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.
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
I know our key Scripture fairly well, a lot of us do. I know that the people the prophet Jeremiah was talking to didn’t always do things that were pleasing to God yet these were still the Father’s words to His people. He promised them they would no longer be in captivity. He had a plan to prosper, a plan of hope, a plan for the future.
The other day I was busy being distracted on Facebook and came across a status by Paula White. It read, "God knew every mistake you would make & still made a good plan for your life- one to prosper you & not harm you!"
These words meant so much to me in the moment because of the guilt I was feeling over something God had already forgiven me for. Although Paula didn’t reference the Scripture I knew exactly where she got her insight and it made me excited and thankful!
Before scrolling across these words I didn't think to let this Scripture apply to me because I didn't feel worthy of it in
Psalm 91 (Click the link to read in its entirety)
Yesterday my Pastor touched on the safety we have when we are with God. I leaned to my neighbor and whispered with a heavy heart, "I don't feel safe." She responded with a phrase I use often, "that's just a feeling. Grab that thang [feeling] and get it out of here." I needed to hear that because even with the preaching and firm examples being given I still fixed my mouth to speak against what the word said. I was allowing what I saw to negatively affect my faith walk.
With everything going on in the world, my community, the church as a whole, my family, and even within me there are a lot of reasons to feel unsafe.
With people that have poor intentions with you, people that mishandle you for their own personal satisfaction, there are a lot of reasons to feel unsafe. With the world calling for you to acclimate to its standard so that you can live comfortably and without conflict but leading you deeper into sin and further from the Father's voice, there are a lot of reasons to feel unsafe.
But for the believer, the one with even mustard sized faith there is one reason to feel completely safe and protected. He promised we would be! The Bible tells us that God is not a man that He should lie or the son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19). His word is good! It's a sure thing!
This God we serve promised to never leave or abandon us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). He promised that He would be our protector, our shield, and our guiding light (Psalms 18; 27; 91). He promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17). He promised that when we fall off He will be there to receive us back in His arms (Psalms 37:23-24; 145:14). He promised that in times of weakness, His grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). He promised that when enemies rise against us that He will handle it and will use them to elevate us in the next level (Psalms 18:48; 23:5). He promised He will give peace that surpasses all understanding and rest to those who come to Him heavy and burdened (Philippians 4:7; Matthew 11:28).
These promises were made long ago but still stand for us right in this moment as if freshly spoken! There are tons of reasons to feel unsafe in this world…in this life. But there is one great reason to feel completely protected! He promised. Rest in His promises today!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Today I want to remind you of what you mean to our Creator. Sometimes we along with the people in our lives, have such strong negative opinions about ourselves, some of the things we do, and about our walks that it's good to know what God thinks about us. Why? Because at the end of the day, at the end of our lives, His thoughts about us are all that matters. I just want to give you three reminders…
He loves you more than anything. (John 3:16)
God gave up His most beloved gift in order to have an ongoing personal relationship with you. Sometimes we don't feel like we are worthy to be in His presence but Christ died for that. Sometimes we feel inadequate to be loved by Him or even walk in the authority He's given but Christ died for that. God loves you with all of Him and will continue to love you even when you don't love yourself.
His grace is sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Where you are weak, there you are made strong. God's grace is a deep redemptive love that can take even the worst acts and purify them so He may call you righteous. His grace covers, it encourages, it protects, it loves, in strengthens, and it's a gift given to you as often as you need it! Where you are your weakest remember His grace is enough! Rest in it!
He can use all of it. (Romans 8:28)
Everything you've been through all that you're going through, whether it's because of the poor choices you've made or simply because of your decision to follow Christ, He can use it!
All things work together for the good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. You my friend are called with purpose in Him and all that you've endured will be used to strengthen others (Luke 22:32). It will be used to save the lives of others (Genesis 50:20). He's the master flipper whatever it is He can turn it. Trust Him to do that.
As you continue on this day remember who you are in Him and who you are to Him. He loves you, He's given His gift of grace freely to you, and He's got you and every situation under control...if you let Him!
Have a blessed day!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
As you travel on your journey towards purpose you may start to encounter more people that talk out the side of their neck than ever before. Not everyone is able to control their tongue as the bible often commands us to do but we are going to have to. It would suck if we missed out on a blessing or had it delayed because we decided to give someone a smooth cuss cuss.
If you know where you are going in the spirit and understand that the enemy is working to do all he can to stop you, then you have to know when to speak and when to shut up (Ecclesiastes 3:7)
The following comes from my study time in early March a day after I failed at holding my tongue…I want to share some of it...
The Holy Sprit is one of the greatest gifts received by believers of Christ. It’s a teacher, counselor, advocate, corrector, and can be a huge hug when you need one. As a corrector believers will often experience conviction that helps us to know when we are heading down a wrong road or about to make (or have already made) a wrong turn.
Sometimes conviction can be a difficult pill to swallow but it is a necessary part of our Salvation package. Without it we would only set ourselves apart from God. That is the opposite of being set apart for God’s use.
