Posts Tagged ‘Grace’

I Don’t Love Your Smacking, But I Love You

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Would it be ok if we all just set our gavels down and decided to love people for who they are? Would it be ok if we quit demanding perfection in others? Would it be ok if we shifted our vision..from seeing faults in others to instead seeing the potential in others?

The truth us, we are all imperfect. So let’s just decide right now to quit pretending we are perfect. We aren’t, we never will be. And that’s ok!

Jesus loves me in spite of my shortcomings so I’m going to love myself, and you, too!

Have a beautiful day!

Blessings,

Sarah

**As I was typing this, my amazingly wonderful husband, was sitting next to me, talking with his mouth full. Satan is using that to see if I really mean what I’m saying in this post. Well let’s just say..life is a growing opportunity. And I’m growing.

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Today’s devo selection:

How many white hairs have you been given?
by George Whitten

Matthew 7:2-5 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you use, it shall be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me pull out the speck out of your eye; and, look, a plank is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first remove the plank out of your own eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of thy brother’s eye.

A dear friend recently sent us this funny story and we couldn’t help but share it with you.

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast upon her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Mom, why are some of your hairs white?”

“Well”, her mother replied, “every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come all of Grandma’s hairs are white?”

A funny story, yes — but isn’t it true that we’re always looking for someone to blame for our imperfections? The Lord warned us about the danger of pointing out the faults of others. He said that people with planks in their eyes should not attempt to remove specks out of other people’s eyes. Somehow, we lose sight of this so quickly! We are all still growing. None of us has arrived! We need to be aware of how the enemy tries to ensnare us in this way.

I don’t know about you but I tend to agree with the person who said “The only person I want removing splinters out of my eyes is someone with a clear vision and a gentle touch!”

Let’s ask the Lord to help us to see the ways we’ve been judgmental and become people with clear vision and a gentle touch! We should be building up one another and encouraging each other so that the work of the Lord may go forward and we may rejoice together in the blessing!

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Growth Under Attack

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Some attacks are easier to forgive than others, but regardless, all must be forgiven. Why? Because we have been forgiven. Even when it’s hardest to forgive, we must. It’s love that will change the world..”Love one another as I have loved you.” In order to truly love, we must forgive.

It’s easier said than done, but we can do it.

Blessings and love to you all,

Sarah

Today’s devo selection
From: http://www.findthepower.com/dailydevotions

About keeping the faith in the face of Satan’s attack…

Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (NIV)

Stephen knew he was dying. Yet even in his last moment of life, with his last breath, Stephen asked for the forgiveness of those who were killing him. You have the same mighty spiritual power within you Stephen had. Your witness in life or even in your last breath can change lives like Stephen’s witness has done for two thousand years. You might not be a famous person. You might consider yourself a “nobody.” However, in God’s eyes you are precious. Until you take your last breath, it is God’s will the evil in your world should be defeated with His love and with His consuming grace. As Christ’s witness, show the world how evil can be defeated with the same love and forgiving grace you keep within your heart.

Dysfunction Junction, What’s Your Function?

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How was your Easter? If it was like most people’s, it was a day of family dysfunction! ..At least to some degree. Right? Let’s be honest, no one’s family is all peaches and cream all of the time. Why? Because humans are involved!

How is your relationship with our Father God? Well, like I said, you’re human – so it’s guaranteed there is some level of dysfunction in that relationship as well.

It’s been said that how people treat others is a mirror into their soul. If they are cruel to others, it’s because they are cruel to themselves. If they are loving, it’s because they are loving towards themselves, etc..

So maybe today we can all take a look inward, and take inventory of where we are spiritually. The more we work on ourselves, the more *good* function we will bring to our relationships. Yes, there will always be work to do in our relationships with others/ourselves, but we don’t have to accept the invitation to “Dysfunction Junction” anymore! We can all learn to become the light in any situation, with The Lord’s help.

Have a wonderful Monday, friends!

Blessings,

Sarah

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Spiritual Dysfunction
By Ivie Bozeman

Matthew 22:37-38 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (NIV)

I had a problem with my ice maker. The repairman responded quickly to my call. He performed the procedure that he thought necessary to get the water flowing. It did not work. He came again and decided my icemaker needed replacing. The next day came — still no ice. This went on for several days, until he found that a tiny valve connecting the water line was not functioning. Replacing this started the water flow. Back we went to the old ice maker, which is now functioning beautifully. This tiny little dysfunction had puzzled us all.

