The Great Divide

Hello Dear Ones,

I am writing this post to, hopefully, shed some truth on what, as Christians, we are called to love and hate. HATE??? Yes!

With so much talk about love, acceptance and tolerance, the lines of Truth have been continually moved and compromised. When that happens, we lose sight of the privilege to truly love those we are called to love; those who need Jesus.

As I have said many times before, I never discuss my opinion, as my opinion doesn’t matter nor does it set man free. The Bible says “that ye shall know the TRUTH (emphasis mine) and the TRUTH shall set you free” John 8:32. There is only one TRUTH, and that is the Word of God. There is no version, or interpretation, How God wrote it, how Jesus lived it, as the Word made Flesh, that is the Truth. “For I am the way, the truth and the life, no man sees the Father but by Me”. John 14:6

As followers of Christ, Christians, we must start by reconciling the adamant Truth of the Word. If we have not settled that in our own lives, then we are not on firm foundation, we are on ever shifting sands of world opinions, morals and standards. In the beginning was, and at the end will forever be, The Word.

Now that we have established that, I want to address the issues we are facing in society right now in regards to acceptance, tolerance and the use of “love” as a rationale behind said tolerance and acceptance.

Never before, in society, has sin (as we must call it what it is) been so widely praised, flaunted and lauded as “life style choices”. We panegyrize those who live this way, all the while cast aspersion on those who stand for Truth.

Whether it be the lifestyle choices of the LGBTQP (yes, pedophylia is now accepted) or the choice to murder unborn children, we are being indoctrinated to widely accept these choices under the auspice of “love”.

Aren’t we supposed to love, you may ask? Yes, we are. God, Himself, IS love. It is His love that caused Him to send Jesus, His only son, to the cross to die on our behalf. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life”. John 3:16.

So, what is all of the confusion about loving those who are in sin? Why are christians being led astray by false love and grace teaching. It’s simple. Leaders have cherry picked scripture from the Word to be neutral. We have gender neutral in society and scripture neutral in the churches. As long as it can be taken as “whatever that translates to in your life” (oh, how many times I have heard that from the pulpits today!), we are ok with it. But, that is not going to help anyone, when all is said and done. God wrote HIs Word perfectly. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy3:16

ALL SCRIPTURE!! Not just the ones that gives us all the warm and fuzzies. The Word is a 2 edged sword. It corrects and heals.

Psalm 97:9 says “You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the sounds of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.

What sent Jesus to the cross?? 2 things did. Gods love for His children AND His hate of sin. Because He loves us so much, He hates anything that separates Him from us. Sin is the only thing God hates because it keeps us from the relationship that He created us to have with Him from the onset of time.

When we identify with Him in name, we must also identify with Him in heart

To know and understand the heart of our Heavenly Father is to understand that He is all about reconciling us back to Him and anything that keeps us from that, is something that He cannot look upon. When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out “My Father, why has Thou forsaken me?”. The moment Jesus BECAME sin, God, because He is Holy and cannot look upon sin, had to turn away from His son. It was the first time the ever experienced separation. SIN separated the loving Father from His son. He hates sin so much, He had to turn away. That is why God hates sin, because it separates.

How does that translate to us here on earth? When we identify with Him in name, we must identify with Him in heart. The same love and hate that caused Him to send Christ to the cross, should be what drives us to love AND hate as well. LOVE people enough to speak life and truth and, equally, hate the sin that is separating them from The Father, enough to speak life and truth.

LOVE the person, HATE the sin. Acceptance and tolerance is not love. It is passive compliance. True love seeks to reconcile and bring life and freedom; and the only way we do that is with the Truth of Gods Word spoken and lived out with the heart of the One Who wrote it.

till next time……….Tamara Rae

As Much As It Depends On You

I had a discussion with someone who was sharing with me some painful situations that they are currently facing. Constant attacks, put downs and threats from those closest to them. Both my head and my heart were in such turmoil as I listened to all this person was facing on a daily basis. As the conversation went on, this friend shared with me their response to the ugliness they were receiving in hopes to bring peace to the situation, to no avail.

What they said is what has brought me to writing this blog. I hope it sheds some light and brings some freedom to many who are faced with these situations and who take the burden of being the peacemaker, fully, on themselves.

The Bible says in Romans 12:18 KJV: “if it be possible, as much as lieth (amplified says, as much as depends on you) in you, live peaceably (amplified, live at peace) with all men”

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 12;18 KJV

I want to draw attention to the purposeful wording that Paul uses in this verse. “If possible” and “as much as lieth within you”. There are sometimes that, no matter what you do or say, because of the heart and spirit in another person, peace is not possible in a situation. However, this does not mean that peace is not possible within YOU! Our peace is not dependent on outward circumstances nor is it dependent another persons behavior.

Living peaceably and pursuing peace does not mean we accept or make excuse for someones behavior towards us. It does not mean we take on the blame or responsibility for their words or actions. That is being an enabler and is actually a co-dependant relationship which is not only unhealthy, but it is not Biblical either.

