Tag Archive: grace


What’s this I hear about grace?

Another great post by a good friend, Larry Sewell.

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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?

  
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What is Love?

As the leader of a ministry that reaches out to hurting women, many of which have been abused by people who claimed to love them, I was not surprised recently when I was asked…”What is love?” I thought the best way to understand what love is, is to go to God’s Word and see what it says about love.

What true love is NOT:

  • Love is not just words or a feeling but requires action (love lived out) – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
  • Love is not boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, unforgiving, slanderous (speaks falsely of another), without self-control, brutal (hateful), etc. – People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. 2 Timothy 3:2-5

    So if genuine godly love is none of those things. What is love?

  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
  • Love Serves Others – You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
  • Love is Selfless – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
  • Love is humble, gentle, and patient – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
  • Love obeys God – And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6
  • Our love for others should ultimately be God-focused – Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

Perhaps you’ve asked…Does God really love me? Isn’t God just out to trip me up and watch me fail? Does He really understand what I’ve been through? How do I know? Have you ever had this thought run through your mind, “I’m not good enough for God to love me?” Oh there is so much wrong with that statement. First, God’s love doesn’t depend on who you are, what you have done, or what’s been done to you. God’s love is solely dependent on His character. God is love. He proved His love by sending His Son to die for YOU!

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Let’s check out some characteristics about God’s love.

God’s love is…

  • Unfailing  – But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5
  • Extravagant – Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
  • Priceless – How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
  • Merciful – Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me. Psalm 40:11
  • Just – I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise. Psalm 101:1
  • Patient – But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
  • Everlasting – For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
  • Satisfying – Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14
  • Good – But you, Sovereign LORD, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. Psalm 109:21
  • Selfless – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
  • Parental (He disciplines His Children out of love) – because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Hebrews 12:6
  • Unrelenting – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35,37-39

You can’t hide from the love of God. You can run sure, but God is always at your side. If you have been abused by someone, you’re idea of love may be corrupted. Now you know the truth! Walk in that truth! And know that God loves you because you are His creation! I encourage you to read Psalm 139, I’ve included a portion below:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If you would like to explore this issue more with me or have any questions. I’d love to speak with you. Please get in touch with me by emailing me at restoredbyloveministries@gmail.com. There is no greater passion in my heart, than for you to know the love of God and live it out in your life! 

My prayer for you:

I pray that out of His glorious
riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the
saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and
to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure
of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19

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!
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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

Stand in Awe

 What I’m about to share I have wrestled with for weeks. I was afraid that by sharing this, my heart would become prideful. But as I sit here and write I can sincerely testify that none of this is a result of anything I have done, or anything I will do, or anything I could even be close to capable of doing but what I have seen is all a work of God, that in God’s awesome love and grace which I cannot fully understand, nor am I worthy of it, God has placed me here. As I wrestled with whether or not to share this today, I’ve been humbled and convicted. I am reminded that even the rocks cry out in praise to God, so how can I be silent about the awesome works that He has done in my life. (And I ask myself how could I have ever doubted Him?) How much more then should we be filled with awe at the greatness of God and tell of His glory. I think about the many people who God healed in the New Testament. I think I now see how much their hearts were ready to burst in awe struck wonder at what Christ had done in their lives. How could they be silent after encountering God Almighty?!?! That is where I stand now. I am at that place right now that if the rocks cry out in testimony of God’s greatness so must I!


God has taken a broken, hurt, torn up girl and performed an awesome work of redemption, restoration and healing throughout the short 28 years of my life. I can speak with the Psalmist as He says in Psalm 18..”The cords of death encompassed me. And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me; The snares of death confronted me.” That was my life. Full of torment, full of hopelessness, full of brokenness, full of disaster. But PRAISE GOD, that now I can say with the psalmist what is said later in Psalm 18, “THE LORD LIVES, AND BLESSED BY THE ROCK; AND EXALTED BE THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” He delivers, He lifts up, He rescues, He shields us, He strengthens us, He lights our way. He conquers all, He hears our cries and because of this and ONLY because of this I “give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name.” What does God have to do in our lives for us to see that He is God Almighty, He is Sovereign Lord, He is the Most High God. He had to take me to the darkest of darkness and prove Himself more times than I can count. Don’t let that be You! Proclaim His work in your life to the nations, not out of selfish pride, but out of the depth of humility and praise stand in awe! Let Your heart be filled with wonder and let Him take you to heights you could never have thought up yourself! By the GRACE and MERCY of God He loves to take us to a place of complete brokenness and unworthiness to a place of staring in full view of God’s awesome greatness. In Philippians 2, it speaks of God the Fathers plan and purpose for the life of Jesus the Son. God plan, His sole purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificing gift to us through the cross was “that at the name of Jesus at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, for those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Gd the Father.” His greatness extends throughout eternity! So I ask you, what is your victory story???? Let’s surrender it to God and let Him amaze us at how far He will take His awesome work and declare it to those around us if we will just allow Him to take the drivers seat!!!! Stand back, looking up to heaven, hands off the steering wheel, and prepare to be amazed. Stand in AWE!

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???