Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jesus Does ONLY GOOD To Us!

Jesus never burdens us - He removes burdens!

Jesus never forces or pressures us - He releases us to real freedom!

Jesus never harms or hurts us - He takes away our pains!

Jesus never makes us feel worse - He makes us feel better!

Jesus never shames or condemns us - He affirms and accepts us!

Jesus never puts conditions on His love - He loves us freely!

Jesus never withholds good from us - He freely gives us all things to enjoy!

Jesus never hides or withdraws from us - He is always open and approachable and ready to talk to us!

Jesus will never leave alone or abandon us - He gives us His heart and His loyal friendship forever!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We've Had and Identity Exchange!!

It is hitting me all over again how the Christian life is NOT about trying to change, improving, getting better so we can FINALLY be a successful Christian, worthy, and qualified for God's favor and blessing - NO!

The Christian life is a life that has already been EXCHANGED - at the point of salvation, our old life was exchanged for His resurrection Life! We have been exchanged, had a heart transplant!  We've had an identity exchange!

We are ALREADY changed, not trying to change!

We are ALREADY new, not trying to improve the old!

We are ALREADY God's Best, not trying to get better!

We are ALREADY worthy, qualified, favored and blessed!

All because we have the very Life of our dear Savior, Jesus Christ, as our actual life now! You can't improve on that! You can't get better than the perfect Life of Christ!

Thank You, Lord!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Silent Night, Holy Night
Son of God, Love's Pure Light
Radiant beams from Thy Holy Face
With the dawn of Redeeming Grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!

Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth!

Merry Christmas with love to all, 
And peace on earth, goodwill (grace!) towards men!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

We are in Christ, Thus We are FINE, Not Lacking in Any Way!

 His gift to us is CHRIST, and in Christ we have it all!  We are complete, filled full with the fullness of God!

"In Him dwells all the fullness of God in bodily form, and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.."  Col. 2:9-10

You are not lacking, not needy, not empty, not broken..

You are not hopeless, not ruined, not set aside, not disqualified..

You are not ruined, not sinful, not guilty, not condemned..

You are not sickly, not weak, not lost, not incomplete...

You are in Christ, and He is none of that! 

He is your life, the most real and true and deepest thing about you! 

He is Perfect! 

He is Righteous! 

He is Full!

He is Strong!

He is Fine!

And "as He is, so are we in this world!"

Thank You, Lord, I needed to hear this! I so needed to remember this, after being down on myself, condemning myself for so long for not being a 'better,' 'more successful' Christian! I am successful in Christ! I am not better, I am at the level of BEST in the BEST One there is!

We are all FINE in Jesus today!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is It Okay To Just Think About Grace and the Finished Work of Jesus All the Time?

Have you ever felt like maybe some people might think you obsess over grace?  Haha, I know I do!  I'm a grace addict!  I can't get enough of God's grace and love for me!  I can't get enough of thinking of my glorious Jesus and all He has done for me!  I can't get enough of the glad good news that seems too good to be true, but actually IS true!  Grace is what keeps me from going spiritually crazy!  His unconditional love and acceptance of me are what make me get up in the morning and face the new day!  His wonderful presence within me, and the way the dear Holy Spirit delights in me and fellowships with me, even right after I have a slip into sin, is like water in the desert to me, it's so precious and valuable!  Wow, grace is just sooo good and HE is sooo good! 

(I know that's a lot of exclamation points in that paragraph, but I just get excited talking about His grace, because He has brought me out of such depression and fear and anxiety in recent times, all through a fresh revelation of His I just really need to use those exclamation points, and I hope it's okay!)

But anyway, I'm getting carried away here and need to get back to my question:  Is it okay to just major on grace and make that the main thing I think of, ponder on, and fill my mind with?  I think so!  I think it is not only okay but essential to focus on Jesus' work and His grace!  For that is the gospel!  And just focusing on the main thing, the good news of the gospel of grace, causes everything else to fall into place spiritually for us.  Thinking about Him and His grace just fills me up, makes me happy, causes faith and trust to rise up in me, puts my focus on Jesus and not me, puts my focus on His ability and not my inability, puts my focus on His provision and not my lack, puts my focus on His answers and not my problems.  It causes me to praise and worship!  It makes me feel bold and free!  It makes me remember I have Christ's authority over the devil and that this enemy is totally defeated and can't touch me!  It makes me want to go love somebody or pray for them or bless them! It makes me nice to my kids and my husband!  It makes me feel all is well!  It makes me patient and understanding!  It even makes me sleep well and not feel worried or fearful..

That's what grace does!  It's like just thinking of Him and His love and grace, and what the finished work of Jesus has really done - made me righteous (seen as sinless by God!), acceptable, new, pure, good-hearted, strong in the Lord, included, secure, whole and holy - just releases the glory of heaven in my life!  Thinking with the Lord about His grace just fills me with the Spirit and His joy and peace and love!  It just fills me with joy over Jesus and makes everything seem to flow in my life, makes everything make sense again.  This is the only thing that has ever really made a difference in my Christian life or brought about holy living in any way!  And it's a great by-product of just being caught up in His love and grace!

So to me, to focus on holy living never works to produce holy living!  But focusing on the unconditional love and acceptance of Jesus and all He has done for me just fills me up, satisfies my deepest longings for love and understanding, floods me with His invigorating life being manifested, and then as a side benefit, produces holy living! 

I love how He has set it up in the Christian life, making things easy..not burdensome..We get to just feast on grace and on Jesus' love and work, having our love needs just met in abundance, and everything else - good attitudes, the fruit of the Spirit, ministry, etc., just flows from that!

Monday, December 17, 2012

"I Receive" - Wonderful Grace Song from Hillsong London

Here is a wonderful song about God's acceptance, love and grace that I just is by Hillsong London...hope you enjoy it! 

As I think about Christmas and the gift of Your Son, dear Father, I think of all that He did for us and the wonderful gift He gave us of His own life to be within us in perfect union, His Spirit joined with our spirit, for eternity!  I thank You for that wonderful union relationship You have brought us into, all through the death, resurrection and ascension of Your Son!  Now we are bonded to You in perfect intimacy and we are fully known and loved and cherished.  There is no shame, no condemnation, no anger or struggle..all is well between us!  We are completely, whole-heartedly taken into Your embrace forever!

Thank You, Lord, that we are accepted! 

Accepted, accepted, accepted, what a beautiful relief to be accepted with NO possibility of being rejected, accepted as we are, accepted with our struggles and weaknesses (all our sins are GONE anyway and remembered NO more!), accepted once and for all, included in the inner circle of Love of the Trinity, enjoying the love of the Father as it washes over us for all eternity! 

This is what we were made for, this perfect relationship of love, this unreserved acceptance, this transparent relationship where we are valued and special, enjoying perfect intimacy, sharing and union with the One who loves us like no other ever could or will..

Thank You, Lord, for grace and the free gift of that right relationship with You, that wonderful union relationship where we are accepted and taken in forever, never to be left alone, never to be mistreated, never to be forgotten, never to be anything but His dearly loved child!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

No Obligation

"It was for freedom that Christ set us free!"  (Gal. 5:1)

God is wrecking me again, in a good way, over the truth of not being under law!

I slip so easily into thinking of my performance, seeing my faults, feeling I need to 'work on' certain areas, trying to improve..and it only leads to frustration, failure, self-condemnation, and feeling guilty and ashamed for not being a more "successful" Christian!  All of this is just a LIE and is all performance-based thinking, law-based thinking!

And I am not under the law!  None of us as Christians are under law!  We are free, free, free from the law! 

What does that mean?  I feel like I have needed to learn all over again what that really means..

God is showing me it means that nothing is required of me!  This is what He whispered to me a while back, when I was seeking healing for a physical trouble I was having.  He suddenly whispered, "nothing is required of you, you don't have to do anything." Shortly after that, He ministered His healing touch to me!  Isn't He wonderful?  Everything in this Christian life is by GRACE, no effort from us required, all a FREE gift that is ours already because Jesus' work put it into our hands!  We simply realize it is ours (that's called faith) and enjoy the gift!

So anyway, that really got me to thinking about this idea of being free from the law - that nothing is REQUIRED of us.  There is nothing we MUST do, or else!  There is no FORCE in the New Covenant - just desire - God put a new heart in us, put His own nature in us, and we naturally desire to love and be kind, etc.  We want to!  We don't do it to get on God's good side (we're already on His good side, and anyway, God only has one side, the good side!  There is no 'bad side' to God!!).  We don't do it to get Him to give us the blessing (He's not withholding any good thing from us, has already blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing).  We're not doing it to avoid punishment (Jesus already took our punishment, so there's none left for us!).  We're not doing it to avoid the curse (Jesus became a curse for us on the tree, so the curse has no place in our lives or right to us at all!!  It cannot alight upon us!).  We do those things like loving and caring for people because it's our nature and we want to, and the Holy Spirit in us lives those desires out Himself and it is really Christ living His life in us, loving people through us while we watch!  Wow!

So we really live in freedom!  I was reading about looking into the "law of liberty" in the book of James, and I read that the word liberty used there means "without obligation" - I love that!  We are not under obligation with God.  He's not demanding anything of us.  He's not requiring, forcing, or pushing us.  Nothing is required of us!  We don't have to do anything to get His favor, love, blessing, presence, acceptance, or help.  We have already got all that  - it came with the package when we received Christ!  God freely gave us ALL things in Christ!  With no strings attached, no demands on us to do something in order to keep those gifts, no performance requirements to keep or else we'll lose those things, either. The gift of the Son, and all that He is, His perfection, health, freedom, authority, peace, joy, belovedness, favor, acceptance, victory, abundance, strength, hope, safety, etc. are all ours, too, for free, by GRACE!  By unmerited favor!  To me, that means we don't have to do anything to get them or do anything to keep them - they are just plain ours in Christ, so we can say 'thank you' and start enjoying all He came to give us, without worrying about cleaning up our act, getting it all together, our works not being so great, etc.

I think He wants me to get my focus off my own works and failures (that's sin-consciousness!) and get my focus on Him and His perfect work and love for me, and how that makes me perfect and beloved in Him before the Father (that's Son-consciousness)!  The first way feels like death to me, but the second way is unending joy and life!  What a wonderful way to live!  Free from obligation, free from having to prove oneself, free from having to earn acceptance, free from worry that you'll fail so much you'll be rejected or condemned, free from worrying about your works at all!  He's already put us in life by Christ's work, not our own, and we're kept there by Christ's work not our own!  Nothng is required of us!  We are not under obligation!  We are free to do anything!  Yes, I really wrote that!  So, what do I really want to do??  I want to think about Jesus all day, praise His name, read about His love and grace, and smile and tell the whole world they are loved for free!  I want to be nice to somebody, want to worship, want to look into the eyes of Jesus and tell Him, "My Jesus, I love You! Thank You for loving me so unconditionally!  I love You!"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Forgiven - by Bethel Live


Forgiven - by Brian Johnson

Verse 1:
I will sing for You alone have rescued this life
Jesus, You have set me free
You alone took away all sin and disgrace
When You gave Your life to ransom me

I am forgiven at the foot of the cross
I am accepted by the power of Your love
My every stain is washed away
I am forgiven

Verse 2:
Here I stand in the light of Your glory and grace
Where Heaven’s love and justice meet
Now I live for the One who has called me by name
Who is risen and alive in me

I'm embraced at the foot of the cross
By the love and the mercies You have lavished on us
My every stain is washed away
I am forgiven

Friday, December 7, 2012

How Can I Rejoice When I Don't Feel Like Rejoicing??

Have you ever heard a message like this:  "Always praise God and lift Him up, even when in the worst circumstances and problems and negative feelings.  Just keep praising God, and that that will help us focus on the truth." I have, and I think it's a good message, but...

But what do we do when we honestly don't feel like praising?  what do we do when life is pressing in so much we can barely lift our head up and survive till the next moment?  I think in my own life, I have felt shamed for the times I haven't prayed through or praised down the glory or been always rejoicing even in the midst of my problems.  I have felt guilty for not being a better Christian in those times, not being as triumphant and happy and overcoming as I was "supposed" to be.  I have felt I failed.  And yet, God says we're all winners to Him because of Jesus!   And He isn't expecting perfect behavior out of us, really has NO expectations of us, because He knows that without Him, we can do NOTHING anyway!  He always sees us perfect, because He made us perfect through the Son's work for us!  So we are free to be ourselves, with our messes and mistakes, and just let it al hang out with God!  He can handle it and won't shame us!  So we can be 'real' with Him in those hard times when we just don't feel like shouting 'hallelujah", you know?

I've found in my life that I can just admit that to God, that I don't feel like rejoicing but instead feel fearful or bitter and rotten or doubful or worried or hurt or alone (or whatever the feeling is), and I can have an honest heart to heart with Him.  We don't have to come up with anything alone on our own.  We can ask Him to fill us and take over.  His love and joy will start filling us up.  He will uplift us!  "When my cares overwhelm me, YOUR COMFORTS DELIGHT MY SOUL!"  (Ps 94) And then suddenly we feel ike praising! 

God is always accepting us.  We can bring to Him our honest thoughts and feelings.  He will never reject us.  All our feelings are valid before Him.  He truly understands us and our hurts and how we feel!  He doesn't ever minimize our feelings or wounds or say we 'shouldn't' feel or hurt!  He died for those hurts and pains, they were very real when He bore them on the cross for us!!  He's taken them away and doesn't want us to bear them a minute!  They are illegal, really!  NO negative feeling is meant to be on us!  We have been made whole and given joy and peace, and that's our rightful inheritance that He wants us to experience always.  And He will make us to experience it!  Not us, not by our work but His!

So anyway, I think these awful feelings we can feel are very real and painful yet illegal, things the enemy tries to put on us to make us miserable!  A lot of times the feelings can even be lying feelings from the enemy, trying to make us feel hurt, down, despairing, etc.  Just ask God to fill you with His Spirit and wash all that away, and tell them to go in Jesus' name!  I have had this happen to me, where I suddenly start feeling very depressed and start crying about something, and then I realize from an awareness through the Spirit, that this feeling is a lying feeling from Satan, and when I ask the Spirit to fill me and/or just send the feeling away in Jesus' name, it is just gone and I feel okay again!

