Flowing Faith

September 19, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Hold onto Hope

Hold onto hope
I didn’t realize the word ‘hold’ is such a hope-filled and faith-saturated one. I was doing a search at Biblegateway.com and found an abundance of faith-affirming and uplifting verses that had the word ‘hold’ in them. Here are my favorites:

Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands(Matthew 10:28, MSG, emphasis added*)

We are in God’s hands. Our entire life is in his hands. We don’t need to worry. We are safe and secure. There’s nothing that can harm our core being. We can hold onto hope that keeps us going. For God is reliable, loving, and faithful to his word.

Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. (Hebrews 10:22-23, NLT, emphasis added,*)

We can trust God with our everything. Nothing is too strange to God and nothing goes to waste. God knows us as we are and loves us despite of everything. But also his love for us is so powerful that he does not leave us where we are. He cleanses us and washes us with pure water and then sends us to share our faith, hope, and love with others.

We don’t need to be afraid that there would not be enough faith, hope, and love for everyone. Because when we are in Christ, we can’t use faith, hope or love up. The more we use faith, hope or love, the more we have. Because those are God’s gifts to us. And they are meant to be shared and celebrated.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original. (Gal. 5:25-26, MSG, emphasis added*)

The life of the Spirit is not just a dogma or an idea in our heads. And it’s not a sentiment in our hearts. We are called to hold onto hope and live our faith out in love. God can be trusted and God is holding our entire lives in his hands.

Everything begins and ends in God’s grace. But there’s work for us too: to trust God, to share his love with others, to hold on to hope and live out our faith. No need to stress out about it: our work is empowered by grace. That’s why we can hold onto hope no matter what happens in our lives.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for holding us in your arms.
Thank you for pouring out hope, faith, and love in abundance.
Thank you for sustaining us along the way.
Empower us for victorious living.
Help us to always hold onto hope.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U
:
  How do you hold onto hope?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you hold onto hope!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Photo courtesy of Ben Branum, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

Pin It

September 17, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Is the Blood of Christ too Precious?

Is the blood of Christ too precious?
Do you think the blood of Christ is too precious for you? That you think so highly of the blood of Christ that you don’t dare to apply it to you and your sins? That you and yours problems are too small to bother Jesus?

Slow down for a minute. Let’s think this through.

[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.] (Gal.2:21, AMP,*)

God gave his only son to die for everyone’s sins. It cost God everything to offer you freedom of sins and now you don’t receive it because it is too precious? It’s precious all right. But not accepting it would be a) wasteful and be) prideful. Do you want the sacrifice of Jesus go in vain? Isn’t that much more costly? Wasteful? Prideful?

You see, God’s grace is God’s power to redeem a sinner and make him/her like Christ. If we don’t accept it, grace goes in vain. Is that what you want? That you say no to God for his grace to make you what he created you to be? I didn’t think so. Hence open your arms wide and receive all the grace God has for you.

The blood of Christ is not too precious for you. Because you’re are God’s precious child and he wants to have a living relationship with you. And that only happens by receiving grace through faith in the risen Christ.

 

Gracious God,
The blood of Christ is truly precious,
it delivers us from death to life.
Thank you.
Forgive us for using it in vain or
ignoring its power in our lives.
Enable us to humbly receive
your amazing gifts and
out them in good use for your glory.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Is it hard for you to put the blood of Christ at work in your life? Why/why not?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you receive everything God has for you?

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Kevin Carden, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

Pin It

September 15, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

The Holy Spirit – the Difference Maker

The Holy Spirit - the difference maker
Have you ever wondered why you don’t make any spiritual progress? You’ve been diligent with spiritual practices and attended faithfully church functions but nothing happens? Sometimes we are lead to desert and that’s ok. There are different seasons in faith life too. But make sure that you don’t ignore the most important aspect of your spiritual life: the Holy Spirit.

