Love God Greatly http://lovegodgreatly.com Blog Wed, 28 Sep 2016 03:33:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 111578297 When you’re desperate for change in this world… http://lovegodgreatly.com/when-youre-desperate-for-change-in-this-world/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/when-youre-desperate-for-change-in-this-world/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2016 03:13:45 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33728 You’re holding your breath, hoping – praying – something will change. The world is in a mess, after all. Selfishly, you wanted better for yourself. Sincerely, you want better for your children and grandchildren. But with each passing day, it seems that corruption grows stronger and our futures grow more uncertain. It would be gentler…

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You’re holding your breath, hoping – praying – something will change.

The world is in a mess, after all.

Selfishly, you wanted better for yourself. Sincerely, you want better for your children and grandchildren. But with each passing day, it seems that corruption grows stronger and our futures grow more uncertain.

It would be gentler on our consciences to blame everyone from evil terrorists to corrupt politicians, but when we read God’s words and our own corrupt hearts are exposed, we know deep down that it adds up to much more than that. On the exterior we rally for answers to the hot topics that make their way into political debates and the nightly news, yet in our hearts another war is brewing…

We’re letting the sun go down on our anger.

We’re holding grudges for offenses that we shouldn’t still be re-living.

We’re secretly wishing that the ones who wronged us will pay severely.

We’re justifying the sin in our retaliation and pride that tells us that they had it coming.

In our desire to be right, we’ve gotten it all so very wrong. In our desire for an easy fix on the outside, we’ve ignored the problem that resides deep within us.

So what can we do when we’re desperate for change in this world but we don’t know where to start?

Father, let it begin with me.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.– Romans 12:17-21

As much as it depends on YOU…

This is a phrase that is repeated almost daily our home. In fact, I found myself saying it tonight as I gave final kisses and tucked my girl into bed. We don’t even have to finish the sentence because our kids have heard it so much that they finish it for us: “As much as it depends on YOU… live at peace with all men.”

Let’s face it: it would be far easier to put money in the offering plate every week, or maybe serve in a soup kitchen – at least once a year when Thanksgiving rolls around. But choose to forgive others daily? Do right when everyone else is doing wrong? Do my part to live at peace with ALL men? Overcome evil with good? The hard work of human relationships and reconciliation often takes more than we’re willing to give.

But because Jesus gave so that I could have peace with God, that same gospel must overflow into the peace and forgiveness that I extend to others.

So today, what if we each took that first step towards the change we’re so desperate for?

Reach out in humility before the sun goes down.

Acknowledge that grudge that you’ve been holding onto, forgive, and make it a thing of the past.

Sincerely pray for those who have wronged you.

Think of a way to bless someone instead of cursing them, and then shock their socks off and actually DO IT. 

Make that phone call. Pay that visit. Write that note. Stop wasting another day.

Let’s begin within the walls of our homes, then let the overflow of God’s love and forgiveness permeate the world around us.

Father, I’m desperate for change in this world. Let today be the start of something different, and let it begin with me.

At His feet,

 

 

 

*Let’s talk: What’s one thing YOU can do today to overcome evil with good?

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Still needing to purchase our You Are Forgiven book? Here is the direct link on Amazon! Want to start at the beginning of our study? You can find all of our You Are Forgiven Blog Posts and study materials here.

 

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Week 5 – The Call of Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/week-5-call-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/week-5-call-forgiveness/#comments Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:45:41 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33711 THE CALL OF FORGIVENESS Hi Ladies! I am so glad to be here with you for another week of our You Are Forgiven study. I hope that you are changing and growing during this pruning of our hearts, minds, and beliefs throughout this study. It is the beginning of Fall time there in the States,…

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THE CALL OF FORGIVENESS

Hi Ladies! I am so glad to be here with you for another week of our You Are Forgiven study. I hope that you are changing and growing during this pruning of our hearts, minds, and beliefs throughout this study. It is the beginning of Fall time there in the States, and rainy season here in Uganda. I can’t help but liken this process of embracing God’s forgiveness to the changing of the seasons. Change is hard – you see the leaves fall and wither – and yet in the Spring, new life will come! That’s what I’m praying for you and I in this study.