Conviction works immediately and should move one to repentance. If you continue to feel extreme guilt after you have repented (or turned from sin) that is coming from you not forgiving yourself or the enemy himself.
Understand this…the cross was enough! What Jesus did to save you, to wipe your sins away, to cause God to forget about all the yuck of yesterday, to cause God to see you without blemish, to cause God to hold not one fault over your head…it was enough.
There’s nothing else you can do to become more forgiven. Forgive yourself and rest in one of the benefits of Salvation: freedom from condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
Can you praise God in your low moments?
Can you worship him with your life regardless of what is going on?
Can you keep pushing when it feels like you are about to break?
Can you go to God with authenticity and let him know how you really feel?
Can you serve when it feels like you are receiving nothing in return?
Can you love again even though your heart has been broken?
Can you trust again even though so many have not given you a reason to?
Can you go on when it feels like you have lost everything?
Can you trust God when it feels like you have lost everything?
Can you love God when it seems like he is nowhere to be found?
Can you give it all you got and apply for the position you’ve been wanting?
Can you finish your school program?
Can you take time everyday to spend with God?
Can you remove your distractions?
Can you catch up with your dreams?
The answer is OF COURSE YOU CAN! We were made to overcome adversity, to conquer, and to be in an authentic relationship with God. But the true question is will you?
James 1:12 NLT God blesses those who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
Romans 8:37 NKJV Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Psalm 142:2 NIV I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.
Part 1: I choose to love God?
Part 2: I choose to love myself!
If not go do so now!
I choose to love others
It is easy to love people we want to love. It is one of the hardest things to love people who cause grief and stress or who simply rub us the wrong way. But God doesn’t give us an out just because we don’t like someone. Nope matter of fact in Matthew 5:43-47 says:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
I know that makes many people cringe because like the beginning of the scripture says, many of us are taught to do exactly the opposite. However, I must say when doing things for God out of the goodness of your heart the
inconvenience of loving inconvenient people doesn’t really feel all that inconvenient anymore lol...Loving on others and SHOWING that love is an awesome way to show God that you love Him. Hugging someone in need is like hugging Him. Giving up time to counsel someone when you would rather sleep is giving Him a kiss on the cheek. Giving when you feel like taking is like...idk I'm out of affectionate moments in my head right now...ummm getting a piggy back ride? Lol whatever you get it.
What about when it comes to showing love while speaking truth and battling against strong opposition? Sorry folks we still get no free passes. The responses that people posted in reference to the rulings this past week made my whole world sad. I appreciated posts that discussed God's truth in a firm but loving manner. That is what God commands us to do in Ephesians 4:15. The ones that condemned, cursed, and talked about people so wretchedly without fully sharing truth made me cringe. We may not all believe the same things and I do not believe there is room for compromise when it comes to the word of God BUT we have got to learn how to respond in a way that doesn't contradict the word. There is a thin line regarding this as well so that we don’t fall to the side of compromise while forsaking the word of God. But remember, how we respond to others in times of testing is how others will respond to us, more specifically how they respond to God, especially if they do not have their own relationship with Him. The way we love others is key to loving God and helping to spread His love to a world that doesn’t know Him.
Understanding God's love for us and learning to love Him back has huge and positive implications for the love we show to ourselves, others, and everything we do...I challenge you to focus on love this week! If you commit I'm almost positive that God will give you plenty of opportunities to practice. Lol have fun!
I love you all! =) See I started it by expressing it! Check out the daily devotions later this week!
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Did you read Part 1:I choose to love God? If not go do so now!
I choose to love myself
Human love must be modeled on God’s love. I cannot love others without loving myself and I cannot love myself without loving God and understanding His love!
Between all of these tasteless reality shows, sharing of twerk videos online, engaging in destructive behaviors, sleeping with married people, allowing significant others to repeatedly cheat, etc it is clear we don't have a healthy love for ourselves. We love drama, attention, and pseudo-affection.
I have struggled with addictive and destructive behaviors a majority of my adult life mainly because of the lack of love I had for myself (for whatever reason) and a desire to fill this void in any manner that helped me cope. I won't lie and say that I still don't have days where self-hate attempts to consume. But I will say I am now able to recognize the root of the problem and turn back to God for His help...It may not happen quickly, sometimes it take 15seconds sometimes it takes 2 months, but it does happen.
I do the best at loving me when I am properly loving on God. You see He reminds me of who I am in Him. He reminds me that I am unique and there is nobody in this whole world that can minister in the manner I can. He also
I choose to love God…
This was originally posted June 30, 2013 but I wanted to share it again in a 3 part series ;) Let it encourage you!!!
This past week has been one of controversial court decisions and court appearances. One thing I learned from perusing social networks over the last week is that we as Christians have a very long way to go regarding love. This post will not focus on those decisions that were made in the courts but the decision we face daily to love!
In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 the bible gives a definition of what love is. The NLT version states, Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Being consistent in displaying the characteristics listed above towards all takes great work, care, and commitment. Therefore, I believe that we have to make conscious decisions and efforts to love God, others, and ourselves daily.
1) I choose to love God
It is difficult to comprehend the agape type love that God showers on us because man has not been able to master the
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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