Sometimes when life happens, we don’t understand why or how we find ourselves where we are at today. I have been there many times. I constantly pray to God; please open a door, please make a way. And then I sit back and see the doors God opened for me, but I didn’t walk through them. I could not be patient long enough to wait, and I opened doors on my own, which didn’t work out. Then I start to call out to him again. And when I don’t see anything happening when I think it should, I go through another door that I opened again; It’s like a vicious cycle. Then we have to deal with the consequences of our choices, which is usually pain. The good news is that this is how we grow. It’s in the thrust of the pain that we find God. It’s when we have hit rock bottom that we turn to Him. The doors God opens in our lives sometimes look different than we pictured, and we miss God in the process. So, continue to realize that God will make a way, open your heart, soul, spirit, and mind, and He will do the rest. All you have to do is trust Him. If you want to walk through a door and you don’t have complete peace about it, then more likely, it’s not what God has for you. Be patient and wait; you will know if it’s God’s door because you will have peace that passes all understanding.
Like Adam and Eve after their fall, we strive to hide our nakedness from each other. We dress ourselves up and put on a happy face, and when people ask us how we are, we cheerfully answer “fine!”
When God looks at us, however, He sees right through our facade… straight into our sinful hearts. Before God, we are wretched condemned criminals.
If we were to look at ourselves the way God sees us even when we have it all together, we would see something totally different. He sees through all of our efforts to be “lookin’ good.” His vision probes far deeper than the all-too-cool clothes we wear, our makeup, our rippling abs and our great tan. He strips away the layers of self-delusion and penetrates deep into our hearts where each of us is a desperately lost sinner. And, no matter how good you think you are, it’s not until we know that we are like condemned criminals before Him that we can begin to understand how amazing His grace really is. When you can honestly say that His grace saved a wretch like you, you can begin to stand in amazement at the greatness of His grace. In fact, His grace is only a “sweet sound” when you know how deep it had to go to clean you up!
What is God’s amazing grace? It’s the outstretched love of Jesus whose agonizing death and victorious resurrection saves us from who we really are—not from who we think we are. Romans 5:8 says: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He died the worst kind of death imaginable, because it needed to cover the wretchedness of our desperately lost souls. We weren’t lookin’ good when He died for us. If we were as cool as we think we are, He could have stayed in heaven. But like hopeless beggars trapped in the sludge of sin, we needed Him. And so He came and died in our place. Now that’s what I call amazing!
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
I John 3:18
The truest way for us to express the love we say we have is through our deeds. Our actions are a reflection of our thoughts and what we keep in our heart. Think of your actions, do they speak love or are they contrary to God’s love?
Dear God, I pray that in everything I do, my actions will reflect your love that resides in my heart. May I never be a hypocrite, claiming to love but actually doing otherwise. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
GOD IS going to accelerate YOUR dreams. Dee Haywood – Writer for Hope Knows Your Name
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Facebook has allowed us to create a world where we can have thousands of “friends” from all over the world. In fact, most people who frequently use Facebook have more FB friends than FTF (face to face) friends. We spend time online connecting with some of these friends, but mostly we peruse our news feed to see their latest posts. We see, of course, pictures of their families, cute little puppy videos they have uploaded, and sometimes an inspirational quote. But we also see rants and sarcastic comments and thinly veiled threats. If you look long enough, among these many “friends” you will find something that disturbs you or makes you uneasy. You begin to wonder, “Whom is she talking about? Is she making that comment in reference to me?” We get sucked right into the drama that is no drama and we spend our lives stalking their pages to ease our minds. It ruins us. In Hamlet, Polonius advises his son: “Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them unto thy soul with hoops of steel.” Those friends we have who have proven, over time, to be true friends, those are the ones we need to hold on to. Sometimes it pays to cut your Facebook friends list. If we are mindful of whom we choose to be in on our “friends” list, we will see that the ones we have chosen are tried and true. Jesus is such a friend. He is one who “sticks closer than a brother.” With a friend like Him, what more do we need?
YOU will win! Amen
Lord, help me to be mindful of the people I allow into my life. Help me not to bring drama and angst into my heart and my home. I ask that You help me to appreciate the good friends I have and that You will send people my way who will strengthen my walk and encourage me in You. I thank You for being the best friend I could ever have. Help me find friends who are more like You. Amen.
Dee Haywood Writer for Hope Knows Your Name
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Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. I John 4:10
Because of what Christ did, we can confidently stand and say that we are in Him and He is in us. Though we live in our earthly bodies, our spirit has been regenerated. We have been redeemed. We have a glorious future ahead of us, and it is by faith we believe this and continue to live out the will of God for our lives. We live a life of faith now, of total trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Almighty God, our Father, who never stopped loving us and never will.
Dear God, I just want to thank you for your endless love for me. You have been there for me far before I knew of you or even thought of coming to you. I will forever thank you for that precious act of love, where you gave up your Son so that I could be a part of you again. Jesus, my Savior, thank you for what you did for me and for everyone else on this earth. It is because of you and your love, I can confidently say that you live in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
God is going to accelerate your dreams. Dee Haywood
ScriptureThen Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.
From. Jonah 2/1-2
Jonah cried out to God from the belly of the whale. What a place for a prayer meeting! This should teach us that there is not place on earth where we cannot or should not pray to God. There is no situation we can be in where he will be unable to hear us and deliver us. Note that the Hebrew for “hell” can also be rendered “grave” in many cases. It was as if Jonah was dead and gone and the fish’s belly was his tomb, but God heard him and brought him back.
O God, it is always better to follow you than to run from your will. But even if, like Jonah, I am in great trouble due to my wanderings, I know that you will hear the cry of the truly penitent heart. We are all often in need of undeserved deliverance. As hymn writer and author of Rock of Ages Augustus Toplady put it, I am a “debtor to mercy alone. Amen.