Walking with Christ

I had a very interesting morning, just conversing with God, and pondering what walking with Christ looks like to me.  I look back and I can see the progress that I have made over the years as I changed from the inside out.  But I also realize that there is always constant growth and change that happens within us as we ponder the word of God.  It never fails to amaze me as new things are highlighted to me each year as I read my bible.  As I gain new insights from my local church Pastor to other teachings I listen to as I hunger to know my Heavenly Father so much more.  But with that hunger is also a hunger to share what I know with others.  My heart is for the world to come to know the Heavenly Father that I have come to know.

As I was reflecting this morning I recognized areas in my life that I had released offenses, but I also realized that I was still holding on to other offenses such as ones with my husband.  At that moment it was like WOW I have been believing that I am good in this department, when I still have work to do in it.  Holy Spirit was so kind as it was highlighted to me and I had a heart change in that moment.  I found repentance in my heart and prayed for the offenses to be removed and given to Jesus and for a new profound love to replace it, that is new every day and just becomes more and more profound, just as the love of Christ for me.

As each of us grow in our walk with Christ, we should be releasing our old natures.  So many times as humans we say oh “that is just the way I am”, “I can’t change”, or we just live by our emotions rather than by the Spirit leading us.  But we are reminded in Ephesians 2:4-7 that we were dead because of our sin, but we were given life when Christ was raised from the dead, for we were raised from the dead along with Christ and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  These are powerful words to me and they should be to you as well.  When we live by our emotions and the flesh then we are still living in sin.  We have been given new life and we are now seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.  We walk by the leading of the Spirit over our Soul and Body.  We no, longer should be walking by our Soul or Body leading us.

That is all part of the growing process as it says in 1 Peter 2:2 that we crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it we may grow up in our salvation.  The key word is grow up in our salvation, that means that it is a continual process a weeding out of the old rotten weeds of anger, resentment, offenses, bitterness, unforgiveness, to name a few.  In the word it says that God is the potter and we are the clay.  Clay is shaped and molded into something beautiful.  That is exactly what our Heavenly Father is doing with us as we grow spiritually.  I call Jesus the roundup that destroys the weeds that are in me.  Holy Spirit highlights them to me and I surrender them to Jesus.  For yes they have to bow down to Jesus the name above all names.

It does not make us weak to release the ugliness of the world, of our old nature.  NO! We are stronger, because we have Christ in us and that gives us the supernatural ability to be strong enough.  To release our old nature and to become new in Christ Jesus.  It does not happen over night, but it is a process that happens every day of our lives.  But the first step is always coming into relationship with the Father.  The next step is always allowing Holy Spirit to come in and point out the things that are causing you to fall short, the lies that you are believing about yourself and others.  That process of pruning out the old to make way for the new healthy vines to grow is tough at times, and easy at other times.

What I am learning is that when we go through our toughest struggles is when we can discover the most about ourselves and grow exponentially.  For me it allows me to dig deep and to become more self-aware of the areas I am falling short.  I don’t get angry about it when I realize these things, no my heart wants to repent and I ask Papa to forgive me for the known and unknown agreements that I have made.  I surrender it to Jesus who carried it to the cross.  I then embrace the new or upgrade that happens in me.  It is like I am cleansed from within as I release the old and allow the new to takes it rightful place.

I learn not to seek hope and joy from the world around me, or even the people around me, but instead from Heaven above.  Yes think of the joy and hope knowing that I am already seated in the Heavenly realm with Jesus.  Wow, that is something to celebrate.  But that is not just for me but for you as well.  God chose us and wants us.  Remember he leaves the 99 for the 1.  Father God is always trying to bring the one back into his loving arms.

