This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10 NLT)
I was thinking last night and this morning about Jesus. Brilliant end and start to the day! Haha! But I was thinking about just how much He went through and how much God went through….
God created humanity and just wanted a relationship with us, but we kept screwing up, majorly, so much so God wanted to get rid of the Earth and everything He created because we kept disobeying and using God like a genie in a lamp, taking hold of what they wanted and then ignoring God again. If it wasn’t for a handful of TRUELY obedient individuals like Noah, the human race may not have even existed for this long!
And then eventually God decides, to send his son to Earth. As a human. To experience earthly struggles and pains. And then the ultimately showdown with the devil, He crucifixes His son, waits three days allowing everyone and even the devil think it’s all over – and then BOOM alive again! A little note to those that like saying ‘YOLO’ God kinda put an end to the YOLO when He raised Jesus from the dead! Ha! How awesome!
But Jesus went through the full spectrum of human difficulties whilst on earth; temptation, betrayal, humiliation, had people spread rumours, lies, had people let Him down, people only wanting to be around Him for what He could do etc.
AND after all of that He then had the physical pain of enduring all the beatings and abuse and then He was hung on the cross!!!
I don’t think I can ever get my head around it! I really can’t! I am so overwhelmed each time I sit and think about it!
But the fact that Jesus came and walked the Earth as a human being and experienced all the trials and tests that we do walking this planet – is somewhat a comfort to me. I can ask for His guidance and healing because He’s been before me!
Just a few thought today really
And just a huge thank you to God! I love you!
I have always loved the colour orange, and when I was a teenager at school I used to wear as much orange jewellery I could get away with, it used to reach up to my elbows! For me, orange represented who I was at that time! Little did I know it literally does represent me!
God said to me this morning ‘orange’ and I was like ‘okay my colour for today, rad.’ But it just kept going over in my head.
Orange. Orange. Orange. Orange.
Yesterday I looked up the meaning of my name; Samantha – Listener of God. And then this morning I looked up Orange – The power of listening to and hearing, seeing and doing the mind of Christ.
My name literally is orange!!!!
I listened to a beautiful sermon about keys yesterday, another thing God has spoken to me through (along with colour), and Rebecca spoke about unlocking results in change….and speaking to my friend, He said he wanted to unlock who he was….
And I honestly believe that is exactly what God has done this morning, he unlocked my ability to see this part of me, that has been with me for years but I never made the connection. But He did, bringing me closer, deeper, to Him!
I thank you Lord that You have always been with me, since day dot you have been a part of my life and walked beside me through life, each step, each stride, each stumble, each fall. I thank you for Your truth and revelation in my life! And I just pray for a continuation! I just pray for this truth You’ve revealed today, that as I draw closer to You, I will be able to hear You and see You more clearly in my life and in others lives! I pray that You can use me to fulfil your plans for this world! And I thank you in advance for the daily encouragements You will point out and reveal to me today! They really do mean everything! I love you Lord! Amen x
So yesterday I was super tired and didn’t make it to Sunday service. So God took matters into His own hands and introduced me to Ruth. I asked God which book I should read after I recently finished reading and studying Esther. He said Ruth. I said you sure? Not something like one of Paul’s letters or something. Then I logged onto my usually bible study/devotional site Shereadstruth and low and behold the current study was Ruth! Alright, I said, I get it!
I ended up reading and studying the whole of Ruth, I know it’s not a massive book but for anyone that knows me, I get distracted easily and I can struggle to study something for a solid amount of time. However, Ruth mesmerised me, into hours of study.
First of all, can I just say, isn’t Ruth such a babe! Like she loses her husband, has the option to go home to her family, but chooses to stay with her mother-in-law and travel to somewhere she doesn’t know and to a place full of people she doesn’t know!? She literally says, where you go I go, where you stay I’ll stay, your people are my people and your God is my God’ !!!
Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law enabled her to find work, support her mother-in-law, and eventually find a husband who bought the land rescuing both Ruth and Naomi from an uncertain future!
I could help but imagine how different it would have been if Ruth had headed home after her husband died, Naomi already headed back to her home town calling herself a new name, ‘bitter’! I’m guessing if on her own the outcome wouldn’t have been good! But Ruth stayed by her, radiated hope at her, loved her and provided for her!
So yeah, I love our Ruth, I think she’s a selfless babe and a real icon for the future generation! And I pray that there is a good chuck of Ruth in all of us!
So I’m a reader, I love books and I love magazines. But one of the things I struggled with months ago was reading magazines and spending money on something that was materialistic and I worried about idolising people in the magazines I was reading. So I stopped buying them.
Then one day a few months ago God drew my attention to one of my favourite magazines, Glamour. It was also one of the magazines I had stopped buying. But God kept drawing me to it!? I was a bit confused, but I bought it, took it home and read it. And one of the last pages was called ‘Holy-wood’ films based on biblical characters! I couldn’t stop grinning at this page! In a secular women’s fashion monthly! A whole page about Christian films!
I carried on not buying the magazines, but then the other day God did it again. He drew me to Glamour, so I bought it, and I read it. And there was an interview by Dawn O’porter where she interviewed her close friend about her faith! A whole interview! On being a Christian and what it meant to her and how she lives her life! I couldn’t believe it! It was so rad to read that in the magazine, but was also a combination of things I love God and magazine!
God is incredible! And these little things may not mean a lot to you. But it meant a lot to me, and God knew that! And He took the little thing that was precious to me and made a way for it to be in my life whilst influencing me in a good way!
I’m just a little shell shocked haha! He really IS in the detail! And in the details that mean so much to each individual. He knows our hearts and our desires and makes a way. Nothing is impossible for Him. And this is just the beginning…. Starting with something small….
This past week has been a tough one. I have been struggling with not feeling loved and being lonely. And this was topped off with the sudden absence of God’s normal presence in my life. He normally points out tiny visual things during the day and talks to me about them. What they mean for me, for another person or a situation. So when I was feeling lonely, I thought automatically – I’m not alone, God is always with me. But then nothing. I just kept waiting to see something, for Him to point something out. And after a few days of Him not, I got more upset. Oh my goodness, He’s not speaking to me either!? I thought God was suppose to be there through everything, even more so when things in life got really tough, and He wasn’t there!
This continued for more days, and I could feel myself getting more upset but trying to stay positive. But eventually it bubbled over – God! Where are you? You haven’t showed me anything in over a week! Are we not talking? Why aren’t you here? I miss talking!
Then He showed me, I felt a gentle tightening on my heart. He was holding onto my heart, His presence completely surrounding my heart. Then He said, I’ve been the protective layer around your heart since you initially felt hurt! I’ve been here the whole time. All my efforts were in keeping my heart protected and allowing it to heal!
Say what? I felt like an idiot! He was there the whole time! And just because He didn’t talk to me the same way He usually did, didn’t mean He’d left me!
Sunday Ginny was preaching and said that the church was entering new realms but that God was saying, stay close you haven’t been this way before!
He’s leading us in new directions, He’s talking to us in new ways, He’s showing us new things as His children! His abilities are limitless.
As we worshipped on Sunday morning I just felt His presence just pour over me, so much so I felt like I was floating, flying, weightless. It was just me and Him. I was just singing straight to Him, face to face!
I learned a lot this week; don’t put Him in a box! Expect the unexpected! Never doubt Him! He WILL ALWAYS remain with you! There is no one like Him! Ever!
I always find Easter a bit of a strange time. I struggle somewhat with the concept of Jesus, whom I have a close relationship with, dying for us, and we celebrate His death.
Now I love Him and I am awestruck still that He sacrificed His life to take my sin away. And the freedom it has made a way for is incredible. But the pain He went through to do that, makes me feel shameful. It feels like no matter how much I do and follow what God tells me to do, nothing will be able to repay that pain for Jesus.
All I can do is see Jesus on the cross and know that it’s the ULTIMATE sacrifice, the ULTIMATE act of love! But then if He didn’t die on the cross I wouldn’t be in such an intimate relationship with Him. It’s all mind blowing.
But no matter how muddled my brain gets, the one thing I can rest in the crazy reality that God loves me. And my my, do I love Him!
Now am I trying to win the favor of men, or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah). (Galatians 1:10 AMP)
God has been reminding me of this verse a lot lately I believe as a reminder, see, I use to be the people pleaser. The person that always followed what others decided, always put other peoples needs before mine – not taking into consideration as to whether it was the direction God wanted me heading, and I never really voiced a great deal of my opinions or thoughts, or an awful lot really. My favourite phrases were ‘you decide’ ‘I don’t mind’ ‘I don’t know’
BUT God has been showing me the difference between helping others and just doing things to please others. And as God has been stirring up my spirit in new ways this past month I have been implanted with a courage I didn’t know I could have, a voice I didn’t know I had, and a determination to do Gods will that is empowering.
God didn’t call us to say yes to everything people ask and never fulfil His plans. He called us to say yes to all His plans and help people along the way. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying don’t help anyone and just focus on what you’re doing, but you can’t help everyone and worry about everyone liking you – there’s always going to be someone you couldn’t help or someone that doesn’t quite get it. But Paul said in Galatians it’s not a popularity contest – your not trying to impress man but God. We are here to glorify Him, and do His works which pleases Him!
So what I’m trying to say is, don’t feel like you have to please everyone. Don’t spend your time running around doing loads of things God hasn’t called you to do and miss the opportunity to do your very God calling! And if you aren’t sure how to stop people pleasing, just pray. Ask God for the wisdom and words to say to someone, and your brother or sister should rejoice in seeing you pursue Gods calling and not be offended that you couldn’t help them at that time.