How Does Romance Fit In?

Blue Flowers

(This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but I updated my About Me page last night, because it needed some help. Check it out after you read this!)

I’m just going to come out and say it.

I’m a hopeless romantic.

I cry over chick flicks. And books. And songs. And I watch, read, and play them over and over and OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

Do you want to know why?

Yes, before you say it first, I’ll tell you that for one reason, I’m a girl. A girl who asks her mom and dad over and over again the story of their friendship, dating relationship, engagement, and marriage. A girl who has a Pinterest board of wedding dresses, engagement rings, wedding themes, favors, locations, photo ideas and all that.

But the fact that I’m a girl is really beside the point.

The fact that I value romance is more where I’m going with this.

I value True Love. Not the cheap Disney love that has the prince and princess meeting eyes, and getting butterflies, and getting married the next day.

Because I’m so so sorry…

But that love does not exist. It’s an emotion.

I don’t value that fairytale emotion like I value love.

I value selfless love. I value love that chooses to wait and not settle for second-best. I value love that puts another one’s interests above their own. I value the courage that it takes to love, even when it isn’t easy. I value the promise of love, even when the other person doesn’t seem lovable. I value generous love; love given to one who does not deserve it and can not pay it back.

And I value marriage, which is a commitment for life to love the other person.

The thing that I love about this thing called marriage is that when the “magic fairydust stage” (or, “honeymoon phase”) fades away, the promise still stands.

And each person has committed to stick together, in the toughest of times.

There is no, “I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, as long as you make me happy, I don’t get tired of it, and things go our way. And then when I have decided that I’m not happy anymore, I’ll leave.”

Because as much as love can be expressed in a feeling, love is a choice.

Ask anyone, the fairydust stage of a marriage doesn’t last for very long. But that cannot be an excuse to move on.

Because like I said, love is a promise.

I value love. Real love.

And I can’t WAIT to get married someday. (Emphasis on someday, but nevertheless I’m really excited.)

So as I was brainstorming for this article, something popped into my mind.

What if my desire for human love is just the tip of the iceberg?

No, really.

What if I crave something even deeper than that?

I do, as a matter of fact.

And it’s not like I didn’t know this before, it’s just hitting me harder and harder as I get older.

You know how I said that I value selfless love?

I’ve been given that selfless love by my Creator.

And before you stop reading and dismiss this as another one of those cliché articles about how being single really isn’t that bad, listen up for just another minute.

Through God’s AMAZING love for us, we see some really cool things.

Like these.

He is selfless. He loved us enough to let His Only Son die for our sins.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

He lavishes His love on us when we can not pay Him back and do not deserve it.

He loves us even when we are unlovable. (AKA constantly.)

Romans 5:8

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Psalm 36:5

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

What I’m learning daily is that the yearning in my heart for love can only be truly and deeply satisfied by the love of God.

AND IT IS! I AM SO COMPLETELY SATISFIED!

I can rest in the security of His amazing grace and love because that love will never fail.

So, here’s where you probably say something like, “Wait, Amanda, where does marriage come into all of this?”

That’s a good question, and I hope to answer it well.

When I said that perhaps marriage is just the tip of the iceberg, that’s really true.

Because as amazing as marriage and human love truly is, it’s only a reflection of God’s love for us. His love for His people existed long before the first marriage took place.

Which is kind of mind blowing, seeing how prominent “love” is in our culture.

If love is so big in this world, how much more great and beautiful is the love of God, who Himself is infinite?

One thing that I always need to remind myself of is that marriage is not the loneliness cure, or the meaning of life.

Sure, it can be beautiful! And I can’t wait for it myself.

But it cannot be the standalone thing that we seek. My heart yearns for love. But deep down, I need to be loved more than just by my (future) husband.

If I don’t accept the amazing sacrifice for my soul, and the crazy amazing love shown in that, I can’t possibly accept another human’s love.

To reject that would be to reject satisfaction. To reject true love. To reject completeness.

Because whether we are married or not, we can all experience True Love on this deep level.

Selfless love. The choice of love. The courage to love. The promise of love. The generosity of love, especially when we do not deserve it.

1 John 4:9-12

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

*aj

Majesty Meets Mercy (Part 2)

Misty Mountain and Ocean

On Saturday, I shared part 1 of Majesty Meets Mercy. I focused more on the majesty and splendor and marvelousity of God. (Yes, I just invented a new word. I like the word marvelousity.)

Here’s the last thing I shared, and I want to dig even deeper into this today.

 

God. Designed. It. All. He designed it all, and has an eternal plan.

 

And yet, He cares. He’s not the giant mural artist who ignores the little specks of paint. No. No splotch of color is too small for Him to see. We are the specks, and He cares for all of us. ALL OF US!

 

This God – El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, Adonai – in all of His majesty – is Abba. Father. He cares about us, because He is our Designer, Creator, Sustainer, and Provider. He is our Father, and loves us more than we will ever comprehend! He has mercy on us – His children – though His majesty is overwhelming. He is a BIG God, and yet he is a loving Father.

 

Mercy.

(Hillsong UNITED wrote a song called Mercy Mercy. I love it. It embodies this message, so I highly recommend that you listen to it.)

So what exactly is mercy? Mercy – mercy is when we are not given what we deserve. When we are guilty, but no charges are pressed.

When you think about that, that’s pretty amazing.

You don’t need mercy, you say? Well…hmm. I know we all need mercy. Here’s why.

God gave us free will – to obey Him, or to disobey. What did we choose? Disobedience, and utter abuse of freedom. What was meant to be a wonderful thing – freedom – became an ugly thing; Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde; paradise became pain; love became hate.

We’ve all sentenced ourselves to death.

There’s no room for pleading here. We all deserve our fate. We all deserve an eternity in Hell, separated from God. We deserve to be cut off from holiness.

But wait. This is where mercy comes in.

Mercy says that God, in all His splendor and glory and marvelousity and infinity, became nothing, to extend His grace to us. Mercy says that when we deserved death, He gave us life. Not a life of slavery. Not a life imprisoned. Not a life of duty and obligation. No, mercy says that God freed us from sin and the curse that it brings. We were given freedom when we deserved death.

Philippians 2:5-11 explains this better than I can:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

Mercy says that God became man – a servant, even – to extend His mercy and grace to His beloved children.

Yes, we are His beloved. We are His estranged children, the ones that He is calling to Himself.

We are loved and we are found. Because of His Amazing Grace, we are given mercy. The majesty of God has met mercy. We are loved and forgiven, sin washed away and we are free. And all we have to do is accept it.

Romans 10:9 says,

 

“Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

That’s it.

Mercy has brought me to my knees.

I have seen what I deserve, and I don’t want to go there. I deserve to be a slave, and in exchange, I have been freed. What is this love that is so marvelously lavish?! I do not deserve it! I fall to my knees in awestruck wonder, because majesty has met mercy. God has met me where I am. This, my friend, is the mercy and grace of God.

I don’t know if I will ever understand it.

But oh, am I overwhelmed. I am so thankful. And now, why would I ever want to go back to my old life? Why would I want to crawl back into my old, cold prison cell? Why would I ever want to live as a slave to sin?

Truthfully, I do not want to. Mercy has rescued me. I am a new creation because I am in Christ, and I am not ever going back.

*aj

Freedom in Christ!

Keyboard, Mouse, iPhone

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what freedom in Christ really means.

I’ve heard some say that we can do whatever we want because of it, and I’ve heard others say that we have no authority to live in light of our freedom, we still have to follow the Bible rule-for-rule. I agree with both, and I agree with neither.

Okay, so I’m a nerd and I love the dictionary, so I looked up “freedom” in the (online) dictionary. And usually, I don’t like every definition of a word, but I liked all of these. So here is “freedom” defined.

  1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
  2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  3. the power to determine action without restraint.
  4. political or national independence.
  5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery
  6. exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from):
  7. the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.

So, this implies:

We are at liberty and are not in confinement to the law.

