypocrite, jerk lol but you get my point. Paul was not living for Christ. But for some reason he was chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Jesus. Wow. Do you know what that tells me ? That it doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or why or how you’ve done it God can take everything you’ve been through, every piece of knowledge, and every fiber of your being and turn it into something glorious. God used EVERY aspect of Paul. The fact that God can do that without holding the negative things he’s done against him is nothing but love. And that’s what I want to get into right now, the unbelievable, overwhelming LOVE God has for every single person on this Earth. God’s image has been distorted and characterized into a cold being that relishes on the punishment He deals people, when it’s not even like that. Firstly, God is SO multidimensional and that’s not even the best word to describe who He is. God is just God.

    3. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. That reminded me of the scripture in James 1:17 that says every good gift comes from God…because if God had not sent down Jesus, both you and I would not even be here today and if we were, every day would be a useless gamble for the days of our lives. Paul reveals that God has blessed us with EVERY spiritual gift because we are united with Christ. To be perfectly honest, when I first thought about it this is what I pictured…A black cloud of wrath from God (while He’s scowling) hanging over my head and as soon as I say “YES, JESUS” then a ray of yellow sunshine comes beaming down with all these spiritual blessings along with ponies and Snicker bars ;). Thinking about it a second time though, that doesn’t even speak to God’s character. It’s true while we’re living in sin we’re not really on the uhm….safe side…however God doesn’t wait to smite you, toss lightning bolts at you, whatever. I honestly believe God is excited to shower these blessings over us. God’s character has not changed, neither have His blessings… it’s always been the same  He can’t WAIT to drown you in blessings, because really … why would He enjoy seeing the pain sin brings you when He can give you joy ? It’s not that He doesn’t want to…it’s that now you’re in a place where your heart is open to receive those blessings. Away from God you’re not in a place where you can’t comprehend what He has for you. By being united with Christ (accepting Him) we are able to SEE those blessings.

    4. Even before He made the world God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. (Now this is where I really started going CRAZY. This is one of my favorite verses!) Let me just uh, tell you a little bit about what this speaks to me. That, His blood IS FOR ME. HIS BLOOD IS FOR ME !!! God made the world before mankind even came into the picture so that means before I/we/you/whatever was/were/whatever on the blueprint God knew every detail about me and every fiber of my being BEFORE I WAS EVEN FORMED ! That means He took TIME out to create me, every intricacy of my physical all the way down to the depth of my soul! And I know people say this all the time but man grasp even a glimpse of God’s love for you! God loved me FIRST. It’s not that when I decided to accept Jesus that He decided to love me, He loved me before I knew who He even was…HE found ME, not the other way around. He cared about me SO MUCH but I wasn’t even physically HEREEEEE ! WHAT !? When Paul explains that God chose us in Christ it means before the world was even created I WAS MEANT TO BE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD and that JESUS did not die and rise again in vain. I do not care what foolishness is going on in the world right now because GOD said every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Jesus conquered the grave and chose you, me, you, and you…US. That victory was for US. HIS blood was already ordained to cover all of us and put us in right standing with God. Jesus is meant for me…for all of us. No matter what I do that blood is meant for me, that blood can take care of EVERYTHING, come on now understand that His blood was shed for you. That blood means you CAN be holy and without fault because of it ! Yes, that means I can be set apart and I can stand in the presence of God because of what Jesus was destined to do when we were only on paper. Y’all…really that means God saw pass our destructive ways and patiently remembered our VALUE. That is LOVE !

    5. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what God wanted to do and it gave Him great pleasure. How many people know it’s not as soon as we’re born that we’re deemed children of God ? It’s when we accept Christ and what He did for us.  At first, that seems really harsh…but think about it like this. God loves us so much (there is no end to God’s love) that He found a loop hole in the atmosphere sin created and chose us in ADVANCE to be adopted as His own. He gave up HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON because to Him we were worth it. Come on now guys, we’re expensive. He saw us in the distance despite the whips, chains, spit, despite all of that ! Jesus hung on that cross because of what WE did, it’s because of OUR sin. Do you know how much Jesus took ? God could not even look at Him because of all the dirt He took on for us. Imagine dirt covering you being smeared on Jesus while in exchange supernatural blood is showered down on you and you become refreshed & white as snow while He’s still carrying your burden of rubbish. It gave God great pleasure to carry out this plan…You were worth Jesus hanging on the cross, being spit at, shoved, pushed, ridiculed, whipped, bleeding, crying, weak, degradation…ALL of that and more. And that’s the stuff we caused.  It gave Him great pleasure to put all of our sins (from the past, present, and future) on His perfect Son and break the oppressor’s rod, the yoke slamming us around. God saw Jesus’ resurrection behind His death and WE ARE WHAT HE SAW ON THE OTHER END.

