My story may be different than yours, but often 2 worlds meet in the middle -and, the Middle is Jesus! What I am saying is that God loves us for who we are; and the same God who loves me has sent me into the world to tell you that God loves you too!
Will your heart believe? Let me share my story about God's love and devotion ... I hope this is a blessing to you ... We all need HOPE!
This is my story, but this is NOT my opinion. There is a difference.
Yes, I was taught in my family ... but my testimony is about what God has taught me!
I grew up in a believing Christian family being taught about Jesus and The Word of God.
I can’t ever remember not believing in God and I have always had Jesus in my heart.
It was simple for me to believe in God, but I always knew that there were those who did not believe.
Every aspect in creation has always been proof to me that God is God and HE is the Creator. I have always just had this knowing in my heart, which is and always has been my childlike believing Faith to Obey.
Jesus made Himself real to me when I was young in ways that have impacted my life forever!
Years later, God got my attention in ways that I couldn't deny if I wanted to!
Although, I have always had a believing heart and a heart that wanted to be obedient, I have not had a perfect life. I have done things that needed forgiving; and I still do from time to time.
I have learned that "want to" sinful human nature that all of man-kind is born into is what we have to overcome daily in some way or another.
I have learned that we grow in levels in Jesus; and according the level we have grown to, that level in Christ Jesus will reflect the things that our heart convicts us of as pleasing or not pleasing to God.
I NEED Jesus everyday! I have learned that the Holy Spirit is the voice and power of God who lives in me. It is my faith in Jesus who strengthens me in all that I do; and who helps me overcome all I overcome; and who teaches me all I ever learn.
Honestly, I have somehow always known Jesus in my heart of who I am.
I have never denied Jesus; and, I can't say that I can mark a date of when I was "saved." Perhaps, because, I never remember a time that I have rejected Jesus?
I may not have always known HOW to follow Jesus, but I have always believed!
I said the prayer of confession when I was about 18, more out of obedience to God than from understanding at that time. Looking back, I believe that was a simple act of faith, even before I understood how vital faith is to God.
After that, when I grew up, there was a time that I put distance between me and God. Fun became a priority in my life, not God. Honestly, I didn't know any better ...
My bedtime prayers that had always been faithful since I was a child, became easy to skip when I was tired. I still believed in God, and I still respected the Bible, but I took God for granted. And I took for granted all of the good in my life too.
I did not know to; or think to thank God. I didn't know the difference a grateful heart made in a blessing ...
There was a time that I thought that my husband and I had “good luck” and had made some pretty good choices, that somehow, "we had just succeeded on our own".
God was very patient with us. HE blessed us... even before we knew that it was God blessing us...HE was blessing us! I know now that God knew our heart and HE knew that in time we would come to know better.
My husband and I did not go to church, we felt like we were "good enough" Christians. Frankly, I didn't enjoy church as much as I enjoyed other things, like boating.
And, honestly, in my lack of knowledge about Jesus, I was caught up in the wrong attitude of what Church was all about!
The Church is not the religion, the people, the building, the dress code, the traditions or the politics...I was missing the point. The Church is Jesus! And, the church is filled with imperfect people just like me.
God was patient with my me and my husband in our independent life! But stubborn me needed God to get my attention. God wanted more out of us and God wanted more for us. Today I am so thankful to know that I can depend on God!
Hard Times for me to overcome hit me hard!
My dad got sick, life threatening sick.
I had always told my husband that " "if" anything ever happened to my parents, “I couldn't handle it" And, I was serious from deep down inside!
Well my dad got sick... and the worst had happened!
Little did I know that God was at work!
I called on God without even thinking about it. It was just the most natural thing to do, because even though I wasn't that faithful to God, I knew that God had the power to do all things!
Looking back, I believed God still loved me.
I have always had great faith...Faith is a gift that has never been a question in my life! I had just never needed God like that before! I prayed non-stop! I talked with God like I have never talked to God before. One on one, I talked to God and HE was there! He just showed up! Mercifully, the power of God's love just showed up!
God comforted me like I have never been comforted before. He came to me, like I had never walked away from HIM. He loved me unconditionally…I just sensed HIM near! I knew HE was there! I could sense HIS presence, peace and comfort!
Even before I understood spiritual things, the Holy Spirit was there with me, because my faith is in Jesus like this.
It was a miracle leading to miracles; and God showed me divine signs of HIS love through HIS creation!
I have since written about many of these testimonies; and had them published in The Train Whistle, Sounding the call of God's Love.
The day I had to face the most difficult thing in my life to that point ...was the beginning of me knowing / inviting God to really be in my life.
I hope you will read my testimony about the 4-Leaf Clover! It is written in The Train Whistle!
God comforted me so much that HE enabled me to trust HIS will. I trusted God so much that He took me from "if" to "when" …our bodies die, death has no grip over us!
Our life in Jesus Christ is eternal! The power of Love in God took away my fear!
God left me with a deep knowing that "it would all be okay!" No matter what!
God took me to a new level of faith in Heaven; and HE took me to a new level of trust, comfort and peace! I experienced joy in the middle of hard times!
During that time that my dad battled for his life, God did many medical and spiritual miracles right before our eyes!
And, God did many miracles in the eyes of many others, but ...the greatest gift that I received was a greater faith in whom God Is!
I have learned that Faith is the key; and it was God who taught me what faith is!
