The Book of Jeremiah

I’m going through Jeremiah for the second time and am viewing it very differently. The first time I read it, I was saddened thinking about how God’s own chosen people could so drastically turn away and anger God so much. This time as I read it, I see God’s unfailing and everlasting love. He gives His people chances and opportunities to repent in order for GOD to CHANGE His mind and not destroy them, even though He has seen all that they do. God never wants to hurt us, but He will never share His glory with another. Holiness. There is no sin nor impurity that can stand in the presence of the Most High God. He longs for us to rid ourselves of it, because if we don’t, He will. But He loves us and is patient, giving us time to reconcile with Him. Praise God.

What Do I Know Of “Holy?”

I made You promises a thousand times
I’ve tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all
If You touched my face, would I know You?
Looked into my eyes, could I behold You?

So what do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So what do I know? What do I know of “Holy?”

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
But those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of “Holy?”
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life its name?
What do I know of “Holy?”
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

What do I know of “Holy?”

Tomorrow

Jesus said, “Here I stand
Won’t you please let me in?”
And you said, “I will
Tomorrow”

Jesus said, “I am he
Who supplies all your needs”
And you said, “I know,
But tomorrow”

Tomorrow
I’ll give my life
Tomorrow
I thought about today
Oh, but it’s so much easier to say

Tomorrow
Who promised you
Tomorrow?
Better choose the LORD today
For “tomorrow” very well might be today

Jesus said, “Here I stand
Won’t you please take my hand?”
And you said, “I will
Tomorrow”

Jesus said, “I am he
Who supplies all your needs”
And you said, “I know,
But tomorrow”

Tomorrow
I’ll give my life
Tomorrow
I thought about today
Oh, but it’s so much easier to say

Tomorrow
Who promised you
Tomorrow?
Better choose the LORD today
For “tomorrow” very well might be today

And who said your tomorrow would ever come for you?
Still you laugh and play and continue on to say

Tomorrow
Forget about
Tomorrow
Won’t you give your life today?
Oh, please
Don’t just turn and walk away

Tomorrow
Tomorrow is not promised
Don’t let this moment slip away
Your “tomorrow” could very well be today

aHA!

So he apologized to me. The first apology was not a real apology. The second was close, but didn’t quite make it. The third… that was it. He sent me three of the longest messages ever, just saying in different ways that he was sorry and that he wished the best for me.

He didn’t (or doesn’t) understand why I still love him… why I still show him compassion and love and grace and mercy. He was being a very, very, very mean person, so why would I forgive him? Why would I embrace him and tell him that everything’s okay? Why would I even acknowledge him after all he’s said to me?

Well, God sent His son to die for us, while we were yet in sin. While we were hating him, mocking him, KILLING HIM, He still loved us. He knew that without love, we’d never make it. He knew that without showing grace and mercy, we’d be headed straight toward destruction. He knew that without offering forgiveness through a once-and-for-all sacrifice, we would never stop spilling blood to cover our sins, and God loves obedience to His Word far more than He loves sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22).

We are called to be like Christ. Should we not extend as much love and mercy and forgiveness as we humanly can and time and time again? YES! 🙂 God did it for us so let’s do it for the world!

So, why the “aHA!”? Well, I believe that the enemy tried to throw me off course. I believe that he tried to make me stumble and fall back into sin. I did, I will admit, but God has forgiven me and I praise and thank Him for that. I thought this was all just a move of the enemy. But of course, and we can reference the book of Job for this, God doesn’t allow the enemy to do anything without His permission. God knew what He was doing. The enemy might have meant to crush me, but in the end, God taught me a lesson, and I praise and thank God for that! Hallelujah! Gloria Dios!

For a while (before all this happened) I believed God was showing me what it was really like to be a Christian. And I thought He stopped when I got caught up in this mess… but He didn’t. I was just too caught up and in the middle of it all to realize what the LORD was doing. (Though honestly, I probably wouldn’t have realized it until the end anyway even if I wasn’t in such a mess.)

As Hosea was told by the LORD to marry a prostitute to understand God’s love for Israel despite her unfaithfulness, I believe God showed me how to love someone no matter what they do to hurt you. No matter how many times they bash you or hurt themselves or make you feel like just some girl and on purpose,… you love that person anyway.

I realized this yesterday morning in church. God never stops working. We just have to do our best to remain faithful and know that if we remain righteous and dependent on God, He will work everything out for our good and His glory. God won’t let the devil win. The enemy has already lost… so aHA!

