Not At All – Changed My Life!

 

546647_10151137904338324_1766853137_n

 

He said, “Humility is not thinking poorly of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all!” This sentence took a weight off my shoulders that I had been baring the majority of my life. A weight that would changed my life! For at least 42 years I had been carrying a weight on my shoulders and back of what humility was. I was gravely mistaken.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family and that is quite possibly where I came up with the idea that humility comes hand in hand with beating yourself up. You see at the age of 13 I thought that God would sooner forgive Hitler than forgive me. I know that God doesn’t play favorites but back then I didn’t have a well-developed understanding of grace. My family life didn’t have grace and mercy in it. So I understand why I didn’t grasp God’s grace because it was never displayed in my home life.

I now know that God forgives all that seek His forgiveness. Whether that be Hitler or myself or any other name you’d like to put in.

Sunday January 28, 2018, Reverend Curry Jr. spoke and said, “Humility is not thinking poorly of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all!” When he said this it hit my sternum and went straight through to my heart. It was like my spirit came alive. Like I had been dead and was just called forth like Lazarus from the grave. My heart leap for joy! I don’t have to think badly of myself any more. I know longer need to berate myself every time I see or hear the word humble.

My countenance has completely changed. I’m being asked by everyone I see what has changed? I share this great revelation! That true humility is not thinking poorly of yourself but not thinking of yourself at all! Once you’re doing that you can focus on what is really important which is God and the things of God. That is what we are here to do. That is our purpose. To glorify God. What an awesome purpose to have! How great the Father is to give that to us! He could have glorified Himself. He didn’t have to use us. Yet He did. Aren’t we blessed!

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

Struggle with Self-esteem?

I don’t know how many of you struggle with not feeling good enough, but it has been a thorn in my side for my entire life.  It was almost a stumbling block between me and salvation.  I didn’t think that there was anyway that God could possibly forgive me!  My poor self image and my awareness of my sinful nature was so before me that for some reason I thought that God would accept Hitler before me.

Now no at the age of 13 I had not caused the death of anyone or tried to take over the world, but all the same I felt so unworthy that I was certain that no one even God could possibly forgive me for my sin.  It took a long time to realize that it wasn’t a matter of worth that got me into the kingdom of heaven, but a matter of grace.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.   –  Titus 2:11

The passage that really settled it for me and gave me assurance of not only my salvation but my position in Christ is Ephesians 2:1-10

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work is those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature an following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

What comforted me about this passage is many things and I’d like to break it down for you.  First of all, as I’ve already mentioned I was keenly aware of my sinfulness, which made me feel totally unworthy of anything God could have for me.  In Ephesians 2:1-3 it talks about our sins and how we were dead in our transgressions and how all of us lived this way as by nature objects of wrath.  When I read that I thought this Book gets me.  This is exactly how I feel.

Then came verses 4 & 5 “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.”  I could hardly believe my eyes, God loved me and not only that he had rich mercy on me.  Though I was dead in my transgressions God chose to make me alive in Christ.  By grace I was saved.  What a generous God.  It was almost more than my eyes could take in.  My heart was pounding with joy as it is now reliving it.

As if He knew that I needed the added message of what my position  was to help me with my self worth, He goes on to tell me that He/God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, amazing.

So that we don’t get it wrong we are reminded that it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and this not from ourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  This keeps me in the right frame of mind humble because I know that I need God for everything.

Then the writer does us the wonderful blessing of letting us know what God’s purpose for us is. Verse 10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Isn’t it wonderful we know what we are here for to do good works that God has already prepared for us.  That means we need to keep in communication with Him so that we don’t miss out on our purpose.  Since He has planned them out in advance it would be foolish to just go around and do any good work that might not be the one He is wanting you or I to do.  Open communication is crucial for us to know what it is that we are to be doing to stay in God’s will.  Anything else is pride.

Lord thank You for Your Word and for Your will and plans.  Forgive me for my times of pride when I’ve charged off and done things on my own will whether I thought they were for You or not, I was sinful not to come toYou first.  I ask you to forgive me of the sin of my pride and help me to turn to You first.  In the sweet name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

A Woman After God’s Own Heart!

God’s Lessons In Humility

I have a trainer that spent an hour with me today in the pool, trying to get me to learn how to kick properly, breath without drinking the pool, and the right way to use my arms.  At the end of the hour I understood what I was doing wrong but felt no closer to getting it right than when I began.  It was truly a lesson in humility.

My trainer had every opportunity to get frustrated with me, even angry, but she didn’t. She was patient and kind and showed me again what it was that I was doing opposed to what it was that she was trying to get me to do.  It got me thinking, isn’t that like our Heavenly Father?  Just because we don’t get it right the first or third time, He doesn’t give up on us but mercifully guides us in the way He wants us to go.

He is the true source of all the power, unlike the trainer who can lead you but leaves it up to you to get it in the end.  God fills us with His power and asks us to rely on and trust Him to get us through things.

