the Love of God | Bible Study Blog Party

Wowzers, I can’t believe its June already! I hope you’ve all had a great start to your summer. 🙂 To start off my summer blog posts (which are really no different than my spring, fall, and winter posts, except for the fact they’re posted during the summer) I am joining Faith at I Like That on a Bible Study Blog Party. I’m cutting it a little close, seeing as how the party ends on the 9th of June, but better late than never, eh?

Anyway, what is a Bible Study Blog Party? As Faith explained it, it’s where a bunch of bloggers read and study the same passage of the Bible and write about it. I was super excited that Faith chose Romans chapter 8 since Romans has become one of my favorite books in the Bible. 🙂

I’ll be honest here—one of the reasons I’m posting on one of the last days of the party is because I didn’t feel like my post was really coming together. My words weren’t flowing like I wanted them to and I didn’t feel like I really got any great pearls of wisdom to share with y’all.

But you know what? I realize that that’s okay. It’s not about me anyways. It’s not about my words or how eloquently I write. It’s about God and His Word. I’m going to do my best to write what God put on my heart and trust Him with the rest. That’s why I love the promise in Isaiah 55 that says the word of the Lord will never return void—God’s word always accomplishes what He sends it to do!

So, let’s get this party started! Which reminds me—you guys need to go check out Faith’s post for this party! God spoke to her about Romans 8:1 (The there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus verse) and it is so good. Seriously, go read it! 🙂

As I read Romans 8, the part that really popped out to me was verses 31-39, where Paul talks about nothing separating us from the love of God and how we are more than conquerors.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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 8:31-39

I realize that is quite a chunk of scripture there, but I couldn’t bring myself to shorten it up. It’s such a wonderful truth to know that nothing separates us from the love of God, and sometimes I think it’s hard for us to grasp. In fact, Paul says in Ephesians…

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:17b-19

God’s love for us is so great we’ll never get to the bottom of it!

Nothing we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, will make God change His mind about loving us. God loved (loves!) us at our worst. Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. God saw us broken, full of sin and shame, and said “Because I love you, you are worth it.” Jesus bore our sins and brokenness on His body because He desired a relationship with each and every one of us. Why? Because that’s how wide and long and high and deep Christ’s love is for each of us.

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:17

This verse was a big one for me too. Because not only does God love me, He takes great delight in me. And in Isaiah 62:4 it says that the Lord will call His people Hephzibah, which in Hebrew means my delight is in her. I love that. God delights to be with me! He rejoices and sings over me! He loves me because I am His child and there is nothing that can change that.

The Bible is full of verses about God’s love for His people…

I am abounding in love and faithfulness. (Ex. 34:6)

I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jer. 31:3)

My love reaches to the heavens, my faithfulness to the skies. (Ps. 36:5)

My love endures forever. (Ps. 136:26)

My steadfast love will not depart from you. (Is. 54:10)

I loved you so much that I gave my one and only Son to save you. (John 3:16)

And of course there’s many, many more, but do you see a pattern? God’s love for us is boundless, limitless, forever, and complete.

Just because God’s love for us never ends, that doesn’t mean that we can live however we want. Like, “I know God will still love me, so I can do whatever I want.” God is very clear that He wants His people to be set apart from the world. That’s why He calls us peculiar treasures in Exodus 19:5 (KJV) and also that we are not to conform to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2).

So while it is true that Jesus loves us right where we are at, He doesn’t want to leave us that way. God wants us to surrender our hearts and allow Him to change us to become more Christ-like every day. This heart change isn’t something we accomplish on our own (thank you Jesus!) but something God does in His strength, in His love.

God is a relentless lover. He won’t give up loving you. It doesn’t matter where you are at in life or what you are going through, He loves you. It’s just as Paul wrote all those years ago—nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ❤

❤ Nothing. ❤

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When Looking to God for Guidance…

A couple of months ago I asked the Lord, “Okay God, what’s the next step for me?” He had asked me to write a book, so I wrote it. He told me the next step was to edit it, so I did. At the time, I wasn’t sure what my next plan of action was. So…now what?

