Flowing Faith

May 23, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

How Can We Go on?

How can we go on?The world news seems to be getting more horrific all the time. Suicide bombers, kidnappings, massacres, wars, murders, accidents. It all feels terrible, it’s easy to get discouraged. How can we go on like this, we ask. How can we continue to enjoy living when the world is full of tears and heartbreak?

But don’t we then forget this is not all there is?
Don’t we forget why Jesus came into the world?

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
(Isaiah 61:1-3, CEB)

How can we go on?

Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted and comfort all who mourn. He came to save us from our sins, from death and dying. Jesus came that our tears would dry and our hearts would rejoice in the Lord. He came so we could have life and more life.

Jesus is Immanuel in Hebrew which means “God is with us”. And this is exactly why we rejoice in the midst of sufferings. This is exactly why we dare to live boldly even when the world seems to be going crazy. God is with us every single day. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even if it feels that way.

Because of Jesus we have hope everlasting

You see, Jesus changed everything. Now we have hope that will not be taken from us. Sure, without Jesus we are lost. Without him, we don’t have hope. But in Jesus we have hope, we have peace, we have life everlasting. We need to remember this, especially, when the happenings in the world try to threaten our sense of security and steal our joy.

The darker the world gets, the brighter the Light of the World shines. This is not all there is. Our God is alive and active. And that gives us hope even when nothing makes sense. This is not the end. Better things ahead. Thank you, God!

 

Gracious God,
We bring our devastated hearts to you.
We can’t make it on our own
Heal us, heal the families affected by tragedies.
Pour out hope, faith, and love!
Enable us to rejoice in you.
Thank you for saving us from the darkness!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How can we go on? What/Who is your strength in the midst of hardships?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dare to live boldly no matter how dark it seems to be getting.

Image courtesy of Jude Beck/Unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Some parts of this post have been previously published. I am linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

May 19, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Facing the Truth

Facing the Truth

Facing the truth is sometimes very hard. Accepting the blame is not fun or easy. But it is necessary in order to live authentically. How about you? Do you accept the reality of your sinfulness? Sure, it’s one of the hardest things to do. But it is also one of the things that bless us the most. Because when we come to terms with our sinfulness, we are ready to receive the only effective remedy for sin known to humankind: God’s grace.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23, NLT,*)

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9, NIV,*)

Facing the truth

As Augustine has said, “Sin is believing the lie that you are self-created, self-dependent and self-sustained.” How true. We so badly want to believe we are independent and mighty powerful. It may be true for small stuff but not on the big matters that have real value. We are dependent on God and the sooner we realize it, the better off we are. Because that’s when we are encountering God and his grace. Nothing better in my book. Also, we can be certain, we will never be short-changed when we deal with God.

Growing in grace

Just think of Peter, how he cried over his sins after denying Jesus three times (Matt. 26:75). Jesus forgave him and made him a great apostle. The Peter we meet in the gospels and the Peter we meet in his letters are like night and day. Lots of spiritual growth had happened between them.

Facing the truth is the start of amazing things. If we dare to confess our sins, we will receive grace upon grace. And that grace will continue to change us if we allow it. A bit by bit we mature in Christ. And it all starts with facing the truth.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for calling us to face the truth of our sinfulness.
Be praised for providing us as much grace as we need.
We are dependent on you, Lord.
Thank you for your tender loving care.
Continue to work in us, make us more like you.
Let us feel your sweet presence in our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: How have you been blessed when facing the truth of your need of forgiveness?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you dare to face the truth of your own sinfulness and encounter grace upon grace.

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

Image courtesy of Aaron Burden via unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Five-minute Friday.

May 16, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
0 comments

Grace Is Ability, Energy, and Power

Grace is ability, power, and energyHow do you feel about God’s grace? I am in love with God’s grace. Because it’s everything I ever need. And it’s new every morning. Also, it is more than I can even imagine. I’ve written many posts about God’s grace but it does never get boring or old-fashioned. First of all, God’s grace saves us through our faith in Jesus Christ. Second, grace is ability, energy, and power. What does that mean?

Grace is ability, power, and energy

But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Cor. 15:10, NIV, emphasis added)

As children of God, we are called to live holy lives. I know, it’s a tall order considering our lack of ability, power, and energy. But God, in his amazing wisdom, knew this and provided us the grace of God to equip, enable, and empower us to do what is right. We can’t but God can. Hence, grace is ability, power, and energy.

