by Susan TuttleAt our church’s mid-week Bible study this week we spoke about our lives and how they’ve been changed since meeting Christ. We were asked to fill in this blank: Since meeting Christ, the one word I’d use to describe my life is____________ One woman at our table said, “found”. I love it! Found. We once were lost and now we’re found. It means He sees us. We’re not invisible. It means He sought after us. We are valuable. It means He has a place for us. We belong. And this is the best part. Have you ever lost something incredibly valuable to you? Torn places apart looking for it? Worried and grieved over the loss, only to find it later? What did you do? I bet you celebrated. Well, Beloved, God and all of heaven throw a crazy party, rejoicing, singing, dancing, feasting…all over YOU being found. Don’t believe me? Read Luke 15. The chapter is filled with three parables telling the story over things lost and now found. In the first two parables when the item is found, here’s what it says: “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10 (see also Luke 15:7) And then they move on to the final parable of the lost son which paints a picture of what heaven looks like when YOU are found. Go ahead, read it, and see yourself. They party! So today, if you’re feeling lost, call out to Jesus…He’s only waiting to hear your voice. Call on Him. You will be found. And then they’ll party in Heaven--all because of you.Your Turn: What would YOU fill in the blank with above?
(If you are a new Christian, we’d love it if you contact one of us so we can celebrate with you, pray for you, and get you some information. Or if you have more questions about Christ, we’d love to chat.)
by Susan Tuttle
How often do we attach that word to ourselves? Or let others do it for us.
But taking on that name does not make it true.
See, we are all unworthy, but not one of us is worthless. Not one.
Beloved, do you not know what God did for you? He purchased you—and your cost was so much more than silver or gold. It was His blood. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Don’t minimize the price which was paid for you. If He thought you were worthless, He wouldn’t have died for you. And yet, He took on the cross with joy, knowing we were unworthy. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...who for the joy set out before him endured the cross..." (Hebrews 12:2) and He "...demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Hebrews 5:12)
He knew we were sinners. He knew we couldn’t approach the Holy throne of God looking the way we did. And He knew there was nothing we could do to change it…but He could.
So He did.
See, it is only through grace that we are saved. The very nature of grace is it’s a gift given to one who does not deserve it—one who is unworthy. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Unworthy, yes. We all are...which is the beauty of His grace. But worthless? No. Christ sees your worth. He loves you more than there are words, and He desires you for His very own. All He wants is for you to accept His gift. Accept Him.
Bring all your guilt and shame to Him. Let Him carry it. Let Him wipe it from you--gone forever. Because underneath it all is a beautiful daughter of Christ. Spotless. Cleansed by His blood. And worthy of her Father’s love.
All you need to do is believe.
You are loved. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
By Marie Wells Coutu
A high school football coach we know has a habit of saying, "Look at me now," to his players when he's telling them something important. Sometimes this habit carries over to his conversations with my husband. Apparently he believes you will hear what he's saying if you are looking at him.
Maybe he is onto something. I could always tell my children were listening to me if they looked at me. When they looked in another direction while I was talking, I had reason to believe they were not paying attention to what I said. And later their actions would prove I was right.
Seems to me that's a lesson we can apply to our relationship with God. When we focus on ourselves, our troubles, or our desires, it becomes harder to hear what God might be saying. But when we spend time in God's Word and focus on who He is, we can better understand and pay attention to what He wants to tell us. And later, our actions will demonstrate that we have heard what God said.
Like the old hymn says, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus...and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."
Can you recall a time when you found that looking at God helped you gain better perspective on your circumstances? Comment and join the conversation!
by Susan Tuttle
Did you know that when you come to God you’re not perfect? Even after He saves us by grace? But aren’t we great at living in guilt when we make the same mistakes over and over.
I want to go back today to one of the verses I used last time. I want to get this in your head. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come, the old is gone, the new is here!”.
You are no longer who you were, you are brand-spanking-new in His eyes. So don't let the old you guilt you--yes, you’re still going to mess up--but now those messes belong to God and it's amazing what He can do with them!
See, sometimes when we come to God, He immediately delivers us from a habitual sin. But other times, He allows us to keep it, and work at changing that habit. I believe He has two reasons for this. One is to keep us connected to Him. The only way we can change our damaging habits is to rely daily on Him, and in doing so, our relationship with Him grows.
The second reason is for His grace to shine through us. Paul had a great passage on this in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 as he talks about the “thorn” in his flesh. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
You belong to God, but you are still wrapped in flesh. You will make mistakes…maybe even more than one each day (I know, believe me). But when you do, allow yourself to feel God’s grace, to accept it. Don’t beat yourself up those times you stumble and perhaps fall. Before, when you’d fall, you alone had to pick yourself up. Now, God reaches down His hand and grabs you with His strength. You’ll never be perfect here on this earth, but when you allow Him to shine through your mistakes, you become a perfect picture of His grace at work. And that’s a beautiful thing.