With God nothing is impossible

“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV

I have a lot of BIG things I am praying for and about. (yes, this sounds like yesterday’s post.) I am not ashamed to have needs and not ashamed to pray boldly for them. Let me share how my last week played out and the testing of my faith in what really amounts to a little thing.  Not a big thing like a soul to be saved, not a government to be protected, just a simple small need and definitely a first world problem. 

My adult (23 years old) son just graduated last spring from college, has a good job (not in his field and not making much), it is steady work, and he is just starting off into independent adulthood. I am proud of him even though he is struggling – it a familiar struggle and a stage of life most adults have been through once or even a few times.
He took his car to the shop for a repair (one of those dealer parts kind of thing) and was quoted just under $500. Big money for him. I said I would help. However, God permitted obstacles and a change of direction – something the enemy meant for evil and God had a plan to use it for good.
The dealership opened up the car and immediately called us. The problem was not so simple – it was huge. The new quote was over a thousand just to get the car fixed enough to diagnose the rest which they predicted to be almost another thousand. The old car (with body damage, with 200k miles, with a value of $500 and with nothing left to offer this world) should not be fixed.

Immediately, I praise the lord on the inside.  I had already took a half day off from work the next day – we were at a dealership (and since I don’t know about cars, buying one from a dealer might be wise) the timing and location seemed to wrap me in the comfort of God’s grace. In faith I walked out to the front sales floor and said we want to buy the least expensive car on your lot. My faith was fixed. This is it! Since my son needs a car to get to work – it’s a need – then GOD WILL PROVIDE! AMEN!!! Step aside and stay out of my way.

Meanwhile, my son starts to panic – it all happened so fast. He was still processing that his car (his first car ever) just died.
I throw him in for a test drive. He is shocked and confused but gets in the car with the sales lady and drives. I pop open my banking app and say: “Dear Jesus, how are you going to do this? Obviously not with my money.” 

I did not wait for an answer from God. Might have been my first mistake in this. Instead I called my brother. He encouraged me and reassured me that God will make a way. It will probably be by financing, but it will build the kid’s credit and (quickly calculating based on estimated numbers) the monthly payment may be less than a week’s pay for him. I am reassured and ready. If God pulled it off that night it would have been a huge miracle; to God be all the glory!!!

My son comes back from the test drive, quiet. So I talk with the sales person. I saw a huge STOP sign when numbers grew too high before closing costs when they should have been going down – so we leave.  My son is starting to get a negative attitude (I do not notice) and I am in “fix the situation” mode.  When he and I finally talk alone, he is not ok – not with the car he drove, not with his car being broken, not with us talking numbers and financing and all these things he doesn’t understand and talking about all these car things he has never even thought about or knew about. He was overwhelmed. I quickly say, breathe deep, this is how life goes sometimes. We are doing this and I stop at the dealer next door. I walk in and say: show me the least expensive are on the lot. My second mistake – I should have given my son time to catch up.

Instead his attitude continued to decline and I was letting it all happen to fast. We leave place number two with a paper; on it car info on a reliable car that meets his needs and a firm number for cost (in a good range for financing). I have peace.

The drive home was a nightmare, as I began to realize my son was crumbling under fear and stress and anger with a giant attitude problem. I tried talking with him, but he was shut down. I began to stress about him.
I get home call a few praying friends to ask for prayers. But at this point my stress about my son seems to be projected onto the situation – it is obvious I am not myself now either. I too caught the spirit of fear. And I still haven’t taken the time to really talk and listen to God. One of my praying friends is on the line trying to calm me down and it isn’t working. Then all of a sudden I calmed. I had grace, peace and powerful faith again. It was strange, but so grateful for it. God literally released me from that and I was me again. (Turned out another friend was praying for me at that moment!)

