I have never felt more home in Louisiana. I know many are not happy with the snow, but I can’t help but say thank you to Lord this morning. I have been asking him to bring me closer to Him and to have more of an awareness of his ‘loveprints’. Bringing a snow storm down to Louisiana is not only unexpected but revealed beauty in the midst of a storm. Holy Spirit has had me mediating on Isaiah 55 this week and I can see why very clearly today.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways. ”This is the Lord’s declaration.“ For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” -Isaiah 55:8-11 CSB
Things don’t go always as we plan or expect and life can bring a storm we never expected. What we can trust is that He is good and that He cares for us. It may not feel like it as we go through the storm. He can feel coldhearted and it may feel like we will slip and fall. However, His heart has never been more turned towards us than this moment right now. He won’t allow us to slip. If we invite Him in, he may just show us beauty where we least expected it, right in the middle of the storm.
Contrary to what many believe, Jesus did not come to save the world for those who had it all together. In fact, Jesus walked the earth using ordinary things like dirt and spit to do extraordinary things. Like making a blind man see from a mud pie. Instead of the Pharisee’s being able to celebrate the miracle that just had happened before them, they were blinded by pride. The Pharisee’s interrogated the man who now could see and even his parents! How could Jesus do such a thing like healing a man on the Sabbath!?
This sounds funny and innocent from the pages of John 9 looking in. But, we very well could be the Pharisee’s accusing Jesus of healing the man on the Sabbath and miss the miracle too. Living a life filled with pride can blind us of the extraordinary, what God is doing before us, and who he wants to do it through. We foolishly look inward and compare ourselves to ourselves and miss the grace we desperately need.
But, Why do we do this?
Knowing pride is the root of all sin, how can we get ensnared in it so easily?
There are many ways that people fall into pride. One being the underlying message in society that says we have to have it together. According to the Word of God, we do not have to have it all together. In fact, our weakness is a portal to God’s power. His grace is sufficient in our weaknesses. This frees you and I from needing to look strong on the outside while we are quietly crumbling away on the inside. His grace and mercy that He died to give us is a ticket to humility. We cannot earn it and we do not deserve it.
Jesus can’t save those who do not think they need saving.
Jesus came to save people who were broken in sin. He came to save you and me. Not only did he come to save us, but to help us in our weaknesses. We can end up dipping our toes in the prideful swamp as we take our focus off Christ and the gift of grace. We then turn our attention inward, on self. In our fallen nature, we are selfish and self centered. Walking in our new nature, we are selfless because we are Christ centered. All we are and all we need, He is our source.
Holy Spirit explained pride this way to me, “Thinking you know it all is a sure sign you don’t know much”.
Join me today in asking the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from the inside out. Let us come before the throne of God, ready to admit when we have been wrong or missed the mark. Then we can receive the grace and mercy Jesus died to give us. I invite you to be free the unrealistic standard of having it all together. I loose a great eagerness to be continually taught by the only one who does.
Jesus then said, “I came into the world to bring everything into the clear light of day, making all the distinctions clear, so that those who have never seen will see, and those who have made a great pretense of seeing will be exposed as blind.” Some Pharisees overheard him and said, “Does that mean you’re calling us blind?” Jesus said, “If you were really blind, you would be blameless, but since you claim to see everything so well, you’re accountable for every fault and failure. -John 9:39-41 MSG
Claiming to be wise, they became fools, -Romans 1:22 ESV
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. -Proverbs 16:18 NLT
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. -1 Timothy 1:12-16 ESV
As I have been leaning into the Father’s presence, he has been talking to me about good works and their purpose. Every single one of us has a purpose and our purposes’ are intertwined to be apart of God’s love story to humanity. As the Body of Christ, the works that the Holy Spirit invites us to be apart of come together and build off one another. Unfortunately, much of the time when we hear of good works being talked about, it is attached to statements like: “we are justified by faith, not works” or “good works will never get you into heaven”. I can agree with both of those statements! Even though religion has twisted the purpose of good works, we must not overlook the purpose God has for them.
What are good works? Let us start with what they are not. Good works are not something we do to earn God’s love. This is simply unbiblical and an echo of religious structures that need to be uprooted. However, because God loves us and we love Him, good works are a byproduct of this faith and love. Paul put’s it this way,
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works.” -James 2:18 CSB
Out of our personal relationship with God, our hearts desire should be to share the same love, grace, and mercy we have received. When you have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, you cannot help but want to share the same. A love that fills every void, healing of ‘incurable’ diseases, a father who desires to spend time with you, who listens to you day and night-He is everything we and the rest of this broken world needs. Of course we want to share the Gospel! It is GOOD NEWS for ALL! Good works are a byproduct of your relationship with God. As you intentionally grow closer to Him, you understand that there needs to be a light in the darkness! The person that God has chosen for this task is you!
You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. -Matthew 5:15-16 CSB
Did you catch that? YOU are the LIGHT of the WORLD and the GOOD WORKS God has called you to do will bring him GLORY! That phrase ‘give glory’ actually means that ‘they should glorify’ God. When we break that down further, this is the Hebrew word doksázō. Doksázō means to value God for who He really is or to personally ascribe God in his true character or essence.
As the light of the world, the good works produced out of you display God for who He is! As Matthew 5 says, you are not meant to be hidden. This world needs you to walk out being the light because it is in darkness. Good works do not add or take away from God’s love, they simply display His love to the World. We can only produce good works that are beneficial to the Kingdom of Heaven by continually building a relationship with Him. It is out of understanding His love for us that we are able to love others and share this same love. It is important to remember that these good works are as unique as we are! God has purposed for us to display His glory to bring hope to this broken world when it is needed most! I think we can all agree that THIS is one of those times.