I needed to ask God for some guidance, an age old question that comes in many different forms: “So, God, what’s next?” or “How do I handle this situation, Lord?” or even, “I’m not sure what to do/say…help!” I opened up my Bible and began to look for verses–and I found a bunch!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

God promises that when we seek Him with all of our hearts we will find Him. We seek Him by praying and reading the Bible to get to know who He is. God desires to have a relationship with us, and if we desire to have a relationship with Him, He won’t hide. We’ll find Him.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

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. John 14:27

I don’t want to live in a constant state or worry, fear, or anxiety over what I should do next. God doesn’t want us to either! He wants us to live in an attitude of thanksgiving and to present our requests to Him in every situation. He wants to hear from us! God wants us to exchange our worries for His peace.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

When we ask God we’re showing (and acknowledging) that we are dependent on Him. “Hey, God, I don’t know what to do and I need You to show me.” God will give us wisdom when we ask Him for it.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Sometimes we don’t get our answers right away and we need to wait. Sometimes it feels like God is taking forever. I love how Psalm 5:3 says “I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” According to the Google dictionary, expectantly means to wait “with an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.” Why would we wait in expectation if we knew God wasn’t going to answer? No, we wait expectantly because we know God will answer. It might not be instantaneous, but “be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” He will.

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalm 48:14

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will have a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17

These are some of God’s precious promises to us. And His promises, no matter how many promises He has made, are “Yes” in Christ! (2 Corinthians 1:20) God will lead!

Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

People place their trust in a lot of different things: other people, money, themselves. We need to place our trust in God, who “does not change like the shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

When times are good and we are flourishing, we need to trust God:

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good. Psalm 52:8-9

When times are rough and we are being refined like silver, we need to trust God:

For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let the people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us into a place of abundance. Psalm 66:10-12

God will do what He says, because He is faithful.

God is not a human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4

Trust God for your today, but also trust Him for your tomorrow. No matter what you are seeking guidance for, He will lead you. He is leading you. God takes care of the flowers of the field and the birds in the sky, and He says, “Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-34) God will take care of His children.

This God of ours, He is faithful. He bestows wisdom upon those who ask. He is trustworthy. He will not lead us astray; He is our guide, even to the end. He is a God of peace. He is a God of love. Continue to seek Him and cling to His promises. He will answer.

God will guide.

Gift of Grace

The words, “Are you ready to order or do you need a minute?” have become a common phrase on my lips. In other words, I am a waitress. Last month I began my training, which lasted four days before I was assigned a section of my own. Intimidating? Yes. New and weird? Definitely. There always seems to be an hour where things get hectic. It’s then when, in the midst of the craziness I think, “What on earth am I doing here?!” But then things slow down, and I realize that despite the craziness…I like it.

Last week I had a table with two older women who had a boatload of questions about our menu and our food. Because of their numerous questions, I was under the impression that this was their first time dining at our restaurant. I did my best to answer their questions, but if I didn’t know, I found someone who did. Nevertheless, the whole process was very confusing. It didn’t help that the older of the two ladies was hard of hearing.

In addition to this, my other four tables were full of customers as well, keeping me busy with coffee refills, desserts, and check backs–“Can I get you anything else tonight?” I had just finished delivering another table’s order, onion rings and sandwiches, when the women, whose orders it had taken me several minutes to sort out, flagged me down.

“They’re getting their food already when they were seated after us?” she questioned, confusion and frustration on her face.

I froze. Oh no. I remembered using the computer to check prices for them, but never sending their order to the cooks. “I–I am so sorry,” I stumbled. “I forgot to punch your order in, but–but I’ll do that right now.”

Of course they were upset. I told my manager what had happened and he ended up comping the whole meal for them. “Apologize profusely,” he told me. “They’re not happy at all.” I felt horrible. If this was their first time eating there, I had ruined the experience.

