Here’s a video that will tell you more about the new take on one of the Bible’s most well-known stories.
God, my shame and guilt are pretty deeply rooted. I messed up again. I am a mess. What is wrong with me? I don’t feel right. I have given You a thousand reasons to be disappointed, or to turn Your back on me. However, 2000 years ago You poured out Your anger, and justice, and disappointment, and criticism upon Jesus, Your own Son, in my place. So now, You can’t be critical of me, or disappointed in me, ever again. Make me really get that in my head and heart so that my guilt has less power over me right now.
I see again that Jesus’ record of doing everything right is now, for some crazy reason, put into my biography, my resume – and everything His life earned- heaven, eternal life, Your love, forever. You can’t ever love me more than You do, as much as You love your Son and He loved You. You can’t love my any less, ever. You have to like me, no matter what I did or didn’t do last week, no matter what I suspect that others feel toward me. It may feel like it. Yet the messiness is on my end, not yours.
Give me power to undo my fear that I am unlovable, or likeable. Give me, through the Spirit of Christ in my inner being, the power to be able to overcome my shame, guilt, and fear. Quick, before I go and mess up some other relationships again. Simply put, make me feel loved by You. Make me see Your smile and hear Your voice. Fill my beat-up, emptied cup. Now please.
(2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 3:14-21)
Wisdom at Christmas, a forgotten love story, and the hope of Christ’s birth at Christmas. You will find all of these in “God is in the Manger,” a devotional based on the story and writings of renowned Christian author, pastor, and martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Our current Christmas series is based on this devotional.
Got a daily devotional? Extreme devotion is a devotion of extreme faith. Faith that stands true to Christ beyond threats, persecution, and even martyrdom. You will be nurtured and inspired by this read.
Got inspiration? Here’s a book of our brothers and sisters who said yes to Christ when many would say no. They died for their faith and now are enjoying his crown of life. Pick this up and get inspired by those who paid it all for your faith.
Here’s a great article from John Piper’s Desiring God website that goes along with this past week’s sermon on whom Christ died.
The following is a letter from God Himself to You. It is from Take Heart YZ by Bill Senyard.
Do you know how much I adore you? When I look deep into your eyes – into your weary and beat-up soul, do you know what I feel? I am stunned at what I see. I made you for a particular purpose of great glory and creativity. I specifically chose your eye color, your hair color, and your stubbornness because no other colors or traits would do.
Up until now you have been resistant to My love. I know your struggle better than even you do. You have had your reasons. But now, it is the time for you to e loved with the love that up until now you could only dream of from a distance. This is what your soul has longed for since you were a child. This is a love far greater than what even your parents gave you. This is the love that you have been searching for all of your life in all the wrong places. I love you as you are – right now – with all of the worts and wrinkles – all of the scars and mistakes. I look at you and knwo who you really are. I love you far more than you even love yourself. You look in the mirror and you see distortions and fractures – scars. I only see your deep residing beauty – unscarred. Look into your reflection in my eyes – then you will see and know.
Come to me to really be embraced. You don’t need to dress up for me. I am not a fan of masks. No doubt, this is a scary thing for you to hear. Love has betrayed you too often. It has cost you many things, many scars. You have many fears. It is scary to be vulnerable to such a love. You, no doubt, imagine that maybe I too will not love you – that I would be ashamed of what I see or that I would be angry at you like others have been. But that will not happen. I only desire to honor you with great love and glory.
I invite you to come into my embrace just to be held and adored – as you are. You can do nothing to earn my love. It cannot be earned. It has already been paid for by my Son on your behalf. It is perfectly now yours forever. To you I am now the Great Lover King. Up until now, you have not known this amazing love because you have not asked for it. Or you have pursued other gods, counterfeits. Hear this. Know this. My love will not leave you as you are. This love heals.
Do not look within. Come to Me as I am. Do not delay. Come. If anyone thirsts, they should come to me. I will quench their thirst. Your soul is very thirsty. Come and drink freely. Do not hesitate. Do not be ashamed. Come. It is time to leave the darkness and shadows that plague you and enter the light.
This is adapted from Song of Solomon by Bill Senyard in Take Heart YZ, published by Gospel App Ministries.
Faith unfolding is a very short book (only 80 pages!) that has inspired my current F.A.I.T.H. 201 sermon series. The Gospel is the center of Christianity, and Faith Unfolding will deepen your understanding and living of the Gospel. It is a short, yet powerful study of God’s grace and sovereignty. The link to the Amazon page is below.
There is a crisis of immaturity in Christian leadership, Terry begins this books. Do we know the Scriptures? Yes. Do we attend church regularly? Yes. Do we strive to learn more and pray? Probably. Yet, the church needs leadership that is immersed in the Spirit and has its identity rooted in Christ. This is a book that I reread every year to remind myself where I am and where God desires to take me. I highly recommend this short book to all believers.
This book is an excellent read that inspired the current sermon series, God in Our Midst. As God’s presence impacts us through the work of his Holy Spirit, we are his Faithful Presence in our community, homes, and workplaces. An excellent read for any believer. The Amazon page is below. It is available in paperback, eBook, audiobook, and CD.