Meet Jemeia | Confidence Without Compromise #37

Jemeia_CWC feature_37

Jemeia, North Carolina

Writer, Transparency Blog

Meet Jemeia. A blogger, author, and follower of Christ. In this week’s feature, Jemeia talks about waiting on God in difficult seasons, committing to a life of obedience, and drawing strength from the Lord.

Continue reading “Meet Jemeia | Confidence Without Compromise #37”

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Getting Back on Track | Trust Series (Part Three)

In Part Two of the Trust Series we discussed key points to look for to identify God’s gifts in our lives–and how to learn what’s not of Him. When God moves, He reflects His character. Even in the midst of difficult decisions, God can provide clarity. He’s not a God of confusion!

In Part One of the series, we discussed how to abandon fear and hold onto faith when it comes to following God’s commands. When we’ve been seeking God, and He says “yes,” we can move forward knowing He’s with us every step of the way.

However, what happens if we go off track? What do we do when we realize we’re not on the course God has for us?

Today, in Part Three of the Trust Series we’re going back to basics.

There’s a key component in discovering God’s will for your life, and it’s as simple as this:

Obedience.

Continue reading “Getting Back on Track | Trust Series (Part Three)”

Are You Seeking Approval from Others or God? | Video

With social media, seeking success, relationships, and “adulting” in general, it’s easy to feel the pressure to follow the crowd. But we don’t have to fall under the comparison trap–Let’s get back to the Word! You can refocus, overcome temptation, follow your calling and live a life of obedience as God intended.

In today’s new YouTube video, I discuss this challenging question: Are you seeking to please the world or God?

Click below to watch!

 

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Day 9: I will take you higher | Love Letters

Fa·vor: the state of being approved or held in regard.

[Source]

God’s love for you comes with favor. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are welcomed into the body of Christ. You are part of the family of God: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 ESV).

As part of this family, you have an inheritance. You are approved before God, and He holds you in high regard. You have access to Him–on earth and one day in heaven. You have access to His promises for you.

God makes a way when there is no way. When you commit your life to the Lord, you can expect Him to show up when you least expect it.

One of my favorite examples of favor in the Bible is Ruth’s story.

In the book of Ruth, we find that Ruth is living in a time of complete hopelessness–there is famine, corruption, and she experiences the death of her husband. However, Ruth decides to commit herself to God. She states to her mother-in-law, Naomi, “‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’” (Ruth 1:16 NKJV).

When she loses everything, Ruth displays her loyalty to Naomi–but most importantly, she declares her loyalty to God. She wants God to be her God. She knows love for God means obedience. As she’s following Him, she receives favor from Him.

Boaz, a man of God who has great inheritance (wealth), recognizes Ruth because of her love for God, which is again displayed by her actions:

“And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge’” (Ruth 2:11-12 NKJV).

Later on, Boaz blesses Ruth with a large supply of barley to take back to Naomi. Boaz and Ruth eventually get married. The theme in this book is obedience. Ruth is recognized for her obedience to God and rewarded by her obedience to God. She is given favor among men and even given a new life where she now has access to more than what she had before.

I’m sure Ruth didn’t know what was on the other side of her obedience, but she trusted in God anyway. We don’t know what’s on the other side, but if we trust in God and obey His commands, we can have confidence in His blessings.

God can take you higher than where you are now. He will not let your enemies triumph over you. He can promote you. He can give you favor in that job interview. He can provide financial blessings where you are lacking. He can restore broken relationships. He can deliver you from trouble. The key is to honor God–not because you want the rewards but because you want Him.

Remember: Ruth wanted God to be her God.

God sees your heart, and He is near those who draw near to Him. If you have a heart that truly wants to please and live for Him, it will be clear through your actions. You will see His promises for you unravel time and time again throughout your life.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16 NKJV)

Love Letter 9

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.

Read Day 8

Read Day 10

 

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The Reason You Are Unfulfilled

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. 

(Revelation 2:4-5a ESV)


I’ll tell you a juicy secret.

I’m guilty of something. And I realize that every believer is guilty of this, too, at some point in their faith.

In the midst of all the losses and gains in our lives, we forget our first love. standing alone_edit

A fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ can easily stop at the moment of salvation. By that, I mean we invite Christ into our hearts, acknowledging our need for Him for eternal life. This saves us and secures us for heaven. But we need to know that salvation doesn’t stop there. It continues now in our relationship with Him. Just as you desperately needed God to save you from sin, you still desperately need him to be everything–above any earthly desire you currently have.

Are you finding it difficult to really give something to God? You can pray and pray over and over, submitting it to the Lord. And you should. We’re taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), to come boldly before the throne (Hebrews 4:16), to test every spirit–any thing or person that comes our way–to see if it is really from God (1 John 4:1).

But if you’re struggling with unfulfilled desires and deep longings that seem to remain unmet time and time again, you may be missing a crucial thing.

Continue reading “The Reason You Are Unfulfilled”

It’s Better to Believe

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

(Romans 8:24-25 NKJV)


Do you ever wonder what can get in the way of miracles?  sparklers_believe post.jpg

Sometimes, we can rely on rituals to “make sure” that God answers our prayers. Maybe this can look like feeling you need to pray the exact prayer you did the last time God blessed you…or making sure you wear the same shirt you were wearing when God helped you ace that test…or worrying that God won’t protect you today because you didn’t get up at 5:00 am to pray.

