Pierce The Darkness

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Good morning everyone.  My little girl woke me up a little before 5 a.m. because she had a fever again and wasn’t feeling good.  We came downstairs so I could take care of her, and when I pulled the blinds we saw a beautiful blanket of fresh snow.  It is a very still and snowy Rocky Mountain morning.  Thought all of you might like to see some photos, so I snapped a few with my phone.  Enjoy and God bless you all!

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I took all these photos just a few minutes after 6 a.m.

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That bright light on the hill is a big snow plow taking care of the roads early.

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Praise God for our road crews who get up early to keep our roads clear and safe!  We live in the rolling hills above our town and the roads are like the foothills up here.  We need ’em and God bless ’em!

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The Callahan backyard. We back up to an open space. I planted all the trees. I planted the two big Austrian Pine trees 12 years ago when they were smaller than the little one in the middle. They grow 1 foot every year.  Soon he will be as big as his brothers.
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There is a peach tree to the left of the pine, which we harvested delicious peaches from last year.  The tall one to the right is a maple.
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The tree to the right of the big pine is a service berry bush.  It blooms beautiful pink flowers in the Spring.  The little sparrows love that tree.  The squirrels love the pine trees.

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That’s my little girl resting on the couch with her Teddy bear she named Teddi.  I bought it for her at the Denver University gift shop when she was 1 year old.  She is 11 now and she has slept with her every night since then.  She was running a 100.5 fever this morning and feels achy in the head and throat.  Thank you for praying for her.  I know she will be better very soon.  We love you sweetheart!

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Isn’t it amazing how just a little light can pierce the darkness?

“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way,  let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Jesus speaking in Matthew 5:14-16

We will be resting and staying warm and cozy inside today.  Have a blessed and encouraging weekend and remember, Jesus loves you and His light pierces the darkness!

Grace and peace to you all!

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Take Jesus At His Word

Pic quote John 5 v 24 winter 2

Hello everyone!  Happy Friday and God bless you all!  Our daughter is home sick today with a cold, so I have been taking care of her and we have been having fun watching that funny cooking show “Nailed It!” on Netflix.  The version in Mexico is great too.  Your prayers for our daughter are appreciated.  I want to write today about taking Jesus at His Word.  Jesus said some very powerful and amazing things while He was on earth and He is trustworthy.  You either trust Jesus Christ for your salvation or you don’t.  You either believe what He said or you don’t.  There is no middle ground.  We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not by works, and Jesus made that very clear.  So, let’s hear what Jesus has to say.  He is the perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins and He is completely and perfectly trustworthy to take Him at His Word.

Here are just a few of the powerful, amazing, and soul saving words Jesus said:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:16-18

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:13-14

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

John 5:24

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.  But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.  For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:35-40

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

John 7:37-38

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:7-10

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.”

John 10:27-30

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

“Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

John 12:44-46

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:1-4

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”  With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

John 19:30

Jesus couldn’t be any more clear!  We are saved through faith in him alone!  He died for us to be forgiven and justified before God and He meant it when He said, “It is finished.”  That is why the Apostle Paul wrote what he did in Romans 3:21-28, Romans 5:1-11, Romans 6:23, Romans 7:24, Romans 8:1-2, Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 1:13-14, Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:11-21 and 3:1-5, and Philippians chapter 3.  We are utterly sinful and wretched and only Jesus Christ can save us from this body of death!  We are not perfect and we struggle with sin, but praise God we are being made perfect by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and we are saved through the Blood of Jesus!  If we fall, the Lord is there to discipline us and lift us up again (Hebrews 12:1-12).  We are still saved, but we need to turn from sin and keep pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us as Paul said (Philippians 3:12-14).