I brought out their pie and no sooner had I set the plates down when the older of the two women pushed a folded $5 bill into my hand. I shook my head as I tried to give it back and tell them no,  I didn’t deserve it–but they wouldn’t listen. She held her hand up as if to say, “the matter is closed and I don’t want to hear any more about it.” All I could do was mumble a thank you and move on. As I cleared my other tables, the word grace echoed in my heart, along with its definition:

An undeserved gift.

It got me to thinking. If I didn’t deserve the $5 tip because of my mistake, how much more do I not deserve the salvation Jesus bought for me at Calvary because of my sin? I’m the sinner, yet instead of giving me what I deserve, Jesus came to earth to atone for what I’ve done. He paid the death penalty for my sin even though He is holy and perfect. Yet that’s not the end. Christ defeated death when He rose from the grave three days later. He’s alive! And having paid the penalty for our sins, God gave us all a gift. Redemption. Salvation. New life.

Grace.

He was delivered over to death for our sins, and raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

It humbled me, to be sure. Not only as a waitress, but as a child of God. The truth was renewed in my heart: He has freely given me what I don’t deserve. That’s just how good and loving God is! Because of this, I am brand new and whole, and I have a renewed relationship with Christ.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

God made an exchange: our sin for His righteousness. It’s not fair–it’s love. Pure, unconditional, full-of-grace love that never, ever fails.

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)

I could try my best to fix the problem in order to be “good enough” for God, but even my best efforts are like “filthy rags”.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf and our sin blows us away. (Isaiah 64:6)

Not only do I not have to try to be “good enough”, God gives salvation as a gift. It’s not something we earn, it is something we are given out of God’s great love for me, for you, for everyone.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If we could earn our salvation and our way into heaven, we would be the ones receiving the glory. “Hey, guess what guys! I was good enough for God! I did it!” That’s what Paul means when he says “not by works, so that no one can boast.” If we boast, we should boast in the Lord! “God saved me! God is so good!” The focus shifts from us in all our imperfection, whose best efforts are like “filthy rags” to the One Who is worthy to be praised.  To the God Who spoke the universe into existence and used mud to heal a blind man’s eyes. To the God Whose love and faithfulness lasts forever and ever.

The thing about a gift is that, though it’s there for the taking, it’s not really yours until you accept it. You can stare at the person holding the present out to you all you want, but until you take hold of it and grasp it for yourself, it’s not doing you any good.

God is holding out a gift of grace to you. It’s a gift wrapped in new life, and once you accept it and open up the package, you will see everything that’s inside. There’s forgiveness, redemption, peace, love, freedom, joy…God’s Holy Spirit that comes to dwell within our hearts.

But that’s not even the best part. The best part of God’s free gift is that we will get to spend eternity with Him in the most beautiful place. Heaven. Where the streets are the purest form of gold, and a gate is made of a single pearl. Where we will be able to walk, hand in hand, side by side, with the most beautiful, loving, wonderful Man in the whole universe.

God won’t make you accept His gift, but He hopes with all His heart that you will. He loves you, wants to be with you, and is holding His arms open wide for you.  No matter what you have done or do, God won’t withhold His forgiveness if you ask Him for it.

I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. (Mark 3:28)

All it takes is surrendering. Admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior; lay it all down at Jesus’ feet. Believe in what Jesus did for you on the cross. Invite Him into your heart, and into every aspect of your life.

If you declare with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

That’s all it takes. To believe, and to act on that belief. And when you do, God sends the Holy Spirit to live in your heart where He changes you from the inside out. From there, you are adopted into God’s family. A precious and most definitely loved child of the King. 

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. (Romans 8:11)

God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5)

But to all who believed in Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

God is willing to make each and every one of us new. He yearns to. And God, well, God doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. He loves us more than that.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-12)

God wants us all to know how wide and long and high and deep His love is. So wide, so long, so high, so deep, that Christ died for each and every once of us so He could give us a life on earth, forgiven and in renewed relationship with the Father.