With the words of Tim Hansel “Grace is the central invitation to life and the final word. It’s the beckoning nudge and the overwhelming, undeserved mercy that urges us to change and grow, and then gives us the power to pull it off.” God’s grace gives us the ability, power, energy, and everything else we need to pull it off. Hallelujah!

God supplies what we need

Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (1 Peter 4:11, NLT, emphasis added)

God really does not leave us alone to deal with our tasks on our own. He is always with us, he even gives us his energy and strength. God will always supply everything we ever need. Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893) wrote “Grace is an energy; not a mere sentiment; not a mere thought of the Almighty; not even a word of the Almighty. It is as real an energy as the energy of electricity. It is a divine energy; it is the energy of the divine affection rolling in plenteousness toward the shores of human need.”

It’s all about grace

Grace is ability, power, and energy to live according to God’s plan for us. Also, it’s not about us, it’s about God and his amazing grace. That’s why it’s okay to be nobody. Weakness is not a hindrance in God’s kingdom. All we have to do is to say yes to Jesus and receive grace upon grace. And it will make all the difference. Jesus is our strength. And, truly, grace is ability, power, and energy in our lives. So, let’s lean on Christ and let the Holy Spirit work in and through us. Let’s let grace move mountains in us, for us, through us. We can’t but God can. Because grace is ability, power, and energy. Hallelujah!

 

Gracious God,
You knew we could not save ourselves or live according to your plan,
so you sent Jesus to die for us and bring your grace.
Thank you that your grace is so much more than we can imagine.
Be praised for loving us without limits.
Thank you that because of Jesus you welcome us to you as we are and
thank you for not leaving us where we are.
Because your grace is ability, power, and energy,
empower and enable us to live holy lives.
We surrender to you, Lord.
May your will happen in and through us and
may your grace make us whatever you want us to be.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Have you experienced/do you believe grace is ability, power, and energy? How does it change your everyday living?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let God supply everything you need to lead a holy life!

Image courtesy of Joshua Earle/Unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. I am linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

May 12, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

God Has Got Your Back

God has got your backAs part of my morning devotions today, I was reading Isaiah 49 and loved reading how God will never ever forget us. The text said that even if our mother would forget us, he will not forsake us. You see, God has engraved each of us on the palms of his hands. That’s pretty special. There’s nothing that can separate us from God’s love. You can’t beat that. But it was much later than I realized how special it was to read this today as we fast approach Mother’s Day once again. There are a lot of motherless children around, you might even be one. Or this time of year might stir up other relational pain. Just know God has got your back.

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you!
 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are ever before me.
(Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV,*)

God has got your backGod Has Got Your back

Even if your mom or dad forgets you, God has got your back. And even if your heart is breaking that you are separated from you children or you have never had any, God has got your back. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Gently, God will get you through tough days. He will never forget you. God knows you by your name, he has engraved you on the palms of his hands. He is waiting for you with open arms. You are special in God’s eyes.

You have purpose and meaning that have nothing to do with your relationship status or how a close bond you have with your relatives. God has got your back. You are whole in him. Nothing will make you whole but Jesus. Not children, hot husband, not mother, no one but Jesus. But his grace is life-changing. Hang on to Jesus and see how he works in and through you. There are better times ahead. Because you are loved by the everlasting God.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for being the reason for our worth,
thank you for creating and loving us equally.
Pour out your grace to comfort whoever is hurting.
You know what it is to have your heart broken.
Heal what needs to be healed,
restore what needs to be restored.
Thank you for having our backs, Lord.
Pour our love upon love, hope upon hope.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Does it comfort you to know God has got your back?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you celebrate God’s life-giving presence in 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 toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image courtesy of Steve Halama via unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Five-minute Friday.

May 9, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
4 Comments

Grace Activates You to Bear Fruit

Grace Activates You to Bear FruitToday, I want to encourage you deeper into God’s grace. You see, we are all invited to live and move around in God’s grace. We don’t have to tiptoe around or stay around the entrance in God’s kingdom. Because of Jesus, we are all welcome right into the center of God’s sweet presence. God loves to save sinners but, folks, that’s not the end. He has beautiful things in store for all his children. You see, grace activates you to bear fruit. This is God’s will for you.

“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil.” (John 15:16, MSG)

Grace activates you to bear fruit

Jesus chose you and put you in the world to bear fruit. His grace activates you to bear fruit (it’s not your own doing). Jesus did not “just” come to save you. He also has plans for you. With the words of Dallas A Willard ‘Grace does not come to make us passive. Grace comes to make us fruitful.’