We are exempt from external control of sin and the law over us.

We have the power to determine how we want to live.

We are free, according to the ruling of God.

We are personally free, and we are not in slavery to the law which brings sin, and sin which brings death.

We are free from the obligation to live under the law.

We are free from ties to sin.

Galatians 5:1; 13-14 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. […] For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 

We have been set free, guys! Let’s see, what were we slaves to? Oh yeah, being confined by the law, being entwined in sin, and being condemned to death. BUT WE ARE FREE. Doesn’t sound too shabby, does it?

Why do we have freedom? Because of grace.

Our sin is not counted against us.

Should we keep on sinning, though? I mean, it’s not like we’re punished for it or anything. Romans 6:1-2 says “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

 

I got a new computer about six weeks ago, and it is beautiful. It is fast, it is smart, it is clean and neat, it is light, and I believe that it makes my life oh-so-much better. I always enjoy working on my new computer.

I do have another computer that I used before, though. At first, it worked and I liked it, but after a few years, it got old. Now, it is old, slow, clunky and heavy, ugly, and unpleasant to work with. It makes me cringe every time I use it. My new computer is at least three times faster, and I can always count on it.

When I got it, I was ecstatic. I was so glad to be rid of what caused me so much trouble! But I had to learn how to work it and not let my old PC habits kick in. (The switch from a PC to a Mac is hard! But totally worth it to me.) After I learned how to use it, it came completely naturally to me and I would NEVER want to go back! I have a new computer now; it would just make my life worse to go back to use my old and broken one. What would be the sense in that???

I suppose the same thing happens in our lives too. When we do not know any better, we completely enjoy sin. After all, it is “fun”. If it wasn’t fun, why would we do it? So we continue on in sin, not knowing any better, and sort of enjoying ourselves in the process. But then we become Christians, and become new in Christ. We aren’t refurbished, we are NEW, and we still have the shrink-wrapping and tag. So, my question is, why do we want to keep feeding into the old nature (using the old, broken, clunky computer) when we can thrive by living for Christ (using the new, working, beautiful, and light computer)?

When we became Christians, we put away our sin nature. Because, perhaps we enjoyed using the broken computer for a while before we realized it was broken, but now that we have the new computer, why would we possibly want to use the old computer? It may take a while and work to get used to it, but still. Why would we want to go back?

Now that we have forgiveness and life and freedom in Christ, we can live our new lives without regret. We can live our new lives to the full, rejoicing in our salvation!

Yeah, we have freedom! But what would be the purpose of using our freedom – to use whichever computer we want – to go back to the old and broken system? Honestly, which one is better?

You know.

Living in sin is not at all fulfilling. Living in Christ is both currently and eternally fulfilling. Sin does not help us to grow or enjoy our salvation.

One day of growing in and knowing Christ is better than an entire life of fleeting-pleasure sin, my friends. Sin does not, will not, and cannot satisfy. However, a relationship with God through Christ can – and does.

Technically, we could live however we want. We *could* live in sin, because it is not counted against us. We *could* live for ourselves in never-satisfying worldly pleasure. We *could*. But we shouldn’t. Not just because “the Bible tells me so” – although it does – but because, we all know firsthand, that the world can not satisfy. We’ve all experienced it! You may try to convince yourself that you’re happy – but you can not truly find your satisfaction until your heart is set in the unfailing love of Christ. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there.

And it may seem counterintuitive to do so – but it’s worth every bit of life you put into living for Christ. Seriously. This isn’t our duty, it’s our joy.

Let’s use our freedom to live a worthwhile life. Are y’all with me?

*aj

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

The Resurrection: Part 4

  

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope that you had a wonderful Easter Sunday. Now, I have one last post in my Resurrection series and I like having one last thing to hold onto from the Holy Day. 🙂  So, without further ado, here is post #4 in this Easter series. Thank you for reading!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that most people want to die. I mean, usually, to die means to suffer. And if you’re not sure of where you’re going, dying isn’t exactly something that you look forward to. Am I right?

