UPDATE 5/27/09: Mr. Linky is not cooperating, but at the bottom of the post I finally was able to put something up to link your post if you have something on your own blog. Thanks for your patience!
Every week we gather here and discuss a chapter out of Micca Campbell's book,
I can't believe we only have 2 more chapters left to read and talk about in this book. This has been another great book for me to read and apply to my life and I have enjoyed getting to know more about Ms. Campbell. Seems like God has really blessed us with the books He has lined up for us to read. His timing is always so amazing.
Before we get to talking about chapter 10, I want tell you about a summer study going on. I going to take some time off from blogging after we are finished with this study, but here is a study that sounds awesome!
Click here to see what on line summer study Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Wendy Blight will be hosting on her blog.
She will be starting her study on Wednesday, June 17th.
Here's a little hint:
So go ahead, add one more thing to your schedule:
Participate in a summer blog study with other women seeking God's best and make the summer of '09 an unforgettable one!
CHAPTER 10: THE LOVE OF A FATHER
Anything in blue is a quote from the book.
This was yet the 10th good chapter in this book. So this is what I took from this chapter:
God's love is true and reliable, but sometimes we don't feel worthy of being loved by God. Sometimes, because of things that happened in our past, we think the Lord could never love us. Uggh! For the longest time I let my past run my life. Keeping me uninvolved with other Christian women and just staying in a pit of shame. See, if I stayed out of the picture and not let anyone get to close to me, then they wouldn't know the real me. From a distance I could portray the perfect Christian woman, but nose to nose, I knew I'd never be able to pull it off. All because I believed what Satan spoke over me versus what my Savior speaks over me. I was unworthy and I knew it. I'm still unworthy of God's love, but now I know He is worthy of my devotion.
The Bible tells us that even as children of God, we are not free from troubles. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
I love that promise at the end...He has overcome the world. Webster's says that overcome means to defeat, make helpless or exhausted. The one who does such a good job at keeping us useless by keeping us shameful of our past has been defeated, made helpless and exhausted by Jesus Christ as soon as we believe Him to be Who He is.
Troubles in our lives don't mean that God doesn't care. During these times when we feel alone and betrayed, we must not give an ear to Satan's lies. Instead, we must trust that God is acting in love on our behalf even in dire circumstances. Even though our fears may lead us to believe otherwise, God, and what He allows into our lives, is always motivated by one thing: love.
I thought long and hard on this while thinking of Tre'von. He is the son of Charity, a 36 year old single Mom who just died from cancer this month. How does he believe that what God has allowed to happen to him and his Mom is out of love? This is where I put my own understanding aside and lean on God and trust that Tre is going to grow up to be the man that Charity wanted him to be and so much more if Tre trusts that God has His best for him. Tough to look at a parent less 15 year old and think God knows what He is doing, but I must trust instead of try to figure it out.
We can experience His love without shame or fear, knowing that troubles don't mean God doesn't care. They mean He does care. Every move God makes on our behalf is based on love. God allows the hard things in life to develop genuine faith in us so that we are able to stand when the next storm comes our way.
Experiencing the love of God is so much different than where I allowed my past to take me. The love of God is shameless and fearless and I know He cares for me.
A person who knows and believes God loves her will not live in fear. If fear is present, the person doesn't understand God's love for her.
It's true that those who remain in sin definitely have something to dread---God's judgement. On the other hand, those who seek His forgiveness always find mercy. While sin separates us from fellowship with God, it doesn't separate us from His love. We always have an open invitation into God's presence by way of honest remorse.
I loved the story of the adulteress woman Micca shared with us from John 8:1-11.
I love that God doesn't base His love for us on our performance and that no matter how ridiculous our choices are that we are welcomed back into His presence 24/7. Micca also pointed out that there will be consequences to our choices, but God's love doesn't stop because of what we choose to do outside His will. So comforting. While we may suffer the cost of our actions, god is not out to condemn us. He's out to set us free from the chains of sin that bind us. Therefore, we have nothing to fear.
No matter how far we miss the mark in living out His plan for our lives, God is never ashamed to offer us His love. He's not waiting for us to mess up so that HE can punish us. He's waiting to restore us. Therefore, we should never be frightened to stand in His presence before His throne of grace and mercy. It's there that we find peace and new beginnings. Our teenage daughter being pregnant again...twice in one year I have to admit has been very embarrassing for me. She is due with her 2nd baby on June 7th and so her belly is sticking out pretty far. This past weekend our son had a basketball tournament and when I saw her walk in, I wanted to ask her to walk underneath the bleachers instead of the full length of the basketball court as we were sitting on the opposite side of the entrance. Almost 9 months pregnant and holding a 1 year old walking in front of many people she could feel all eyes on her, but then my Mom popped up and ran to meet her mid-court and take Amiyah from her. Pure love and grace displayed in front of many people including my selfishness. God is much like that...He runs to meet us no matter what we have done when we show true repentance.
The only true place to find unconditional love an acceptance is in God. He knows our need. I remember hearing a song when I was growing up called Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places. How often women do that. Desperate for love we look in the wrong places such as bars, work, magazines, etc. If only we would look into God's Word and let Him be the love of our lives. Being secure in God's love means we no longer have to wonder, pretend, impress, or seek acceptance elsewhere. We are certain that God is pleased with us just as we are----flaws and all.
Micca also tells us that In God's love, we have nothing to fear. We don't dread someone who loves us and has our best interest at heart. Instead, we run to him.
Thank you Jesus for the oh so perfect timing of this chapter.
You are amazing!
Next Tuesday join me to discuss chapter 11: Practicing His Presence.