So He could give us a life forever, with Him in Heaven.

A gift of grace.

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Faith Over Fear

I am in a new season of life, and it’s scary. I am not a person who is overly fond of change. I’ve grown quite comfortable in my little bubble. The past week and a half, and especially the past three or four days, have been hard. God is leading me on a path that I hadn’t planned on taking. I’ve prayed–my parents have prayed–my friends have prayed–that God would lead me and make His way clear. And He has.

It still hasn’t been easy for me. Too often I have been swimming in fear. Everything has happened so quickly, much faster than I had ever expected. I was letting myself get worked up over all the unknowns, the things that could happen. Allowing myself to dwell on “I don’t want to do this. I am not going to be good at it. I can’t do it.” Was I putting on my belt of truth? No, I wasn’t. I was believing a lie instead of God’s truth, and it was keeping me in a place of discouragement and overwhelming fear. Where was my hope? My joy? It was gone, because I was too busy focusing on fear. But what has God said, over and over again?

Do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not be dismayed, I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Is. 41:10)

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged, for I am the Lord your God. (Josh. 1:9)

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. (Is. 43:2)

I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Tim. 1:7)

Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt. 28:20) 

I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Duet. 31:6)

Let me fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Me, so you may overflow with hope in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 15:13)

I am always with you. I hold you by your right hand. (Ps. 73:23)

My joy is your strength. (Ne. 8:10)

Take captive all your thoughts and make them obedient to Me. (2 Cor. 10:5)

YES!!!!!!!!!!

THOSE are God’s promises to ME! To you! 2 Corinthians 1:20 says that for no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

We don’t HAVE to be afraid. God is WITH us.

Do I believe it?

Yes. I do. Because I will CHOOSE to have faith over my fear. I will CHOOSE to believe that God is working out HIS purpose for my life. He is holding me, He is with me, He is so very near to me, even when I felt like He was far away. God is not limited by time, as we are. He is working ahead of us, preparing the way for us. He is not apart from this, where I am at right now. He is very much involved.

My God is an AWESOME God. I was losing sight of what truly mattered–Jesus. I was neglecting to keep my eyes focused on my King and Savior, my wonderful, beautiful, all-powerful Jesus. When I lost sight of Who God is, I began to stumble, just like Peter, when he was walking on water, began to sink when he looked away from the Lord. I became focused on my circumstances, and not the Author of my story.

I was neglecting to remember the TRUTH that has been hidden away in my heart. The truths that I do not have to be afraid. If my God is for me, who can be against me? My Jesus LOVES me! He wants what is best for me!

My Jesus. My Jesus loves me so much. He died on the cross to SAVE me. He turned the cross–a symbol of death–into a symbol of HOPE. What crazy, in-depth kind of love is that?!

And the most wonderful thing is, guys…He didn’t just do this for me…He did it for you.

Because everything that I have mentioned here, God’s great love for me, how He will never leave me, will always hold my hand…

Guys, this is all for you too. This is for everyone.

God loves YOU. He wants YOU to live in FAITH and not FEAR. He doesn’t want you to be crippled by fear, scared to move and afraid of what is going to happen next. True, we don’t know what is going to happen in life, but God does. God does. And if God knows, do we really have to? Isn’t it enough to trust? Because when I look back at my life, at those times where I thought There is no way this is going to work out, I see where God has done powerful and wonderful things.

There are verses in the Bible about Jesus refining us as silver is tried. (Ps. 66:10) What does that mean? I found this video on Facebook, which I will share at the bottom of the post for those interested. But the short version in words is, when silver is being refined, the refiner has to sit, keep an eye on it, and make sure that the fire is not too hot. And he knows the silver is done when he can see his reflection in it.

Wow.

What a beautiful word picture. When God says He is refining us like silver, He is saying that He is using the fires we walk through to make us more like Him. He’s using those scary, painful experiences for good. The hard times I went through made me more like Jesus. They brought me closer to Him, and I trust Jesus that He will continue doing that, if I continue to keep my eyes focused on Him and Who He is, and allow Him to do the work in my heart.

