Categories
Sunday Strength Uncategorized

Sunday Strength: Hitting Reset

Sunday Strength

Wanna know my favorite part about the beginning of a new week? The ability to hit reset.

I love the ability to hit reset.

A few weeks ago, I felt led to jump start into some new changes. One of which is following a Chronological Bible Reading Plan. I have decided to use my blog’s facebook page, as a form of accountability. I try to write each day about what I feel God is telling me -&- hope to build some kind of community between myself and other followers of Jesus. And well, this week, I have slacked off in that study. I might even be a day (or 2) behind on it.

God knows I need to hit reset. Not just in one area. I just need a new week, a new beginning, and thank God – it’s that time. A new week and month.

Perhaps, you need a new start too. This is made possible with the Lord our God! Jesus came, to give us a new life. This is why He came. He came to dwell with us and make a way when there didn’t seem like any way – for us to enjoy a right relationship with our Creator. He came, to give us life and community, and we don’t have to do this on our own. We don’t have to keep focusing on our screw-up’s.

We have God on our side.
Christ paved the way, for us.

God’s Mercies

The bigger-than-life-blessing is God’s mercies are new each day. We may have found ourselves entangled in less than honorable pursuits this week. But, His mercies are still made new with each day.

This week, we can come before God – and be flat out honest.

He already knows, which makes our coming before His throne of grace much more of option than it-already-is. Not only is He ready to give us the grace we need, He already knows we need it.

Our Focus

Need to hit reset? Me too. However before we prepare to hit reset, let’s focus on the grace of God. The One who forgives the inexcusable. The One who gives us strength, when we don’t think we have it in us to reset. We haven’t screwed up that badly in hindsight. Have we? God stands ready, to help us as we seek to follow Him.

Remember, His grace.
Remember, His love.

Come to His throne of grace today. He already knows exactly what you need. Just come and be with the Father – enjoying the grace we have been gifted with.

How enduring is God’s loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day. (Lam. 3:22-23, VOICE)

Since we have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God who has passed through the heavens from death into new life with God, let us hold tightly to our faith. For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God. 

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Categories
Sunday Strength

Sunday Strength: Being There for Those Who Have Forgotten You

Sunday StrengthFor the past couple of weeks, we have hit some pretty heavy topics that are affect how we live. Next: Being a listening voice of grace when others may not been there for you.

The Intimacy of Our Struggles

We see and feel everything that we face, on a more-than-intimate level, and face others walking through their lives. And, we forget about others. We get wrapped up in what we face, and just forget about the need to be there for others.

Offering the Grace We Have Received

I think, this is where grace steps in. We offer grace to others each time we reach out to others and allow the conversations to become as one-sided-as-one-sided-can-be – where you are a listening voice.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Colossians 3:13, NLT).

Listening Voice of Grace

In being a listening voice of grace, you do a couple things.

  1. Acknowledge they need you.

    This is the hardest shift. Just being real here.

    While you face a trial and others need you, laying down your struggles for a few moments to be there for another is an act of service.

What this means:

  • It doesn’t mean your struggle is not important. Our problem is exchanging receiving support for giving it. There is a need for both. We need to come together, and recognize each person’s struggle is significant.
  • Relationships need balance. Strive for this balance of being near for others when they need you, but also let them know you have needs too.
  • You are participating in an act of worship toward your Creator. It’s not so much about them, as it is your heart and willingness to worship.
  1. Acknowledge the past hurts reflect not everyone loves like you do. Where you might jump in to support others, they may not. Allow God to use you in this place of being there.
  1. Acknowledge God’s love covers a multitude of sin. The love and sacrifice of Jesus doesn’t just cover my sins. It covers theirs too.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8, NIV).

When We Become a Listening Voice of Grace…

We get the joy of reading verses like these that point us toward why we can lay aside our past hurts and forgive others. We can forget about talking forgiveness, but actually live it. Reflecting Christ in our words and deeds.

It is done, because and for Jesus. It is not for nothing or letting people run over us.

It is choosing to still be His witnesses, even when it hurts.

Because He is greater. His grace is greater than our past hurts.

[K]nowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality (vv. 24-25, NASB).

Signature

Categories
Sunday Strength

Sunday Strength: Overcoming Darkness of Depression

Depression.

We all have heard about it.

Likely, we have experienced it ourselves. Maybe, we haven’t been depressed ourselves, but have known someone who has.

Psalms: Anatomy of All Parts of the Soul

This Sunday Strength, I want to discuss depression. According to one source, the Bible has 1,189 chapters. They are not solely chapters found in an ordinary book, rather these are the places where we can hear from God. Think about how many words from God, that is.

 In the book of Psalms itself, it has a word count of…

Nearly 45,000.

Psalms is known as the book of “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul” by John Calvin. John Calvin is a popular theologian, who spent much time gleaning from the Word of God. Calvin goes on to say:

“for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the Holy Spirit has here drawn to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are won’t to be agitated.”

Our Caring God

God cares for us. This is the truth learned from Psalm 34:18. In this small nugget of a verse, we learn that God cares for the broken. God cares for us, even when we feel the most broken and fragile. When we feel profoundly hurt by life and circumstances, God reveals He deeply cares for us.

His desire is not to leave us in this place, but to be our Refuge and yes – even our strength. He desires to save those who are “crushed in spirit.”

God’s Power

One of the most remarkable truths is – God isn’t afraid to step into our pit of darkness. When we are in despair, God isn’t afraid to step in. God longs to caress us, and be our strength! He longs to be our resting place, and to bring our hearts out of such a rocky place and place us on solid ground (see Psalm 40:2). He invites us to experience His magnificent power in our lives.

As we think about our own lives and swimming emotions that can make us feel as though we are drowning, I encourage each of us to read and meditate on this passages below.

“In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1, AMP).”

“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out (Jn. 1:1-5, MSG).”

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… (Col. 1:15-19, ESV)”

Designed to Overcome

 

I want to highlight one aspect of these words from God – our Creator. He is all-powerful. There is nothing we cannot overcome, when we have God on our side. I know the depression may be crushing you right now, but seek God. Scripture reminds us that “when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8a).”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome [His light] (John 1:5, TNIV).”

Reflection –

How can you invite God into the hardest aspects of your life? Perhaps it is something other than depression, but you stand broken. Our brokenness is not too great for God to handle and enable us to overcome.