These last 3 years in Bulgaria every devotion we have had each morning, and most church services have been about two words that in my opinion is the most powerful in the Bible, love and grace. Everything I know about these words, I've learned in these last three years. So much information is all jammed up in my brain ready to pop out, so I thought writing it down might help..... Here goes nothing Love and grace are two crazy words that go so deep I don't think I would ever fully understand them. I'm a New Testament believer, I'm a believer that God loves me, I'm a believer that wherever I turn, wherever I end up, God loves me and that's why I'm a New Testament believer.
One thing that I feel everyone should know about is God's love. The kind of love that sent His Son to die for us, the kind of love that always loves us no matter where we are in our life. In the Old Testament they would sacrifice a lamb to God so he would forgive them. What some people don't know is that we had a perfect lamb with no flaws to cover our sins, we are always forgiven and loved by God. He doesn't focus on our sins cause those are covered, He focuses on our bright future with Him and through Him, we are called children of God. With God we are love. In God we are loved.
1 John 2:2 2 and He Himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
This verse shows and says so many things, but to me, the most powerful part are the last three words-- the whole world. God didn't just die for the Christians or the people who go to church every Sunday, he died for everybody. He died for that drunk that lives across from you that you try to avoid. God died for him and loves him even if HE doesn't know it. When we are in Christ we should look at people like He does-- loved, treasured, Beloved. The Bible is easy to understand, it's just love and that's what we should show. That's how I see God-- a father who loves me even when I make mistakes and no one can take that love away from me. You all know that prodigal son story that you've all probably heard thousands of times when you were a kid? Well, to me God's love stands out in that story and shows us that our Father, the King of Kings wants us to come home. He just wants your love, and messing up doesn't make Him love you less. With Him all things are possible, 'cause it's all about that love thing .......
God doesn't have a crazy amount of rules. In 1 John it tells us that God only wants two things:
- believe in me (God)
- love your neighbor
We receive way more than what God is asking from us. With God we can live the love and joy He gives us through Christ. We love the way He loves. But to be completely honest it's not easy to love everybody. There's always going to be those people who get on your nerves, but I'm glad to have God in those moments. I just have to humble myself and let His love shine through me.
One last thing that I think is important is, it's not about the works you do, or saying if I love others, then God will love me more. No, God already loves you and NOTHING is going to change that.
Have you ever had everything planned out and known how your life was going to go, but then one day realize that God had a bigger plan for you than you had for yourself? If I could describe what happen to me in one sentence that would be it. I grew up in a Christian family, went to a Christian school, and pretty much had my life all planned out, but God, I guess, had different plans. About 5 years ago my parents went to Bulgaria on a mission trip and felt called to go be missionaries there, but thought they would do it when we were in college. After that trip 2 years later they went again and still felt called. So two years ago they told us we, my parents and my brothers and sister, were moving to Bulgaria. Truthfully, I didn’t believe them at the time. I had the mindset that they were going to back out at the last second and not really go. After they told us, I kind of just went on with my life until one Wednesday night I went to church and all my friends were talking about going to New Orleans for a week to do mission work. Of course the first thing that came to my mind was “a week away from my parents and a week with my friends!” What I didn’t know was that it was going to be the hardest week of my life. We were there doing hard labor like pulling weeds, painting a house, and laying brick. There was an 80 year old man doing more work than I was. So during the week in New Orleans, Thursday evening was the day of looking back at what we had done so far and the work we had finished. During worship time, the youth pastor’s wife came up to me and asked if she could see me outside. I was thinking about the week to think if I had done anything wrong. As I sat outside waiting for her to come, I was kind of scared for what was about to happen. She walks outs with a bowl of water and sits it at my feet and says, “Jessie, you have a calling on your life that no another girl your age does, it’s not only the work your parents will be doing, but it’s the work you are going to do.” She began to wash my feet.
It is amazing to me that God wanted to use me and I am just "me", but I was willing to listen to what God had in store for me and what He still has in store. Ever since that day I have let Him lead the way in my life and not live in fear because He has done amazing things in my life. Since I stepped foot in Bulgaria 2 years ago, He has done such great things like putting amazing people in my life and providing me with a home. Every day you can tell that God wants us here in different ways. I wanted to make this blog not just to show what He is doing in my life, but the life changing things He is doing in Bulgaria and the little part I play in His giant plan.