I better got to know who God is by spending time with HIM and that is when I gained a real trust in HIM. A trust in who God is, not just a “belief in” God. HE became a real identity to me, not just a source of power. I got to know God's Character!
God changed me. I know now that God changed me through the power of the Holy Spirit!
I like who God has made me to be and Jesus lives in me! My confidence in who I am is that I remember who Jesus is and how much God loves me! I want to please God. Blessing God for making me be more and more like His Son feels good and this is where my confidence arrives!
Sure, I fall short of God's glory constantly! BUT God is still there and God is still perfect! And, God still loves me; and HE still blesses me and my family ... God enables me to overcome and He builds me up in my most holy faith!
God has taught me to read my Bible and pray in the Holy Spirit!
I am just so humbly thankful for God's pure and perfect love that HE has shown me!
I seek God and HIS will and HE knows my heart.
I am not anyone special outside of being close to God, I am one of HIS children with a believing heart and I have learned that HE IS our Father when we come close to HIM through HIS SON, Jesus!
I share my story, because you have a story too!
I hope to encourage you in your faith, because it is such a comfort to have security in a non-failing God and Salvation of more than a hope, but a promise through Jesus.
Jesus is simply there when I call on HIM! Many times, because God knows that I love HIM so much, HE takes away my burdens when I am too weak to ask. God really won't put more on us that we can handle.
Sometimes I feel unworthy to call on God.
Yet, God is consistent and faithful to work HIS wonder when it is for good ... NOT for what I have done; or not done, but rather because of all Jesus has done!
God is a good and just God! All we have to do is just keep believing in Jesus and keep our hearts guarded in His Word.
You see, we may fail; and we will be tempted, but when our heart is guarded by believing in God's Word ...Jesus will help us in ways that is hard to understand!
Before God got my full attention, I couldn't understand or enjoy the Bible and life was more about me. I had made up my mind that reading the Bible was for preachers and you had to be a preacher to understand it.
I thank God for the NIV, ESV, KJV, etc. Bible translations! The NIV translation was the 1st Bible that I could read to understand ... after God told me that I was not ready to serve Him yet and He told me I needed to learn. Then, He helped me understand His written Word through the Holy Spirit.
The Bible became the Living Word to me! I began to apply God's Word to my life! And, the Holy Spirit helped me change my hard and stubborn heart about certain things that I had my mind made up about!
More than the translation, God enables me to understand and apply HIS word in my life and it is amazing the difference God's word makes in my life!
Scriptures are so sweet to my soul that I can literally feel the Holy Spirit swell up inside me in while reading God's Word.
I found out why the Bible is called God's living Word as words written 2000 years ago and spoken by Jesus are still speaking to me.
"Serving me" leaves me feeling frustrated, empty and confused...But applying God's word to my life of serving God 1st, others 2nd and myself last has opened my heart to be full and overflowing in JOY!
I am sharing my story hoping to encourage you to experience love like this. God's Word opens my mind to understanding God's mind and HIS viewpoint. Jesus opens my heart to experiencing true love with a desire to want to please God.
If you feel frustrated, empty or confused, talk to God about Jesus. Jesus will save your soul and bring life to you! Jesus will equip you in your spirit with a "want to please God" new nature that can overpower that "want to" sinful human nature.
The answer to peaceful contentment, which is a spiritual life full of joy, is placing GOD FIRST always!
Then we are equipped in Jesus and enabled to love and serve others well with the power of God's Wisdom that is effective!
Jesus also enables us to love our self -with that same love!
God is Agape Love. Remain in God's love and you are remaining in the power of God! And God will remain in you! Love is a working miracle with Power that serves well in all circumstances!
I can love like this, because God first loved me and sent HIS son, Jesus for me!
Do you know that God loves you?
I prayed: "God, how can I tell a million people what I know about Jesus?"
God showed me that I had a ministry gift and He called it "HOPE IN TODAY!"
My prayer has been for so long to reach many with the truth about Jesus, who is the Christ the Son of the Living God.
Jesus is the truth that I know in my heart, mind and soul!
My inspiration is to share with others something that is so dear and precious and free to me... that is also a gift that is meant for you…that you may not believe that God loves you this much.
I want to share and encourage you to receive the life in Christ that God has offered to all who will believe...
Will you believe God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to die for your sins? Jesus was the only one who qualified to overcome the penalty of sin that had entered human nature! Now, the life awaiting us is because Jesus is alive ... If you just simply believe God's way, you have qualified in Christ to receive this life to the full!
Not my promise...
This is God's promise through Jesus!
For me, not to tell what I know in Jesus would be selfish, because what HE offers ... is for all who will believe through faith -and faith comes by hearing God's message about the gospel of the Christ, Jesus.
Only God can take a regular person like me, with "no known talent" or training; not even a desire for writing, teaching, or public speaking ... and train me, teach me, and prepare me to do these things that God has me doing now.
That is not in the natural, that is God! I thank God for this privilege and I trust God to lead me.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that HE sent HIS only begotten Son that who so ever believes in HIM, shall not perish but have everlasting life."
If you still doubt, read John 3:17
May God Bless you! And thank you for taking a minute to get to know me!
Sincerely and with love,
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Track 6 Live by the Spirit Hope in Today Ministries with Karen Rowe www.hopeintoday.com
May 20, 2016 | Comments