Purposeful Faith

Author - purposefulfaith

The Heart of Christ

If Jesus was to write a note to you, here is what I think He might say:

It was a hard fight, but well worth it. I have you now. To pay the price for you, was my honor. To go those lengths for you, was important to me. To not give up on you, is actually part of my DNA. I don’t give up on daughters. I don’t forsake those I love. I can’t.

And, I never will. This is why, I want you to know, dear daughter, that you can trust my promises. I did not make them to break them. I did not come to earth and say things to never follow through.

“God is not a man, that He should lie…” (Nu. 23:19)

My character is not disappointment, abandonment or rejection. If you’re living those things, can I tell you something? That is not of me. If it is not “of me” why are you carrying it?

You can give those things to me right now and banish them in you. Just as I absorbed every nail, I can absorb your every pain, trauma or feeling that has captured you for far too long. I’ll take it all for you. My body was broken, so that your’s might find healing.

“And by (my) stripes[c]  (you are) healed.” (Is. 53:5)

I carried what you were never meant to carry, so that you might live life abundantly.

“I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jo. 10:10)

Can you see? What I have for you?

I really am as good as you hope I am. You don’t have to be scared that I am not as good as you wish I am. Or, act pious so that you can finally feel like you’ve earned or warranted attention, accolades or affirmation. This is not the way of love. This is the way of conditional love. That is not of me.

I have unconditionally laid down my life so that you, as a child of God, could unconditionally rest in my gift of grace.  If you’ve never done that before, today is your day. Come and hear more about who I really am.

I wait for you…

Love,

Jesus

 

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A Note About You

May the words I believe Father God would love to speak to you — may they unshake the deep places of your heart and speak life to you (don’t miss all the verses at the end of it too) …

Dear child,

You are mine. Always. From the very beginning, you were mine. Before I fashioned the earth, you were mine. I thought of you. knew you then and I know you now. I take delight to think of you. I get excited when you want to draw near to me. I find pleasure in your presence with me. I am not afraid of your realities. Nor do I want to run away from them or tell you that, when you bear them, they are too much. I find interest in your interests.

Who do you think I am?

I always have your best in mind. Being over it all, I see it all, know it all and handle it all. Even what you can’t understand, will one day come to light before your eyes. Then, you’ll understand. Then, it will all make sense. You will come to see I am good.

Did you know, you can choose to trust that now?

It brings me pleasure when you do. It pleases me when you trust me by choice. When, in uncertainty, you ask your questions. When you follow me, even though you don’t know, really, where you are going. I am not thrown off when you are thrown off. I am not distant because you’ve been. I won’t ditch you because you haven’t done everything – just right. I am better than that.

Do you know who I AM?

Receive my grace in a time of need. Accept my hand of help. Trust that when you are weak I am strong.

I always believe in you. Because I see Christ in you. His goodness is my righteousness. I put that inside of you.

Do you realize what this means?

Who can stand against you, when Christ is in you? What can topple you when the light of the world is your core? Dwell on these kinds of things and you will find strength. Consider me, empowering you and you will become strong.

I know, at times, the going has been tough. It was that way for Jesus too. But, just as He didn’t give up, don’t you give up either.

Love,
Your daddy…who cares so much more than you know.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5)

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zeph 3:17)

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16)

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

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When I lost a Little Faith in God

It’s a horrible thing to lose something. I hate it when I can’t find my phone. My husband will be waiting in the car, with the kids buckled in behind him, while I have to “run back in” to find it. I always put my phone in the oddest spot: a shelf to the left, under the covers on my bed or on the corner of a bathroom counter.

To be at a loss of a very important thing is super frustrating. Even more frustrating, the powerless feeling that you don’t know how to go about putting things back together again.

For a bit, I felt like I misplaced faith. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God or anything like that. It’s just I didn’t really believe He had good stuff for me or that I could trust in His goodness to pull through. After a series of disappointments where I expected Him to show up one way, I guess, I became upset when He showed up a different way.

So, I stopped being as tender to Him. I let a little bit of calloused skin cover my heart. I met with God, but only let Him approach me — so-deep.

Wondering what happened to my wild-belief and strong-faith, where anything is possible. I dove back into Hebrews 11 this morning to see if God wanted to bring something back to life.

“Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God…”

Yep. I got that covered. I believe there is a God.

“…and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)

I “must” believe He rewards me?

To believe God “rewards me” feels indulgent, selfish and it induces guilt in me. Isn’t faith supposed to be about all I give Him – what I do, how I love Him, reading the bible with Him and loving others on His behalf?

