Finding Easter

There are many traditional Scripture passages that are used at Easter to tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Passages from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the Beloved. Each is a beautiful passage full of meaning and passion.

For this Easter week, however, I would like to share the story of Easter from 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as The Love Chapter. Because the entirety of Scripture is a means of pointing the nation of Israel and Gentiles like you and me to Jesus, the story of Easter can be found in many places. Let’s see how beautifully it fits into this famous passage.

 

Finding Easter in 1 Corinthians 13

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:

4 ~ Love is patient ~ In the fullness of time, and not one moment before, God sent Jesus to earth on a mission. Had I been God, my patience would have been exhausted about two minutes after Eve bit into the fruit. Not God! God’s love was and is patient, not wanting anyone to perish. He could have ditched all two of his creations and started over at that point, but He did not.

4 ~ Love is kind ~ All throughout His ministry there were times when Jesus could have chosen the un-kind way ~ The Pharisees who certainly deserved no kindness, the multitudes pulling at Him, the lame, the blind, the sick, and the lost demanding His attention. Yet, He was always kind. He was kind to the woman caught in adultery. He was kind to Judas, for heaven’s sake. He was kind to Judas the entire three years of His earthly ministry. Jesus is kind to you and me.

4 ~ Love does not boast; it is not arrogant ~ He was the SON. OF. GOD. for pity sake!! He had every right to be boastful. There had never been anyone like Him. He was royalty of the highest order, yet He took the attitude of a servant. He was beaten and stripped naked by men whom He had created. He was crucified like a common criminal. He could have pulled rank, but He did not.

5 ~ Love is not rude; it does not insist on its own way ~ Jesus said that He did nothing of His own accord. He did only what the Father instructed Him to do. You and I (probably more I than you) would have gone into control freak mode and decided that I had a better way to redeem humanity. Better yet, I would have decided that humans were not worth the price. Yet, Jesus never did. He was always obedient to the Father.

7 ~ Love bears all things ~ Jesus bore every stinkin’ sin that I have ever committed on Himself as He hung on that cross. Every hateful word I have spoken, every sexual sin I committed, every greedy desire, every prideful attitude, every lie I have ever told. Jesus bore it all because of love.

7 ~ Love endures all things ~ Not only did He endure having all the sins of all the people in the world heaped upon Him, Jesus endured being separated from His Father. The turning away of the Father, while Jesus hung on the cross, was the ultimate rejection. It was the worst break-up in history, and Jesus knew it would happen. He endured it anyway.

7 ~ Love hopes all things ~ Hope. The hope of the resurrection that would, once and for all, defeat eternal death for all who would believe in Jesus. The hope of heaven. The hope of restoration. The hope of purity and holiness for anyone and everyone who will believe. Hope for you. Hope for me.

8 ~ Love never ends ~ The love that Jesus displayed on the cross is a love that never ends. It is a love that offers eternal life to all who will believe. It is a love that heals and restores and elevates and renews. That same love will bring us forth from the grave one day, clothed in holiness and purity. That is the love in which we will be enveloped for all eternity…..if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and the payment for our sin.

Love is…..Easter. Love is…..Jesus. Do you know Jesus today?

SDG/FCA!

This post contains affiliate links.

One way you can share the message of Easter is by sponsoring a child through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship Program. There is a child who shares your birthday who needs to hear about Jesus. Would you say ‘yes’ to sponsorship today?

 

I’m Too Busy To Have A Quiet Time ~ Lies We Believe #4

Today I am sharing a video for our 4th lie, in the Lies We Believe series. In the Lies We Believe series we are tackling common lies that people believe regarding God and faith. If you received this post via email, please click HERE to go to my website and watch the video.

So many of us believe that we are too busy to carve out time for a daily quiet time, or **gasp** an entire day of Sabbath. The truth is we are too busy NOT to carve out daily quiet time.

 

 

I'm Too Busy To Have a Daily Quiet Time Lies We Believe #4

 

Have you missed any of the other posts? No worries. Here are links to all of them.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear….or Will He? 

Today’s lie is one that I fell victim to for years. Today I’m sharing that story, as well as sharing about the mentor who helped me see that it is okay and necessary to make time to be alone with Jesus.

