Central to the Heart

Inspiration and Encouragement


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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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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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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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Who You Are in Christ: Part 1

SeparationWhat does “who you are in Christ” even mean? If you take a look at the picture to the left, the silhouetted figure represents you and me and the fact that we are far away from God. We are far from God because God is a Holy and Righteous God, and only holy people can enter His presence. But we, as human, are just messed up. So we cannot be in God’s presence…

Actually, if you want to know the truth, this picture isn’t quiet right for me because that silhouetted figure is a whole lot closer than I ever am to God. I am so messed up, that not even a thousand oceans would be wide enough to separate my sinfulness from God’s Holiness. I feel so far away and I am thinking thoughts like where are You God, I feel like you have given up on me, I don’t see you working in my life, why am I still this way when You call me to be that way, nothing is going right in my life, and I feel like You don’t even care.

I have all these negative thoughts and they just are not true. They are lies, coming straight from the devil. God is always right here with me, and He is with you too. Nothing could ever separate us from His unconditional love (Romans 8:38). He never leaves us, He feels our hurts, He understands our pain, He knows what we are going through, and He cares for us like no one else can. He just wants us to come to Him leaving all our worries, doubts, fears, and negativity behind. In fact, He wants to take it from us; He wants to set us free from those lies that keep us trapped in a life of worry, doubt, fear, and negativity. My hope and prayer for you is that you are not like me, that you don’t think those damaging thoughts, and that you believe that Christ makes you holy. If it is hard for you to believe, I can empathize. It is so hard to overcome those lies and believe the Truth. But I pray, and I know that with God’s strength we will come to truly believe who we really are in Christ.

“This is how God showed His love to us: He sent His One and Only Son into the world that we could have life through Him..” (1 John 4:9)

Jesus bridges that gap between us and God so we can be reached despite our mistakes. So even though I sin, I fail, I make mistakes, and I can’t do anything right, Jesus was able to take my place. God is a Holy God, and He is also a God who is Just. This means that when someone messes up, there needs to be a punishment. Truthfully, we all deserve that punishment because we are all human and make mistakes, but God loved us so much that He wanted to save us from that punishment. Someone needed to be punished though, and God chose to let His Son Jesus be the One to take our place. God was willing to give up the life of His own Son than see your life perish. In the end, Jesus bridged that gap by living a perfect life and dying as our perfect sacrifice, taking all the punishment we deserved upon Himself so we would be forgiven. The Cross is our bridge, given to us by God in complete love to bring us to everlasting life in the Kingdom of Heaven. God loves us that much!

God will never give up on us, His love for us will never end, and there is never a day that goes by that God isn’t providing for us! He gives us everything we need, and that is why He gave us His One and Only Son – Jesus.

So how can this help with getting rid of those negative thoughts like I am not good enough, I will never measure up, I don’t have what it takes. It is because of who you are in Christ. He makes you good enough. When He took our place He gave us His place. He sat at the right hand of God and chose to leave that position to serve us, to die for us, and to demonstrate His great love for us. Everything good, righteous, and holy about Jesus is now ours. So we can be with God now because we have Christ in us. When we believe that Jesus took our place, He gives us the opportunity to let His Holy Spirit live in us. By letting His Holy Spirit live in us, God looks at us and He sees past our brokenness, past our mistakes, past our failures, and He sees us for who we are in Christ.


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New Life

 

lifenChristWe do not need to let lies define who we are. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our imperfections. He doesn’t even see our failures and mistakes.

He sees beyond who we are and what we’ve done. He sees beyond who we have been to who we can become. We can become His very own children when we choose to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. And when we believe Jesus is our Savior, God sees us for who we really are – who He made us to be.

He sees us for who we are in Christ. Just one glance at us and He sees His very own perfect Son, Jesus Christ, who took our place on the cross.  I deserved the death He died. I am the one who messed up. I am the one who is imperfect. I am the one who is broken. It was supposed to be my death on the cross… I fail… I make the mistakes… I deserved the punishment. Why did Jesus take my place…

God chose to look past all my iniquities because of Jesus. It is His unconditional love that saves you and me. With Christ, the devil is no longer a threat. God’s perfect love casts out all the fear and evil lies of the devil! We are released from Satan’s evil traps! The devil tries to deceive us into thinking negative thoughts about ourselves, but in our new life with Christ we are set free!

 


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Defeating Lies With Truth

Slieso many times what we believe about ourselves affects what we believe about God. When we believe lies of the devil we are not really trusting in God or His power. We forget that it is not about us and what we can do or about what we think we can’t do. It is about God and who He is and what He says we can do.

So why do I refuse the Truth? I feel like I live my life as if I don’t even believe in God’s Word because I am so full of doubt. I want to believe, but sometimes it is so hard to trust God’s goodness when everything around me seems to be falling apart.

I want to trust God, but when He says I will take care of you, I still worry. When He says I will protect you, I still fear. When He says I am working all things together for your good, I still doubt. Unfortunately my list doesn’t end there: He says I will bring you through; I still give up. He says I will bring you peace; I still live in constant frustration. He says I will make your paths straight; I still don’t see the way to go. He says I have plans that will give you a hope and a future, but all I seem to see is pain and disaster. You see, I believe lies; I am just not good enough. I do not like thinking thoughts like: What’s wrong with me? I shouldn’t be this way? Why is everything so hard? Why can’t I just have faith?

You see, God tells me I am good enough.
But Satan’s lies say I will never be good enough.

God tells me I have what it takes to make it through.
But Satan’s lies say just give up, you’ll never make it.

God tells me He loves me with everlasting and unconditional love.
But Satan’s lies say I can’t be loved.

God tells me He accepts me for who I am.
But Satan’s lies say no one could ever accept me.

I live like I believe the lies more than I believe the truth. I might not be the only one. I think that often times we beat ourselves up with thoughts like I hate who I am, I’m such a horrible person, I have no patience, my faith is weak, I am never good enough, I am constantly disappointing someone, I don’t know what I am doing, I want to quit, I give up, I can’t do this anymore. These thoughts are NEVER from God! He never says He hates the way you are. He never says you are worthless, hopeless, or unloved. He never says you are too weak. He doesn’t want us to quit. He never says give up.

Next time you feel negative thoughts, try to figure out where they are coming from, and seek God for peace and understanding. Let’s work together to avoid believing the devil’s lies and let’s embrace God’s TRUTH!