Yet, God hones in on this— “Kelly, I want you to believe when you sincerely seek me out — I am going to reward you.”

Faith is not only coming to God, or doing His work, receiving and expecting His reward too. We are not old rag dolls, who God uses to take advantage of to get His way or to use up and then throw out. We are children, daughters, of a Father who loves us and wants to take care of us. His heart, when we meet Him, when we trust Him, when we long for Him, when we find Him — is to reward us. It is to give — to renew, replenish, restore and reinvigorate.

When we seek Him, we’ll find Him and He’ll reward us.

Something about this idea — speaks so deeply to my heart that: God is good.

 

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When a Good thing becomes Not-So-Good

Any dream, devoid of Jesus, becomes a nightmare. Any effort, apart from what God inspires, becomes self-defeating work. Any accomplishment, no matter how great it looks, done by performance leaves you fearful, desperately afraid you may fall flat in the future.

I was struck by these thoughts as I read singer Michael Buble’s words in this article:

‘I realised that for many years I couldn’t believe I was on the same stage as my heroes, that I was sharing a microphone with Tony Bennett or [Canadian pianist and singer] Diana Krall. I couldn’t believe I was looking across at someone like Paul McCartney, and I’d be saying things like, “It’s hard to get here, but my God it’s harder to stay here.” 

‘But then I woke up and thought, “After ten years of trying to get here and five years of being scared it would go away, I think I can enjoy it.”’

There were people in my business life saying, “If you hadn’t done this or that, or you’d written a better song, tickets might be selling quicker.”

‘I started to take all that on board.”

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)

In some ways, I think I’ve subscribed to wanting to be successful. To maintaining an image. To vanity.

I perform. I feel the need to do things better than last time. I sometimes incline to impressing people to be accepted. I try to make people happy so as not to let them down. I go back and count up the things I could have done better.

But, at what cost?

Who am I performing for?

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mt. 16:26)

There’s no real gain without God.

And so, this gives my heart space today. Space to reconcile with God. Space to hear Him. Space to let go. Space to ask for discernment as to the next steps. Space to just “be”. Space to know him more. Space to realize that once you hit one plateau you feel an obligation to get to the next one. Space to be honest about my motives. Space to uncover God’s heart in me. Space to not be afraid of what it is God is calling me to. Space to become free. Space to be me. Space to grow. Space to uncover. Space to breathe.

What is God calling you to? Where do you feel an obligation to perform, to put on a show or to prove to man you are worthy? Might you consider giving yourself some space to find God’s love between your fast-paced steps of fear?

He wants to talk with you; I’m sure of it.

 

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3 Ways: Be in Christ & Change your Life

You are inside God’s love.

It’s an easy thing to forget, I know. We forget things that we are inside of often. For instance, how often do we think, “I am in the system,” or “I am inside the state of ___.”

We rarely consider where we are – although we should. Because when you realize positionally where you are, it situationally reframes the world around you.

What needs reframing in your life? Are you aggravated at a boss? Discouraged at your lack of initiative? So busy you can’t even consider God? Demoralized by the words of people around you? Unsure about the direction you should head? Feeling depressed or powerless to change your circumstances.

Remember where you are. Realize positionally that you are in God’s love to change situationally – everything.

When you are inside God’s love, you realize you are: H.I.S. You dwell on the fact you are H.I.S.

You are:

1. Hidden in Christ.

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3)

If you accepted Christ, in Him (inside all His glory, power, honor, might, strength, wisdom) your life is now hidden. You don’t have to fear the future, because you can trust in His providence to change everything.

2. Invincible in Battle.

“Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle.” (Ps. 24:8 NLT)

If you are in Christ, hidden in Him, then  – because of Him – you actually become invincible in battle. This is powerful.  The King of Glory can go where He wants, in a way that is invincible to the enemy of your life. Take a moment to receive this truth in your mind. Don’t gloss over this point.

3. Secured as you trust.

“Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you.” (Phil. 2:1 GNT)

In Christ, you are strong. In Christ, love comforts you. In Christ, you get everything you need to face whatever mountain stands against you.

You will not be wavered, but full of Christ. You will not be taken down, but covered in his love. You will not give up, but stand firm.

Friends, you are H.I.S. Put your trust in Him. Dwell on these three points. Situationally, you’ll find things radically change. Keep hope and find yourself, in Him.

