Musical Monday’s song of the day is “This Is Me” as sung by the lovely and talented Demi Lovato in Disney’s Camp Rock. Take a listen.
The reason I love this song is because it’s about someone realizing who she really is. I think everyone can relate to that. As I’ve gone through my healing process with God, He’s been showing me who I really am. Who He made me to be. Not what people spoke over me. Not what I tried to be based on what everyone thought of me. But me. The child of the Most High God. The one He created with purpose before the foundation of the world.
A man much wiser than me once told me, “Jilly, it’s not about what you do. It’s not about your “ministry.” It’s about being who God made you to be. When you finally embrace and become who He made you to be, everything will flow naturally from that.”
At the time I was like WHAT the heck does that mean? Now I get it. Until I saw myself from God’s perspective. Until I allowed God to heal me and restore me. Until I let go of what people have said to me and told me and called me and believed about me. Until I can fully embrace who I was created to be, the real me, I will not be able fully receive what God has for me.
Knowing who you are is essential. Knowing whose you are is essential.
Do you know that YOU are the Beloved of God? Not just loved, but beloved. Adored.
Do you know that God calls you good? Everything He created He calls good. He knows your potential, what you are capable of, and your strengths. He also knows your weaknesses and what things you’ll need Him to do for you. And He loves you even when you screw up and fall down and make a huge mess. His love never wavers or changes. Jeremiah 31:1, “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
You may be thinking, but you don’t know what I’ve done. You’re right there. But most of you don’t know what I’ve done either. And since God loves me, I know He loves you too. He’s not a respecter of persons. What He’ll do for one, He’ll do for all.
You may be thinking that you are a mistake or that you weren’t wanted. Maybe you have a parent that deserted you. Maybe you were the product of a bad relationship, a rape, a one-night stand. Maybe you were given up for adoption. Maybe you were the product of an affair. Maybe you’ve been rejected or abandoned by those who should have loved and protected you. To all of you I want to tell you what God told me:
“I can turn around any situation. Resurrection and restoration are My specialties. I bring life out of death. I bring good from bad. You are the good that I worked out of your parent’s bad relationship. I saw their decisions. Both the wise and unwise decisions. You may have been a surprise to them. But you were not a surprise to me. I knew you before I created the world. I knew what your parents would choose. And you, you my precious daughter, are the good I created from that bad situation. You are the life I brought from death.”
This revelation. This message. Changed. Everything. It rocked me to my core. I always thought I was a mistake that should not have been born. Since I was a mistake God’s promises for a good plan and purpose didn’t apply to me. I truly believed that I had to take what was left. Scraps. That there was no good plan for me because I was not meant to be. That’s truly what I thought. Those thoughts were LIES from an enemy who hates me. Not from the God who loves me. God said, that He planned me before the foundation of the world! I was planned and chosen and known before God even created land on the planet Earth! I matter to God.
And guess what? So were you and so do you! You are made in His image and you matter to Him. Who you are is beautiful! Who you are is unique! So why would you want to be anything other than who He created you to be?
This is truth. Receive it. Believe it. Accept it. Speak it.
Deep Thought of the Day: Being a doer of the Word is actually loving God.
I woke up this morning hearing this: “Just do it, Jill. Just do what I told you to do.” This made me think of James 1:22, “Be a doer of the Word, and not hearers only.” Being a doer simply means you apply what you hear to your everyday life.
Here’s James 1:22-24 in NLT: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”
When I first started learning about God’s grace and mercy it seemed like a contradiction to what James talks about. On one hand you have the verses about resting and letting God do the work, then on the other hand you have be a doer of the word and faith without works is dead. So which is right?
They both are. God’s Word never contradicts itself. We are supposed to rest in God and partner with Him. But our part of that partnership is obedience to the Word of God. Meaning you apply the Word to your life. It’s that simple.
What I find most interesting about being a doer is that God actually links our choice to obey His Word with our love for Him.
Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love Me, obey my commandments.”
