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Feelings are not facts

I had a conversation with a friend last week about discerning God’s voice and understanding our feelings. We connected on the amount of times we have been led astray by our feelings, thinking they were the Holy Spirit guiding us, but looking back, we couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a trap we’ve fallen into time and time again. Anyone else relate?⁠ My friend and I have both reached a point where we continually have to remind ourselves, “Feelings are not facts.”⁠⠀

When I asked my hubby Luke what I should post about this week, he said, “I think we really need to be reminded to have God’s Word written on our hearts.” This made me think of my conversation with my friend. When God’s Word is written on our hearts, we become led more by His Word and His way and less likely to be led astray by strong feelings we have. His Word directs our thoughts and actions.⁠⠀

That’s not to say our feelings are bad though! God created us in His image and likeness and part of that was creating us with feelings. But I’m also learning that God created our feelings with intent and a specific purpose. A verse that comes to mind is “be angry and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26) God expects us to feel – again, He created us this way! – but we are not to sin in our feelings. We are to trust in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).⁠⠀

Hoping to dive deeper into this topic over the coming weeks… perhaps I’ll start with the Psalms (so many feelings)! But for today, let’s pray God will write His Word on our hearts, let’s be in the Word daily, praying for understanding and trusting in what He says… His Word is TRUTH! 🙌🏻 Let’s compare our feelings to what God says in Scripture and trust His ways are higher and better than ours.⁠⠀

Instead of asking, “How do I feel about this?” ask, “What does God’s Word say about this?”⁠⠀

Put your faith in Christ today. You can trust Him completely. 🖤

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What to do when you read a Scripture passage that’s hard to understand

As we read the Bible, coming across a passage that’s hard to understand is going to happen and that is totally normal! So, let’s talk about what to do when we read a Scripture passage that’s hard to understand:⁠⠀

1) Pray for understanding⁠⠀
2) Read study Bible notes or a commentary (I love my ESV Study Bible)⁠⠀
3) Ask an older, wiser sister or brother in Christ⁠⠀
4) Trust God is good and that He never changes⁠⠀
5) Again… Pray!⁠⠀

If you missed my previous posts on how to read the Bible – in just 4 easy steps, here that is again:⁠⠀

1) Pray for wisdom and understanding⁠⠀
2) What are the facts? What’s happening?⁠⠀
3) What do you learn about God? Humanity? Yourself?⁠⠀
4) How will you apply what you learned to your life?⁠⠀

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we all can learn to interpret Scripture as God intended. Let’s open our Bibles this week, learn, and allow God’s Word to transform our lives and ways of thinking!⁠

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Psalm 145:17

My husband and I have been doing a 90-day Bible reading plan this summer – listening on the Bible app at what feels like lightning speed! As I was listening through the Psalms, this verse stood out to me:⁠⠀

“the LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works.” -Psalm 145:17 ESV⁠⠀

This truth – this promise – is true for all time. It’s a reminder the church needs to remember right now. It’s a reminder we must always rest in as individuals, families, and communities. Our God is ALWAYS kind and ALWAYS righteous in His will and His way.⁠⠀

As I sit here and reflect on God’s kindness and righteousness, I’m reminded again that because of our sin, we are deserving of death, but through the blood of Christ, all who put their faith in Him are extended immeasurable grace and promised eternal life!⁠⠀

As believers, we cling to this promise, this hope – this confident assurance – through trials and seasons of suffering. We were not promised an easy life, in fact, we were promised we would suffer as Christ suffered. If our goal is to be made more like Him over the course of our lives, how could we not suffer in that process? He suffered the wrath of God so we wouldn’t have to. What kindness!⁠⠀

And I see His kindness in His commands. He tells us exactly what to do to avoid personal destruction and find life and peace. Even His warnings are an outpouring of His compassion!⁠⠀

Praise Jesus! Put your faith in Him. Worship Him – our righteous, kind God who never changes. 🙌🏽🙌🏿🙌🏻⁠

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Ephesians 2:8-9

After my “Am I Saved?” post a couple weeks ago, I thought it would be beneficial to expand on ‘evidence’ of salvation vs. ‘assurance’ of salvation.⁠⠀

According to the Bible, salvation is about what God has done, not what we have done:⁠⠀

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV⁠⠀

I received a handful of comments and questions about works and baptism in regards to assurance of salvation and I wanted to acknowledge them here, since I’m guessing more had questions than reached out. To put it as simply as I can:⁠⠀

For assurance of salvation, we look to God – what He has done and promises in His Word.⁠⠀

If we have put our faith and hope in Jesus Christ, all we need to look to for assurance of salvation is His work on the cross and the promises He has spoken to us through Scripture. It’s that simple!⁠⠀

Now, this does not mean that water baptism and works are not important – they are extremely important! They are both commands by God, evidence of salvation, and God uses them to sanctify us (make us more like Christ). We should look to the ways God is working in our hearts and lives and thank Him for that! But, assurance of salvation doesn’t start there.⁠⠀

Salvation starts with God. It starts with grace. It starts with Christ offering Himself as a sacrifice for all sinners who put their faith in Him. So when we put our faith in Him, where do we look to? His grace. The Gospel. His promises. Scripture. JESUS.⁠⠀

