Have you ever wondered: Does God love me?
Sometimes, when life goes "left", I have wondered that very thing myself. Let me tell ya, this is a long one. Feel free to scroll down my sale on Christian women's apparel! Also, in this post, I've merged some of my old posts from my blog GodsyGirl.com. Notice: as you read each reference of my kiddo, he's now a teen. Before I even dreamed of Christian women's apparel, I was writing about my experiences with the Lord. I hope this blesses you!
Have you ever felt "alone?"
Sometimes I've felt lonely, unloved or like I was just going through the motions of life. It's during those times I wonder does God love me? Am I all alone in this life?
Well, yesterday I learned a wonderful lesson about God's love and it really resonated with me. I hope it will with you too.
Here's the thing: the two teachers of this lesson were totally unexpected.
It was my husband and my three-year old son, John-John.How my hubby and kid answered my "does God love me" question.
As a busy pastor, my husband typically does more in one Sunday than most people accomplish in a week!
Yesterday, during morning worship he stepped out of the pulpit to handle an issue. Issues happen from time to time and I don't think much of it. In fact, I didn't even notice.
Well this time, our little son caught a glimpse of him walking down the aisle closest to where we were sitting.
With his little outstretched arms, he immediately cried as loud as he could: "Daddy! Daddy!"
I glanced over my shoulder to see what the ruckus was all about.
My husband was standing in the back of the church and couldn't hear John-John over the booming worship music.
But, John-John continued yelling. "Daddy!" "Daddy!"
He didn't care that "Pastor Brooks" was handling an important situation or that the weight of the entire church service rested on his shoulders.
Nah, he just wanted his daddy. All he knew was he craved the loving embrace of his daddy's, strong, familiar arms.
Suddenly, my husband noticed his little boy with tears streaming down his little round face and those chubby, little outstretched arms. Almost instantly the two, big, strong hands reached down and scooped up the sobbing little fellow.
Instantly, all was well in John-John's world once again.
Life and our perceptions can make life a little messy, right?
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God sees us and hears our longing cry too.
As you know, the Bible tells us in Psalm 46:1 that God is a very present help in our time of trouble.
Think about that for a moment.
The God of the moon, the stars and the universe loves you so much that when you cry, He reaches down from heaven to comfort you and hold you through your anxious moment.
Like with my husband, other "business" must wait when his child calls out for Him. When you need Him, He is closer than your next breath.
He's in every heartbeat and carries you through your trial - whether you feel it or not.
Unlike a human father, he can hear your cry. Music couldn't drown it out. He's never too busy and your need is His priority. Isn't that beautiful!
Don't be ashamed of your "cry" out to God.
In my baby boy's scenario, the cry was very, very significant.
For example, if John-John had not cried out, My husband would have likely continued on with his church business and returned to the pulpit. It was the cry that drew him.
The tears garnered - no... demanded - attention. Luke 11:9-13 tells us we can continue to asking, cry out and pray to the Lord and God will give you what is best for you.
Psalm 88 reminds me of John-John's type of cry - only David is delivering it in the Psalm on his own behalf:
1. O Lord, God of my salvation,
I cry out day and night before you.
2 Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry!
That plea. That cry moves God to answer. David cried until he caught the attention of the one that could help. Don't allow pride to hinder or stifle your cry. Cry loud, long and persistently to your heavenly Father.
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Here is the definitive answer to the question: "does God love me?"
God loves you and has loved you before the very foundation of the world. I think most people doubt God's love because God doesn't do what they want Him to do. Just like a spoiled child pouts when he doesn't get the birthday gift he wanted, they label God unloving because He didn't "obey" them in some way.
God allowed someone to die; they think God doesn't love them.
God didn't give them the job they wanted: they think God doesn't love them.
They lose something they hold dear; they think God doesn't love them.
This mindset is immature and childish. It's all rooted in at "tit for tat" type of love. In other words: you do what I say and that means you love me. Childish, faithless and silly - that's how I describe this sort of thinking.
Do you agree?
Need further proof God loves you?
It's in the Bible and it's your choice to believe it or live with that gaping hole in your heart. The "hole" that makes you wonder "is there more to life than this?"
Choose to trust God loves you. Here's proof straight from the contract (the Bible):
Q. Does God love me?
A. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! - Psalm 36:7
Q. Does God love me?
A. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. - Psalm 136:26
Q. Does God love me?
A. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
Q. Does God love me?
A. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved. - Ephesians 2:4-5
Q. Does God love me?
A. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39
You should now be convinced God loves you!
Not only does He love you, He is particularly sensitive to your cries.
Think of Peter as he began to sink after he stepped out of the boat. He cried out to Jesus and was saved (Matt 14:30). Here's what Peter cried:
"But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
What about the Canaanite woman crying out seeking help for her devil-possessed daughter (Matt 15:22)? He hears the cries of His children.
The Canaanite women said:
"A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
No matter what's going on, God loves you.
