Saturday, July 20, 2013

Perfection. [Day 2]

I'll be honest with you.

I struggle with perfection.

I grew up with this notion that I had to be 'perfect' to find favor in God's eyes. Now, I'm not saying that people made me feel this way. But the way I perceived messages and discussions were that I needed to strive for perfection.. and if I lost my way, it was a long road to repentance.

I heard over and over again, 'Saying sorry to God means that you aren't going to do the same thing over and over again. That's true repentance.' So, when I would make a mistake... and then make the same mistake again... I felt defeated. I started getting this thinking of, 'Why even repent anymore? If this isn't true repentance because I keep doing the same thing over and over again, why even say I'm sorry? I need to get things right in my life, then maybe I won't make the same mistake over and over again.. then maybe I can seek His face for some kind of forgiveness.'

I found myself tossing and turning at night time with forgiveness. It plagued my thoughts. I couldn't understand it. 

Then, one night while all was quiet in my house, I received this revelation. Through tears and a heartfelt prayer, this Bible verse came to mind:

1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

It doesn't say, "If we confess our sins when we know we aren't going to commit them again" and it doesn't say "If we confess our sins (only once because He doesn't allow you to go back and make them again.. that isn't true repentance.)

He says, "If we confess our sins, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US..."

He has GRACE.

That is what grace is all about, folks.

I heard a quote once that stated, "It's not the law of religion nor the principles of morality that define our highways and pathways to God; only by the Grace of God are we led and drawn, to God. It is His grace that conquers a multitude of flaws and in that grace, there is only favor. Favor is not achieved; favor is received.” [C. Joybell C.] 

Favor isn't achieved. You can't earn His love and you surely can't earn His forgiveness. He doesn't HAVE to give it. He WANTS to give it. 

Don't you dare let anyone make you feel like you can't talk to Him. Don't you dare let anyone make you feel like you have made the same mistake too many times. That would be a disgrace in the eyes of God. He died on a cross for your sins... no one can put stipulations on that. He wasn't whipped multiple times for you to commit a sin once. He didn't carry an old rugged cross through the streets for you to feel SHAME about a pass transgression. He wasn't nailed to a cross for you to struggle with perfection. He was crucified so you could know what FREEDOM feels like. He was crucified so you could know what REST feels like. He was crucified so you could know what NO BURDENS feel like! 

Don't let your sins or the burden of your sins weigh you down. And don't let others make you feel that way. You aren't perfect? PERFECT. You stumble and fall? PERFECT. You don't have it all together? PERFECT. YOU are who He came for! The 'church' isn't here for the perfect. They're here for those that need HIS help. It isn't about how good we are. It's about how good He is. Let go of those burdens today. Just keep trying... just keep swimming. There is nothing wrong with imperfections. That's what He came for. 

Matthew 11:28-  Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

One Touch [Day1]

I've been inspired in my heart to start writing devotionals. I'd love to be able to write them daily, but I don't know if I will have the time. (I know, I act like I am busy or something, lol!) I have been seeking God's face this morning because I have this inspiration, but I don't have anything pouring out of me to share with  you. The only thing He keeps blessing me with is the song 'One Touch' by Nicole C. Mullen. If you haven't heard it, I definitely recommend listening to it.

In this song, Nicole C. Mullen tells the story of the woman with the issue of blood. 

Matthew 9 describes a woman that had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She was sick. And she was desperate. She had tried everything to find healing. She'd spent all of her money. Used all of her resources. In the song, Mullen tells it from the woman's perspective. She sings, "Been ostracized for 12 years, I'm used to being alone. Spent every thing I had and now it's gone. I'm used to being put down, my issues tell it all. My only hope is anchored in this fall..." 

She'd exhausted everything. She had no answer. She was cast away. No one wanted her. No one spent time with her. She was suffering... and was forced to do it alone. But she had heard about this Man named Jesus... and how He had a power unlike any other. She had FAITH. In Matthew 9, she said "If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed!" "If I could just touch the hem of His garment I know I'd be made whole. If I could just press my way through this madness, His love would heal my soul."

She had FAITH.

She pushed through a crowd of people to get her blessing. Was she afraid of their looks? Was she afraid of the words they would speak about her? I'm sure of it. We go through the same thing in today's society. "What will they think of me? What if they find out? Will they want to speak to me again? How will I look? I'm not pretty enough. I'm not outgoing enough. I'm not brave enough."

Are you in need of a miracle today? Do you need a financial blessing? A physical healing? An emotional restoration? If so, are you desperate enough to push past the hurtful people in your life? Are you desperate enough to push aside the hateful words people speak? How bad do you want that miracle? 

Take your faith... and use it. Run to Him! Touch Him! He's waiting for it... We know He can do it. We know He has the power. That isn't up for discussion. What is up for discussion is your faith in the matter. The woman with the issue of blood had an immense amount of faith. She didn't say, "Oh, I will just pray and hopefully He does it." She said, "I'm going to press my way through this crowd and I AM going to touch Him.. and I know He WILL heal me when I do!" 

As soon as she touched Jesus, He knew. He turned around... and saw this woman that had been left behind. This woman with scars. This woman with a less-than-perfect past. This woman with a need. He was merciful. He saw the pain. He saw the need. He saw the desperation.

And He healed.

She was healed in that one moment.

She was healed in that moment of faith.

Are you desperate for something today?

Well, you're in luck, because He sees it. He sees your hurt, baby. He sees your pain. Get up. Run to Him. Touch Him. Push through whatever pain and madness that is in your way. Are you desperate for something? Tell Him. Seek Him. Do whatever it takes to reach Him! If you want your miracle bad enough, you won't let anything stand in your way. She didn't....

and you shouldn't either, baby. Your too precious to Him to let anything stand between you . He loves you more than you could possibly imagine. Tell Him about your pain. Tell Him about the issue. Tell Him about your hurt. Tell Him about the struggles. He cares. He's listening.

Just touch Him. 

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