What an interesting thing.
There'll always be something that people think about you or say about you, only because they don't fully understand.
A verse I read this morning was Acts 28:5 "But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects."
What's this about you ask?
Well, Paul (at that time held as a prisoner) had been in a boat that had been shipwrecked (read Acts 27:27-44). The soldiers in the boat were planning to kill the prisoners to prevent them from swimming away, but fortunately the centurion (a professional officer or commander of the army) wanted to spare Paul's life and thus kept the plan from happening.
Long story short, Paul is safely on the shore on an island called Malta.
The islanders show him unusual kindness as it says (verse 2) which is quite an interesting phrase in itself, but any who, the islanders built a fire and welcomed Paul and the others.
Reading Acts 28:3-6 it says that Paul gathered a pile of brushwood, and as he put it on the fire, a viper (a large snake with large fangs) was driven out by the heat and it fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw that the snake was on Paul's hand, they said to each other, "this man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live" (verse 4)
The people assumed that Paul's "lifestyle" had come to haunt him and now his life was going to be taken by the snake. The islanders had formed their opinion and conclusion, and yes, they had even included God in it.
Good thing for Paul he can't read minds, or he'd go loco, but we see that what he did was shake the snake off into the fire and he suffered no ill effects. (verse 5).
Yes, it seems like it was was that simple as it says, "But Paul shook the snake off..." The word "but" means: "regardless of, nevertheless, in spite of." Paul shook it off in spite of what was going on around him. He didn't let the snake suck on him whilst dwelling on how "ohh it must be God punishing me because things are going wrong..."
There are times when we need to just shake it off, and I mean, shake it off and keep moving. People will formulate an opinion based on what they think, saw, or some preconceived notion, but we can't let that stop us, even if they are "fastened" to us and are looking for what next to say or think of you.
I read verse in Acts this morning. This evening I was led to read 1 Peter 3:13 "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?"
Verse 14 then says, "But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed."
Verse 16 also says, "...keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
The context of 1 Peter 3:22 is about suffering for doing good.
We also see that Paul had been doing the Lord's work, and still ended up being put in jail and persecuted among other things.
I'm humbled when I also think of Christ and all the good He did, but still got persecuted (think of the Pharisees and all their judgements and willingness to "catch" Christ doing something wrong so they could blame Him). So how much more for us...how much more...
My point is this:
Let't continue to do good. To seek to do good, to be eager to do good. As it is written, it is better to suffer for doing good than evil.
We know that Christ said that there will be suffering in this world but He has over come the world (John 33:16), so it is much better, as we are reassured here, to suffer for doing good.
I know it hurts when people form opinions about you, even when you're resting in the Lord's way, but remember that your mission is far too precious (and so are you and your sanity!) and that it will only make you stronger and give you a thicker skin ("all things work together for good for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28). Let's choose to forgive and then shake it off like a snake so we can move toward the prize which we have been called heavenward (Philippians 3:14).
Not only that, but I want you to know that Christ knows how you feel when people talk about you, form opinions about you that are not true or when they jump to conclusions. He knows exactly how you feel, so I encourage you to run to Him, into His arms so He can hold you through it. He will never let you down, never, He's always here, to rescue you.
Romans 5:8 says, "He demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Definition of 'demonstrate': To clearly show something. To prove. To give evidence.
Christ gave evidence.
It is to show or express by one's own actions. To take part in a public demonstration.
Colossians 2: 13-15 says, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross."
A few things came to mind when I read these verses.
1. Wow, He proved it. He proved it. He proved His love by dying for ME, for YOU. He did it.
How many times, as humans, do we want proof of something? We always want someone to prove something, to show it by their actions; we say, "if you loved me you would..." well, Christ did that, and more, and He won't stop at anything to show you how much He loves you.
The verse before says, "very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die." Romans 5:7 (NIV)
It says a person might possibly or even perhaps dare to die for a good person, which means maybe, which means uncertainty, and possibly they will..but not necessarily. haha, super jokes. oh and that person they die for has to be GOOD. LOL So, by the time this person THINKS about whether you are WORTH dying for and losing THEIR own life for you, you would probably be dead and they'd like say, "oh well, you're dead now....guess you made this decision easier!" LOL.
Humans can't save you.
But "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
My point is this:
To the point of sweating blood, Christ was in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked God to take the cup from Him, but then He then said "yet not My will but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42), and He did it. Pulling away His "emotions", He did it.
We desire that day to day. I hear women say, "I want a guy who would sacrifice for me!" but here He is...He did it all for you.
I hear men say, "yeah man, I want someone who keeps it real..." Yeah, Christ kept it real, and I'll show you how:
2. Colossians 2:15 says He made a public spectacle of them. "Them", are your enemies man...There is nothing hidden here. He came out, did the fight, and He made sure that it was all done publicly, even if He Himself was humiliated in the process. Just for you....man :) People who are going to hate you, blame you, etc, they've all been taken cared of.
Friend, don't let your faith-walk be in shame or let the enemy fill you with fear. Like it says in verse 14, Christ NAILED (pinned it and BAM it's done!) it to the cross, He nailed it, and it's done. It's over and done with. Whatever comes out from the darkness may feel a certain way because we are still have the flesh, but we still rejoice because it has been brought to the light to recognize it ("love rejoices with the truth/whenever the truth wins out"-1 Corinthians 13:5), and it has also been taken cared of by Christ, and we can repent and move on joyfully. Amen!
