Tag Archives: sin

The Life-Giving Season of Lent: Giving More of Ourselves to Christ

The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.

Examining Our Hearts

Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.

We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:

  • Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
  • Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
  • Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?

As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading

Vessels of the Father’s Love

Father God has given us each a free will. He has given us a beautiful choice to show love and honor to Him and others. Most often, we think we do this pretty well. Nonetheless, our hearts still contain impurities revealing self-focus and unhealed wounds.

Learned behaviors we thought were normal affect our daily lives. Ingrained habits plague us. We raise our voices at our children or siblings. We avoid those who rub us wrong. Or perhaps we find ourselves doing things to fulfill the need to be useful, or we assert ourselves wrongly to feel in control. Maybe we busy ourselves to avoid painful emotions.

Even in the many struggles we have, Father God is working to refine us into vessels of His love as we yield to Him.

We want to be ones who seek the heart of God, showing selfless love to all who we come near. Jesus confirmed this call. When asked about the most weighty of the Commandments, He said that loving God with all and loving others are the two from which all others stem (Matthew 22:36-40).

We realize our attempts to love remain tainted with self-serving. Showing love and honor is not automatic. Because of our tendencies toward selfishness and sin, we must seek to be intentional. We must be mindful of those around us.

If we ask, Father God will reveal ingrained behaviors and help us replace them with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We must seek to be a blessing in every situation. It will take allowing Him to show us the depths of our souls.
Continue reading

Hurts and Wounds Within: Hidden Poison

Hurts and wounds lodged within can poison us not only emotionally but physically and in other ways. Hurts within us can also poison those around us.

Hurts and wounds occur when we are wronged, when things don’t play out as we had hoped, or when we are misunderstood. Someone spreads a rumor or speaks negatively about us, we feel pressured to be something, we are mistreated or offended… There are many scenarios. Hurt affects us all at some point or another.

Do you realize that even after the hurt is over and we think we have moved on, that emotional pain can continue to poison us and those around us? Hurts not properly dealt with can poison us with lies and wrong beliefs. They can alter our perception of life, reality, ourselves, the Church, and even God. Continue reading

Having a Consecrated Heart, Part 2: Weak Flesh, Willing Spirit

Welcome to Part 2 of Having a Consecrated Heart. This post focuses on the weakness of our flesh alongside the willingness of our spirits.

Read Part 1: What Does That Mean? (which defines what it means to have a consecrated heart), or continue on to Part 3: Walking It Out (which describes keys on walking this out).

At times we may struggle with living lives of consecration before the Lord. Our emotions or flesh may want to take us in other directions, or our own desires may not be aligned with God’s Word. Nonetheless, as our hearts grow in love for God, we will continue to fight the good fight of faith, wanting God’s will and not our own.

Jesus Himself struggled with the Cross and suffering that was coming as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Though the Lord knew it would be excruciatingly painful to suffer not only the physical pain but also the wrath of God poured upon Him for the sins of the whole world, He desired to do the Father’s will and to make the way for us to be restored to relationship with Him:

“….’Father, if You are willing, remove this cup [of divine wrath] from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.’ Now an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.” Luke 22:42-43 (AMP)

As we face our own weaknesses, Jesus can truly sympathize with us. He can relate, and He also gives us grace to walk with consecrated hearts before the Father as He did. He knows that even though the flesh is weak, our spirits are willing (Matthew 26:41). Even in the face of temptation, He sees in our hearts the desire to love Him, seeking His Kingdom and righteousness first (Matthew 6:33).

It is His desire also, and so He is there to help us as we grow in learning to deny ourselves. He will help you to fall more in love with Him, and this passion for Him will help you to walk in obedience to His will out of affection for Him.

Be encouraged, keep pursuing God and His will, and allow His grace and love to help you all along the way. The simple “yes” in your heart to live for Him, even when you fall short, reveals your heart that is consecrated–set apart–for Him. Your heart is beautiful to Father God.

By the blood of Christ, we have been made clean as new creations in Him, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can live the set apart life even in the face of trials or temptation.

Our Last Breath: Destiny & Love

What will happen to you when you take your last breath? Have you ever wondered?

This question must be asked of yourself and you must know whether you can live with the true answer.

Will you wish you’d done things differently, everything in your life and destiny? Will you find out who God made you to be was completely different than the person you became, that the person you lived as was actually the devil’s destiny for you and not God’s? Will you find you had all your life believed a lie and discover you will now suffer eternally for that wrong choice?

We were made for great purpose: To be loved by God and to love in return. God, Father of all of us, this One who longs for great destiny for us, wants abundant life for us. God’s heart is to extend mercy not sacrifice, desiring to protect us from the enemy’s destiny for us (suffering, death, bondage and addiction to ways of life and choices said to be okay by the world but ways that in reality will lead to pain, suffering and heartache in the end).

Your Last Breath: Destiny & Love
All will die once prior to their life in eternity. The deciding factor is whether we choose to believe that Jesus alone is our salvation and if we then made Him the Lord over our lives, seeking to live solely for Him and to love as He loves, fighting against temptation to evil and sin because of love for Him and others.

Choose life, choose true love, God’s love, not a worldly passion that is merely a mask for bondage to the devil, the very enemy of your souls who wants to destroy your life. Satan is not your friend and does not cares for you a bit. God alone cares most, He who gave His Son for our freedom from the wiles of the devil and from our sin nature.

I pray that Father God will open your eyes today even if you do not yet know Him as someone who loves you and wants the best for you more than anyone else. May you see that evil forces do exist in this world and want to do all they can to keep you from your true destiny.

God desires a far greater destiny for you than you could make happen. He has such plans for you and I ask that He give you dreams of those very plans and helps you fulfill them against any opposition that would try to prevent them. Jesus loves you. Ask Him to show you who He truly is and He surely will.