Only Jesus can make us fruitful. Our own, even religious, efforts do not produce any fruit. Only grace activates us to produce spiritual fruit. But grace does not have any bounds. We were meant to walk on the water. Nothing is impossible with God.

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. (Col. 1:9-12, NLT)

Wasteful to stay passive

Wouldn’t it be wasteful to live our lives self-centered-ly and passively? I love how Henri J.M. Nouwen pushes us to see that we do have an active purpose here on earth. Each one of us. You and me too. Entertainment is not enough to give us meaning while on earth.

‘We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.’ ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

God has plans for you

God indeed has plans for you. Not to harm you but to give you purpose. And all this is empowered by his grace. God’s amazing grace activates you to bear fruit for his glory. You are important in God’s kingdom. God knows you by name. So come on in deeper into God’s grace. It’s meant for you to live and move in it. God wants to bless you and keep you. But also activate and empower you for love and service. So much grace, my friend. So much grace for you.

 

Gracious God,
Forgive us for trying to manage on our own
when you want to provide everything for us.
Open our eyes to see how much grace you have for us.
Embolden us to come into your arms.
Thank you for inviting us into active participation.
Show us what you want us to do.
Pour out grace upon grace to change us inside out.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you done with passively floating through life? Are you ready to let grace activate you to bear fruit, much fruit for God’s glory? Come deeper into God’s grace. So much grace. For you.

An announcement for friends of Flowing Faith:

I will be writing less at Flowing Faith in the coming months because I need more time to write a book manuscript. I am hoping and praying that I could finish it over the summer months but we will see. My posting schedule will be Tuesday-Friday from now on. I will be looking forward to interacting with you then. Also, I welcome your prayers for the project and anything and everything that surrounds it. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you

Image courtesy of Brian Jimenez/Unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. I am linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

May 5, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
8 Comments

Letting Go of Shoulds

Letting go of shouldsDo you have a lot of “shoulds” in your life? You should this and that and every other thing. The first step of letting go of shoulds is to change your vocabulary. Replace all the “shoulds” with “it’d be great if”. It’d be great if all things worked out. But if not it’s not the end of the world. This is all great and has helped me to put less pressure on me but I have even better news for you. Letting go of shoulds happens best by letting Christ do what he came to do: bring us peace.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    EverlastingFather, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6, NIV, emphasis added,*)

Christ came to give us peace.

Without Jesus, we are God’s enemies, eternally separated from him. But because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, our enmity with God was put to death for all who believes in Jesus. Without Christ, we don’t have grace. But with him, there is plenty available. For everyone who needs it and wants it.

What does grace have to do with letting go of shoulds?

Everything. Without grace, our life is full of shoulds. The demands of life weigh heavily on us. But with grace, our life is full of peace. Because the prince of Peace himself comes into our messes. And that makes all the difference. Jesus makes all the difference.

Too often we forget God provides everything we need to live according to God’s will. Our life is full of shoulds when we try to do things in our own power. God has already done everything for us in Jesus. And he is still doing everything for us in Jesus. Our life can be full of power if we let Christ do what he came to do: bring us peace.

For he himself is our peace (Eph.2:14, NIV,*).

Jesus is our peace

This is the most amazing thing: Jesus himself comes in our midst. Think about it! God’s answer to us is always Jesus. The presence of God in our lives is more than talk: it’s Jesus among us. Jesus working alongside with us, creating love and peace among us. Jesus, all we ever need.

 

Gracious God,
It’s hard to understand your love,
even just getting a glimpse of your goodness astonishes us.
You’ve done everything for us:
first, you saved us
and now you’re empowering us to live victoriously.
Be praised forever, Lord.
Thank you for all you do for us.
We need your help of letting go of shoulds.
Thank you for living with us.
Pour out grace upon grace.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: Is letting go of shoulds hard for you? Do you realize Jesus is with you?

An announcement for friends of Flowing Faith:

I will be writing less at Flowing Faith in the coming months because I need more time to write a book manuscript. I am hoping and praying that I could finish it over the summer months but we will see. My posting schedule will be Tuesday-Friday from now on. I will be looking forward to interacting with you then. Also, I welcome your prayers for the project and anything and everything that surrounds it. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let Jesus be your peace!

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

Image courtesy of Steve Halama via unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Five-minute Friday.

