To Him I will Cling

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Today I am clinging to the fact that Christ is with us even in the darkest of times. The moments of our lives, when even time itself seems to stand still out of fear. When the eerie darkness seems to be the only next resting place. For the past six weeks, I have been attempting to follow Christ through a season of loneliness and questions. There have been moments where the silence of my surroundings seems to drown my soul. “Christ where are you?” I have often cried. Sobs fill the room, as I have searched my soul, trying to understand the “whys” to my many questions.
“Lord, why have you not allowed this cup to pass?”
“Father, where is the light? Where is the purpose in this endless suffering?”
“Jesus, have you forgotten your servant? Do you not see this pain?”
Yet, it has been in these moments of weeping and asking, that my precious Comforter has often come, not with answers, but with sympathy and acknowledgement of my suffering.
I am beginning to learn that true joy is not always a life of happiness. It is not attempting to act fine when everything is not okay. Joy is choosing, no matter the circumstance, to rest in the knowledge that I am not alone in this.
Jesus never told his disciples to put a fake face on and to get through their struggles. Jesus was seen crying, angry, laughing, and speaking life while he was on earth. He lived a life with emotion. 
I simply want to encourage you, that Christ is a comforter. He isn’t wanting you to put on an act of perfection and perfect happiness. He longs for the real you, the girl who sometimes cries because she is terrified of her diagnosis. The girl who is struggling with finishing a final paper. The girl who cries in anger at the circumstance she can’t change and that are wrong. 
Jesus longs for the real you. So run to Him. Run to Him with tears streaming down your face and frustration heavy on your soul. He is waiting, and longing to embrace and comfort you.
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Who are you?- Discussion

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“You are Loved”- Ellie Holcomb

Some days you’re tired of trying to measure up
You see a girl who’s not enough
And you look in the mirror
Some nights all you wanna do is hide
Cause every time you look inside
You’re face to face with failure
But you are loved oh
Not because of what you’ve done no
Even when your heart has run the other way
Nothing’s gonna change his love
And you are wanted
Not because you are perfect
I know that you don’t think your worth that kind of grace
Look into his face you’ll know that you are loved oh…
You’ve searched for something that will stir your soul
That’ll make you feel less alone
But nothing ever saves you
While he knew before you ever took a breath
There’d be days where you’d forget
How beautiful he made you
Dear Reader,
You are loved by Christ. You are wanted, not because of you or anything that you have done. It is simply because of His great work.
This week, a dear friend reminded me of the importance of speaking the truth of our identity over ourselves. With her encouragement, I created a list of who I am as a forgiven believer. It was a beautiful time spent praising God for all the gifts He bestows on us.
What is one part of your identity that is precious to your soul? For me, the very fact that I am loved and wanted by the God of the universe still leaves me in awe and wonder.
I can’t wait to read your thoughts,
Eliza

Thankfulness in the Little

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           “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”                 1 Thess 5:18

Growing up in a Christian home, I often belted the lyrics, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God has done!” throughout the house as I joyfully did my chores. As a child, thankfulness came easily to my young, carefree soul. I didn’t have any worries about the lack of shelter or food. I went to rest every night knowing that my parents love would never change for me and that my Father in heaven loved me in an even greater way.

Yet with time and maturity, the worries of life grew. Weighing my soul down and stealing the pure thankfulness that once reigned within. Selfishness began to fester as I expected things from the Lord. Believing that the gifts from Him were to be freely bestowed upon me and because of my “righteous” acts, after all, I deserved them. Did I not?

I sadly often forget, even to this day, the simple fact that our blessings are gifts from Him. I fail to remember one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

This past month, I took on the challenge to find one simple thing to be thankful for in each day. The littlest things, that I have often run past have now begun to show themselves in my life. The buds on a tree, are a gift from above. A steaming cup of coffee (yes, even coffee), is from my Father. A surprise snowfall, a smile from a child or an unexpected hug from a friend are all gifts from my Lord.

Would this post leave you counting your blessings? I would love to hear what you are most thankful for.

 

There will come a Day

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The sun set yet again over the purple mountains of Colorado today, leaving a hurting city to rest and prepare for the following day of the routine of blood, sweat, and tears.

Our world is moaning in its progression towards death slowly advances (Rom. 8:22) The darkness of sin seems to grow with each passing of the years. The weary eyes of a widow long to see true love again. A child cries alone in their crib in China, yearning for safety. A soldier hangs up his gear for the night, hoping for true peace. A man lays in a hospital bed crippled from treatment, praying for healing. An orphan boy runs through the streets trying to be braving, dreaming of true strength. A woman sits in her office, typing away the hours, wanting meaning. A pastor speaks yet again to his congregation, longing to finish the race well. A college student sits alone in her home, praying for justice of the one who assaulted her. A young mother cries as she says goodbye to her young child, wishing they had a longer life. Individuals longing for purpose, love, peace, justice, freedom, payment, and joy.

