Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

What's Your Story? part 1

They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren't in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.

Revelation 12:11

Do you look at your life and think there's a great story to tell? Do your friends tell you that you should be writing a book?  Can you see the tangible ways that God has stepped in and saved you time after time?  Or, is it contrary to this? Does it feel more like you've sailed along with nothing extraordinary that has happened? You haven't had any huge spiritual markers in your life, might I even say it's been a little boring?  Or, you are in between these two scenarios, there's a few markers, but most of the time life is rather mellow.

What's your story? 

We all have one. We were all raised differently. Some of us as Christians, some of us not. Some of us had happy childhoods, others not so much. Many of us were silent about the unhappy part, those who were being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused  were screaming inside, but silent on the outside. Nobody really knew what their story was, and some people still don't.

What about that first time you thought about God or you knew He existed? The first time you felt His presence? What was that like? Where were you? How old were you?

One of the first times I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit flood my entire being was as an adult in my 30's. I was in my home alone, and I had the strong impression that I needed to dance. I am not a dancer, and I had never danced before, so I knew this must be from God. Especially since I had been praying! So, I got up, and started to dance ( or at least what I thought might be dance) I was immediately flooded with warmth and power from the Spirit. It was unlike anything I had every felt or experienced before. I knew, without a doubt that God was for me and I wanted to serve Him, and I wanted more of Him.

What's your story?

Wrapped in Beauty

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

Romans 4:7-8

In this verse in Romans, Paul is quoting from Psalms 32:1-2. David was a man after God's own heart, yet he was also a man that was well acquainted with sin. Afterall, he did sleep with another mans wife, then he killed that man so he could marry his wife! There was no sacrifice in the old testament for either of these sins, yet God covered him and did not exact the required punishment from him for these sins.  If David had been punished for his sins, it would have been put to death.

This is what God does for you too. God refuses to count sin to your credit when you have sinned. He has put His righteousness on your account instead! He has taken you in all your mess, and completely wrapped you up in all His beauty, and He wants you to claim it

You can't work for His beauty. It's already wrapped all around you. You can share it's power with others, it's amazing light; and as you do His beauty increases. 

You are standing in Christ Jesus, and He is perfect. When God the Father looks at You, He sees His Son!

As he is, so are we in this world. 

1 John 4:17

 

Living Limitless

Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we'll never comprehend what he knows and does.  God puts the fallen on their feet again and pushes the wicked in the ditch.

Psalms 147:5

There have been times in my life that I've believed the lie that I am limited in the way God wants me to live. Yet, God is limitless in His strength and goodness, He is there for me when I need Him to put me on my feet again and to push the wicked aside. Yet, still the lie of being limited will crowd out freedom. God is far beyond what I can see, think, or imagine. At the same time, He reveals Himself to me in wondrous ways so I will be free and not be limited, if I choose to be. If I take the step down the road of faith. That road can look endless at times, which ironically leads to the thought of limits.

My lie on being limited is rooted in fear. Most lies are. As I continue to take steps down that road, I continue to see that I'm believing a lie, and the truth is I can rely on God's limitless strength as my own.

What are some of the lies that you believe today that keep you from walking down the road of faith?

Blooming Against the Odds

 

 

 

 

Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do right in the sight of the Lord as David his father had done, but he made molten images for the Baals.

2 Chronicles 28:1

Ahaz was a very evil king. He was the father of Hezekiah. When Hezekiah was a small child, he lost his brother to the evil hands of his father in a sacrifice to his god. Hezekiah grew up with evil all around him, yet he had a profound desire to be pure and worship the one true God. His childhood did not determine his future! Instead, he bloomed against all odds and became hungry for God.

Hezekiah learned to take a traumatic childhood and use it for good. He taught an entire nation about the one true God. He was resilient, loyal, and passionate. 

How are you blooming against the odds in your life today? What is God taking from the ground you thought was lost and planting seeds of abundance?  

Today, I bless you with hope. I bless you with the courage to know that God turns life around just as He did for Hezekiah, and He brings up beautiful blooms through odd places. I bless you with the love and compainship of others to walk alongside you to remind you, and hold you when needed.

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