 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. (1 John 4:13-16, MSG,*)

The Holy Spirit is the difference maker. If you don’t abide in the Holy Spirit, it does not matter how hard you work towards spiritual growth, it’s not going to happen. It’s not us creating spiritual growth. It is the Holy Spirit in us who does the work. We just need to create time and space for the Holy Spirit to move in our lives.

This does not mean that spiritual practices would be in vain. Not at all. This means that we need to do those practices in the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the difference maker here, not us. When we live in the Holy Spirit, the spiritual reality is more true than the visible one. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, spiritual growth is natural part of our lives. When we we abide in the Holy Spirit, we will bear spiritual fruit in due time.

The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to all the Christians. Spirit-filled life is just a prayerful life. The Holy Spirit is always with us, we just need to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit and let him run our lives. The Holy Spirit is the difference maker: Our stagnant spiritual life becomes robust, when the Holy Spirit breaths life into it. If you want to make a difference in the world, start by cultivating an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. Do you dare?

 

Gracious God,
You’ve given us a tremendous gift: the Holy Spirit.
Forgive us for ignoring the Holy Spirit
and forcing our way alone and then wondering what’s wrong.
Lord, I surrender to you and let you run my life
according to your plan.
I want to have an intimate relationship
with the ultimate difference maker.
Show me how joyful it is to abide in you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Does the Holy Spirit make a difference in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Holy Spirit run your life!

Photo courtesy of Aleisha Knight, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

Pin It

September 12, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
7 Comments

Heed the Gospel

heed the gospel
Are you alert to the ways of God and ready for Jesus? Are you heeding the gospel and living it out every way you can? Are you helping others along the way? Good for you. Then you are right where God wants you to be.

But if you are not satisfied where you are spiritually, now it’s time to make a change. You don’t want to abandon the living God. You do not want to become spiritually dull and not be ready for Jesus. Watch out, friend. Know that you do not have to become holy by your own effort. God is ready to pour out grace upon grace and make it happen for you. But you do need to heed the gospel. God will only work in willing hearts.

There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. 14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. (Hebrews 5:11-14, NLT.*,

We are all called for spiritual growth. Faith is not a one-time event but a way of life. Faith is about becoming holy like Jesus. And it does not happen if we do not heed the gospel. But it organically happens if we abide in Christ and study the word of God.

We are not meant to be spiritual babies forever. We are called to grow in grace and steadily advance on our pilgrimage. This is not a to-do list but it is an invitation for a dynamic relationship with Jesus. Only then we are ready for the second coming of Jesus or for the time of our death or for suffering or for anything else. Only then we are able to be bold in Christ. Only then we are embracing all there is for children of God. Only then we are living fully.

It is odd, I know. When we give up the goodies of the world for Christ, we finally have everything we ever wanted. When we surrender our will, we receive more than we ever dreamed of. When we truly heed the gospel, we are blessed beyond measure.

Don’t delay.
Turn to God.
Heed the gospel.
Get ready.
Be blessed.

 

Gracious God,
I do want to dig deeper into your word.
Help me. Draw me in. Teach me.
Make me ready for anything and everything.
I want to heed the gospel
and do your will.
Bless me, Lord.
Thy will be done.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you ready for anything and everything? How do you heed the gospel?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you heed the gospel every day of your life!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Lee Tucker, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

Pin It

September 10, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Sins Washed Away

 My Sins Are Washed Away
Do you know how you can have your sins washed away? It’s one of the most important things to know, don’t you think? Of course, you need to first acknowledge that you are a sinner. But aren’t we all? I, at least, don’t know any one person who would be so perfect and holy that there would not be any trace of sin in him/her.

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. (1 John 1:8-9, AMP,*)

If we do admit that we need our sins washed away, God is faithful and will forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. That’s God’s will for us: to be made right with him, to have our sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21, NLT,*)

God made it possible through Christ that we could have eternal life. He gave his only son so we could have our sins washed away. That’s real love for you. God loves us so much that he sacrificed his holy son for our sins. That is incredible but true nonetheless. The sin problem solved. But how do we respond?

