The Pursuit…

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Hi loves, hope you’re enjoying the summer :) Today, I’d love to share a little passage that stuck with me this week. And the passage is from a book I’m currently reading, “The Pursuit Of God” by A.W. Tozer.

SIDE NOTE: If you’re one of those people who read on the kindle app, either on your phone or your computer, this book is currently only 99 cents.

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This chapter, really stuck out to me because it talks about one of the burdens that a lot of us struggle with…this is the burden of “pretense” and “artificiality”, we are called to be meek…

But most of us are constantly struggling to find our value in this world. We go about our lives always fighting to be recognized and valued, either through our possessions, fame, money, power, beauty, relationships, education, knowledge, career, lifestyle etc

We carry the burden of shame because we feel like we don’t measure up…we’re not good enough…and this stems from constantly comparing ourselves to others, trying to find recognition and seeking for our place in society…

ultimately we’re just trying to be accepted…and because of this, we can’t truly be our authentic selves, we’re constantly trying to be something we’re not, we’re constantly hiding our flaws and weaknesses…

so that we can win the approval of others or so we can be validated…

the result of this is living in a constant state of shame and fear, hiding our true selves under a mask, while playing a role, pretending to be something we’re not….

“The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.” – A.W.Tozer

The big revelation, is realizing that our value does not come from this world but it comes from God, unless we surrender our guilt, shame and burdens to him and seek our identity in him, we will forever seek to be validated by this world…

and if this is the end goal, we will never find contentment and peace, because there will always be someone or something better out there…in essence without letting God determine our value, we’re just fighting a losing battle…

The only way to live without -

…..the burden of not being good enough,

……shame, guilt and fear,

is to PURSUE God

1 John 4:18 (ESV)

18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Love always,

XOXO,

Dee

 



We’re here for RELATIONSHIPS…(Day 20) What Is Love? Challenge

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This past Sunday, our church service was dedicated to exploring the Trinity of God…and as part of the sermon our pastor brought to our attention this beautiful piece of Art, “The Trinity” by Andrei Rublev which depicts God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Without going into the whole history of this painting, I just wanted to talk about it’s significance as explained by our pastor. That even before the heavens and earths were created, God existed within an interconnected RELATIONSHIP driven by LOVE.

If you explore the story of creation in Genesis, God created man in his image,

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Man (Adam) was formed to have a relationship with God and next he was given the woman (Eve) so that they can have a relationship with each other, so that they can form a union…which is the institution of marriage as we know it today, the most important institution created by God,

Genesis 2:18 (ESV)

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

Genesis 2:24 (ESV)

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

and as we discussed on Day 1 of the “What Is Love? Challenge” the greatest command is to LOVE…to love God and to love others…love can only exist within a relational state with others. We can’t say we love God and ignore to express his love that lives within us, to others. And we can’t live like Islands, as long as we live on this earth we will form various forms of relationships with others. And God calls us to love them as he has loved us.

Therefore, the whole purpose of our existence is to have a loving relationship with God and mirror God’s love in our relationships with others.

This brings me to today’s verse from Day 20 of the “What Is Love? challenge”

1 Peter 3:8-12 (ESV)

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For

“Whoever desires to love life
    and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
    and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
    let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Today’s verses, teach us, how as mirrors of God’s love, we are supposed to relate to others. God calls us as a body of christ to be united and of one mind… God is our head, and although we’re part of his body and may have different functions, we all exist for one purpose to glorify him, therefore we should all strive to keep this in mind and stand together in unity.

Next we are called to be, sympathetic, loving, tender hearted (kind, gentle, compassionate) and humble…reflecting the characteristics of God.

Following in the steps of christ we are not supposed to repay evil for evil but to bless those who mistreat us and leave judgement to God….the same way Jesus forgave and prayed for those who crucified him…if we behave in this way God will also bless us…

Next we’re advised if we want love life and see good days we’re to keep our speech from evil or lies, keep everything pure and transparent, turn away from doing evil and instead do good, seek peace and pursue it…

We’re reminded that God sets his eyes on the righteous and he hears their prayer, but hides his face from those who do evil…

so today let’s pray and ask God to help us:

have a good relationship with him and with others so that we may glorify him,

exist in love and mirror his love in our relationship with others,

to be united in mind with other believers, to be sympathetic, loving, tender hearted and humble,

not pay evil for evil but have the strength to forgive and bless those who mistreat us,

turn away from evil and always do good,

keep our speech from evil and lies,

seek and pursue peace,

 - Amen

Love Always,

Dee



Real Peace Is…

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I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, today, I just wanted to share a lovely quote that stuck with me as I was reading one of my devotionals…this is from the book, “The Seven Laws Of Love.” By Dave Willis

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The pervasive access to other people’s lives through Social Media gives us a false image of reality…most people curate their online personas so they may uphold a certain image to others…because honestly, Social Media isn’t really a place to showcase our weaknesses but our strengths…

…most of us go through the cycle of our daily routines wearing a mask…hiding our burdens underneath….rarely do people ask friends, family or co-workers how they really are doing, with the intent of listening to personal burdens….

“Everyone is fighting their own battles.

To be free from their past.

To live in their present.

And to create their future.

So have heart.”

- Unkown

 

We all carry our burdens and personal experiences wherever we go or to whatever relationships we encounter on a daily basis and our reactions to situations or to others, is often deeply rooted in our personal perceptions…

Therefore, before you make assumptions or pass judgement always try to be kind, compassionate and empathetic…because most people are fighting battles you know nothing about…and behind every “I’m fine”, there’s usually a deeper story to uncover…

On a personal note, from my own life experience, I have been on both sides of the fence, where I’ve tried carrying all the burdens of life on my own verses surrendering my burdens to God…and I have found that when I surrender my burdens to him, I truly have peace that surpasses all understanding….

“Don’t tell God how big your storm is,

tell the storm how big your God is…”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Stay Blessed,

XOXO

Dee



What’s your life’s FOUNDATION built on?

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(Image Source)

Most of the decisions we make in life, are based on our desire to seek some sort of security for our future…

we wake up every morning and go to bed with goals…

whatever phase of life we’re in, whether trying to build a great career, or putting money away for a rainy day,  or seeking commitment in our relationships…

ultimately for most of us, it all comes down to setting ourselves up for a better future…ensuring we can improve our lives on some level…but in life there are no guarantees nor are there straight paths…life has ups and downs and sometimes we’re hit by storms…

the only way we can ensure we can withstand the uncertainty that comes with life, is to have a strong foundation in which our lives are built on…

Something that’s always constant and never changes no matter what…

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I was having my devotional reading earlier this week and was reminded of this truth. I thought back to one of my favorite stories as a child, the three little pigs…

What happens when the “big bad wolf” comes and tries to blow your house down? is your house built on sand?, is it built with stick or straw? or is it built on bricks?

will your house stand firm? or will it collapse under the pressure?

Psalm 127 : 1 -2 NIV

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.

It’s only natural, that in life, storms will come, people will disappoint us, things will not go as planned…what determines what happens to us during this time, is how we weather the storm…how we handle the crisis and how we come out on the other side…

The only thing that’s constant through it all is God’s unfailing Love, he is the same yesterday, today and forever…though everything else will pass, he stays the same.

When you build your foundation in God, instead of having uncertainty and worry, he gives us a wonderful sense of peace through his unfailing love and grace, this doesn’t mean all the pain goes away or that it makes things any easier…

Instead you’re able to face the storm with confidence, knowing there is purpose in the pain and everything will workout for your good…that his plans are bigger than our limited understanding.

Romans 8:28 KJV

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

When you have God as your foundation, you can walk with your head held up high, with the knowledge that he’s fighting your battles and you only need to be still…

Exodus 14:14 NIV 

14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Stay encouraged dear friends,

God bless,

XOXO,

Dee