    I could go on and on about God’s love but it’s infinite and humanly impossible to understand all of it. I’m wrecked. The next time you hear a lie from the enemy telling you you’re not worth anything, pull out Ephesians 1 and remind him of the blood that was shed for you. Don’t you know your price is eternal ? That God sacrificed His most prized possession because you are worth EVERYTHING to Him ? God loves you and created you for more than struggle, He created you to be with Him. You’re worth more than a relationship that isn’t working out, a boy that gives you the run around, one night to get drunk, weed to hide from life’s issues, a cut on the wrist, anything you can think of you’re better than that. Ephesians 1 speaks to how much God loves all of us, how much He will fight for you, and that He DOES sacrifice. It is His pleasure to call us His own. Just accept that He loves you. This is for someone and I know it’s hard but accept that God loves you infinitely, that He will go through every barrier to get to you, you mean that much love.

    Dear Heavenly Father, You who sits in high places but makes it your business to come down for the lowly, I give you thanks and honor for your mercy and undeniable love. Father God there is no one that would go to the depths of the Earth and back to it’s surface for ANYONE. You are amazing and greater than any situation and lie from the enemy that tries to attack the work of your grace. I ask that you forgive me the sins I’ve committed against You and restore me with the blood of your precious Son. Father God You said You love us, that nothing can separate us from Your perfect love. You are majestic, regal, and have the ability to change every situation. I pray that you heal the broken hearted and pick up those that have gotten weary, those who lost hope. Remind them of their worth, their purpose, that You love them Father God and change their lives forever. Father all we want is You, all we need is You, fill our gaps, come into those empty & closed off sections and enter in. Father God make your claim and be our foundation. God we love you and cannot describe the wonders of your glory. God show them you feel the pain they deal with. You said the enemy is defeated Father, build us on that truth Father God. You are our shield and You are exalted. Whew God we love you, love you, LOVE YOU…Oh Lord make Yourself prominent and mark our lives. Jesus…thank you for the blood…mmm In Jesus name I pray. Amen.  

    God bless.     

     

  2. Just A Thought

    I’m convinced there are two main reasons people go to Hell:

    1. Non- Believers hear the gospel, but don’t heed it.

    2. Christians ignore the conviction to tell someone the gospel.

    Romans 10:14-17

    14. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in ? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard ? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them ?

    15. And how can they preach unless they are sent ? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.

    16. But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

    17. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.


    We, as Christians, can’t hold people to a standards they don’t even know about. Instead of expecting people to be “more like us,” and condemning them it is important to TELL them about why you’ve changed. There are two things going on this passage, there are people who hear the message and decide to put it on the back burner but the point still stands that they were TOLD. That’s innocent blood on our hands. If the goal was to be saved as soon as we told Christ He’s the one we’d be in Heaven right now, but how God decided to reach others is through us, CHRISTIANS so how is anyone’s light gonna shine if we’re gone? Sorry to burst bubbles but the point of being on Earth is NOT to be famous, live in a mansion, have a family, or have all the money in the world, it’s to have a relationship with & win souls for Christ.

    We’re not physically gone but that’s pretty much the mentality we have. We’re not on vacation yet, that’s when Jesus comes back boo. I’m not excluding myself either, there have been many times where I was told to talk to someone and didn’t, pray for someone and didn’t, but if the truth is it was never about me and you, then it’s about them who don’t know the benefits they have. And to take it a little deeper, on a grand scale, it’s not even about them, it is about God and His perfect will.

    It’s so easy to get caught up in complacency that we don’t take time to peek out the shelter we’ve built for ourselves and miss the purpose/mission given to us completely. Imagine how dreadful it would be if on Judgment Day Jesus told you someone went to Hell because of what you failed to do ? 

    Jesus never said life would be easy, and His life serves as a testimony that telling the truth isn’t a walk in the park either, but He did give us a promise and hope which is something not everyone gets the chance to know about, UNLESS we do our part. So it’s our reasonable service to give our bodies as living sacrifices. It is our duty to step it up, get over ourselves, and spread the Word.

