#VOD: Proverbs 16:6

“Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.”

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There is a lot that can be said about this verse. Particularly in the area of salvation and our need for a Savior. I believe that this verse also implies another profound truth that applies to the relationships in our lives.

In my eyes, it is shown all throughout the Bible God’s heart in community and relationships. Especially in the Gospels when you see Jesus’ relationship with His disciples and their relationship with others. In my time of study within the Gospels, I never saw anything that Jesus commanded being done in a solo manner. Time and time again we see the importance of community, love, faithfulness & unity amongst God’s people.

I know that this verse is speaking of the coming of Jesus and how God’s love & faithfulness is the reason for the atonement of our sins, BUT I also believe this is speaking of our relationship with others. We should be spending the time to be faithful and loving to our friends, family, co-workers, etc… By that love & faithfulness, we will have atonement for our sins as well. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 4:8 that, “…love covers a multitude of sins.” We are also told by Jesus in Matthew 22 that loving your neighbor as yourself is equally as important as loving our God with all our hearts, souls & mind.

It’s easy to say that we love God and that we are faithful to Him. The part that brings the challenge to that claim is simply the test of how we love those around us. The Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4 that we cannot say that we love God if we hate our Christian brother or sister because how can we not love people that we can see, but claim to love what we cannot see…

Today, I urge us all to focus on being loving & faithful to those around us… This world has plenty of hate going around, why not concentrate on spreading some love instead…

 

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#VOD: 1 Peter 1:3

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.” 

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Has it ever seemed weird to you that when we first get saved we are so overwhelmed at the fact that God’s grace is sufficient? In basic terms, that God loved us even when we didn’t “act” Christian…

I’m sure you know exactly what I am referring to. When we lived for our own desires, didn’t think twice about doing things and honestly lived, however, we wanted to. We come to a point in our life where we realize the overwhelming love and grace that God has for us and it is such a freeing experience. BUT then…

Religion creeps in. Some of us may start to feel like we have to perform to a certain standard for God’s love. Some of us start to feel like we have to go through certain checklists that make us more Godly. You know, reading every day, praying, worshiping, helping others, giving to the church, serving, etc…

Now, I’m not saying all of those things are extremely vital and important… What I am saying is that when we start doing them out of a false heart & false motives it starts to cause us to drift from the relationship Jesus wants with us.

My pastor has been speaking on the different “I am” statements that Jesus made & one statement he made on a Sunday truly spoke to me. He started talking about the redemptive power of Jesus and how He is the resurrection and the life. In a funny, but powerful way he talked about something similar to my blog today.

He went on to explain that when Jesus died on the cross and was thinking about each and every one of us He wasn’t ashamed of the sin in our lives, or the sin that will be in our lives. Jesus didn’t die to save us without knowing where we would be. That’s the beauty of the cross.

YES, we should flee from sin. YES, we should read our word. YES, we should pray, worship, give to the church, serve, etc… BUT, we do that out of an expression of love for God and those around us.

Let’s stop playing church fam… Jesus loves you. Jesus cares and Jesus is for you. Sin and all, He knew the price and still paid it.

#VOD: Isaiah 53:3

“He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned out backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.”

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I would be lying if I said that these last few months were not a deep faith building season for me. Although I did not deal with nearly the amount of rejection that Jesus faced and continues to face each day, I did feel rejection.

We will walk through this life and often times we will face moments where we feel rejected and despised by those around us. More times than not, those moments of rejection and feeling like you are despised is for things that are outside of your power. We should all thrive to make peace with as many people as we possibly can, but there will be those who reject and despise us…

We cannot allow our character to be molded by the opinions of those around us. We must consider who it is that defines us. The bible is clear when it speaks about where our righteousness comes from. The bible is clear about us all being dead in sin. The bible is clear that there is nothing we can do to get to heaven on our own… Plain and simple. We are called, equipped and chosen to do amazing things because of Jesus and Jesus alone…

Even Jesus in all of His perfection was despised and rejected. That is what this verse is speaking off. A man who was perfect in all His ways, that willingly came to earth loving on absolutely everyone He could with the knowledge that one day he will be despised and rejected.

Let me encourage you with this today. You may be despised and rejected, but love them anyways… You may feel like you are burdened with grief and that people have turned their backs on you… But He hasn’t. Jesus is our rock. Jesus is our source. Jesus will always be the reason why we can stand firm in the midst of the storm…

 

 

 

 

#VOD: Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 

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It’s has been a while since I have posted a blog & for that I am sorry… These last few weeks have incredibly emotionally, mentally and even physically draining for me!