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Romans 3:22-24

Once you believe in Jesus Christ, nothing can snatch you out of His hand just as He promised!  Believers in Jesus, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit and your salvation is guaranteed through your faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:13-14)!  There is no amount of good works we could ever do before or after accepting Jesus that would save us.  Remember this simple phrase, “Jesus Saves!”  He is the only One who ever died for your sins to be forgiven and reconcile you with God.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:20-21

“Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

Romans 3:27-28

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

There is no boasting as we follow Jesus.  We are not working for our salvation as if God should repay us.  We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus and you either accept that precious gift of God or you reject it.  You either trust in Jesus fully for your salvation or you don’t.  When you believe in Jesus, you cross over from death to life and whoever comes to Him He will never drive away!  He will raise you up at the last day!  There is no reason to fear God’s perfect love.  Once you belong to Jesus, you belong to Him forever!

“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:13-18

It is my calling to point you to Jesus.  Read all those words of Jesus again.  Those are His words, and He is the only One who ever spoke them into existence.  Jesus is trustworthy.  Will you take Him at His Word?  I pray you do and you would enjoy and rest in the grace and peace He offers you!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ.  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:

“For your sake we face

death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:35-39

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus speaking in John 14:27

Amen!  Take Jesus at His Word and trust Him!  He is the lover of your soul!

Grace and peace to you all!

An Ancient Prayer of Power & Love

Pic quote Ephesians 3 v 20 v 21

Hello everyone!  I was reading in Ephesians this morning and the prayer that Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus really stood out.  I love praying the prayers in the Bible and there is true power in doing that!  It is an incredible blessing that we can read prayers that were written and prayed two millennia ago and still receive the power of those prayers in our time!  So today, I am praying this prayer for all of you.  For those of you who know Jesus and for those of you who have not yet come to Him.  Jesus loves you and He proved it by dying for you!  Nothing is impossible for God and He can do so much more than all we can ask or imagine!  May you receive this ancient blessing with an open heart and may the Lord’s will be done!

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21

And Amen!!!  Boom!  I’m excited to see how the Lord answers that one!

Glory to Your Holy Name Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace to you all!

Priceless Grace

Pic quote Ephesians 2 v 10 view

The Lord spoke to my heart this morning about good works using the above verse in Ephesians.  There is a certain phrase that I absolutely cannot stand and I hear it a lot from people who preach a works based salvation.  That phrase is “cheap grace.”  It makes me mad because there is nothing cheap about the blood Jesus shed on the cross for us!  People who use that phrase usually follow it up with a bunch of false preaching and justifications for why they think they have to work their way into Heaven despite what Jesus did for them.  I want to be very clear here.  We are saved by God’s grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ alone!  There are no amount of good works that will ever pay the price for your sin and get you into Heaven.  Any good works we do after we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior are good works that God has prepared for us to do for His glory.  It is not for our glory to do His good works and it is not for our salvation to do His good works.  Our salvation was paid in full by Jesus Christ when He died for us on that cross.  We are saved through faith in Jesus alone.

The term “cheap grace” is used by people who get angry when believers in Jesus like myself preach the Gospel using Ephesians 2:8-9 and Romans 10:9.  They say things like, “is faith in Jesus all we really need to be saved?”  The answer is YES!  That is exactly what the Lord Himself taught us!  We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus speaking in John 3:16

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

Now that does not mean you can just keep on living a sinful life after you accept Christ.  You will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and the Lord will convict you to live righteously.  If you don’t, then you will feel that conviction and you will be under the Lord’s discipline until you turn from it (read Hebrews 12:1-12).  For example, it would not be wise to accept Jesus by faith, then try to keep on getting drunk every weekend or live a promiscuous lifestyle.  Our church says, “Jesus accepts you as you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.”  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, not by works.  However, after you accept Christ, the Lord will move in your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit and begin to sanctify you, which is His process of helping you live a righteous life that pleases God.  You will not be able to keep living for yourself and your sinful desires after you receive Jesus by faith.

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:13-14

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25

Upon believing in Jesus, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit and you will be blessed with the fruit of the Spirit, which will manifest in your life.  You will be convicted of your sinful desires and you won’t want to live a sinful life anymore.  God will lead you to those good works that He prepared in advance for you to do.  After you accept Jesus, you will have new life in Him and He will work in you to complete the purposes He has for you!

