Central to the Heart

Inspiration and Encouragement


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Changing the World and Impacting Lives

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Jesus changed the world and impacted lives, and He did it by living out love and compassion. When we live out these words in our lives, demonstrating the love and compassion of Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, then we are being His witnesses, bringing glory to His Name. Let’s work together towards bringing the love and compassion of Christ to everyone.

Love and compassion are about restoring broken lives to wholeness in Christ. We can let the world experience the wholeness of Jesus not only by our words, but also through our actions.

Our God is not a God who sits and watches from Heaven and does nothing. God takes action: He sent Jesus Christ for us; Jesus lived, and died, and rose again for us; He ascended back into Heaven for us; He gave us His Holy Spirit. What you do, when done in love and compassion, can change the world; it impacts lives.

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Your Life Has Purpose

You Matter Here.pngA question I find myself asking is: How am I being an example for Christ? In other words, is my life showing others the love of God? Does my life even make a positive difference in the lives of others? Does any one else ever ponder questions like these in their own lives?

For me, sometimes I wonder how I can even make an impact on the world when hard things happen all the time and so many people are hurting. Then, here’s me in the midst of it all, and I am one of those people who are hurting. It hurts to hurt. How can wounded people help others who are wounded? The pain can make you want to find the quickest way out. The times in my life when I have felt this way are times when I am the most self-centered. I forget that I am not the only one who is hurting.

If I claim to have strength in Christ, then the same power that raised Him to life is in me now through the Holy Spirit. Despite that, why is it still so easy for me to just want to stop trying? Why is it so hard to motivate myself to get up and try again? Why is it so easy for me to just stay down and give up? Who else out there has questions like these running through their heads?

Here’s the truth, deep down I know that I don’t want to give up. I want to fight not only because I am called to be more like Christ and Christ doesn’t give up, but also because I want to fight for the cause and sake of others who are suffering and who need comfort, encouragement, and help. I believe there is such thing as wounded healers: people who have been hurt, but who let God use it for good by sharing their story and hopefully inspiring another to keep fighting. We all need God to help us to keep fighting. We can’t give up when others need Christ. For us to show Christ to others we need to stay in Christ, abiding in Him, the True Vine (John 15). And that is the only way we can ever be strong – is in Christ!

Without Christ we would all completely fall apart. I pray that in Christ we would realize our lives have value and a purpose. We were made to live for so much more than we could ever imagine. God’s got a plan, and He knows what He is doing. Let’s live to be examples for Christ despite the difficulties! We all have it in us to make a difference.

 


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The Human Side

Human Side.jpgThere is a song titled “The Human Side” that I can sometimes relate to. The lyrics start off by saying this:

I woke up this morning, my stomach is already in knots, the sky is so grey,
Edge of my bed, strugglin’ to gather my thoughts, I don’t even wanna be awake…

I think that, at times, we can probably all relate to feeling like this because we are all human. And so, I listen to these lyrics and I wonder: what can we do to feel better when life drags us down? What can lift us up when we feel like we are sinking? Who can set our feet on the solid ground we so desperately long for? Who can point us into the right direction so that when we wake up we are actually excited about being awake and having a life to live?

The song goes on saying that God is the One who understands our human side. He knows that we all struggle, and He really understands those struggles. He can handle every part of our lives that feels like chaos to us. His love shows us that there is hope in every day.

So, if you have been feeling stuck and wondering what you are doing with your life and you feel like you are only just sinking further and further down, I pray that we would remember that God is our Hope. Each day we can look to Him and realize that there is a purpose for all of this.
If you’d like to listen to the song here is the link to the lyric video: The Human Side Lyric Video


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Dwell in Him

broken heart (1)I just wanted to remind you today to dwell in the One who has made you! Please don’t dwell in the mistakes you’ve made. This only makes you feel worse. My prayer for you is that you would be able to see mistakes as an opportunity for growth. We can learn from our mistakes and work towards not making the same mistake again. It’s hard to see worth in our flaws when we dwell in them. When all we see is the broken mess we have become we just get discouraged. But there is something about our broken mess that is beautiful. Sure, brokenness can look bad when it’s scattered all throughout on the floor, but what if we viewed it from a different perspective? God makes all things beautiful, including you and me… and our brokenness. He sees the pieces of our messed up lives shattered on the ground, and He reaches His hand down with unconditional love and picks up each broken shard piece by piece with heartfelt compassion, shaping our brokenness into something beautiful. He even leaves His own mark on us after the restoration process is complete to remind us of who we are and Who our identity truly lies in. My friend, it doesn’t matter what it was that broke you, He forgives you. And trust me, He is not going to let whatever it was that made you fall down and break make you feel worthless. The pain you have felt has been hard… keep holding on – He will use it for His purposes. He is using whatever you are going through to get you to where He wants you. Keep trusting and keep believing! Hold on to His promises! His love restores all our mess!

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal…” (Jeremiah 30:17)


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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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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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Mistakes Happen

its-not-your-past-that-defines-youNo matter how hard I try, there is nothing I can do with absolute perfection. The fact is, I am very much a failure. I’ve messed up countless of times. I fall short constantly, and I never measure up. I am a broken person in need of a lot of help. I let fear and worry control the way I think and feel. I am filled with so much negativity. And you want to know my biggest and most serious flaw? What holds me back the most is that I believe the lies of the devil. This is all true about me, and maybe I am not the only one who is a broken person. Maybe you are struggling with things too (or maybe it’s just me) but just know we don’t have to dwell on the fact that we are fallen people. We cannot erase the mistakes we have made in the past, that’s the truth, but thank God there is Someone who can erase the mistakes from our past.

Our mistakes no longer define us when we accept that Christ is the One who took our place and died for us so that we could be made right with God. We are all messed up with our mistakes and this is why we need Jesus because in our brokenness, He can make us whole. He takes away all our mess ups and all our failures so that we are on longer defined by that. So with all my mistakes, all my failures, all my struggles, and all my brokenness, I am made whole when I accept the fact that I am a sinner, a person who makes mistakes, falls short, and experiences failure, and I am in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ, who took my place on the Cross and got what I deserved so I could have eternal life with God in Heaven. This is what He does for all of us! We are forgiven and set free from the mistakes, mess ups, and failures that held us back before because Jesus took care of all that.

[God] is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:7, New Living Translations)

In saying this, I hope you know that you have what it takes to overcome. Don’t let whatever happened in the past stop you. We all do things we may not be too proud about, and maybe it has left us with regret, but this doesn’t have to be the way we live our life. We can get up, learn from our mistakes, let it make us stronger, and keep pressing on, living this life we’ve been given with passion and purpose. We can do this together! Know that you are never alone! I’m praying for you and I believe God is working through your life to bring you the healing and transformation you have been looking for.


Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, stories, words of encouragement, etc., or any other Bible verse that comes to mind, and thank you for reading!