Remember this from yesterday’s post:
Philippians 4:19 KJV “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
I can have confidence the answer is: “Yes, child, I will meet this need.”
Praise the Lord!
“And sometimes I need to wait on the answer as you see above in Daniel, sometimes a battle delays the answer.”
Yea, keep this in mind as I tell you what happened next. I TOLD God that I believed he would provide a car and I slept. I did not talk with him – I told him. I did not listen. I slept. How many mistakes am I up to now?

In the morning I messaged all my friends to encourage their faith and said: “I will message later today with pictures of this glorious blessing from God” (no, pictures were sent to them later that day). Then I went to work. I had taken half a day off – so as soon as I punched off the clock, I grabbed my son and went to the bank with the paper (with the details of the good little car I found on the second car lot). Long boring financial conversation and then the bank and I agree that my son should try first to finance in his name without a co-signer. My son has a frustrated (and unhappy look on his face but agrees (and probably only because he thought it was what he had to do). 

Is anyone else getting mad at me? Don’t worry, I get a clue eventually – keep reading.

He was denied – great credit score, just too much college loan and not enough income (and no assets). We discussed trying at a dealership in case they had any of those programs that maybe my son qualifies for – big maybe. If denied, she said to come back and I can co-sign.  So off we go.

At the advice of friends first I decide to check in with my repair guy (who occasionally buys and sells cars). He has a truck for sale – I could buy it with my savings and drain our funds, but it would be paid for. So, my son takes a test drive AND HATED IT more than he hated the good little car we found at the second lot.

Well, I am not completely daft. I know I need my son to get on board, especially if he will be taking on a car payment. So I agree we keep looking. We then go around town trying to see what our options are (although my brother, son and I have already been on all the websites).  The day speeds by and it’s now too late to start and complete the car buying process. I say to my son: we are driving to the next town to see what they have – you need more choices.

Its presidents week/month sales time and tax return season (although we don’t have our return yet which would have made this process easier – God loves impossible situations). However, no used car is staying on any lot. Everyone was saying you should have come last week. My son wasn’t picky. The truck wasn’t the wisest choice and the good little car? Well, it was horribly ugly and handled like a loud, cheaply made… well, I was also sad it was the best option.  And my son was struggling to even be ok with what was happening, his face had a scowl I feared would never go away.

In the next town we find a funky Kia Soul in the price range the bank was telling us to look in. I let my son test drive it with the sales person while I stayed back, like I did each time – he needs to do this and it has to be his decision. I kept messaging my praying friends letting them know where we were in the process so they could keep praying. We all knew the billion pieces to the puzzle of buying a car and how much can go wrong. We were keeping it all covered in prayer.  AND praying for my son.

After the test drive, we sit at the sales man’s desk and talk. I can see my son liked it and it isn’t much more than the ugly but good car (similar safety rating, gas mileage, size, ability in adverse weather, etc.) . My son says to the guy: so what do I do next.

He replies: you have to decide what you want.

My son says: I want it.

By this point the guy is rooting for my son, they had made a connection. The salesman became more fatherly and less of a salesman. So he is thrilled my son’s bad attitude has slipped away and he made a choice! He jumps up in pride and shakes my son’s hand! I don’t think he expected to be as invested in our process as he became. God has a funny way of helping us.

I am sorry this is so long and hardly deep enough for you to understand the battle that was happening. This might have been the second biggest victory in this adventure.  

I explain the financing situation just as the bank told me to – it’s a long shot. We get the financing going and my son puts some money down on the car. And we are sent home.  I get home in time to go to the church group I attend and I ask the ladies to keep it in prayer.  Meanwhile, my son who doesn’t fully believe in God anymore is home praying as well. (This is the biggest victory?!)

Morning comes – he was denied financing. “But I prayed for this car – God hates me! This is why I don’t believe – He doesn’t care.”

The wind is also knocked out of my sail – but God I believe you meet our needs and reward those who seek you.  OK, time to listen to God, finally. I think maybe we need more options. Different car? Different place? Maybe a cheaper and older jalopy from a junk yard?! We both have the day off – let’s do this – but wait, “God, where do I go?”