When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world’s. (1 John 2:2, MSG,*)

God is inviting every person in the whole wide world to come to him, confess his/her sins and have his/her sins washed away. How does that happen? By God’s grace. Watch this fun & short video to show you how the blood of Christ works in our lives.

(If you are interested in doing the experiment on the video at your church, follow these guidelines: YOU = 100%water, SIN= 80%water + 20% iodine, CHRIST= 80% water + 20% bleach. Let me know how it went!)

Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
(Psalm 51:7, NLT,*)

When our sins are washed away, they don’t exist any more. Like Max Lucado has said “Christ’s blood doesn’t cover, conceal, postpone, or diminish your sins. It takes away your sins, once & for all!”

We are pure in Christ.
Only in Christ.
Always in Christ.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for providing a way back to you.
We confess our sins and
ask that you cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Make us yours.
Make us holy like you.
Thank you for your sacrificial love.
Be praised forever and ever!
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let your sins be washed away!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Kevin Carden. Some parts of this post have been previously published. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

If you are interested in doing the experiment on the video at your church, follow these guidelines: YOU = 100%water, SIN= 80%water + 20% iodine, CHRIST= 80% water + 20% bleach. Let me know how it went!

Pin It

September 8, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Cross Back into Life

Cross back into Life
Are you discouraged?
Lost? Homesick? Tired? Burned-out? Cross back into Life! God is waiting for you to cross back to Life, cross back home to him.

Grab your Bible because “the Holy Scriptures are our letters from home” like Augustine put it. The Bible will be your map back to Life. With the words of Warren Wiersbe “The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength.”

Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (2. Timothy 3: 14-17, MSG, emphasis added,*)

The Bible is the living word of God. Like Augustine said “I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” God has the words of eternal life. Let’s cross back into Life!

But we don’t necessarily always want to read the Bible. George Mueller’s words come to mind: “the less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.” We need to make sure there is enough time in our lives for Bible-reading and staying in the presence of God. It is so easy to back-slide.

So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites. (Philippians 3: 15-19, MSG, emphasis added,*)

“No man understands the Scriptures, unless he be acquainted with the cross”, said Martin Luther. That’s what we need to do, keep acquainted with the cross. We need the Holy Spirit to guide our Bible-reading, to open our spiritual eyes to understand what we are reading. With the words of Samuel Chadwick “The man who thinks he can know the Word of God by mere intellectual study is greatly deceived. Spiritual truth is spiritually discerned.”

The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. (1 Cor.1:18, MSG, emphasis added,*)

It’s time to cross back to Life.
It’s time to abide in the Word of God.
It’s time to bask in God’s grace.

All this is possible because of Christ. God’s invitation for Life is always open. We are free to turn back and cross back into Life. Don’t wait too long. Do it today.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for your gift of grace!
Thanks for providing a crossing back to you.
Draw us into reading your word daily.
Draw us into your presence.
Draw us into Life!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How is your Bible-reading going?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim. You are not alone.God is calling your name! Lift your head and respond with a YES!

Photo courtesy of Jim Dobbs, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. This post is refurbished from 2010. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

 

Pin It

September 5, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

Experience God in Different Ways

Experience God
Are you expecting divine fireworks to experience God in your life? Just like Moses on Sinai got to experience God in exciting ways? Sometimes it happens that way. But most often it does not. I am not saying that God does not move  mightily in today’s world (because he does). I am saying God did not move always that way thousands of years ago either. Let’s see, for example, how Elijah experienced God’s presence.

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13, NLT, emphasis added,*)

God came to Elijah as the sound of a gentle whisper. The same way God comes to us in silence. Unfortunately, we just have too much background noise in our lives that we don’t hear God’s gentle whispers. We just expect God to be always spectacular or dramatic and we might miss God’s whispers of encouragement or words of wisdom for our pilgrimage.