This week I share a hard story about myself. I share the ugliness of my heart and sinfulness of my pride, but also the beauty of grace and forgiveness shown by my precious dad. I hope that you can take some time to read my story because it is in sharing our stories of what Christ has done in each of our lives that we testify to each other and strengthen each other! It was hard to write. It was hard to read once it was in print. I don’t want to admit the sin that is bound up in my heart. But it is also a story of forgiveness, both for the people in my life as well as for myself.

Ephesians 4:32 says this:” Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.”

Because Christ forgave us, it gives us the unnatural ability to do the same for others. This is an invitation to walk in love, just as Christ loved you… which can be oh, so difficult!! But we can pray, like Corrie Ten Boom did (I shared her story in this chapter), “Jesus, help me!” Jesus came to save us so we can be truly free. And as He has forgiven us so much, it frees us when we are able to then turn around and forgive those in our lives.

This is difficult heart work, and I don’t say these things lightly.

I know there are some of you who have had unspeakable things done to you. I know there are those who have struggled for years to forgive those who have wronged them. I know there are those who are in physical pain over the inability to forgive. I am praying for you. God can give us the power and the strength to forgive just like He did Corrie Ten Boom, because we have been forgiven much.

Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving my many sins. Thank You for teaching me that as You have forgiven me, so must I forgive others. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for convicting my heart when self-righteousness and pride reign supreme in my life, and for allowing me to see my need for a Saviour. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

With Love From Uganda,

 

 

 

Week 5 Challenge: This week, I want you to tell a story of forgiveness. It can be your own story, someone you know, or something you read {the Bible has some great examples!}. If you feel comfortable, share your story with us in the comments… testifying to one another about God’s great work is so encouraging! If not, tell someone in your life about it: you kids, your husband, your friends, anyone! Just speak a story of forgiveness this week!

Week 5 Video:

(Can’t see the video? Click here)

Week 5 Reading Plan:

Week 5  Memory Verse:

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Overcoming Faith… http://lovegodgreatly.com/overcoming-faith/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/overcoming-faith/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 02:30:28 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33696 OVERCOMING FAITH Years ago, I came across a prayer that captured my need for Christ perfectly. I printed out its words and tacked it to the bulletin board beside my bunk bed in my college dorm room. “Dear Lord, So far I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy,…

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OVERCOMING FAITH

Years ago, I came across a prayer that captured my need for Christ perfectly. I printed out its words and tacked it to the bulletin board beside my bunk bed in my college dorm room.

“Dear Lord,
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.”

On my own, I am a victim of my selfish humanity. I’m born in sin and a slave to my fleshly passions. No matter how hard I try to live a righteous life, I will always end up defeated and discouraged.

Thankfully, Christ extended His mercy to us all.

While we were still stuck in the mire of sin, He took our place on the cross and paid the penalty for the sins of all humanity. Our Champion rose victoriously from the grave to defeat sin and death forever.

On the day that you surrender your life to Jesus as Savior, the Spirit of the resurrected Christ comes to live in you (Romans 8:11). His overcoming power dwells in your life constantly. You no longer have to live a life weighted down by guilt, doubt, and shame.

Of course, we are not perfectly sinless. We will still stumble sometimes, but we are no longer habitually captive to sin’s power. Faith in Christ unshackles us because we are no longer fighting against sin’s strongholds in our own strength. Every sin is covered by the blood of Christ. As we look to the cross and acknowledge our need for His forgiveness each day, He cleanses us afresh. His overcoming power helps us to say no to our flesh and continue walking forward with full freedom and joy.

D.L. Moody described our new position in Christ beautifully:

He that ‘is born of God overcometh the world’; rising above the storms, and disturbing elements of flesh and nature, and all out of which Christ has risen, it seeks its own native element springing up into everlasting life, like the frigate bird which, when the storms agitate the surface of the ocean, when winds and waves rage in contempt of life on every side, rises aloft into the calm above the storms, and floats securely and tranquilly in that peaceful atmosphere, where it finds itself at home and at rest!”

