For many years I have prayed, contemplated, and waited each “beginning” of each year for MY WORD. The word He wants me to focus on in order to be in His will. His will is the only place that I ever feel peace.
This last year I’ve grown, changed, and learned. I have discovered things and pondered things. Life is always changing. That’s the only thing other than salvation that’s guaranteed on this side of heaven.
I truly believe that through my Pastor’s message this morning that I felt clearly the word I need to focus on.
HOPE – I need to believe that the BEST is yet to come.
I need to let the things GO that I’m allowing to make me bitter. Bitter or Better. It’s a choice.
I need to remember that all of my life has led up to this point. Everything I’ve learned, discovered, been through will help me where I’m going. As long as I’m where I’m supposed to be.
Multiple ways to describe it.
Hope. Anticipation. Belief.
Faith is necessary.
I must believe that the best is yet to come.
This one word…. HOPE, it forces me to let go of the hurts and fears and bitterness and look forward to the BEST.
You see, the WORD of God never fails. It never will fail. (See Luke 1:37 NLT) With God, nothing is impossible.
There are many areas in life that I could apply this verse to. Many areas where I need to apply this verse. Here is what I’ve learned and finding this verse is a result of looking for an answer in His Word.
In life there are seasons and not just seasons of people. There are people that come and go and seasons that are high and low. There are people who stay. There are those who hurt us and who we hurt. Some accidentally, some on purpose. You learn that you can only fix you and you can only change your heart.
There are those who are like sandpaper and those who we mesh with. But we don’t get to choose who we should be kind hearted to… even when they hurt us. Then there are those who are oblivious to the fact that they pour salt in our wounds over and over. But we can’t live in a bitter state and rise above at the same time.
Bitter or Better. I remember Granny Shiver saying: “You can let it make you bitter or better.” when sharing about life issues. It’s always stuck with me. In the back of my mind. And praise God that His Word is always available to me. When I want to wallow and try to figure out why… I can just turn to the Word and find “why not” or why to not wallow in my feelings. Sometimes it takes longer than others. Sometimes it’s my last resort instead of first instinct. That’s real life.
There’s more to this thought of mine that I’ll be sharing here on my blog. Until then, maybe you needed this reminder, too.
People will let us down, but God NEVER will. Grace. He gives it to us abundantly.
The seasons and people in our life can grow us, if we choose to let them make us better and not bitter. I’m working on becoming better. It’s only possible with God.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (Proverbs 4:23-24 NIV)
My mouth. Sometimes A lot of the time, it would do me good to just count to 10.. Or 10,000. Depends on the moment.
Hear me when I say that I’m a work in progress. Hear me when I say that it is usually with my husband and our daughters. As in, I’m like a babbling brook overflowing with however I feel at the moment.. With the ones who share my space.(anybody else relate?) My tribe. Poor things. They see me when I’m tired. They see me when I’m at my breaking point. Poor things see me and hear me when I’ve had all that I think I can bear. Bless ’em.
Hey. I could turn it around and say that while they see me at my worst, I too, see them at their worst. It’s true.
What is in my heart will overflow out of that leaky faucet of a mouth I tend to have here at home amongst my tribe. My tribe. Home should be our safe place. The safe place.
Whether I’m rambling or not thinking before speaking, or saying what I feel without feeling what I say, it’s a heart issue.
Listen. I know good and well that I’m not the only woman or person that needs to learn to keep my words sweet. Or even just keep my words.. In my mouth.. Zipped up. Words are what gets most of us in trouble.
Just like the way a piano key is pounded or gently tapped or softly pressed, our words have the same effect. The tone we use can change a mood entirely. It’s a choice. Tone. Timing. Temperature. Yes, your words, my words, they even have a temperature!
Hot words –> When angry
Cold words –> When wanting to hurt
Warm words –> To soothe and show love
You get the point.