We celebrated Easter a few days ago. If you haven’t noticed it already, Easter is my favorite holiday. Why? No, it’s not because of the candy, or because I get to see my family and friends (although that’s fun too). It’s because I get to rest in the assurance of my salvation, that sin has no power over me. I am not punished for what I’ve done. What I deserve — Hell — is not given to me, because I have placed my faith in Christ alone to save me.

Let’s read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58.

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

I love these verses because — like I said — we have victory over sin and death. But let me back up.

Verses 50-53 talks about the Blessed Hope.

“I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.”

To simplify, we (believers) have hope. H. O. P. E. Some of us may never experience death, but be taken to heaven in the ‘twinkling of an eye’. We will be changed! We will be given immortal bodies!

I know that earlier I said that we don’t need to worry about dying if we know where we’re going. But this is even better. Not only do we have the assurance of Heaven, but some of us won’t even die at all. Woah. I find that extremely awesome!

Okay, now for my favorite part. 15:54-58.

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality (AKA when we are given new bodies and we become live-foreverable) this saying will be able to be quoted in the present tense.

Christ has defeated death. Death is conquered by victory, the victory that came by Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are victorious over death — we are not owned by the devil and sin that drags us to Hell — we are SAVED.

Sin and death have no power over us! NO POWER!

And for the last verse, we are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

We are not working for others, we are working for God. Our work is never wasted in God’s kingdom. We live to give glory to God, and that is never in vain.

I know that Easter has passed. I know that today is not Easter Sunday. But the truths we celebrate are the same all year round.

We have been saved. Sin and death have no power over me any longer, because Jesus has done the amazing thing — conquered death.

Easter is about the amazing love of God. It’s about the joy that it brings. It’s about the hope that we’ve been given. It’s about the peace that now rules our hearts. It’s about how we didn’t deserve what was given to us, which is what makes the resurrection so beautiful. Salvation is a wonderful thing because we fully deserve to be punished for our sin. It’s about this amazing grace bestowed upon us.

God is not out to get us. He is out to save us.

And this is why I love the resurrection so much.

Mankind rejected Him, but even still He came.

To conquer death, sin, and the grave,

though not deserved, He took my blame.

Isaiah 53:5-6 pretty much sums it all up.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions;

    he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

    and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

    we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

    the iniquity of us all.”

*aj

The Resurrection: Part 3

  

Good day, wonderful inhabitants of Earth. Can you believe that tomorrow is Easter Sunday?? I sure can’t. And yeah, I’m really excited. Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD, after all. Woohoo! Okay…so, I miscalculated when it came to scheduling posts for the past two weeks. Today’s post is not the last part in The Resurrection mini series. We still have Tuesday. Sorry about that melted-brain-Amanda moment. Ah well, today I’m writing about the resurrection of the dead. I think this is pretty cool, and I hope you do too! Enjoy. 🙂

What does it mean to rise from the dead?

I know what it means spiritually — my sins have been washed away and I have been counted blameless under God — but what about my physical, earthly death?

All us Christians will be resurrected. Which means that we all will die (unless Jesus comes back first). And I’m sorry for you who think you won’t die ever, but it doesn’t work that way.

We like to think of life as a wonderful thing, right? (Or at least certain people’s lives?) When people say they have “the perfect life,” we might envy them. I know I have. We all have wanted to change our lives in one way or another I think. But really — life doesn’t get too much better from one person to another. We all live in the same sinful world, and we all will eventually die. The best part is what comes after we die.

Let’s take a look at 1 Corinthians 15:42-49.

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

So…as I was saying a minute ago, we all have perishable bodies. therefore, we all will  die. (Food analogy — if you leave perishable fruit out on the counter for a few weeks, it will perish. End of analogy. Sorry, Im bad with analogies. ANYWAY.) But life does not end at our physical death. Remember John 3:16?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus came to give us eternal life. Our souls will not perish in Hell if we believe in Him; we will forever be in Heaven with Him.

