What Is God Allowed To Take?

I can’t even list all of the friends that I have lost just in the last 3-4 years because of my faith. Some of those losses still sadden me greatly. I’ve tried to reach out to some of them only to have the door shut in my face, only to be hurt even more than when the friendships had originally ended. Friends have gone behind my back after we’d been there for each other for months, years…I have scrolled by posts on various social media sites only to catch a glimpse  of my name, and see those so-called friends spreading horrible rumors about me…because of my faith. I have been called things that I wouldn’t dare repeat here, rumors have been spread…I am a homophobe, a bigot, a holier than thou Christian, by some people that I have tried my best to love and stand by for as long as they would allow. I have had to give up relationships with family members, even fellow churchgoers, because of my faith. I have very recently been ridiculed by someone that I love dearly, someone that has been there for me through thick and thin for years. Someone that I would have sworn would never leave me left me. And of course, speaking of other types of losses, my father passed away in 2016. But really, he was gone before he passed on. I never had him as a proper father figure no matter how desperately I wanted it. I could look at these things in two ways, these losses…I could be bitter and say that God took these people away, that He has allowed me to experience this pain, this deep hurt, and that I am a Christian in spite of these things…or I could be happy and say that I am a stronger Christian because of these things. I could allow these bad experiences to ruin my relationship with God or I could use them as a great reminder that God is not allowing these things to happen in order to hurt me but to strengthen me.

What is my limit? What are my requirements? How much is He allowed to take?

I could easily draw a line in the sand, separating the less important things from the important things…God, You can take my old, beat up car, but not my brand new one. God, You can have this shabby old house but not that nice one I have my eyes on. God, You can take this, but not that. What is God allowed to take from me? How much is too much? Where do I draw my line?

Everything we have belongs to God. It came from God. Everything we have in this life is a gift, and God holds the right to take them back when He sees fit. Will we pitch a tantrum when He takes things or will we say “Thy will be done”? Will I accept His call even if it means that I am asked to leave my comfortable home for a shabby one in the mission field? Will I accept His call if He asks me to go so far outside of my comfort zone that I literally feel like puking? How much is too much? When do I tell God that He’s not worth it? Not worth all of the pain…the loss…the heartache…the trouble..the arguments…the debates…Ideally, the answer would be a loud NEVER. But I’m not always the ideal Christian.

Just this month, I’ve questioned. Ive asked God just how much He plans on taking away from me, just how many people….because I’m not sure how much more my heart can handle. How many people can I lose? God! I wanted to yell. I am losing everyone! But He quickly reminded me…I should be everyone to you. I should be everything to you.

“If Christ is not all to you, He is nothing.” – Spurgeon

If He was willing to give up His Son for me, can I not give up friends and family if that is what He requires? Who should I turn to, who should I defend…the One who died for me, or the ones who hate my Savior?

He gives, and He takes away. How much will I let Him take before giving up? I should give Him everything. My dreams. My home. My family. My friends. There should be no limit as to what He takes as long as I know this – He will never take Himself away from me. So like Job, I can withstand whatever life throws at me as long as He is by my side. He may give me more than I can handle, but He can handle it all, so I give it to Him.

While We Sit At Ease.

I hesitate to post this after my Facebook post went awry on this topic, but after all, if my years of growing in the faith has taught me anything, if God has told me anything through our years of growing closer to one another, it is this.

Stand Firm.

There are certain things that lack importance…things that, perhaps, are best left alone when a debate or argument begins. We are, after all, called to be meek. To be Christlike. To be humble and loving and gentle. We are not, however, called to be weak. Let me say this before we start anything.

Meekness is not the same thing as Weakness.

Jesus Christ was a meek and humble Man. He was kind, He was loving, He was gentle. But He never wavered. In fact, He called out the Pharisees, threw tables in the temple, called out sin and was brave enough to tell us all…go and sin no more. He asked God the Father to forgive the men who killed Him, but He did not give them a free pass into Heaven. He loves us but demands repentance. Let me repeat it. Jesus Christ demands repentance.