So, I don’t need to cower under the covers today. Yes, I am going to face tribulation. Yes, I will still mess up and fail miserably sometimes.

But, greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world (I John 4:4).

My sister, in Christ you are more than a conqueror. Sin no longer has a permanent hold on you.

Keep looking to Jesus. Faith is the victory that overcomes every obstacle.

 

Keeping the Faith,

Lyli

 

What a privilege it is to have Lyli Dunbar (LGG Mentor & Encourager Teams) on the blog today! Lyli enjoys road trips with her husband, connecting with women through Bible study, and reading way too many books. She shares how everyday experiences help flesh out her faith at 3-D Lessons for Life. A disciple, wife, educator, and mentor, Lyli is just a girl working to keep the faith day by day.

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It’s not too late to join us for our You Are Forgiven study! Still needing to purchase our You Are Forgiven book? Here is the direct link on Amazon! Thanks so much for supporting our ministry and helping us reach more women with God’s Word!

Want to start at the beginning? You can find all of our You Are Forgiven Blog Posts and study materials here.

 

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Choose to Live in the Freedom of Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/choose-to-live-in-the-freedom-of-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/choose-to-live-in-the-freedom-of-forgiveness/#comments Wed, 21 Sep 2016 02:25:14 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33689   It’s funny, as a mom you tend to get stuck on certain “topics” or “themes” that you seem to go over and over again with your kids like a broken record. Just one more time… let me say it to you just one more time. The type of life we live is many times…

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It’s funny, as a mom you tend to get stuck on certain “topics” or “themes” that you seem to go over and over again with your kids like a broken record. Just one more time… let me say it to you just one more time.

The type of life we live is many times created from the choices we made in our past and the ones we make for our future.

Sweet ones, our choices matter.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”- Romans 6:6-7

We have a choice: are we going to accept the fact that through Jesus’ shed blood, our sins have been forgiven?

Are we going to accept the fact that not only are we no longer slaves… we are now children of God? (Galatians 4:7)

This day, are we going to choose to live in that freedom, embrace it, accept it, and let it change us?

You see, we all have a choice whether or not we will allow our minds and hearts to experience the result of forgiveness.

Will we accept what Christ has done? Will we accept His forgiveness and embrace what that means for our lives moving forward?

Because this choosing to accept and embrace forgiveness is going to be a choice we will have to make EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Let’s face it, every single day we mess up, and we need forgiveness.

And every single day we will have to choose: will we accept Christ’s forgiveness or are we going to allow ourselves to become slaves to the guilt and shame of this sin?

I love what Joy Forney said in chapter 4 of this week’s reading:

“When you sin, ask for His Forgiveness, and then move on. Don’t dwell on the past sins of today, last week, last month, or last year. Those are gone. They are covered, and you are forgiven. Walk in that today. And then tomorrow. And the day after that…” – You Are Forgiven – pg. 98

Each morning when the sun rises and the rays fill your kitchen, remember His promise:

“My mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22)

We are not called to a life of perfection.

We are going to mess up, we are going to struggle with sin. Some days we will win, some days we won’t. But we must choose to fight those battles, and we must choose to seek Jesus, seek His face, ask for forgiveness, and accept His grace.

“I place before you, Life and Death, Blessing, and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him…” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20 MSG

The result of forgiveness is a life lived for God.

And so I talk with my girls in the mornings around our kitchen table about forgiveness, the importance of it, and why I want them to understand how this amazing gift changes their lives.

I want them to choose to accept God’s forgiveness today and all the future tomorrows.

I want them to choose to live in the freedom Christ has paid for them.

I want them to choose life and embrace the love and forgiveness that Jesus offers.

 

Because our choices matter, let’s choose to live in love, forgiveness, and freedom TODAY!

 

Love God Greatly!

 

 

Let’s Talk: Why is it hard to choose Christ’s forgiveness and freedom?

