“When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Oh my soul, what a burden I am.
And God, why do you long for me?
What a disgrace I will be to heaven.
What shame I carry under your name.
Release this weight of sin from your goodness.
Take your badge of grace off this wretched image.
How disgusted I am to bring dishonor to glory.
Though, as I long to rid your world of my iniquity,
You will nonetheless bring this waist to freedom.
Let me go.
I deserve what I should have payed the price for.
Take your honor and your glory and throw me to the fire.
This blackened stain should have no place as your witteness.
No place should I have to retreat when life finally ends.
Take back what I should never have owned;
Give your gift to those who will do you justice.
Look away and never back.
How could I be yours?
Forgive me not and cast me down to where I deserve.
Be glorified oh my God.
Oh God, I am your abomination.
I want nothing to do with your disgrace.
Leave me and be holy.
Be faithful to all yet faithless to me.
I could never deserve You.
So, help me, dear God...
That I would receive your mercy.
That I would dwell in the cross.
That I would live in redemption.
That I would rest in your blood.
That your reconciliation would be my strength.
That I might not hide from my Father...
But be seen and free.
God loves you.
He is a holy, just, loving God.
Heaven is perfect with nothing sad or bad.
We all try to do our best but we make mistakes. We’ve hurt people, lied, cheated, and more... this is called sin.
We’ve sinned against others, ourselves, and most importantly against God... the one who created us and loves us more than anyone.
One day we’ll die carrying all of our good and all of our bad to meet God. So how do we get to live in His eternal home when heaven is holy, pure, and without any blemish?
Because of our Heavenly Fathers great love for us He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. A perfect offering on our behalf.
The Lord Jesus came alive and rose from the grave 3 days later. Then He went back to heaven to be with His Father and prepare a place for you. So how can you live in heaven with God one day?
If you’ll put your faith and hope in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior for the redemption (payment) of your sins He will give you eternal life in Heaven.
There will be no more condemnation... free from guilt and shame... you will become a spotless heir to the kingdom of God. A child of the one true King.
God sends His Holy Spirit to live within you now as a constant helper leading you throughout your best and hardest times. He promises, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
“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.”
Balancing sin in our lives is exhausting... I know this exhaustion well. It says, “A little bit of God and a little bit of me,” as our days get fuller and fuller. So we seek relief. Relief in self. Relief in idols. Relief in sin. And we sink deeper, deeper, deeper. The world tells us things completely contrary to God. It builds you up as you sit alone behind a screen. It says you deserve more, you should have more, and you are more. Soon, in our attempt at freedom from work, rules, and oppositional people we become bound even more than we were, busier than ever before, and totally unhappy. We become slaves to sin again. Longing for a single moment of relief with any idol we can momentarily fill ourselves up with.
God wants you to have a full life of pleasure, enjoyment, and peace in things that provide you rest not escape, freedom not enslavement. When your happiness comes from escaping God it will only leave you as empty inside as it has left God longing for your affections. There is total fulfillment in Gods creation for the sake of His glory. There is only self-fulfilling pain and harm when we escape His love. Delight yourself in everything for God’s good. Anything not being done for God is self-destruction and a sin against Christ our Lord who gave ALL for us. Obedience is freedom. Freedom from the traps and destruction of trying to figure out how to make it through this world using its idols. We are free to joyfully revel in Gods glorious creation. Free to enjoy the pleasures of this world to the fullest extent of their truest design.
And now, as believers, may we never forget the grace painfully, humbly, and loving poured out on us while others still live in their sin with no relief or freedom in heaven to come. The life of righteousness demands complete heart obedience. This doesn’t come with the expectancy of perfection, however, as believers we now live totally indebted to Christ by His death in place of ours. Fitting sin into our new righteousness is in conflict with our very selves. We are a new creation and a temple of the Holy Spirit... a gift which should cause us to fall on our face in reverent gratitude every time we think of it. We are truly without excuse to live a moment of selfishness when we’ve been saved from hell for all of eternity by our Lord who payed the humiliating and painful price for us. Not a moment of excuse do we deserve yet an eternity of forgiveness, love, and freedom He continues to lavish on us.
