Monday, September 18, 2017

Has The Third Strand Been Pulled Out? Part 1

By: Jenifer Metzger

Has your marriage been hard lately? Does if feel like you and your husband are being attacked on every end? Do you wonder if you are going to make it?

When we enter into marriage, there are three parts: you, your husband, and God. As you marry, these three parts become closely braided together. But when marriage gets hard, we have to ask ourselves one very important question; has the third strand been pulled out?

Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12


When we are knit together, all three parts, we are strong, not easily broken. But when that third strand is pulled out, we are weak, open for attack.

A few years back my husband came a little too close to major injury, even death, all because of a weakened rope. He works construction on tall buildings. He takes every precaution he can. But one day his rope became weak, a strand in his rope broke. Had he not caught it, he could have fallen to his death minutes later.

Friends, that third strand, God, is vital, life saving, to your marriage. If your marriage is missing the third strand, it is time to rebraid adding God in.

*Next week we will talk about how to put God back into your braid.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Accepted in the Beloved...


The book of Ephesians opens up with some amazing and profound truths. If you and I could really grasp them and really believe them for ourselves I believe it would revolutionize our relationship with God. 

-We are chosen-Ephesians 1:4
Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us before the foundations of the world.  That means that before the earth was created He had us in mind. We were the intention of God's heart when He put into motion the great plan of redemption that would require the sacrifice of His Son.

-We are adopted-Ephesians 1:5
At the legal adoption ceremonies for our two oldest grandchildren, the reality of what it meant to be adopted by God was made clear to me.  The judge read a declaration stating the legal date of the adoption, and then decreed that the child, using their new legal name, was now and forever the legal child of the adoptive parents, our daughter and son-in-law.  When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior I believe that in heaven a declaration of our adoption into God's family is made, then all of heaven rejoices!  The amazing thing is that God had no need, lack, or incompleteness that prompted Him to adopt us.  In the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit there was perfect love, perfect fellowship, perfect companionship, prefect unity, perfect relationship.  Need did not drive Him to adopt us, but love did.  God loved us, and chose us to be adopted into His family.

-We are accepted-Ephesians 1:6
Perhaps you've read or heard a sad story of an adoption gone wrong.  A child can be legally adopted but still not be fully accepted into the family.  But God wanted it recorded in His Word that we are not just adopted but fully accepted.  This is an especially powerful and important truth for those who struggle with trying to perform or to earn God's acceptance.  The truth is that the Father loves you every bit as much as He loves His Son, Jesus!  No matter how unworthy you feel of that kind of love, the fact is that Jesus, Who is worthy, covers us with His worth and righteousness when we accept Him.  Thomas Brooks said, "God has made us His favorites...Through the blood of Christ we are lovely and beautiful in God's eyes." Charles Spurgeon explained that accepted means that we are the objects of God's divine satisfaction and divine delight.

All of us have experienced not fitting in, experienced not being accepted, experienced rejection. Sometimes, we don't like or accept ourselves.  To fully know and receive the truth of God's love and acceptance of us is a powerful key to healing of both self rejection and the hurts we receive from others. You are Chosen. Adopted. Accepted. Believe it and receive it!

still following,

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stop Beating Yourself Up

By:

Emily Miller

The whole Bible can be seen as a love letter from God to us, His most precious daughters.



I personally think no other book of the bible can better illustrate this than the Song of Solomon.

Two verses, in particular, stand out to me.

I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.
-Song of Solomon 6:3

This first verse shows us that our identity is rooted in the Lord and that He delights in us because we do! Because of this, we do not have to be held captive by all the negative thoughts that can filter through your head each and every single moment of the day.

My lover said to me, "Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!
-Song of Solomon 2:10

The second verse shows us that God deeply desires for us to spend time with Him. First and foremost, this verse teaches us that to develop any true, lasting, relationship with our significant others here on this earth, we must first seek God. Once we have an intimate relationship with God. through which we can discover and begin to love ourselves despite our flaws, we will be able to create lasting relationships here in the world.

Ultimately, the key point to remember is that your identity is found in Christ alone. We belong to Him, and He desires to have an intimate relationship with us so that we may fully understand how we can love ourselves and others despite our shortcomings.

Blessings,

-Emily

Friday, September 15, 2017

Grace upon Grace



On days when the to-do list seems never ending, the idea of grace feels far from grasp.  But the reality is that grace is just a prayer away.

When we have been short with our children
When we argue with our husband
When we make a mistake on the job
When we can’t keep up with the housework, laundry, cooking, or cleaning
When we have nothing left to keep going,

Grace

When we react in anger
When we lie about our spending
When we eat more than we should
When the bad choices, faulty decisions and consequences of our actions just keep piling up,

Grace.

I’m so thankful that God’s grace is so much greater than my worst days and my worst sins.  Sweet friends before you find yourself at the end of your rope, cling to grace and hold on.


John 1:16-17 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Looking Back

by Debi Baker


This past Sunday, the title of my sermon was "Quit Looking in the Rear-view Mirror."  I can't count how many times I've caught myself looking back at the past...and I'm either hating myself for my failures or wondering what 'might have been.'  What about you?  Every time I catch myself doing this I have to repent.  Why?  Because what's in the past is in the past!  Nothing can change it.  It's over and done with.  The only way it can be of benefit is to learn from it.  And honestly, we don't have to relive it to learn from it.

Luke 9:62 NLT
Those times when I wonder 'what might have been' can really bring me down.  See, I am a full believer in Romans 8:28 NLT!  "28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."   I believe that this verse is saying that God will bring good out of every situation we find ourselves in. So, when I make a not-so-perfect decision God will turn that decision for good...AFTER I repent and give it to Him.  Let me tell you, I've made many a decision that I came to regret.  I've wondered time and time again why I chose this path or that.  I've learned that once I repent and give these 'oopses' to God, I need to leave them with Him.  See, once we repent, God takes all those things and throws them into the sea of forgetfulness (the depths of the ocean)!  Micah 7:19 NLT says, "19 Once again you will have compassion on us.  You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!"  HE DOESN'T REMEMBER THEM ANYMORE!!!  Did you get that?!  And if God doesn't remember them why should we!  Yes, remember the lesson we learned, but forget the sin and move forward.  God has forgiven us and forgotten it!!  Stop reminding Him!!

Have you ever tried to drive a car in reverse for more than driving out of your driveway?  I have and let me tell you, it's not easy.  It seems like it would be, but the reality of using the rear-view mirror as a guide to 'back' your way very far is that it's nearly impossible. It's the same with our life...if we spend all our time looking back, we'll never be ready to move forward in Christ!

Lot's wife spent time looking back and longing for the days of old and what did it get her?  She turned into a pillar of salt!  It's time for us to stop looking in the rear-view mirror of our lives and look forward to where God wants us to be!  In Luke 9:62 NLT Jesus tells us that, "62 ...Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God."  We can't do the work set before us if we're busy looking back!!!