Mark 13

From October 14…

Mark 13 is heavy on my heart tonight… “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” (Mark 13:34-37 NLT)

Why do we sin…? Because we’re human and because we’re fleshly. We have lustful desires and we sin. But WHY? The temptation is always there but is it ever worth it? Can we begin to exercise our willpower THAT GOD GAVE US and say, “No! Get behind me, satan!” to our temptations? Because what if… What if that ONE time you give in, you hear the trumpets? That ONE time, you see the Son of Man (behold, he comes!) riding on the clouds? How ashamed would we be if Jesus the Christ himself returned to earth to gather God’s chosen and we are caught in our mess?

It turns into a question of, “Who do we love more? Our God or our sin?” One cannot have two masters.

Be alert. He’s coming soon.

Salvation

A lot of people have different views on what salvation really is… Some say Jesus died for our sins but preach that you absolutely positively MUST live a holy life or your salvation will be at stake. Some say that since Jesus died, we can do what we want because we are “covered by the blood.” Well yes, we do need to live a holy life but that is in no way necessary to have salvation and unless you have made and/or professed another being or thing to be your god then once you become saved, your salvation is set. “I’m convinced, I’m persuaded: I will not be separated from the love I have in You ’cause neither death nor life can sever; neither height nor depth can measure the love we have and my love for You.”
We are also covered by the blood, por supuesto, but that should never be an excuse for sin or unrighteousness. How can God bless you and give you everything He has for you-a long and full life-if you’re too busy willingly walking in sin? And while some walk in sin, they still claim the name of God. Don’t you think that’s confusing to non-believers and those who are unsure or skeptical? How can we say that we are living a life for God if we’re living and dressing and acting and speaking like everyone else?
I’ve gotten off-topic, but I believe, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that once you are saved, your salvation is set. Live a life as holy as you can, always call on the LORD when you are weak, and know that He is forever opening His arms to you, no matter how many times you fall. Keep God your one and only God and call on His great name alone. Do not blaspheme the Spirit and do not worship any idols. Jesus didn’t die so that we could remain married to the law. Yes, the law sets us free but if we live according to it, we are bound and chained. If that was our only means of salvation then it would be sacrifice after sacrifice; blood spilled after blood spilled. But there has been one perfect sacrifice. Need I say His name? The name above all names!!
My people, live according to God’s grace and sin will become despicable to you. My brothers and sisters, if you long to be saved, confess without shame, and believe in the LORD with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength then what now can ever pluck you from the Master’s hand? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Sin Is Sin

Last week was Senior Week at QU and it was madness. They held a concert for the graduating seniors who were 21 and over, so of course, they had lots of alcohol freely flowing about. So I get on Facebook and see this girl from the Christian Fellowship group post a video from the concert dancing and just having a good time. There was nothing in the video showing her drinking or anything but I thought to myself, ‘How can a Christian go to a party like that?‘ I mean, she is a CHRISTIAN, after all.

But then I remembered, “Don’t judge others just because they sin differently than you.” Now, I can neither say that she was or was not “sinning” at the event but personally, I definitely would not want to be caught dancing and partying to worldly music on a college campus during senior week surrounded by tipsy young adults drinking beer and other types of alcohol.

God keeps me humble. Pretty much as soon as I thought that, I remembered my own sin and how I fall short of God’s glory daily. There are things that I do that I know I shouldn’t. There are things that I don’t even realize I’m doing that are indeed sins. So who am I to judge anyone else? Who am I to even think that I can? There is one Judge, and one Judge only. God keeps me humble.

God Is So Good (A Letter)

You are good

You are good

You are good

And Your mercy is forever…

Dear God,

I am such a sinner. I don’t know why You love me. I don’t know why You sent Your Son to die for people who are stuck in sin- people like me. I don’t know why You love me SO MUCH. You are in love with me. Me, who didn’t do anything to deserve Your love. Me, who has done nothing but constantly fail You. Me, who knows what is right then does the opposite, regretting it later but then going back to it again. Me. A sinner. I don’t know why You keep forgiving me. I don’t know why You keep giving me chances. I don’t understand Your love but I am thankful for Your love. So thankful. Without Your love, I would not be able to write this letter. Without Your love, I would not be where I am in my life right now. Without Your love, I would be headed to destruction definitely. I can’t understand it. I can’t understand You. I can’t even begin to understand the fullness of Your love. You love me and are in love with me. I don’t know why. I love You and I am in love with You. There are reasons upon reasons for that. You are so worthy and faithful and kind and compassionate and You understand every little thing we do. You see our hearts… LORD, I love You. I don’t know why You love me but I am grateful for Your love.

Love Always,

Hija

Don’t Call Me Religious!!!

Okay, you guys. This is a burning… whatever you want to call it. My face squinches up whenever someone describes me (or even themselves) as “religious.” You know who was religious? The Pharisees. The Pharisees were religious. The religious people in the Bible were those who strictly abided by the law of Moses and were quick to punish someone who did not (like dragging a woman caught in adultery, who may not even have had clothes on, to Jesus [John 8:1-11]). Though in reality, they were pretty corrupt themselves. I don’t know too too much about them (I’ll probably write on them specifically when I get to the New Testament), but I do know that those were the people who were the ones who were trying to stone Jesus (who must have been an incredibly fast runner, by the way… always slipping away like that). JESUS, I said!! The One Who came to save! The religious people in the Bible were the ones who read the Word of God but when Jesus came and God’s Word “came true,” for lack of better words, they did not even (all) believe Jesus was the Messiah. (They were divided at certain points… In John 9 when Jesus healed a man born blind on the Sabbath and the man brought himself to the Pharisees, “Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?’ So there was a deep division of opinion among them.” [John 9:16]) I don’t want to get too much into the religious people of the Bible because I have not read the New Testament in full and do not want to say anything that is not true. But I just wanted to give that “background information,” you could say.

The religious people today, to me, are the shake your finger, point your finger, tell you you’re “going to hell” if you don’t change, “God don’t like ugly”-saying, “God hates you if you’re xyz”-believing people. What IS that? We can’t speak for God UNLESS it is written in His Word (and we use that specific word correctly) or He directly (and sometimes indirectly, but we have to be careful) speaks to us. Romans 5:6-8 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NKJV) If God did not love us or hated us for our sin, He never would have sent Jesus to die for us! God is the God of LOVE, not hate! So for someone, in my opinion, to say that God hates a person because of a sin they commit makes NO sense! Does God even say that He hates anyone in the Bible? Again, I’ve yet to read it in its entirety but in the Old Testament when He was warning the Israelites to not live as those He was driving out of the Promised Land in Deuteronomy, He says that He gives us the CHOICE of a blessing or a curse. God did not want to curse them! He LOVED them. The SINS the people were committing were detestable to God, NOT the people. How many times did the Israelites break the rules? How many times did God show His love and faithfulness? Mhm! Deuteronomy 23:4-5 says that though Balaam, son of Beor, was hired to curse the Israelites, he wasn’t able to. 5″But the LORD your God refused to listen to Balaam. He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the LORD your God loves you.” (NLT) And in Isaiah 1:18, God shows His love for us when He says, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'” (NKJV) LOVE! We are sinners by nature, therefore, everyone who has said, does say, and will say that commits sins as well! And a sin is a sin is a sin! If you break one Commandment, you have broken them all! James 2:10 says, “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” (NLT) So no one could ever say that God hates you because you sin this way, but loves me because I only sin in this “little” way. And sin does not only come by breaking the Commandments. If a person knows that something- ANYTHING is wrong and then does it, that is a sin! James 4:17 says to “Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” Whether it is boasting in anyone but the Lord, not tithing (which is robbing from God, but there is so much more to tithing than just giving, so I may have to get into that later), swearing, becoming drunk, partying, etc. How many times do any of us do something feel the need to go through the ol’ have-fun-today-then-go-to-church-and-repent-on-Sunday process? Seriously, none of us can say that we are more right with God than anyone else. We do not know a person’s struggle and lifestyle like God does, nor do we even know our own like He does! God loves us IN SPITE of our sins! And He always has! That’s why He sent Jesus to SAVE us and DIE for us so that we may LIVE for Him then eventually live WITH Him! Amen! That deserves a “HALLELUJAH!”

But I think I have gotten off topic… haha. But basically, “religious” people, to me, are those who condemn, rather than convict. People who speak out of disgust to “change” a person, rather than out of love to help them. I am not religious. I can’t think of a word to describe my faith or relationship with God, but one thing’s for sure: “Religious” is not the word!