Tag Archive: faith


Has anyone been feeling discouraged in the battle lately? Is anyone sick of finding yourself at rock-bottom emotionally? If this is your reality right now, please continue to choose to hope for your future to change. Life can be different, but as we know, it takes work.  I would love to share some truth about how to begin to do battle in our minds, but first, would you consider Hebrews 11:6:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Choosing to change the way that lays out for us in the Bible is a good start. I say this realizing that many of you feel anger, hostility, disappointment, and even bitterness toward God. Some may feel like they cannot possibly believe in God. Faith is not easy, but the starting place for healing is to come to God choosing to exercise faith (against what you feel) that he exists, that he is good and that good reward will come from seeking him. He knows you and loves you. If you have not invited this God into your heart and life as your only Savior, you will not know the victory he can bring. There is hope in God. There is no hope in this life, or in eternity apart from Jesus. This being said, believers have been told to wage war in their hearts and minds. During my worst days, I found myself asking, “how did I get here in this really bad state of mind!?” Answer: I thought my way there. No matter what the circumstances there are two ways to process: by faith or unbelief.

I have often chosen to interpret my life through eyes of unbelief, and have found myself in dark places. I’ve heard it compared to tumbling down a staircase. Normally, you would begin at the top of the stairs and take step after step until you reached the bottom. The top step is a thought that is against how God has told us to think in Philippians 4:8 (read it!). Choosing to walk down the steps one bad thought at a time, we end up at the bottom of the stairs in a really bad state! Eventually, that certain “staircase of thoughts” or that pattern of downward-spiraling thoughts becomes habitual. When you have thought a certain way for an extended amount of time, you can end up at the bottom, in a dark place in your mind after the first thought. I’m asking you to consider your thought patterns.

Sometimes we can think thoughts that we do not even realize we are thinking. If you find yourself in a bad place emotionally it helps to pull out a sheet of paper and list all that you can remember thinking in the past five minutes. Next, evaluate each of these thoughts in light of what God says is true in the Bible. Practicing this is seriously so helpful in renewing your mind. God does tell us what is true, while the Enemy lies and deceives us. Believe God. He is for you (Romans 8:31-32).

The good news is that as believers we can put off our old self, and live the beautiful, redeemed life that Jesus has bought for us with his own blood! It’s possible to be freed, beginning in your mind. Here is how we fight:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

…One thought at a time.

Follow the link below for a worksheet to help you take your thoughts captive and be obedient to Christ!

Renewing_a_thought_worksheet-_extended-_-final (1)

 

(post written by Lauren Mathers)

What’s this I hear about grace?

Another great post by a good friend, Larry Sewell.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

Let’s dialogue for a few minutes about God’s grace.

What’s it like?  For one thing, it comes looking for me when I’m not looking for it.  Why?  Because that’s what grace does.  What do you mean?  Let me put it this way; it’s like saying, the nature of grace is aggressive in that it looks for people who need God’s help.  Well, who determines what I need?  God does.  OK, does everyone get this grace?  No. Why no?  When God made us He gave us a free will and we are totally free; no strings attached, to decide if we really want God’s grace when He offers it to us.  Really?  Yeah, really.  Pretty awesome don’t you think?  …and it’s all free.  Now, by free I don’t mean cheap.  Well, wait a minute, I wasn’t born yesterday you know.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Someone has to pay a price somewhere along the line.  That’s right!  Somebody did.  Wow, tell me about it.

What kind of price do you have to pay for grace?  The max.  What do you mean by the max?  …and who would even think of doing that for a total stranger?  Well, in a word — God did.  How did He do that?  He did what no one else could ever do.  What was that?  First He came to earth to live with people.  He was only here for about 33 years.  Get this, even though He was fully God, He was also fully man.  Why did He do that?  He did it so people could talk to Him and touch Him, and watch Him, you know, like we are doing right now.  Just think, He was God the Creator standing right there in front of them.  That’s right.  But what motivated Him to do such a thing for people who didn’t know who He was, to say nothing of the fact most people really didn’t want Him anyway?  He did it for the simple reason that He loves all of mankind; past, present and future.  Oh come on now, how can anyone do all that for total strangers?!  God can.

