Monday, May 29, 2017

Would You Step Out?

There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. - John 15:13 (NLT)
This was my encouraging word of the day.
It is true that Christ Jesus laid down his life for all of us in the most monumental way possible for one 'friend' to do for another. As followers of Christ, we are called to do the same.
Love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. It is often referred to as “The Great Commandment”.
When the Pharisees heard that the Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. (Matthew 22:34)
One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him “Teacher which is the great commandment in the Law?" (Matthew 22:35-36)
And He said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND'. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' (Matthew 22:37-40, NASB)


We live in a world today that is full of those who are ‘in it for themselves’. Selfishness abounds to the extent that many claim they are not selfish! As a whole, I find so many inconsiderate and justifiably so. I often wonder how so many can be so unaware. How did we become ‘a nation of self-absorbed better thans’? I believe the answer is simply the truth that a major portion of us turned away from the LORD. With each passing generation, darkness spreads.
So the big question is:
Do you care what He thinks?
Do you ponder upon His ways?
Have you forgotten Him or would you say you have never known Him?
Scripture states that if you seek God, you will find Him.
Can you say you have truly ever sought with all your heart?
Back in my day, we were taught the ‘golden rule’ (Do unto others . . . treat others as you believe you deserve to be treated.) That school of thought ~ ‘be considerate’ in other words is not discussed today as it was in the past.
As a nation, as a people, we need to turn back to the LORD. We need to seek His ways. We need to read His word. As we turn to Him, He will turn to us. Your turn must be genuine, not ritualistic. The state of your heart matters.
Today I am joyous that I know the LORD. I am thankful I know that I am loved by Him despite my imperfection. I am blessed to have Him in my corner. He always knows what I need before I even fully disclose it. His ways amaze me and leave me in awe daily.
Recently I uttered one of my infamous cry prayers. I was at a point where I had no more strength. I have been entrenched in battles daily, attacked from the powers of darkness. Granted, God has kept me standing through it all, but I was depleted. Sometimes, we need an encouraging word from fellow believers who too have walked in our shoes. A cause for hope that your life is valuable to the kingdom of God. I once talked to God for hours each day. I had big dreams and big plans. I share all of this in my book. However, in the end, I am just a girl and often I am secluded and overwhelmed and unable to mingle with others. There is something about sharing your story, your confident hope that renews your strength. So, here I was crying out to God and low and behold, my phone rings. I answered it and found myself in an hour long conversation with a fellow believer. God was using me to strengthen and encourage her just as much as He was using her for me!
In the end, we set a time to talk again this Tuesday. I found myself elated due to our conversation, but within hours, one of my biggest opponents was on the prowl again. Due to a barrage of verbal attacks, I again cried out to God and this time He had another believer reach out to me via an email over an ad I had placed.
After her initial comments, I gifted this girl a chapter out of my book and upon hearing that she would love to read the entire book, I gifted it to her. She had written me saying she loved the chapter, was amazed at how God had moved in my life at that time and she inquired how she could get the entire book.
I wrote back gifting her my Kindle copy. I was so elated to hear that she was inspired by a mere chapter and by the grace of God, my adversary was removed from me for the entire day. I ended up excelling at my studies and accomplished all I needed to ahead of time. As I was getting ready to close down my computer that evening, my email notification flagged me. This is what I read:
Wendy,
I just want you to know... I'm only in Chapter 4 of your book, but I am incredibly grateful to you for writing it! I grew up in the church since I was a toddler, and have had my own ups and downs in my faith, and in my relationship with God. I, like you, had a list of things that I would never do. But most were done, even while knowing I shouldn't have. There have been things I've done that at times have me believe I'm not worthy of God's love and grace, and I've had a hard time forgiving myself for my decisions and mistakes. I know God has forgiven me, but it's hard to forgive myself. In the middle of reading with tears in my eyes, I had to stop and pray... I honestly believe I was meant to stumble upon that random RV ad on craigslist. I just wanted you to know... if nothing comes of the RV for my family, me replying to that ad was worth it! My relationship with God is continuing to grow as I write this email... and I have you to thank for another spark in my heart to grow it even more. I'm looking forward to reading more of your story... again, thank you so very much!!! Yours in Christ!!https://www.facebook.com/images/emoji.php/v9/f81/1/16/271d.png

~ Connie
Have you read my story? If not, consider clicking here to purchase your own print copy or here to purchase your own digital copy. Be blessed!

Father, thank you for my journey, for always being my emergency buddy even when I did not deserve one. Remind me that I too was once blind so that I have compassion for those whose eyes have not been opened. Remind me that they are hurting and it is why they strike out. They don't know better because they have refused to listen to you. Please help open their ears so that they not only hear, but that they listen. We need more warriors LORD and we need them to be encouraged. Help us strengthen one another through prayer, help us stay networked so that none of us are secluded. I want to be a mighty warrior in your army. I want to be one who points the way to You. Please cause my story to be used by those who are wearing the shoes that I once wore. Please use my story in many ways. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

© Wendy Glidden 2017
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