Both Moses and Elijah experienced God. Both encounters with God were special. He is the creator of the universe. Why would he stop being creative in ways to communicate with us? There is time for everything. Time for spectacular, time for ordinary.

However or whenever or wherever God comes to us, we need to be ready to hear and obey. In order to be available to experience God in different ways, we need to keep our spiritual eyes open. How else could we see his miracle-wonders? How else could we understand God’s amazing ways?

When we start to see God at work in and around us, our faith flows beautifully. And we realize – like Job – that this is only the beginning of God’s marvels.

These are just the beginning of all that he does,
    merely a whisper of his power.
    Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?
(Job 26:14, NLT,*)

God is more awesome than we can ever know. That knowledge fills us with peace and empowers for our journey here on earth. We are God’s beloved children and we are never alone. God is with us both in whisper and in storms.

 

Gracious God,
Thanks for speaking to us
in many different ways.
Open our spiritual eyes to see
your actions in our lives.
Thank you for loving us so.
Be praised forever and ever.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How do you hear God?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you experience God in many ways!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Luis Rivera, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

Pin It

September 3, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

How to Be Faithful in the Christian Walk

How to be faithful in the Christian walk
Often I am asked how to be faithful in the Christian walk. People think there is some sort of magical formula that you need to know. But, no, there isn’t. The Christian walk is far easier than that. It’s about abiding in the Holy Spirit all day long. It’s about waking up in the morning and greeting God with “Good morning, Daddy! What do you want me to do today?” and ending our day with “Thank you, Jesus!”. The Christian walk is about living with God day in day out.

Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade. (Romans 3:28, MSG)

But, sure. I know that sometimes we don’t feel like being faithful in the Christian walk. What to do then?

-What to do when you don’t feel like interacting with God?
Say that to God. God knows it anyway. Cry for help. You can count on God to embrace you faster than you can utter the cry.

-What to do when you are not in the mood of worship?
Worship anyway! Once you start praising God, the Holy Spirit envelopes you with God’s peace.

-What to do when you don’t know what God’s will is in your life?
Pray, tell God what’s on your heart and trust that God will give you wisdom for today’s decisions.

With the words of Theodore Epp “As we trust God to give us wisdom for today’s decisions, He’ll lead us a step at a time into what He wants us to be doing in the future.” Trust is the key for being faithful in the Christian walk. God knows the big picture, we can trust him with little things too.

As we daily interact closely with God, as we walk our Christian walk in the Spirit, as we live in God’s grace, God will lead us a step at a time into what He wants us to be doing in the future.

We are not meant to know very far in the future.
We are meant to be obedient and trust that God knows what he is doing.
We are meant to live in God’s grace and praise the Lord today.

So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul. These words keep ringing in our ears: Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising. (Hebrews 3:12-14. MSG)

The way to be faithful in the Christian walk is to trust God one step and one day at a time. I think I can do that with God’s help. How about you?

 

Gracious God,
Thank you that you’re leading us every step of our way.
Thank you that there’s no magic formula to follow you.
Thank you that it’s all about you,
it’s all about being in your presence,
it’s all about being loved by you.
Show us today what we need to do.
Give us wisdom for today’s decisions.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What kind of questions are troubling you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you continue your Christian walk!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Nicholas Newman, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Some parts of this post have been previously published. Linking up today with Unite the Bloggersphere, Three Word Wednesday and #tellhisstory.

Pin It

September 1, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
6 Comments

Labor of Love

labor of love
The first letter to Thessalonians starts the way I would like to be described and remembered.

Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, MSG’*)

I would like to be a person recalled by my work of faith, my labor of love, and my patience of hope in following Jesus. But – I am afraid – I fail badly. This has bothered me lately. I’ve been rereading Micah 6:8 over and over again.

