Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ambassadors to Earth

In 2 Corinthians 5 believers are called Christ's ambassadors. That's no small role. It's also a huge privilege, one these verses say we are committed to.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Let's break this passage down. (For context read the entire 5th chapter of 2 Corinthians here) "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view." - The term not of this earth comes to mind. Something we gain in coming to a Saving knowledge and relationship in Christ is an eternal perspective and adoption in to the family of God. Salvation has given us an eternal perspective.
"Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" - Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we also die (to the old nature and sin) and are reborn (the new nature) in Christ. Our view shifts from earthly to heavenly.
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." - Christ's death on the cross was done for us that we would have atonement and therefore be reconciled:holy before God. Having this done for us, we are to turn around and bring the same message to others.
"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - Each of us is an ambassador called to represent God and His interests. God is interested in reconciliation. We've been reconciled to God, He has taken our sin and given us His righteousness. Spread the news.
So the short and sweet: We are Ambassadors on Earth; to Earth. All the time in this lifetime we need to be bringing the message to everyone on Earth.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Afraid of the Dark

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of the dark. I never really have been. Ever since I was young, I had a nightlight in my bedroom. As a 23 year old, I still have a nightlight in our bedroom – and when I’m home alone, lights are on throughout the house.

One of the problems with not liking the dark (I guess I could just flat-out say it in humility – being scared of the dark) comes in the area of my morning walks. It’s taking longer each day for the sun to illumine the earth; the problem rests in my desire to walk before morning activities, such as church. The other morning, I came up with a solution to my fear: a flashlight. Although the flashlight probably made me no safer than I would have been in the dark, I felt secure knowing there was a light to illumine my path and bring a small patch of light to the darkness around me.

As I rejoiced over the ingenious idea of walking with a flashlight, I was reminded about the true Light – Jesus Christ.: “This is the message that we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

Not only has Jesus taken away the darkness of my sin, but He lights my lamp in the midst of my fears – whether it be the fear of the dark, the fear of uncertainty, or the fear of a certain future. The LORD is indeed the Light – but He does just send a spotlight down upon us, but He walks with us throughout those fears. What a great God we serve – One who is in control of the entire universe, yet cares about us individually. Praise Him!

“For You light my lamp; the LORD my God illumines my darkness.” – Psalm 18:28

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Conscious Confession

Sometimes I'll check my email only to be surprised by an inbox that is filled with messages that are not junk. This happened today with timing that can only be described as divine. A good friend of mine shared something with me that he was planning on incorporating in the worship service at church this morning. I hope you are blessed by it just as I was this morning.

O Lord,
I have a wild heart
And cannot stand before thee;
I am like a bird before a man.
How little I love thy truth and ways!
I neglect prayer,
By thinking I have prayed enough and earnestly,
By knowing thou hast saved my soul.
Of all hypocrites, grant that I may not be an evangelical hypocrite,
Who sins more safely because grace abounds,
Who tells his lusts that Christ’s blood cleanseth them,
Who reasons that God cannot cast him into hell, for his is saved,
Who loves evangelical preaching, churches, Christians, but lives 
My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
With no spiritual understanding,
No desire for the Lord’s Day,
Ever learning but never reaching the truth,
Always at the gospel-well but never holding water.
My conscience is without conviction or contrition,
With nothing to repent of.
My will is without power of decision or resolution.
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
So I forget so easily the lessons learned,
And thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.

Taken from The Valley of Vision edited by Arthur Bennett

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


What does one do in the midst of tragedy? It's been a while since I've posted on here; for that I am sorry, but I am struck with the question tonight of, as I said, "What does one do in the midst of tragedy?" In a week's time I have been witness to a family having to deal with the a husband and wife suicide. The wife shot herself last week, was removed from life support today, and the husband shot himself today in the wake of his grief. I don't have any answers for that, but I do know this. I have heard and I have seen the strength, resolve, and peace that God gives in the midst of a tragedy and I have seen the devastation and havoc Satan causes in those that are not trusting in Him for the strength that they need. Again, I must ask the question, "What does one do in the midst of tragedy?" Besides turning to Christ, I don't know, and I don't think there's a better answer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Compassionate Action

Give me Your eyes for just one second . . . Give me Your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing . . . Give me Your eyes for humanity . . . Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted . . . Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten . . . Lord, give me Your eyes.
I couldn't tell you how many times I have prayed for the Lord to give me His eyes and His heart for those His heart breaks over. It truly is the desire of my heart to love my neighbors as the Lord would have me to love them. To see their hurt and their need. To have compassion as Jesus has compassion.