Wow, what a great God. All to show you how much He loves you and how much He wants a relationship with you. Just you. Nothing else matters but You and Him, together.
Jesus loves you very much and He will show you that everyday.
God is omnipresent :) He is everywhere.
It seems like when circumstances change or when we're not in a "good" season we can fail to remember that.
I read something the other day and it made me go: "OHHHH..." *pondering*....
It was the thought that although we blame Adam and Eve for the fall of man (which results to suffering), we too would've eaten from the Tree of Good and Evil. We are not any different, wiser, smarter than they were.....!
ahh....ouch.....you're thinking....haha...so true.
With that said, God loves us very much regardless of what's going on around us or what we did long ago and was passed onto us.
He says, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to praise His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." (Ephesians 1:4-6).
This verse says, "in LOVE He predestined us..."
If God despised us, do you think He would've predestined us out of love? No way! He would've said, "they're going to fail me so there's no point!" Instead He said, "No way, I'm doing this out of LOVE and PLEASURE and I want this people to be mine."
The verse also says "with His pleasure". Pleasure is a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment. He ENJOYS doing these things.
Think of what you enjoy doing, that's like Him, except a billion times more. He ENJOYS loving you, and BEING with you. He enjoys it (that is to take great delight in and have a pleasant time). So the next time you think you are "bothering" God or any other lie that comes in, say, "No way!! He created me out of love and pleasure and He ENJOYS being with me!!"
You are loved.
God is truly in love with us and He wants to let us know that!
Luke 12:6 says, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God."
God made man and said it was very good. He created us above all of His creations!
In Psalm 8: 3- 4 David says,
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of Him, the Son of man that You care for Him?"
To put this into perspective, David sees all of God's wonders and wonders how He could still care for us.
We are so full of sin, and the depths of our hearts are so terrible, and YET God says:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love," (Jeremiah 31:3)
"I knitted you in your mothers womb" (Psalm 139:13)
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5)
"You are mine" (Isaiah 43:1).
He says, "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9.
I look back and think, "was I truly resting in God's love? Was I truly believing Him when He said I was so valuable and that He accepted me?"
We all go through that, where our surroundings seems to dictate our worth in God, or question God's love for us, but praise God He doesn't let us rest in that!
In Matthew 10:29 Jesus adds "...Yet not one [of the sparrows] will fall to the ground apart from the will of Your Father."
How amazing is that? :)
In Biblical times, sparrows were seen as the LEAST of God's creatures and people sold them at the market place after killing and tying them up. In the people's eyes, they were just worthless, so to kill them in any fashion and sell for extra change was an everyday task that didn't need much thought, but in God's head, HE knew when a sparrow would go down, and how everything would pan out.
God knows when a sparrow will fall down.
How much more for us? For you, for me? How much more!
No matter how "worthless" you feel, know that you aren't, and that your value lies in God.
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows." (Like 12:7).
He cares so much! SO much, we have no idea!
He values us so much.
He is so mindful of us, cares for us, and every detail is His.
"I have summoned you by name. You are mine." Isaiah 43:1d
Sometimes we don't realize how valued we are by Christ, by God, by our Savior.
He loves us.
He loves us very much. We beat ourselves up sometimes thinking that "if only I did this..." or "if only I was like this..." then I would get favor, or God would love me more. That's not the case, at all...
Here's a post to let you know that He loves you.
Genesis 1:31 says, "And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."
This was after God created the male and female.
If you read the verses before this, the other things He had made were 'good'. Not VERY good, but good.
You are very good in His sight. He sees you as VERY good.
Not yet convinced?
haha. Well...there's more, there's always more, and He'll prove to you that He loves you, until you get it, until you really get it.
God's creation was complete when you were created.
The word 'very' means 'exceedingly'. 'Good' means 'to be desired,' 'approved of', 'pleasing and welcome', 'to express approval'...etc.
This is what God thinks of you.
How many of you have grown up and you felt like you didn't get 'approval' or 'desired', or you seemed like you weren't pleasing to be around or you weren't welcomed?
God is saying, "Welcome, I accept you, I adore you, I cherish you, I chose you with an everlasting love." He chose you to be His and He won't stop at anything until He gets you to fall in love with Him again.
You see, once you are filled with His love, it won't matter who comes along the way and says, "you're not worth it," because you'll deeply know that in God's sight you are. That's what He wants you to be, confident in who you are in Him.
I'm in this journey too, so I come to you raw, uncovered, once again, telling you what I'm going through ;-)
Did I fall out of love? Not necessarily, but I feel like a storm made me realize that I hadn't deeply looked at God for who He truly is from the angle of unconditional love.
Is it okay if I'm honest with you here?
I was broken, so broken, and God was trying over and over in showing me Scripture of how He is Light, He is the Rock, He is my Salvation, He is Love, and I just broke because I had started to see parts of myself that I didn't like...but He comforted me and said, "as I change you, you will see me, you will see me and I will always comfort you."
I believe this is the same for you.
No matter what you're going through, see God as unchanging, as constant, but remember, that as you see Him as unchanging and constant, see Him as a God of love, of mercy, of compassion, of peace, of understanding, and of restoration instead of sole judgement. He wants to see you well again.
I'm falling in love, and I want you to join me in this journey of seeing God as He truly is.
As always, stay blessed and Jesus loves you,
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,