 

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Week 4 – The Result of Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/week-4-result-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/week-4-result-forgiveness/#comments Mon, 19 Sep 2016 01:22:16 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33635 THE RESULT OF FORGIVENESS Oh friends, I am overjoyed to be here with you today. God is working in and amongst us through this study, isn’t He? Can you feel it? There is a new thing coming… and it is called the result of forgiveness! So far along this journey we’ve gained an understanding of…

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THE RESULT OF FORGIVENESS

Oh friends, I am overjoyed to be here with you today. God is working in and amongst us through this study, isn’t He? Can you feel it? There is a new thing coming… and it is called the result of forgiveness! So far along this journey we’ve gained an understanding of what forgiveness is, what it looks like, and how to truly receive it.

Now I want to see it on YOU. What does forgiveness look like on YOU?

I asked you in Chapter 4, “What would it look like in your life to truly understand, grasp, and live in the light of real forgiveness?” Well, what DOES it look like on you?

Take a moment and ponder that. What does it look like? It could look like:

True freedom, a deep love for yourself and others, a lightness and a joy that goes down deep into your soul, or peace.

And this is where I want us to stop and ponder and think deeply. Go over today’s verses, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.– 2 Corinthians 5:17

Take a moment and tell this story to yourself. Say it. Out loud. Right now. Look at Jesus on the cross. Look at Him deeply. Ask yourself, “How then do I live in the light of what He has done for me? How do I walk in this forgiveness every moment of today?”

Someone who knows they are forgiven walks and talks differently than someone who is still wondering about the reality of their forgiveness.

In Chapter 4, I share my forgiveness journey and how it has just been in the last few years of my walk with the Lord that I truly began to understand and truly grasp at a heart level God’s forgiveness and that it is there no matter what my circumstances are. That is the taste of true freedom, friends. And I want you to experience it too. 

Declare that you are forgiven. Because you are. Declare that you are loved. Because you are. Walk in that today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. Live in the forgiveness that is yours. 

Heavenly Father, thank YOU for the many blessings that come as a result of our forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We are new creations; the old has passed away and the new has come. We praise You that our old self was crucified with Christ in order that our body of sin might be done away with. We are no longer slaves to sin but have been set free through Christ’s finished work on the cross. In the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen

With Love from Uganda,

 

 

 

Week 4 Challenge: Take some time to sit with the Lord this week and ask God to show you through what we have been studying what forgiveness really means in your life. Ask Him for the faith to believe and grasp at a heart level the forgiveness that is yours. Stay there. Sit with Him. Make this a sacred moment of understanding between Him and you.

Week 4 Video:

(Can’t see the video? Click here)

Week 4 Reading Plan:

Week 4 Memory Verse:

_______________________________

It’s not too late to join us for our You Are Forgiven study! Still needing to purchase our You Are Forgiven book? Here is the direct link on Amazon! Thanks so much for supporting our ministry and helping us reach more women with God’s Word!

Want to start at the beginning? You can find all of our You Are Forgiven Blog Posts and study materials here.

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God’s Unlimited Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/gods-unlimited-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/gods-unlimited-forgiveness/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2016 04:09:39 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33661 To what depths would you go for your spouse, your children, or your family members? Would you risk your life for them?  How much would you sacrifice for their happiness or their safety?  The answers for most people would be positive.  But what if you were asked the same questions about your enemies?   No. You…

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To what depths would you go for your spouse, your children, or your family members? Would you risk your life for them?  How much would you sacrifice for their happiness or their safety?  The answers for most people would be positive.  But what if you were asked the same questions about your enemies?   No. You would likely not be willing to risk your life for your enemies. But would you surrender your pride to forgive them? Would you sacrifice your ego to bless them? Would you persist in giving them Christ even as they reject and mock you?  Those are such painful and humbling commands. However, God is able to take us farther than we are willing to go.  Fortunately, for us, there are no limits to the depths of God’s love and forgiveness.

Absolutely no limits.