I lollygagged around the house waiting for direction.  Telling my son what options we have left including me co-signing. AND if we thought his attitude was bad before? He was so mad at himself for having hope and believing in God; and enraged at God.

This was going to be a difficult day – I get all my praying women on board with more prayers – LETS DO THIS! There is NOTHING going to stand in the way of my God showing his love to my child – I put the enemy on notice:
satan cannot have my child or his blessing!
It is written: my God shall supply all my needs! (Phil 4:19)
It is written: Today is the day of salvation! (2 Cor. 6:2)
It is written! It is written! It is written!

I took a breath and yelled to my son – “Let’s Go!”
“Where?”
“I don’t know. We are going north.”
I start driving north. I have no idea where to go or what to do.
“Look there is our bank!” I pull in. My son is whining that he doesn’t want the Kia Soul any more. I say, “just come on”.

Now, my financial back story and why I didn’t do this first off and straight away. While my son was in college and I paid 12k a year out of my paychecks because I didn’t have savings like that – I kind of destroyed my credit making ends meet. But I was working with my bank then and I still am and we have had a plan and it’s going as we hoped. January 1st after he graduated I was going to (and did) borrow some and withdraw some money – pay a bunch of debt off and consolidate the rest and have one low monthly payment to fix the issues. Since this was just over 30 days ago, none of us want to run my credit. It’s Schrödinger’s box and we are scared the cat is dead. And my son understood the risk to my financial plan.  What he didn’t understand was the power of God! When we ran mine – we learned my credit score improved by more than 50 points in the last 36 days! Then we ran the application with me co-signing and we were approved. My son almost burst into tears. He asked again: so I am approved?! Yes! Call the car salesman and tell him we need a purchase agreement!

Would it be that easy? It was 11 am. OF COURSE NOT! EVERY SINGLE THING WAS AN OBSTICLE! This was wrong and needed to be fixed, that was too, and so was that. I drove from my home town to the next town and back again, 3 times. We didn’t eat, drink or breathe for most of the day as we prayed while things slowly worked out. 4:32 pm he signed the loan paperwork and 4:40 pm we walked out of the bank with the check. 6:30 pm he was in the new car and driving off the lot waving goodbye to the old dead car in his rear view mirror (and by another strange miracle they took the dead beast in trade).

His payments are $20 less than we expected and less than a week’s pay per month.  The rate is low and the total loan price is actually still a good price to buy that car at. The number of blessing that happened in these two days are too many to count.

But let’s remind me of my lessons:

  1. Take time to listen to God – really listen. Did you notice the answer to what to do was given to me early on – we just didn’t listen and ran ourselves around for no reason? I google “Bible verses on listening to God” and Psalms 143:8 is the first one: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul”.
    Yes, he bought a Kia Soul! Giggles.
  2. And when I did listen – I knew to go north and didn’t know if I was going to the bank or to more car dealerships. Sometime we just need to start moving when God says move and he will direct as we go.
    “And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.” Ezekiel 1:12
  3. SLOW DOWN!!! My poor son. Yes, he is responsible for his bad attitude, but to be fair – I never discussed anything with him and took off like lightening – Talk and listen to your children I have since and apologized.
    “take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” James 1:19
  4. What did I actually even do? I drove around in circles and stress my son out. The truth of this whole story is: my son figured it out. He picked out the car – he did the soul searching. He was considerate of my financial needs. He did it! And I am so proud of him.

God has much work to do with me – pray for me! But God isn’t quite finished with any of us yet! I will pray for you – whoever you are who has stumble upon this blog. Be blessed and encourage. Thank you for reading.

The impossible prayers

“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV

I have a lot of BIG things I am praying for and about. I was at the end of my rope when I cried out for Jesus’s help and I warned Him that I needed a mighty God.  I didn’t need some nice platitude to recite while I felt my world was burning around me. (Good thing He had already wrote in His book that He is a MIGHTY GOD!!)
Many of my prayers require God to work on and change the hearts of many people – and this makes for a long process.  We have free will to choose if we want to follow God or fight against him. And when God works deep in the hearts, those of us praying (like me for my situations and people) will not see the little results and victories won along the way. As I discussed endurance (a couple days ago) – I told you I have been praying for a year now. I’m in it for the long game.
I will not receive God’s grace in vain as described in the verse I quoted above – the grace of verses like this is that of encouragement and remind me that I am on track, and that my prayers are heard today – yes even today – God is working on it!!  (Thank you Jesus!)