Jesus didn’t rip open the heaven today and ride down on His white stead. (Rev. 6:2) However, He is coming and will come soon. When He comes, He will bring justice, peace, and all that we need. He will bring comfort and newness to His children. (Rev. 21: 4-5)

Oh dear reader, may you continue to hold tightly to this promise. He will come! And for those who prove faithful to Him, He has promised, “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. ” (Rev. 21:7)

 

His Perfection and His Alone

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This past weekend was Easter/ Resurrection weekend. Some individuals purposefully steer away from celebrating, due to the background of a pagan holiday. This article was not written to divide my readers on if we should celebrate or not. However, it is simply a reflection on the finished work of Christ. So, I ask, please keep the comments respectful and Christ-like.

Now that my soapbox moment is over, I would love to share my reflection of His perfect work.

Perfection was an object that I often strove for. I wanted to be the best in my Karate school, my ballet class, and honestly in anything. However, this perfection as for many was driven by pride and a thirst for acknowledgment. This very attribute of my prideful soul transferred itself unknowingly to my spiritual life and relationship with Christ.

Instead of a restful growth towards perfection, my life turned into a show and competition with others. Rather than a building up of others up towards Christ, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Heb. 10:24) I found myself competing in my own strength to tear others down and to build up my own name in God’s eyes.

My problem? I viewed my own good works as the only way to gain God’s honor and praise. As if, it was by my own actions that I could gain the love of Christ. Yet, this is not so. In fact, the Bible clearly states how filthy our own acts of righteousness are in God’s eyes. (Is 64:6) Not only that, but Jesus rebuked the spiritual leaders of Israel for seeking to gain God’s approval through self-righteous actions. (Matt 23)

It is the perfection of Christ and His finished work that we as believers are to rest in.

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

Dear reader, would you cling to the perfection of Christ. His finished work on the cross that grants you salvation, through which you are given the power to overcome sin. (2 Cor 2:17)

Would a Knowledge of Holiness Change Your Life?- Discussion

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“What Do I Know Of Holy” By Addison Road

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
So What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

[CHORUS 2]
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life it’s name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

[CHORUS]
So What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

If we knew the full holiness of God, how would that change our lives?
Would we be more likely to share the gospel with our loved ones because we would know of the greatness of God’s righteous judgment?
Would we live a life full of Christlike love?
Would we be slower to sin and quicker to repent?
Would we come before Him in prayer with a humble spirit?

What would be the biggest change in your life if you knew the full holiness of God?

Loaves and Fishes

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This post by Heather Cofer is full of truth and beauty. May it draw you closer to Jesus today!

I can see him, the boy standing amidst the thousands of people who came to hear Jesus that day on the mountainside; looking down at the lunch he had brought for himself, then lifting his eyes to the throng of people surrounding him who didn’t have anything. What could this little offering of five loaves and two fish do, he may have wondered? But rather than resigning himself to that thought, he gathered his loaves and fishes and took them to Jesus. And I’m sure nothing could have prepared him for just how far-reaching his seemingly small step of obedience would be in the hands of the Creator of the Universe.

So often I have felt like that boy with his loaves and fishes. I see the needs around me, but I see how limited my ability is to be able to meet them. Even when opportunities arise when I know God is asking me to give of my time, energy, or resources, I feel my weakness so keenly. But He has shown me time and time again that He is the God of the impossible, and that He never asks something of me that He will not abundantly and supernaturally provide the grace for. And then, He expands them beyond what I ever thought possible.

But it starts with obedience. He has designed it that we – weak, frail, sinful vessels – are the ones that will display His power, beauty, love, and goodness to this world. He doesn’t require strength or perfection. He simply requires a willingness to be used for His perfect plan.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t give into the temptation to think, “I can’t make nearly the impact they are.” What matters is that we are being obedient with the little (or much) we have been given. God gives different tasks to different people, and uses each of us for a unique purpose.

He’s given each of us three different areas in our lives that we can give of: time, energy, and resources. They are each limited, and can be used for either selfish purposes or to love and serve those around us. We are each responsible to seek the Lord for how He desires for these three areas of our lives are to be used. We may have more of one or two than the other. But no matter what we offer, He can use our obedience to bless others in deeply impacting ways.

Whatever your five loaves and two fish might be, don’t hesitate to offer them to Jesus in loving obedience. You may not know how He can use them, and you may never see the full extent of how He does use them this side of heaven. But you can be sure that it will matter for eternity.

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Heather Cofer is a wife and mother with a passion for encouraging others to love Jesus with all their hearts. This comes through writing, leading worship, and being actively involved in life-on-life discipleship alongside her husband, Judah, who is one of the pastors at their church. She is also a regular contributor for the ministry of Set Apart Girl, as well as a guest contributor to several other websites.

Heather loves spending her days with their three young children (and one on the way), enjoying quality time with Judah, and having conversations over cups coffee with friends.

Heather is a (Canada born) Colorado native, but spent most of her childhood in the country of Mongolia where her family served as missionaries. This is also where she and Judah met after his family moved there several years later. After getting married in 2011, they moved to Northern Colorado, and have been there ever since.