Luke 13:3 – I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Acts 3:19 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Of course, I could list dozens of other verses on the necessity of repentance. We are called to love one another, but Christians, we are loving people straight into Hell. When we tolerate sin and allow it to run rampant without any sign of hatred towards it-yes, hatred towards sin, not towards the person who sins-we are failing as Christians. We are accepting something that is putting people closer and closer to an eternity of Hell because of God’s righteous and inevitable judgement. You may claim to be a Christian, but unless you have seen the necessity of repentance, your salvation is false. You can not ignore every part of the Bible other than “For God so loved the world” “Love one another” and “Judge not” because, while those verses are special and important, they will damn you if you take them out of context with no interest in learning what they mean or what the conditions are to receive that love from God. Yes, there are conditions.

Today is the day that thousands upon thousands of women marched in different parts of the United States of America to protest multiple things. Mostly to protest our new President, Donald Trump. To be perfectly honest, I do not mind a peaceful protest. We are all allowed to have different views. Different beliefs. Different religions. While my prayer would be that we would all come to know God, that will not happen, and every person in this country deserves the same freedom of speech that I enjoy. So, I am not unhappy with the march itself. Go march. Protest peacefully if you feel led to do so. But what I am against is the Christians who have taken part in a march that, for the most part, not only condones but supports abortion, homosexuality and other sexual immoral things, and a very anti-Biblical version of feminism. I am aware that my views are not popular, and yes, I have been told that I am old fashioned, living in a box, hypocritical, a bigot….shall I go on?

Yet here I am. Writing another-probably controversial-blog post about another controversial topic. Here I am, a woman against a movement that society says I should be in full support of. Feminism. I’m a female. I should be a feminist. Except my views align more with Elisabeth Elliot rather than most of the marchers today. (Elisabeth Elliot was against modern feminism. Read her books for more information.)

It’s funny. These women are ready to support any religion and any views in their march, yet when I post something against it, I’m called out and called a horrible woman. Where is the acceptance? It has disappeared along with Godly feminism.

I thought about including photos from the marches to show how inappropriate the majority of women are being, but decided against it. I have no desire to have those images on my site. But let me describe them as well as I can without over sharing. These women are shouting things about their sex life and genitalia, holding up signs and wearing t-shirts with extremely graphic photos of said things. Women are holding up coat hangers and so on, glorifying abortion, the murdering of babies. Women are taking off their clothes in public because apparently, that proves that we are not a sexual object. I agree, women. We are not toys. We are not sexual objects. We are more than what is under our clothing. But goodness…we have lost our femininity entirely. We are reflecting the Godless society. These marches and 99% of the women in them are reflecting a society that wants nothing to do with God. And honestly, I’d be a little less disheartened over this if I haven’t seen so many women who claim the name of Christ eager to take part in the march. Remember what the Bible says,

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In so many places in scripture, we read the words “Be Ye Seperate” or “Be The Light” yet we seem determined to mix in closer and closer with the darkness. We are getting closer and closer to Baal and farther from God because His way is now too old-fashioned.

It’s 2017! We must change! We must evolve! We must grow! We must protest!

No. We must repent. We must be holy. We must be saved!

We, and I speak for myself as well, have gotten far too soft. We want to fit in so badly, we want to avoid persecution at all cost, so we’ve stopped preaching the Gospel. We’ve stopped talking about sin, conviction, Hell, repentance…and slowly but surely, we’ve stopped talking about God unless we are just quoting John 3:16. John 3:16 is lovely, but it means nothing to those who refuse to repent. I got ridiculed today by a whole group of people on one topic, then just when I thought the drama had ended, a Facebook post of mine blew up and I had to deal with that, too. And honestly, it’s hard. It is terribly hard to stay strong when your inbox is suddenly filling up with hateful messages and your notifications won’t stop lighting up and you’re being cussed out on one end and mocked on the other. It is hard. And if that’s hard, I can’t even imagine real persecution like Christians are facing in other countries. I figure, if they can handle losing their lives, I can handle some hateful young women.