Back to the first part of the passage I cited, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

“So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”

  1. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. What does that mean? Our earthly bodies will die, but our souls are immortal. Our souls will be raised from our bodies and we will live forever (although technically, eternal life begins when we believe on Him). Praise be to God for His wonderful saving of our souls!
  1. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. What does this mean? Well, in short, it means that we have hope. It means that though our lives will be miserable and painful, this is not the end!
  1. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. We all have souls. That’s not our decision to make. We don’t decide if this life is the end — because it is not — we just decide whether we want to receive eternal life or not. I don’t know about you, but I’m going for it.

Here’s the second part, verses 45-49.

“Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”

As I was writing this, I was a little apprehensive about trying to explain this part. After all, I’m only fifteen and not a Bible scholar or anything. But I will do my best, and if you have any questions, you can comment below.

  1. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Do you know what that means? Well, the first man Adam is, well, Adam. You know, the first man who brought sin into the world with his wife. *cringes* Yeah, I like to think that I would have perfectly obeyed God, but I don’t think I would have. We’re all human, and as much as I hate admitting it, I ain’t perfect. Not even close. That being said, because of Adam’s sin, all of mankind was dead in our sins. But the last Adam? He is Jesus Christ. Through Christ, a life-giving spirit, we have literally been given life. Our sins are GONE. We’re not just patched up or made better, we are new. AND IT IS COMPLETELY FREE! Is that not WONDERFUL?!
  2. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. Okay, that is a little confusing. I’ll break it down. Adam was from the earth, formed of dust (by God, not evolution). Jesus is from heaven. We by default have the image of Adam on us — sin. But by Jesus, we have the image of life and heaven on us. Isn’t that great?

I know that a lot of people think that the default destination for anyone — or at least good people — is heaven. But it’s not. Heaven is a choice. A choice to believe on Christ to save you from your sin and make you new. I’ve made my choice — have you?

Tomorrow is Easter. A wonderful day. The day that represents our new life in Christ. I know it is really easy to get caught up in traditions. We wake up, open the wonderful Easter basket (yummy chocolate bunnies. What do they represent again? *thinks hard and crinkles forehead* something about animals, Spring, grass, life, NEW LIFE…oh right! Easter is about new life in our Savior, Jesus Christ!), go to church, come back, spend the day with family and friends, and go to bed, gorged on candy and ham.

When did Easter became more about festivities and less about our Savior? Why? One timeless question that will jab and stab and blab in my mind for the rest of my life. Remember, just because the world does it, doesn’t make it right. Tomorrow, I hope my mind will be set on this wonderful assurance of life. God bless you all!

*aj

Where Is God?



Happy Tuesday everyone, and happy early Easter! Because of the undeniable-yet-almost-unbelievable fact that Easter is right around the corner (despite of the three feet of snow on the ground right now), I have decided to do an Easter-themed post again. I love Easter because of what it means. I hope you find the same thing!

Many people are taught to think that God is “over there”. That He doesn’t care. That He wound up the world like a clock and then stepped away. That He couldn’t really be involved with us. 

But that, dear friend, is a very sad and misleading lie. 
God is love. How do we know what love is? We get to know God, because we CAN, and what God (through Jesus) did for us. 
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16, ESV)

Why would Jesus lay down His life for us? Because He loves us.

Greater love has no one than thisthat someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV)

We sinned and broke our relationship with God. Sin equals separation from God. So why again did Jesus come?

To show us love. To lay down His life for us. To restore our broken relationship with God.

We need to lay aside the facts of our past and what we’ve done to think that we could never accept love from God. 
It’s true that we don’t deserve it. But that is how we know true love, that he reached out to us when we had run away…far away…too far away to be found by anyone accept God.

God wants to know us. And we can know him too. We know God because we accept His amazing love that He has shown us. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

God is not “over there”. He is here. And His love reaches far…no matter how far you are, you can always come back. 

I know this post is extra short today, but seriously, what more is there? 
Love is here because God is here; God is Love. 

Thank you Lord for your amazing love.

*aj

Category: From The Bible
Tags: love, Jesus, Easter, amazing love, God’s love, God