It’s easy to let fear have free reign. I know, because that’s what I’ve lived with for the past three days. It’s not fun. But when fear is bigger than your faith, go to God. Go to His Word. Cling to His promises. Look back on all that God has done, because He has done so much.

When I think back, I remember all the times God has healed.

I remember when God has provided.

I remember when God has redeemed friendships that I thought were gone.

I remember when God has closed one door, and me being so upset…because at the time, I had no idea what God was working on in the background. And now, I am so thankful, and have been so blessed…because He knew what was best.

I look back and see what God has done…

and I have faith.

That the God Who did all of that in my past, is doing the same thing in my present, and in my future.

I will choose to have

Faith

over

Fear.


 

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Isaiah 61:10-11

This afternoon I was flipping through my Bible, looking for a verse. I didn’t have a particular verse in mind, all I knew was I wanted something to add to the bottom of the letter I was writing. It’s sort of a habit I’ve gotten into, writing Bible verses at the bottom of my letters in the PS section, as a way to encourage my pen pals.

Sometimes I write down a verse that I had read in the Bible earlier, or sometimes, like today, I page through it and scan until something catches my attention. I love it when they write back and say, “That verse you sent me was exactly what I needed!” Because it isn’t just coincidence, it’s a total God-Thing!!!

Anyways, today I found a cool verse in Isaiah. I also realized I’ve been rather absent in the blogosphere lately. And so I concluded that I would share this verse with you, too.


I love the first line – I will celebrate because of my Lord God! It makes me picture a celebration – a party – with confetti and raised hands waving in the air and lots of smiles, simply because of who God is. And considering its summer and there’s flowers all over the place, I like the part about praise coming like flowers blooming in a garden.

Have a Bible verse that you found cool or meaningful lately? I’d love to hear! ❤

Emma xoxoxo

 

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Today Was A Good Day

Today was a good day. I didn’t do anything exceptional; I went to church, read some Trixie Belden with my mom, and went for a drive with my both my parents. We got ice cream, my parents went down Memory Lane as we drove, and I enjoyed wearing my big floppy sunhat. (I love hats.)

Today was a day to rest and enjoy the beauty around me. See, I struggle with the whole productivity thing. I have to be so productive in a day in order for that day to be worth something. For my time not to be wasted. But, as others have been telling me and God has slowly been teaching me, that’s not a good way to think. My worth doesn’t come from how many things I check off my to-do list. It comes from my Savior Jesus. He says I am His child and He loves me with an everlasting love. I am God’s treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5) Nothing changes that. I can rest in the fact that God’s love for me isn’t based on how many things I do. It’s okay for me to set aside the list, take a breather, and do nothing for a while.

Today was a day to let go of the busyness and chill. Believe me–I know how good it feels to have all those neat little check marks on your list, whether that list is on paper or in your head. But as I’m discovering here…it also feels good to sit and be. To notice the warmth of the sunshine and the bright green of new leaves–and not as I’m zipping around the house doing thisorthat. To sit, to relax, to close my eyes and thank Jesus for what He’s given me. While to-do lists help to be organized, they can also be stress factors if they’re not kept in their place.

Enjoy the day. For those of you who have a similar mindset of productivity=time well spent, don’t be afraid to take a deep breath, set aside the list for a day, and refresh. Rejuvenate. Sing a song, read a book, take a walk. You have time to get those things checked off. Your worth is from Jesus, not the number of check marks on your list. And whatever you do, whether it’s being productive or enjoying the day, love the Lord while doing it. That’s the most important thing, as I was reminded not too long ago. No matter what I do, love the Lord…

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’       Matthew 22:36-39

 

…and enjoy the day.

