Lent- Week 1 Identifying Discontent, Day 1

This devotion is from The Mosaic Bible devotions for Lent. Week 1 is focusing on sin and the beginning of sin with Eve in the Garden of Eden. She was enticed by the devil to be discontent with what God provided. She was tempted with the lust of knowledge to steer her away from God’s presence. This is what I recently experienced in my own life. Satan can lure you away from being with God with the simple thought of wanting to know more. Instead of being with God you are frantically trying to learn more and more, like overeating. Soon you are exhausted and overloaded and without God’s presence. If Satan can entice us out of fellowship with God then he can gain a foothold in our lives to corrupt it further. We need time with God to have peace and to listen for His guidance in our every day life.

Part of the reading for today was in 1 Peter 3:21. This scripture spoke to me. It says, And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth, but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience [inward cleanness and peace] before God [ because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Baptism is a demonstration of my inward belief that Jesus is the Son of God and was resurrected, therefore, I should not have any doubts, fears or questions about my salvation in Jesus Christ. Through my baptism I am showing God I believe and in His eyes I am clean and clear in my conscience through Jesus Christ. I am showing God I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and because of this fact of belief I should have no fear or worry because Jesus has overcome the world and I belong to Him. I can be at peace and know I am clean by His blood.

Ann Voskamp’s book Trail To The Tree for Lent asks the question that God asked Adam and Eve, Where are you?  After they disobeyed they felt ashamed and hid. We tend to hide from God too, especially when we listen to the lies in our head about how messed up we are. It causes us to withdraw from God but He is asking, Where are you?

What I have learned today is that if I truly believe in Jesus and who He is, I have nothing to fear. Satan can’t touch me and God is waiting for me to come into His presence. Satan is still trying to get us out of God’s presence with his lies in our heads. The negative thoughts separate us from God by our own doing like when Adam and Eve hid in the trees. God is saying, where are you? Like when a child does something wrong and knows it so he hides from his mom, afraid of what she will do. But she is looking  all around for him wondering where he is and wanting to find him, she loves him. The broken vase, or stain on the carpet is nothing compared to her love for her child. So it is with God, He loves us and wants time with us. It’s okay, the mess that we are, just go to God and He will be waiting with open arms. We can relax and enter God’s rest knowing who we are in Christ. Jesus didn’t cover our sins, He washed them away and He makes us clean on the inside. The washing of the Gospel makes my heart clean. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again and is seated at the right hand of God making intercession for me.



My Salvation Story Backed By Scripture

This is my  story of how I was found by Jesus. It’s been five years ago, but I want to say I was brought up Catholic and I said the salvation prayer when I was in 9th grade at a friends church that was Baptist. I believe God had His hand on me all along but I just didn’t know it. Like some of you that may be reading this, I was lost, but God sees us even when we don’t see Him. It is God who draws us to Himself.  Even when we are singing the songs, going to church and think we are serving God, we are absent from His true presence until our heart is changed. It’s our heart that God looks at. What our motives are. Even though I thought I was with God, in reality I wasn’t.

Five years ago I was in a dark place in my mind. At the time I knew it was Hell. I wrote a prayer in my journal that said, “I pray that God can show me the way out of this long dark tunnel. I have had glimmers of light but they soon fade away as fast as they came. How can I make it stay? I’m asking you, God,  to please show me the way.”  This prayer was in March 2007. It wasn’t until August 2010 that I had an encounter with Jesus. When He became REAL to me and began my eternal life with Him. Psalm 40:2-3, He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

I was sidetracked with all the new age spirituality stuff that’s out there. One book in particular was Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsh. I actually believed I received salvation after reading this book. I learned that new age spirituality really isn’t “new”, it’s Satan’s old ways of deceiving us to get us into Hell. In these types of books they get you to think that it’s your own truth that gets you to Heaven. It’s a lie that is so far from the REAL TRUTH! In this book I was made to believe that there is no such thing as sin. Kinda like when Eve was convinced to eat of the tree God said not to. Sin is what separates us from God because He is holy.  Sin is missing the mark, which means doing things our way instead of God’s way. I was living in sin and Satan had me fooled into thinking that it didn’t exist. That is the big lie Satan is telling us today, that he doesn’t exist. When he has you in that place of denial then he can do his dirty work.

That’s what he did to me, I ended up away from my family, paralyzed in my thinking, confused and all I saw for the future was blackness. I stayed there for 3 months. In this state of being I felt the most lonely I ever felt in my life. I had no hope and didn’t know what was going to happen. Proverbs 14:1, The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  One day I had a change in my heart towards my husband after he had prayed for me. I knew I was going back home but I told people ,” I am back because of God.” As it says in Jeremiah 29:14, I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[a] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  I saw the old me , the old mindset, walking around the house and I had a knowing, she is dead. II Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

