Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I'll show you what love sees when love sees you.

Where are you at in your spiritual journey today?


My mind can only handle so much information at one time. If I hear a sermon on humility then I am stuck thinking about how important it is to be humble for an entire week and I am very aware of all the ways that week that I am falling short.

It seems to me that we have a tendency to think through the lens of the one verse we happened to read that day or the last inspirational message that meant something to us most recently. We rely on our short term memory more than we realize sometimes. If we read about how a person should be strong in the Lord and someone is tired, we might judge them for being weak, for instance. "Shame on them for not being strong!" we might say. If we hear a sermon about how a person should be humble and then later that day we run into someone who is talking about a recent promotion, and is feeling an extra boost of confidence, we might feel inclined to judge them for being so arrogant and prideful. "Well NOW! They ought to be knocked down a few pegs!" we might think.

We have to be careful to give one another grace, assuming that life has us at different points in our spiritual journeys, and embracing what we have to learn from each other resisting the urge to draw immediate conclusions of one another.

The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. This requires us to set aside our personal agendas for a time and consider what another person is thinking, feeling, and experiencing. This usually requires time. When we do this we embrace compassion, empathy, and love for those around us. A person cannot stand in judgment on another person and mourn with them at the same time. Even at our best, though, our love is imperfect because we are imperfect.

God is the only one who can love you perfectly. He sees you with compassion effortlessly
. He embraces the WHOLE of you...not just the part of you. God can, and does, love you unconditionally when no one else can. There are many reasons for this that we can never fully understand. God can love you unconditionally (when others, in their humanness, cannot) because He is God so He is not limited by the things we are limited by. He gets the intricate parts of you that no one else can. He looks at you selflessly --no strings attached. He designed you in His image, and He is very aware of the sinful nature that developed in your life over time, masking His glory in your life. Nothing is hidden from him. You cannot surprise him. He has seen you grow into who you are today. He has seen when you hurt, and when you rejoiced. He has seen when you were promoted and when you were demoted. He has seen when you laughed til you cried, and when you cried til you puked. He mourned with you when you hunched over life's breaking points and and then He rejoiced over you when you climbed out of those things in victory as you reached your breakthrough moments. He is always wooing you back to Him, calling you back to a place to forgiveness, holiness, and healing because HE LOVES YOU. Oh, Sweet, sweet victory in Christ Jesus.



Read what He has to say to you from Matthew 5...

"Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them."
The Beatitudes
(As you read through these beatitudes and see if any of them hit close to home for you. Each one is backed up by a promise from God. Soak in the promise God has for you today.)
He said:
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
~Matthew 5:1-12

Blessed are you... no matter what you are going through, when you cling to the Lord through that thing.
Why? Because God loves you, sees you, and cares about you.
You are not alone, no matter what you are going through. There is a GOD who LOVES you and who redeems the worst of circumstances in your life, heals the brokenness in your heart, and lovingly restores the things that have been shattered or broken...
This is such GREAT NEWS for all of us! Isn't it?

The God of hope.

The God of grace.
The God of redemption.
The God of second chances.
The God who comforts, protects, and bestows blessings.

No one has to beat themselves up in their brokenness. Why? Because it was NEVER God's will for you to stay stuck in your brokenness. BLESSED are you when you come to Him with your need, because it is THERE that GOD can give you what you need and make things right again either on this side of Heaven or on the other side...and you can be at peace on this side of Heaven knowing that He is in control. It is also where He can be, and will be, glorified. God is close to the humble, to the hurting, and to those who are willing to acknowledge their need for His love and His redemptive touch in their lives.

The voice of God says this to us...

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:22-30
There is no "baggage" in that message. There is no reason for any baggage with that message. It is a message of grace and mercy and love. That is my God!!! He is your God too. 

Are you hurting today? 
Do you need healing? 
Healing of any kind. . .spiritual, emotional, or physical? 
Our church is doing an anointing service this weekend and you are invited to come and be a part of the service. 

May 20, 2012.
Valparaiso Nazarene Church.
2702 E. Glendale Blvd.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Click on the link below to be directed to the church website. 

If you want someone to pray over you, or someone you know, you can come this weekend and there will be a pastor at the service who is happy to anoint you, and to pray for your specific need this weekend. We would LOVE to have you!!!!!!!

Okay, awesome song time.

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