bible verse, Christian, devotion

A letter to Those searching for Love

Dear All who have been let down by human love,

It is so amazing how temporary human love is. How we obsess so much over it. How powerful it can be in one moment, then gone in the next. How fragile it is. And often times we choose it over God’s love, which is unbearably much more powerful, fulfilling, and everlasting. It never fades, not even the slightest bit. His love never gives up, but always perseveres. It always forgives. When we have God and His love, we do not need anything else. In fact, His love is better than the life we live, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. His love out does it all. If only we could understand more! To know God and to feel Him! To be drenched and filled with His love. We have all been searching for that true love, when He’s been knocking on the doors of our hearts all along. Maybe it is time to answer the door and find out what real True Love is.

Sincerely,  Ally ❤

P.S.- I would totally recommend reading 1 John 4, it is my favorite passage and beautifully defines love.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.-Psalm 63:3

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.-Psalm86:15

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.-1John 4:8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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. We love because he first loved us.-1 John 4:18-19

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 they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.-John 3:16-18

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bible verse, Christian, devotion

Let Us live in Truth!

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”-Psalm 91:1-2

Today God has given me the perfect Psalm.  It is Psalm 91, and if you get the chance you should definitely take time to read it.  It shows how God watches out for those who dwell and trust in Him.  Last night I was feeling discouraged because I was watching preachers discussing false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing.  I personally have been deceived and fell victim to false doctrine.  And let me tell you, it is no joke having to come out of that darkness.  It has left the biggest scar by far.  Worse of all, I myself have shared false doctrine when in the end I had no idea what I was talking about.  That is what happens when you go off of what people say but don’t check the word as the source of truth.  But God is merciful, and He does pull those who love Him out of darkness.

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,  nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.-Psalm 91:3-8

 The scariest thing is that there are a lot of people who are deceived and have fallen away from the truth of the gospel.  There are people who truly think they are doing the will of God, but are instead incredibly deceived.  This breaks my heart, and I am only just beginning to fully understand God’s truth and how important it is to trust Him to guide us on the path of truth.  Let me put emphasis on to TRUST God to guide us on the path of truth.  We must read His word and pray so that we can have a relationship with our Father.  We must fully understand the gospel and know what Jesus has done for us.  We are guilty, and all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  Our works will not get us into heaven.  It is our faith in Jesus, that He is the Son of God and has conquered death, that saves us.  It is only through Him that we can be made new and be adopted into the family of God.  Christ must always be emphasized, not miracles, not good deeds.  Jesus himself says,

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’-Matthew 7:21-23

How deceived I was to think I could make myself better by doing certain things like deliverance and good works.  I would think, “Maybe if I act like a happy good christian, then I will become one.”  As if I could raise myself from the dead.  I would think, “Maybe if I prophesy and speak in tongues enough, that will show how strong of a believer I am.”  How sad and confused I was to think I had to constantly go to church and get “deliverance” in order for me to be healed and safe. I just wanted to be on good terms with God. If someone is telling you something contrary to the Gospel, and not just by words but actions too, turn the other way.  Always go to the word of God for the truth.  If they aren’t preaching that though we were sinners Christ came down and died for us as the perfect sacrifice, don’t listen.  Most of all, if they put emphasis on human works and good deeds, but not God’s mercy, forget it.  Our God is awesome, and He wants all your faith and trust. If these people don’t believe that God is mighty enough, faithful enough, strong enough to personally deliver us from our slavery to sin, they are deeply deceived.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.-Galatians 5:1

 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now 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

But let me tell you my friends, God wants to be more than on good terms with you.  He wants to make us whole and alive.  He wants to fill us with His love.  He wants a one on one personal relationship with us.  When I had been living in deception, I had become this girl who was in constant fear of spiritual warfare.  I was so scared that there were things that would always keep me from getting closer to God.  This is not the way it is supposed to be. Perfect love casts out fear! (1 John 4:18) The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  That means when God enters our lives, there is absolutely no room for fear anymore.(We aren’t talking about fearing God, but unhealthy fears, the ones that cause you to doubt God)

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,10 no harm will overtake you,  no disaster will come near your tent.11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;  you will trample the great lion and the serpent.-Psalm 91:9-13

 

We don’t need a human that is “anointed” to heal and deliver us.  Good works will not heal and deliver us.  We need Jesus to heal and deliver us!  When you give your life to Him, He has already won.  Your life is in His hands now, and He will free you from any bondage or chains.  We must have FAITH and trust in the Lord.  We must trust Him to guide us on the path of truth.  We need to realize we have HOPE now because of Christ.  We will be made new in Christ, no matter what it takes.  Most of all we have God, who is LOVE, so we have nothing to fear.  Love never fails! May we learn to rest and take refuge in our great God for the rest of our days.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”-Psalm 91:14-16

