Tuesday, May 30, 2017

God Knows What We Want... And What We Need

God knows what we want, but more importantly he knows what we need.

Too often we doubt him in this. We pray for the things we want, and we think that we should get them. And when we don't we feel that God has failed us.

But God never promised us that life on earth was going to be easy. He never once said that it was supposed to be perfect.

Life on earth is hard. It's messy.

Sometimes we might feel like God is ignoring us and our pleas for things to go our way. But he isn't.

God loves us so much and he wants what's best for us. And he always knows what that is.

So, as hard as it is, we need to try to trust God to give us all that we need. We have to leave things up to him and ask him to help us through whatever we are facing.

God knows what we want and what we need. And when we have full faith in him to see us through whatever we are facing we will never get let down.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Do Not Fear For I Am With You

Thinking of the tragedy that happened in Manchester yesterday, I wanted to share some encouraging Bible verses today.

Evil is present in the world, but it will not win. God is life. God is love. God tells us not to fear.

Here are a few of my favorite Bible verses when dealing with fear and anxiety:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:27

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

It's What's Inside That Matters

So often we forget that it's what's inside that matters.

Shouldn't we be concerned with the junk inside more than the messes around us?

Too often we find ourselves focusing on the messes in the world. On the physical mess. On the things around us that need to get cleaned up. But we forget about the junk that is inside and that is messing us up in much bigger, and worse, ways than what is going on outside.

We often think about our looks. About what we can do to be beautiful.

We think about our homes and how to decorate them just so.

But what are we doing to be more beautiful inside?

The Bible tells us that physical beauty doesn't matter. That it is what is inside that counts.

First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Matthew 23:26

We shouldn't be concerned with impressing others with the way that we look, but we should focus more on our actions and the way that we love others.

This isn't to say that we should neglect ourselves or our homes. I don't think that that is right. But I think that we should focus more on our insides. We should see the junk that is inside of us, and we should do what we can each day to clean it up and be better, more loving, people.

Because, when we are beautiful people inside, that is all that really matters.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Loving Those Who Hate You

Loving those who hate you. It's not normal. It's not natural.

But it's important.

God wants us to love our enemies. To do good to those who wrong us.

It might not be in our nature to love those who are hurting us, but God will help us do it. He wants us to live like he did.

There was no reason that Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins. He didn't have to come to earth to save us.

But he wanted to.

We had wronged him, but he loved us still.

We have wronged God, but he loves us still.

God talks of forgiveness so often in the Bible. He wants us to forgive our enemies. And he wants to forgive us our sins.

So, take a look at these verses;

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:43-45

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Loving our enemies is never easy.

But loving those who hate you is possible. Because with God all things are possible.

By Bethany Acker, Co-Author of No Longer Broken

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Love?

Our brother is getting married on Saturday, and the upcoming marriage has me thinking of love. The kind of love that I am thinking about is not the romantic kind, though. This post is about perfect love. Biblical love. The love that we have for family and friends. The love that we have for the hurting and those who are all alone in the world. What is love, perfect love, and how can we live it out?

We love because God loved us first. We are reminded of that in the Bible, and it is something that is important to remember as we think about love. Without God’s love, we would not be able to love. Without God first making us and giving us the chance to live our lives out here on earth, we would not be able to love. When we are filled with God’s love, we can love everyone around us in a beautiful way.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

Love is sincere. It is real. It is not fake. Everyone has people in their life who treat them in a fake way. There are people who claim to be our friends but really only want to get something from us. Love is not fake or pretend. Love is real, it is authentic, it is honest. Perfect love is from the heart and something that is true and trustworthy.

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere…

Love is willing to die in order to look out for others. Most of us have someone in our life who we would die for, someone who we love so much that we would sacrifice our own life for them. True love is strong enough that it empowers us to lay down our lives for others. Perfect love pushes us to give all that we are in order to look out for the ones that we care about.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Love is greater than everything else. There are rules that we follow. Some of those rules come from the Bible and they are good. We should follow them. But no rule is as great as the rule to love others. Perfect love stands above all else. Living in love is more important than anything else. Out of faith, hope, and love, the greatest one is - surprisingly - love.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love is special and it is beautiful. Let us all cling to love and all that it is.

How can you show love to those around you this week?

By Emily Acker, co-author of No Longer Broken