Central to the Heart

Inspiration and Encouragement


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Transforming Brokenness

dc67c30e3f0dab7fc859ad0213152e75 What do we do with the broken pieces of our lives? I feel like a lot of brokenness is held on to. We seem to pretend that we need no one, when inside we are begging for help. But we are ashamed and we don’t want people to know how we really feel. So we hold on to the pieces. We think it will be better if we just hide in secrecy from the world – from God – as we hold on to our brokenness telling ourselves we are better this way. We fall into that deep lie where fear consumes us with thoughts of insecurity, of not belonging and feelings that we are unworthy, insignificant, and unloved. If only there was some way we could help people stop feeling this way. How do we help people fill their hearts with God’s truth instead of the enemy’s lies? How do we guard our hearts with Truth? Maybe that’s why God let’s us go through those struggles where we feel like giving up… it’s not because He wants us to give up – He wants us to stop relying on ourselves. He wants us to finally stop trying to do it all on our own because we can’t. He wants us to trust Him to carry us through as He give us the strength we need. And once we get through our struggles, or maybe even while we are still in the midst of them, if we keep pushing forward, then we can use our story of brokenness to help encourage others who are going through their own story of brokenness. So I guess what I am trying to say is that, as broken people, we all can relate to one another on some level and that is how we can minister to broken hearts. We can come to them where they are in love and in empathy because we’ve experienced brokenness too. And through that I pray we would help one another find true transformation. I pray that we would all realize that our only hope of restoration is found in Jesus Christ. He not only restores us to wholeness; He transforms us to completion – we just have to be intentional about coming to Him with our broken pieces and believe that His strength and power will change us. Why do we hide? We need to let Him in! He wants so much for our hearts to be healed – for our brokenness to be mended. When we stop holding on to our brokenness, and instead let it go, laying it all at His feet, He will truly set us free from the lies that once filled us up with fear and brokenness in the first place. I am so grateful for the freedom we share in Christ. Praying for all the broken hearts to keep fighting, we are not alone, and may we never let go of the hope we have in Jesus Christ our King!


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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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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!


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Letting Go Part 2

intentionalLet go of everything that’s pointless. Let go of those lies, those fears, those worries, and only hang on to what’s important – only hang on to what is True. Just trust God and let Him handle everything and He will because He cares for you like 1 Peter 5:7 says cast all anxiety on Him and He will take care of it. Pretty simple right? Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

I can say I want to give God all my worries, all my fears, all my doubts, all my everything up to Him, but when it comes down to it, letting it go is a process that doesn’t just automatically happen overnight. It is a continual choice we have to deliberately make every day, and it is not easy. That is why prayer and reading God’s Word are so important. That is why it is extremely important for us to come together as a community of believers to encourage one another and to hold one another accountable for out actions.

Yes, it is an intentional process where we have to put forth effort. It won’t be easy  to live our lives with purpose, living the life we were created for, being who God says we are; which is who we are in Christ, but it will be worth the effort. Life is not about living with negative thoughts that bring us down. That kind of life is ultimately focused on who the devil says we are. Who wants to believe the devil? He’s the father of all lies!

We have to be intentional about letting go of all our fears, doubts, worries, concerns, problems, and struggles we have. God is constantly going to be giving us opportunities, putting us through great trials, and testing our faith, but we must remain strong because the strength of Christ can be ours when we let His Spirit enter into our lives.

Think of that for a moment… the Spirit of Christ is inside of us all the time! How often do we take this amazing truth for granted?

We can overcome any challenge we are up against because remember our identity is in Him now because He gave us His Holy Spirit, and it is through Christ that we are more than conquerors! It is through Christ that we have strength to make an impact!

My encouragement to you is this: Trust that God will help you with whatever big or little battle He puts you up against. It may take time and it may be hard to do, but nothing is impossible! He will help get rid of the barriers that are blocking you. He will help you let go of the things that hold you back. Have faith!

Are you willing to do what you can, where you are, with the influence and strength God has given you through His Son Jesus Christ? Will you live for Christ because He died for you?

Pressing on to the end is a battle. You may feel like giving up, but keep pushing, keep trying! Please don’t give up – after all He never gives up on you! Let go of what is holding you back and He will bring you through!

My thoughts and prayers are with you too.


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Who You Are in Christ: Part 4

don't pretendMy life is day after day one failure after the other, and it’s hard for me to see my worth when all I do is mess up.

Accepting yourself for who you are can sometimes be the biggest struggle, and the toughest battle we may ever have to face.

You are the only you there ever was and ever will be, and if you are not you no one will be, and when no one is you, then the purpose God has planned for you isn’t being lived out.

So my question is what is holding us back from being who we are? What is keeping us from believing the Truth of who we are in Christ?

I feel like there can just be times when we no longer feel we can be real because we don’t think others will accept us for who we are. We feel we are not loveable because we are not good enough. Think back to those lies and those fears you may be struggling with… Are those lies and fears making you be a person you’re not?

Whoever told us we are not good enough? What makes us believe we are not enough? The Only One who should be defining who we are is God – and I promise you He tells each and every one of you, regardless of what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you are going to do, He tells you that you are enough, because He makes you good enough!

Your imperfections are made perfect! Your weaknesses are made strong! You have the strength, love, and power of Christ in you! And you are always enough!

I encourage you to please seek God for help, guidance, and direction. He will help you discover who you are so you can live the way He created you to live, making a difference in this world in the way that only you can make!


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Who You Are In Christ Part 3

perfectionSo often I try to find my worth on my own instead of looking at who I am in Christ. I look for ways I can make myself good enough without Christ. even if that means pretending to be someone I am not. I try my best to live as perfectly as I can. That is what I seek. I seek perfection in all areas of my life, and I am always disappointed because I never reach perfection. I feel like that is when I question God with my doubt and lack of faith. But I don’t want others to notice my doubt and lack of faith. I don’t want them to see my failures and mistakes. I definitely don’t want them to see my insecurities and the thoughts that go running through my mind. So, I pretend. I act like I’ve got it al together, that I don’t need help from anyone for anything.

I may strive for perfection, but I am as far from it as anyone could possibly be. I selfishly pretend that I can reach my goals on my own, that I need no one. I selfishly try to be good enough in my own strength, so others don’t realize how weak I really am. But honestly I am just a broken person in need of a lot of help.

Maybe, just maybe I am not the only one who feels this way. I know it’s tough to think you are supposed to have it all together for everyone, but I am pretty sure God gave us people in our lives because He knows we need them and we cannot live life alone. Think about it. In the Garden of Eden, God knew that it was not good when He made Adam and Adam was alone. So, He made Him a companion, Eve. And then it was good.

We need each other to get through this life. More importantly we need Jesus!