Here is some scripture concerning false prophets and false doctrine:

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge  of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory both now and forever! Amen.-2Peter 3:17-18

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.-Romans 16:17-18

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.-2Peter 2:1-3

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. …-Matthew 7:15-20

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.-1 Corinthians 14:33

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.-1 John 4:1-3

 
 
 
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bible verse, Christian, devotion, Uncategorized

Comfort for those in Distress

“But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.  He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…” -Job 36:15-16

This is for all of you who suffer from heartbreak, sorrow, distress, misfortune, and all the other painful things life brings. These are the things that cut our hearts the deepest and leave their impressions on us for the rest of our lives.  We ask, “Why did God let this happen to me?” and “How will I ever be able to go about my life like normal again?”  We see the broken, bruised pieces of our hearts and try to shove them back together again.  Whenever the pain comes back we yell, “Just heal already!  Get over it!  You are making a big deal out of nothing.”  As if we could heal our own hearts.  I hate to break it to you, but we can’t heal our own hearts.  Only God can.  So the big question is, why does He allow this pain in our lives?  What if we are innocent like Job, yet all this pain and suffering comes our way?  What many Christians will come to realize is that the biggest turning points in their relationship with God is usually during the most painful periods of their lives.  That is when you realize that you need something strong to hold on to, or else you will shatter into a million pieces.  You suddenly realize all the things you put your faith and trust in you can’t depend on after all.  Everything in life suddenly becomes a blur and you can’t find meaning and purpose anymore.  You thought you had your life under control, and all the sudden your worst nightmares are coming around.  Sometimes we need to be broken in order to realize how much we need God, how important it is for us to be deeply rooted in Him.  When life is good, we easily forget the importance of the Solid Rock in our lives.  But when all hell breaks loose, that is by far the best reality check for us.  He is teaching us to grow and dwell in Him, so that we can have a closer relationship with Him.  We shouldn’t be growing numb to Him!  When we are in distress He will “Woo you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…”  Sometimes growing closer to God is a painful process, but it is absolutely worth the pain, because God’s love is better than life.

For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.-Isaiah 25:4

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?-Romans 8:35

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance” -James 1:2-3

“Lord my God, I called to You for help, and you healed me.”-Psalm 30:2

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bible verse, Christian, devotion, Uncategorized

God is the Ultimate Artist

“But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”-Isaiah 64:8

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.-Ephesians 4:20-24

 
 When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a young age, I truly believed God was magnificent and was the ultimate creative Genius. I mean, He made this world and the galaxies right? I remember getting my first pair of glasses and being completely blown away by the detail and the beauty He created in this world.  I remember in particular seeing a tree in a complete new way. I was totally blind before to all the leaves on the tree and how the wind made them sway in the light.  Before, when I did not have glasses, the tree was just one big fuzzy blob.  Of course if I held a leaf close to my eyes I could see the beauty and detail, but seeing it all together far away was a different story.  When God begins to transform us, we see the little obvious things, but are often blind to the whole picture.  We need the word of God to help us see and understand His will.  The Bible is like my new pair of glasses.  To all of you who have good vision, when you think of a leaf on a tree, do you think of a realistic detailed tree covered in leaves or a big fuzzy blob that sort of resembles a tree?  Maybe that is how some Christians view being resurrected in Christ,  they know the basics, that they should turn from their sin and repent.  They focus on the painful part, the part they immediately feel and see.  But they forget the beautiful masterpiece they will become.  When they think of the whole picture they see the fuzzy blob, not the beautiful detailed tree God created that is like a fingerprint, different and unique in the way it was created.  It takes time, patience, and faith when you let God transform you.  He makes us face our sins and turn away from them, which is painful.  We begin to lose hope and forget He is making us new.  The more you surrender and become like Christ, the more you become the beautiful masterpiece He created you to be.   God is the Creator of you and me, the world, the galaxies, the sun and stars, and infinitely so much more. God has quite the imagination, in the best possible ways. I will forever be in awe of that!

The reason I am bringing up how awesome and creative God is because I think a lot of people think of God the wrong way. Some may think God is boring and is trying to suck all of the joy out of our lives when He transforms us. Or at least, a lot of Christians act that way. We walk around, miserable because we don’t know how to have fun or enjoy the life He has given us because we were born and raised in the world.  We only knew how to have “fun” and enjoy life from the worlds perspective. The world and even churches are putting God in a box. Why!? What is wrong with dancing if it is done for the glory of God? What is wrong with eating certain kinds of food if done for the Glory of God?  We should find joy in the new life He has given us.  Our God is not boring!  “Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.”-Psalm 149:3   “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.”-1 Corinthians 10:31

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.-Proverbs 17:22

I could go on because I know there are Christians who are out there that are miserable and do not have the joy of the Lord because they forget the joy life brings. Yes, we are sinful, and we must no longer live in sin, but God created laughter! He created joy, happiness, music, art, and every good thing ever created. We just can’t pervert these things, we can’t use them in the way God never created them to be used. For example we should not enjoy hurting others, and we should not degrade beautiful women in music that brings out lust. We also should not eat to the point we almost kill ourselves.  The world has perverted a lot of things God intended for good.

