Grace For Your Enemies

Grace For The Ones That Affect My Mood When They Walk In The Room

"For God so loved the world" not just the church.

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"For God so loved the world" not "the church". I know this makes any religious person cringe in the most defensive ways but I promise I come to this with a word and revelation that God has blessed me to experience.

Do you know about Transformation Church with Pastor Michael Todd? I could not fall asleep last night to save my life and watched his "Grace like a flood series" to its entirety. Why is this relevant? What does this how to do with that

You: Why is this relevant? What does this have to do with your outrageous headline? Get to the point.

I gotchu! Basically, this revolutionary word was being preached about Grace and Love. I heard him make a point that references John 3:16 which says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life".

I believe we're all given different revelations from the word that God knows we need for the lives he planned for us but this word is too amazing. I know that this is something he wants us all to be able to understand and walk in. He can also help us gain this understanding and change our hearts to be able to do it out of love.

The significance of this word for me is seen through the lens of grace. This is the part where you should lean in because I can't even describe the power if you get this.

Through the lens of grace, we're able to see John 3:16 as a reminder of the beauty in being grace-conscious as believers. To even point out that the scripture says God so loved the 'world' and not 'the church' isn't saying that God doesn't love the church. The point is that God loved all of us so much, believers and non-believers, that he sent his son to pay a debt that we could never pay for on our own because he's so madly in love with us.

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.

Christ is our kinsman redeemer in that he was the word wrapped in flesh. He understands everything you're going through with enemies, people talking about you, persecution, the enemy tempting you, the enemy taunting you and accusing you, priorities, friendship drama, relationship drama and more. He walked it out already for us in the perfect way that he is and wants to guide us through what we don't know how to do.

Through the lens of grace, John 3:16 should make you think about the heart of God. Through this lens, John 3:16 exemplifies Luke 15:4 of how Jesus will leave the ninety-nine to get the one. He is Good. He is Perfect. He is Love. There's no other explanation for it.

Let's put it in perspective. *Warning the following messages are not for people who don't want to be more like Jesus or love like Jesus or mature in Christ*

So for the people or person you "can't stand" or "don't like".. You need the SAME grace as them. The grace you needed and will need for the mistakes you make every day, knowingly or unknowingly, is the same grace that those people need. The grace you needed for the most stupid or manipulative or embarrassing things you have done is the same grace that the ones who have mistreated you need.

There is no such thing as you being better than them. Matter of fact, you can't be better than anybody. Ever. Even if you think you are or want to.

The reason why I gave a warning that this level of a faith and love message isn't for people who want to become more like Jesus is because this is what he had to bare. Everything you will ever go through, Jesus has gone through it in excruciating ways more out of his love and sacrifice to redeem you so that your sin wouldn't separate you from God. So that you prideful thoughts and manipulative ways wouldn't be enough to stop God from loving on you.

The reason why I gave this warning is because to become more like God is to become more like Love because God is Love (1 John 4). This is not a characteristic or personality treat. This is WHO HE IS, therefore, He can't do anything acting outside of love. This is his entire being. (I am completely quoting the sermon because this is That good). A sign that you're maturing in Christ and becoming more like God is if you're becoming more like love.

So when you're looking at extending grace towards people that challenge your faith through this kind of lens of love then you see that this is all about love. This is about Him. When God is convicting you to extend grace to someone who has mistreated you it's about Him because it's about Love and He. Is. Love. This is about the love story of God and all his children. This lens helps your heart to see that behaviors and things that challenge your faith

This lens helps your heart to see that nothing anyone could ever do to you is more important than Him and His love. He's worth it, every time. The person who mistreats you being able to experience falling in love with the one who will be all you'll ever need because you were obedient when God asked you to submit to representing Him to them is worth it. Because God is always worth it and its always about Him.


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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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You Ain’t Waiting For God To Bring You Your Dinner, You Get Up And Go Cook It

My words often get jumbled and don't make sense, so I figured writing it would help me come across clearly.

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Dear guy friends of mine,

I want you to know how grateful I am for your friendship. Having close guy friends has helped me better understand men and learn how the male species operates. I've been able to ask you so many questions and you've responded with thoughtfulness, kindness, grace, and honesty. I appreciate your willingness to talk to me.

I want to encourage you in something, and with some of you I have tried, but I think I came across as a little crazy. From what I've been told by married women, guys are very afraid of actual crazy. You want your girl to have some crazy (because all women have at least a little bit of crazy), but you don't want her to be, like, crazy. I get that and respect that.

I want to encourage you to ask girls out. It's scary. You're afraid of rejection. I know this because several of you have told me so. I recently spoke with a guy who's been married for a few years and has a baby daughter. He told me that you guys are scared, you don't want to put your heart on the line and have it crushed. That's a good reason not to pursue girls: you'll remain safe and free from hurt if you don't put your feelings out there.

But here's the other side of it: You'll never find that girl if you never search for her. Now, I know that all things happen in God's timing and as imperfect humans, we can't force things to happen outside of God's timeline. However, Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas, Texas said this in a sermon several years ago:

"But something's happened in evangelical circles where if you're single you're supposed to not want to be married, but be content in a spot and that's somehow more glorifying than following God's wiring of you to want a mate. And so in the end what happens is that you walk around like a liar. I mean, poor young ladies! Almost all of them have been told, "As soon as you're content, God will send you a man." So you've got hundreds of thousands of women running around acting content! "I'm content, where is he?" You've got other guys going, "You know, I'm just gonna wait for God to bring me the right one." Well, you ain't waiting for God to bring you your dinner, alright? You get up and go cook it."

Pastor Chandler goes on to say that he's not telling the guys to go on the hunt and prowl. No! He's telling guys that they have a role to play in pursuing a woman to marry. Girls have a role to play, too. Girls can't just hang out with their girlfriends in hopes that they'll lock eyes with Prince Charming while in the grocery store or walking their dog in the park. No, girls need to build up the guys in their lives and respect them by letting the guys be guys and giving them opportunities to be gentlemen. That's what I appreciate about you guys, my guy friends. You are such gentlemen and I love that. Don't be afraid to ask out the girl that you think is sweet, cute, pretty, funny, kind, silly, honest, loyal, and the right amount of crazy. You've got this!

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