Author: Libby May

The God of Another Chance

Have you ever been dumped? Have you ever been betrayed? Rejected? Have you ever been so disappointed, so let down, that your heart hurt? It’s so hard for us as people to absorb hurt. It tears us up. We have a hard time loving those people again.

I’m done beating around the bush. We reject Him. We betrayed Him. We dumped Him and cheated on Him! And for goodness sake, we killed Him!

Idolatry is defined as “Entertaining thoughts about God that are not worthy of Him.” It sure opens up our eyes to how much we really are idolaters. Consider your latest challenge in doing what God asked (this can also include what your parents or sibblings asked you to do.) Grab onto that and think about what thoughts were in your heart as you struggled to carry through. Maybe “I don’t feel like doing it right now. I don’t mind disappointing God.” Be honest with yourself, “It doesn’t really matter right now,” or “I honestly don’t care what He thinks at this moment.” Maybe you were thinking “It’s just a simple task, not everything is tied to God, I can disobey.” (slow obedience is disobedience).
In conclusion. We’re constantly “entertaining” unworthy thoughts of God. He is Infinity, Divinity, Righteousness, Love, and Justice all in one. He does care. It does matter to Him. Your life matters to Him. Everything you do matters to Him!

We shouldn’t have many little thrones in our hearts. One throne. And one Person on that throne. Jesus. God. Nothing should be worthy a side seat.

I’m sure you have heard the saying “JOY, Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.” I’d like to challenge that saying. If you love Jesus first, you will not need to be reminded to love others, and you definitely never need a reminder to love yourself, you’ll take care of that without thinking about it.

If your life and being is saturated with Jesus and everything is guided and directed and held up by your love for Him and His love for you, everything will fall into place?
What are the most important things in your life? Stop and think before you read on. Jesus, and Family, and Friends. Right?
Those are called mini-thrones. It should be one and only one thing. Jesus. Through Him, everything else will be taken care of. The “and” is often the most crippling thing in our relationship with God.

Recently, I have had feelings for a man in our church. We’re good friends, and I really like him. But he’s moving to another state. It challenged my relationship with God and opened my eyes to how easy it is to let something slip in and fight for the throne in my heart. Keeping Him as the center is a conscious decision that you have to make ALL THE TIME.

And isn’t it amazing that He is still willing to take us back, after all those times we have pushed Him aside, we’ve abandoned Him. And those moments when you look Him in the face for a moment before you do what you know He wishes you wouldn’t.

God is the God of Another Chance. Not a second chance. If all we got was a second chance, well. We’d be long gone. No. He’s the God of another chance… and another… and another. In fact He will take you back time after time. Your heart is what He wants. And that’s what He deserves. Know that no one is worthy, and there is no one you can trust more than Him. He wants what’s the best for you. We may not always understand, but He gives us chance after chance to get to know Him. To love Him, and to move forward holding His hand.

Dear Jesus, Lord of all,

Thank you for chance after chance. Thank you that you give me the opportunity to know you more and more time after time. I’m sorry that I’m so easily distracted and lead my life chasing after things that don’t mean anything when you are the only thing that will ever fulfill me. Please, help me to know you more and to love you more. I don’t want my life to go to waste. Fill me with your Spirit and guide me to lead my life after you. I can’t do this alone. And thank you that I don’t have to. Thank you that you have paid the price for my sins and that I can come before you and request your aid.

In your wonderful and priceless name.
Amen

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Guidelines for Girls

Glorify God for Real

“I wish I had more time to read the Bible.” “I wish I spent more time dwelling on the Word.” “I feel so bad that I don’t pray more.” “I feel guilty, I’m so busy I have so little time to spend with God.”
“I’m so weighed down. I love God. I want to spend more time with Him. I want to pray, I want to cling to Him. It just seems I always have to push myself to do those things, and my heart is not in the right place!”
Guilt. Personal guilt. I know this plagued me for so long! I felt so awful, unable to just do ANYTHING right. What’s worse, this guilt didn’t push me to God. It pushed me away from Him. Oh, I was still saved. I still believed that Jesus had died for me on that cross. But my relationship with Him suffered.

My pastor brought up a very good point a couple of weeks back that I had to share with you girls. Romans 8:1 says “There is now NO CONDEMNATION!” Breath that in. Do you know what that means?

I don’t imagine the pain in His eyes as He has both of His arms wrapped around me, waiting at a moment’s notice. If only I turn to Him. If only I’d offer Him all I was each time. He was ready to take that burden. He was ready to fill me with hope and peace, it’s just I’m too stubborn. I’m too human to accept the fact that no “official” apology will be good enough, and yet He’s willing just to take a genuine one. A broken heart. That’s all He asks. A genuinely offered heart.

During a Bible study, Ethan pointed out that Satan is called “the accuser of the brethren.” But notice that’s Satan. We have “NO CONDEMNATION!”
God does not want us to read out of guilt. He doesn’t want us to pray because we haven’t yet today. God wants us to love Him because He first loved us. Our love should not come from guilt.

Now that that’s cleared up, how do we love Him because of love? Tell you this. We have so much to do. After all, we are humans. We have needs, school, work, family, our days are busy. Even if we set apart a couple of minutes, sometimes hours, and sometimes even days, for spending time with Him. It’ll never be enough.
Our spirit (our new man) pulls us toward heaven. It’s a hunger. We will not be satisfied until we are forever in God’s presents. And until then we will never set aside enough time for Him to satisfy us.
This is why it says we are FILLED with the Holy Spirit. It represents being saturated, being soaked, every crevice of our souls, of our beings, dripping with God and His goodness. If that is so, our time with God is not limited to the times when we say “God, hello. Here I am, I’m going to pray now.” God doesn’t leave to go take care of someone else, until that moment when we call for Him, telling Him we’re ready. No, He is ALWAYS there with us. If He was physical we’d constantly be tripping over His rob, accidentally elbowing Him as we turn.  We’d know what cologne He wears, because He stands so close. He carries us, guides us, gives us life.

HE GIVES US LIFE. All the involuntary muscles you learned in biology are involuntary to us, but do you realize it’s by God’s grace, and His attentiveness that your heart beats every time it does. It’s because of Him that when you aren’t thinking about it, you’re still breathing. No matter how independent we think we are, where He is will not change.

When we realize how close He really is, we should understand that those moments when we are alone, we’re not really alone. That hour you spent scrubbing the kitchen after a birthday party. You were not doing it alone. Of sure, you’re scrubbing all the dishes, but He is keeping your heart going so that you can actually scrub.
He’s so close, watching you do it. It should drive you and I to do our best in everything. If I realized that Jesus stood over my shoulder, smiling as I scrubbed, making sure I can catch my breath, making sure my heart is beating, I’d use everything I am to make Him smile. To please Him. As we live our life, we glorify God. We do not have guilt to drive us to pray more, to read more. We have Love to do that, and if we are in the right heart we glorify Him with our very lives. That is the answer. By His Holy Spirit everything we do glorifies Him.

Let guilt and regret, discomfort, that mess keeping your back turned, fall away. You’re clean, you’re loved, you glorify God with your very life because HE LIVES IN YOU.

Dear Jesus, Love of all

Thank you for your Spirit that lives and breaths in me. Thank you God that you are pleased with me because when you look at me you see Jesus. I owe you everything.
Jesus, please forgive me for the time I’ve spent with my back turned to you out of guilt. Forgive and cleanse, and remind me always that you are HERE ready to take me into your arms and forgive. All you want is a genuine heart, and I ask that you grow and teach me.

In your wonderful and priceless name
Hallelujah
Amen.

 

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