Well, OK, say for instance I am a little intrigued by this grace thing.  Answer this for me, what will it do for me?  Good question.  By accepting God’s provision, His grace, your sin will be totally forgiven.  …You know what sin is? or does?  Well, kinda, but, well not really.  Sin is rebellion against God. This rebellion is what separates a person from God —  forever, unless that sin
is dealt with by accepting God’s payment by faith.

His payment was giving Himself up to be crucified, shedding His blood and dying.  But, since He is the author of life, He rose from the grave, stayed on earth for a short time and then went back to heaven.  Is that why He came to earth?  Sure is.  Well then how do I make that work for me?  By believing you are a sinner, that you know what sin is, and what God did to pay for it.  Here
is what the Bible says you have to do.  If you state that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  Saved means saved from eternal punishment in Hell.  God continues, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (before God), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

That’s pretty straight forward.  Don’t I have to do anything?  No.  Why?  Because there is nothing you could do to get into heaven if you worked at it for a million years.  So all I have to do is confess and believe?  That’s right.  …So what would you like to do?

  

On Grace by Dawn

Below you will find Dawn’s testimony of God’s grace displayed in her life through her struggle and freedom from an eating disorder. I hope that you will find hope in her story and peace in knowing that God’s grace is most assuredly sufficient for YOU!
———————————————————————————————————————————————–
God Loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus that I may live… now and always by grace. How can I not sit back and look at my life and not just wonder, in shock, at what God has done and continues to do? I am so thankful that at the end of the day no situation or challenge can change the goodness of the Lord.

For three years I have walked with Him. Three years ago He held the end of the rope that pulled me out of the pit of death and into His shadow of light.  My testimony is posted on a website and this is part of a comment that someone left…. Like the “dawning of a new day” – your testimony heralds the beauty – the sheer wonder of being new in Christ – the old is past; behold all things become new – Oh what a blessing – may the LORD your King continue to use you mightily like a trumpet, to compel all to “Come, dance with our King!”

Use you …Use me….Hear I am, Lord….How many times have I said that to my Daddy? I’m always asking Him to use this Freedom Walker, to use this girl now three years out of brokenness and three years into the light. This past year has been different than the first two years, there were more days, than I have ever admitted to anyone, that I really didn’t want Freedom anymore, that I wanted to throw it all away and seek the guise of thinness. I know the answer to how all these thoughts started? Something so simple….busyness. I got so busy that I didn’t make even small moments of time to spend with my Daddy, He got pushed to the wayside and when the overwhelming feelings of life came I didn’t have the Truth to stand on to fight. Instead I decided I wanted to fight myself and fight my body for control over what I felt like was an out-of-control life. And let’s just say that putting my walls down to seek out the Truth, in the words of wise counsel, was really, really hard. But I had to do it. I had left that struggle in the past.

But hear me….it is a choice. In my life I had to change that I was Supposed to walk in Freedom to Wanting to walk in Freedom. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth, so instead of fighting my body I wake each morning choosing to walk in Victory. Walk out my Freedom! I will not let the mirror or the world define me, but I shall speak the Truth of God’s Word. I WILL LOVE ME; I will surrender myself into the hands of my Father, who will equip me for battle. Too often I, still more than I want to admit, measure my beauty by a number. He has already declared me BEAUTIFUL, His chosen and beloved daughter, the one He intimately wants to know and love me beyond any love that I can seek here on earth. I will continue to fight the lies that tie up my thoughts, I know the TRUTH, and I can speak it! The real battle is making sure my Truth doesn’t fall on my own deaf ears and understand that it isn’t always about those around me hearing the Truth but I need to make sure I’m still hearing it myself.

“If you hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.” Psalm 91:14, The Message.

