Living In The Now

Have you ever thought about your past and it not go so well? It may start off as reliving the good memories, but then it shifts and all your mistakes start to seep through? Your filter isn’t working and by the end of it, you have torn yourself apart and the ‘what ifs’ have consumed your thoughts.That is where I was last night. My boys are vacationing with their dad and I was missing them terribly. All I wanted was to talk to them and they had been difficult to reach. I found myself thinking about the past and all the hurt my actions had caused. By the end of it I was convinced that my children didn’t miss me or love me as much as they once did. So, I cried…hard. Of course, none of that was true, but I believed it in that moment.

Once I pulled myself together, I felt the urge to read my Bible. The below verse caught my attention:

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?

Isaiah 43:18-19 Msg

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.” I was not living out this scripture. I had just spent the last several minutes beating myself up with lies and going over my history..my past. I most certainly hadn’t forgotten, but the truth is God had. In Isaiah 43:25 scripture says, “I, yes I alone-will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” If God can forgive and forget, then I should do the same.

“Be alert, be present.” The only thing I have is right now in this moment. It doesn’t do any good to live in the past. Living in the past causes blindness. It blinds me from seeing the work God is doing in my life in the present.

I can remove the blinders of my past, and re-focus thru the lenses of God’s future for me.

“I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” How can I apply this scripture to my life in the present? I can remove the blinders of my past, and re-focus thru the lenses of God’s future for me. I am made a new creation in Christ Jesus. It isn’t about what I have done, it is about what God has done, and what He has done inside of me. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 says, “..now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone’ a new life burgeons!”

It isn’t about what I have done, it is about what God has done, and what He has done inside of me.

“A new life burgeons!” The definition of burgeons is, ‘begin to grow or increase rapidly, flourish’. Our Heavenly Father wants this for each of us. He doesn’t want us to remain chained by our past, our shortcomings, our sin. He wants us to break free through His forgiveness, so He can bless us and we can flourish right here in the now! I am ready to make this choice, are you ready to decide to not be a prisoner anymore and grasp a fresh start with Jesus?

Living in His grace,

Misty

Overcoming Disappointment With Those We Love

Have you ever been crushed by a choice or action a loved one made? I have, quite a few times over the years, and it left me feeling like all the air was sucked out of me. I am then left struggling to overcome the disappointment I have in that person. I wrestle with my emotions following the event. My emotions range from shock, anger, denial, to sadness.. And no matter how hard I try to process, forgive, and trust.. I lose the match.

So, I finally decided to listen to the Holy Spirit and dive into God’s word for comfort and guidance. The following verse shows me who God is and the example we should follow:

Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin.

Exodus 34:6 (NLT)

Unfailing love. Two times in this passage it states these two words. Synonyms for unfailing include: constant, boundless, endless inexhaustible, steadfast. This is the type of love Yahweh has for us, and this is the type of love we should extend to others.

I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. If I use the definitions of each of these words in a sentence, it would sound something like this: I forgive your immoral behavior, your resistance toward my ways, and your actions against me. That’s alot of forgiveness and the Lord gives it over and over. This is the example we should live by in helping to overcome disappointment with those we love.

Oh friends, if only this were easy. This scripture wasn’t enough to help reign in my feelings about this wrong, but instead of giving up, I kept digging.

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.

James 1:19 (NLT)

How I want to yell and voice my anger when I am disappointed!! The last thing I want to hear is what that person has to say, and all I want is to speak my mind! But that is not what we are instructed to do. The verse pretty much speaks for itself and really our job is to be obedient to His word and apply this command in our lives.

At this point, in my digging, I started to relax and found myself being more open to receiving God’s lesson. The Holy Spirit was quietly saying these words and reminding me that if God loves me no matter what I do, then I should love others no matter what they do.

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)

Love covers all wrongs. So even though I am crushed in my spirit, even though I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the choice they made, I am called to cover their wrong in love. This is called unconditional love.

(Love) is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged…Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13: 5,7 (NLT)

Forgive and wipe the slate clean. Put down the pencil and paper in your mind and don’t keep record of what was done. Replace love with your name and then ask yourself if that is what you are practicing. I’ll go first..

Misty is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. Misty never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

So to wrap this blog up, how do I overcome disappointment with those I love?

  1. I remember who God is
  2. I actively listen to the other person, take my time to respond, and do not allow my anger to dictate my response.
  3. I show and give unconditional love to the person who has made a bad choice.
  4. I forgive, learn to trust, and wipe the slate clean.

Living by grace,

Misty

The Hypocritical Christian

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..

Romans 3:23

I think that Christians are often described as hypocritical. Their lives may not add up all the time to their actions. The expectation is that Christians should be perfect and without flaw. The truth is, that is impossible.

Why? Because we all are human. We all are flawed, make mistakes, and fall short of the glory of God. There is only one person who walked this earth blameless and without sin, Jesus Christ.

It becomes discouraging when fellow Christians cast judgement in the same way. This can cause us to step back and allow shame to overtake the truths of what God says about us. We may feel that the Church isn’t all it says it is and we stop attending; and that eventually leads us to start separating from God. Our hearts may grow bitter and we question if those relationships we made were even real.

We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Have you ever been let down by someone who you thought was a good Christian friend? I have. I found myself in a place where my actions did not line up to my faith that I proclaimed. I felt incredible shame, guilt, and confusion and didn’t reach out to those same friends. So I guess in part it was my fault. At the same time, I expected them to still be there for me. I expected forgiveness, grace, and love. I expected them to be perfect, when in reality, they were just as capable of making mistakes too. I miss those friendships, but I also learned a great deal about them. I saw how I needed to change in my relationships and that I too was incredibly judgmental. My expectations couldn’t be met by an imperfect person.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:8

If we could be perfect then their wouldn’t have been a need for a Savior. What would be the point? God sent His son to die for our sins because we were failing. We were unable to keep the law and God saw this. In order for any of us to spend eternity with Him, there had to be a final sacrifice.

Our God knew then and knows now that we will always fall short. Falling short comes in many forms. I think sometimes we only focus on what some call “major sins”: murder, adultery, etc. While those are definitely sins, there are others that we tend to overlook, and maybe we overlook them because we don’t want to admit we all sin. Some examples are : drunkenness, lying, gossiping, pornography, greed, divorce, etc. The hard truth is that there is no sin greater than the other. I believe this because our Heavenly Father forgives us of each sin, no matter the severity, as long as we ask for forgiveness and truly repent. The Lord says,

I, I am he, who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

Isaiah 43:25

I am a hypocritical Christian. I will no longer feel shame and guilt when I am labeled that. I can walk in boldness, courage, and forgiveness because of what Christ did for me on that cross.

Let us all remember that we are in need of a Savior, and it is because of Him that we can walk freely in His grace alongside of Him.

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.

C. S. Lewis

Living by grace,

Misty