My husband even told me I had been touched by God. He could see it in me. So, I began reading the Bible.  A Bible my sister gave me years before called The Everyday Bible with Joyce Meyer. She has confessions in this Bible to say over your life. I started doing it. One day I felt in my heart that I was believing what it said for my own life. Proverbs 14:9, Fools mock at making amends for sin,
    but goodwill is found among the upright. I felt Satan say to me,” Do you really think you can keep this up?” I ignored it and kept going. 1 Peter 5:8, Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I realized the Bible was written for Me. Deuteronomy 8:3 says,  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna,which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Soon I had an urgency to know about Jesus. Isaiah 1:18, Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool. I watched Jesus of Nazareth and found out that He rose from the dead and appeared to 500 people and the disciples. I never knew that. And that He ascended into Heaven, which means He is ALIVE! John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Then my sister told me to watch The Gospel of John.  As Jesus talked to the disciples about following Him, I felt like He was talking to me personally. I even said out loud,” What do I do, how do I follow You?” Then it came to the part where Jesus says,” You didn’t choose me, I chose you.” I was blown away because of what I had been saying, that God brought me home, not me. So, in this moment I knew Jesus was talking to me personally and I felt His presence in the room. I had tears streaming down my face and for the first time in my life, I raised my hands to Him and said,” I love you, Jesus! Please forgive me, I’m sorry, sorry for my sin that put You on the cross. It became real to me that He did it for me.  God requires sacrifice for sin. That’s why Jesus came. God is just and holy. We can’t be with God without being cleansed of sin. He sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sin, if we will just believe it and receive it in our heart. This is what I did in this moment. I suddenly saw that obeying God is not out of duty, it’s because you love Him! I love Jesus and can’t thank Him enough for what He did on the cross. He invites EVERYONE to come. Follow Him. Revelation 3:20,

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Without Him we would all be in darkness and never have eternal life. But it’s a choice, God gives us free will. He comes after us but it’s our choice to follow. Will you choose Him today? We are never satisfied until we encounter Jesus. He said, ” I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by  (through) Me.” John 14:6

My prayer for you is in Ephesians 3:19, and [that you may come] to know [practically, through personal experience] the love of Christ which far surpasses [mere] knowledge [without experience], that you may be filled up [throughout your being] to all the fullness of God [so that you may have the richest experience of God’s presence in your lives, completely filled and flooded with God Himself].

True salvation is Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; AND Matthew 16:16-17,  Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Salvation is a free gift from God you receive through faith. It is His working of the Holy Spirit in you that brings you to life. No person on earth can do this except Jesus Christ.The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us and we choose to receive Him.

My plea to God, Psalms 40:10, I have not concealed Your righteousness within my heart;
I have proclaimed Your faithfulness and Your salvation.
I have not concealed Your loving kindness and Your truth from the great assembly.

The Changes In Me- Three Months Later

This past month has been very full. I finished my book Pleasing God which was pretty good. From a sermon I heard from Steven Furtick and the theme running in this book I have learned some things about sin. Steven Furtick talked about the code of Satan, how he gets us into error which comes from the three temptations of Jesus. The lust of the flesh, lust of the world and lust of pride. If we can stay away from these things it would be pleasing to God. I believe lust of knowledge could be in with the world. I had an experience with this these past 4 weeks. Then today I began a Lent devotion and it begins with Eve and her lust for knowledge. I recognize that this was her real problem, wanting to know more and know what God knows. This lust led her to the death of her spirit. I watched a couple movies that portrayed highly intelligent people, one was a true story. The Imitation Game was the true story which I watched because Steven Furtick mentioned it as to how he came up with the code of Satan. Then the movie Frequencies. I got real entangled with frequencies. I found out a lot of information about it but it was a major overload in my brain. I realized one morning that I shouldn’t try to understand something I can’t comprehend. I was going to write about how it relates to God but He has told me no and to stop researching it because it isn’t from Him. My mom also gave me confirmation on this because she has a dream where she was warning me to stop. I told her I already had. I can see from my devotional today that I was being tempted like Eve with knowledge. I don’t mean simple school knowledge. I am talking about the in depth knowledge that drives you crazy because it’s beyond you. God has revealed all we need to know in the Bible and if we just stay in those parameters we will be safe. The rest will be revealed to us in the New Earth and Heaven. So, I have vowed to keep studying the Bible and have time spent with God and in His presence and that’s all I need to do right now.  I have read a lot of The Pilgrim’s Progress also and was led to buy the movie. I really loved it. That has also showed me that staying on the path is knowing the Bible and what it says so when your faced with different situations you can recognize it for what it really is and remember what God says about it and stay away from what He has said to stay away from. In the movie whenever Christian was faced with something he recited scriptures from the Bible to help direct his way. This is what the Bible means when it says Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 Jesus practiced this in the desert and again here he was faced with those temptations from Satan, the same ones we are tempted with today. We just need to be able to recognize them. This scripture about Jesus in the desert was in my devotion today for Lent also. This Lent I will be doing a devotion with the Mosaic Bible and Ann Voskamp’s Trail of the Tree. I am really excited about this because it will be like Advent. I have also ordered the Mosaic Bible to continue doing devotions throughout the year. This Bible is unique because it goes according the the church year which has different phases and this Bible has devotions and reading plans to go with the church year. So everyday I can have a plan and devotion to read in the Bible. I can’t wait to get it and I also got the Illuminated St. John’s Bible. It is so awesome! A scribe in Britain was challenged to illuminate the St. John’s Bible and it is a work of art. I wouldn’t have known about these Bibles if it hadn’t been for Ann Voskamp. She showed them to me on her blog A Holy Experience. She has been and still is a big influence on my walk recently. Steven Furtick also. I found a song that speaks to my spirit called I Dare You To Trust. I will put a video with the song below because this is Jesus speaking to me and has been a theme in my life lately.