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We must stop expecting to be loved by the world and we must stop caring if we are loved by the world. Never stop loving them, but acknowledge the fact that we aren’t going to be loved in return at times. Some people aren’t going to love us back. They aren’t going to believe us when we try and try to tell them that we do not believe in the Bible and preach the Gospel out of hatred but out of love, because we do not want them to experience Hell. They won’t understand until they are saved or until they are facing judgement. But would we not rather plant the seed and try instead of running away like cowards? We will face God too. Will He be proud of our dedication? Will we live with regret after being weak Christians in a world full of people who need Christ?

“Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?” – Leonard Ravenhill

We hear the drowning cry yet we refuse to help them. We see people dying and we refuse to offer treatment. We see people on their way to an eternity of burning and we refuse to warn them. We see people every single day, knowing that they are lost and without a Savior, and we sit at ease without a care in the world.

God forbid we are uncomfortable for an hour or two! Why aren’t we preaching? Why do we give up so easily? It breaks my heart, and I pray that God continues to break it until I am resolved to be a stronger Christian.

Thousands of women marching today, many of which do not know a Savior. Will we blend in, or will we shed light?

The Life That We Are Given.

When Jesus Christ gave up His life for us, He not only gave His life for us, but to us as well. Most of us focus on the fact that He died for us because it is an incredible truth. Without this glorious offering, where would we be? As Christians, we should remember His death, we should remember all that He left in Heaven in order to live a life here on earth, we should remember the things that He went through in order to give us salvation, something that we did not even deserve. But we shouldn’t stop there. Our salvation does not stop after we receive it. We continue living a Christian life. We continue bettering ourselves. We continue to seek Him out. Similarity, we can’t stop at His death and resurrection and say, “He died for us, the end.” We must remember the reasons why He died. Not only to save us from Hell but to give us the strength that we need in order to go on and live a powerful Christian life. He died for us, and He gave His life to us. He gave the spirit of God. He gave us the ability to be friends with God for the very first time.

He didn’t die for us and give His life to us in order for us to continue living like we are unbelievers. He didn’t die for us and give His life to us in order for us to treat others horribly, in order for us to neglect the Bible, neglect our prayer life, or refuse to share the gospel with others. He did not make so great a sacrifice so that we live a life of weakness.

We may claim that we are unable to stop giving into temptation, and yes, it is true that we will never stop sinning until we are in Heaven, but we are “saved, saved, saved.” Saved from the punishment of sin, the wages of sin is death. Saved from the power of sin, we are given all of the resources necessary through Jesus in order to refuse temptation. To be saved from the presence of sin in eternity. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. While God may allow us to go through certain temptations, and Satan certainly attacks us nonstop at times, He never allows us to go through a temptation that is too strong for us because we have Christ Jesus, and nothing is too strong for Him. We sin based on our own sinful flesh, but we know that Jesus Christ lends us the power that we need in order to say no and to yield to Him completely.

Yield. That is my word for the year. We could also use the word surrender.

Yielding/surrendering, that’s the key. We are offered a great life, given the opportunity to live in a Christlike manner, but we have to give everything else that we have ever had to God. Paul made a list of things that he was once proud of before he was saved. He had a great list. He was an incredible man, followed the law perfectly, was someone that most of us would aspire to be when we look at his list. He went as far as to say that he was blameless when it came to the world and how it looked at him. But those things that he had…he considered them dung after he met Christ. He surrendered everything that he once loved, everything that he once prided himself on, and considered them a loss. And he gave himself to God. He yielded, and he lived a life that all Christians should look up to. Paul pressed toward the mark and encouraged us all to do the same, to live a life of holiness. How did he do that? How did he manage to live such a life? How did he manage to make such a Godly impact in so many places? Think of it! He has been in Heaven for so many years, yet still encourages us and inspires us in the year of 2017. Don’t we want a life like Paul? Or better yet, like Jesus?

So, what holds us back from living it?

“It is a blessing for us that, as sin lives, and the flesh lives, and the devil lives, so Jesus lives. It is also a blessing that, whatever strength these may have to ruin us, Jesus has still greater power to save us.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, All of Grace

Jesus still has the power that we need. When we’re saved, we are given His power. Everything that He has, He offers to us freely. His strength, His grace, His hope, His love, everything. Yet most Christians still live a pathetic life – don’t get mad, I’m talking to myself here – and use lame excuses on why they just can’t do better.