“When our worlds are falling apart and we look around us at the strongest creatures that are, we know that we can not put our trust in them. If that is all we had we would be a miserable lot. But we have One, Who has us, Who is nothing like everything we know. “
-The Holiness of God sermon
“Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? If so, I expose religion to ridicule and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently, I am a Judas (Luke 22: 48), and it were better for me that I “had never been born”(Mark 14: 21). Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love you, Jesus, and though I often grieve you, yet I desire to abide faithful even unto death.”
-Morning and Evening devotional
“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
2 Timothy 2:20-22
“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”
“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
“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.”
1 Corinthians 15:54-58
“Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”
1 Corinthians 15:33-34
“...My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. "There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.”
1 Samuel 2:1-2
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, "Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him."”
I wish I could say that I became a Christian and lived a life of goodness and peace, worthy of my salvation, from that moment on but it’s not so. I was first taught about God in preschool and I’ve loved Him since then. I believed in Jesus and His Lordship in my life as long as I’ve known . Unfortunately my life became a battle between my natural flesh and the Holy Spirit within me Who fought so hard for my righteousness, peace, joy, and faithfulness . What a waist and disgrace I was for so many years because I didn’t realize that Who I had inside was all I’d ever need . I was born again and created for His glory . I’d received Christ’s death for my sins and the salvation He freely gave yet year after year I relentlessly added to the shame He bore, on the cross, on my behalf that dreadful day of His crusifiction. Nonetheless, what a God! He looks down on me not remembering my sins but seeing His blameless child whom He loves and willingly died for . Jesus suffered friendless and alone on my behalf . He didn’t look to the sufficiency of people or things to help Him but only to His Father and His eternal joy. I can do the very same because Christ is more than sufficient for me . Through Christ I have what this world can never offer (and I’ve searched). It’s a peace that passes understanding... It’s enduring this world, with joy, for the reward set before me ... It’s an eager expectation that one day I will rid myself of this flesh which would dare inflict pain on Christ and shame on my Holy Holy Holy LORD . My hope is complete . I rest secure in the outcome of my faith, through Christ Jesus, who has called me out of darkness and into His light  . This is freedom...to know my purpose (the daily, joy-filled, glorification of our Lord) and to have already attained my reward (my undeserved home with Him forever in heaven) .
All blessing and honor and glory to my Father, my Savior, my King. 
1• “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Galatians 5:16-17 ESV
2• “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Romans 8:18 ESV
3• “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”
Hebrews 12:1-4 ESV
4• “And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."”
John 12:44-50 ESV
5• “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV
6• “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to Him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
1 Peter 2:23-25 NIV
7• “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”
Colossians 2:6-10 ESV
8• “... 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. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”
Romans 10:9-10 ESV
9• “... I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me forever; yet you brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!"”
Jonah 2:6-9 ESV
10• “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
Philippians 3:12-16 ESV
11• “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
Isaiah 6:3-5 KJV
12• “Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you; he has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall never again fear evil. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: "Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:14-17 ESV
13• “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
Philippians 3:20-21 ESV
14• “Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
Revelation 5:11-14 ESV
15• “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”
Romans 7:21-25 ESV
16• “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."”
Isaiah 43:1-7 ESV
This is Abby. She was born on Sunday but I met her for the first time many months ago. She was much smaller, in her momma’s tummy, and I couldn't see her yet but she was right next to me. I loved her then and I love her now. Her mom and dad loved her too and are so grateful to have her here today. For a moment they thought that life without Abby would be better than life with her...That is the day I met her, Aug 17, 2016, but they know now, as I believe we all know, that God created little Abby as a unique, independent little person. He had perfect plans for her despite her beginnings and she deserved the chance to live out her purpose in this life. She was born on January 15, 2017, a Sunday, the Lords day. Her parents named her Abby which means, "The Fathers Joy". I can't help but believe that our Heavenly Father orchestrated this all in His perfect way. The love of our Father for His children is more than I could ever grasp. It's the same love He has for you. He created us not only because we bring Him joy but because we are His joy as we find ours in Him. Oh how I pray that EVERYONE would know the love you're Father in heaven has for you. The same love He has for beautiful little Abby.