If this post strikes a chord of familiarity in your heart and you would like to have someone walk alongside you and help you find ways to make time with Jesus a priority, I would love to talk to you about coaching. Simply click HERE to go to my website and find out more about my life coaching services.

 

 

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

 

HAPPENING SOON! The Praying the Promises of the Cross Challenge begins this week. Sign up today!

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross challenge. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. This will be such a wonderful addition to your daily quiet time. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

What If….?

What if you had been born in a third world country?

What if your parents made less than a $2 a day at their job?

What if you knew hunger almost as well as you knew your family?

What if the area in which you lived was infested with AIDs and people who would sell you for sex in a heartbeat?

What if it were your own parents who, just to make sure the family did not starve to death, sold you to someone for sex?

What if you were constantly worried about dying…from a preventable disease?

What if you never had the chance to get even a high school education?

 

What if You Could Make a Difference?

 

Millions of children live in the circumstances I described above. Consider the definition of poverty put forth by the World Bank:

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom.”

 

 

What if....you could change his life/

 

BUT, what if you had the means and the heart to make a difference in the life of a child in a third world country? What if you could help them go from poverty and powerlessness to freedom and possibilities?

And what if it only cost you $38 per month?

Think about the things that you might spend $38 a month on that are not essential to your life.

  • Five or six white chocolate mochas at the local coffee shop
  • Eating lunch out twice a week for 2 weeks
  • A bottle of wine
  • Downloads from iTunes
  • A new shirt or shorts
  • Tickets to a movie and all the trimmings, i.e. popcorn, coke, candy

What if you were willing to give up just one $38 monthly expenditure so a child in poverty might have hope?

What does $38 a month through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship Program give a child? I’m so glad you asked.

  • Access to medical care and nutritional support
  • An education in a local Child Development Center
  • School uniforms and education
  • Vocational training
  • And something that it is impossible to put a price tag on…..mentoring in a local evangelical church in their community. It is here the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared with these children and many hear the name ‘JESUS” for the very first time.

Would you prayerfully consider joining me as a Compassion sponsor? I sponsor 4 girls through Compassion, and it is one way that I am fulfilling the Biblical command to help the poor. What a joy it is to me to be able to write to my girls and have them write letters back to me. My heart is blessed when they tell me in their letters that they pray for me and are learning Bible verses. I tell them I love them, I am proud of them, and they are beautiful. My $38 a month is making a difference in each of their lives.

Sponsorship is easy. Simply click this link which takes you to the Compassion page on my website. Once there you can see pictures of children who are waiting for sponsors. I hope you will say YES to sponsorship through Compassion.

 

Compassion Sunday

Every year Compassion International sponsors Compassion Sunday, a day of intentional focus on Compassion Child Sponsorship. This year May 5th is Compassion Sunday. Would you be interested in hosting a Compassion Sunday in your church or organization? It doesn’t even have to be on May 5th. Any day of the week or year will work.

If you live in the north Georgia, eastern Tennesse, or western North Carolina areas, it would be my honor and pleasure to come to your church or organization and share the wonderful benefits of sponsoring a child through Compassion. Hosting a Compassion event is FREE. I would bring everything needed for the event. All I need from you is a table and about 10-15 minutes to share Compassion with your group. I would be available to answer questions your group might have AND to help them become sponsors of children.

What do you say? Email me at [email protected] for more information about hosting a Compassion event at your church.

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear ~ Or Will He?

“God will not give me more than I can bear”.

Oh, YES, HE WILL, sister! He absolutely will.

It seems that, without forethought, intention, or planning, I have written myself right into a series here on the blog. Let’s call it, Lies We Believe. Here are the links to the two other posts in this impromptu series.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

Today we are examining the lie that Christians fall victim to very often. It is a lie of reason, born of a lack of knowledge of what Scripture actually says. Here are two reasons why God WILL, indeed, give us more than we can bear.

 

God Won't Give Me More Than I Can Bear...or Will He?

 

 

God is Omniscient and He is Sovereign

Those are big, fancy spiritual words. God has infinite knowledge about everything and everyone. He knows everything there is to know about you and the things that impact you – that is Omniscience. God also has supreme power and authority.  He is working everything that concerns you out for your good. His goal is for your faith to grow so you will look more like Jesus to a lost and dying world.

