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
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?
by Susan Tuttle
Do you know that you are loved? Before we can talk about healing, we need a foundation. One to build on. Love is a great place to start.
Don’t allow yourself to believe that your sin is too big for Him. Christ knew we were sinners and yet He took on the cross for us. I love Romans 5:8, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
He knew we could not do it alone. He knew we were imperfect people…sinners. Yet His love was bigger than our sins. He died so His blood could cover our sins, and we could step into His presence. All He asks is that we acknowledge Him as Lord and invite Him into our lives.
And here’s the best part, when you do that—believe in Him—nothing can separate you from Him. Once you call on His name, ask Him into your life, nothing will ever separate you from God. Romans 8:38 & 39 says “…neither death, nor life, neither angels or demons, neither present or future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I want you to notice something in that passage. Among the things listed is “neither present or future”. Why doesn’t it mention our past? Well, I want to give you one more scripture that always helps me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old is gone, the new is here!”
The moment you accept Christ, your past is wiped clean, covered with His blood, seen no more. We struggle with that as humans, but let’s be clear—God doesn’t. It is over. Finished. No more. He doesn’t need to mention our past because it’s gone.
Beloved, this world is a tough place. But God is bigger. And He loves you. Believe in that love today. Fall into it, find comfort in it. It’s where the healing can begin.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in Him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I John 4:16-18
By Vera Warren Carroll
In this world that far is from the perfect world God intended, we have mind-boggling opinions and versions of love. A child disobeys and ignores the parents’ instructions but says, “Mom, Dad, I love you.” A husband abuses his wife and returns with flowers and a smile saying, “I love you.” A mother disciplines a child with a brutal beating that leaves cuts, bruises and sometimes broken arms or ribs and says, “I do this because I love you.” We live in a society where a young woman will chase after a young man who often ignores her publicly, doesn’t call unless it’s to his advantage, and belittles her in front of others, but the young woman only remembers the kind and loving words he shares during their intimate moments and says, “He loves me.” This type of love operates out of fear. Perhaps this is why many are confused about their love for God.
God doesn’t have to rely on tricks and mind games to show His love. He doesn’t have to expose you to all manner of mental and physical abuse and say, “I do it because I love you.” His love cannot be imperfect in any way. Yet many see the confusion of life and its troubling events as reflecting God’s love, and they respond to God in a confused and abusive manner.
God’s love for you can be seen in His Word and all that He does and promises to do for you. He is sovereign, so He cannot make a mistake, He cannot lie, and He’s all knowing, supreme, powerful and absolute. He doesn’t have to try to love you; He loves you. He sacrificed His Son because of His love for you. He gave you His Word that is alive and active if we will just read it, believe it, and receive it, walking in complete confidence of His love.
God is moved by your love for Him but not your manipulative love. We often try to end our trials of life by trying to manipulate God to show His love for us by fixing our problems. But God is looking for your complete confidence in His love. He only wants to know how much you love Him. Throughout the Bible nations and individuals experienced great problems, but God’s love for them never changed. He loved them. What changed their lives is when they stepped out on faith and trusted God, Who showed perfect love that destroyed any fear they had. He was moved by their perfect love through faith in Him.
We want God to see our love much like the abusive mother or husband, the disobedient child or the young man who is only nice when it’s to his advantage. We say we love God but we disobey Him, abuse Him with our words and don’t have time for Him unless we have a need and it’s to our advantage. Our love for Him becomes more about us and what we want.
Do we really love Him? How will he know?
A song by Angelo and Veronica says, “The only way He’ll know is how I live.” As the song says, we say we love Him and that we care. We go to church, know the scriptures, and know all the right words to say, but the truth is, “The only way God will know how much we love Him is how we live.”
Do you love Him?©2011 Vera Warren Carroll