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Philippians 2:12-13

Take note here that it is God who works in you according to His will.  Paul encourages the believers to continue to “work out” their salvation with “fear and trembling.”  Many people get tripped up over these verses because they incorrectly think that it means we are “working for” our salvation and we have to “fear and tremble” that we might lose it.  Listen to me now, that is NOT what Paul is saying!  The New Testament was written in Greek.  Paul is saying to exercise your faith and put it into action (work out your salvation) while we obey and serve God with great reverence (fear) and awe (trembling).  Paul is NOT saying to work for your salvation while being afraid.  No!  The Lord’s perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18) and we are saved by His grace through faith in Jesus, not by works.  We are not doing anything for God as if He should repay us.  He does not owe us anything.  We only do the good works He leads us to because of His Holy Spirit inside of us and all the glory goes to Him, not us.

“Oh, the depth of the riches

of the wisdom and

knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his

judgments,

and his paths beyond

tracing out!

Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his

counselor?

Who has ever given to

God,

that God should repay

him?

For from him and through

him and to him are all

things.

To him be the glory

forever!  Amen.”

Romans 11:33-36

Amen!  To Him be the glory!  God does not owe us anything and we have never given to God that He should repay us!  The good works we do are for His glory.  He saves us by His grace through faith in Jesus, then He fills us with His Holy Spirit and sends us on our way as He works in us for His will and good purpose.

It always amazes me that any believer in Jesus could talk legalistically about works they have done as if God owes them something for it.  Let me be lovingly blunt.  If you talk about “cheap grace” and you still think you need to work your way into Heaven, then you are living under a bondage that God already set you free from!  You wouldn’t be doing any good works if you were still dead in your sins without the Holy Spirit.  It is God who works in us to lead us to good works, which we complete for Him through obedience and faith and all the glory goes to God.  We are not working for our salvation.

Can you imagine if I went down to Denver to help the homeless, then came back on my blog bragging about what I had done?  It would be ridiculous, right?  That’s right, and I don’t do that because any ministry I do is for His glory.  It’s not about me and I don’t glorify myself for it.  My job is to simply be obedient to His call whenever He leads me to good works He prepared for me to do.  He prepared those good works in advance for me to do well before I ever knew Him.  We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.  No amount of good works I do will ever save me and that is not why I do them.  We do it to please God out of deep gratitude for what He did for us, plain and simple.  We don’t do it to rack up points to get into Heaven.

A few months ago, I got tangled up with some false preachers who preach salvation by works.  I asked them what they had done that God should repay them.  I asked them how many points they could boast about from all the good works they had done.  I also asked them to explain how they are saved if Christ’s blood was not sufficient for them.  They couldn’t answer me.  They just had angry rants about why their legalistic false teachings were right.  I pointed them to Galatians, specifically regarding the argument Paul had with Peter for being legalistic (Galatians 2:11-21, 3:1-5) and reminded them that if we could be saved through observing the law, then Christ died for nothing.

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Galatians 2:19-21

Jesus Christ is the perfect atoning sacrifice for our sin and it is through faith in Him that we have peace with God.  Jesus died on that cross for you, for me, and for everyone in this world and there is nothing cheap about what He did for us!  He died for us to forgive us of every sin and reconcile us with God, so we can stand before Him holy and pure!  Does that sound like “cheap grace” to you?!  Of course not!  It is not a “cheap grace” that God does not require us to work our way into Heaven.  It is beautiful and powerful and it is a gift to be received!  We could never work for it as if we could earn salvation.  All of us have sinned and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves.

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished–he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”

Romans 3:21-28

So, next time you hear somebody talking about how preaching salvation by grace through faith in Jesus is a “cheap grace,” I hope you remember just how truly precious His grace is in saving you and that there is nothing cheap about it!  Jesus paid the price for every one of your sins past, present, and future.  If that wasn’t the case and you had to work your way into Heaven, you would see just how truly priceless His grace is.  We could never bear to pay the penalty for our sin ourselves!  The penalty is death, which is separation from God!  Only Jesus could pay that price for us and rise victorious over sin and death!