 

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When Feelings are Overwhelming

Feelings can be frightening, overwhelming a heart to the point of desperation and misery. Or prisons, entrapping one to past experiences, traumas or memories.  Often they become future proclamations, declaring over us, “What was, always will be. You’ll never escape this emotion.” Feelings, on the other hand, can be amazing, liberating and soul-rejuvenating. Just think of the best day of your life!

What do we do with them?

Up, down and all around – they move like the wind. Like a hurricane or an underground rocking that shakes the foundation of who you are. I get all this. I know how anger has made me act, in days of old. I remember getting all up into my sisters face. And the feelings of self-annoyance I perpetually lived with. The depression that made me feel like there was no good way out of life.

Feelings can be fun, or no fun. They can be old and then haunt us again.

Yet, just because they show up on our doorstep doesn’t mean we have to answer the door so they stay forever. We are not obligated to say, “Come on in and make yourself at home.”

I fear some of you have done this. Sadly, now old feelings are cramping your good style. They’ve spread out all over the space of your soul, heart and mind, stealing your attention on God, negating God’s good plan for your life and telling you that there’s no way you can be enough.

People ask me what to do with “feelings”?

Well, I think when we see them at our doorstep, we peep out the side window and first acknowledge them. We allow them and we even bring them to God. There he is again, “Mr. Disappointment” I see him there, trying to get in. God, what do you think about this? What does your word say about hanging out with this emotion for too long?

Then, with wisdom, we decide whether or not they can sit in our house for long periods of time.

We can do this by asking ourselves a few questions:

1. Are these feelings going to cause me to dwell on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely,  admirable, excellent, praiseworthy” or lesser things? (Phil. 4:8)  Are they leading me to life or death?

2. Are they reinforcing God’s truth or are they backed by lies?

Example: If God says he is “for us”, we would not be wise to dwell in hopelessness that believes, “God is not for me.”

3. Are they helping me to love God (and others) with all my heart or do they cause me to pull away from this?

If we’re called to do all things in love, anything contending against it should be heart-checked.

Friends, we don’t have to declare our initial feelings as “bad”,  ignore them or hate ourselves for them. However, we do need to see them for what they are, quickly, and make moves to let Godly-facts take precedence over wavering-feelings.

Why? Because sadness soon turns into isolation. Rejection soon turns into depression. Anger soon turns into a division. Loneliness soon turns a bottle. You get the picture.

Don’t make a long-term resident of a feeling that should only be seen as a passing-by door-to-door salesman. Yep, Kelly sees you there wanting to sell a whole bunch of stuff, but God’s got a better word than you. She’s listening to truth, over feelings. And letting that be her guide…

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When You Have to Forgive, Again!?

The problem with forgiveness is when you let things go, only to have “that person” go and be offensive again. That’s why I don’t like forgiving. It makes me feel like I am giving someone a green pass to hurt me again. It seems if I let them off the hook they won’t have to watch themselves. It seems they’ll have removed the burden-of-improvement removed. They’ll have no feelings of guilt causing them to change.

This is the mental theology I’ve created around the “benefits of unforgiveness.”

Recently, a person I forgave did something really in-my-face. It felt a little arrogant. A little I’ll show you anyway. The second it happened, feelings of hurt resurfaced.

My mind returned back to the “benefits of unforgiveness” list. In this I decided: I can be a little short with this person. I can avoid them now. I can internally pick apart their wrongdoings.  

So, I began judging their actions. They’re wrong. They’re rude. They’re prideful. 

…Until I got convicted.  I am the one boiling with hatred. I am the one deciding exit-paths from love. I am the one judging.

If God gave me no magnifying glass into another person’s heart, how can I know what they are doing?

They’re “offense” could have been:

1. Unintentional
2. Derived from their own pain.
3. A prompting by God to follow through a certain way (in my case, it didn’t have direct sin tied to it).

I remembered how Paul used to tell so many churches at the beginning of his letters, “Grace and peace to you” (2 Cor. 1:2). I wonder if he did that not only for the general church folk, but if he also extended these words, with wisdom, to those who may rub him wrong?

I tried it with the person who faced me, I said, “God, grace and peace to that person.” As I did, I noticed that I not only felt unburdened by their issues, but I also felt willing to receive that same grace and peace for myself.

I think Paul was onto something…we all need grace and peace. Then, we can extend it to others.

Grace doesn’t make wrongs right. It extends to people the very thing, even we, don’t deserve. Just like Jesus did for us.

