It’s Not About Me.

Boat in Ocean, Sufficient Grace

Am I the only one that sometimes thinks that life is all about what I do?

“I gotta do this…I gotta accomplish that…I better make sure I do this thing…I couldn’t ever forget about that…” And on and on.

Because somehow, in the deep and dark recesses of my mind, there’s a little voice that sometimes says to me, “Amanda, you better do _______ or it’ll surely be the end of the world.”

Riiiiiightttt. And guess what? I fall for those stupid little tricks every time.

If I only do this, people will like me more.

 

 If I only accomplish this faster, God will be more impressed with me.

 

If I would only dress this certain way, people would notice me and it would make my life better.

 

*groans*

Why is it so hard to remember that my life is not about me?!

Remember Ephesians 2:8-9, anyone? 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.”

 

Somehow or other, I forget this sometimes.

It. Does. Not Matter. How. I. Do. In. Life. Because. I’ve. Been. Given. Grace.

Because of my faith (ALONE!) I’ve been given grace, which has saved me. And guess what? This isn’t my own doing, because it’s a gift.

Imagine giving someone a gift that was extremely expensive and the only one in the world. Instead of them enjoying their gift (and being profusely thankful), they insist that they earned it because of everything they do for you. You simply shake your head and try to explain that what they do is great, but them receiving the gift has absolutely nothing to do with what they’re doing. You just love them and wanted to bless them. But they insist that they had something to do with it.

Human, you don’t get it. I gave you this gift because I love you. You couldn’t earn it, you weren’t even close. This was a gift, not a prize. Love, not payment. A blessing, not a reward.

And I have to relearn this every. single. day.

And guess what, everyone? God is giving me grace to relearn it every day. Because why?

2 Corinthians 12:9. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

 

His grace is sufficient for me. There’s enough grace for me as there is enough water in the ocean for a baby krill.

Life isn’t about me, it’s about Him, and what He’s done for me.

It’s so easy for me to focus on my mistakes, comparing myself with others, and how good my performance turns out to be.

But I have to remember (I think we all do) that our gift of salvation rests not upon what we do, but upon His grace.

Because it doesn’t have to be about me.

*aj

Covered by the Cross

Covered by the Cross

Sometimes, I think we see ourselves as dirt.

Yeah, something like that. Like maybe we don’t feel like we are good enough.

Or we don’t believe that God hears our prayers because we think we are so sinful and hopeless…

But we’re not.

We’re not hopeless. We’re not seen as sinners anymore. We’re not living under the law. Why? The blood of Jesus rescued us.

Hebrews 10:19-23 says this to us in encouragement.

 

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus. Because of His death, we have communion and a relationship with God.

Because of the blood of Jesus, we are seen through the lens of His holiness. The curtain between God and us has been torn. His love for us broke the separation.

We have a full assurance of faith! Our hearts are sprinkled clean and we are counted pure. We have hope! And God is faithful.

That passage is soooooooo encouraging to me. See, I know that my sin nature is, well, sinful. Nobody needs to tell me that. HOWEVER. My sin does not define me, because it has been paid for. The blood of Jesus (via the cross) is what purifies me. Not by anything I’ve done, of course!

There’s one thing that’s the most important to know: The Cross is enough.

 

I can’t do anything to add to the finished work of Christ because it has already been done.

We are not perfect, but we are holy because of Christ. He has rescued us and poured His holiness over us.

There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more, to hear our prayers any better, to give us more blessings, to make us “less sinful”, to make us more joyful. It’s been done.  We are loved infinitely, and we will never be loved or accepted by God any more than we already are.

The Cross covers it all.

We are pure. We are loved. We are adored. We are accepted. We are holy. We are blameless. We are redeemed. We are worthy. We are wanted. We are hope-filled. We are defined by the Cross. We are blessed. We are children of God. We are saved. We are good enough. We are righteous. We are forgiven. We are more than conquerors.

But why are we all these things?

We are all these things because of what Jesus has done. We are all these things, yet we cannot boast about it. Why? Because when we were undeserving, He came to save us.