But this week, I was struck with a thought as I read through parts of Matthew. Often times, we read about Jesus having compassion on those He encounters - but He just doesn't feel compassion and leave it at that:
"A leper came to Him and bowed down before Him and said, 'Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.' Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed." - Matthew 9:2-3 (emphasis mine)

Now when Jesus heard about John [death], He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick." - Matthew 14:13-14 (emphasis mine)
Did you catch that? Jesus did indeed feel compassion, but Jesus also put that compassion into action. As believers, we must be willing to act - not just to feel compassionate. It's like having faith without works: faith without works is dead, so perhaps we can say that compassion without action is dead too.

I will continue to pray for the Lord to give me His eyes and His heart for the lost, hurting, and needy. However, my prayer has now extended to include, "Lord, give me the boldness and courage that You have to show compassion to those that need it."

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A New View


When I have something new I notice things that would otherwise be completely meaningless to me.

For example ...

After purchasing a Subaru Loyale my freshman year of college, I noticed them everywhere. Now that I am a new owner of a Volvo V70 XC, I see them all the time. That time I had a mullet, I saw mullets all over town, not just at Walmart. When I was in middle school and some dude put braces on my teeth, I would acknowledge the presence of metal in many more mouths. On the ski hill, I point out the people with matching skis, goggles, or jackets. As a young adult with a significant other, I actually notice other couples now. When I'm wearing glasses, I see other people's spectacles. Years ago, I was sitting in a coffee shop with my new computer, and what did I now notice? People with the same thing as me.

This list could go on forever, but it will stop now. It is significant that I notice new things when I receive them into my life. My perspective is forever changed.

I wonder ...

After entering into a relationship with the infinite, personal God who gave me something new, what is my new view? The Holy Spirit lives in me now, shaping my thoughts, guiding my actions, and leading me in the way everlasting; do I notice things differently now? Are other people seeing something new in me? When I see a brother or sister in Christ, is the first thing I notice their beauty in light of the Beloved, or do I see their sin? Am I noticing people who are covered by the blood of Christ as forgiven or needing forgiving? Will you begin to look at life from a new view?


Friday, September 16, 2011

He gives us strength

This week has really been a test of my trust in God. I have been so busy and have so much to do and honestly, just want to not have to deal with it anymore. Yet, I must, and in it all I need to rely on God for my strength! I am overwhelmed when I look to myself to supply the energy and strength for each day! But that's when I claim His promise in this verse:

Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
When I depend on my LORD, He gives me new strength. In Him I will not become tired or weary. All I can do is cling to His promise and know that He is faithful!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Laughter of the Devil

"I've heard that laughter before."

This came a few nights ago from a friend as I was talking about how easy it is to get discouraged and start believing all the lies Satan throws at you. Have you ever heard the devil sneer as you believe the lies he tries to place in all of our minds? The more I opened up about it, the more I realized that Satan is after each one of us in this manner.

Satan is known as the father of lies--the great deciever-- it's what he does best. He's really good at taking little things that seem to be true and twisting them until they're a flatout lie, but once you're at that point, it's hard to go back. Jesus faced a similar situation as recorded in the gospel of Luke:

"And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their flory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours." And Jesus answered him, "It is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."" And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, "for it is written, "He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you', and "On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone." And Jeesus asnwered him, "It is said, "You shall not put the Lord your God to the test." --Luke 4:5-12

In each situation that Jesus was tempted in, He responded with Scripture. Satan knows the Word too--as he tried tempting Christ by quoting it to Him-- so that makes it all the more important that we know what God really says.