Are you in need of assurance of salvation? Who are you looking to for that assurance? You or God?⁠⠀

If you are wrestling with salvation, go back to my “Am I Saved?” post from a couple weeks ago. Read all of the slides, look into the resources I mentioned on the last two slides, and pray. Ask God to give you understanding and to show you what He wants you to learn. If you need assurance, ask Him to give you assurance. ⁠⠀

*Another helpful resource is Episode 99 (titled: Assurance of Salvation) of the Just Thinking Podcast (@podcast_just)

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In God We Trust

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” -James 1:2-3 ESV⁠⠀

American sisters and brothers in Christ, as we approach Independence Day during this unique time in history, with so many issues coming into the light – division, injustice, hypocrisy, hate, spiritual blindness… SIN – let’s not forget God commands us to rejoice in trials and suffering.⁠⠀

In Christ, we can still celebrate and rejoice because we know that trials of various kinds are used by God to produce steadfastness – unwavering loyalty, faithfulness, deep commitment to our God and to loving people. ALL people – even people who look different than us, people who hold different political beliefs, people who might genuinely hate us and Christ.⁠⠀

When we rejoice in trials and suffering, we are opening the door for the Holy Spirit to move in our hearts to make us more like Christ. This is such a gift and a huge reason to give thanks!⁠⠀

This Fourth of July, let’s be grateful for the good we see and experience. Let’s praise God that He is trustworthy! That He keeps His promises! Let’s walk through this season in humility – praising, confessing, and asking… seeking wisdom in the Word of God.⁠⠀

Because Jesus came to us, offered His own life as a sacrifice for sin, and overcame all sin, death, and the depravity of the world through His resurrection, there is always hope! He is ALIVE today! He is with us and He will return one day to restore all things! 🙌🏻🙌🏽🙌🏿⁠⠀

In God, We Trust. 🇺🇸⁠⠀

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Focus on how big our God is

Wise words from my husband. 🧡💛⁠⠀

These days, I’m easily overwhelmed by the problems in our world that need redeeming. They seem too big and I often wonder how we will come out of this season and how long it will last. As a highly sensitive person, it all really effects me mentally and emotionally.⁠⠀

I do know God is using it to build my trust in Him and as I shared my feelings with my sweet husband Luke the other day, He said, “Don’t focus on how big the problems are. Focus on how big our God is.” Those were the exact words I needed to hear. I was on the verge of spiraling once again and those words re-centered me on Christ.⁠⠀

Luke and I are not saying to ignore the problems. But, we can’t let them take center stage. When we focus on God through trials, a big part of that is asking Him to give us eyes to see things the way He does.⁠⠀

Our God is the Creator of the universe. He keeps all of His promises. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). He overcame sin and death and is the Redeemer of all things.⁠⠀

I know God has unique lessons for each one of us to learn in these difficult times. What is He teaching you through it all? If you’re having trouble seeing, ask Him to open your eyes to what He wants to show you in this season.⁠⠀

If you haven’t yet put your faith in Christ, today can be the day of salvation! You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You were never meant to. Surrender your life, your heart, soul, and mind to Christ. He wants to set you free (Isaiah 61)!⁠

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God is Amazing.

The Gospel.⁠⠀

Who is the focus? Jesus.⁠⠀

Solid truth always has God, His character, His heart… THE GOSPEL at the center. ⠀

Let’s pray for wisdom. Let’s pray for discernment and compare everything we hear and read to what God says in the Bible. Let’s follow leaders and influencers who exalt Jesus and the Bible above their own words and experiences. Let’s center our beliefs – minds, hearts, souls… our entire way of living on Him alone.⁠⠀

Here are a few truths that come to mind that help me personally with discernment and guard me against false teachings and false ways of thinking:⠀

▪️Jesus says, “Follow Me.” (Matthew 4:19)⁠⠀

▪️Jesus is enough. (Romans 8:1-8)⁠⠀

▪️No one is righteous on their own. Through Christ we are declared righteous. (Romans 3:10-12)⁠⠀

▪️Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5-6)⁠⠀

▪️There is one Truth and it’s what God has spoken through His Word (the Bible). (John 15:6 & 2 Timothy 3:16-17)⁠⠀

▪️The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control. (Galatians 5:22-23)⁠⠀

▪️God is amazing. He loves us even though we sin. By grace, through faith He forgives, calls us righteous in His sight, promising eternal life, not because we are good, but because He is good. (John 3:16-21)⁠⠀

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It’s Time To…

Wisdom from our pastor at @mngracechurch. Wanna know what to be doing now?⁠⠀

It’s Time To:⁠⠀

1) Pray for godly change⁠⠀
2) Stay humble – we all have blind spots⁠⠀
3) Be a part of the solution, not the problem⁠⠀
4) Be peacemakers⁠⠀
5) Keep the Gospel central to everything⁠⠀
6) Win people to Christ – it’s the way we change culture⁠⠀
7) Take your cues from God’s Word (not the latest tweet)⁠⠀
8) Have conversations instead of making declarations⁠⠀
9) Do good⁠⠀
10) Love deeply & refuse to let the enemy divide you⁠

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