Christian, you can do better.

Whatever you are doing now, you can do ten times more. We will never be perfect, but that should only inspire us to keep doing more. As Paul said, “I press toward the mark!” We should never stop running the race, never stop trying to get closer to Christ! We have no excuse because we have a great Savior!

If you are saved…what have you done with Christ? Not just for Him, but what have you done with Him? What have you done with the things that He has given you? What have you done with your spiritual gifts? What have you done with your salvation? Are you being a difference maker because of Him? We have won Christ, just like Paul, and He has won the battle for us. He takes every area of our life and lets it wither away as my Pastor said in this sermon. Again, are we yielding? Have we surrendered? Because until then, nothing great will happen. But when we do, it opens an incredible door for us.  

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But with Him…Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

What is stopping you from living the life that Christ wants you to live?

“I’ve found a way, through the blood, past the veil
To the Holy of Holies with God.
There by His power over sin I prevail,
I can walk in the path that He trod.
There in the presence of Jesus I stand,
Glorified Son at the Father’s right hand,
There I can plead, I can claim, I can have,
All that He purchased for me.”

The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth.

This world is full of imposter Christians. I’m talking false prophets. I’m talking preachers who stand behind a pulpit every Sunday, speaking to thousands of people and fooling them. These people are dangerous, and we are in a battle. We are in a battle, and God asks us if we are willing to call them out, to show the world what they are, to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth. God asks us, are we willing to lose friends? Are we willing to be persecuted? Are we willing to become outcasts? What are we willing to do-what are we willing to lose-for the truth? We know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that there is one very narrow path to eternal life (Matthew 7:14) therefore we know the truth. We know that Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6) despite the fact that there are thousands of false gods in the world being used mightily by false prophets. False prophets are taking Jesus’ name and creating a new god out of Him, removing every bit of  Him that makes Him righteous, eternal, powerful and sinless, and replacing those parts and qualities of Him with more grace and more love and more tolerance. But Jesus was never tolerant. No, He loved us but He demanded repentance. He accepted us, fallible as we are, but He demands an attempt. He demands that we try to separate ourselves from the world. He understands that we will fail, but He expects us to get back on our feet and refuse to budge again.

If we are not willing to preach the truth, we ought to stop preaching at all. We ought to start refusing His name and refusing to call ourselves Christians because we are filling this world with imposter Christians, and we are leading people straight into Hell in Jesus’ name.

We should look back on history and see that there is something extremely wrong with modern day Christianity. We used to see great revivals. We used to be difference makers. I wonder, what has happened to us? We used to have powerful Christian people out on the streets begging people to come to God lest they die and live a life in Hell. We used to have bold men and women. We used to have men like Leonard Ravenhill who would grab the attention of others and be honest! I wish we could all grasp this. Christian, this is a big deal. We’ve become so, so soft. Christian writers, stop talking about unimportant things and start using your platform to share truth! Preachers, start preaching again! Pastors, start guarding your flock and sending the wolves out of your church! Start protecting truth again! Christians, start caring! Where are our hearts? Where is our passion?

I am sickened with myself. I am sickened with Christians. I am sickened by churches. I am sickened by small groups. I am sickened by youth groups. We have all of this knowledge yet no fire. All of these plans but no passion. All of these activities but no outreach. When are we going to start loving the lost? When are we going to start caring about the truth again? Sin, repentance, Hell and salvation have become dirty words in society, in churches. We don’t talk about sin anymore because we want to comfort. We don’t talk about repentance anymore because we want to be tolerant. We don’t talk about Hell anymore because we don’t want to offend. We don’t talk about salvation anymore because we don’t want people to feel unloved. Don’t you think they’ll feel more unloved, more uncomfortable, more offended, when they die and get to Hell and say to themselves, “We met so many Christians yet we were NEVER told the truth?!” How many Christians have people in Hell met…how many doors were offered to us, ready to be opened? How many opportunities were we given? How many seeds did God give us to plant yet we refused?

It boils down to a few things.

1.) We Don’t Want People To Be Mean To Us.

