Tag Archives: relationship with Jesus

Roses Have Thorns: Allowing God to Refine Us

Sometimes our journey of friendship with God isn’t all roses. Roses are beautiful and lovely in appearance and fragrance. They are given to show love, that we are held dear to the heart of the Giver.

But roses also have thorns. When we pick up a rose, we are careful to avoid grabbing the stem where a thorn resides, so we are not stabbed by it. At the same time, we know the thorn is there as we acknowledge it by our making room for it.

When we pursue the Lord, we cannot ignore the hard things. We know they are there. God knows they are. He sees our hearts and all we go through, and He wants to touch our lives even in these areas. But if we pretend these things don’t exist, it can hinder Him from fashioning us in those areas.

Impurities must be brought to surface for the revealing of the fine silver that is us.

It is in the refining that the beauty is able to come forth. Ashes before beauty. The coal before the diamond. But if the pressure upon that coal is hindered, the diamond will not fully come forth.

It is painful at times, but He is worth it, and His glory to be revealed in us is worth it.

Let Him bring the fullness of His character forth in your life. He makes all things beautiful in His time. You will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

How to Grow in Passion for Jesus

We want to grow in love and passion for God as we pursue a relationship with Him, yet so often we make things far too complicated. Read about and put to action these three simple ways to help grow your passion for Jesus Christ. We want to know how God truly feels about us and what Jesus has done for us, and then take time to be with this One who so loves us.

1. Knowing what God thinks and feels about us ignites our passion for God.

I believe that one of the primary keys for growing in passion for Jesus is knowing how He thinks and feels about us. Many of us have believed things about God that are simply not truth.

When we think of God as a distant dictator waiting to strike us down or believe the lie that He is always angry, we will not even want to spend time with Him. Our feelings of guilt and condemnation will cause us to avoid spending time with Him, or we will always find ourselves trying to “perform” well enough to earn His love.

I once fit this description; I knew God loved me, but it wasn’t getting from my head to my heart. By meditating on the truth of how God enjoys us and experiencing heart healing through His Spirit, I began the journey of truly knowing His heart toward me. You can too.

Know this: The truth is that God loves us and He is not mad or disappointed with us. He gave His Son because He loved all, even before we repented of our sin. He does not condemn us (that’s what the devil does). Father God longs for us to come closer to His heart and experience His love. Continue reading

Divine Connections: The Need for Godly Friendships

We were made to connect deeply with Jesus and each other, to stir up each others’ hearts in the calling and destiny of God on our lives, yet so often we are far too busy to spend that quality time with God and one another. Those times are too few and far between. Heaven would agree:

“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

I need this right now, and I know many others do as well. The Lord has given us Himself as our closest Companion, and He has also brought others into our lives that we know are connections divinely set into place by Him.

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Father God, help us to use our time, energy, and other resources wisely. Orchestrate our schedules so that the time and energy we have can be spent in the right way. Help us to use that time and energy to engage in deep, godly friendships with quality time spent with both You and those individuals You have divinely placed in our lives. We need each other, and we need You. In Jesus’ name.

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some,
but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
(Hebrews 10:24-25)

We were not made so much to do, we were made to be and to connect deeply in intimacy with God and with others.

In all relationships, we must not go about things for the sake of our own benefit. Instead our aim is to be like Christ, seeking to be a help and encouragement rather than a hindrance or burden. We want to help bear one another’s burdens and spur each other on to live like Jesus (Galatians 6:2). As we sow the fruit of the Holy Spirit into our friendships, we will reap them also (Galatians 6:7-10).

Since we have such a need for deep, genuine friendship, we must prioritize these areas of our lives. As we sharpen one another in the Lord, we encourage each other to remain faithful and steadfast through good times and bad. We remind each other of who we are in Christ, and we help propel one another into our God-given destinies.

May we set our hearts to live out our friendships on earth as they will be in Heaven.

“…walk worthy of the calling with which you were called,
with all lowliness and gentleness,
with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love,
endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
(Ephesians 4:1-3)

Further Reading Online
Being the Friend You’ve Always Wanted (Believe.com)

Being Prepared for Christ’s Return

“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit… “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them… if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” …the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes… (Luke 12:35, 37, 39-40, 42 – Read all of Luke 12:35-48.)

Christ says we are blessed if we are ready when He returns. We’re to be alert and always prepared for His second coming so that His return doesn’t take us by surprise no matter when He comes. We must be ready. In verse 37, Jesus even says that He Himself will come serve and dine with us who are ready and alert for His return.

I know that I honestly don’t feel prepared for Jesus’ return! How can we be prepared? Some things I feel God brought to my mind:

  1. First, we must have faith in God to help and guide us by His Holy Spirit. Without faith, we can’t please God.
  2. We must put our relationship with Him center-stage, spending daily, quality time with God on a consistent basis. (Read the Parable of the Ten Virgins.)
  3. Read, pray, study and live His Word, including studying Scripture pertaining to the End Times.
  4. Help others be ready by equipping them to do #1-3 above and guide them in preparing others still–both other believers and also reaching the lost for Christ (Luke 12:42).

So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’ (Revelation 3:3)

Prayer: Lord, strengthen our faith in You and guide us by Your Holy Spirit. Help us to cultivate our relationship with You in all depth and intimacy. Give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You and in Your Word, Your will and Your ways. Help us in every way to be alert and prepared for Your return, helping others to be ready as well. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Other verses to study: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 2 Peter 3:10-18, Revelation 3:1-3