 

Seriously, we did not do anything to earn this. It’s a free gift.

And that’s what makes it so AMAZING. We are forgiven because of the blood of our Savior.

We are holy, righteous, and redeemed. We are loved, and we are forgiven.

We need to live in light of that.

*aj

What Does The Cross Mean To Me?



Happy Saturday everyone! Today we have a special treat. On Monday, this post will be featured on my friend Rachel Schaus’ blog, Notes From My Corner Of Creation. Enjoy this sneak peek in honor of Easter!


What does the cross mean to me?


For me, the cross means acceptance.

 

The cross is the place where I was counted blameless and accepted in the sight of God. Not because of what I did, but because of what Jesus did for me. He took my place in death and shame and gave me the right to be a child of God.

 

John 1:12-13 says,  “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.”

 

I am accepted. I do not have to be perfect. I do not have to earn my way to the love and acceptance of God. I do not have to do a certain number of good deeds to be cherished by God. Because I am not accepted by what I do-I am accepted because of what Christ did at the cross for me.

 

All I have to do is believe in His name! Accept the love he has for me! I am a child of God. Nobody can take that away.

 

The cross means acceptance. I think that we’ve all chased acceptance in our lives. We want to be loved, accepted, a part of the “in” group. Because, we think, maybe that will make us better people. Maybe we will have more privileges, our problems will all go away, or we will be satisfied…But our only perfect satisfaction by acceptance can come from God’s acceptance of us. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

 

Stop trying to be accepted in worldly terms. Accept the acceptance of God. He loves us no matter what.
He knows we are not perfect. He knows that we will fail. He knows all this, and still loves us and accepts us.

 

Never once will we walk alone. Never once will God turn his back on us. Never once will we lose the love of God. Rest in the embrace of the Almighty – by what was done at the cross – FOR YOU.


*aj

What is True Love?

What is True Love?
Where does it come from? Is it Prince Charming sweeping Cinderella off her feet? Is it a romantic moonlit stroll on the beach? Is it chocolate and roses on Valentine’s Day?
 Is it getting the attention and affection that a girl wants? Is it getting the appreciation and respect that a guy wants?
How do we know what love really is?
Let me start out by saying that I want to be loved. Like really and truly loved. (Not that I’m not loved by my family. I *truly* am. But I mean that I want to be loved by someone who has absolutely no obligation to. I think most people seek after this love.)
I want someone to look deep into my eyes and say, “Amanda, you are worthy of love (which is actually what ‘Amanda’ means) and I love you with my whole heart.”
 Deep down, don’t we all want that in one way or another? I know that I do. (Maybe that’s just because I’m a girl. Whatever.) Acceptance. Love. Respect. Affection. Appreciation. We all want it! But – you’ll never find that PERFECT satisfaction in a person.
There is a love that I have found – true love – it goes deeper than any human love. Regardless of my performance, I am reached. Despite my everyday failures, I am pursued. This love died for me and is the only love that can satisfy. What love have I found? The perfect love of God.
We’ll never be truly satisfied until we set our hearts in the love of God. We can even be Christians and not do this! (Bad scenario, by the way.)
Our ultimate love and satisfaction should come from God’s love. I know this might sound cheesy, but I’ve learned to say, “I know how to be content in all circumstances, whether in a relationship or single, because my relationship with God is TRULY ALL I NEED to be satisfied.”
Last year, I sought to be noticed. I don’t think I understood then how useless that would prove to be! This year, I’m focusing on more important things – like loving my Heavenly Father and loving others. Why get into a dating relationship now? I have all that I need to be content…and even more, full of JOY.
Disclaimer: I do NOT know everything about love. And NOT AT ALL am I saying that a serious relationship or marriage is not fulfilling. From all the people I’ve talked to, marriage is truly wonderful (and personally I’m really looking forward to it!) but only God can satisfy our craving for love. Marriage is an expression of God’s love, not the fullness of it. The fullness of God’s love – Jesus’ death on the cross for us and therefore forgiveness, love, and acceptance – is truly satisfying.