Words. I love words. Can you take a wild guess at what one of my main love languages is? Yep. You guessed it. Words of Affirmation. I LOVE words. I mean, I’m a writer for goodness sakes. I love words. I love to use them to encourage others. I love to pray. I love to share the gospel through words. Sometimes my words are not encouraging to my little tribe here at home though.
I should probably work on that with my man. Usually it’s when I’m tired or being selfish that I snap on him. Even if I’m not in the wrong, I still have a choice when using my words.
I should probably work on that with my daughters. They learn what they live. When I find myself getting on to them about their smart mouths or tone with each other, I stop and think for a second. Hey. They get it from us. They get it from me. They learn what they live.
My God is so merciful and gracious and good. I can hardly believe sometimes that HE would choose to love a sinner like me, in spite of me. HE loves me, he knows me, he made me, he loves me in spite of all of my failures and inadequacies.
And if I want to truly SHINE JESUS, my words better reflect JESUS.
Maybe you find yourself feeling the same way at times. Ashamed when you fail. Frustrated because the levy broke and ugly or hurtful words spewed out. Embarrassed because you should have it together by now. But you don’t. And I don’t. HE is not finished with us yet friends. Praise God HE is not finished.
We can fix our leaky faucets. With God. We can be intentional about our choice of words. We can think before we speak, text, tweet, or post. We can listen more than we speak. You know the old two ears one mouth saying, the one about listening twice as much as we speak. We can choose to overlook an offense as the Proverbs tells us. We can do some heart surgery. Inspecting ourselves. Looking deep within. Getting to the root. Immersing ourselves in The WORD of God and in prayer. Communicating with the One who created us.
If the saying “You are who you hang around” is true. And it is. Then maybe we would all do well to “hang around” God more.
No matter the circumstance, we all have a choice in how we react and whether we bridle our tongue or not.
I’m grateful for my God. The One who shows mercy to me when I mess up. And I’m grateful to the ones who remind me of Jesus.. The ones who show me mercy as well.
Maybe it’s time for a heart check.
Is there an area involving words that you need to work on in order to shine Jesus? Do you need to apologize to someone for the way that your mouth may have offended them? Do you need to spend more time with the One who made you? I know my answer to all three questions. Yes.
We never know what the future holds. Only God knows. Life can change in a split second. Our words matter. The way we choose to use them matter.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:28,29 (NIV)
It’s hard to share personal pieces of my life. There was a time when I was extremely private. I still am even though I share lots of my family and life moments through photos on social media. I share bits and pieces of myself with the world through this space here called Simple Truths. I share in hopes of reaching someone for Christ, and to let you know that you aren’t alone. With that being said, today I am sharing a piece of my heart with you. Raw. Real. Transparent. Not for pity. Only to let whoever needs to hear it know that they are not alone and that there IS HOPE.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the memories. Sometimes though, they hurt.
Like being punched in the gut. They hurt. Because, I don’t want them to just be MEMORIES. I want to still be making memories with my Daddy.
It’s very selfish. I know.
I should be happy to even have the memories, and I AM. They don’t always hurt. They bring me joy. They comfort me. BUT, sometimes the “wanting to make more memories” hurts.
I am learning to roll with the feelings as they come and go. Like waves in the ocean. I don’t fight them, I just make my way through them.
I have cried more in these past six months than I have my entire 40 years of life.
This is real life. This is a part of life that we can’t avoid. Death. Grief. Loss.
The emotions that come with them are normal as well.
As the holidays approach, the ones that I always spent with my daddy, I can’t predict how I will handle them. As some of you have been there and done that, you know what I mean.
When the memories hurt, I will try to choose joy. When the memories make me ache deep within, I will praise my LORD for the memories and that my Daddy is with HIM and I WILL see him again.
How? Because my Daddy knows Jesus and Jesus knows him. I know Jesus and Jesus knows me. That is how I KNOW that I will see my Daddy again. I know Jesus personally and I KNOW that HIS WORD is true.
John 3:36 ~ Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John 6:47 ~ Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.
John 10:27,28 ~ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
GOD is good all the time and ALL the time GOD IS GOOD. When the memories hurt, GOD is good. When we experience loss, GOD is good. When we don’t understand life, GOD is good. All the time.