In this walk with Christ we are always growing.  We should not be staying the same, but we should be becoming mature in Christ.  I was a child for so long because I did not grasp this and I failed to seek and to know Christ.  But now I run as fast as I can to know more and to grow.  I want to be the torch that carries the light of Christ to others.  But that does not happen when we carry our old nature with us.  If we continue to carry bitterness and hate, or to look down on others we miss the mark.  Walking with Christ and being a torch requires growth and depth to who we are.  It requires us to weed out the ugly and to replace it with the love of Christ.  We learn to be merciful and to shower grace upon others.  We become compassionate to the plight of our fellow-man, and love them and lift them up.  We desire to serve others rather than to be served.  We humble ourselves before God and before others.

To be a torch means that you are always seeking the Lord, you are always looking inside so that you can grow.  The soil of your heart has to change, and to become fertile with the word of God.  Having a heart that is filled with God’s love is what carries a torch.  The light of Christ can put out the darkness on whatever it shines on.  I want to be the torch to snuff out the darkness of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.  My desire is to see revival come alive and for the light of Christ to shine on everyone.  I want to see salvation come to billions across this world.  Let’s all be the torch that we were created to be and not be afraid to walk in the light of Christ.  Together we can illuminate the world with the Love and Light of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

 

Jesus Paid the Price

Our beloved Jesus paid the ultimate price for our salvation. It is hard for our human minds to truly grasp the magnitude of the love Jesus had for us that he would be sacrificed so that you and I could gain freedom. That freedom was freely given by our beloved Jesus. At any moment Jesus could have called upon the angels and they would have rescued him, but no he kept his eyes focused on the freedom that his sacrifice would bring.

Jesus was a ransom that God paid to save us from the empty life that we inherit here on earth. The price that was paid for us was more valuable than anything of value here on earth. Things such as gold and silver can lose their value over time, but the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God never loses its value. God loves us so much that he chose Jesus to be the ransom long before the world began. Stop for a moment and think of what that really means.

Before creation had even happened God thought of you and I. God knew that we would fall away, but God had a plan to bring his beloved children back to him. The love that God has for us is so vast and immense that you could never fill a vessel with it. That love is greater than the universe.

Think of what Jesus went through so that we could have everlasting life. Jesus suffered mockery, ridicule and torture beyond imagine. Jesus lived that perfect, sinless life listening to Father God to guide him in all things. Jesus was the perfect, first-born, lamb that was led to the slaughter for all our sins. In those days you had to have a lamb that had no imperfections sacrificed during the Passover.

Our wonderful Lord Jesus had a crown of thorns crushed upon his head, drawing blood as the thorns dug into his head and brow. I can see the droplets of blood running into his eyes, but he endured on. He did not lash out in anger, as he was mocked by the guards. He did not take his eyes off the prize even after he was offered up as a sacrifice. It would have been so easy for him to say Father crush my enemies. But no, instead he remained quiet and endured for us.

Even after the mockery from the guards Jesus had to endure being lashed with a leather whip embedded with metal. Historians have recorded that many that were beaten this way never survived. But Jesus our Lord was not a common man and he endured keeping his eyes on us the beloved prize. If only you can imagine being whipped with something that would cut all the way to the bone. It was known to tear through the flesh, ripping a body, revealing internal organs. Yeah, that is what they used on our beloved Jesus. His body was cut and ripped apart by this terrible leather whip. Jesus did not have welts, no he literally was ripped open with every lash of the whip, having flesh tore from his body, cutting deep into his flesh and bone.

As if that was not enough, than Jesus was forced to carry the cross that he would die upon. Picture our Lord Jesus, beaten, bleeding and then struggling to carry that big heavy cross so that we would not have to. All the while he kept his eyes focused on the love he had for us. The love to bring us into salvation and freedom in our faith of knowing Jesus.

Did you know that Jesus was sacrificed on the same day that the Passover lambs were sacrificed? Back in those days the Priests extended the time for killing the lambs that were brought, so that it was from noon until twilight. These hours coincide with when Jesus was on the cross.