“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.”  Daniel 10:12 NLT
If you do not know the story of Daniel, he started praying and fasting and it took 21 days for the angel of the lord to arrive with the answer; 21 days of prayer and fasting! The angel got caught up in a spiritual war. Angels can be delayed due to spiritual battles? Yep. Good stuff for me to remember while waiting to see the answers for my prayers.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV
I am sure I am not righteous in the holy sense – but I am covered by grace, prayed for forgiveness, and a new creature in Christ. I am learning to do right. No one is pure, holy and righteous.  Other translations of the Bible say innocent person, good person, just man, and those who have God’s approval. So, look at that! I fit in those categories.

The key is to really know what the Bible says is God’s promise and/or God’s will. For example, if I need a blessing and I have need, then I can read Philippians 4:19 KJV “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Then a simple “Amen!” prayer following is a great way to pray the verse and speak faith believing God’s word to be true. Or I can pray:
“God, your word says you will supply this need, because you are able to. I believe this verse and ask you to please meet this need. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen!”
Because I prayed the word of God and His exact will as it is laid out in the bible I can have confidence the answer is: “Yes, child, I will meet this need.”
Praise the Lord!
And sometimes I need to wait on the answer as you see above in Daniel, sometimes a battle delays the answer.

Honestly, it’s hard to wait on the Lord and continue to bring my requests and intercessions to Him.  A Sunday or two ago, in church, I broke down to God in frustration. Thank God He is close to the brokenhearted.
I showed up to church with great expectations and a friend in tow who is running away from God faster than I can read my Bible (which is pretty fast), and my friend hadn’t been to church in a while.  The songs were the good ones, the ones that comforted me when I came back to Christ a year ago.  The Holy Spirit was definitely in the service.  The sermon wasn’t condemning yet had some hard convicting truths. As the service played out I prayed for my friend: “God do something!” I didn’t know what or how – be God or something awesome like that. “Lord, don’t let us leave without a confirmation that you are working in their life! Please!” And the service ends. We pick up our things – and I feel sad, I hold back my tears, fake a smile, and with one last prayer I breakdown to God (in almost 3year old temper tantrum style in my head) and silently cry out: “I know I can’t see You working on the inside, but where is that blinding light that knocked Saul off his feet on the way to Damascus?! Where is the Angel of the Lord smiting him in his side? Where is the whale to swallow him? (I know, my church is no where near an ocean.)” I walk to the end of the row, and as I reach the aisle an alter worker runs over to me and hugs me and says: “God says you need a hug today. Are you ok?” At that moment I lost control of those held back tears.

That is a faithful servant of God! Praise the Lord for her! God confirmed he is working and did it before we left – just like I asked. Not with fireworks or anything extravagant – just a hug to remind me he loves me, he hears me, and he is answering (working it out). And he is providing more grace to keep getting through.
I also took that moment with the altar worker to share my prayer request for that friend’s restoration. There is another now praying as well.

Interceding on behalf of another is a difficult prayer to pray through to the end – free will and the spiritual battle over their soul are real and delays the process. Only delays – nothing is impossible. God is mighty and he is victorious.  

Hebrews 11:6 NKJV “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Amen? – Yes, amen.
Thank you for reading. May God provide verses and hugs to comfort you while you wait on God to bring the complete answers to your prayers to fulfillment.