May 2, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
3 Comments

The Most Underused Spiritual Weapon

the most underused spiritual weaponGratitude is the most underused spiritual weapon. Often we don’t even realize gratitude or thanksgiving is a spiritual weapon. But it is. A powerful one. Let’s find out why we should use it. And then use it the rest of our days. Not just for the benefits but because it’s fun and easy and it will bless us more than we can ever know. And the alternative is awful:

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21, NIV)

Choose your side

If we don’t treat God like God, we are destined to have our hearts darkened and hardened. The exact opposite what I am hoping. Hence, I choose to worship and honor God the rest of my days. You see, gratitude guards our hearts against hardening. Isn’t that wonderful? But even that’s not all. Thanksgiving sets the mood for our lives. Either we celebrate the Giver of Life or we submit to the dark side. I think the choice is clear in my mind but why do I so easily succumb to whining? Lord, have mercy. It’s time to guard ourselves with gratitude!

Gratitude is the most underused spiritual weapon

Too often we don’t remember that gratitude is a spiritual weapon. Hence, it is the most underused spiritual weapon. Our enemy doesn’t like our prayers of thanksgiving. Satan doesn’t want us to treat God like God. He doesn’t want us to give thanks and praise. Because then he is powerless. But hey, isn’t that exactly what we want? If thanksgiving gets our enemy to run to the hills, we need to cultivate the attitude of gratitude like our lives would depend on it. We need to guard our lives with gratitude. We need to purposefully use the most underused spiritual weapon.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving (Col. 4:2, RSV).

Be watchful in prayer with thanksgiving

This is what God wants from us: to pray without ceasing, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Prayer should be our first response to anything. And we need to acknowledge our enemy wants to bring us down. Hence, we need to be watchful and alert. We need to guard ourselves with gratitude and give thanks in everything. Sometimes it’s harder than other times. But it protects us from the evil. It guards our hearts against hardening. And it elevates us into the presence of God.

So find your own ways to give thanks and praise to God. Dance, laugh, pray. Sing, praise, hug. Shout, boogie, rap. Whatever you do, do it with thanksgiving. Our living God is worthy of our thanksgiving and praise. And, blessedly, it blesses and protects us. Isn’t it time to make it the most used spiritual weapon? I think so.

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for reminding us to be watchful in our prayers.
We want to worship you and praise you all the days of our lives.
You are our awesome God, be praised forever and ever.
Thank you for protecting our hearts and minds with thanksgiving.
We choose you today and always.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you faithful in thanksgiving? Does it guard your heart against hardening?

An announcement for friends of Flowing Faith:

I will be writing less at Flowing Faith in the coming months because I need more time to write a book manuscript. I am hoping and praying that I could finish it over the summer months but we will see. My posting schedule will be Tuesday-Friday from now on. I will be looking forward to interacting with you then. Also, I welcome your prayers for the project and anything and everything that surrounds it. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace the attitude of gratitude as your way of life.

Image courtesy of Redd Angelo/Unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. I am linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere , #DreamTogether, and #tellhisstory.

April 28, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Less Is More in Spirituality

less is more in spiritualityDownsizing seems to be a big trend these days. I find it delightful that people are starting to think less is more. So far people have been wanting more and more stuff (like stuff could ever bring real happiness). But I really do think less is more. Not only when it comes to material things but also when it comes to spirituality. So less is more in spirituality also. Hence, the recipe for fulfilling life is simple: Less junk, more Jesus or Less of me, more of God.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. (Phil.3:7-9, NLT,*)

Less is more in spirituality

Faith is a gift. It’s simple yet life-changing. And we should not complicate it with our things-to-do lists. God is; God loves; Jesus saves; Jesus will come again. That’s what Christian faith is all about. Less is more in spirituality: Jesus is all we need. That’s also what the apostle Paul was saying. Anything but Christ is worthless. Less is more for sure in spirituality: Give me Jesus.


The lyrics of Give me Jesus

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

Jesus
Give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
Oh, when I come to die
Give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus

Give me Jesus
Give me Jesus
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus
Jesus

Let us pray,

Dear God,
Come and be our everything.
May there be less of us and more of you.
Also, may everything we do bring glory to you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you believe less is more in spirituality?

An announcement for friends of Flowing Faith:

I will be writing less at Flowing Faith in the coming months because I need more time to write a book manuscript. I am hoping and praying that I could finish it over the summer months but we will see. My posting schedule will be Tuesday-Friday from now on. I will be looking forward to interacting with you then. Also, I welcome your prayers for the project and anything and everything that surrounds it. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you follow Christ wherever he leads 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 toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Image courtesy of Annie Spratt via unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Five-minute Friday.