In our passage today from Isaiah, we read of Hezekiah’s emotional praise as he thanks God for rescuing him from an eternity spent in Hell.   Hezekiah was one of the kings of Judah. He is described in 2 Chronicles 31:20 as one who did “what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God”.

One fateful day, Hezekiah became very sick. Isaiah the prophet went to him on behalf of God telling him to set things in order and prepare to die. Hezekiah was only 39 years old. He wept. He prayed. He cried out for God’s mercy.  Isaiah had not even left Hezekiah’s house before God’s response to his prayer was answered.  God’s answer was that he would extend his life by 15 years.  Hezekiah was so overwhelmed with thanks that he began praising God.

Yet, Hezekiah received so much more.  Because on another fateful day, as Jesus gave up His spirit on the Cross,  a horrific earthquake ripped the veil of the temple. The gates of Heaven opened granting all who believed access to the throne of God.  The graves of the Old Testament saints were opened, and they were all reunited with God in Heaven. Hezekiah expected 15 years, but he received an eternity.

There are no limits to the depths of God’s love or forgiveness.  

Romans 8:38-39   For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There are no limits to the depths that God will go to rescue His people. He enters our ordinary lives and pours out His extraordinary glory.  God fiercely pursues the disobedient, the doubtful, the brokenhearted, and the lost so that we all may know and experience His love, grace, and mercy to the fullest.  He enters prisons, drug dens, homeless shelters, and institutions to draw people near to Him.  God battles satan and this dark world for our very souls until we are His.  As we open our hearts to Him, we begin to see the lengths that God will go for us. God has no limits.

While God delivers believers once, for all time, from eternal punishment, He doesn’t stop there. God continues to meet our deepest needs daily with His promise that in the end, we shall be victorious.  Even the most faithful will experience trials, tests, and troubles, but God’s love for us remains unlimited, unwavering, and unrestrained.  God’s people can have the confident assurance that we are secure in Jesus Christ, and there is nothing that anyone can do to change that.

In what circumstance are you struggling to receive the depth of God’s forgiveness and love in your life? How can we pray for you as you make God’s unlimited forgiveness your reality?

 

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Terria serves on the LGG encourager and social media teams. She is newly married to her best friend.  She is a proud mother of two beautiful girls in college. Her passionate goal is to start a revolution to empower a generation of young women to grab onto God’s truth and cling to it. She loves to talk and loves to listen. She can be tracked down at work in noisy hospital hallways listening to people’s stories, and sharing the lessons and love that God has poured out in her life. Despite the sometimes chaotic circumstances of Terria’s life, God shows himself strong and loving. The evidence is clear – He loves hard!

 

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Sit and rest, you weary. Jesus has done it, once for all… http://lovegodgreatly.com/sit-rest-weary-jesus-done/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/sit-rest-weary-jesus-done/#comments Wed, 14 Sep 2016 03:48:10 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33637 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had…

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For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” – Hebrews 9:24-28

I see you walking on the street with your head held low. You’re the girl who can’t forgive herself for that stupid mistake; that moment of weakness when you let your guard down all those years ago.

I’ve seen you rushing into the coffee shop, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You’re the girl who can’t forget the pain you caused; the relationships that you damaged; the hurt that remains.

I’ve seen you hiding on that college campus, with eyes that won’t meet mine. You’re the girl who doesn’t feel worthy to look up because of the shame you still carry.

I’ve seen you struggling in the pew next to me, with tears that resurface like clockwork week after week; sermon after sermon. You’re the girl who can’t accept that there’s a God who knows everything about you, yet still loves you and offers you forgiveness once and for all.

I was you once.

I laid in my bed as a little girl, asking forgiveness for the same offense over and over because I didn’t believe it could be true. I fought past memories, past mistakes, past compromises, past thoughts, past motives. I obsessed over what I could not change, and nervously worked to replace the old with a better version of me. I spent nights thinking, rehearsing, and praying that there might be a chance that the more I offered, the more would be erased.

Exhausted. Lacking. Never done.

The priests in the Old Testament must have felt this way. “Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins” (Hebrews 10:11).

Standing. Always repeating. Never resting. Never resolving.