This prompted my thoughts toward “spiritual dysfunction”. Something is not going right in our spiritual lives, but we are at a loss to find the problem. We pray daily, read the Bible, go to church, and feel we are doing everything necessary to show our love for God and for our neighbour, but the spiritual flow is not as it should be.

Could it be that we have a “dysfunction” — just a tiny one, like a little valve — between our professed love for God and our love for our neighbours? Could we have failed to show compassion for someone who lost their job, or have we shown a lack of empathy for our friends going through a divorce? Do we claim to love the weak and vulnerable, but in no way reach out to help them?

Jesus told us that love for God and love for others is inseparable. Are we showing one face to the church and the friends with whom we worship, and another to those who think and act differently? The valve that controls the flow of our spirituality may not be working properly.

Yes, I think that we can become spiritually disconnected. Just as my ice maker had become dysfunctional because of the little valve that was not working, we can become dysfunctional too. Our problems may be harder to locate than the valve on the ice machine, but through prayerful seeking, the problem can be located.

Prayer: Father, help us to take inventory and seek out the problems in our spiritual lives and repair them. Give us a little nudge in the direction we should go. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Bondage..It’s Not Mandatory

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Have you fully grasped the knowledge that you are FREE? He came to set the captives free. And you were captive! The second you accepted Him as your Savior, your freedom was realized. Walk in that freedom today! It’s time to stop gripping the chains of our past, and instead place our grip on the promises of God. You ARE free. Don’t allow yourself to become enslaved in a yolk of bondage ever again.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galations 5:1

Have a blessed day!

-Sarah

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Today’s Devo Selection:

Set Free!
By Anne Graham Lotz

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:18, NIV

With blood flowing from His wounds and streaming down His face from the thorns in His brow, Jesus stood before Pilate. As part of the Passover celebration, it was Pilate’s custom to release any prisoner the crowd chose. It just so happened that “at that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So . . . Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ?'” (Matt. 27:16-17, NIV)

The rulers shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” (John 18:40, NIV). Barabbas! Barabbas was a thief and a murderer and a rabble-rouser! The religious leaders of Israel were demanding that Barabbas be set free and Jesus be crucified. And so Barabbas became the first person to be set free by the death of Jesus.

Jesus died, not just in the place of Barabbas, but in your place and mine. Because He died, I am free! Free from my sin and its penalty.

Love, Daddy

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You are loved beyond measure, treasure every moment you’ve been given! It’s a beautiful life. 🙂

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection
By: http://www.fathersloveletter.com

Love, Your Dad. Almighty God.

There are many ways to end a letter.
Sincerely …Yours truly … Regards… etc.
But there is only one way to end a love letter from our Father in heaven!
Love, Your Dad…Almighty God.

This signature expressed both the majesty of a Holy God and the tenderness of a loving Father. Over the centuries, many theologians have struggled to reconcile a concept of God who is both holy and loving, powerful yet intimate. Our natural tendency is to gravitate towards one concept of God or the other. But the truth is that we are infinitely loved by One who is righteous and omnipotent, yet tender and abounding in love.

The Almighty God is also our Heavenly Dad! The One who created the heavens and the earth with the power of His Word, took the time to knit each one of us in our mother’s womb. The One who made heaven His throne and the earth His footstool, welcomes each of His little ones to visit with Him in His glorious presence any time, day or night. The One who makes nations tremble and holds the hearts of kings in His hand, wants His children to come close to Him to hear the beating of His heart. What an awesome privilege we have to be called children of God!

But let us never forget that the right for us to become the children of God came at an incredible cost. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who knew no sin, took upon Himself the full weight of our sin when He died upon a cross two thousand years ago. The shedding of His innocent blood was the only way that we could ever be reconciled to His Father. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection will stand for all eternity as the defining moment that would make it possible for all of us to enjoy the eternal benefits of being sons and daughters in our Father’s kingdom.

PRAYER
Father, You are the Almighty God and yet You are the Father that I have been looking for all my life! I thank You that the Bible is Your love letter to me. I receive Your gift of love expressed through the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pray that I will never leave this place of intimacy being rooted and grounded in Your love. Thank You for making me a co-heir with Your Son, Jesus in Your glorious inheritance. It is in Jesus, through Jesus, and by Jesus, that I come into Your throne room with the assurance that I am loved & accepted as Your child. Amen.

Arms Nailed Open

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The last sentence of today’s devo really struck me. I had never thought of it in that way before. I’m so glad my Jesus is always there for me, arms wide open. As my favorite preacher, TD Jakes, teaches us to say, “I’m not in this thing by myself!”