I hope that you can see just how much love Jesus and the Father have for us the beloved children. Even in his body that was destroyed he trusted the Father and knew that he had to finish the task at hand to bring freedom and life. The life that we receive when we believe and have faith in Jesus is greater than any life here on earth. The life of salvation is a gift that is freely given to us through grace and mercy that the Father poured down upon us.

What a love that Jesus had for every one of us. That is such a reckless and wild love that endured to win us back. We no longer have to live in the power of sin, for when we walk with Jesus sin loses its power over us. We are no longer enslaved under the power and authority of sin. The blood of Christ has washed us clean, making us righteous in the eyes of the Father.

Father God gave Moses the law but that could not save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. Yes, as humans we have a sinful nature. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8 reveals so much about Gods love for us.

As we are heading toward Palm Sunday and Easter just think about how strong Gods love is for us. Think about how much Jesus loves us that he suffered so that we could be free, that we could be healed. Take time to thank Jesus for the suffering he endured to bring you into the glorious gift of salvation, that was freely given. There is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation and we surely don’t deserve salvation, but Jesus has given us salvation through GRACE and MERCY.

Thank you Jesus for the love you have for us that you freely gave your life for us. The love you have for us is greater than anything we can ever imagine. It is an endless love that is never-ending. Jesus you are our hero.

God’s Good News

As I have been reading Romans I just felt a tugging on my heart to go deeper, so I felt that I needed to go deeper in Romans 1:16-17, which talks of God’s Good News.

    Romans 1:16-17 NLT For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes – the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

Have you really thought about the Good News that Paul is talking about in these verses? How great it is that by faith in Christ and believing that Jesus died to take our sin away and that Jesus was resurrected that you find freedom in salvation. This salvation is for everyone who believes, both Jew and Gentile. That is the greatest news of all.

It is through faith that a righteous person has life. We are made righteous in the eyes of God because as believers in Christ Jesus, we are washed clean and made righteous by the blood of Christ. This makes me want to shout from the rooftops because it is so great. It is not by our works that we are made righteous, it is by our belief and faith in Jesus.

Saving everyone who believes. Believes means accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of. So, do you accept as true and feel sure of the truth that Jesus was both a son of man and the son of God? Do you accept as true that Jesus was sacrificed on the cross to wash us clean as the ultimate sacrifice for mankind? Do you accept as true that Jesus was raised from the grave on the 3rd day? If you say yes to these than for sure you are a believer. If you say yes to only some of these you are a partial believer, but I recommend that you take time to read the book of Romans in the New Testament so that you can discover the truth of what God did for mankind through the sacrifice of his beloved son Jesus Christ.

When you believe, the next thing is to realize the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus was for mankind. Jesus did not die to save the righteous, but rather to save the unrighteous. Jesus was a sacrifice to bring salvation to those that are unrighteous, by making them righteous by the blood that Christ shed for you and me. None of us are perfect and we will never achieve salvation through our works, rather it is a gift of God. Salvation is nothing that we can earn, and we need to always remember that. I am not saying that good works should be avoided, but rather that our good works will not bring us salvation. It is only by believing in the blood of Christ washing us clean that we are made righteous and truly receive salvation.

Just as Romans 3:21-22 says But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
The key is placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

True for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. That is wonderful for Jesus meets each of us where we are in our brokenness to make us clean in the eyes of the Father. Because, of the blood of Christ washing us clean Father God sees us as righteous and our sin is washed away. That is not freedom to continue to sin, but it is freedom to repent and turn away from a sinful life. Remember that we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God has freely and graciously declared that we are righteous. God did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:23-24)

I just think it is wonderful and amazing when you discover the love, grace and mercy that Father God has shown us. God has always wanted to bring us back to our first love, him! As you read the bible you begin to realize that God is always chasing and fighting to bring us back in right standing with him.

Are you a Christian?

ChristianYou call yourself a Christian, but are you really a Christian? In this current environment many people call themselves Christian, but you would not know it by their lifestyle. There are many individuals out there that say they are Christian, but they continue to live in the world, not repenting from their sinful lives, or seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ. Then there are individuals that may call themselves agnostic, or atheist, but if you really talk to them, they may believe parts of the bible but not all of it.