[Before Christ, the law called for animals to be sacrificed as payment for sin. But it was all so temporary and incomplete. Another sin committed meant another animal sacrificed. What a constant, pungent reminder of the never-ending cycle of our fallen state. And what a necessary, descriptive picture of our coming King…]

 

Enough.
Sit and rest, you weary. Jesus has done it, once for all.

 

We strive and strive apart from God, lacking joy and scrambling to live in a world opposite of what we were created for – forgetting that our Savior has come. It’s time we lay down the old and begin living in the freedom of the new:

There once were many priests. Now Christ is our one all-sufficient High Priest.

There once were many sacrifices. Now Christ is the one sacrifice who took care of our sin once for all.

There once was the constant reminder and weight of the law. Now Christ has offered complete forgiveness through His abundant, freeing grace.

There once were those who stood and strived. Now Christ sits at the right hand of God as our advocate, waiting to defend us.

 

Today can be different, because Jesus came and changed everything.

 

Lift your head weary sinner, the river’s just ahead

Down the path of forgiveness, salvation’s waiting there

You built a mighty fortress 10,000 burdens high

Love is here to lift you up, here to lift you high

If you’re lost and wandering

Come stumbling in like a prodigal child

See the walls start crumbling

Let the gates of glory open wide

-Crowder

 

Sit and rest, you weary. Jesus has done it, once for all.

At His feet,

*Let’s talk: Today, are you ready to lift your head and embrace God’s forgiveness – maybe fully for the first time in your life? We’d love to pray for you in the comments below…

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The Depth Of God’s Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/depth-gods-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/depth-gods-forgiveness/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2016 03:01:19 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33623   The Depth of God’s Forgiveness   Good morning and welcome to Week 3 of our You Are Forgiven study! These last two weeks have been intense and this week won’t be any different. We’ve already spent a good amount of time talking about true repentance and confession. These are really important topics because they…

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The Depth of God’s Forgiveness

 
Good morning and welcome to Week 3 of our You Are Forgiven study! These last two weeks have been intense and this week won’t be any different.

We’ve already spent a good amount of time talking about true repentance and confession. These are really important topics because they are gifts from God and signs of a renewed heart. And with a renewed heart comes the promise that our God will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.

Not some, not a few, not sometimes, but ALL!

That little word brings with it an eternity of comfort. And if we take time to meditate on this truth, it will be a great encouragement to us – especially if we live with guilt.

Here is something to remember: God is not like us.  He is transcendent, meaning that He is “other than.”  There is nothing that has been created that we can compare Him to. This can make understanding His ways a bit difficult at times, especially when it comes to grasping the depth of his forgiveness of our sins.

How can God forgive me of every single one of my sins?  There are so many, and some are so big, and some I repeat over and over again, week after week and year after year, decade after decade. And God says that through Jesus, He cleanses us of all of them.

When I think about this kind of forgiveness, it shows me the kindness and generosity of God. He could have said that He would only forgive us of “minor” sins or of our first 1000 sins. NO! When God says that He forgives ALL there is no fine print; there are no exceptions.

Child of God, God washed you white as snow! He did not leave behind even the smallest blemish. His forgiveness is total and complete.

Do you understand this? Do you believe this? If you do, then you need to let go of any guilt that you may feel from past sins. Look to Jesus and see the amazing grace of his forgiveness…

Looking to Jesus,

 

 

CHALLENGE:
The forgiveness of God reaches into the deepest and darkest places of our hearts. God forgives it all. This understanding will give birth to immense gratitude and freedom. Write down all that the forgiveness of God frees you from.

WEEK 3 READING PLAN:

WEEK 3 MEMORY VERSE:

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It’s not too late to join us for our You Are Forgiven study! Still needing to purchase our You Are Forgiven book? Here is the direct link on Amazon! Thanks so much for supporting our ministry and helping us reach more women with God’s Word!