Work produced by faith – III

Part 3

Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

And we left off on verse 4-“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,” Abba Father, thank you for choosing me and adopting me to be a “child of God” and to partake of the inheritance with Christ Jesus!

because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.” Lord, you knew how bad I was and in the midst of it you came to me with your words (The Bible) and with power (life changing power) and the Holy Spirit (which is also described in the Bible as a still small voice) and DEEP conviction – oh how you knew the depths of me and shone a light that I could acknowledge the error of my ways and repent, ask forgiveness, accept Jesus into my life to change me. I am forever grateful; I did not deserve it and you loved me enough to provide this way to bless me.

[Ok, I have to explain what the gospel is to you, the reader, in case you do not know and I’ll make it quick because, literally, I could talk for days about it.
In the beginning God created everything including mankind, and made humans specifically in his image and loved them so much he spent a lot of time with them. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man was separated from God by sin. God missed his humans and wanted to be close to them again, so he gave some rules (laws) to the Old Testament Hebrews and said do these things and sacrifice an animal, so that its blood can COVER your sins. BUT God loved all of mankind and this only worked for the Jews. So he foretold a savior the come atone for all sins – then God came, in the form of Christ Jesus and made a way, explained God’s love, brought conviction of sin, deliverance from satanic bondage and evil, miracles and healing. Jesus sacrificed himself, by letting them crucify him on the cross, his blood spilled as the blood sacrifice and made a way for humans to be forgiven of their sins. We just need to believe Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and his blood spilled so we could be forgiven – and asks for forgiveness of course. Then pray (communicate with him) and read his word (the Bible) to know what he says. And develop a relationship with him. In short this is the gospel and the essence of God’s grace!]

“You became imitators of us and of the Lord,” Heavenly father, provide me with Godly examples and supports in your church, please.

“for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” When I was yet in the ways of being evil and sinful – while my poor choices and life problems caused me grief and severe suffering – while I struggled to smile – GOD’s love swooped in and made me smile and I welcomed the message. It hasn’t been easy to believe and have faith. Some of the things have stretched me out of my comfort zone (like loving my enemies) and if not for grace I would not have been able to be obedient. Thank you Lord for recognizing me.

“your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,” Someday Lord, let me be known for my faith!

“They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” And Lord please let my transformation from sinner to saved by grace, my story and testimony of your goodness be told, that more of the people who you have chosen might be transformed and saved from their sins and strife.

Salvation is the important work produced by faith! Mine!! Yours!!! And our loved ones!!!!

Thank you for reading. I pray:

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:20 (NIV)

Work produced by faith – II

Part 2

Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

Let us pick up where we left off yesterday, at the end of verse 3:
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” My hope is in you, like the definition of faith (being the substance of things hoped for). So Lord you are the substance of my faith. Substance – I just used a search engine to get the definition: “the real physical matter of which a thing consists and which has a tangible, solid presence.” I believe and you are real physical matter, tangible, solid, presence – GLORY!!! AMEN!!! Let me reread all that a couple more times, because I cannot even give words to how good and deep this can flow.

** ** **

I just reread a few times and I stumble over the word “endurance” which I wish I could skip. It has been a year since the death of my loved one – and me beginning to turn to you, Jesus. A year of me crying out. A year of me being more and more bold, bringing more and more requests and intercessions – a year of waiting for the fruition of this “endurance”. Heavenly father, as I learn to speak with you, learn you as “my daddy”, Abba Father, and learn how to share intercessory prayer with Jesus is has only been 8 months of enduring and crying out to you on behalf of my loved ones daily. 8 months isn’t as long as a year. But it was only last month the pastor preached on intercession, the day before that I began looking it up on my own – so maybe it’s only been a month? And as I look at it that way, I suppose I am strong enough to have endurance as you provide me the grace to endure.

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The dictionary online defines endurance as: the power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.

When I was in middle school and high school I ran long distance races. I suppose what I was running from is another post for another time. My point is that as a distance runner, you sprint out a very short distance then steady your pace. You focus on your job: one foot in front of the other at a certain stride, in a certain rhythmic time (that works best for your body as you have practiced over and over again) and with a certain breathing pattern. The finish line is promised. You know how it ends if you stay focused and look ahead. That is how I endured those races.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. I pray you and I have endurance, produced by faith, to finish the things we have started in Christ Jesus.