He says in John 15:10, “When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
I John 5:2-3, “We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”
Now before you start scrolling on back to Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy for all the laws and requirements. Remember that Jesus gave us only two commandments: ‘”You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:34-40
The point is that when we walk in love and act in love, we are being a doer of the Word. When we are being a doer of the Word we are being obedient, growing, maturing and loving God all at the same time. Many birds, one stone.
Word Nerd Note: The Greek word for ‘hearers only’ is akroates. In classical Greek times akroates was used to describe people who audited a class. (Taken from “Sparkling Gems from the Greek” by Rick Renner.) These were people who went to lectures for entertainment.
A Biblical example of these akroates would be the people Paul preached to in Athens (see Acts 17). They were all about listening to what Paul had to say and learn about this “unknown god” but when it came down to accepting Jesus and living for Him, sadly they passed.
FYI: Today’s Bible Version is the New Living Translation (NLT)
I had a dream last night that God called me into His office and I’m sitting across the desk from Him and He starts talking me about how He does not need entertainment therefore we do not need to put on a show or perform flawlessly. What He wants….longs for…desires…is for people to seek Him wholeheartedly. The wholeheartedly part matters.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
Everyone focusus on verse 11. God has a plan for me! God has a future for me! That’s great and true, because He absolutely does! BUT don’t forget the context. Don’t miss the seeking God wholeheartedly part. The plan and the purpose are God’s part. It’s also God’s part to listen to you, deliver you and restore you. What’s your part? Your part is to seek Him wholeheartedly.
Do you know what will be possible for you if you are wholeheartedly His????
Look at the life of Caleb. He did amazing feats even in his 80’s simply because He believed God with his whole heart. Most people remember Joshua because he was the leader after Moses and has his own book in the Bible. But Caleb is my favorite! He stood with Joshua against the rest of the Israelites. He was one of 2 people who left Egypt as an adult that made it into the Promised Land. ONE OF TWO! All because he believed God wholeheartedly. He never waivered. His attitude was “God said it and that’s all I need to know.”
Caleb’s story reminds me that it doesn’t matter what I can or cannot do. What matters is what I believe and who I belong to.
Check out: Numbers 14:24, Numbers 32:12 and Deuteronomy 1:36 for the evidence of Caleb’s whole heart approach to serving God.
PS: Caleb comes from Col-all or whole and Lev-heart. His name actually means whole heart. Love it!!
Watch this video from Jason Gray. The revelation blew my mind. The song’s good too.
Today’s Deep Thought: If you really want to do big things, you must learn to abide in God
Jesus, Himself, said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 4:6-11
This speaks to me of becoming one with God, entering a true partnership. We do our part, God does His.
Our part is to obey what God has told us to do even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if we don’t understand why. Then we rest, knowing God is faithful. Then, we wait. We trust. Be believe. We speak His word. We stand on His promises. We praise Him for what He’s doing and going to do. We thank Him for what He’s done. We seek His presence. And then we receive from Him. This is our part.
God’s part is everything else. Yes. You heard me. Everything else is God’s part. He’s a big God so it’s easy for Him. But He needs you to partner with Him. He needs you to trust Him. He needs you to abide.
You will have amazing adventures with Him. You will do things that you never dreamt or imagined were possible. But you won’t be doing them alone. You’ll be doing them with Him and in His power. That’s why being connected to the vine is so essential! We need His power to do those amazing things.
Abiding in God is remaining steadfast. Believing that no matter the way we feel or what the situation looks like God is who He says He is and will do what He said He will do.
God abiding in us means that He strengthens us every day. Fresh anointing. Fresh grace. More love. He never leaves or forsakes us.
Abide: To remain; continue; stay. To endure, sustain. To wait for; await. To accept without opposition or question. To act in accord with; to submit to; agree to. To remain steadfast or faithful to; keep. Synonyms: 1. wait. 2. live. 3. persevere, endure.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud” I Corinthians 13:4
God isn’t puffed up in pride. Look at Jesus. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. Ultimate humility shown by ultimate power. That’s love.
“Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”John 13:1-9 (NLT)
To sum it all up, choosing to serve in humility is the action of love and the opposite of pride.