 

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The Impossible Happened…A Story of Forgiveness http://lovegodgreatly.com/impossible-happened-story-forgiveness/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/impossible-happened-story-forgiveness/#comments Sat, 10 Sep 2016 02:13:17 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33547 Seven years ago, life was a mess. My husband, Ari, grew up Jewish, and declared he didn’t believe in God anymore. I was a Christian—and a very imperfect one at that. We were constantly at odds with each other. I couldn’t have a Bible in the house without starting a huge argument. I desperately wanted…

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Seven years ago, life was a mess. My husband, Ari, grew up Jewish, and declared he didn’t believe in God anymore. I was a Christian—and a very imperfect one at that. We were constantly at odds with each other. I couldn’t have a Bible in the house without starting a huge argument. I desperately wanted Ari to share my faith, but to keep the peace in our house, I often hid what little faith I had left.

We became roommates, spending our days searching for fulfillment in all the wrong places. I escaped the turmoil in our marriage by working on my growing magazine and in relationships that distracted me from what mattered. We started sleeping in separate beds. Our relationship began to feel beyond repair.

One day, out of pure desperation, I prayed words that felt impossible: “God, help Ari believe in You.” I knew I couldn’t change Ari, but maybe God could. I read about people in the Bible, like Abraham and Sarah, who prayed big prayers and believed in God’s promises against all logic. God wants everyone to know Him, so why not my husband? I couldn’t make Ari believe by throwing Bible verses at him.

I decided to try something different.

When we fought, my default was to lash back at him for the hurtful things he said and not talk to him for hours. But, I felt God telling me to show Ari His love in action. When a fight swelled, I would swallow my pride, pray for wisdom, and tell Ari three words: “I love you.” At first, he would be angry when I said those words, claiming it was unfair, or that I was trying to make him more mad. But after dozens more fights and about thirty “I love yous,” he started to see I was sincere. He started wondering where all this change in me was coming from.

The biggest turning point happened several months later when Ari came home early from work one afternoon, stepped into my office, closed the door behind him, and said, “I need to talk to you.” He came close to me and sunk to the floor as his words poured out. He had done something he never thought he would do — cracked open a Bible. He often read it late at night while I was sleeping. God had been working on his heart and he felt he needed to ask for forgiveness from those he had hurt. He confessed in the most tender words his past unfaithfulness to me. In the darkest days of our marriage, he had an affair. My heart was torn in two and I confessed the same to him.

Years of shame.

Hurt.

Pain.

Hiding.

Doubt and desperate prayers.

I can’t explain this experience in words that fully convey what we experienced in that moment. I just have one word: grace. His grace. In our deep weakness, His power was made perfect.

I never thought I would type these next words: Ari became a believer and was baptized that same week. The impossible happened. Your impossible can happen, too, friend. God is big and real and good. His desire is that we would all come to know His transforming grace. There isn’t a mess you’ve made that He can’t turn into something beautiful for His purposes.

We began the process of healing and forgiving each other for the hurts of our past through the lens of our new shared faith. It took time and counsel and much prayer, but God is faithful. His grace has and continues to flip every iota of our lives upside-down.

We aren’t perfect, but we now know our purpose. Grace is a real thing. And it changes everything.

More of our story can be found in Make It Happen.

 

With Joy,

Lara Casey

Blog: www.LaraCasey.com/blog 

 

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If My People…If My Daughters… http://lovegodgreatly.com/if-my-people-my-daughters/ http://lovegodgreatly.com/if-my-people-my-daughters/#comments Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:14:20 +0000 http://lovegodgreatly.com/?p=33601 Friends, Reading 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds me of how amazing our God is! Just like a loving Father, He always makes a way to forgiveness. I love how He starts out…He reminds us of who we are. We are His. We are called by His name. There is no mistake to whom we belong….even in…

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Friends,

Reading 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds me of how amazing our God is! Just like a loving Father, He always makes a way to forgiveness.

I love how He starts out…He reminds us of who we are.

We are His.

We are called by His name.

There is no mistake to whom we belong….even in our mistakes, even in our rebellion….even in our sin…we are still His.

I’ve prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14 over and over in the past few years…even more so recently with the presidential election looming in the distance.