“[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.” – Philippians 2:13

I have struggled with my weight all my life. Either I thought I was too fat when I was not or when the doctors told me I could no longer purge but if I had to binge to handle what I was going through emotionally go ahead and binge.  That permission got me up to 350 pounds with God’s help, Weight Watchers, and exercise I’m down to 241.  I still have a long way to go to reach my goal of a healthy body weight.  I don’t know what that is but I know what I want it to look like toned in every area of my body.

My biggest struggle is when the depression comes.  You see I’m bi-polar and when I’m in a manic phase my eating is not a problem, neither is my exercise, other than not overdoing it.  When depression comes, however, eating becomes a problem one of two things happen. 1. I don’t want to eat.  2. All I want to eat is candy or other junk.  This is where the passage above has hit me between the eyes.

When I’m in depression one of the things that I do is to not spend time with God.  To be honest I veg out in front of the TV.  But I’m realizing one for my weight loss and as a diabetic I need to rely on God to get me through the bad times.  I need to cry out to Him like a hurt child cries out to her daddy for comfort, compassion strength and protection.  I know if I’ll only humble myself I’ll be blessed with God’s presence in my life and His love engulfing me.

I need to stop trying to dig myself out of the pit of depression.  It is a useless effort on my part.  I haven’t the tools.  Yes I can spend time with friends and get out of the house and get some sun, and journal.  All tools that have been suggested to me and to an extent can help some but they aren’t the ultimate answer.  That answer is found when I humbly turn to the Father, seeking His help and guidance.  Learning to trust Him in all things and stand in that trust.

I love the acronym for FROG. Fully Rely OGod. That is what I need to be doing in good times  and bad times, Fully Relying On God. 

If you struggle with bi-polar or depression or are going through a period in your life when the world just seems dark, let me encourage you that letting go of what has you down and not trying to do it all on your own, will ease your burden.  What will make it bearable is to give it to God.  Ask for His power to do whatever it is you can not do on your own. The peace that comes from turning it over to Him is amazing and such a blessing.  Please don’t miss out on it.

A Bitter Pill

Anger and resentment are dangerous emotions. Don’t get me wrong anger when handled properly is not only important but healthy. Jesus was angry at the money changers at the temple and overturned their tables and drove them out. Matthew 21:13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'” He was obviously very angry with them and we know that Jesus never sinned. Since Jesus displayed anger and did not sin, we know that there is righteous anger.

But there is unrighteous anger as well. Ephesians 4:26-27 “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” What does Paul mean by, “do not give the devil a foothold”?

When we don’t deal with our anger swiftly as the Bible prescribes resentment takes root. That’s a deadly combination. Which the devil is just waiting to use to his advantage. You see if he can talk you into not forgiving the one who wronged you he knows that anger and resentment will cause your heart to grow hard and your relationship with God to suffer. That my friends is a bitter pill to digest.

Now don’t get me wrong I would never suggest to the wife being battered to forgive and forget and stay in that situation. God is the only one that forgives and forgets. We are only asked to forgive for our benefit. No to the battered wife or husband I say GET OUT! God does not what is children harmed.

You remember for wisdom sake. You learn from past experiences and hopefully don’t make the same mistake again.

When I was going through my divorce, 22 years ago it took me a long time to get through the hurt and anger of the situation. To be honest there was a lot of resentment and my heart did grow hard for a season. I was broken and I couldn’t understand why the marriage I thought was blessed by God was falling apart. I didn’t understand how my husband could stop loving God and me. I’ll be honest with you I was so broken that I attempted more than once to go home to my heavenly Father. Praise God, He didn’t let me succeed!

Let me encourage you that if you are going through a particularly difficult time and the anger is high and resentment is crouching at your door or has already entered your heart, pray that God would guide you. Pray for a change in your heart. Our God is the job of doing miracles. All you have to do is ask and He will gladly answer your prayer. But don’t be surprised if some work on your part must be done first. I had to honestly look at all sides of the picture before my heart was ready to forgive. Now instead of anger or resentment or bitterness about my ex I have compassion for him. Does that mean I want reconciliation with him? No! He doesn’t love God and has many more issues I would never agree to live with. But do I occasionally pray for his soul? Yes. He is lost and needs prayer.

For those things that may seem major but are not as major as the ending of a relationship. Such as a dispute with your spouse, I beg you as soon as you are able to talk with a cool head DO IT! Listen to the Word of God and don’t give the devil a foothold. If you need to take a walk before you talk, take a walk but do everything you can to handle it as quickly as possible. You are doing yourself and your loved one a service.

Once you start taking bitter pills, they get easier and easier to swallow so do yourself a favor and don’t get used to them at all. Right here, right now make the decision that bitter pills are not for you. Instead decided that you will wear the cloak of forgiveness and humility. Bitter pills make you hard and cold. The cloak of forgiveness and humility keeps you warm and loving. That’s what being a Christian is all about isn’t it?

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart