Thursday, April 18, 2019

Why is Easter Important?

Do you ever wonder why  Easter is so important? What does it say about God?  How does it affect us?  How should it change us?
A lot of people know it is the observation of Jesus’ death on the cross, but don’t really know why that’s so important.
I blog about Jesus and His salvation, how HE alone gets me through this life with hope and joy, so I wanted to share with you about how you can have that same hope and joy and salvation.

The Bible says that God is the creator of all things.  He is holy, that means he is perfect. He has never sinned and will never sin. 
Romans 1:20
20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
However, the Bible says that man is sinful and in need of forgiveness from our rebellion against God.
Romans 3:23 
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
The Bible says that the punishment for our sin is death; separation from God here on earth and for all eternity.  Because God is holy and just, our sin literally cuts us off from Him.
Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death
But God loves us so much that he didn’t leave us here in our depravity.  He gave us a way to reconcile our relationship with Him.  He gave us a way to be made holy in His eyes.  He sent His only son, Jesus, to come and live a perfect life, die on the cross to pay the punishment for our sin (past, present, and future) and conquer death by rising from the dead on the third day.
Romans 5:8 
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If you believe this and confess Jesus is Lord of your life, you will have salvation.  You can be made right with God and have a personal relationship with God.  Confess your sin, repent and make Jesus the boss of your life and you can have salvation!
Romans 10:9-10
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

For me, the severity of my sin was enormous. The depths of hurt and pain from sin was so profound and my rebellion from the Lord seemed too far for forgiveness.  However, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was so much bigger.  God, in His perfection, created a way for our forgiveness and reconciliation to Him.  Because He is perfect, I trust His perfect plan for my life, no matter what that means.  Because of His sovereignty over all things, I have hope that life is bigger than me and that the future is filled with HIS magnificent glory. That joy supersedes circumstances. In fact, the forgiveness that I have received, though I never deserved, is so sweet and so wonderful it changed my heart.  The Lord literally gave me a new heart.
I urge you to seek the Lord.  Cry out to God and ask for forgiveness.  Confess and turn from your sin and ask for Jesus to be your Lord.
I pray for your salvation. I know many of you are hurting.  Struggling through constant trials, seeing your children suffering, and being a full-time caretaker is hard.  Life can be incredibly hard.  While becoming a Christian doesn’t promise you a life of ease, it does promise you a life of purpose, hope, and joy despite those burdens.  I know personally that in my sin, I was completely desperate and lost.  I was searching for joy, but everything fell short.  Surrendering my life to the Lord and serving the Lord brought me peace and more joy than I could’ve imagined.  My struggles and fears pale in comparison to God’s power and peace.

Romans 15:13 
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

When you feel like you can’t ask for prayer anymore, ask anyways

I sat there in my bible study group a few weeks ago wondering if I should ask for prayer again..for the same old prayer request I've had for 7 years now.  I wondered if I needed to bring up one of the many current dilemmas we are experiencing from autism to feel like I had a valid reason for asking for that same prayer again and again.  I wondered if I should even ask for prayer again at all.  And then at another meeting the thought crossed my mind, "Should I bring this up again?" But there I was with everyone looking at me waiting to hear my prayer request and I couldn't help but to burst out in tears.  It's tiring to be a full time caretaker.  Its tiring to worry about safety all the time.  It's tiring to worry about education and speech and doctors appointments and anxiety all the time.  And it's tiring to feel like I shouldn't ask for that same prayer again and again. 

BUT I need prayer.  I need the same prayer over and over.  Prayer to remain faithful in the hard times, to continue leaning on God and focusing on God, prayer for endurance and long-suffering, prayer for Jacob to continue growing and learning, prayer for my marriage and my kids, and prayer through the really challenging times. 

In past studies, I have learned that the purpose of prayer is primarily to learn more about God.  It's also our way to honor and praise Him, to make requests or supplications, our way to hear from Him and so much more.  So I wonder why I keep feeling like I'm such a burden or nag to keep asking.

It made me wonder if other people feel the same. Do you struggle with asking for the same prayer request again and again?  Do you also feel awkward when people ask how the situation is going, knowing that it hasn't gotten better and sometimes its worse?  I know for me its hard to be real and say that things are still a struggle at times.  I think people find it uncomfortable to know that things aren't getting any better.  They want a response that things are improving when, at best, things are the same.

But the truth is, while my situation isn't getting any easier, my walk with the Lord absolutely can become more intimate, my joy in the Lord can become stronger, and I NEED to know more about God. I need to know more about His sovereignty, especially when going through life long challenges.  To give God glory throughout the trials in a genuine way, I have to know and trust who God is.  That only comes through prayer and study. 

We need to seek his face and ask others to help us seek Him and know Him more.

So I want to encourage you, when you feel like you can't possibly ask for the same prayer again, to ask anyways.  People that love us will want to know that our situation is still demanding, tiring, and difficult. People that love us and love God know that we need Him more than anything else...more than health, comfort, etc.  

So I did it. At the meeting, I asked again for that same prayer and I cried (too much).  As they prayed over me, I thanked the Lord for the encouragement.  I pray for encouragement for moms feeling this same way.  I pray you find the courage to ask for "that" prayer request again and again, knowing that you NEED to know God more.