Goodness. Preaching is scary. Talking about sin and Hell and repentance is scary. We don’t want to be labeled as a hypocrite…after all, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We don’t want to be labeled as a bigot, or for people to think that we’re not tolerant. We don’t want to talk about things online because man, people can be mean behind a computer screen. But we also don’t want to talk about things in person because that could ruin the place we have in society. We’re so worried about what people think, Christians, but what about God?

“If we displease God, does it matter whom we please? If we please Him does it matter whom we displease?”
Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries: A Classic on Revival

I’ve been called all sorts of names. I’ve been sent threats, I’ve been made into an outcast by people who claim to be Christians. I won’t fool you or myself and act like I’m perfect, because let me be clear, I am disgusted with myself and the lack of compassion I’ve had lately. I’m preaching to myself more than anyone else while writing this. But listen, I never feel closer to God or more loved by Him than when I am under fire for sharing His truth. You don’t have to deliver His truth with hatred or hypocrisy, you shouldn’t, because then you aren’t truly sharing God’s word, you’re sharing your own twisted, fallible version. But no matter how you talk or deliver the truth, the truth will convict and conviction can cause controversy. It will. Maybe not with everyone, but eventually, you’ll be under fire, but God will deliver you through it. Straight through it, without a burn.

2.) We Don’t Want Conviction; For Us, Or For Them.

I once heard a Pastor say that he gets more convicted by his own words than words from other preachers. That at times after a sermon, it’s all he can do to get through the sermon before running to the alter. When we share the truth with God on our side, that means we’re reading the Word of God and praying often, and we’re going to get uncomfortable at times. So are they. Conviction isn’t an easy thing for anyone, and it makes us want to run away from God at times to go lick at our wounds. Jonah did it. Remember when he ran away from God-twice-and tried to hide? And oh, that second time he ran away after the revival in Ninevah…man, he had some words for God. He was angry. He didn’t like what God was serving up for him. And so when we see others getting convicted, we may start wondering about our own lives. We know we’re messing up, and a lot of the time, we don’t want to be reminded.

“You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Nothing like a healthy dose of conviction to destroy that glorying in ourselves.

3.) We Aren’t Humble Enough, And We Don’t Want To Be.

This was another problem of Jonah’s. He didn’t want to go to Ninevah because he didn’t think the people were worth it. He argued with God over this a whole lot, even after the revival. He was furious when God told him that He wouldn’t judge them because they’d repented and turned to Him. You see, Jonah had a pride problem. He forgot what God had forgiven him for…you know, like running away, ignoring Him completely, and so on, just weeks before I imagine, and thought that those people in Ninevah deserved some major judgement no matter how many times they’d apologized to God or how they believed and repented. Maybe we’ll witness to that sweet old lady across the street who would never have a mean word to say to anyone, but that drug addict? That alcoholic? That atheist who never has a nice word to say to a religious person? That person living in sin with no desire to leave?

That’s too tough. We’ll just leave them for God. And maybe they don’t deserve His intervention. What bad people they are.

Oh, wait. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then we remember what Romans 5:8 says- “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And that according to Acts 10, God is no respecter of persons. And we read in 2nd Peter that God is not willing that any perish but that ALL receive eternal life.

Remember where you came from and how God has changed you. Because whatever He did for you, He can do for the vilest of sinners.

It’s time for us to grow some backbone. As Lester Roloff has said before, “We need porcupine preachers so that people will get the point.” Are you preaching truth boldly so that people get the point? So that they know how to receive eternal life? Or are you telling lies and creating imposter Christians?

 

Does Your Faith Waver?