Psalm 37:39 ~ The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
Until Next Time,
This world, for followers of Christ, is a pit stop. Just passing through. Heaven is our home. We will face adversity and loss as well as lots of wonderful things on this earth. While we are here we are to bring glory to God and make disciples. Through the good times and also through the difficult times.
Do you know my Jesus? Is he your Heavenly Father too? Do you think that you have to clean up your act first and then begin your relationship with Christ? You don’t. Jesus wants you just like you are. HE is the only way to heaven. He is the only ONE who can make you righteous. YOU can’t get righteous without HIM. He is the only ONE who can wash your sins as white as snow. Salvation comes from Jesus Christ alone. Life is short. No time like the present to KNOW that you KNOW Jesus and that HE knows you. Jesus is THE source of HOPE.
To begin this second part of the message, I need to ask you again, if you know HIM and if HE knows you. As I said in yesterday’s post, there is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge.
Here is another really simple and you may think “crazy” way to look at it…….
Are you a SHEEP or a GOAT?
Jesus is often referred to as The Shepherd in scripture, and if you are saved, you would be referred to as SHEEP. Sheep needed the shepherd to guide them and show them where to eat and drink. Sheep needed protection from wolves, and the shepherd often slept in the pen with the sheep and stretched across the entrance to keep them safe from wolves while the sheep slept. Every sheep mattered, and the shepherd went to great lengths to find even just ONE lost sheep.
Seeing any parallels yet?
Sheep and goats often “hung out” and grazed together. Yet when it was time for the sheep to have the wool sheared off, the shepherd would separate the sheep from the goats.
God will separate the sheep from the goats as well.
The true follower from the great pretender.
The real from the fake.
Matthew 25:31-34 ~ When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Here’s some good news though, If you are a GOAT you can still become a SHEEP!
God’s love is unfailing, unchangeable, immeasurable, and AMAZING! His grace is enough! Our small minds cannot comprehend how deep HIS love is for us!
1 John 1:9 ~ If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 7:24,25 ~ But Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
God loves you as you are. He loves you too much to leave you that way though. He sees you, loves you, and wants a relationship with you.
If you do know Jesus, and heaven is your home, then I ask this : ARE YOU SHINING JESUS?
Or is there some junk that you need to clear out of the way so that others can see HIM in you again?
Shine Jesus or shine the world…and the world doesn’t shine.
Make a difference for GOD or make a difference for the devil.
You are always making an impact on others around you. Are you making a positive impact or a negative impact? I am asking myself these same questions.
NO, you won’t be a perfect little shining star all of the time. You will mess up. I do. We all do. What we do when we mess up matters. Do you make it right? It matters.
What we fill the voids in our lives with MATTERS. Our actions (words, walk, talk, text, tweet, post,etc..) reflect what is in our heart. What we FILL UP with will show.
Luke 6:45 ~ The good man brings good out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.
In life we have TWO choices in relation to eternity.
Heaven or Hell. Both places are real and both last for ever and ever.
SHEEP or GOAT
If you have not surrendered your life to Jesus, what are you waiting for?
If you are saved, Are you shining Jesus? Do others see Jesus in you? Or do they just see all the junk that you have filled the voids in your life with?
True freedom. True peace. True love. They are found in JESUS.
To know Jesus you have to spend time with him. He doesn’t force his way in, because a forced love isn’t love. He wants to know you. He wants you to know him. He wants you to want him.
I know I have written a lot of questions in this post, but questions make you think. They make me think.
I leave you with these questions and yes they may already be in this post :
~ Do I shine Jesus or the world ?
~ Do I really know HIM and does HE know me?
~ Do I just know about him and “think” that I might be saved..but not 100% ?
~ Is there anything in my life that I am using as a substitute for Jesus?
God loves you.
Blessings to you all, and I pray that this message, both parts, touches your soul. Share it with someone if you think it will touch their soul. All Glory to God, because this message is HIS..not mine.