This is tiring! I believe that we should be disciplined in seeking God, but we’ve taken up a wrong mindset if we start to get paranoid that God won’t be there for us if we “mess up” on a made-up routine in our heads. The sacrifices we make to seek Christ, based on His Word, should bring peace in our hearts.

“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30 KJV).

Acts 16:31 reminds us that the foundation of our faith is believing God for who He is: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” However, the miracle of salvation is just the beginning. Believe that if God has the power to save you from sin through Jesus Christ, He has the power to provide for you in everyday life. And as Romans 8:25 encourages us, we can wait in expectancy for what He will do.

Continue reading “It’s Better to Believe”

Obedience and Healing

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Luke 17:11-19 (KJV)


When I was younger I learned quickly that my parents were “always” right.

It took time for me to realize this. I was always stubborn and wanted to do things my way. But soon I learned that if I obeyed my parents, something good happened, but if I disobeyed them, it typically resulted in something not so great.

Now, of course, I later realized my parents aren’t perfect. But they are older than I am and have gone through many of the things I will, and through god-given wisdom, they were able to handle them. So, obeying them as they obey God leads me in the right direction.

I will never forget a particular time when if I had listened to my mom, I could have avoided some painful results.

While shopping with our mom, my brother and I decided to play tag in the parking lot of the shopping center. My mom told us to stop running, but I wanted to sprint to the car–the designated “safe zone”–and win. So I did.

I was running so fast that as I tried to stop myself, I skidded and fell, scraping my knee on the pavement. As I felt the stinging sensation of my fresh cut, I realized that if I had just listened to my mother, I would have prevented the pain. Over time, the wound healed, but it left a scar on my knee–perhaps a little reminder of my childhood stubbornness.

While this example of disobedience did not result in tremendous consequences, there are times when disobedience leaves life-altering “scars.”

God gives us specific instruction on how we ought to conduct ourselves. Just as my mom gave me a warning to stop running to avoid falling, God gives us instructions to avoid harming ourselves. We don’t see the accident up ahead, but He does.

Isaiah 55:8 says that God’s thoughts and ways are above our own. He is more knowledgeable than we will ever be, and so His plan will always be much better and wiser than ours.

Jesus’ miracles are the result of obedience.

When we obey God, we can receive His blessings and wholeness. Luke 17:11-19 illustrates this, as Jesus heals ten men who have leprosy.

Problem | the illness:

And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: (Luke 17:11-12)

Leprosy is a severe bacterial infection that deteriorates the skin, causing wounds that often lead to the loss of body parts. Particularly in Biblical times, it was so infectious that it separated those who were affected from those who were not, shunning them from society.

When the lepers see Jesus, they stand “afar off” (v. 12), knowing their position in society–outcasts. They suffer the emotional pain of isolation, and they experience the physical pain of decaying flesh. These are men in need of a great healing.

Solution | the command:

And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. (Luke 17:13-14a)

Before healing takes place, the lepers have faith. They go to Jesus, knowing who He is, and lift their voices to Him (v. 13). They know that Jesus is God and capable of healing them, and so they seek Him out and ask for a miracle.

Jesus immediately gives them a solution the moment he sees them. He instructs them to go to the priests.

Response | the obedience

And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, (Luke 17:14b-15)

Once Jesus gives them a solution, they listen and act upon it. Jesus could have healed them on the spot, but instead He gives them an instruction. Here is their opportunity to put their faith into action by obeying Him without question or hesitation. This obedience, based on their faith, allowed them to be cleansed.

Another response to note is that of one leper who returns to Jesus. The others depart, now healed, but this man shows his gratitude to Jesus. Although Jesus knows that the other nine men are not going to return to Him and thank Him, He still physically heals them.

This man’s faith set him apart from the others. He provides a model for us on faith and gratitude. Acknowledging his faith, Jesus tells him it is his faith that has made him whole (v. 19). This wholeness goes beyond physical healing–he received a spiritual healing due to his gratitude and obedience. He is now a new person, a whole man.

Afterwards, Jesus gives him a direction. He instructs him to go forward (v. 19). He can do so in  faith with a new appreciation for who Jesus is and what he has done in his life.

Obedience is faith put into action.

What can we learn from this man?

  1. God recognizes our gratitude, which reflects the state of our hearts
  2. He gives us direction and renewal
  3. He rewards our faith

As demonstrated in this passage, Christ came to heal us from our pains–physical, emotional, and otherwise. But how are we to expect to receive from Him if we are not obeying His commands? Just as He gave the lepers instruction which set them on a new path, through His word, he is instructing us also to set us on a new path of healing and restoration.

Whatever length of time the lepers may have been suffering, they still sought Jesus out in faith. If you have been praying for a long time for physical, emotional, or spiritual healing, continue to seek the Lord. Turning away from Him leaves scars.

The man who returned to Christ shows us that healing can be physical and spiritual if we allow God to do the work. I encourage you to remain in faith. Christ is the one that can wipe us clean from our pasts and our pain and make us whole. In the process, He is working on our hearts, and He is looking at our responses–our obedience.


But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

(Luke 11:28)