Do you ever have trouble falling asleep going over all the day's events and second guessing what you did or said? Do you wake in the middle of the night flooded with guilt or heaviness and feeling all alone thinking that no one cares about you? Hopelessness can be like a wall of darkness where you can’t see past it. Maybe you feel unworthy and that no one could love you.
All of those statements describe me at one point in my life. Sometimes I still wake in the night and go over the conversations of the day.
So my question is: How do we move from feelings of unworthiness and heaviness to the freedom Christ bought for us on the cross?
We can move forward into healing by grace. The grace of God and the grace we give ourselves.
Grace is the divine influence of the heart. What does God’s grace look like? It looks like JESUS.
The life and the death of Jesus shows us the truest picture of God the Father. The glory of God is Jesus hanging on the cross, beaten, broken and bleeding, to redeem mankind back to the Father. Jesus experienced all of the same emotions that we feel, when he hung on the cross. Jesus loved us so very much that he became a servant and gave himself as a sacrifice.
This is Grace, the purest form of God’s love. The perfect gift, Christ Jesus, the evidence of God’s love.
John 1:16 Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
Jesus’s death on the cross became the unthinkable transfer, He took all our sin and the sin of all mankind, upon himself He became our unrighteousness so that we can become His perfection.
Hebrews 10:14 For by that one offering He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
When Jesus offered himself up to death on the cross, because of His offering, Jesus made us perfect and is working through the Holy Spirit to make us holy.
Grace, the gift of God to us is Jesus.
Grace the gift we give ourselves. It is far easier to give grace to others than it is to give grace to ourselves. We hold on to our feelings of unworthiness or our feelings of loneliness because those feelings are a shield to protect us. Who would we be if others could see our weaknesses?
I received the deepest healing from the Lord when I surrendered all those unwanted feelings to the Him. It is painful to admit to others and to the Lord that I have those feelings and that I need healing. When we surrender the feelings and allow the Lord to heal us, we are set free and are made stronger and the light of Christ shines in us.
When you look at the Grace God gave us in Christ Jesus, and then apply that amazing gift of grace to yourself, knowing the depths of love God has for us, we understand the definition of grace: The divine influence upon the heart.
So when you are weighted down with the feelings that wake you up or the heaviness that drags you down, look at the cross. Read the gospels, look at the things Jesus endured on the cross for you and for me. The grace of God is beyond what we can comprehend, but we can see the love the Father has for us. Grace upon grace. Grace from God and grace to ourselves.
Much love and grace,
Hey there SPV!
Have any of you started digging into Galatians yet? We just started a brand-new sermon series last Sunday and I’m asking everyone to read along with me so that we’re all studying the book together. As for the weekly emails, I thought I’d gravitate towards some of the verses in Galatians that for whatever reason didn’t “make the cut” for the sermon.
So, for this week let’s turn our attention to Galatians 1:10.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Paul is making it known that what he is communicating isn’t going to be popular or well received by everyone; he’s going to ruffle some proverbial feathers. But at the end of the day, he answers to God and cares far more about what God thinks than any human criticism or pushback he might get.
Personally, I believe the phrase “the fear of the Lord” is an often-abused text, used by pastors and leaders to spiritually intimidate people. But…there is something to be said for having a healthy respect and reverence for God. I genuinely believe we’d have A LOT less brokenness in our world if we all carried that reverence /fear of the Lord. People just wouldn’t cheat, steal, lie, assault, take advantage of, etc. if they were properly and humbly submitted to Him.
But I’ve also seen this verse abused as some feel it gives them a license to be a jerk. That line of thinking goes like this: “I obviously possess the mind & will of God AND I don’t really care if others get mad at me or not, I need to follow my convictions!”
I’ll just say this: there are A LOT of presumptions when taking such an attitude.
So yes, caring what God thinks is far more important than what others think but we will see that as this epistle builds, God is quite interested in the depth of our character that is ultimately driven by the person, work and fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we operate according to that (spoiler alert), there aren’t any rules you have to worry about (against such there is no law).
Much love to you all, Pastor Chris
Hello St Pete Vineyard Family,
This is Patricia.
Years ago I heard a story about two teachers and two groups of children. One teacher was told that the children in her class were geniuses and the second teacher was told that the children in her class were average. Each teacher responded and taught according to what they believed the children were capable of doing. At the end of the year the first group of children actually skipped a grade level and the second group stayed where they were. All of the children were of average intelligence. The children responded to what the teachers believed they could do. The actions and the words of the teacher in the first group moved them to a new level of learning.
Words and actions are very powerful.
The power of our words and our actions impact people. Words can build up and be life giving.
Have you ever been feeling sad or lonely and a friend calls to tell you they care about you?
Did those words change your day and lift you up out of your sadness? Words of love and kindness move us into a better frame of mind.
Just the same words can burden one’s spirit, some words spoken carelessly can even stir up anger and division. Have you ever had words said about you or to you that made you feel less than how God sees you as his child?
The power of our words impacts lives and they also impact the unity of the Body of Christ for good or for division.
The power to use words is an amazing gift from God. This gift can be a wonderful tool to show others what Jesus looks like.
When we speak do we sound like Jesus? When we speak do we make others feel good?
Our words should align with the fruit of the Spirit, speak love, speak peace, speak patience, speak kindness, speak goodness, speak faithfulness, and speak self control.
See Galatians 5:22
Our words are powerful, let us join together and build up our body to a new level of healthiness and love.
In Christ Jesus,