Are you Battle Ready? Learn more about the book,“Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.”


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Tired and Weary

Are you tired of your troubles? Worn by your worries? Do you want to give up?

Lately, I’ve been seeking God’s direction. Yet, I haven’t heard clearly from Him. I haven’t gotten the answers I need. The transition of everything happening around me feels turbulent. Where are you, God? Why haven’t you shown up yet? Did you forget about me?

Everything is off-kilter. But, does this mean that God is off-kilter or does it just point to the fact that I am?

Father God, please help me never to blame on you – what is a usually a waiting-issue happening in me. 

The vast majority of the time, I run from waiting – and run circles on a treadmill. Almost out of strength, working harder, going faster and trying more gets me nowhere. And, there God waits. As if He is calling me off that machine of life to sit down on the chair in the corner of the room right next to Him.

To say something like this:

“O (insert your name), how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Is. 40:31)

Prayer: Father God, may we all trust in you today. May we find new strength in the shadow of your wing. May we sit next to you and hear your love and care.  May you remind us of your truth in ways that change everything. We admit that you are the answer to our every need. Every problem is handled through you and by you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Are you Battle Ready? Learn more about the book,“Battle Ready: Train your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously.”


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Why Remorse

Just now, as I took a walk, I saw a twisted piece of plastic on a telephone line. Oddly, it was mangled and wrapped around the phone line in a way that seemed to make no sense.

This is how my mind is when I make a mistake. Remorse wreaks havoc in my mind, until I’m in a twisted mess of: I’ll never be good enough. I always make mistakes. I can’t get anything right. I’ll always offend God.

God doesn’t intend for us to live mangled; Jesus came so we could live untangled from shame.
So, what’s the problem with me?
The story of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus, has a little to say on this subject matter.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse…and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.
 
“Remorse gripped Judas and he returned the money.” (Mt. 27:3)
 
Isn’t it amazing that he returned the money and was remorseful? Amazingly, this wasn’t enough.
 
Then, Judas said, “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” (Mt. 27:4)

He even realized his sin.
 
The priests replied, “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” (Mt. 27:4)

I only wish He’d talked to Jesus. 
 
“…Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)
 
Remorse without repentance kills us internally. It leaves us in a balled up mess of self-condemnation, ridicule, embarrassment and shame. It kills our insides and has even been known to take a life.

What do you need to repent of? What do you need to release to God? What do you need to finally get over, so it doesn’t destroy you? The price Jesus paid is enough to cover over any mistake you’ve made. There’s nothing His grace won’t cover. Isn’t it about time you finally receive that grace and forgiveness too?

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Heb. 8:12)

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into the place of highest privilege where we now stand and confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Ro. 5:1-2)
 

When You’re Not Enough

I sat with a power-house minister. Well, kind of. He’s actually an ordinary, non-ministry degreed man. And he’s my husband. Anyway, a profound thing was happening. My husband was on fire!!! As he prayed for a person in need, everything he said was wise. Everything he spoke was powerful. Everything was changing the situation. My mouth dropped open. God was moving.

People affirmed him. “Mr., your prayers are powerful. You don’t know how much they matter; they are personally impactful.” Mountains got moved.

Which was all fine and dandy, except for one thing. I prayed for that person too, you know, and they didn’t mention my prayers… What about me, God?

Do you ever size up your impact against another’s, like me?  Deciding that because they’re powerful, you’re weak?

This mindset couldn’t be further than the truth. And, in this situation, I should have known better… The enemy will always try to make us believe we’re only as good as our last bit of stellar work. He’ll always attempt to make us chase performance, and to call it “godliness.”

It’s how he forms and fashions – pride. We become imprisoned to one-upping each other in order to keep some sort of prized status. This is a form of the pit of hell, I’m sure of it.

Yet, in God’s economy, it is never about one-upping, it is always about one getting low. Low enough to lift the other up. Low enough to make room for others gifts. Low enough to see God really work the way He wants to. Low enough to believe in His work more than you have to self-exalt your plans.

So, today, I thank God that my husband is impactful, full of God and a mountain-mover. I praise God that he has a heart to bless others. I see the beauty of his impact. I celebrate who he is.

And, I confess, God has more than enough good ministry moments in store for me. I am not a product of what-I-do-for-him, but who-He-is-in-me and what-Jesus-has-already-done-for-me. In this, I can allow humility to make room for others. I can celebrate others’ successes. And, most of all, I can trust God and all that He is doing in and around me.

He always has a good plan.

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