Let me clarify that, when I talk about trials, I’m not talking about the temptation to sin. God does not tempt anyone (James 1:13). Neither does He allow us to be tempted beyond what we can resist. Paul assures us of this in 1 Corinthians 10:13. God will always provide a way to escape from temptation. The question is whether we will take it. If we choose to run toward temptation and not away from it, we cannot blame God for the consequences. We always reap what we sow.

In James 1:2-4, the Lord’s brother tells us to ‘Count it all joy’ when we undergo trials of any kind. Why? Because of God’s Sovereignty, He is working some things in and out of us that can only be accomplished by trials. What kind of things does He work in us? Patience, joy endurance, and humility. What does He work out of us through trials? Pride, hatred, selfishness, anger, and so many other lovely traits. Truly, if this working in and working out could be accomplished any other way, God would have chosen that way. He allows these trials to test and purify our faith in His power and wisdom.

Think about multiple examples of individuals throughout history, both biblical and non-biblical, who were, in fact, allowed to endure more than they could humanly bear. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. Stephen was martyred for his faith in Christ. Paul endured beatings, scourging, hunger, imprisonment, shipwrecks and so much more. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and three other men were murdered because they tried to share Jesus with the Auca Indians. Corrie ten Boom was imprisoned by the Nazis and watched her sister, Betsie, die in the concentration camps. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was martyred because he tried to find a way to stop Hitler. Who can forget the twenty Coptic Christian men who were beheaded by ISIS because they would not renounce their faith in Christ? None of these people had the strength to endure these trials, but because they had a strong faith in Christ, they finished well.

So yes, God will give you more than you can bear in the human realm. He just will. It is the way of faith while we walk this dusty sod of earth. But, He also provides supernatural strength to equip you for victory in the middle of the trail. Trust His heart, dear friend. He will never fail you!

SDG/FCA!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

In a recent Thursday Thoughts post, I offered a quote from martyred missionary Jim Elliot. Today I am linking to a new book written by Jim and Elisabeth Elliot’s daughter, Valerie. It is a collection of letters and stories about her parents’ remarkable love for each other and for Jesus. If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to go to my website and see the link to the book.

Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

 

“We are all God’s Children.” Over the years I have heard people use this phrase to attempt to position themselves, or others, in the family of God. Their logic is that God created every person, so we must be His children. It always bothered me a bit, but I never felt I could dispute their logic….until now.

The thought that ‘we are all God’s children’ is a nice one. It makes for warm, fuzzy feelings in the heart; a bit like sitting around a campfire singing ‘Kumbaya’. The problem is that it is not Scriptural. So, today I want us to consider three reasons why we are NOT all God’s children.

 

Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God's Children

 

Relationship

The basic assumption in the ‘we are all God’s children’ theology is that God created all of us, so we must be His children. To be someone’s child assumes a parent-child relationship. It also assumes that one of two things happened: the child was either born into the family, or they were adopted.

In the Old Testament, God had children. Those children were the nation of Israel. He was their God, and they were, for better or worse, His people. Only when an outsider believed in the God of Israel were they taken into, or adopted into, God’s family, i.e. Ruth, Rahab.

In the New Testament, and going forward, the Jewish people rejected God’s Son Jesus. In doing so, they set themselves outside of God’s family. From the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the only way to be part of God’s family, or to be His child, has been to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus made this crystal clear in John 14:6 when He said that no one comes to God except through Him. Hebrews 2:11 also speaks to the issue of God’s family.

First, there must be a relationship in order to be God’s child.

Spirit

At the moment you ask Jesus to be your Savior and to forgive you of your sins, the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Christ, comes to live within you, and He never leaves you. He is the seal, or guarantee, of your salvation.

Romans 8:9 (ESV) is the verse that spoke clearly to me on this issue of being a child of God. Paul is seeking to clarify what qualifies a person as belonging to God. Consider this verse:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Also consider Romans 8:14 which tells us that anyone who is a child/son of God is led by the Spirit.

Second, in order to be God’s child, you must have His Spirit living within you.

Obedience

As a child, I was highly motivated to be obedient to my parents because I did not want the Bolo paddle applied to my backside. Other times, my motivation came simply from a heart of love toward my parents. Either way, as their child, I was expected to be obedient.

