Monday, September 23, 2019

Forever His.

I've been feeling melancholy today. I learned this week that someone I  trust and love and very much admire in the faith has a starkly different perspective of eternal security than I do.

I believe Go has laid out a clear path too understanding whether or not our salvation is secure. In John He tells us several times that all we must do to be saved is to believe in the Son of God. Ephesians four reminds us that believers are sealed for all time. (powerful words).

When we believe we become brand new creations through Christ. We are regenerated and adopted as God's own children. And though a child may become disappointed, even angry with a parent they will always be His child. There are no give-backs in the Kingdom.. 

If one of my own children became so angry or disappointed in me that they felt they actually hated me and told me they would never have anything more to do with me, they would still be my child. We are bonded by blood, just as we are bonded with Christ by His blood. I would be heartbroken, but I would still be the mother of that child because the bond of blood cannot be broken.

Since my conversation with my Christian brother, I've spent many hours studying applicable scriptures. And I've been reassured that my salvation is secure. Though I may lose heavenly rewards, I will never lose my place in eternity with my Father. Praise Him for his mercy!

So, what now? I've prayed. My husband has prayed. We wait.

Our Heavenly Father has whispered, "Seek me, Trust me - Do you trust me?"

"Yes. We trust you."

"All right then. This path is not too difficult for you. Remain in m e and see what work I have for you to do."

We will do our best to follow God and His will for us. Each day, each step is about what He wants, not just for us but also from  us. We ask for His wisdom and when we should speak and when to be silent. And when it is time to speak, we seek guidance from the Holy Spirit in what we should and should not say.

Christians are never going to agree on all things. We're just people and that's okay. But, there are some lines we cannot cross. Those things that are stronger than personal convictions, the truths that come straight from God's Word. Those we must stand on. And we will stand ... though with gentleness and in love.

Grace ad peace to you from God,


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Consumed by Cravings

I love to begin my mornings by spending time with the Lord in a devotional. I've been reading from a book called Embraced, 100 Devotions to Know God Is Holding You Close, written by Lysa TerKeurst. It was a gift from a group of women at the Church on the Mountain in Welches, Oregon, where I spoke at a retreat in 2018. They loved me well, and I am enjoying the devotional they gifted to me.

This morning's reading was especially moving for me. When I feel overwhelmed and tears come I can't help but share. So that's what I'm doing, sending off these precious words to you. Here they are:

 "A few years ago, a weight-loss company came up with a brilliant advertising campaign. Maybe you saw some of their ads. A little orange monster chases a woman around, tempting and taunting her with foods that obviously aren't a part of her healthy eating plan. The ads perfectly capture what it feels like to be harassed by cravings all day long.
    While I've never seen this orange monster chasing me, I've felt its presence. I've felt it for food cravings, but I know that we all feel it for something. Sometimes, many somethings.
    Attention and satisfaction. Like me. Approval and appreciation. Follow me. Money and power. Give me. More, more, more. Sometimes it feels like the chase will never end, the cravings will never be filled ... that nothinng will ever be enough.
    While the orange monster is a great way to visualize cravings, those ads fell short in their promise to really help a woman. The weight-loss company's theory is to teach what foods are more filling and encourage consumption of those. But does that really help overcome cravings?
    We shop and spend  money on things we don't need. We still eat the chocolate pie when we're full from our dinner. We scroll through social media, checking our pages and counting our likes and comments. We indulge in our guilty pleasures, hide our secret sins, and lie in bed wondering if this is it. Is this it?
    What is actually going on here?
    I believe God made us to crave. Now before you think this is some sort of cruel joke by God, let me assure you that the object of our craving was never supposed to be food or the many other things people find themselves consumed by.
    Think about the definition of the word craving. How would you define it? defies craving as something you long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for. Now consider this expression of craving: "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (Psalm 84:1-2).
    Yes, we were made to crave - long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for - God. Only God.
    Sweet sister, does this resonate with you?
    Have you chosen to pursue God, to follow Jesus? He created you to know Him, to be fulfilled more deeply by knowing Him than by any other experience or pleasure this world has to offer. When we admit our need for Him, when we humble ourselves and confess our sin and ask Him to be Lord of our lives, that's where the journey begins. He saves us in that moment, and then we can begin the process of allowing Him to fulfill our cravings and make us eternally, completely, and wholly filled.
    Is it easy?
    Is it worth it?
    A thousand times yes."

It is my prayer that these words will uplift and encourage you as you walk the path laid out for you by God.

How lovely is the Lord's dwelling place where he waits for us and then welcomes us into His presence.

Grace and peace to you from God.