“The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body,it is raised a spiritual body.”-1 Corinthians 15:41-44

I hope this verse brings Christ followers comfort and joy when they read this passage. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, and in this chapter he was explaining to the Corinthian Christians the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of believers though Him. They had gotten through the first step, professing and believing Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that He conquered death when He rose from the dead. But they couldn’t seem to understand how those who believe could also be risen from the dead and die to their own sins. I think a lot of Christians today feel that same way, I know I did. What does it mean to be fully transformed and made alive in Christ?

When we ask Christ into our hearts, prepare for a transformation. Prepare to be made alive! When you are made alive, that is when you experience true joy, love, peace the way they were created to be experienced. All while you are walking in a sweet fellowship with God.  That means we do not get transformed into cold, miserable, Christians that all look and act alike. That is what I started to dread as I grew older, that I would be turned into something I’m not and would lose my imagination and the things that make me who I am as a person. To me, it seemed everyone was trying to be something they weren’t, and I didn’t want to be like them. Man, how I used to be deceived. We should trust God and really get to know how awesome He is. (We find out more about Him by praying, reading His word, and having fellowship)  When He transforms us through Christ, we become alive and more into what He wants us to be. And that is not into a boring and miserable person. God didn’t make a black and white world did He? Didn’t He create all the different sunsets and all the colors on the rainbow? Imagine what He wants to do with you! We are the masterpiece and He is the Artist! So no, He does not want cookie cutter Christians, He wants you to be who He created you to be. He doesn’t want us to look like each other, but like Him.  “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”-Genesis 1:27

God is infinitely beautiful, so when we start to look like Him, we will have different gifts and ways of showing love.  We will be beautiful in different ways.  But the one thing we will have in common is Christ.  Also, our “fruits” will be the same, because they are given to us by the Holy Spirit who dwells in those made new in Christ.  Christ is our rock, and we must ALL be deeply rooted in Him.  Let God transform your mind to be like Christ’s, and allow Him to raise you from the dead.   Turn from the sin, follow Christ, and let His love and light fill you. Let Him make you beautiful in His own eyes, and be prepared to be blown away.  “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.-Psalm 139:14″

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.-Ephesians 2:10

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The Faith that Heals

“So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.”-Mark 5:24-29

Can I just say I really think this passage powerful.  I chose to share this passage because in many ways, I can relate to this woman. And believe it or not, I bet a lot of you can relate also.  Through personal experience and from hearing other people’s stories, I realized there is a lot of suffering in the world. Actually, that fact is pretty much a no brainer.  There are the obvious ones, usually physical, that come to my mind. There is homelessness, addictions, abuse, starvation, and so on.   I can see that some people in the world are doing all they can to help pull people out of these situations, whether it be someone in another country or whether it be a loved one.   But a lot of times what we do not realize ourselves is that we too are suffering, even the people who seem to have perfect lives. There too many people suffering from depression, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, anger, and so on. These things have the power to get so big that they consume our lives. We try everything we can to get rid of these things, because we KNOW they cause us suffering and pain. We try exercising, meditating, focusing on our goals, even medication.  We do all we can to free ourselves from our suffering. And here is the problem, it isn’t working. And sometimes these “cures” may help temporarily (just like money), but the suffering always comes back around. Another issue is how can we help pull others out of suffering when we can’t even pull ourselves out of our own suffering?

“At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” His disciples answered, “and yet you can ask,’Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”- Mark 5:30-34

This part made me want to cry my eyes out.  What was the cure for this woman’s suffering?  It wasn’t good works, money, or medication.  It was her faith in Jesus.  All those twelve years she had been putting her faith into the wrong things.  She was so desperate that she didn’t even wait to ask Jesus to heal her, she just went to Him and had the faith that if she just touched His clothes, she would be healed.  And guess what?  She was FREED from her suffering.  If we just have faith that Jesus is who He said He is, the Son of God, and we put our trust in Him and give Him our everything, how much suffering and bondage will we be freed from.  Praise God, because in Christ we have found the ultimate cure.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” -John 8:36

“‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.”-1 Peter 2:24

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”.-Psalm 103:2-5

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”-Matthew 11:28-30

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