Lots of love,

Emma xo

When You’re Wondering What’s Next…

When You're Wondering What's Next | Majestic Adventures

Couple nights ago as I was talking to God, I asked Him the all-important question in my life right now. “Hey God…what’s next?” I’ve reached a point where I’m about to step into a new adventure of life, and I’m trying to figure out what direction God wants me to take.

It was nearly midnight, but I decided to try and flip through my Bible and find some reassuring verses on the future or God’s leading, but nothing was really speaking to me. Feeling only a tad discouraged, I just kind of thought, “Let’s check out Matthew 10.” So I did. Near the end of the chapter, I found these verses I’d underlined earlier, and knew that this was God’s answer to me.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)

Reading those verses reminded me. God will take care of me and all the fine-details of my life. He takes care of the sparrows, and I am worth more than many sparrows. God knows everything about me, all down to the very number of hairs that are on my head. And if He takes the time to know that detail about me (one that I don’t even bother to know myself, because why on earth take the time?) then He will most definitely take care of me and my future and everything else.

I don’t need to know what the ten-year-plan is, or the five-year-plan, or even the one year plan. I’m learning to take each step as it comes and to follow God’s guiding and to trust Him, because He knows best. After all,

A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them. ~Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)

Sometimes its not easy. There have been days where I just want to know what on earth am I going to be doing a year from now? Because I don’t know. Only God knows, and I wish He would fill me in a little bit.

When that happens, I remember that God hasn’t forgotten about me. He’s not up there scratching His head, thinking “Oh…yeah, her. Um…now what?” I remember that God has brought me here, where I am now. And when I look back on everything that God has done in my life up until this point, I know that the verse in Deuteronomy is true.

 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) 

There have been times in the past where I think, “Wow, this is huge. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Um, God?”At the time it was hard to see what God was doing, but looking back I can see that God did just what He said He would do. Through the unknowns He lead me, He never left me, and I grew closer to Him in the process. (He also never leaves you even when you know what you’re doing, just to throw that out there!)

Those experiences, those hard times, grew me to be more like Christ. I’m closer to Him now than I was five years ago. I trust Him more now than I did five years ago. I’ve seen how God can take a situation that seems horrible at the time, and grow it into something amazing.

I know the same is true now, as I try to figure out what’s next in my life. When I get that question, “Hey, Emma, what’s the plan?” my response is, “I don’t really have a plan. God’s taking me one step at a time.” (In a world where having “a plan” is the thing, this is sometimes a shocker–but that’s okay! We’re called to be different, right?) God has proven to me in the past how He’s truly got everything in His hand. He won’t lead me wrong. One step at a time is good enough for me.

Someday I will look back on this season in life and think, “Yup, I can see God there where I didn’t see Him in the moment. He was totally working that out, just like He said He would.” Maybe it doesn’t make sense why we went through some rough patches in life. Just trust God, and know that He doesn’t waste anything.

 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. ~Isaiah 55:8-11 (AMPC)

It’s hard. It really is sometimes. I may not have it all together, but that’s the thing. God doesn’t give up on me. He loves me where I’m at, even on my bad days, but He loves me too much to let me stay that way. He wants to bring me to a place where I am trusting, relying, loving, serving Him 100% of the time. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. God’s got your best interest at heart. He loves you.

When you’re not sure where you’re headed next,

When you can’t see how this could possibly turn into good,

When you’re not even sure if God remembers that you’re still struggling to hold it all together,

Let go and let God do His thing. He knows where you’re going.

Sometimes life might feel as hopeless as completing a 1000 piece puzzle without any picture on the box to compare it to. Impossible, right?

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~Matthew 19:26

Not impossible. Because y’all, we got a God that’s bigger than everything. He’s bigger than any mountain that we can or cannot see, bigger than the boogie man, and bigger than the impossibilities of this world.

God takes care and loves the little birdies. You’re worth more than many sparrows.

He loves you.

He’ll never leave you.

Just trust.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid… ~Psalm 56:3-4a

 

 

Pray for the Little Things

Pray for the Little Things | Majestic Adventures

Early yesterday morning my mom and I went to a lovely little coffee shop to celebrate the birthday of one special lady in our lives. A small group of women gathered in a private back room with our drinks of choice. For me, that was a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate with whipped cream. And there were muffins. Yummy!

Twenty minutes after my muffin was gone, and in the midst of our chatter, the roof of my mouth started to feel tingly…and I ignored it, as I tend to do, thinking to myself, Nah, it’ll just go away. Except it didn’t, and soon the tingly feeling spread across my cheek. I’m not allergic to any foods that I know of; but I’ve had the same thing happen a couple of times before (though not to the same extent). Figured since it was a little worse than the couple other times, I should probably tell my Mama.

She furrowed her brow at me and said, “Well we should leave so that you can get some meds. It must be from the muffin since you drink hot chocolate at home.”

The lady next to us heard us say something, and soon everyone around the table knew about the tingles in my mouth and face. And instantly, the woman across the table from us said, as casually as you please, “Well then, let’s pray.”

Everyone bowed their heads and we talked to God about what was going on with my face. She thanked Jesus that He knew exactly what was going on, and she prayed that it would go away and not come back. As soon as she began praying, the tingling in the roof of my mouth was gone. By the time she’d said Amen my cheek wasn’t tingling anymore. After twenty minutes of having some kind of a reaction slowly get worse, I felt completely fine.

“Thank you Lord!” I couldn’t resist it–I knew that God had healed me! And I had a kind of Duh! moment after that. Our first reaction had been How can we fix this ourselves? Instead of Let’s take it to the Healer. I can remember to take the big things that I know I can’t fix to Jesus, but the little things? That’s a little harder.

I continued to marvel and thank Jesus for the fact that my face was back to its original non-tingling form. The woman who’d prayed for me said that we need to pray for the little things before they become big things. It’d be easy to think, “A little allergic reaction isn’t that big a deal. Meds will probably help. No need to worry God about it.”

He cares about the little things in your life that bug you because He cares about you. Just as there’s no problem too big for God, there’s no problem too small. If He can take care of the huge and impossible, He can take care of those small issues as well. Good grief, Jesus can make blind men see and the lame walk again! And yet He still cares for the sparrows in the sky.

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6-7

God used the morning in the coffee shop, not only as a good time to fellowship, but to show me that He’s the God of all–the big, the small, and everything in between.  That He is the Ultimate Healer, healing even a tingly cheek. And last of all, He taught me just how powerful prayer really is. All in a period of two hours!

Bob and LarryThank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope that you’ve been reminded how much God cares about you and all the little things in your life! As Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato from VeggieTales would say, God made you special, and He loves you very much. Goodbye!

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Morning May Musings

Well, it’s May now! I wanted to share some pictures that I took and something that Jesus has been whispering to my heart lately. I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed rest of your week. Jesus loves you! xoxo Emma


Don’t focus on the bad…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

…and miss out on the beauty.

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

Keep your eyes focused on Me…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

…and I will show you My beauty, despite the ashes around you.

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

My child, listen to Me when I say…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

…I lifted the sun to rise in the sky.

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

I woke the flowers from their slumber…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

…and painted the evening sky with color.

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

And if I take care of My smallest creations…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

then let the little things in life serve as a reminder…

 

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures

I will take care of you too.

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Jeremiah 32:17

So I was reading in my Bible this morning, in the book of John. In my study notes, it said “See Jer 32:17.” I don’t always flip to the places they direct me to (too many!!) but I thought I would this time, for whatever reason.  I’m glad that I did, because this verse was encouraging to me this morning.

Jeremiah 32 17

YES!! That just makes me so excited! To think that the God who made the earth and sunsets and the stars and the moon and the milky way (both the star system and the candy bar because both are awesome) can tackle whatever problem I’ve got is just AWESOME. ❤

and I just wanted to share that verse with you, because just maybe it’ll encourage you too, to know that there’s nothing too hard for Christ.

So…yeah! That’s all!

Emma xo

 

 

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