He is always ready to welcome us home to rest in His loving embrace. We just have to make the choice…if you’ve been wandering, it’s time to go home. Your Daddy’s waiting.

Be blessed today, friends! May His open arms be the ones you run to today.

– Sarah

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The Father’s Outstretched Arms
By Max Lucado

The prodigal son. Going home a changed man. No longer demanding he get what he deserved, but willing to take whatever he could get. How many years had it been? As the boy came around the bend that led to his house, he rehearsed his speech one more time. He turned to open the gate, but the father already had.

“Father I have sinned,” he said. (Luke 15:21). The two wept. Words were unnecessary. Forgiveness had been given.

If there’s a scene that deserves to be framed, it’s the one of the Father’s outstretched hands. His hands call us home. Imagine those hands. Stretching open like a wide gate, leaving entrance as the only option. He forced His arms so wide apart that it hurt. And to prove that those arms would never fold and those hands would never close, He had them nailed open.

from Six Hours One Friday

Stress..It’s Enough Already.

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It’s been a stressful week! My walk hasn’t quite met up with my talk. Do you ever go through that? Where the more you try to be positive, the worse you get? I’m thinking I’m not alone in this because, I’ve found scripture to back it up. That tells me my issue isn’t new on the scene!

Romans 7: 15 – I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Well, there’s also another scripture that works for my situation, and it says:

Romans 8:1 – So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Because of that scripture, I know that when I fail, and my attitude sucks, I am not to allow condemnation to seep into my veins, poisoning my being. Instead, I need to turn away from that attitude, choose joy, and walk in the freedom I’ve been given. Easier said than done? Sometimes, yes. But if it were easy, there would be no growth to be had. And I want to grow!

Another great scripture:

Lamentations 3:22-23 – It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

So yesterday’s stress and failures are just that, yesterday’s. I will not allow them to poison my today. Today comes with fresh grace and mercy. I plan on immersing myself in it! You should do the same. 🙂

As you will see in the devo selection below, Jesus’ life is the perfect example of how to handle stress. Here’s to being more and more like Him every day.

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Dealing with Stress Like Jesus
Written by Patty Wysong

There is just no getting around stress, regardless of the time of life we’re in. We may think things will be easier at some point, but we only trade one stress for another. It’s never ending, but we have a great God who understands us!

How can we know that God understands us? Just look at Mark 3:5-22. Jesus had so many people following Him, and so many needing things from Him that He called for a small boat to keep from being crushed.

Have you felt like you were being crushed?

Everyone wanted a piece of Jesus, a touch of Jesus. Things were so crazy that He couldn’t even eat a meal. Sound familiar?

But that’s not all. Not only was He under crushing pressure from the people all around Him, but the church leaders had turned against Him. They were ready to do Him harm. Jesus knew well the pressure and stress that came from the religious sector—the church.

Multiply that by the stress Jesus must have felt because His family didn’t believe Him and they certainly didn’t support Him—they thought He was crazy. Family pressure magnifies everything—and Jesus was no stranger to it. You know the feeling, don’t you?

Jesus had a to-do list like no one else. His included dying on the cross for me and bearing the wrath of God. For me. Talk about a weight to carry. So much more than I could ever bear!

We’re told to ask “What would Jesus do?” and this is one of those times when we can see what He did and how He handled all the stress in His life.

Jesus had a place of solitude.

After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. ~Mark 6:46

The pressures of life have a way of bringing us down, but we can choose to go up and spend time with God in solitude with Him. We have somewhere we can go! The next time you feel like you’re not enough and don’t have enough, go up to the cross, go to God.

Jesus had a place to pray.

It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. ~Luke 6:12

In Jesus’ life, days of power followed nights of prayer. The same can be true in our lives. He went to a solitary place to pray. Relieve stress and handle pressure with prayer.

Jesus had people to share His load.

And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons. ~Luke 3:14-15.

Jesus shared the burdens, and so can we. His chosen men came alongside Him in prayer and care and they shared His load. Carefully choose a few to share your burdens with so you can lift each other up in prayer. When we try to do it all by ourselves we set ourselves up to fall apart. It’s much better to “come apart” to God than to fall apart.

So when the stress is rising like a flash flood, remember how Jesus handled all the stress in His life. He had a place of solitude—a place of prayer—where He met with God the Father. He also had people who prayed with Him and for Him and helped Him shoulder His load that way.

*Sermon notes from a recent message by Pastor Mike Cash.
*All Scripture quoted from NASB.

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