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” Proverbs 4:25

Work produced by faith – I

Part 1

Thessalonians 1: 3-10 – “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.”

Today, during a time of worship, I realized how much I have grown. Usually I sing those victory songs and I envision handing my battles to the Lord and his promise of overcoming. Today, I am still surrounded by some big issues, yet I could not name a single one during worship – I was overwhelmed with love and the knowledge of God’s love for me. Those promised victories are NOT because God is a fighting God. No. God is a loving God who sometimes has to fight for me because he loves me. This is an important moment in my relationship with Christ! This should be remembered.

So, back to studying grace, which leads to faith, and leads to obedience, and leads to today’s passage: work produced by faith. I look at the whole passage and never an isolated verse to be sure I am not taking it out of context. I read my verses and passages first really thinking about them. I pray that God would speak to me through it, since it is his word. And today I had a handful of verses to review and here I am just reading and rereading this passage, not just the verse. There is so much in this – good things that should be thought on deeply. Let me read it again with some thoughts:

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,” Dear God and Father, I pray, someday I too will be remembered for my faith, love and hope. Thank you for my faith producing the work of me digging in deeper into the word to learn faith. As I wrote all these things in my journal, thank you for the prompting to just type it here instead. Thank you Lord, for growing me!

“your labor prompted by love,” Prompted? I think back to the beginning – Heavenly Father, you first loved me (1 John 4:19) and it prompted me to come to you. Thank you for such love. Then when I arrived and did not see my loved ones beside me and it was love that prompted me to intercede on their behalf. And now I write my Bible studies and prayers out on a public forum because you told me to be obedient just in case someone you also love stumbles upon this is you want to use it to show your love and grace to another. All so prompted and rooted in love!

Your word says to “Do everything in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14 NIV) I think it’s because love prompts us to labor and be obedient to the will of God that we can do everything in love!

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16
I read and reread that verse. God’s love is a lot to wrap my head around – but I am trying.

Love is a work produced by faith (among many more).

Thank you for reading. I pray by grace through faith you and I both become Godly love:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV


“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 NIV

Grace and Obedience to Faith

“It is through Him that we have received grace and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake” Romans 1:5 (AMP)

Its by grace I made it this far and by grace I will make it through – it is by faith and belief in the word of God that I am assured of the effectiveness of my prayers and help from the lord – I have found myself in impossible situations and in need of a mighty God to intervene, and as I wrote yesterday: faith is the power to get these impossible things done. However, as I read on faith I see it is much more than an active belief, as described yesterday.

James 2:14 -19 “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”
James uses some pretty strong words here – but faith in action is what’s being described here; the action of living like Christ. Its not about works or good deed to get a reward – it is about when I believe in Christ Jesus, I should begin to act like him. Basically it means I can measure my faith by measuring my obedience. It means if I am not obedient to God’s will and ways then I have no faith, and if I have no faith how will I pray these big things happen in my life when we have already discussed that it takes faith!!

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23
All things!!! It is all things that I am asking in obedient faith – things I pull straight from the scriptures. Is God going to just hand me a million dollar? Probably not. But God’s word says he wants to bless me and meet my needs, so God can and will fix my finances. My issues at work? God can and will intercede. And the salvation of my loved ones (and the growth in their walks with the lord)? Yes! Yes! Because I am praying scriptures, which is the word of God, and God is not a man that he should lie, all these things are possible with obedient faith!!

“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power” 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NAS)
So faith without works is dead and faith with works is power!
“Faith with power” – now that’s what I am looking for. The power to say to the mountain be moved!! And the power to say to my situation at work be moved! And the power to say to my relationship issues be moved! And the chains of bondage on my friends be moved! And my financial issues, be moved!!
This is my calling: to pray and have these conversations with God. He may have other plans in the future, but right now, this is it. And to be worthy of my calling means active obedient faith.
He is faithful to me. The least I can do is be faithful in return – because yes, faith in action is faithfulness.

