I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Building a Framework of Hope: Part 5

So far we’ve done a great deal of self-reflection. 

We’ve looked at where we are, what we value and build our lives around, and identified what keeps us from maturing in Christ.

At this point you might feel discouraged. 

After all, we’ve stripped layers from our hearts and exposed the ugliness within.
I encourage you to cling to 1 John 1:9:

“If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
 and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Satan comes to STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY (John 10:10). 

He does NOT want you building upon the foundation of your Salvation. 

At this point, if you feel like giving up, if you’re filled with shame, if you think maturing is too hard, or you’re content with where you are—I want you to remember you are LOVED and you are saved by GRACE.

Go back to the foundation…The Gospel of The Good News!


You did not earn your Salvation. 

You were a dirty, rotten, sinner when God originally called you to Him.

He loved you then. 

He loves you now.

He wanted a relationship then.

He wants a relationship now.

NOTHING can make Him love you less.

Fact:  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23 NIV

If you’re struggling with the concept of God’s unlimited and unmerited grace, I recommend:

Or you can remind yourself of what it takes, and means, to be saved by clicking on my Salvation post here.

Let’s pause in our journey and take time to remember the concept of being Saved by Grace.

I encourage you to reflect upon this, on the foundation you’re going to build upon.  

Nothing you did, or didn’t do, merited your Salvation. 

However, what you build upon that foundation is up to you.

It’s your choice. Your responsibility. And your privilege.

“A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”

Those who are not “Saved” do not have the right, or advantage, to build on this foundation.

You do (if you’re a child of God).

This right, or advantage, grants us the immunity of going to hell.

And it came at a high cost to God—His son, Jesus.

This foundation is precious. It’s solid. It can be trusted. 

What do you want to do with it? 

Are you ready to build on it…or are you going to let it sit as it is?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Building a Framework of Hope: Part 4

There are so many things we build our lives upon. 

Many of them are given to us by God, like our family, jobs, ministry, and church.

But even “good things” can get in the way of a relationship with God.

And to have a Framework of Lasting Hope, you need a relationship with God. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
 In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world.”
 John 16:33 NIV (emphasis mine)

Notice the “IN ME” part of that?

In order to have peace, you must be IN Christ.

That requires a relationship.

 And a good relationship takes more than a “sinner’s prayer”. Just like a good marriage goes beyond saying the vows. 

Hopefully since my last posts you’ve taken the time to figure out where you are RIGHT NOW in your relationship with Christ and you can identify what you’re building your life upon. I pray you recognize where your priorities are and you realize there are things in your life keeping you from having a deeper relationship with God.

Let’s continue the journey of discovering what motivates our decisions and actions as these will further reveal our hearts true desires.  

Think about your previous week…the decisions you faced, the problems you solved, the things you let slide, the things you made sure got accomplished and what kept you awake at night. 

Keeping these in mind:  What motivated your choices? 

Necessity (eating, bathing, etc.)
Priority (bills, deadlines, people depending on you)
Want (leisure activities, family time)

Where did God fit into all this? Did you consult Him before making decisions? Did you thank Him for problems solved? Did you ask Him what HIS priorities where and where HE wanted you to focus your time and energy? Was He involved…or an afterthought? (If you’re feeling guilt or shame, please refer to 1 John 1:9. Satan uses these emotions to cripple us and keep us from moving forward in our maturity)

Digging deeper—Do you make decisions based on comfort? 

What I mean is—Do you take the easy way or are you willing to go the extra mile? 

Are there things you’ve put in place to make your life easier? 

I’m NOT saying comfort and ease are bad—but they can be if you’ve put systems in place that minimize your need of God.

What worries and coping mechanisms do you indulge in that show your lack of Spiritual peace with God?

I’m asking this because in order to MOVE forward and grow in Christ, we must remove anything that hinders our seeking God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

Let me give you an example from my life:

I like making lists. They make my life easier. They give me order. 

The downside(s) to this is that I’m not always open to listening to God’s promptings. 

I might hear the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray, but I’m in the middle of another task. I don’t want the interruption so instead of stopping what I’m doing—I multitask. I continue my “to-do” list as I pray.

While this isn’t necessarily bad, it can stifle my communication with God.

Look at it like this—would your spouse be happy with you if he/she called you with a very important need and you continued typing on your computer as you half-heartedly listened? Would they feel like they were important to you? Would this behavior, especially repeated continually, enhance your relationship or diminish it?

My “To-Do” lists can also increase my anxiety if they aren’t accomplished and this makes me less than pleasant to be around. I rush through important things, like family time and Bible reading in order to check off something far less important on my list, like laundry.

On a good day, when I’m ahead of schedule, I feel a sense of accomplishment—“look what I can do!” 

ALL of these things keep God from being front and center in my thoughts, heart, and emotions as I rely on my own strength and talents to get through my day.

Your turn:  

What motivates your decisions? Do you have systems in place that keep you from depending on God and including Him in your day? Are there things you need to let go of, or re-evaluate, in order for you to be “IN” Christ?