This year has been extremely tough for me in so many ways. I lost my father after a very long battle with addiction, I went through a very dark valley full of doubts and questioned not only my salvation, but Christianity as a whole due to certain situations. I’ve lost friends and had to make tough decisions. I made the decision to leave my church home and began attending a new one after a couple of years full of prayer and consideration. I’ve followed God’s prompting in many ways, and I’ve also left Him in many ways as well. I’ve been broken, and I’ve been mended by God. I’ve been full of anxiety, and I’ve been full of peace from Christ. It’s been a hard year. I’ve found out a lot about myself and what I want from life, and I’ve also grown even more confused in a lot of different ways. But I’ve also gotten more grounded. I’ve planted myself in a firmer place, and I’ve learned what it means to have unwavering faith. I can honestly say that through this year, through everything…I have never fully lost my faith in Jesus Christ. My faith in the Person of Christ has never wavered. When everything else has, when so many people were telling me to doubt Him and question Him, I could never bring myself to doubt Him. The thoughts of abandoning Him or questioning His grace, love or sovereignty made me sick to my stomach because it felt like I was abandoning the only Father that I’ve ever had to myself. The only Man who has ever loved me endlessly, the only Man who has never let me down, who has never given me a reason to question. The Son of God, who has made me feel loved even when I felt unloved by the world.

I was saved on December 21st in the year of 2004. I was offered salvation and I took it with eagerness, and I gave my life to Jesus Christ in a bedroom in our old house with my older sister by my side. Through the years, as I’ve written posts about before, I have questioned my salvation. I have questioned myself but I have never questioned my Savior. I’ve wondered how it could be…how I could be saved and loved by a perfect Savior when I am so broken and so sinful. But He hasn’t ever abandoned me, even in the darkest days of my life, He’s been there to rescue me. Most people have laughed at me when I’ve said that those days of doubt have been the worst of my life, but it’s true. I’ve been through a lot, more than most people my age have been through in short years. I’ve seen death. I’ve seen addiction. I’ve seen my loved ones in hospital rooms close to death. I’ve seen anxiety, depression and other disorders take lives. I’ve talked with friends as they’ve been an inch away from suicide.

I’ve seen a lot.

My life is incredibly blessed, and I am incredibly blessed. But I know what bad days look like, and I know what valleys look like. I’ve been in a few myself, and I’ve watched as people endure their own. There is nothing worse than doubting your salvation. There is nothing darker than having no assurance in your salvation. I’ve been there. And I’ve learned what it means to have an unwavering faith. The assurance that I have in my salvation is something that I vow to never take for granted, and I know that every ounce of assurance I have is from Jesus. So I vow to never abandon Him.

“I have given Him my faith, and sworn my allegiance to Him; how, then, can I go back from this, and not be hanged as a traitor?”
John Bunyan, The Pilgrims Progress

I want this post to be a warning and an encouragement all in one. We receive our salvation from one person. There is one way to salvation. One path. The only way that you will ever be saved from an eternity in Hell is through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The same Jesus that was born of a virgin thousands of years ago. The same Jesus who lived a sinless, perfect life yet was persecuted, mocked and killed. The same Jesus who was crucified on Calvary, who was dead in the tomb and then rose again to beat death and conquer Satan. The same Jesus who will come again any day now, any hour now, any minute now, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and reign forever. I receive my salvation from the greatest Man who has ever lived on this earth, and He has never given me a reason to doubt Him. There will be people in this world who will demand that you forsake Him. There will be people who recommend that you “curse His name and die” just as Job was told in scripture. There will be people who attempt to make your faith waver and disappear for all sorts of reasons…but He has never done anyone anything but good. When you are saved, you have sworn your allegiance to Him. Leaving Him, as John Bunyan once said, is a traitorous act. He has saved us from our own sins and destruction, and this should be both an encouragement to continue following Him because He will never fail us, and a warning to never leave Him because we owe Him everything.

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When Polycarp was about to die, the people surrounded him and told him to desert Christ…he looked at them and scoffed, saying that he has served Him for 86 years and He has never wronged him; why would Polycarp desert Him? Christians, He has done everything for us. Whether you have a boring testimony like I do, saved as a young child without fireworks or heavy emotions, or if you were saved a year ago or 50 years ago…He’s saved us from the same exact fate. An eternity in Hell, a lifetime of sorrow and doubt here on earth. He has continued to be our Friend and our Savior. Our King and our Intercessor.

“History tells of Polycarp a martyr for the gospel’s
sake.
They built a fire around him and they tied him to a
stake.
But the fire could not consume him,
So they pierced him with a sword.
The fire went out, the blood ran down,
But still he praised the Lord.
All my years I’ve served Him, He ain’t done me nothing
but good.
Well, I won’t repent and I won’t recant,
Just tell me why I should.