Psalm 119:11 says, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

In whatever situation you find yourself in today, no matter how Satan tempts you, you can find your source of peace and security in Christ and the Word of God. The sneers of the devil are just empty laughter, and in Christ we have the victory over sin and death. That doesn't mean that temptations won't arise, but when they do, that we have the authority in Jesus Christ to cling to Him.

Friends, cling to Him today.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." --Psalm 119:105

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life's Frustrations and Disappointments

Sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned, expected, or hoped for.

Case in point: Friday morning, I threw a load of clothes in the washer before heading off to church to accomplish a couple of things. When my husband got home for lunch before I did about two hours later, the washer was still running. Long story short, our washing machine from the late 70s-early 80s broke. The machine wasn’t able to finish the wash cycle; so the clothes were covered in water and unfortunately, were still a bit soapy. This required a trip to the Laundromat (praise the Lord the one Laundromat in Beulah re-opened!) – something that is slightly inconvenient when you’re used to the ease of washing clothes within the comfort of your own home.

However, as Jordan and I waited for our clothes to re-wash, we were extremely blessed. There was an older gentleman who came to wash his clothes shortly after we had arrived. A conversation between the three of us was struck, and we got to know Gary, a man we had never even met before. Gary is an inspector from Missouri, has only been home for 2 weeks all summer, and is a follower of Jesus. Hearing him share about the ministries he is involved in back home and how he had been blessed by believers in Beulah enlarged my heart.

Sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned, expected, or hoped for.

Case in point: Sunday evening was to be the start of our 7th-8th grade girls Bible study. I was truly excited to begin this particular Bible study with this particular group of girls. I was all prepared: we had all the materials for our collages, I ran photocopies of worksheets for the girls, I had sticky notes for them to write down an important Bible passage to remember throughout the next 2 weeks and I had even purchased folders for them to keep everything in. As 6:30 rolled around, no girls burst through our door. 6:45 – still no one. By the time 7:00 came, I decided that both the girls and their parents had forgotten that our Bible study was starting up that night.

So, I decided to accompany Jordan on his walk up to church to lock it up for the night. On the way up, we walked past the home of a family from church that has recently lost a mother and a grandmother. We then spent the next hour or so visiting with this family of four; hearing some of the grief of their recent lost, but also the joy in knowing that she is no longer in pain but is rejoicing with Jesus. When Jordan and I departed, my heart was enlarged and encouraged by the visit with this wonderful family.

Sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned, expected, or hoped for.

Case in point: “Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17) “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (Colossians 4:5-6)

How are you going to deal with life’s frustrations and disappointments? Are you going to let yourself get angry or mope over your circumstances? Sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned, expected, or hoped for. But the LORD is always in control. Are you going to let Him use you and bless you despite frustrations and disappointments? I pray that we will always be open to the Lord’s working in and through us, no matter what the surrounding circumstances are.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blessed to Be a Blessing

Blessed to be a blessing
No more second guessing

Why do I roam these streets?
Why is it my heart beats?
You came and lived the life
You want to take Your wife
From sin we've been released
Almost time for the feast

Blessed to be a blessing
No more second guessing

Who I'm supposed to be
Who You've called me to see
You've shaped me with your hands
You let us fill the lands
Took the fruit from the snake
The we watched Your heart break

Blessed to be a blessing
No more second guessing

What You have done for me
What Your blood helps me see
You've risen from the grave
Freedom You freely gave
Each day for Your glory
You write this new story

Blessed to be a blessing
No more second guessing

Please save me from myself
Put my past on the shelf
Show me how to love
Fix my eyes up above

Blessed to be a blessing
No more second guessing

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Broken Shackles

Familiar hot, salty tears fell freely onto my pillow. Yet another woe joined my ever-growing list of personal afflictions. The pain was real and tore at my weakened, despairing heart. This year has been a season (what has seemed a very long season) of painful changes that have shaken me to my core. My emotions no longer obey my will and I struggle to accept them. How can such grief and a faith in God’s goodness/sovereignty coexist?

Afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down—these are the verbs Paul uses to express his very real physical life. Yet he concludes, that he is “not driven to despair.” Why? Because “[I am] always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in [my] mortal flesh. (emphasis added) What hope! When my pillow is drenched with tears, in that very moment is when I want Christ to be manifest in me. I want Him to manifest Himself to and through me.

Daily, we swim in sin, death, pain and suffering. Where is the joy in that? It can be found at the cross! (The cross—itself a representation of suffering.) It is there that Christ took upon Himself the ultimate curse of sin. While we bear the pain of where our shackles once tore into our skin (the consequence of sin here on earth), our chains are gone! We've been set free! Because of Christ's work, we have hope that this “light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” Our final victory over sin will culminate when we unite with Christ in heaven.

In your sorrow, press deeply into Jesus. Spend time in His word daily. Commune with Him in prayer. Spend time with His people. And serve Him in obedience.

And finally, look to others needs, to serving and pouring out in the midst of your own suffering. (To be continued)

All scripture referenced from II Cor 4


"Remember the former things long past,
For I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me
Declaring the end from the beginning,
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, 'My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all my good pleasure"

There are many times when we are tempted to be anxious, to try and fix our problems, or to just give up. Life has not and will never not be without life's challenges. But I think it is in those times when we need to remember all that God has done in our lives. He has done so much in our lives, and made something beautiful out of situations that didn't seem so great.

I went through several months of being sick last year. I went to several doctors, and they couldn't figure out what was causing the sickness. Those many dr appointments and several months lying in bed were the hardest, most lonely and disheartening days I have seen thus far. But God had a purpose in it all, and used it to mold me to be more like Him. So many times I wanted to give up, but He gave me the strength to continue, and to trust Him in it all. Seeing His faithfulness and love throughout the Bible and in my life and others is something I will always remember.

Maybe you are in the middle of an ugly situation, maybe you are just coming out, or are preparing to head into one - remember what God has done in your life and remind yourself constantly. Keeping a journal or blog are great ways. Remember what happened to the Israelites when they forgot all that God had done for them? They turned away from God and tried to fix their problems on their own - or they complained to Moses. Remember and Trust God. He uses everything for good, for He is good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prepare to Meet Your God

Life at Bible School my senior year is now underway--how strange! As classes are starting up, old friendships being renewed and new ones just beginning, and a world of new opportunities at my doorstep, I've pressed with a question already:

"Are you ready to be changed?"

The president of the AFLC--Pastor Elden Nelson--spoke at chapel today on Amos 4, and I have never before agreed more with the saying "great minds think alike". :) As we look toward being alert and ready this month, I thought of twisting that a bit towards being ready for what God has in store for us here. Amos 4:12b says, "Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"

Have you considered that before? Are you ready to be challenged in your faith, stretched, to know Him more? The first question I want to ask: Do you want to be changed?

Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied". It is in that hunger, that desire that God is going to have so much more room to work in your life. How often have you, like myself, had to learn a lesson multiple times until God finally smacked you upside the head with a figurative 2-by-4 before it finally sunk in, all because you weren't willing to be changed in the first place? God is going to bless that desire in you.

My second question is this: Are you willing to be transformed?

As I think of what it means to be transformed, I'm immediately drawn to the image of a butterfly. Transform comes from the word "metamorphose", which we get our word "metamorphosis"--the process a caterpillar goes through in order to become a butterfly. That change is not something that happens over night, and it certainly isn't an easy process (imagine being cooped up for so long... talk about claustrophobic!) but the end result is something beautiful.

As you start this new year, wherever you may be, are you ready to meet your God? Are you ready to be changed by Him? Are you ready to become more like Him?

Are you ready to become something beautiful, no matter how difficult and long the process?

The Day and Hour Unknown

"the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him"

Does the thought that Christ could come back at any moment scare you or excite you? 
When it comes right down to it are you really ready? 
Is His return more of an eventually that will happen in the far off future or a daily hope and anticipation for you? 
Is Christ's eminent return at the forefront of your thoughts? 
Do you think we should always have the return of Christ in mind?

