Am I Loved?

My church is doing a new sermon series on our identity in Christ. “Am I Loved” was the title of the sermon a few weeks ago. I find it amazing that even after years of walking with the Lord, the question of whether or not we’re really loved, really lovable is still one that whirls around in my heart. Here are my notes:

1 John 4:8 – God is love.

You have to meet Father God for yourself.
I can listen to all the sermons in the world about the Father heart of God, read great books about the subject, be friends with people who really know God well. But if I don’t meet Him for myself, I won’t ever really know His heart for me.

You have to come to Him consistently.
It’s not a one time deal. You may have had a great experience at one time in your life, but there is more for you!
*Renew your mind with the Word of God – find out what He thinks about you. John 5:44
*Listen for His voice of affirmation. “God, what do you think about me today?”
*Worship. It allows you to focus on Him.
*To know the Father’s heart, you have to look at Jesus. Heb. 1:3, John 14:7-10, John 10:32

Know the sacrifice the Father made for you. John 3:16. He gave His son. He sacrificed His son, His only son. He allowed His son to die for you. What a love.

While I’m at it, check out Kari Jobe’s new song, “I Know that You are For Me.” If you’re struggling with the love of God, listen to this song every morning and let the truth of the words penetrate your heart. I’ve been listening to it every day, multiple times a day, for the last few weeks. I’m so encouraged by the lyrics of the song and think you will be, as well.

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Two Gomers Podcast

A few years ago, I ran my first 5K with my good friend, Kat. I finished but feel like I basically dragged behind her the entire way. She graciously said, “You did great! You were still talking there at the end. You probably could have gone a lot further.” I smiled and thought to myself, Yeah, maybe in a car. But after the race, I felt so good about myself and the fact that I really did do it. And then I thought I would keep up my training and do a half marathon someday.

Well. Years later. Haven’t run one step.

And I need to. Bad. Swimsuit season is coming and I’m not sure where I got that extra tire I’ve acquired around my midsection. Perhaps it had something to do with the powdered donuts and Doritos I was eating while watching The Biggest Loser.

Anyway, I digress.

I have a half marathon in mind to run and was looking on iTunes for inspiration. And I found it. It’s a podcast and a website called Two Gomers Run a Half Marathon. It’s basically two regular guys who, last fall, took on the challenge of running a half marathon. Real guys talking about their journey. Real conversation. Witty humor. Funny. Check it out.

Someone ask me next week if I’ve run at all.

Live Simply, Work Diligently, Give Generously

I have decided to use my blog as a journal of sorts. I have used journals over the years to record sermon notes, write to God, etc. But I need a place that I can quickly access those things without having to find the box with the journals from 10 years ago. Below are notes from a sermon on 8.17.08.

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11

The word, “know” in the above passage refers to an intimate relationship like no other. Do I truly want to know God?

Live Simply
It’s time to simplify. A lack of options is easier sometimes. Do I give myself options? It’s not wrong to want or have “more”. If “more” allows you to love God more, then it’s okay. If not, “more” may not be better.
Simple living means, “JESUS FIRST”.
Yes to prayer – no to sleep.
Yes to giving – no to hording.
Yes to boldness – no to fear.
Yes to blessing – no to criticizing.
Yes to grace – no to cynicism.

Work Diligently
Diligence is consistently applying yourself to what you know God told you to do. Be faithful.

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Proverb 21:5

We need accountability to be diligent to that which God has called us to. Help me, God! A “kingdom agenda” will provide the motivation. Live for more than yourself. We need vision and purpose – without it, you are a SLUGGARD! (Prov. 6:6-11) Take initiative. do what you need to do without being told to do it. Do you want to know Christ? How badly?

Give Generously
Honor God with everything that you are – yourself and your wealth. (Prov. 3:5-10) Give your life away – this may mean your time, your possessions, your attention, your money, etc. Be led by the Holy Spirit. Hear Him and be obedient. Start with generosity. Don’t end with it.

Simpler Times

Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy.

Famous Failures

Thoughts

I haven’t touched my blog in so long, now that I have found facebook and other ways to waste my time.  But I need to get out some thoughts and writing in my journal takes a lot longer than typing.  So, here I am.

I love Jesus.  I don’t love church and I certainly don’t love religion.  But I do love the person of Jesus.  He is my Saviour.  The One who has saved me from my sin, has set me free from myself, to love and to be loved.  I know there are a lot of opinions about Jesus.  But no one can tell me that my relationship with him isn’t real or that he hasn’t changed my life, because he has.

With that said, I often struggle in my daily walk with him.  I am told that I should spend time with him daily, both in scripture and in prayer.  In the Bible, Jesus talks about things like abiding in him and remaining in him.  I long for this.  In my limited, finite mind, I think that if someone says she loves someone, that someone would be a priority.  If my husband says he loves me passionately, but never makes an effort to get to know me more or even spend time with me, it’s ambiguous.  Shouldn’t the same principle apply to my Lord?  I ask and answer the question myself:  yes.  If that is the case, why is it that I struggle so much to abide with him and spend time with him each day?  I can repent of laziness, neglect, lack of discipline, etc.  But none of this means anything if I don’t do something about it.

I know that my “daily devotion” doesn’t have to look a certain way.  Jesus didn’t spell out a formula for this.  But without a formula, I tend to be lost.  I cannot cook without a recipe.  Just ask my husband.  I need someone to tell me what to do.  I suppose in regard to my spiritual life, that someone should be the Holy Spirit.  He is my counselor and guide.  But it still seems all so ethereal at times.  I don’t want to super-spiritualize anything.  I want to keep it simple.  But sometimes it feels so difficult to connect with God.

Like I said, I do love Jesus.  I love him very much.  Why is this so difficult?  

I’m not really asking for anyone’s comments, if someone happens to read this.  Like I said, I’m blogging pretty much for myself right now.

Is Bribery Wrong?

I told my daughter today that I would give her an M&M if she blew her nose into a tissue. Is that bad?