He ain’t never done me nothing
Done me nothing but good,
Nothing but good.”

It is entirely possible to have an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ if you are willing to take Him at His word and allow Him to move mightily in your life, and follow Him. The only thing that has helped me keep my faith during the toughest days of my life has been to remember Him and what He has done. To remember that He has never done me wrong, nor has He left me alone. So I plant my feet stubbornly wherever Jesus stands and I refuse to move them no matter who challenges me or how the world tries to push me down.

When He Sees Us.

I am so incredibly fallible. I fail God every single day. I fail myself. My friends, my family. I make mistakes, I allow myself to become a slave to things that should have no power in my life. If I could write out all of the ways that I have fallen short, I’d have enough words for several books. Tonight, I thank Him for not seeing me for who I am, but for who I can turn into through His power, grace and love. I thank Him for taking me in His arms, for looking at me and loving every piece of me no matter how scarred, broken or bruised that those pieces may be, and seeing His child. No longer slave to sin, no longer a child of sin, but His child. The reason that He came to earth. We can take John 3:16 and know that if we were the only person left on earth, He still would have died for just us. He still would have endured every moment of pure agony to save my soul. To be with me, to be my Father, my King of Kings, my Savior, my Redeemer, my friend.

“Tell Me your story, show Me your wounds,
And I’ll show you what love sees when love looks at you.
Hand Me the pieces, broken and bruised,
And I’ll show you what love sees when love sees you. I see what I made in your mother’s womb,
And I see the day I fell in love with you.
I see your tomorrows, nothing left to chance.
I see My Father’s fingerprints.

I see your story, I see My name
Written on every beautiful page.
You see the struggle, you see the shame,
I see the reason I came.”

Mac Powell-When Love Looks At You.
God does not look at me, His born again child, and place a label on me based on my earthly father, but based on Him, my heavenly father. He does not look at me and label me based on what I have done in the past, He looks at my future. He does not look at my sinful past as a terrible story, but as a wonderful testimony to show what He can do in a person’s life.
He is not willing that any would perish without Him and divine intervention. He is not sitting in Heaven, standing by idly as He watches the world, watches people get farther and farther away from Him without a care. No, He is urging His children to share the Gospel so that they could see themselves as He sees them. He is looking at the tortured souls, plagued and ruined by sin, earnestly wishing that they would go to Him. He has not lost hope for anyone in this world; not even the worst murderers sitting in a prison cell, not the worst drug addicts, not the worst alcoholics. He has not lost hope for those who are having suicidal thoughts, or for those who have taken to harming themselves because they do not feel as though they can endure this world much longer. Because they do not see their own worth, their own beauty. He looks at them and desperately wants love to win in their lives. True love, the love of Christ.
We look at others, even at ourselves, and place judgement. We put God in a box and say that He can not reach out of it. He can not reach certain people, as if He doesn’t want to reach them. But He does. None of us have to be who we’ve been. None of us have to spend an eternity in Hell. None of us have to trapped in sin. All it takes is belief, faith and repentance for us to see ourselves as God sees us, for Him to see us as His children. Christ gave us all that He had in order for us to see His love for us demonstrated in the most beautiful way that we could imagine. His love was written in red, and I pray that we not let any more suffering souls go by us in our daily lives without sharing this truth with them.

Returning to God.

How do we fix the world?
How do we change lives?
How do we make a Godly impact?
There is something that we all must do, regardless of where we’re called to go, what we’re called to do specifically…whether we are called to be a preacher or a pastor’s wife, a missionary or a writer, a Sunday school teacher or a diligent student…God demands that we run to Him. That we die to self and get to Him.
This world is in a sorry state. There is almost always a new riot or shooting to hear about. Every time you turn on the news or read an article, you hear about starving children, people dying, orphans without mothers or fathers. We see the world constantly go against God’s word by allowing sin to become the new law of the land, God’s law no longer matters to most. We see homosexuality become a new normal (Jude 1:7) and we see our countries turning on each other (Matthew 24:7) We see famine, people starving in countries where there is hardly any food or safe water to drink (Luke 21:11) and so on. The Bible warns us all of these things, saying that these things are a sign of the end times, making one thing clear; if Christians do not humble themselves and pray as 2nd Chronicles tell us to do, we will not see revival, and the end will come sooner than we may wish.
Most Christians have gotten content with Jesus coming sooner rather than later, using two excuses to back them up on this;
 