God expects no less from His children. He has set forth His commands in Scripture, and He expects His children to know the expectations and follow them. They are for our good because He knows what we need. He is not some cosmic judge just waiting to zap us when we are bad. He loves His children and wants them to be the recipients of His best for them. That best comes when we are obedient to His Word. (John 14:23-24, John 15:10, Romans 8:7, and 1 John 5:3)

Third, God’s children must be willing to be obedient to His commands in Scripture…..all of them.

I believe Scripture is clear that only those who are adopted into His family through the saving work of Jesus are God’s children.

Have you made sure that you are ‘one of God’s children’ by accepting Jesus as Lord? 

What are your thoughts about this issue? 

SDG/FCA!!

Want to read more in this “Lies We Believe” series? Click the links below:

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear….or Will He?

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

“I Just Can’t Forgive Myself” and Other Lies We Believe

“I just cannot forgive myself for _______________.”

This statement is something I hear from women over and over. Perhaps you have said it yourself. It sounds reasonable, especially after doing something you wish you had never done; something that causes you monumental regret.

The only problem is that it is not biblical. In fact, nowhere in Scripture will you find one verse that talks about self-forgiveness in order to (a) be truly forgiven, and/or (b) ‘feel’ forgiven and able to move on.

 

I Just Can't Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

 

Let’s look at a few verses that speak about forgiveness.

Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sins are covered

Psalm 32:2: Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity

The Hebrew word used in Psalm 32 for ‘blessed’ is asrey, meaning blessed or happy.

Psalm 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us

Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins

Hebrews 8:12: Quoting from the Old Testament, the writer of Hebrews reminds his readers of the promise God made to Israel. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Do you see there is nothing in the verses above about forgiving oneself? With that said, let’s think about times when our actions caused us great regret and the need for forgiveness. Every sin and disobedience that we perpetrate is, first, a direct offense toward our Holy God. Light bulb moment!!! Had you ever considered that truth?  (Psalm 51:1-4) Because of that God is the one who must offer forgiveness to us.

You might be thinking, “Leah, I know all that, but I just cannot ‘feel’ forgiven.”

Let me offer an illustration I hope will clarify this for you.

Do you remember when the cute guy who would ultimately become your husband asked you to marry him? Weeks or months later you walked down the aisle and said ‘I do’ to him. The minister pronounced you husband and wife and off you went to begin a new life together.

A few weeks into your married life, you decided to go out with girlfriends. You went to a place where you previously went to meet guys and saw a guy that interested you. You caught his eye, flirted with him. and he eventually asked you out on a date. You accepted.

One of your friends said to you, “But, you just got married a few weeks ago. Your husband is at home. What are you doing?”

To which your response was, “Oh, but I just don’t feel married.”

Most people would say, “Well that is crazy. No one would ever do something that ridiculous.”

Friend, that is exactly what you do when you hold onto the idea that you must feel forgiven in order to move past a sin or the consequence of something you did. If you have sinned and asked God for forgiveness for that sin, it is done. You are forgiven by God and He will never remember that sin again.

Allow me to offer a quote by Dr. James Merritt from his marvelous book entitled, 52 Weeks Through the Psalms.

What do we do with the guilt we feel years after our transgression, sin, or iniquity? To put it plainly, we need to forget. God forgives our sins and then forgets our sins; he charges our sins to Jesus’ account and wipes them off our books. Sometimes we feel guilty even though we are not because we keep trying to remember what God has forgotten and trying to uncover what God has covered. 

When we remember what God remembers, we are guilty. 

When we remember what God forgets, we feel guilty though we are not. 

When we forget what God forgets, we are not guilty and won’t feel guilty.

As deep as our faults go, forgiveness goes even deeper.

Friend, this does not mean that you never think about what you did again. That is likely not humanly possible. What it does mean is that you do not allow guilt to take you captive ever again over what happened. This is a situation where you must apply the old ‘fake it till you make it’ principle. If you have asked God to forgive you for sin, STOP remembering what He has forgotten and walk forward in His forgiveness. You are forgiven, now think and act like a forgiven person.

SDG/FCA!!

Want to read more in this Lies We Believe series? Click the links below.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

God Will Not Give Me More Than I Can Bear….Or Will He? 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

I have given you my affiliate links to the book I referenced above by Dr. Merritt and also a marvelous book I am reading for my Life Coach certification, The Lies We Believe by Dr. Chris Thurman. I highly recommend both of these books. If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can see the links to the books.

 

 

Pin It on Pinterest