Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Are You a Sacred Place?

Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. 

Exodus 25:8

 

God instructed the Israelites to construct a sanctuary, a sacred place, so that He could dwell among them. He wanted to be near them and to have relationship with them. Now, we don't need to build a building for Him to be with us, He lives within our hearts. But, as I was reading this, I asked myself,  "am I a sacred dwelling for Him?"  

Is my heart towards Him and others pure, loving, and open in such a way that He will thrive within me?

Is my daily life an example of Who He Is?

Do I think of my heart as a sacred dwelliing for the most high God?

God was very exact in His instructions on how to build the sanctuary. Just as He has been very exact in the way He created you and me.

In Psalms 139 it says that He formed my inward parts, He wove me in my mother's womb. He says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. He has ordained my days!

God put a lot of thought into you and me. He brought a uniqueness to each of us.  So, I am back to asking myself and you, "do we live in a way that values our uniqueness, and the thought that God has given to us?"

His thoughts towards me outnumber the sand! Can you even imagine? 

God has done so very much for me and for you, I want to give Him a sacred dwelling place.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalms 139:23-24

Have You Accepted Amazing Grace?

Generous in love--God, give grace! Huge in mercy--wipe out my bad record.

Psalms 51:1

Grace is not normal. It completely goes against the humaness in all of us; it is truely amazing. Through Jesus we have been given more. We are offered another chance to live abundantly, and when the lies of past or present sneak up on us, grace presents the truth.

I've had a couple conversations this week that has given me more awareness of the incredible, amazing grace that I have been offered.  Sometimes, I have not fully accepted grace into my life, instead I have listened to the lies presented to me and felt overwhelmed with pain and loss. But, other times I have reached out for this free gift and experienced the glow of freedom. The freedom of grace is scandulous. It's like the times I have really messed up, and I'm locked in a prison cell. Jesus comes along and unlocks the door, reminding me that He already did my time and I can walk out. There may be other prison mates around me yelling in disgust, trying hard to convince me that it's a trick, or that I don't actually have the freedom to walk out.  The lies that are yelled are full of hate and pain, but the grace that is offered is quiet and full of peace. I can decide to sit down in the cell and listen to the lies, or I can walk out. I can accept the grace and be free.

What would you do?

This gift of grace is free. There are no strings attached if I walk out of the door. Just freedom. There inlies the scandulous, amazing part of grace. Jesus is offering you and me grace everyday. His blood paid the price for the sin that put me in the prison cell, and now because of Him, the door is open.

Will you accept amazing grace today? Will you walk through the door?

Who Are You?

"Don't be afriaid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. I've wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There's nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I've redeemed you."

Isaiah 43:1 and 44:22

 

Do you know who you are and who you belong to? Are you walking each of your days as His redeemed child? Have you recognized that your wrongdoings do not define you?  They have been wiped away. When you are struck with fear and life is full of shame and burdens, do you hear Him calling your name?

I remind myself daily that He has done a mighty work FOR me. He has taken the slate I once carried around, full of a list of wrongdoings, and wiped it clean. It is white as snow, because of all that He has done. I've had those days that I know it's true, but I'm not walking it out. It's not in my heart, faith is low, and doubt is rising. I walk as if I am completely defined by the wrongdoings of yesterday. But this is not what Jesus is about, this is not redemption.

Just as the snow covers the earth in the stillness of the morning, His righteousness covers me.  He keeps falling over me, day after day, and He sees pure white. He does not inhibit me, the lies do.

Do you see Jesus or are you viewing your wrongdoings? Do you believe that you are redeemed, and your walk manifest it? You are named Redeemed!

I am praying for eyes like His to see every single day what He sees. And, when my eyes are clouded, I pray for Him to lift the cloud so I can see clearly again. This is your truth today, He clearly sees you, calls you, and proclaims that you are His and you are redeemed. May you see as He does!

What's in Your Cup?

What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me?

Psalms 116:12

When we believe that we belong, then we have the ability to become all that God has created us to be, and when we become, we want to bless. We want to bless God by blessing others. The more we bless, the more we become and there is a deep sense of belonging.

For me, I have not always used my life to be a blessing. Instead, I think I did and said things that were more of a curse, and that was not a blessing to myself or to others. God has worked gently on my heart to hold me softly and firmly in His heart, so I was able to rest in the knowledge, hope, and care of His Belonging. He fiercly chased after me and did not give up, allowing me to become more and more entwined with His Spirit. Free to be the person that I am in His presence. My desires to please Him and be like Him grew with each step closer to Him, blessing others and blessing Him, was, in turn blessing myself.

Sometimes, my cup has not been full, and blessings do not overflow. I get caught in the lies of the enemy and doubt can sneak in. It is in times like this that belonging, becoming and blessing can feel far away. It is then that I must remember the testimony of all that He has done and grasp His hand of faith for my life. It is then that my cup must be filled with prayer and the strength of His Word.

What do you need in your cup today? Who do you belong to and what are you becoming? Who will you bless today, and how are you being blessed? Reach out to someone and bless their hearts with love, or if you are in need allow someone to give you richness, so your cup will overflow.

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