Will you lean listen to the whispers and gentle nudges of the Holy Spirit and obey His voice? He may ask you to text a friend to let them know you are thinking about them, go to a place you did not even know was on the map to spread the good news, or talk to that stranger that seems cranky in the grocery store. Whatever He asks you to do as the light of this world, DO IT! God has invited you to have a personal relationship with Him not only for your benefit. After all, Jesus displayed his love through servanthood! God has also given you specific gifts to display WHO He is to a world that desperately needs Him, now more than ever.
Call To Action:
What is a good work? What is a good work NOT?
HOW are good works produced?
How can you be the LIGHT of the world today?
Why is understanding that you are UNIQUE on PURPOSE important as you walk out your God given purpose?
Ask Holy Spirit to bring you revelation through an example of Jesus or the disciples carrying out a ‘good work’.
No matter what circumstance you may be facing, on the mountain top or in the valley, there is a secret to TRUE fulfillment👀 Thankfully for us, it is revealed in the Word of God🙌🏻😌 Today’s episode will leave you filled with encouragement & activation no matter what season you find yourself in! ❤
Listen to Let Love Be My Motive podcast on most streaming platforms!
If you have been a true follower of Christ for any period of time, you have dealt with the loss of relationships. Not out of your lack of love, but for the lack of the world’s love for Him. One of the most painful things we go through as true followers of Christ is that hate seems to follow us when we speak the truth in love. You can tell the world of the things God has done, but they come back with louder voices of condemnation. It is painful, isn’t it? Being freed from all the bondage of the world and wanting to share it but being rejected time and time again. Thankfully, we are not alone in this, Jesus understands quite well.
“He testifies to what he has seen and heard, and yet no one accepts his testimony. The one who has accepted his testimony has affirmed that God is true.” -John 3:32-33 CSB
My friend, this is a soul to soul reminder that you are not less than and the devil is trying to shut you up. Why is he trying to shut you up when you share your testimony? Because a testimony is proof that God is willing to do something again. The enemy doesn’t want people free from what harms them. The terrible thing about the satan’s deception is that those who are fooled into falsehood cannot see they are deceived. It is true we can tell people by their fruit. Although I wish we could see past the rotten fruit. The truth is, both you and I would help save everyone if we could.
As I was struggling with my lost loved one’s, explaining my case to those who clearly did not want to believe the truth. My husband spoke up with boldness and conviction. He spoke, “Can you imagine if Jesus never left the place where people never understood him? He would have never left Jerusalem.” This spoke volumes to me. We must not be hung up on people that do not understand the gospel when there is world full of broken people desiring for the Good News. The people who are waiting on you to speak into their life and be that Christ like example are also the lost loved one’s your brother and sister’s in Christ have been praying for to be saved. We must not get hung up on the lost loved one’s who refuse to accept the truth and trust that God is going to send people in their path to love them right out of the darkness.
Love is not keeping quiet about the truth. After all, it is the truth that sets us free. Many people do not like my testimony of being freed from homosexuality and healed from mental illness. Because I no longer side with the kingdom of darkness, I am now known as a hater from a community that claims to speak love for all. In reality, their ‘love’ conditional upon conforming to their beliefs. As I have stepped up in boldness about being set free, there has been a clear separation of those who believe in God’s Word and those who do not.
“But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.” -1 John 4:6 NLT
The beautiful thing about Christianity is that you don’t have to believe what I believe to be loved. We love you despite the cursing and hatred we are shown. Loving people despite what they do is the perfect example we were shown by our heavenly Father. I love the very people who curse me and ridicule me. Even though they claim I hate them, I share my testimony of freedom found in Jesus for the very reason of love. Love shares the truth that sets people free, not leads them into deeper patterns of bondage.
When we are attacked for our beliefs, it is essential we remember who God says we are. That the world hated Jesus first without cause. That the reason we are so deeply hated is not because we are doing something wrong, but because we are destroying the works of the devil. The only thing satan can do is to try to make you think that this fight is against people rather than him. It is unfortunate to have those you love the most tear you down. It hurts to lose friends and even family. Jesus knows how this feels too. There was a point where he asked “Who is my Mother? Who is my brother?” (Matthew 12:46-50). He understood that flesh does not make you family or friends. It is the Spirit behind the person that incorporates the pillar of family.
As you grow closer to God and transform to be more like him, there will be people who betray you and reject you. It is not because you did anything wrong. It is because they listen to the world rather than listening to the voice of the Father. I encourage you not to waver in your faith or the truth that sets people free just because people don’t agree. The truth of the situation is they are just deceived. Sharing the truth in love and people disagreeing is something Jesus went through too. The enemy will use people to accuse you and twist your words in attempt to make you quiet. Because when you are quiet, you are no longer speaking the truth that sets people free. My friend, you are WHO He says you are. Your testimony of God’s love at work in you life is valid and something no one can take away. The devil knows this.
You may lose friends and family because of God’s power at work in your life, but God will send more people in with pure intentions for your valuable heart and soul. God will send people who love you so much that they are unwavering in the truth even when it is hard. Solely because these divine friendships don’t want less for you than what God desires for you. God will send people that are family that you will rejoice with in heaven.
Refuse to be distracted from the deception of others. Refuse to be quiet about what God has done in your life. Refuse to partner with the poisonous words that have been spewed to shut you up. You my friend, are destroying the works of the devil every time you share the truth of God’s Word. There is a great harvest for those who suffer while doing good.
I will leave you with this snippet of a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine. It is not by conforming to the world that we change it. It is by transforming to be more like him. Even though we may be hated, we will change the world one step of obedience at a time!
More Scripture For Study:
1 John 3:1-10
1 John 4:4-5
2 Corinthians 6:14-18
My Prayer For You:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing Spirit so that I will teach transgressors your way and sinners will return to you.