Titus 3:5-7 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Just reminding myself it it not my good works that grants my salvation nor grants answers to prayers, but the obedience of my faith that does and my good works are just a byproduct produced by having measurable faith.

Interestingly enough, the book of Romans begins with faith described in relation to obedience and the book also ends with it:
“Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith” Romans 16:25 & 26

I too should end with it. Thanks you for reading. May God bless you with grace, peace and works of faith with power, by the obedience that comes from faith. ~amen

Grace through faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8
“through faith” – What is faith? Why faith? Where? When? I see this faith thing sprinkled throughout the grace thing. I need this faith thing too! So I ask my best friend about it since he wrote the book. The bible is his words, so if I want to hear God talk, then I read the word. I have learned that getting into the word of God while praying gives me the other side of my conversation with him. And there is a direct correlation between the word and faith:
Romans 10:17 NKJV “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

I suppose more faith is good, because in Matthew 17:20 faith makes all things possible. While grace is given to support and help me through, it is faith that will get things done!
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 NIV

So what is faith? And how do I get this mustard seed amount? Did you read my last few posts? I need some impossible things done in my life!

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 NIV
It is my confidence in the power of God, through Christ Jesus, to keep his word, to fulfill his promises, and hear (and answer) my prayers. In some deep reflection, do I really believe all this stuff? When push comes to shove (and it has in my life) Yes! Yes, I do really believe it. And how do I believe it? Because I am experiencing it. I hope you as a reader, begin to see my experience. I find it hard to really put the depth of it into words.

So, how did I develop this confidence?

I observed that the mighty God did certain things in the past and the Bible says he is the “same yesterday and today and forever”. So if he did it before he can do it again. I also found scripture verses that speak into my many problems and pray them. If God’s word says it, then my prayers will be answered with a great big – it is done!

There was a death in the family – Is there even a promise in the Bible that can fix this?  Jesus brought Lazareth back from the dead, but I knew he was not going to bring back my loved one.  Where is my promise? Where is my amen? And where is my faith in my God being good?
I looked up “Mourning” in the Bible and most frequently the word is used to be grieved by our sins and wrong doing – loss of a loved one is different.
In John 11 verse 35 – I can see exactly how Jesus handles death, grief, and morning: “Jesus wept.”
When I cry because of a loss, God (Jesus and the Holy Spirit being one) cry with me. Jesus cried even though he knew and already foretold that he was going to raise Lazareth from the dead! His compassion for my pain is just that great that he literally shares in it with tears.

My bad work situation, character assassination
This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
This isn’t mine to fight; I need to stay positive and keep my nose to the grindstone and do good work – God will take care of it.
“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.” Romans 8:28 
God is working things out for my good – it may take some time, he is battling a spiritual war as well as arguing with people who exercise their free will to stand in his way.  But his plan will prevail – he will find a way to work it out for my good, because it says so.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
This verse is only great when my eyes of understanding were open and I understood His calling (or role in my life), His riches of the glory, and
“what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.” Ephesians 1:19
Thank you Lord for being a mighty God – I do not want to follow a weak god who isn’t able – I need a real God, a living God, A MIGHTY GOD!!!

Financial instability
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phillippians 4:19
My employer does not provide for me (I have had multiple in my life and they are not stable), I don’t provide for me (I excel at doing good work and arriving at work daily – but I stink at negotiating my salary and raises and I am so terribly underpaid for my work), and being single there is no one else who provides for me, except God!  And I thank him for all of it.

My broken relationship
This is a tricky one to explain and probably needs a blog of its own.  God provided me with so many verses specific to my broken heart and my lost love. But let me tell you were I began:
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
And as for my ex, I pray Ephesians 3:18-19 –
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
And then, God will have to do the rest.

