Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Searching for Love in all the Wrong Places

Mary SoutherlandStress happens... a lot. In fact, stress seems to be a constant companion in many of our lives. 

Yes, we live in a world filled with people and circumstances that seem to feed stress. 

But I believe much of our stress is the result of an innate quest to love and be loved. The problems come when we look for that love in all the wrong places.

There is only one right place where we can find true love – in a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

It is really very simple. When we know God, we will know love. When we experience His unconditional love, we are then freed to love ourselves and to love others.

I have personally discovered that it is downright frustrating and completely impossible to live the Christian life when you are not a Christian. I tried.

For years I desperately struggled to be a Christ follower with only head knowledge of who God was and wanted to be in my life. The result was a pitifully shallow existence with stress and frustration as my constant companions.

I grew up in a Christian home, attending church just about every time the doors were open. I sang all of the right songs, spoke all of the right words, and did all of the right things in front of all the right people. 

I fervently prayed that my works would validate my faith, and desperately hoped that by following the rules, I would please the Ruler. 

It was not until my first year in high school that the spiritual integrity of a dynamic youth pastor made me hunger and thirst for something more.

I wanted to know God. I desperately wanted and needed to experience the unconditional love of God.

During a Saturday evening church service, I sat in my usual spot with the rest of my high school friends, clutching the back of the pew in front of me while wrestling with God over the condition of my soul and my eternal security. 

I was an active church member, a soloist, and the pianist for our worship services. I even directed a children’s choir.

I was a fake! How embarrassing to walk down that aisle, admitting to everyone that I’d been living a lie!

My mind argued that I knew all about God – and then the deeper truth of that argument hit me. Yes, I knew about Him, but I didn’t know Him.

God’s perfect love settles for nothing less than an intimate and loving relationship with His children. That night I met God. I surrendered all that I knew about myself to all that I knew about Him.

The course of my life was changed forever, but I quickly discovered that my problems did not magically disappear. I still had to deal with stressful situations. 

The difference was that God’s love preceded me. His power and strength surrounded and sustained me as I lived each day. And that made all the difference in my stress-filled world.

Knowing we are loved fosters contentment and peace in our hearts, and when our hearts are filled with peace, there is little room for stress.

"The Lord is my shepherd" (Psalm 23:1, NKJV).

(Google image and emphasis added)

Let’s Pray Father, thank You for the peace that comes from knowing You. Help me remember that no matter what comes my way, You are with me. When I am tempted to worry, give me the strength to choose faith over fear. Teach me Your ways, Lord, and empower me to walk in them. In Jesus’ name, Amen."

June 10, 2015
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Mary Southerland

Today’s quote: Richard Fuller writes: “This, Christian, is what 
you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you. Reason cannot help you. Past experiences give you no light. Only a single course is left. 
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may -- winds, waves, cross seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers -- no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness and his everlasting love in Christ Jesus.(As found on Mary's post, August 3, 2015, From a Storm to a Whisper)

Today’s Bible verse: Prov. 3:6 "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Some thoughts today: How do you handle correction? What thoughts do you have when corrected? Do you already think you're doing things right?

- A "parked car" cannot be followed. If we're refuse correction, how can we grow in our Christian faith, and become mature? Be careful you don't hang out with underachievers. 

- When we're confronted with God's conviction of sin, will it come with gentleness, or will He need to use stronger methods to get our attention?

{I hope you'll check out Mary Baxter's video given on A Divine Revelation of Hell link given to the right. If you want your own copy, you can order one. There are many offered for only $.01 + $3.99 postage!}.

16th-  Sunday evening’s post:  The Preparation Has Begun
Lee Forbes
18th-  Tuesday's post:  #87 Calling Spirits by Name
C. Peter Wagner
20th-  Thursday's post:  #88 Rumpelstiltskin 
C. Peter Wagner
22nd-  Saturday's post:  Plans that Change
Jean Oathout [from notes of message by Bill Hull]

door knobA popular post:   A Husband Needs Wife Elaine W. Miller with another nugget of marriage wisdom: "A wife fulfills a role no one else can fill. She is her husband’s wife. Curious, I looked up 'wife' in Roget’s Thesaurus and learned a wife is a..." 

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