He has told you, human one, what is good and
        what the Lord requires from you:
            to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.
(Micah 6:8, CEB,*)

This used to be a very straight-forward, life-giving and freeing verse to me. This is all God requires you to do, I heard. But now I think differently. It’s not little and it’s not easy that we are required to do.

TO DO JUSTICE. What is it, Lord? What does that require of me? Is it wrong to own a big house when people are starving and suffering around the globe? How can I live justly? How can I be fair in every way? Being just is far from simple affair. But simple living most likely is just.

EMBRACE FAITHFUL LOVE. A great sentiment for sure. I want that. I want to be a person whose labor of love is phenomenal. But, Lord, I fail so badly. How can I love like you? How can I serve joyfully without reservations or expectations?

WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD. This probably is the key for everything. But we mess this up too. The humble part especially. How often do we think we deserve better treatment than we get? How often do we not want to surrender our everything to God?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I do know the One who has all the answers: Jesus. We need to bring our questions to God, he will answer. We also need to remember that there is no staple answer for everyone. Each of our lives are different and therefore what God requires each of us is different. The only way to find out is to abide in Christ.

The closer our relationship with God is, the easier it is to know how God wants us to live. It would be easier to get a fax from heaven stating ‘it is a sin to buy this or that’. But, I bet, we would not like to take orders that way either. Ask questions and seek answers in the Word of God. You will be directed to read the right passages and the Holy Spirit will let you know the truth and even empower you to live that way.

And if you have hard time surrendering your wants to God, ask for help. God knows what we are going through. He will enable us to surrender those things that keeps us from being totally Christ-centered. When we are abiding in Christ fully, doing justice, embracing faithful love and walking humbly with our God comes naturally.

If we have any difficulties with our labor of love, we need more grace (because grace is not just a pardon but a power). We all know how to receive as much grace as we need, right? By returning to God and asking for it. God is more than happy to pour out grace upon grace. And where there is enough grace, there labor of love exists in abundance. Thanks be to God!

 

Gracious God,
We are often confused how you want us to live.
What’s right and what’s wrong.
Lord, show each of us what it means to us.
Show us how to live justly, love mercy
and walk humbly with you.
Pour out grace upon grace and
enable us to always mind our labor of love.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you know what’s just? How is your labor of love going?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God!

Photo courtesy of Marian Trinidad, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, Playdates with God.

Pin It

August 29, 2014
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
10 Comments

Not Out of Our Reach

Not out of out reachSometimes we think God or faith is out of our reach but they aren’t. God wants to be found. God wants to pour out grace upon grace on us. God gives us as much faith as we want, he just leaves the choice to us. We can either receive or reject his gifts. Faith is not out of our reach. Faith is for everyone who loves God with heart and soul.

But only if you listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back. This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you, it’s not out of your reach. It’s not on a high mountain—you don’t have to get mountaineers to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it. And it’s not across the ocean—you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it. No. The word is right here and now—as near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest. Just do it! (Deuteronomy 30:10-14, MSG, emphasis added,*)

This makes my heart soar. God is accessible through Jesus. He is not out of our reach. It makes me feel safe. God is not distant or uncaring. He is right here with us, within our reach.

God does not require of us anything but turning to him, receiving grace upon grace, and living with him. Salvation is not out of our reach. We don’t have to climb mountains or do this or that to earn our place at our Father’s table. All is done for us, we can just turn to God and choose him day by day.

Grace is new every morning, and it is not out of our reach. It is given daily to all, undeserving human beings who yearn to belong to God. We just need to ask and we will receive. Definitively not out of our reach, thanks be to God!

 

Gracious God,
Thanks for not being out of our reach.
Thank you for offering as much grace as we need.
Let us feel your presence and
enjoy your sweet grace all of our days.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: God is not out of your reach – how does that sound to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace God with heart and soul!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I've used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Matt Gruber, design Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday and Faith Jam.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Pin It