I hope to clear the waters on some of these various descriptions that people use to describe themselves when it comes to religion. I have come to learn these things by looking at my life and how Jesus has opened my eyes. I hear so many people say they are Christian, and I was one of them. They do not go to church very often, don’t read their bible, they are not in relationship with Jesus, still cuss, drink, and basically follow the ways of the world. For instance, I found Jesus at 19, but  I went right back to following the ways of the world, occasionally, I would go to church, but found it boring or felt unwelcomed. I would pray or talk to God when things were not going well.  Oh but then nothing when things were going well for me, I would stop praying. I did whatever I wanted not thinking about the consequences, to myself or others, I was more focused on myself then on others. I would have compassion at times for others, but not like I do now. This probably sounds like some of you and it is nothing to be ashamed of, it just lets you see that you might need to shift your focus, from yourself to Jesus.

What I have come to realize is that when you are living your life this way, you may be a  Believer, but not a true Christian. You believe in God, you believe in Jesus, but you think you know what is in the bible, and who has time to read the bible to really know what is in it! You might go to church every Sunday, or just on special occasions, (Christmas, Easter) or you don’t even go to church because you have been offended, or you think they are a bunch of hypocrites. That was me, because every church I had been in after accepting Jesus in my life, judged me on what I wore, where I lived, etc. They did not accept me for who I was broken and lost looking for answers.

Then you have a life changing encounter with Jesus, that transforms your life. You start to find the time to read you bible and you discover you really did not know the truth that was in the bible. You start to discover that the bible has stories that pertain to things happening now just as much as in the past. You start to change without even realizing it, because Holy Spirit has been busy giving you a heart change. You understand that judgement is only for God, but it is ok to point out sin in a loving way, but there should not be judgement and condemnation; as Romans 8:1 tells us.

That every Christian is at a different place in their walk. Some are baby Christians, where others are farther along in their walk with Christ. You hold your head up proud that you are a Christian, and people around you can tell by your actions. You stop living in the world and focusing on yourself, and you start to shift your focus to others. There is a confidence in your walk, you talk of God in most of your conversations, you stop cussing and many stop drinking. But, we should not be worried about what other Christians are doing compared to us, our focus should be on ourselves and how God will look at us. We need to stop looking at the splinter in our fellow mans eye, and instead look at the log in our own eye; just as scripture says.

There are some out in the world that call themselves atheist or agnostic, but as I listen to some of them when asked questions, I think they are really just confused. For some that happens because of well-meaning Christians standing on a street corner condemning everyone, instead of spreading the love of Jesus and speaking from the heart of God.  Some have never taken the time to read the bible to know what is really in it, and many of them believe in something spiritual but they can’t put a name to it.

I really encourage those that are not sure about God or Jesus to just take the time to read through the new testament to get to know the amazing and wonderful Jesus that I know. I think you will find it life changing, but then again who am I! I am just someone who loves Jesus and I want everyone in the world to know the love and sacrifice that Jesus made for all of mankind. Yes! For you and for me. Jesus loves the sinner for he is chasing after the lost sheep to bring them back into the sheep fold.  Just remember that Jesus will leave the 99 to chase after the one lost sheep.

FEAR OF MAN (SHYNESS)

913b8-shynessAre you someone that is super shy? I was one of those people, I was so shy that when I was in junior high and high school people thought I was stuck up. If someone would come up and talk to me then I would have slight conversation with them, but I would never approach someone. Especially if I did not know them well, and even then, I was unsure of myself. I was always afraid that I was going to say something they thought was stupid, that I would sound dumb. In fact, I was really convinced that no one would like me for who I was, so I spent a good part of my life trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be. Let me tell you that never turned out very well. In the end I was the one that would get crushed and that would just push me into a greater fear. I was even my own worst enemy, believing things about myself that no one had ever spoken over me except for myself. There were lies that were in my head, and they plagued my life for 52 years. Those lies kept me a prisoner, afraid to be around people or to do things with others. I was just content in my little world of work and animals. The truth is that it was only in the last couple of years that I figured out that shyness is really a fear of man. Fear of what they will think, am I good enough, smart enough, funny, cute, the list goes on and on. I believed that no one would want to be around me, and this caused me problems in relationships and it kept me from having any close friends growing up.

