I woke up today with a migraine and feeling defeated. Where is my healing? Am I missing something? Am I not doing something I should be doing? Doing something I shouldn’t be doing? Is God waiting on me for something? (I ask these questions… again.)
I prayed in and out of sleep fighting the migraine. When I got up, (still with the migraine) I sat down and opened my bible. I’m now reading in Romans and God is taking me on a journey this morning! I started in chapter three this morning.
This is not an overview of Romans. This is not verse by verse, let me show you what it says. This is my account of what God is speaking directly to me through reading Romans today. God is so good. He answers questions. He speaks directly to us. He allows us to be in just the right spot of the bible to answer the questions we struggle with.
In Chapter 3:
God keeps his word. Thank you, Jesus, for keeping your promises.
Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity, He put us in right standing with Himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be. And HE did it by means of Jesus Christ.
This is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in His rightness.
Jesus will get me out of the mess I’m in. Jesus will set me right. Jesus will put me where God has always wanted me to be – as a gift to me. Jesus does it, not me.
Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting Him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade.
I need to stop trying to run the parade! I am not in charge! I don’t set the what to do and what not to do and where to go and where not to go. And I definitely don’t set the timetable by which things need to happen. I need to let God set the pace!
In Chapter 4:
Abraham… trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own. If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it – you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked – well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.
I need to trust God to do the things that I cannot do. The “living up to the standards” that I fail at over and over and over again. I need to trust God to do it for me. God is who sets me right, not my own getting things right (which is impossible anyway).
If those who get what God gives them only get it by doing everything they are told to do and filling out all the right forms properly signed, that eliminates personal trust completely and turns the promise into an ironclad contract! That’s not a holy promise, that’s a business deal. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise-and God’s promise at that- you can’t break it. This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way, and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift.
Again, AGAIN, I see that living a God-life is not about crossing every T and dotting every I, making sure everything I do is perfect… It’s about trusting God to do it!! Yes, God. Yes, thank you for telling me over and over! I need the repetition to get it through to my head and heart! Tell me again!
Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do. When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said He would do.
I need to live life focusing on what God says He will do! Enough of the “I can’t do it!” C’mon, God. Keep speaking to me! Keep teaching me!
Jesus died for me.
Jesus died for me!
Despite the fact that alone, I can offer nothing to God, He still died for me. Despite the fact I screw up, make mistakes, make wrong choices, none of that matters – because God sets me right. Because of His love. Not because of anything I have done or will do for Him. And the same goes for you.
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready.
But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.
Sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down.
If you don’t have a relationship with God yet… if you read my blogs and wonder – How does God speak to her? How does she get peace after being so frustrated? Where does that come from? This is the answer. Right here.
I am nothing. I am not special. I am one who screws up again and again. I’m a rollercoaster of emotions. I swing from pride to anxiousness. I go from trusting God to questioning him. I have days of blind trust and days of huge doubt. You’ve seen it. I share it. I fall, a lot.
But my relationship with Jesus? The full assurance I have that I am a child of God? That is not because of anything that I have done or will ever do. It’s Jesus. Jesus was perfect, lived a perfect life. When it comes time to pay the price for all my screw-ups… Jesus steps in and says, “No, I died for her. I died to take on her mistakes and wrong choices. I died so that she can have a relationship with God. The price has been paid for her. I paid it. She is free. She is saved. She is holy and righteous, not because of what she did, but because of what I did for her. I took her place. I love her. I gave her this gift. She is mine.”
Remember in those verses above? It’s a gift. A pure gift. Sheer gift.
How do I know that gift is for me? Because God offers it to every single one of us and because I accepted it. I didn’t DO anything. I already shared the verses that speak of me – that I can’t get it all right on my own. That no one can! The job is too big. There’s no way to cross every T and dot every i. And that’s why it’s a gift. We can’t earn it by doing enough, being good enough.
God offered the gift, and I said Yes! Thank you!
Why do I struggle? Because I keep trying to take back the reins! Be good enough. Take the burden back on myself. Give God MY agenda. Lead the parade myself. And God gently and so lovingly pulls me back, like today, saying that’s my job. Your job is to trust me. I’ll set you right. Stop trying to be good enough! You are already worthy and loved! I am so thankful He never has and never will give up on me. One day, I’ll live with God forever, an eternal never-ending bliss-filled life with the One who created me. All because of Jesus.
Do you want God’s gift? It’s so simple to receive. Just as you are, right now, God is holding it out to you, drawing you close to Him, desperate to give you His gift. All you have to do is accept. Say something like:
God, I see that you are good, so good, and I know that I don’t live a perfect life. I can’t come close to doing it all myself and getting everything right. I need your gift. I’m sorry for the mistakes I’ve made and the times I’ve screwed up. Please forgive me. I believe in Jesus! I believe He died to give me this gift – a special personal relationship with God and an eternal life in heaven with You one day. Thank you for this gift! I accept it! Thank you! Thank you for saving me! In Jesus name, Amen!
I am praying for you who are reading this! I am praying that you accept God’s gift! He loves you so much! You are so precious to Him!
If you accepted God’s gift today, would you let me know? You don’t have to, of course! It’s a personal decision you make between yourself and God. But I would love to be able to connect with you and encourage you and celebrate with you! Do you know even the angels in heaven are celebrating each and every time someone accepts the gift of Jesus?
Imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”Luke 15:8-10
May everyone who reads this be blessed today! In Jesus name!