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:1-2

Jesus Christ is Lord and there is no other way on this earth to be saved.  You will die in your sins if you don’t believe in Him.  If you think you can work your way into Heaven, you are wrong.  All of our works are dirty rags to the Lord and there is only one work the Father requires of us and that is to believe in Jesus!  Those who do God’s will enter Heaven, and what is God’s will?  That everyone believes in Jesus!  That is God’s will!

“Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

John 6:28-29

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jesus in John 6:38-40

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

Notice the disciples asked Jesus what the “works” were that God required and Jesus answered by saying there is only one work of God required and that is to believe in Him.  Jesus is trustworthy and I take Him at His Word.  I praise God for His priceless grace and I am so thankful that we are not required to work our way into Heaven.  Our salvation is secure and guaranteed through faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else, and to that eternal truth I say, “Hallelujah!”  Rest in that grace forever and remember, any good works you do are for His glory; not your salvation.  Jesus paid for your salvation in full.  That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that is the priceless grace I preach in His Glorious Name!

Grace and peace to you all in the saving grace of Jesus Christ!

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:1-2

P.S.

Here are some of the posts I wrote regarding the truth that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus and we cannot lose our salvation in Him.  God bless you all!

Salvation By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone (Not by works!) (I wrote this one back in August of 2018 when I first started blogging)

You CANNOT Lose Your Salvation!

Do The Will of God & Live Forever!

Peaceful Morning & A Bold Word

People Misunderstand Hebrews 6:4-6

My Letter To The “Lose Your Salvation” Preacher

Powerful Guarantee!

Why Did Paul Oppose Peter?

Completed Faith

A Trustworthy Promise

 

 

 

 

Powerful Testimony!

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Photo by Ryan, Pike’s Peak in the Clouds

I met a new brother in Christ here on WordPress a few days ago.  His name is Phillip and his blog is called “The Bridge.”  What Jesus has done in his life is absolutely incredible and it will bless you to read his testimony!  Please check out what the Lord did for this brother and show him some love, encouragement, and fellowship!

Link to Phillip’s Testimony:

Broken Identity by Phillip

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

1 Peter 1:3-5

He Is Greater

Pic quote John 3 v 30

Hello everyone!  My kids had Friday off and they have today off too, so we have been enjoying the long 4 day weekend.  I have been doing a lot of thinking and praying the last few days.  I always do, but I have been struggling with some things the last few days.  The longer I walk with Jesus the more I realize that it’s not about me and it’s all about Him.  He gives us gifts that we are to use for His glory to build His Kingdom.  The spiritual gifts He gives us are not ours to keep to ourselves.  Just like John the Baptist said, we must become less as Jesus becomes greater in our lives.  We must let Him work in us as He sees fit.  He is the potter and we are the clay.  Following Jesus is a daily, even moment by moment, surrender of yourself to His will.  If you find yourself in a place where you just can’t seem to pray, then remember the simple phrase of humble submission the Lord taught us and pray, “Your will be done.”

“Yet, O Lord, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Isaiah 64:8

“For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

2 Corinthians 4:5-7

Whatever it is, lay it down at the foot of the cross and give the Lord your heart today.  He knows you and He loves you.  May His will be done in all things!

Grace and peace to you all in the Name of Jesus!

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:39

Real Talk After 17 Years Of Marriage

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Our kids enjoying Imperial Beach, San Diego, CA, June 2018

I hope everyone is having a blessed day celebrating love!  Yesterday I wrote about what love truly is.  God is love, so celebrate Him and His love today!  We would not have love without God and the very existence of love proves the existence of God!  Our family will be celebrating God’s love today.  My wife and I have been married for 17 years and we are so thankful for our two awesome kids!  I want you to know though, it has not been easy!  I know many of you have been married much longer than we have and many of you are newly married or single.  I have gained much wisdom learning from all of you and I would like to share some real talk about what my wife and I have learned in our time together.