Father, forgiven us. Heal our land…heal our homes….heal our hearts.

We’ve turned from You.

As your daughters, who bear your name, we’ve voted more with our check books in mind than with our neighbors needs…please forgive us.

As your daughters, we’ve voted in politicians who do not value life and deny children the right to live. The very ones You’ve blessed to carry life inside of us…to bare witness to the holy miracle of life, we have made science a god instead and allowed voices, hearts and minds who do not know you to declare when life begins….please forgive us.

If death comes with the stop of a beating heart…does not life begin with it?

As your daughters, we have allowed racism to infiltrate our homes, our churches and our hearts. Are we not the Body of Christ? Is not every part of the body equally important….the hand can not say to the foot, I do not need you neither can the White/Black/Asian or Hispanic sister say to another sister… I do not need you. We need each other. We have been created in God’s image and when we devalue one race over the other, we dishonor our God. Please forgive us, Jesus.

Was not Your blood poured out for us all?

As your daughters, we have allowed ourselves to become busy and instead of worshipping You, we worship our works for You…please forgive us for placing our sacrifices and works above our relationship with You.

As your daughters, we have replaced You with many gods in our lives…god of money, god of fame, god of pleasure, god of safety, god of possessions, god of food, god of other’s approval and the list goes on…forgive us.

Ohhhh sisters, we are the modern day Israelites. God has done so many amazing things in our lives, in our families, in our country….and we have forgotten. We have turned to fake gods to find our answers, our worth, our hope, our future.

And we have grieved the heart of the One who laid it down for us.

Until there is Repentance — there will be no Difference, there will be no Deliverance, there will be no ResurgenceNothing will change unless we change something.- Ann Voskamp

But God in His great mercy once again extends forgiveness and gives us 2 Chronicles 7:14 and what does He say?

  1. Humble yourselves– What does that mean? It means we realize we aren’t God. We’ve made mistakes. We don’t know it all. We’ve sinned and went our own way instead of His.
  1. Pray to Me – Confess our shortcomings and ask God for forgiveness. Admit where we’ve went wrong and own up to it.
  1. Seek Me– Instead of turning away from God due to our sin, we must turn to God, seek Him, His help, His mercy and His will instead of our own.
  1. Turn from the sin and turn back towards Me– We must put our words into action and change. Words are meaningless if a changed behavior doesn’t follow.

 

Ohhh friends look at God’s mercy when we humble ourselves, pray, seek Him and turn towards Him….

“ then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Hear, forgive & heal…we must NEVER forget we serve a HOLY and grace filled God!

He is the Father who runs to His prodigal son the moment He spots him far off in the distance.

He is the one who bends low to the woman caught in adultery….making eye contact with her when no one else will and giving her what her heart desperately needs…forgiveness.

“God’s grace doesn’t come from a far-off place or from an unreachable Savior. It’s not wavering or marred by human imperfection. Oh no. Because of Jesus, this grace comes from an accessible God, a compassionate Father whose heart is tuned in to hearing us whisper His name and is ready to welcome us with open arms.” Whitney Daugherty, You Are Forgiven, p 40.

Sweet sisters, now is the time to humble ourselves, admit where we have strayed, seek the One who first sought us and with His power….turn from our sins, embrace His forgiveness and live as daughters to the King of kings!

We must NEVER forget…with Jesus there is always hope.

“We will be the strong and courageous who get down on our faces every morning and repent of our fears and our idols and our sins and our messes because there will be no regeneration in this generation until there is a repentance on our faces because we cannot win any battle with rebel hearts, so may a movement of repentance move us so He hears from heaven and heals our land.”- Ann Voskamp

 

Sweet Jesus, forgive us. We have sinned against You, we have went our own ways, made our own paths and valued our wisdom over Yours. Jesus, empower us to change, to be the change….to be brave, love deeply, forgive like you have forgiven us and please Lord, heal our land.

Love God Greatly!

-Angela

Let’s Talk: Will you commit to praying for our country daily? Share your prayer with us today!

 

 

 

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