Matthew 24: 36-51 is entitled The Day and Hour Unknown. It talks about our need to be ready for the return of Christ. Verses 36-39 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man."
The statement and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away in verse 39 stood out to me because it conflicts with my memories of childhood versions of the story of the Flood. Do you have a childhood picture of the Flood? You may remember Noah warning people, who refused to believe him, of the coming flood. You may remember people scoffing and laughing at Noah as he built the ark. Maybe Noah did warn the people, maybe they asked him what in the world he was doing building the ark, maybe they laughed at him, but it doesn't actually say that in the Bible. In fact this verse in Matthew indicates they were not warned. It would actually seem that this was an unheralded judgement, given without warning. If you read Genesis 6-8, what is in the Bibe is that God saw that the people were wicked, regretting making them, and decided to wipe them out. God told Noah ("a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time" Genesis 6:9) to build an ark because He was going to destroy the people and the earth. And that's just what he did, without telling them He was going to. Imagine the horror of the flood as rain poured, gathered and rose to dangerous heights and people had nowhere to go and no chance to save themselves. We see in Genesis 7:23, "Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark." 

A flood with out warning. No escape. No hope for salvation. This is what the coming of the Son of Man is compared to. It's a bit chilling isn't it?

Matthew 24:40-51 says, " Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 
The coming of Christ will be sudden and like the flood it will be in God's timing and without warning. There is, however, a small difference. We, like Noah, have the foreknowledge of it's coming. Like Noah with the Flood we have been given an ark - Salvation.

There is a two fold responsibility we have with this knowledge. The first is to be prepared ourselves. Matthew 24:42 admonishes us to "keep watch." We must always be ready for Christ's return. He wants us to be ready (vs. 44). He wants us on the ark. The second is to share this knowledge so that others also have hope for salvation. Psalm 130:7 says "Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption." and 2 Corinthians 1:10 says "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us," This second responsibility is of great importance. Of all the things Jesus could have said to His disciples before He ascended into heaven He chose to remind them to share Him with the world. The Great Commission found in Matthew 28: 18-20 says "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." and Mark 16: 15 "He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." 

Will you be on the ark? Are you sharing the hope of Salvation with others?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Prepared by Failure

As a senior in college, I realize how much I have learned in the last five years. It is kind of neat to look through old notebooks and see the scribbles on the page indicating that my brain was digesting new information. Even more interesting is seeing that content show up in my daily life. Much of what I have learned gets passed on to people after I have become prepared to share.

The main thing I have learned during my college career involves self-observation. Without an ability to see oneself through the lens of God's reality, there is little hope for growth. More often than not, this means that I am becoming more and more aware of my failures. This sounds depressing, but by looking back at what I've learned, there is room for rejoicing.

Just like everyone else, I am unique. In my own quirky way, I find new avenues of adventure to lead me away from the feet of Jesus. More often that not though, I take the well beaten path of destruction. The familiarity of particular indulgences make my flesh feel good. As an individual, my struggles often look the same. I repeatedly find myself journeying away from Jesus.

Just like everyone else, I am offered grace. In my own quirky way, I find new avenues of adventure to lead me back to the feet of Jesus. More often than not though, I take the well beaten path of devotion. The familiarity of particular practices make my soul feel good. As an individual my successes often look the same. I repeatedly find myself journeying closely with Jesus.


In an old paperback book that I picked up for free the other day, the author, Miles J. Stanford writes ...

"Our personal, heart-breaking failure in every phase of our Christian life is our Father's preparation for His success on our behalf."

God continually shows me His grace as I continually show Him my defeated, downward looking face. In my lowest of lows, He shows up to bring me to His highest of highs. The less I deserve His love, the more He loves to give me what I don't deserve. At the end of the day, I am only prepared to share what I have learned when I come to grips with the fact that I fail.

Much of the Church today clings to the promise of Romans 8:28. This is fine and dandy, but what makes my heart sing is the truth sandwiching the popular sentence.

Take a look at this ...

"26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 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. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory." -Romans 8:26-30 NLT