April 26, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
2 Comments

Two Blessings for Every Believer (from just one Bible verse)

Two blessings for every believerI openly admit that I love reading the Bible, I believe it’s the living Word of God. People often tell me that they don’t have time to read the Bible. But I think anyone can commit to reading a verse (or two) every day. It won’t even take a minute to do it. Yet, it has an eternal impact on our lives. It reminds us what is important and what is not. Let me give you an example. Just reading today’s verse of the day provided by Biblegateway reminded me of two wonderful blessings for every believer.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25, NIV)

Two wonderful blessings for every believer

  1. Christ is able to save completely, perfectly, utterly those who come to God through him. WOW. Hallelujah. Christ can save me completely. There’s no way I can mess up so badly that the blood of Christ could not cover it. Christ saves me perfectly. I can rest on that. Hallelujah. The same goes for you and everyone who believes in Jesus. How wonderful is that? All that from the first half of a Bible verse. I am reminded that Jesus saves sinners like me. Effectively. Nothing will change that. My whole day will be different from here on as I remember that Jesus is my savior.
  2. The second amazing thing I take away from this verse is the fact that I am not alone in my messes. Jesus is right alongside with me, interceding for me. If Jesus is praying for me, who can be against me? I find it really powerful to know that Jesus is praying for me. Humbling, yes. But also empowering. I will be all right no matter what because Jesus is for me. And for you and everyone else who believes in him.

All this from just one Bible verse

I am rejuvenated, energized, and pumped up to serve God another day of my life. The Living God loves me and wants good things for me. He has a plan for me and power to make it happen. Color me happy. Call me blessed. Just know that it is also all yours if you want it. God loves you more than you know. And he is ready to bless you beyond measure.

Aren’t you, at least, a bit curious to see how God can bless your socks off? Join the ranks. Make a commitment to read at least a Bible verse a day and go from there. Soon just one verse won’t be enough. God is so good that you want more. But this addiction is a good thing: the more God the better.

 

Gracious God,
We praise you for giving us Jesus and the Living Word of yours.
Thank you for reminding of your amazing love,
empowering us for victorious living.
May your will happen in all of our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Are you addicted to Bible-reading?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace these two blessings for every believer as your own.

Image courtesy of Ben White/Unsplash.com, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke. I am linking up with Unite the Bloggersphere and #tellhisstory.

April 24, 2017
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith
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Strong in Christ

strong in ChristIt is quite a faith journey to learn to celebrate your weaknesses. Celebrating is not our first response to our weaknesses. But that’s what the saints who have gone before us have taught us. First, the apostle Paul and then many others. Watchman Nee summed it up this way “Outside of Christ, I am weak; in Christ, I am strong.” We truly are weak in ourselves but so strong in Christ. Hence, we don’t need to hide our weaknesses but we can openly celebrate them. Because exactly when we are weak, God’s power is made perfect in us. And we don’t want to hinder God’s power in our lives, do we?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10, NIV, emphasis added)

Strong in Christ

This might sound odd to you if you haven’t yet experienced Christ’s power in your life. God’s grace is such a powerful force that nothing compares to it. And it does make us strong in Christ. On our own, yes, we are weak. But when we lean on Christ, we are made strong in him. Hence, we are not afraid of anything. Not even the devil.

Because of God’s power in our lives, we are not afraid of anything. Not even the devil. With the words of A. W. Tozer, “I’m not afraid of the devil. The devil can handle me – he’s got judo I never heard of. But he can’t handle the One to whom I’m joined; he can’t handle the One to whom I’m united; he can’t handle the One whose nature dwells in my nature.” We can’t handle the devil. But God can. Outside of Christ, we are weak. But in Christ, we truly are strong.

How wonderful, liberating and encouraging! It’s time to be bold and follow Christ wherever he leads us. Let’s celebrate our weaknesses, that’s when God’s power is made perfect in us. That’s when Christ’s power rests on us.

 

Gracious God,
How perfectly you’ve arranged everything.
It’s not about us, it’s about you.
Thank you that your power is made perfect in our weaknesses.
Be praised for making us strong in Christ.
Your way of loving us as we are is a huge blessing.
May your power rest on us all the days of our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you dare to celebrate your weaknesses? Have you experienced Christ’s power in your life?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let God make you strong in Christ!

Image courtesy of Amar Yashlaha/Unsplash, design by Mari-Anna Stålnacke.

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