Then back in 2015 God really was talking to me and was really encouraging me to step out and trust in him. We moved back to Tri Cities, Washington area, after moving away in 2012. When I moved back God got my husband and I into a really, great church. After about two weeks of us attending, I heard the Lord tell me ministry, and I was like what can I do in ministry. I am afraid to talk to people that I don’t know. So, when we went to church that Sunday my husband told me to go up and talk to someone to see if there was some way that I could be involved as a volunteer in Women’s ministry. I was so afraid that he had to literally take me by the hand and walk me up to someone to talk to. That was just the beginning, I ended up getting involved as a volunteer with a Ladies Brunch that they were going to do for Christmas, and I started to meet people, and suddenly I was not feeling as fearful around people. But the Lord was not done with me on this journey.

In December of that year I got hired at the church to work as an Admin. for the pastoral staff. As part of that I was going to be helping the youth pastor on Wednesday nights. Well that took me on a new journey, and I had to get past my fears of not fitting in, so that I could connect with the students. I would struggle for the whole year of 2016. As I went on a mission trip I kept hearing these lies in my head that I was not supposed to be going and that I did not matter, but on that journey, something great started to happen. I had someone tell me that God had given me the boldness of a Lion and that I did matter and that I was supposed to be on the trip. Suddenly, I started to see Lions up in the clouds, of course no one else saw them, but I saw them for a whole year. I even had one of the students in our youth group come up and give me a word that I was bold like a lion and was no longer like a tiger. Then she explained the difference between a lion and a tiger to me. Even though I was not sure about that boldness I kept walking in boldness and trusting the Lord along the way. Just let me say that when you trust God, you never get let down.

Now I walk in a wonderful freedom that I found on this journey, and that freedom only comes from the Lord Almighty. The first step is always the hardest, but after that they start to get easier. What I have found is that I matter, I am wanted, people like to be around me and that I have all kinds of friends. Now I look for the individuals that are sitting in the back corner hiding from everyone, so that I can call them into something greater as well. Oh, don’t think that I don’t get self-doubt that comes back to haunt me on occasion, but now I am quick to stop those lies and to speak out the truth of what God sees in me and says about me. I walk with my head up high, and I walk in a new-found boldness and authority that only comes from Jesus.

My encouragement to anyone that is walking that same road is to call on God, and trust him as you start to step out of the fear and into the light. Feel the weights fall off and you have a bounce in your step as you walk in new found freedom and you encounter new growth way beyond anything you could ever imagine. When you start to listen to the truth of the Lord, it brings you freedom. Freedom brings you so much more. Stop believing lies about yourself and ask God to help you take the first step. Ask God to give you strength and to take away the fear that is churning in your stomach. I know it can be hard and frightening, but the Lord can give you a boldness beyond anything you can imagine. Please believe me you start to see things through different lenses and you start to feel better about yourself.

God’s Reckless Love

reckless love of godHave you ever thought about God’s wild, reckless love for us? Or maybe you think of God is vengeful and angry. A God that only wants to bring wrath down on his people.

Well today I want to help you to understand that we have a loving God that is constantly trying to bring us back into right standing with himself. We were created to have relationship and good standing with our Father in Heaven. But early in creation sin entered the world and changed that forever. Since the time that sin first entered the world, Father God has been trying to bring us back into right standing so that we are in relationship with himself. God wants to know us and for us to not only call on him in times of trouble, but to always be talking to him.

