Central to the Heart

Inspiration and Encouragement


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Scars

Cross-FSIn life we go through hurts, we go through pain, and it can leave scars. But our scars actually can help heal.

That’s not a typo. At least not from my experience.  I believe it helps someone so much more when they have someone coming right alongside them who has been through something similar. That way they understand and they can empathize.

Trust me, don’t you think God puts you through deep hurts for a reason? I promise you He does not allow it because He hates you and likes to see you suffer. He loves you so much and He knows just what you need. He will never push you beyond your limits. He just wants you to trust Him as you hang on through the pain, and afterwards He’s going to use your story to help somebody else.

The perfect example of this is Christ Himself. We may think He doesn’t understand anything we go through because He was just perfect and never had to deal with ‘tough stuff’, but that kind of thinking just doesn’t make sense to me. Jesus was tempted just like you and me. And you want to know something else? He was on the cross for OUR sins. Don’t you think He knows what it’s like to be mistreated? To be abandoned? To feel forsaken?

On the Cross His very own Father turned away from Him! Trust me, if anyone can empathize with what you are going through, it’s Jesus who actually took up your sins upon Himself. Jesus Christ went through pain and left this world with scars of His own; scars that were undeserved.

“He was wounded for our rebellious acts. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so that we could have peace, and we received healing from His wounds.”
(Isaiah 53:5,  GOD’S WORD Translation)

We may get scars in this life, but that does not mean we are without hope. Don’t forget you belong to the One who overcame it all, and that means you can make it too!

Please don’t give up, and use your scars to help heal someone else!

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Knowing God

Seek-God-Bible-StudyGod wants us to really know Him, not just know about Him. It is more than just reading about who He is; it is experiencing who He is. We experience God when we let Him be first in our lives.

Letting Him be first in our lives isn’t easy.

We can continually grow closer to Him through His Word and by prayer, yet so often we can neglect this Truth… Distractions and busyness come into our lives.

Whatever it may be, my hope is that we would discover God’s ways as we learn more about who He is.

God already knows everything about us, yet He still wants us to talk to Him in prayer and tell Him about our day, our struggles, our needs, etc.

If we really knew Him, we would also know that even in the midst of disappointments, regret, and pain He is still working it all out together for our good (see Romans  8:28). We just have to love Him. We can show our love for Him by seeking Him and knowing that our purpose is found in Him alone.

 


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God is With You

God-Wants-to-Hold-You-Up-by-Holley-Gerth1As people living in a messed up world, we all know what struggle is, and it can be really hard sometimes.

Know that in the midst of sorrow you are being thought of. You are not alone, and you have friends, family, and an AWESOME God who will hold you up! That’s what love is all about, and our God is love, and it’s amazing!

It doesn’t end there though, our Father’s love is “agape” love – love that is unconditional. Unconditional love isn’t earned by the things you do, it is freely given to you just for you being you!

God does not demand perfection, He just wants us!

So, my prayer for you is that no matter what kind of  a mess you may be going through, you would know and realize that God is right there with you through it all. Whatever it is, I hope you know that even through all the hard work and stress, God is with you, and He is for you!


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God Wants You

god-wants-usWhenever you feel like you are not worthy, what is it inside you that makes you feel that way? It is easy to hate ourselves for every thing we feel is wrong with us.

So many times we try to find our worth by looking at what we can and cannot do and we end up becoming discontent, ungrateful, and more negative about our situation.But, what if your worth was truly found when you were just being you?

This may be a complicated question to some because some may not really know who they are. What does it mean to just be you? Honestly, I am not sure if I know who I am. Yet, something inside me knows that no matter how I may think about myself or what I may feel about myself, God is my Creator – He is the One who made me, and He is the One who ultimately gives me an identity.

When God looks at you, what do you think He thinks of you? I can tell you this much for sure, God loves you, He accepts you, and He wants to be with you – the real you (your brokenness, mistakes, failures, insecurities, imperfections, and all)! When you come to Him with all your broken pieces, He takes care of it; all you have to do is come. He wants YOU!


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Leave it to God

30188259972041329_K6SXCVKj_cIn this broken world, I am surrounded. I have no chance against. I do not know what to do or where to go. If I run, it will follow; if I hide, it will find me; if I attack, I will lose. It far outnumbers me.

Fears, lies, doubts, negativity, worry – this evil is surrounding me and I am lost. Where is my escape…

Whenever you feel like you are losing in this battle, my prayer for you is that you will realize you cannot do this alone. God is our strength, and He will protect us.

What’s even better than that is He will actually fight for us! He is always on our side, and when He is on our side, who can stand against us? (see Romans 8:31)

“…for we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are focused upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)

The battle is not always going to be ours to fight. When we leave it up to God, He will win all our battles!


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Preparing for Battle

Truth Sets us FreeLife is a constant battle. Each day we may be up against some kind of adversity. The good news is God doesn’t just leave us to fight our battles on our own. In fact, the final battle has already been won through the death and resurrection of Christ. But this doesn’t mean that now we can just do whatever we want. Yes, Jesus gave us victory, but we are still called to serve Him. We are called to fight! (see Ephesians 6:10-13) And God does not expect us to go out onto the battlefield without a weapon. If we are defenseless what help is that in fighting for His Kingdom? God gives us weapons. It’s up to us to use them.

How did Jesus defeat Satan? He defeated Satan with the Truth. I am referring to the passage in Luke 4:1-13 where Satan is tempting Jesus. Jesus used the Word of God to defend Himself against those attacks. For every lie Satan threw at Jesus, Jesus defeated it with Truth from God’s Word.

 

How did Jesus win? – Using the Word of God

What is in the Word of God? – Love

What does love do? – Casts out all fear

Who causes fear? – Satan

Who defeats Satan? – JESUS

 

When we abide in God’s Word we will know the Truth, and the Truth will set us free (see John 8:31-32). In Christ, through the Word of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit we can break every chain the devil has against us!


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Overcoming Evil with Good

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Romans 12:21 has become one of my favorite bible verses because I like to take the word evil and replace it with actual evils that come up in my own life and actual truths about how I can overcome them.

For instance I like to look at it this way
do not be overcome with fear, but overcome fear with courage,
overcome worry with trust,
overcome guilt with forgiveness,
overcome doubt with confidence,
overcome failure with grace,
overcome lies with truth,
and most importantly do not be overcome by Satan, but overcome Satan (who is all lies) with JESUS CHRIST (who is all TRUTH!)

I have to remind myself constantly. I do not have to be afraid of “evil” (doubt, worry, selfishness, fear, stress, failure, etc.) anymore when God says He has already overcome it. I do not have to feel that all my mistakes make me unworthy and not good enough, because God sent Christ who conquered all that with courage, trust, forgiveness, confidence, grace, and truth!

God always wins His battles – We need Him on our side to fight against the devil. This battle is crazy, and so many times we’re going to get knocked down, but when we learn to trust and rely on God’s strength then we can beat back the lies of the devil! God wins every battle! God is faithful and will protect us and give us strength against every evil we will ever face! (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Together, I know we can get through this because Jesus defeated sin, death, and hell so our problems will be easy for Him to take care of!