His arms will console you by the presence of His sweet Holy Spirit. God does this because He loves you.
All you have to do is cry out for Him.
Still your life, quiet your world and cry out to Him in prayer! He'll hear your cry, Why? BECAUSE GOD LOVES YOU!
Case closed. :)
It's so good he hears, because we are a mess!
Humans do few things better than fail.
It’s part of our makeup.
God put His Spirit into us -earthen vessels (or cracked up pots) - and as a result, we’re going to blow it from time to time. The result: we commit huge goobers (faults) and others will commit them against us.
Forgiveness is a cornerstone of our Christian faith walk.
Without it, salvation and redemption would be empty and meaningless. Just as we have been pardoned, we’re told to forgive others.
As a matter of fact, if we don’t’ forgive them, we won’t be forgiven ourselves! Yikes! Check out Matthew 6:14 and 15 for yourself!
So how do we forgive?
The answer is simple, but the process isn’t always so easy. Here’s the skinny: we forgive in pieces. When someone wrongs you, imagine the offense is written on a huge blackboard.
When you remember it or feel it’s pangs, imagine yourself erasing it and no longer charging it to their “account”.
Be gentle with yourself through this process.
You may repeat this process over and over again depending on how deep-seated the hurt was. It may take weeks, months or even years to genuinely forgive some people.
Q. “What if they don’t apologize?”
A. Doesn’t matter. Just be obedient to God’s word and keep your heart free from the bitterness that comes from unforgiveness. Bitterness will destroy you spiritually and eventually even physically. Read “Betrayal’s Baby” by Bunny Wilson.
Q. “What if they want to remain friends?”
A. Pray about it. Instant fellowship is not always possible after betrayal. Here’s why: some people have been so wounded by others that they perpetuate a cycle of torment and pain. Hurt people tend to hurt other people – sometimes without even trying to do so. If the person is able to love you and be-friend you; then go for it. However, if they are wounded to the point of extreme negativity and disloyalty, you may have to distance yourself for a while.
Note: Pray about it because God may want to use you to be His light in their lives. They could be your assignment. So, pray, pray pray for guidance.
In short, God made forgiveness possible for us to enjoy the blessings of His kingdom; we must make it available to others. There’s liberty and freedom in living a life of forgiveness. God demonstrated forgiveness to us so that we can demonstrate it to others. Let’s strive to walk it out!
Indicators you have NOT forgiven someone:
1. You talk endlessly about the pain they caused you.
2. When you see them, your face still gets hot.
3. You cannot pray for them to be blessed and prosper for two straight weeks.
(Try it! The Bible tell us to pray for those who hurt us. If you can’t, you likely need to work in forgiveness, girl!)
Let me tell you, since I've been pursuing the concept of purpose and discussing it openly with my friends and contacts, I have received so much flack and criticism. I'll tell you at the end of this post what it taught me.
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I should also say if the remainder of this offends you, I'm sorry it does.
Being challenged or criticized has never been a problem for me.
To be clear, I'm no rebel-rouser seeking to generate tension, but when it comes, I don't run from it either.
Why are Christians so scared of disagreements?
Actually, sometimes opposing opinions are totally unavoidable, right?
I see the tension that results from disagreement as the beautiful by-product of conflicting intellects, opinions and perspectives.
Only insecure people can't handle opposing views.
Don't you just love people secure in their opinion? I do, even if I don't agree. In fact, I learn the most from people who have different belief systems than mine.
Again, do I always agree? Nope, but I learn new ways of looking at things.
So, I'm not mad at the
folks who don't agree a person should
pursue and live out their life purpose leveraging their
skills and talents for God's kingdom.
Not mad at all.
My purpose research revealed two types of Christians exist in this area.
1. The first: 'Go with the flow' Christians
These Christians genuinely believe all you need to do is be Christian and live a Godly life.
Sure, that gets you to heaven, but if you spend time here on earth, I think there is more for you to do while you occupy. Still, they just go through life moment by moment, doing whatever they do without the energetic passion propelling them to make a real difference with their life.
I'd rather have a root canal than live this way. I think people embrace this way of thinking for a host of reasons.
1) Maybe they are too young to know any better (i.e. youthful ignorance).
2) Maybe they are too old to try any better (i.e. old-people complacency).
3) Maybe they are too afraid to step out of their box of warm, cozy comfort (i.e. "scardy cats")
Whatever their reason for thinking this way, I say this lukewarm type of living is OK if that is what they want to do.
No, thanks for me.
Remember this: insecure people are just as toxic as an germ you could ever catch!
My heroes of faith took armor and attacked giants, got bitten by snakes and lived to tell about it, threw sticks on the ground and watch a snake form.
Lotta snake examples, but you get my point.
My heroes of the faith did not just go through life willy-nilly. When God told them their purpose, they jumped in with both feet. They kept pursuing until God took them home.