What does talking to God look like? Well it is waking up in the morning and thanking him for another day here on earth. It is going through your day and taking the time to just talk to God about your struggles. He knows what you are going through, but Father God wants you to talk to him about it, just as a child would tell their parent. Talk to the Father about the good and the bad. I can remember a few years ago, I was crying out to God, because my Dad had Parkinson’s Syndrome, and was no longer able to talk to me, so he would not even let me talk to him. I was a Daddy’s girl, and I was missing my Dad so much, that I got on my knees and poured out my heart to Father God about how much I missed talking to my Dad. How I missed hearing his voice, and I just wanted to be able to talk to him about things going on in my life. What made it even harder was that I was 2500 miles away from my Dad at the time. Well the Father heard my cries, and he felt my pain. Two days later I got a phone call from my Dad and for 10-15 minutes my Dad could, talk and have a conversation with me. I knew instantly that this was a blessing and gift from Father God. It was the last time that I got to hear my Earthly Fathers, voice but it was priceless. This is what a loving Heavenly Father does, he gives good gifts because he loves us.

Just think about John 3:16-17: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” These are the words of Jesus as he is explaining to a respected Jewish teacher. So, if God was always angry and vengeful, he would never have sacrificed his one and only Son to bring us back into righteousness when we accept Jesus in our hearts. No this is something that a loving God would do, that has a father’s heart for each one of us. Think about how much love God really has for us, any parent knows that it would be hard, if not impossible to sacrifice their child for everyone else. I know I can’t begin to imagine the pain that would cause. So, to allow that to happen so that we could accept Jesus into our hearts and become saved, to be made righteous through the blood of Christ is the ultimate act of love.

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Jesus has changed my life

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog.  My life changed in 2008 because I found that there is a difference in being a believer and actually having a relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

It has been through my realtionship with Jesus and God that my life has been transformed and I have found peace and freedom that I never had before.  My bible has become a voice from God, as well as the Christian music that I listen to.  As my life has been transformed, it has opened my heart to share with others so that they can find the freedom that I found.

When you walk with Christ, you start to change from the inside out.  Actually it happens and you might not even see the changes happening, but they are.  I was someone that lived life in fear of judgement from others and so I shut myself off from people.  I was not a hermit, but I was extremely shy, and I found it hard to trust people.  But I am no longer that person, I no longer walk in fear of judgement from the people around me.  Now I walk bold and confident because I have discovered a new freedom, and that is when I live my life for God, I don’t have to worry about what people think, but I focus on what God would think.

I hope that you find this site as a way to learn more about the Jesus that I have found and love.  For Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to save man kind.  Jesus is not just a prophet, or a good person.  Jesus was both a son of man and a son of God.  Jesus suffered and was sacrificed on the cross so that we can be made righteous by the blood that was shed.  Jesus bore all of your sin and my sin, so that we could be seen as righteous in the eyes of God, when we belive in Jesus.  Jesus died, but rose on the third day and is now seated at the right hand of God, my Heavenly Father.

We now walk in a new covenant with God, and we have been given direct access to the Father through Jesus.  When Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn in the temple that separated the most Heavenly place where God was and opened up a way for us to talk directly with the Father through Jesus Christ.  Think about what this really means, it was the hand of God that tore the veil.  The veil that hung in the temple was 4 inches thick, and I read that it was 60 ft long, and it tore from the top to the bottom.  This helps you to understand the magnitude of what really happened when Jesus died, but he rose 3 days later.  Jesus has won the battle and taken the keys away from Satan.

So what does that mean!  Well it means that I don’t have to talk to a priest, who then talks to God, but rather I can talk directly to Father God.  Jesus has given us the ability to talk directly to God.  Jesus has made it so that we are washed clean and when God looks at us we are righteous.  Not because of things that we do, but because of the realtionship that we have with Jesus.  When we believe in Jesus that he was a sacrifice for our sins, that he was resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God, we get freedom.

I hope that you will enjoy my insights to living with God.