by Susan Tuttle
Worthless.

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 Susan Tuttle

“I want to be beautiful.”

Ever said those words?

Ever realize that maybe you already are?

The One who made you makes no mistakes.

Everything He makes is good.

Everything He makes is worthy of love.

Look into His reflection, not the mirror's.

And find you are beautiful.

Simply because you are His.

He has made everything beautiful in its time…Ecclesiastes 3:11—EVERYTHING…that includes you!


 
 

by Susan Tuttle

So I talked early on about names we believe about ourselves, rather than the name our Father has for us. The problem with believing these names is that they are lies told to us. We begin to believe these lies, and some of us even use them as excuses to keep from doing what God created us to do.

However, as a Christian, we cannot rely on them for an excuse. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, once His spirit lives in us, we can no longer claim to not be good enough. By doing so, we minimize His strength, his creativity, and His redeeming power in our lives. He makes us good enough. That’s our testimony! We came from nothing, we were nothing, but in Him we are everything. Important, treasured, loved, forgiven, and He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us this, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”God never would have made a plan for you if He thought you couldn’t achieve it.

Why, then, do we believe we’re not capable of achieving God’s plan for us? Satan. He’s ‘the accuser’ – he’s always willing to whisper in your ear that you’re not enough. And sometimes he uses those in our lives to do that whispering. A parent, friend, sibling, co-worker, and the list goes on. We’ve all had someone in our lives, be it on a daily basis or one comment that stays with you, who help stick on those labels we were never meant to wear.

We don’t have to believe them though, and we certainly don’t have to listen to them. Instead, listen to this: “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” (Col. 1:22, emphasis mine)

We are free from accusation! Be firm, hold onto the hope that God gave us through His word and believe it! Stop listening to the lies that, for whatever reason, you’re not enough. You are more than enough in God’s eyes, created with a purpose that He wants to see come to fulfillment in your life.

 
 
by Susan Tuttle

Depression. An easy place to slip into. An incredibly hard valley to climb out of.

There are so many different layers to depression. We can walk in it for a day, or find ourselves trapped in it for years. For some, there is no easy fix. Yet, God equips us to fight our depression. And, whether it's a one day battle or a daily battle, God will defeat it for us if we let Him.

Depression seeks to separate you from those around. In isolation, battles are hard to fight. Alone, there is no accountability for your thoughts and actions. Together, there is safety and strength. Matthew 18:19 reminds us that when "two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. " So get yourself a prayer partner and start praying. God wants to win this battle for you, and He doesn't want you doing it alone.

Depression whispers names God never called you.  Look back at Naomi, I spoke about her in one of my first posts. Naomi pulled her name from her depression - she called herself Bitter. Yet, remember, God never did. Elsewhere in the Bible, whenever He gave a new name, it was used over and over again in scripture. When Naomi changed her name, it wasn't used again. Scripture - which is God breathed - continued to refer to her as Naomi. Don't let your depression rename you.

Depression drains all your strength. But Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the "joy of the Lord is our strength." So start praising. Even though you don't feel like it. Start counting your blessings. Somedays it's just one tiny step forward. One word of praise you repeat over and over. That's okay. You have to start somewhere. Begin to grow that spiritual muscle, because our strength is found in the opposite of depression - it's found in JOY! Practice joy ~ until you're really good at it, then practice some more.

I think worst of all, though, is how depression can make us feel a million miles from God, as if we’re wandering around in the wilderness on a moonless night. I don't like the darkness. I never have. Maybe because we were created for light. And though depression can shroud us in a cloak of darkness for far too long, we have a light. But we need to watch for Him. Listen:

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation
My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy
Though I fall I will rise;
Though I dwell in darkness, the LORD is a light for me. (Micah 7:6-8)

Cling to His promise. Expect Him. He hears your voice and though this moment may be dark, His light is coming. Watch for it. His stubborn love will never stop pursuing you, and His light will never dim.

 
 
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By Marie Wells Coutu

Words have power.

The familiar children’s adage proclaims, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

But that is a lie. No doubt the saying has been used by well-meaning mothers and teachers to make children feel better about being taunted and teased, but the truth is that words can hurt.

They can also soothe and heal.

The way that we make a friend is by sharing our thoughts and feelings and lives—especially through our words. God wants us to know Him because He loves us. Perhaps that is why He chose to write His Word on our hearts. Just as a potter might put her signature on the bottom of a vase, so God our Maker signs each life with His unseen mark. By inscribing his name on us, He has given us a sign of His love. We have only to look for His imprint in our lives, and we can begin to know Him.

When Jesus came into the world, the Word became visible. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14, NIV). His physical body provided us a way to see and relate to God. It’s much easier to communicate with God through the man Jesus than if we only knew Him as Spirit. Similarly, we can converse with one who is the Word more easily than if He were only “thoughts.” Words have substance and shape. They have identifiable characteristics. They represent order.

Finally, God gave us His Word, the Bible. In it, we learn about His plan for humanity, His eternal truths, and the laws He provided for our benefit. These laws form the basis for all of civilized society.

In giving us His Word, God showed us every aspect of His love. He wrote this love letter to us with the blood of His only Son.

Any message that contradicts His declaration of love for you is false as that children’s rhyme. Such lies do more than break bones; they break hearts and spirits. But the Word of God can heal and restore. Stop listening to the falsehoods that devalue you. Listen only to His Words of love.

What words of deception have you listened to, and what truth will you believe instead?