1.) They claim that they are not able to change anything.
2.) They have become indifferent.
Both things are sinful, and in my opinion, our indifference and “inability” that we claim to have is a sign that we do not have a heart like our Savior’s. Remember this, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9. God desires for us all to be saved. Every sinful person in this world-murderers, liars, adulterers, homosexuals, drug addicts, alcoholics-is loved by God and God sees the best in them. He sees the potential that we do not, and He calls His people to be fishers of men, to preach the Gospel, so that they can learn about a loving Savior and receive salvation through faith and repentance. These people are no different than the person that we were, when we were lost, before God’s intervention in our lives.
When we claim that we are not capable of changing things, we are not only doubting ourselves and the people that God has saved us to be, but we are doubting God Himself. Did God not saved the sinful Ninevites? Did God not send several revivals that we read about in the Bible? Did He not save us? We read about Paul’s, previously Saul, conversion and see the difference that God made in his life, and then the impact that Paul made after salvation. We read about the thief on the cross next to Jesus, who was saved and became an amazing example of the Lord’s unending mercy and grace towards us. We read Bible verse after Bible verse on His love and mercy for sinners, regardless of their history, and we claim to be impacted greatly by preachers, authors, missionaries, and other men and women of God yet we still think that we are not capable of doing great things. We are doubting God while He gives us evidence to prove that we are capable of making a difference, and that evidence is right in our faces every time we pick up the Bible, every time we go to church, every time we sing hymns or songs of worship. We are all where we are because someone made a Godly impact in our lives. We can do the same for someone else. We can make a difference.
Image result for 2nd peter 3:9
We become indifferent because of our fake inability, and/or because we have a desire to fit in and not be labeled as a bigot Christian or Bible thumper. It’s easy to look around and think that things are simply too far gone for things to change, and get used to the dirty, sinful life around us. We become indifferent because we’ve been exposed to the world for too long. We become indifferent when we stop studying the Bible and praying as often. We become indifferent when we forget how passionate God is about holy living. We become indifferent when we forget what God has saved us from. Brothers and sisters in Christ, just looking at our history and where we would be without God’s divine intervention should be enough to stir us up and kill that sinful indifference. Looking at society and seeing the lost souls should be enough to wake us up and wish that others be saved sooner rather than later. How it pains me to hear Christians pray and beg for Jesus to come quickly while they sit on their couches and do nothing for the furtherance of the Gospel! We are sitting, watching people die without Christ and we have the audacity to beg Him to come while we do nothing. Are the lost souls nothing to do? Are we simply too lazy to do anything for them? I understand it when I hear people who are earnestly slaving away for the Gospel say “come soon, Lord Jesus.” I understand why the disciples of Jesus would have asked Him to come again quickly…but oh Christians, most of us do not know the smallest bit about true persecution or suffering. We are living in freedom, with the ability to go to church, to attend bible study, to love the Lord without much persecution other than a few people leaving mean comments on social media, and we have the audacity to beg Him to come, as if we suffer so greatly. Most of us know nothing of true suffering.
Do you know who will suffer the most? More than us, even. More than those Christians who have given their entire lives to the Gospel, who are living for God and denying their flesh daily, those powerful, strong Christians who are truly suffering and walking through fires and valleys? The lost souls who will die without Christ and experience an eternity of Hell. They will know suffering. We have the promise of a Heavenly eternity. No more tears. No more death. No more suffering. No more illness. They do not. They have the worst future ahead of them…what are we doing?
So…how do we make a difference? How do we break out of this horrible, careless mode that we’ve grown so accustomed to? It’s simple.

“Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi chapter 3, verse 7.

A change demands action, and we are promised that when we take the first step towards God, He will meet us there, every next step of the way.