    The first part about being a Christian means dying to our desires daily. So if we decide to die to ourselves, that means someone comes before us. Which is to say, despite being scared of what people are going to think/say, we speak anyway. That means when someone is lashing out at you, you forgive them & show compassion, because it’s not them, it’s the enemy. And that’s why it’s so important to love up on others, to love them & not hold yourself to higher standard based off of what they do…not do. This is what I’m learning….thought I’d share.

    Romans 12:21- Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

  3. It Ain’t Easy But…

    Before I knew Jesus, I thought He could coexist with MY lifestyle. I thought I could have freedom in my corner, and keep God in His, as long as I believed in a higher power it was okay. But there is only freedom in Christ and there is no way I can expect God to be pleased with how I was living after His selfless act(s). If compassion means anything to you, never forget where u came from, or else you’ll forget other people are where you used to be.  

  4. Lesson #1

    thiswomansheart:

    God doesn’t play the pity game. Once you hear something you’re accountable for it as soon as you walk out that room…JM 

  5. Most times, when we discuss our destinies we talk about what God has chosen for us to do. Now that certainly isn’t wrong but I was reading Romans 1:1 and it says Paul was called to be an apostle. Along with being chosen, we are called as well. And do you know what’s interesting? I read the first verse and The Holy Spirit laid it on my heart to discover the deeper meaning of that word. There were many definitions that came up.

    "It is a cry out to someone in order to summon them or attract their attention."

    Look … I don’t know about you but to me it speaks volumes that God, THE CREATOR of all things, you and I, the same God who merely breathed into Adam’s nostrils (whom He whipped up together from the dust of the ground I might add) and gave him LIFE…let’s try again, the SAME God that spared our lives since the day we came out of our mothers’ wombs, by creating a purpose for us when we deserved death. From the time you lied and told your mama you didn’t steal cookies from the cookie jar, you deserved what? You deserved death. God doesn’t have to cry out to ANY of us because He doesn’t need us, but He pleads ANYWAY! To what? To attract our attention. Do you understand the severity of this definition? Why is God crying out to us in the first place? Because the conditions of this Earth are more serious than we’d like to admit.

    Other definitions said:

    - to give the command for; order

    - to order or request to undertake a particular activity or work;summon


    Let me stop right there quickly…so I looked up the word ‘summon’ and it means to authoritatively or URGENTLY call on someone to be present. This goes back to what was previously said, the condition of this world is without a doubt urgent; There are children dying of hunger, escalated violence left and right, celebration of a man’s death when he didn’t even get the chance to know Jesus Christ, families breaking apart, all these horrible things, but God needs His soldiers to crawl out of the trenches and stand at attention.

    I’m jumping ahead of myself just a tad BUT if Paul did not heed the Lord’s call to be an apostle do you think the churches would know what they knew at that time? How long do you think it would have taken Peter to realize it wasn’t in God’s plan to keep Jew and Gentile separated? Your destiny, your path is more than what God has chosen for you, it’s a call lighting up with red alarms now are you going to listen or not?

    It is an honor to even be mentioned by God! I’m getting riled up now. It is an HONOR to be called by God! Can you meet His urgency? God can save this world all by Himself but He decided WE were worthy enough to take part in His plan.

    The last definition I saw said this: To demand or ask for the presence of… God is demanding and even asking for your presence, for you to go where He placed you to be. He is calling to you because you are capable, because this world is breaking His heart, because His goal was never for you to be complacent with destruction & disaster occurring even in your presence. One minister said some people are called to be poor, and I’d have to disagree that was NEVER God’s purpose. If we are called for anything, it’s to be taken to levels we have never seen before, but that can’t happen if you don’t respond to His pleas. You mean too much to Him. See what God can do…Answer His call.

  6. Ten ways to love.

    justrobjm:

    dopetasticson:

    1.Listen without interrupting. (Proverbs 18)
    2.Speak without accusing. (James 1:19)
    3.Give without sparing. (Proverbs 21:26)
    4.Pray without ceasing. (Colossians 1:9)
    5.Answer without arguing. (Proverbs 17:1)
    6.Share without pretending. (Ephesians 4:15)
    7.Enjoy without complaint. (Philippians 2:14)
    8.Trust without wavering. (Corinthians 13:7)
    9.Forgive without punishing. (Colossians 3:13)
    10.Promise without forgetting. (Proverbs 13:12)

    (via laurenreg)

    I need this.