In the Midst of the Messy

This phrase, “in the midst of the messy,” has been going through my head for about a month now.  I like it.  Because I’m somewhat of a literature geek, I like the alliteration almost more than the meaning behind the words.  Almost.

Our God loves us in the midst of the messiness of who we are.  We are flawed and imperfect, and yet He is the potter who is at work on His clay, molding and shaping us into something a little less messy than we were yesterday.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NASB)

He is the One who began the work and He is the One who is continuing to work so hard to complete the work.  He is the One who works!  Hallelujah!  All we can do is rest.  Just be the lump of clay.  Be the branch who abides in the vine.  Be the guy lying down in green pastures, resting beside still waters.

What a glorious freedom we have in Christ Jesus!  We who have turned to Him for His grace and mercy and have been adopted into His family, we who are the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16).  We have freedom to live our lives, to be loved by Him, in the midst of the messiness that is US. 😀

Brothers and sisters, we need not work hard to please Him.  He is already pleased with us (because we believed in Jesus Christ).  We need not try to change ourselves (because He is the One who is working to perfect the work He began).  And we need not attempt to clean up the messes in our lives, the ugliness that is our sinful flesh.

Don’t get me wrong, I delight in cleanliness and neatness and order (when it comes to earthly things).  But when it comes to my relationship with the Lord God, my sanctification, my right-standing with Him, I live knowing that there is no work to do in that regard.

He loves me just where I am; just as I am . . . it makes me adore Him all the more!

I love Him because He first loved me.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19, KJV)

Will Water Baptism Save Your Soul?

Were you baptized as an infant? As an adult? Are you trusting in your baptism as a means of salvation?

Do you know why the 1st century Jewish leaders were furious with John the Baptist? Did you know that baptism originated with Orthodox Judaism? . . .

To explore the subject of Baptism, please click the link below and check out these audio messages from Living God Ministries! 😊👍🏼✅

https://www.livinggodministries.net/…/radio_arc…/baptism.htm

Those audio messages say it all, so I’ll just close by saying that salvation is by faith alone.  It’s has nothing to do with taking a bath or getting wet.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8, NKJV)

Experiencing Joy in the Midst of Suffering

river at snowy day photo
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

 

Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. (Romans 12:12, NET Bible)

One of my favorite things about my relationship with the Lord is the JOY that He gives me; the joy that I feel coursing through my veins; joy that is palpable and evident and real.  It is His joy and I am so thankful to Him that He shares it with me.

I appreciate it so much more when it is felt during times of difficulty, pain and suffering.  At times like this, His joy makes me want to rejoice! 😄

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4:4, NASB)

I am reminded of Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, in which Corrie eloquently describes the dual-existence of joy in the midst of suffering.  In this true story that is a “must-read,” you’ll learn that Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their elderly father were all arrested and sent to prison for hiding a group of Jewish people in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland. Soon after their father’s untimely death, Corrie and Betsie spent time in the notorious women’s concentration camp, Ravensbruck.

“Life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels, mutually impossible. One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory.”  ― Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

Such a marvelous book! ❤️😁

The Ten Boom family could see the true light in the midst of this dark world.  And as their brothers and sisters, as Jesus followers, as believers in the gospel of grace, we also know the truth!

The truth has set us free, and yet we are stuck on this earth temporarily.  So, while we are here, let’s be patient; let’s hang in there; let’s not give up.

We all have pain, we all have suffering, and we all have difficulties to varying degrees.  But we also have hope.  Not only the hope of our future life in heaven, but the hope that is alive for us today:  the kingdom of God in our very hearts.  A hope with promise; that when we have persevered through tribulations, God will use the pain we have endured to reveal more of His love to us!

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB)