A Wild Ride

What a wild ride. Got any thrill seekers here?

Recently, Jeremiah 29:13 showed up as a focal point in two different readings of mine on the same day.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -Jeremiah 29:13

I mulled over this verse and asked myself, “Do I truly seek God with ALL of my heart?”

The promise here is if we do, we will find Him. Now doesn’t that sound amazing! Who doesn’t want to find the Creator of every living thing, The One whom all things hold together?

Buckle up and hold on tight, if you are ready to seek God with ALL of your heart. You will find there is no thrill as fulfilling as your pursuit towards Him and His towards you.

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” -Jeremiah 33:3

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With A Heart Cry

I am frequently amazed at the power of prayer. I find it so incredibly encouraging to know that the Creator of every living thing cares to answer the cries of my heart.

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” -Psalm 145:18

I will never forget praying as a child and Jesus answering me then. As a little girl, I was in love with kittens and asked God if He would give me one.

One day, I looked up and yelped with excitement as I saw one baby cat waiting on my doorstep peering inside our sliding glass door. We lived in a wooded area with houses far from one another. I could not believe my eyes!

I remember another day.. “Lord, we are struggling with money. Please help my mama find one hundred dollars.” My mom found two fifty dollar bills!

As I have grown my problems have too, so my prayers have morphed into a much broader and deeper range of things. When I seek God in prayer and His magnificent glory is displayed before me, it reminds me how intimately He cares. God is so amazing!

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!” -Psalm 105:1-3

It All Makes Sense

When I was young, I struggled with math. I remember in junior high when my teacher encouraged me with, “Soon a lightbulb will go off and you are going to understand this.”

Apparently, brain development for children at that age is prime for comprehending math. She was right, let me tell you, because in not much time, it clicked!

I have had many “aha” moments over the years. Grasping math was greatly beneficial and even energizing, but not nearly as good or wondrously rewarding as my “aha” when the Gospel of Jesus made perfect sense to me.

That changed everything.

“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” —1 John 5:20

To some, following Jesus is like a complicated math problem. It makes no sense! That is until it all comes together, and then, it just does!

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,” — Ephesians 1:18

Grace Laced Gratitude

To all of us mistake makers, let us be thankful.

You are not alone. The church is full of imperfect people and so is the Bible. God’s Word is chock-full of people who have messed up and made every kind of wrong choice. They are real people, containing a heart bent towards sin.

Did you know that Paul, an avid follower of Jesus, was once a murderer of Christians? We can look to this example of God’s abundant grace (undeserved favor) and find comfort.

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. — 1 Timothy 1:12-14

It does not matter what you have done. God’s love for you has already covered it through His Son Jesus’ death and resurrection. Thankfully, God’s love for us has nothing to do with our faithfulness and everything to do with Him.

I like the way Matt Chandler puts it,

“The marker of those who understand the gospel of Jesus Christ is that, when they stumble and fall, when they screw up, they run to God and not from him, because they clearly understand that their acceptance before God is not predicated upon their behavior but on the righteous life of Jesus Christ and his sacrificial death.”

There is so much to be thankful for, fellow mistake maker.

Hallelujah!

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” — John 1:16

She said, “This is messy.”

She said, “So you are telling me, Jesus can rewrite my story? If you had half a clue of what I have been through, of what I have done, you would see that my story is too messy for Jesus.” Oh girl, if only you knew.

If we could chat, I could reassure you that Jesus rewrites stories. This is why He came, to show all people, the hope we have in Him.

“In His name, the nations will put their hope.” (Matthew 12:21)

The brokenness that touches us accidentally or because of our own choices, is no surprise to Jesus. When He walked the earth, He purposefully spent time, embraced and sought out the broken and the hurting. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Jesus did not say to get ourselves together first and then go to Him. Phew!

C.S. Lewis said,

That is it. God simply wants us to come as we are, our burdens and all, to the throne of His unfailing grace.

The Fear That Grips

I never pictured myself living in this small town. If I’m honest, fear of the unfamiliar was the root of the hesitancy. Fear has its way of scaring us, doesn’t it?

Fear is everything but freeing. Instead it keeps us captive to that which we think to be true. It is a liar and unfortunately it is lying to most of us, real good.

If we would wash ourselves with God’s Word by doing what it says, we would see for ourselves the fearful figments of our imagination drop from us like buckets of rain on a midsummers day.

Our Shepherd is good and He is for us, every single one of us. His Word is in fact true. We should be clinging to it, because it is in God that we find freedom and the greener pastures He wants to lead us to.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-4)

If only, if only we would dare to choose to trust Him.

Undoubtedly Evident

When I was cheering on my oldest at one of his sporting events, a precious little girl about four years old captured my attention. The desire of her heart was so evident to any onlooker that glanced her way. She nurtured and cared for her little baby doll with such care and tenderness, just as if it was her very own live baby. Despite her young age, her desire was to be a mommy, and that was undoubtedly evident.

I cannot help but think about my own desires. What do I desire? Does it line up with God’s Word? Are my desires so evident to others that it captures them in complete awe? Do they see my tenacity for Jesus in all areas of my life, not just on social media? Is it undoubtedly evident?

If we were honest and took a good look, most of the things we strive for and pursue, lack any eternal value. It is quite easy to veer off the course, and to forget that the things of this world are not true treasures. In no time, they will have no value at all.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

It is important to continue to take time to measure up our pursuits with the Bible, to stay on course. If you are a believer in Jesus, your true treasure, The Treasure, should be undoubtedly evident.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18