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Friday, 23 May 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: In with the Old.

Daunting, impervious, dry; just a few of the worlds I once (and occasionally still) used to describe the Old Testament. It never caught my attention. There is nothing romantic about Chronicles. But Jesus, there’s romance there. And for a woman with a broken heart there’s nothing more desirable than the romance that comes from a Man who laid down His life for us.

Needless to say it was a few years into my faith before the thought of even cracking the Old Testament crossed my mind. I read the first few chapters of Genesis, I knew who Adam and Eve were, but beyond that it was a blur. I had heard of the characters, I knew the principles of the stories, and the laws presented to Moses, but my heart had not been drawn to these words. 

In hindsight I believe there was a reason I didn’t move quickly into the Old: my heart wasn’t ready. It needed the healing that only the New Testament could bring. I needed to know what Jesus’ love really meant. What it truly was to be saved. Until I understood these concepts I couldn’t move forward (or backward). If I had read the Old Testament first it would have been just that, reading. I don’t read my bible; I ingest it. I let the words soak into my soul, mulling them over until they become a part of my very being. I have been surprised by the treasures I have found in the Old Testament. I’m always amazed by God’s timing. 

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." - Deuteronomy 31:8

In a time when it seemed as though nothing was going right, and I was very distant from God, He brought me these words. He reminded me that He was ALWAYS with me, even when I forgot, or chose not to be with Him. He reminded me that there is never a reason to fear, and that’s He’s certainly not going anywhere. How blessed are we.

My prayer is that we keep these words, and this lesson, in the front of our minds. That we don’t fight God, He truly does things for a reason. That we do not fear, that we remember He will never forsake us. And that in that, we are able to find peace, accept grace and trust in Him. Amen.

I hope you all have a happy, safe and blessed weekend! 

xo, A

Friday, 9 May 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: L. O. V. E.

If someone asked me right now, at this very moment, what it meant to be a child of Christ, I would have one word: Love. The bible constantly reminds us that the most important commandments are to love God and love one another. And of course, God depicted love in the most wholesome of ways when he sacrificed His son for all of us. The stumbling block doesn’t come from if we love, but rather how. Just as God was clear with His command for us to love, He is also clear about how we are to love.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18

Our love for one another must not come from our words but instead from our actions. This means friendliness, it means selflessness, it means forgiveness. True love doesn’t come easily to us as sinners. It takes work. It challenges us. It invites us to look at ourselves critically. In some ways it may even convict us. But true love also changes us. Every act of love reintroduces a piece of Christ to this dismal world. Every act of love enlightens us, blesses us, and frees us.

My prayer this week is that we would keep our eyes on the One who made us. That we would remember His love for us, and that we would express that love through our actions each and every day. I pray that we would be a little less selfish and a little more willing to bring joy to someone else. Amen.
Have a fantastic weekend!
xo, A

Friday, 2 May 2014

Faith Filled Fridays: I am Free.

Before I became a believer I would have (wrongly) categorised all Christians as self-righteous.  Many with an aptitude for evangelism were often overbearing and condemning, leading to two things: anger aimed at a mighty and powerful ‘god’ who would make his ‘children’ feel so incredibly awful about themselves, and second, a belief that I was indeed awful. After becoming a believer the ideals I once held about God quickly evaporated; however, the awful feelings I held about myself seemed as though they were there to stay.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”  - John 3:17-18

I am certain these words wouldn’t have had such a significant impact on me had they arrived a different way. After an evening plagued by condemnation of sins past, a stolen bike and a broken side mirror, I was awakened in the early hours of morning by a yearning for God’s word. I opened my bible, landed on this verse, and suddenly it was clear; I was forgiven. I was not condemned, but instead saved.

My prayer is that our eyes and hearts would all be opened to the grace of God. That we would all know our Saviour, what he has done for us, and what that means; we are free! Amen.

xo, A.