Sometimes too He does amazing healing within us, bringing His healing to bear on our wounds.  I find that a lot of times, when I just share my feelings, say of anger at a friend, He shows me the deeper wound behind it all that may be triggering the anger - for example, it may be fear that my friend will reject me.  And He just soothes me with His love and shows me in a new way that HE won't ever reject me!  He just fills me with His presence and love and puts His balm of LOVE on that wound!  It isn't a painful experience but a renewing and joyful one!  I love how bringing things to light with God brings healing, not shame, pain, or even fear of being exposed or vulnerable.  We are safe with Him. He won't ever lash out at us or hurt us.  He will heal us with His love!  He won't break the wounded reed or blow out the flickering candlelight!  In His presence is fullness of joy and eternal pleasures, the very bliss of heaven blooming within our hearts!  That's how His healing touch is when He touches our wounds places - like Springtime touching the barren ground and warming it, making life spring up in beauty and brightness!

I am learning that God can always DO something, and He wants to bless us every second!  He is always ready to help and pull us up!  When our feet start slipping, He upholds us! (Ps 94)!  He is always pulling us back to look at the truth!  And our hearts want to look at the truth and they do believe the truth!  So what battle?  God already won and we just enforce the victory, by HIS power and by HIS Spirit - not be OUR might or OUR power!  It's all Him! All glory to Him!  He say that He always carries us along in triumph!  Wow, that's my Dad!

(You know, after reading through this I want to make sure that anyone reading who feels wounded, tired, hurting and defeated would not read this and feel worse, perhaps thinking, "I've tried to give it to God, tried to ask Him to fill me, tried to just rest, but I STILL have the depression, etc."  I do not want anyone to ever read this blog and come away feeling worse.  Jesus never puts burdens, shame, guilt or stress on people - He always takes them off, and I want Him to do that through my words for any reader!  So I hope noone feels that way.  I know depression is terrible, having suffered with it for a solid year after my daughter was born with her complicated heart defect.  Some days I wished I were just already in heaven, I just didn't think I could live another day with the worry and fear.  I was never able to shake it and felt like a failure.  It slowly lifted without me doing a thing, all by God's grace.  And years later, He gave me an encounter with His presence, and I suddenly realized that all along He had been there for me, with me, going through it all, crying with me, through the dark times.  He had never forsaken me, He had carried me and kept anything worse from happening!  He had continually accepted and loved me, that had never wavered no matter how oblivious I was to His care, no matter how ashamed I felt of being so worried and 'untrusting' and afraid rather than 'faith-filled."  HIS faith and trust had carried me through, not my own.  So I just send out my love to anyone going through a dark time, especially here at Christmas, and I just bless you with His love and presence in Jesus' name.  You do not have to do anything - nothing is required of you!  Jesus has taken over your case, Jesus the Great Physician is moving in your life.  No matter what, He holds you in His hands and accepts and protects you.  He has never failed.  He never will!  His love won't fail you now...With love to all, Sparrow..)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Already Accepted

 Here is a wonderful quote from Joshua Tongol that I read on Facebook.  Just wanted to share it here, as God used it to really encourage me today! 


"The GOOD NEWS is that God accepts you even when no one else does. When everyone has rejected you, there you are, ALREADY in God's arms, comforted and safe in His embrace.

"Deep down in your heart, you know, that God's unconditional love is this way. Don't let any theologian or any misinterpreted Bible verse convince you otherwise.

"Your lack of faith or repentance does not change God's BEING as a loving Father.  In fact, it is His passionate love for you that fuels your faith in Him and even changes your mind about Him.

"You don't need to fix or change your life IN ORDER TO BE loved and accepted by God. But once your EYES ARE OPENED to the truth that you're ALREADY loved and accepted by Him, it changes your life forever."
                                                                                                     Joshua Tongol

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nothing Is Holding Me Back From You!! (Brian and Katie Torwalt)

Nothing is Holding Me Back From You
©Bryan and Katie Torwalt 2011
Verse 1
Thank You for the cross that You have carried
Thank You for Your blood that was shed
You took the weight of sin upon Your shoulders
And Sacrificed Your life so I could live
Now nothing is holding me back from You
Redeemer of my soul
Now nothing can hold me back from You
Your Love will never let me go
Verse 2
Thank You for Your death and resurrection
Thank You for the power of Your blood
I am overwhelmed by Your affection
The Kindness and the Greatness of Your Love
The Kindness and the Greatness of Your Love
Verse 3
Thank You that we’re living in Your Kingdom
Jesus You’re the King upon the throne
Thank You for the way You always love me
Now I get to love You in return
Now I get to love You in return
Jesus, You make all things new
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14