Before I get started, I need to share some verses with you that have been instrumental in my wife and I loving each other.  These verses have been the very heart of why our marriage has survived through all the challenges and mistakes.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Colossians 3:13

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We even have a little framed piece of art of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 hanging on the wall in the kitchen.  It’s good to adorn your home with God’s Word!

Gallery love verses
Bought this on Amazon. 1 Corinthians 13, the Love verses.

Have I always loved my wife that way?  No.  I have made many mistakes and said many sinful things that I am ashamed of, but we move forward in forgiveness.  My wife and I have had our bad arguments, but the center of our relationship is not each other.  It is Jesus!  No matter what we go through, we always strive to love each other the way God’s Word says to.  No matter how bad the argument or how hurt or irritated we are, we always remember to bear with each other, forgive each other as Jesus forgave us, and to love each other deeply the 1 Corinthians 13 way because that always covers over a multitude of sins.

We have had times where we were both hurt so bad that I didn’t know if we would make it, but we just kept giving it to Jesus.  When God brings two people together, you better believe the evil one wants to rip them apart and believe me, he will try.  We made it through those times victoriously because we gave the battle to God and fought back through prayer, God’s Word, and worship!

No marriage is perfect.  We are not perfect.  But we have a perfect God who is perfect in His love and He gives us the power to love like Him!  I can tell you right now, my wife and I would not have made it without Jesus.  If we didn’t have the Holy Spirit inside of us guiding, convicting, and teaching us, then our marriage would have ended years ago.  We can’t love like God without His Holy Spirit.

My parents just celebrated 44 years of marriage in January!  Truly amazing!  That is an awesome example of loving faithfulness!  I love you guys!  Here is what my Mom said about it:

“Forty four!!  It just doesn’t seem possible.  We were married Jan 11, 1975.  We were both 21 (of course I turned 22 later that month).  It was freezing cold, windy, and had an ice storm that morning. Your Dad was student teaching, so still in college.   I was working full-time at Brown Specialty and had my own apartment for 2 years, so your Dad just moved in with clothes, etc. Ha.  I had my Nova.  Our rent was $95 with utilities!!  I brought home $95 a week.”

Then I was born just a few years later in ’78!  My Mom and Dad showed my younger sister and I how to keep on loving each other through any pain, trouble, or disagreement.  44 years is a long time folks!  Congratulations Mom and Dad!  Thank you for setting such a strong example of faithful love even through the hard times!  Praise the Lord!

My wife and I have another 27 years before we reach 44 years of marriage.  I wonder what we will learn from now until then.  I know…a lot!!!  We have learned so much about each other, ourselves, and the Lord over the last 17 years it is mind boggling!  We didn’t get to where we are without going through many trials and tribulations, and it is only Jesus that got us through victoriously.

Here is a photo on the side of our fridge from the day we were married on June 23, 2001.  This is from our wedding reception.  We had no idea of all the trials we were going to live through, but we promised to be with each other forever under God’s covenant of marriage.

wedding picture

 

We have to fight for our families!  We have to fight back by praying for each other.  Pray over your spouse.  Pray over your kids.  Read God’s Word every day because we don’t live on bread alone.  Our soul needs food and our families are healthy when we feed on God’s Word.  Serve each other in love and care for each other.  Praise and worship the Lord together.  We love putting on some TobyMac and dancing and praising with the kids.  That’s some good Holy Spirit fun right there!

I am not a perfect husband or a perfect father, but I give my heart to God and ask Him to help me love my family like He loves them and He does.  I am looking forward to many more years with my wife.  Through all the ups and downs and challenges we have faced, the Lord has always kept us together in His love!  To my wife and kids: I love you with all my heart!

We all need God’s love wherever we are in this world.  That deep love that bears all things and never fails!  You will have that real love in your marriage when you both make Jesus your first love and keep it that way for all the years of your lives!  Marriage is not easy and it will not be without trouble, but you can overcome anything together through Christ!

Grace and peace to you all!