When God says, "Go." Go.
When God says, "Wait." Wait.
Listen. Pray. Read.
What did you do today? Was every moment spent to serve Him? Did you step out in faith and do those tough things He told you to do? Do you trust that His plan is better than yours? Really? Did you fight the good fight or did you get by with good instead of great? Because life is too short and there's too much work to be done. Real love is a verb, so get to work even if you have to stand on your own.
"Getting pregnant right before I started my senior year was definitely not my plan. Having a child with someone I barley new at the time and who I didn't even love was not easy!! But my my plans and God's plans are not the same, as I look back at my life I can see His hand upon mine! The statics were totally against us but together with Gods help we overcame them!! He gave me hope when I had none. He gave me the love I needed to love my partner, the patience when things did not go my way, and when I felt like running He gave me the courage to stay!!
I was a teen parent at 18 and all the statistics were against me. I had no moral support from my family or my baby's father. We even broke up due to my pregnancy but I knew having an abortion was not the answer!!! I could not live my life knowing I did this to my child while everyone else enjoyed there's!! So I sucked it up and had my baby. Yes I missed out on a lot. I'd be lying to you if I said it was easy, heck no, it was one of the hardest times in my life but now twenty years later I have an amazing beautiful young lady I call my daughter!!! And in between those twenty years I found my husband my best friend and it was my baby's father all along! We both had some growing up to do before we'd come back to each other and I know it was God who blessed me with this beautiful relationship. It might have started off wrong but everything was worth it in the end!!! My point is, yes I could've taken the easy way out, had an abortion, and enjoyed my life & my youth but this baby deserved a life just like any other regardless of MY situation!! A child is a blessing period."
“I got pregnant at 19 when I had a heart condition and was in my first year of architecture school. My boyfriend lived on the other side of the world and I felt alone and scared. My parents are ministers and I was so worried about telling them what I'd done and the consequence of that action. I had already been told that my heart might not handle a pregnancy and delivery and I was immediately beyond sick. My morning sickness was so bad, my doctor had to get special permission from my insurance for an expensive medicine to stop me from throwing up. She said if we couldn't get this under control, the baby and I were going to dehydrate or starve to death.
Most days of the first 5 months, I could hardly move. Yet not once was I not prepared to sacrifice my life for my baby's. I just prayed God would save him before He took me. My family eventually knew and were helpful and gracious. But there were other parties involved that demanded I get an abortion saying I could always "try again" for another baby in the future if I wanted. My response was that I could never have THIS baby again and that, though the circumstances were not ideal, life throws you curveballs and you have to find the purpose in them and learn to somehow thrive through the path before you.
My last trimester was also a struggle and I gave birth all the time praying my son would live even if I didn't. And as soon as he was born, my body went into shock and it looked like my fears were being realised. For the first time, I prayed for myself. Asked God to let me live, too, so I could see my baby and be the one to love him throughout his life. I wanted him to have me as much as I wanted to have him. I was spared that day and was later able to hold the love of my life and examine his perfect face, fingers, and toes.
Life as a single mother hasn't been easy. But everything in this world that is worth anything takes effort and sacrifice. My son has been the most worthwhile thing about my life and I'm just grateful that I was given this blessing that I didn't even know I wanted at a time that I didn't realise I needed it. I'm so glad I don't live a life where my son isn't a part of this world. He is bright and funny and compassionate. I have no doubt he will make his mark on the world as he has on my heart. He never felt like a choice, he felt like a gift.
I know the loneliness and the fear involved in an unplanned pregnancy and my hope is that everyone who goes through what I did realises they don't have to be alone. And realises you have real choices beyond to abort or not. I hope you find a helping hand and realise you are beautiful, you are pure, you are worth celebrating, and you are LOVED.”