That's what you want to do. That's what I want to do anyway. I don't want to be stressed out dealing with critical people. I want to stay focused.
Go with the flow Christians don't pay attention to that thing in their "gut" that points them to their purpose. They just...go with the flow of life. B.O.R.I.N.G.
Either PRESS on or 'go with the flow'.
In my opinion, go with the flow Christians see no need to press toward the mark of the high calling. They are just content being Christians.
That's too passive for me. I'm in heated pursuit of my destiny.
2. Second type of Christian: the hot and cold.
I've been this type of chick before.
Hot and cold Christians typically get a word from God run passionately toward it and then grow cold after time.
Full disclosure: this is a poor character trait I am working on crucifying.
Some of it is personality, other is fear and more of it is not even being aware of God's purpose for your life. For years, I didn't know what God wanted me to do beyond being a greeter at my local church and casually blogging here and there. The discontentment from not knowing why I was breathing and born in this generation breeded immobility and restlessness.
If you don't have a purpose, your engine does not rev and reel. In place of vigor and excitement, your life morphs into a dull, gray ball of simply"existing".
You bounce from one boring, pithy, safe, activity to another. Seeking...searching...looking for what I'm talking about - PURPOSE!
This sort of person finds they have so much time (doing nothing that sets your heart afire) they criticize others who are doing something. This describes my late twenties. Sad.
No thanks, I embrace my life purpose and I know I have one.
Girl, I want the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn in me so fervently hot it forces me to move forward.
I want it to resonate with me in this natural realm so what seems ordinary to others is covered in the supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit. Best part: it will because it will be anointed because I am anointed to do it. I am designed to do it. I'm called to do it.
Do you want that too?
Look at these purpose-filled Christians
Matthew could have easily stayed a simple Christian tax collector. He would have still been saved, right?
Nuh-unh. Not good enough for him to do life as normal, he pressed, pushed and pursued the better part! Doing big things with Jesus. He chose to serve God in his purpose.
Let me be clear again: purpose may not be a "big" swoop. Your purpose may be to encourage and teach women how to knit. You may be supposed to blog for the numbers that visit it. You may be created to write poetry that causes people to pursue God. Big does not equal world-wide. It could be block-wide.
Another example: what if Mary had rejected her opportunity to bring Christ into the world? What if she had doubted and declined. I don't believe God forced her. God doesn't posses in an oppressive way. That's what Satan does. He infills. He also works in us to do what He wants us to do (our purpose). Read Phil 2:13.
No, Mary relented to the hugeness of what God had in store.
No, Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.” Luke 1:38
That's the answer we should give!
We should do what Mary did and say just let it happen.
That's what I want to do in regards to my life purpose of inspiring and encouraging women. I want to relent to what God wants me to do in my body, on this earth, in my sphere of influence. I relent and move toward it with childish abandon.
All the heroic people you read about in the Bible pursued and embraced Gods purpose for their lives! You should too!
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All the people whose inspirational or instructional books you read are heatedly pursuing their purpose! You should too! God's power will equip you!
Hey, I have one more! The people whose music you play or sing in worship weren't "go with the flow" Christians! They were purpose-pursuers! You should too!
Each of these sat in front of a computer screen and worked. They stood in front of a microphone sang. They chased down their purpose.
Never God has you to do, do it. Maybe he wants you to be a janitor. Be the best! Share the gospel in it!
Maybe God wants you to teach children. Do it! Don't be afraid!
Never ever ever do a job or ministry you hate only because you feel you should.
Find your personal purpose in this earth! Then you will be able to share the gospel in a way that will get attention and that will demonstrate to the world, a fulfilled Christian life.
Now let me say this. If God has you operating in a temporary state of discomfort, that's a totally different thing.
Sometimes he will put you in a job you hate to teach you things from it.
Sometimes, He'll put you there to reveal his purpose for you. Who knows.
But, as a lifestyle you should live a fulfilled life as a Christian on this earth while sharing God's goodness to the world.
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Shut up, Dream Killers
Don't listen to the mediocre people who criticize your pursuit. No!
A dog doesn't bark at a parked car. Don't be a parked car! Definitely, don't be a barking dog either.
Move toward the passion God put in your heart, Sis.
Move toward your dream! Let the world see what God can do through you. Maybe, it will inspire them, too!
Finally, what those squawkers taught me...
What did I learn from all this criticism?
I learned purpose is threatening to those doing nothing with their own lives. It threatens the status quo. It forces a person to examine his/her life to see if they have maximized it to it's fullest. That' scary for the dogs barking.
It threatens the person with too little self-confidence or God-confidence to try something new, different or" out of the norm". Those people I'm like "Not Today" and I keep moving.
Leave your hates in the "just another day" place too and head toward something big for Jesus!
Here are a few scriptures to help you forgive and keep it moving.
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
Sound wisdom never expires, but my discounts do!
Here this sermon on forgiveness by Billy Graham. See the info about the discount below!
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