Dear Father,

What a journey this has been and I am truly in awe of all you are continually doing in me. One day with you is better then a thousand elsewhere. I know you are good and that knowing you intimately has transformed my life. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

A Question of Worth

How much am I worth? Am I worthless? How do I stop feeling like I am? Why do I feel like a piece of trash? I asked those questions frequently growing up. I was convinced that no one cared about me, that I was unlovable and I felt like a piece of trash, or even some days lower than a piece of trash! It turns out that believing I was that piece of trash completely made me worthless in a sense because while I was believing all those lies in my mind, I was becoming a girl that was sitting on the sidelines of my faith and my relationship with God. Because I was so “me-focused” (and yes, when you are so involved in telling yourself how worthless you are…you truly are “me-focused”) I was unable to be “God-focused”. What God desired for my life was being overshadowed by my own false self defeating thoughts and perceptions. So where do those thoughts come from and how do we counteract those negative (and simply untrue) perceptions about ourselves? How do we become “God-focused” instead of “Me-focused”? I hope and pray that you will discover God’s view of you and that you will commit to embracing that.

What does God have to say about my worth?

In Matthew 6:25-26 it talks about God’s love and provision for us.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

So I ask you this, if indeed you really are worthless…why would an Almighty God choose to provide for you? He provides for the smallest bird because He values His creation. You are part of His creation and it says here that your worth to Him is so much more than the birds! In fact your worth to Him led Him to die a cruel death on a cross for you and then conquer death by rising from the dead, so that you could have life. So how can you think that someone who would die for you and give up His own life for yours, thinks you are worthless? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it.

Many things can influence our perceptions of our self worth. But why waste your life away, struggling to feel good about yourself when all you need to do is commit to look to Truth. Every circumstance that has led you to feel horrible about yourself, every negative, self defeating thought that enters your mind will dim in light of God’s Truth. You just need to practice counteracting those lies with God’s truth and the way to do this is to get into God’s Word, the bible and search for yourself. Later on in the Matthew passage above, it gives a clear picture of what we need to do to defeat those self defeating thoughts that come into our minds….it says in verse 33…

“But seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

God loves to bless His children. He loves to pour out His love on us. He will go above and beyond for you, but the only way those thoughts are gonna be turned around is if you seek Him first and believe His truth. It’s a choice and it takes an active willingness to turn to truth and be free to be yourself instead of live in self hatred and misery your whole life. What are you going to choose?

Below are some scriptures that I hope you will look up to get you started in learning to see yourself how God sees you.

Matthew 10:29-31: Worth more than sparrows

Matthew 13:45-46: Jesus would go and has gone to the ends of the earth for you because you are of great value to Him

John 3:16: He loves you so much that He chose to die for you.

Romans 8:31-38: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

1 Peter 3:3-4: Beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

Psalm 139: You are fearfully and wonderfully made…

Surrender

What does it mean to follow God? What does God desire from us when it comes to following Him?  Are we willing to surrender to what God has for our lives, even when it doesn’t make sense to us?

These are challenging questions and I say challenging because I’m living with them! God has been showing me so much about what it takes to fully trust Him with our lives. I’m not the most adventurous person so risks are not fun for me! Trusting anyone is not my strong suit either which makes it even more of a challenge. But thank God for His grace in our lives! A story in the bible that has hit me hard in the past couple of weeks is the calling of Jesus’ disciples. They were fisherman, tax collectors, ect., each of them had their own occupation and I’m sure each of them had their own agenda’s for life. But in the lives of two fishermen, Simon and Andrew (two brothers), Jesus came and had a different plan. Jesus tells them to “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Now if I were Simon and Andrew, I would be like, “Who is the man, who does He think He is saying coming follow me? He is crazy!” However, the bible doesn’t say anything about Simon and Andrew asking questions or saying anything like that. The bible says, “AT ONCE they left their nets and followed Him.” Now that’s faith!!! That’s surrender!!! They left everything they had lived for and everything they had trained for, their sole source of income to follow Jesus! God expects the same from all of us. He doesn’t want us to give half our lives to Him, He wants all of us! Every ounce of our being! Following Jesus won’t always be easy, in fact, I think it seldom is easy, but IT IS WORTH IT! It takes denying of yourself…your wants, desires, your goals for something greater….God’s wants, desires and goals for your life.

In Luke 9:23 it says, “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Surrender requires faith! And true faith in God requires a willingness to give ALL! Are you willing???