The rest of my trials
Psalm 34:4-8 NIV 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

So my faith can grow with ease knowing the my mighty God and friend is working things in my life according to his word, which is written and shows these things have been done before and can be done again. He is faithful to me so I have faith in him. Some day I will make a post showing his providence and mercy – the blessings – the answers to these prayers so that you and I can rejoice together.

If you feel like praying for me please pray:
That God will continue to comfort me while I grieve the loss of a loved one.
That my reputation shall be a testimony of God’s grace.
That my work shall be a blessing and my finances be blessed so I can use it to bless others and further God’s works.
That God will move in and through my ex, that the chains of bondage to sins and the plans of the enemy of God shall be broken, and that he be drawn back to God and restored to a relationship with Christ.
At some point maybe I can figure out how to add a ticker-box to this and keep a going list of prayers and show the ones answered.

Thank you for reading, new friends. Go in faith, grace and peace.
Romans 1:7 “grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

For it is by grace…

Acts 15:11 “…we believe it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as we are.”

I have a lot going on. Last year was horrible and I am still dealing with the fallout. I don’t even know where to begin:

  • There was a death in the family
  • My employer began threatening me and attacking me even though I have exemplary work performance and attendance, for no apparent reason and using blatant lies (both financial insecurity and my integrity and the essence of who I am professionally at risk)
  • Through emergent car repairs, extra doctor visits and big health issues, and emergent home repairs, my finances found themselves spread too thin to make ends meet
  • My romantic relationship, lover and partner of 3 years left
  • My adult child fell on difficult times and needed to move home and needed help being supported
  • Every side of me felt like it was crumbling around me – and much of it was

I know people who have gone through one or two of those things at a time, and lost their minds under the weight of it. All of it at once and non-stop for a year now, its a struggle.

I tried all the remedies the world had to offer. I exhausted myself more. Then grace – through grace – by grace – and if not for grace…

God reached into that tornado and freely gave me the grace to take a breath, the grace to rest, the grace to see a hope and a promise of remedy, the grace to understand God loves me and I wasn’t alone going through it. Just as I was, a sinner and a mess, God’s grace saved me from these on going issues (one battle at a time) and saved me from myself – and saved me from eternal damnation.

  • Grace to take a breath:
    • Acts 17:25 “as if He needed anything. Rather, He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”
      “He” in this verse is Christ Jesus, who gives EVERYONE (me and you – both of our loved ones who we pray for – literally EVERYONE) “life and breath”!
  • Grace to rest:
    • Psalm 37:7 “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”
    • Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
  • Grace to see hope and promise of remedy:
    • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
  • Grace to understand God’s love for me:
    • Ephesians 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”
    • John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish”
  • Grace – God is with me:
    • Psalm 23 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8
Not. Of. Myself. – – Yes, I tried to do it myself. I tried and was defeated, depleted, and almost destroyed. Grace is a gift of God given out of mercy and love. God loved me so much He gave me the grace. See why he is my best friend?

2 Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
May God bless you with the knowledge of God and of Jesus my Lord, that you too may have grace and peace, abundantly ~amen

Thank you for reading – be blessed.

Introduction

Hi there. Thanks for reading. I have a story to tell. It is the story of me, and my relationship with my best friend, who is awesome. It includes my hopes for my loved ones, family and friends.

I have knowledge and lessons to share. I have Biblical wisdom and practical applications. I have learned many of life’s big lessons flat on my face and maybe I can help you avoid them.

God is: Elohim (Isa.40:1), El Shaddai (Prov. 3:27), Jehovah-Jireh (Gen. 22:14), my redeemer (Isa. 41:14), my way, my truth, my life (John 14:6), and my beginning and my end (Rev. 22:13). The bible says it, I believe it – its good enough for me.

If you read these posts and want to develop your own relationship with God through Christ Jesus, it is easy to do. He wants to have a relationship with you. At the end of this post is a prayer, you can pray.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus,
I believe you are who you said you are: the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!

Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be.
Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. Please reveal yourself and your ways to me and in my life.
In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

I pray you find a good church near you and let them help you grow after you decide to follow Him. I hope you are blessed. Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.