heartcheck

God is able to change us- There’s no questioning that. The questions lie with us- Are we willing to be changed? Are we willing to sacrifice the at hand pleasures, that seem to be “satisfying” but are yet ever so fleeting, as they slip through our fingers with every passing moment of this life; for the pleasures that, (though they may be far off) are yet far better and not only satisfying but sanctifying and everlasting? A heart that is LONGING to be changed and a heart that is WILLING to be changed are two totally different things.
—  Lessons I’m learning in this crazy thing called “life.”
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
— 

Matthew 6:21 NKJV

What do you treasure? What thing or person has captured your heart? If it’s not God, it’s an idol. Serve Him wholeheartedly and love Him; no earthly thing is worthy of praise or the supposed joy or satisfaction it briefly brings. Heaven is forever, store up those fruits of the spirit and a great relationship with God. Let THOSE be part of your treasure.

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (NLT) ( Hebrews 10:36 )

How do you handle unsolicited criticism? Does your pride get hurt after you’ve done your best and still are scoffed at? How do you handle criticism from other Christians for doing the will of God? Yes, it’s difficult. But you need to carry on with a patient endurance. This endurance you can surely draw from your faith to overcome any criticism.
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1 Samuel 16:7

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

God chose David not because of his strength, his intelligence, his skill-set, his appearance, but out of a character and nature that God adored. We see this throughout the Bible where God continues to appoint leadership over individuals whom no one would ever consider. David a mere child is left to tend to his sheep as his father does not even consider him out of his eight sons but Samuel walks by each son, mightier than the first and denies them. If there has been any thoughts of inadequacy or incompetency, may this verse serve as a reminder of God’s true criteria. Let this serve as a reminder that what is seen has absolutely no power over what is unseen for "man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Learning.

I don’t know how to start this blog post.. because there are two things God has been teaching me this past week so maybe it’s best that I just jump into it.

(Forgive following the scatterbrained structure below - I’m still grasping everything that I’m being taught and it’s definitely been a doozy of a learning experience. )

1) God loves me.
Yeah yeah. We all know the song “Jesus loves me” - it’s one of the first church songs any of us have learned and/or heard. It’s almost foundational in that we sing that over and over before we begin to learn any other songs; but even though it’s practically a building block to our Christian song repertoire, I don’t think we’ll ever grasp the full truth of that. But in spite of all I’ve done and all I’ll ever do, He still loves me. Why? I don’t deserve it. I can’t full grasp that He loves me.
I won’t lie… I tested God on this. I was reading this book, Captivating, and one of the authors was talking about how God loves to give gifts to His Children. Within the book, her husband encountered a whale on a secluded beach when a whale had no reason to be there. Jealous, she asked God to provide her with “a whale” as well, only, God didn’t provide her with a whale; He gave her hundreds of starfish. Me, being the challenger that I am, asked God to do the same. I begged Him to prove His love to me by providing me with a gift as well. (Note: This was on a Saturday evening.) The next morning I woke up and went tubing down the Suwanee River with the family. While tubing, we went by birds in the water, turtles suntanning on a log, and best of all, otters. Otters swam past us. I asked God for proof, and He provided more than necessary. He gave me a gift that very next morning because He loves me. (You can argue that it was a river and animals swim past people daily.. but I know that was God responding because He was telling me, This is for you.) God loves. There’s a quote I wrote on my wall this past winter, “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Love is not something God does.. It’s who God is. And because of who He is, God loves you. Period." 
And this is so true. And even though, I can sit here and tell you God loves me. I will never know how deep or abundantly that love flows, but I can tell you it’s real -that He’s pouring it out on you now and that if you ask, He will pour our even more.

Now the next message isn’t so pleasant - This one is a major heartcheck for me. 

2) Get off your butt.
God hates, HATES, lukewarm Christianity. In fact, those who are lukewarm, will not enter heaven. Those who don’t pursue and follow Christ are not Christians. And I’m sitting here and I’m upset to say the least because I am lukewarm. It’s easy to sit here and tell you what my thoughts and my realizations are, but it’s another to go through with it. And I honestly fall back on one excuse. One excuse that will never hold up. That excuse is that, I don’t have anyone to go with. I don’t have anyone who could go with me. And that shouldn’t be an excuse. All the things I’m missing out on because I’m afraid to put myself out there - alone. Yeah, I need a better Christian community.. one who passionately pursues Christ and pushes me. But I will never develop one if I don’t start doing something about it. 


… In all honesty, my soul truly does long for God. As I type this, there’s a feeling in my chest that’s difficult to describe. It’s a mixture between hope, despair, adoration, longing, desperation, and who knows what else. But I need my Creator. I need God. Desperately. I’m dying without Him and only He can satisfy that longing. 

Heart Check

Heyyyy Guys!!! Hope you read this and get some kind of encouragement from my blog tonight. This is my first one ever, and I’m hoping it captures you in some way.

God has been doing a number on me so I thought I’d share my experience in hopes that I’m not the only one He’s been dealing with!

So let’s get started!!!

As I’ve been walking this here walk with Jesus I’ve noticed many people in our generation not taking full responsibility for the outcome of their life and the decisions that have been made. There has been wayyyy too much God knows my heart, I know I’m not perfect and God knows I fall short everyday to my sins, I can’t help it I’m human, Jesus died just for these reasons, God is gonna walk with me until I get things together. The Bible clearing says in: “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? (Romans 6:1-3 NLT)” Now I’m not saying this to make anyone upset but if you are upset by what you just read it’s called conviction and believe me I know that feeling very well. I’ve had to learn the hard way that using God as an escape from our reality of sin is not going to lead to anything but our own destruction. Or have you forgotten: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NLT)” Now hopefully this didn’t come off as me beating anyone up, I promise it’s just a simple heart check, looking at the direction that our generation is going in breaks my heart, nowadays you can’t tell a Christian from the rest of the world, and that my friends is a problem, the standard is pretty low, but I firmly believe that if we get our flesh under submission to God there is nothing that we can’t do! We must get our ungodly desires under submission so that we can even be taken serious by anyone else.

The good news is that: “For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Romans 6:7 NLT)” There is indeed freedom from what we think we can’t live without. Trusting God to really do a work on you is the first step you can become free from whatever it is that is holding you or stoping you from fully giving yourself to God. He’s working on me now, you just have to trust that He can, and will do it in your life and I promise your life will become full and free.

Heart Check