You are loved, pursued, chosen, and victorious no matter what you have done. You are loved, pursued, chosen, and victorious no matter where you have been. You are loved, pursued, chosen, and victorious no matter what you have seen, touched, or participated in. God is not a God of shame. We must think about Who God is before even thinking about who we are.
I want to tell you the GREATEST love and war story. We already know the ending to it.
God created the world and everything in it. He craved relationship with humans. The first humans were Adam and Eve. God knew before time began that we would mess up. He knew we would need a Savior. While nothing can separate us from God’s LOVE, sin (all the bad things we do) separates us from closeness (intimacy) with God.
REMEMBER GOD’S HEART IS FOR US.
GOD IS THE FATHER, FRIEND, AND LOVER YOU ARE LOOKING AND LONGING FOR.
BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN THOUGHT OF BY YOUR EARTHLY PARENTS, GOD SENT HIS ONE AND ONLY SON INTO THE WORLD. Jesus was God in flesh. He was a baby, grew into a teenager, felt rejection, endured sickness, shed tears, wore clothes, ate, made friends, began traveling with His ministry, healed the sick, commanded demons to flee, turned water into wine, raised the dead to life, and knew He would die for you and me.
Having His hands and feet nailed to a cross, Jesus endured the pain because He knew it was worth the joy that was coming.
Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) says, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Psalm 30:5 (CSB) reminds us, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.”
Jesus took on within Him ALL of the whole world’s sins. He carried all on Himself the filth of lies, murders, adultery, homosexuality, alcoholism, cheating, stealing, witch craft, and every sin that has ever been committed.
The weight of the world was literally on Jesus’ shoulders. Because of that, your shoulders can be free.
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) challenges us by saying, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) states, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Even while dying on the cross, Jesus witnessed to and saved a criminal placed on a cross beside Him. Although that criminal was receiving punishment for his wrong doings, his death and cross could never have resulted in the victory that freedom Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross did.
We can’t work hard enough to receive God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. We could do good deeds, read our Bibles, and pray every second of every day and never be good enough on our own. We are flawed, empty, and broken without Jesus. God made His love available to us by dying on the cross. Now we can know Him better. We do good deeds as a result of already having His love.
Don’t forget the most important part of Jesus dying on the cross for us. He didn’t stay dead. He didn’t stay on the cross!
Even though our enemy, the devil, thought he had won, God showed Him Who was the boss and victorious.
Jesus laid in a grave for three days, but on the third day, He rolled the stone away from the tomb He was laid in! JESUS RAISED HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD AND ROLLED THE STONE AWAY KEEPING HIM IN BECAUSE HE WANTED TO RAISE YOU FROM THE DEAD AND ROLL AWAY THE STONES KEEPING YOU HELD BACK!
Jesus is real. God and Jesus is the same person. After Jesus told His friends, the disciples, that He was alive, He went back into Heaven with God the Father. This is when we, humans, got another one of the greatest gifts ever. Jesus knew He wouldn’t be physically walking on earth anymore when He was in Heaven. This is when the Holy Spirit was given to God’s people.
The Holy Spirit, although we can’t see it with our eyes, works on people’s hearts, in their minds, and life circumstances. When you feel a tug in your chest or are shaken with tears at church or in your own time with God, that’s the Holy Spirit.
A cool thing about the Holy Spirit is that if we have Him within us, we have the authority and power of God living within us. We aren’t our own power source.
John 14:12-14 (NIV) declares, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
God didn’t just raise Himself from the dead to raise us. HE RAISED US SO THAT WE CAN TELL OTHERS HOW THEY CAN BE RAISED TO LIFE TOO.
Our lives are not really about us. This earth and our lives here will not last forever.
“God has plucked you out of eternity, positioned you in time, and given you gifts and talents to serve Him in this generation.” -Christine Caine
We are living on earth to know God, love Him, make Him known, and share Him with EVERYONE WE COME IN CONTACT WITH.
We aren’t called to be casual Christians who just ask Jesus to forgive us from our sins. We aren’t called to be casual Christians who just go to church and have Bible verses in our Instagram bios or wear cross necklaces around our necks.
GOD WANTS A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE AND LIVE IN HIS LOVE? DO WANT TO WALK WITH GOD INTIMATELY?
ASK GOD TO FORGIVE YOU FROM THE SINS IN YOUR LIFE AND TO CLEANSE YOU FROM ALL THE BAD THINGS YOU HAVE DONE. BELIEVE THAT GOD IS ALIVE, JESUS IS HIS SON, JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS, TOOK ON YOUR SINS AND DEATH, AND WAS RAISED TO LIFE. HE LIVES IN HEAVEN NOW AND WORKS ON EARTH THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
SEEK JESUS AND GROW IN YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM DAILY. TALK TO HIM AS YOUR BEST FRIEND. SHARE EVERYTHING ON YOUR HEART WITH JESUS. YOU CAN DISCUSS YOUR DREAMS, HURTS, DESIRES, AND FEARS WITH HIM.
A few ways we grow in our walks with the Lord include reading our Bibles, praying, fasting, being involved in church, filling ourselves up with God-honoring things, and surrounding ourselves with Godly friends.
JESUS WANTS ALL OF US, MY FRIENDS. THERE IS MORE OF HIM FOR YOU TO EXPERIENCE. IT’S OKAY TO NOT UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING. IT’S OKAY TO ASK GOD QUESTIONS. LET HIM FIGHT FOR YOU. HAVE JOY KNOWING GOD HAS ALREADY WON.
AT THE END OF TIMES, GOD WILL THROW THE DEVIL INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE. Hell was originally created for Satan. It is now also the place people spend eternity if they don’t make Jesus the King of their lives. The atmosphere of Hell is full of gnashing of teeth, fire, torment, pain, and separation from God Almighty.
You and I have a mission to go and tell people this Good News we have been completely changed by. Don’t wait to share Jesus when you’re on a missions trip. Be excited to do that, BUT LOOK AROUND. Who can you share Jesus with now?
Pastor Mitch Sugg always reminded me, “You are placed where you are now because that’s where God needs you most.”
There are gifts within you that God has given to help equip you to change the world for His glory. Know that your walk with Christ is an adventure and journey. Always trust that HE IS GOOD EVEN WHEN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES ARE NOT. As the Group VBS curriculum reminds us this year, “WHEN LIFE IS SAD, GOD IS GOOD.”
GOD’S GOODNESS DOES NOT CHANGE. HE IS WITH YOU, FOR YOU, AND YOUR LIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TUNNEL, SWEET FRIEND. CLING ONTO GOD AND TRUST HIM. DISAPPOINTMENTS DON’T STOP GOD’S PLANS. THEY BETTER PREPARE US FOR THEM.