One thing I love about walking with God is that we can always have faith that life works out for His glory and our good. More times than not life will hit us pretty hard in certain areas and it can cause us to wonder how God can work this out for His glory and our good, but He always does…

Jesus’ statement here is so profound in our daily walks with God… I feel it is easy for us to read things like this and not grasp the power behind it. It is easy for us to gloss over this statement without stopping to think about what Jesus is saying to us all… I mean THINK about what Jesus is telling us here! Yes, there will be things that are impossible to do here on earth as a mere human, with human capabilities, BUT WITH GOD….

When we walk in God’s presence throughout the day it opens up the door for some powerful and profound experiences to come through. God can and will make a way for His plan in our life… We must simply sit back and let Him take control….

#VOD: Malachi 3:10

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. “

(Malachi 3:10 NIV)

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*Disclaimer* This isn’t going to be some prosperity post where I talk about the abundant financial blessings that commonly get tied to this verse. No no no…

You see, this verse says that He will pour out so much BLESSING that there will not be room enough to store it. That does not automatically mean money. In America there is still a silly obsession with finances are a gauge of being blessed or not. Yes, there is an aspect of that when it comes towards us being blessed by God, but that is not the ONLY blessing He has for us.

There have been WAY more blessings in my life that have NOTHING to do with money… I can count on my fingers (one hand) a number of times I’ve been “blessed” financially. Which isn’t very often considering a number of blessings I experience on a DAILY basis…

The point I am trying to make here is simply that a lot of us are showering in God’s blessing, but are so focused on something else that makes us feel like we aren’t blessed. For a vast majority of us, we are WAY more blessed than we deserve. For most of us in America, we are living VERY well.

Sit back and count all your blessings. Maybe that’s the people in your life, the phone/computer you are reading this through, the chair you are sitting in, the car, the food in your fridge, the clothes you are wearing, the roof over your head, etc…

Let’s not be spoiled brats who are ungrateful for what our Father has provided…

Love wins fam…. Grace wins….

#VOD: 1 Corinthians 13:1

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

(1 Corinthians 13:1)

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If there was one thing I think we are doing WRONG as a Church (all of Christianity) it would be that we aren’t loving the way Jesus loved…

We can try and mask it or use whatever fancy Christian lingo we want, but we are falling WAY short in this area. It is SO heart breaking to talk to non-believers and how they feel about believers. It’s the COMPLETE opposite of the way Jesus lived. The way that non-believers feel about believers is exactly what Jesus came to abolish… I’m talking about being judgemental, closed off, rude, arrogant, etc…

It’s a huge issue that will continue to plague us all until we truly realize the undeserved love that is extended to us on a daily basis… Really… Think about it. Even now, as I type this I am undeserving of the love that is being offered to me. Whether we want to accept it or not, we need to realize that even now we are undeserving of the love that is being extended to us all…

When we get that realization in our hearts & minds, we will be able to offer up SO much more love to those around us…

Next time someone that you think is “unlovable” & they don’t deserve the “love” that we should all look in the mirror… I’m serious. I have to do it on a daily basis when I start to get this false sense of deserved love…

YES, I get to be loved because of Jesus but I do not deserve it.
YES, there will be people in your life that don’t deserve to be shown “love” but you may be the only person that will ever extend that to them…

Be the light… Love them….

Love wins fam…. Grace wins…

#VOD: Romans 4:7

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight.”

(Romans 4:7 NLT)

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Do you have true and genuine joy in your daily life? Do you find yourself constantly battling with feeling sad, upset, or just ungrateful?
 
I know that I find myself in both of those categories at times! There will be days where everything feels freaking amazing, I’m happy, I’m super joyful & life is just going GOOD.
 
There are also times of the complete opposite… Where I just fall into a rut that I cannot seem to shake! Where I struggle to find joy in anything! Which I feel is completely normal for most humans!

I know I personally struggle at times with that rut where I just can’t seem to shake it! One of the main things I try and force my mind to think of is heaven… The fact that I get to go to heaven. The fact that Jesus came and lived the life I should have lived, died the death that I deserved & rose from the grave on the 3rd day for the forgiveness of my sin…

He did that willingly. Took the shame of the cross. Took the pain of being beaten to the point of not being recognized. Walk through the streets completely naked and embarassed. The entire time He was thinking of little Nicholas McNeill. He was thinking about you. He was thinking about you at your worst and how badly He wanted us all to be in heaven with Him. Every step He took, we were on His mind. Every whip He took, we were on His mind. Every spit, punch, kick, insult & nail…. WE WERE ON HIS MIND…

NOW THAT BRINGS JOY… IMMENSE joy… Focus on that fam… Focus on the fact that He went through that for us & that because of that we can have the joy of the Lord living in us all…

Love wins fam… Grace wins…