Jesus was both truth and grace and He is the Prince of Peace. By following His example, we can be truthful to those who are causing discord, doing so in grace and walking in peace. If you can only live in peace when others are “happy with you”, than my friend, you will NEVER be at peace as there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you or like you. You must anchor your peace to the Prince of Peace and the truth of HIs word only.

If you can only live in peace if others are happy with you, you will never live in peace. Your peace must be anchored in the Prince of Peace and the truth of His Word only.

Peace may not always be possible, outwardly, when dealing with other people, but it can be possible INWARDLY based on the choices we make to live in truth which brings us peace.

If you are faced with situations right now, where you are caught in the trap of trying to make everyone happy in order to be “the peacemaker”, then let me shed some light. You can only do “as much as depends on you”. You are not responsible for the choices and behavior of others. Furthermore, living peaceably does not mean you are a doormat, punching bag, trash bin or dart board for someone else. Do not fall into those unhealthy patterns and relationships.

Speak truth, with grace, and then remember that He promises to fight for you, you need only to remain calm.

The Lord, Himself, will fight for you, Just say calm. Exodus 4:14

You have One who intercedes, fights and protects you. You are protected by the shadow of His Wing. Let the Holy Spirit guide your words and actions, which, at times, may be to do neither of the two, and then let your Father fight for you while you remain calm in the internal peace only He can bring.

Till next blog……….

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"And I never get runs in my pantyhose...."

What a weird title, huh? But, OH the wisdom behind these words that were spoken to me as a young girl, sitting on the edge of my grandma’s bed while she took out her pantyhose, on a Saturday night, getting ready for Sunday morning. I used to spend every weekend with my grandparents. It would start on a Friday, right after school, when they would pick me up. I couldn’t WAIT because I just loved my grandparents so much and I loved being with them, talking with them, not to mention, I was a tad spoiled by them as well. I would sleep in the den, which was my “happy place” back then and sit and talk with my grandma at the dining room table. I would sing to my Sandi Patti TAPES in my aunts bedroom and watch WWF wrestling with my grandpa on Saturday mornings and watch him work in the garage during the day. OH, how I loved my weekends. The smell of fresh HOT NY bagels, coffee and the sight of Grandma with her open Bible. These were my weekends.

What I remember most, aside from all of that, was my grandfather would go to his office, first thing when we got home. I would follow him down the stairs and watch as he would take out his tithing envelope ( we didn’t have push pay and online paying back then) and write his tithe. He would then proceed up the stairs, give it to my grandmother who would, then, put it right in her Bible.

They would always tell me how God provides and keeps everything working for them. But the BEST was the story behind the title…….The Pantyhose story. One Saturday as grandma was getting her Sunday best ready, she took out her pantyhose that she kept in the drawer. She said to me “do you know how long I’ve had these Tammy?” I shook my head no. “Ive had these a whole year with no runs in them. Do you know why?” Again, I shook my head no. “Because I tithe. God makes sure that all my pantyhose never get a run in them and that all my things last. He promised to rebuke the devourer on my behalf, and look….He did….no runs in any of my pantyhose!” She chuckled and the fact she was telling me about pantyhose, but with grandma and grandpa, they knew who took care of them and they knew that it was because they “proved Him” over and over by taking Him at His Word.

Bring all your tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you (so great) a blessing until there is no more room to receive it. 11: Then I will rebuke the devourer (insects, plagues) for your sake and he will not destroy the fruits of the ground, nor will your vine in the filed drop its grapes (before harvest), “ says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10-11

My grandparents had a revelation of scripture and it started by simply obeying Gods Word, to step out in faith, despite any perceived lack, and believe that He would do what He promised to do. Grandpa would even say “the appliances always last, my cars last, my tires last, even my gas lasts because I tithe Tammy. I could never feed and take care of this family if God didn’t keep HIs word. I know Gods got it!”

What a peace we can live knowing that blessing and God’s provision comes when we simply trust and obey. That verse in Malachi is the only time God basically tells us “true me, I dare ya!”

I witnessed God provide over and over again, for my grandparents. Now that I am an adult and know, first hand, the cost of living, I look back and, with even more awe, know that it was solely the hand of God and Him keeping His Word that we had what we had. Grandpa even had enough to spoil his granddaughter with a full line of the popular “Z-Cavaricci” jeans in all the colors, buy me my class ring and throw me some great birthday and graduation parties, lol.

But the BEST ever tithing story will always be The Pantyhose story!!!

So today I throw out, what we will call “The pantyhose challenge”, I triple dog dare you…take Him at His word today. God can do more with your 90% than you ever could withholding the 100%

#pointstoponder

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Train Your Heart....

We have all heard that famous “go to” verse for all parents “train up a child in the way that they should go”. All parents have used this verse as the reason behind the boundaries we set for our children when they are fighting against us all the way. I know I have said “God tells me in His Word, I have to train you in the way you should go!”. Parenting is one cliche after another as we wrestle with the challenges of each stage in our children’s lives.

Did we ever stop and ask ourselves “who is training and equipping me to train and equip them?” I love when King Solomon said “Give me the wisdom and the knowledge to lead them properly , for who could possibly govern this great people of yours? 2nd Chronicles 1:10 NLT.

King Solomon was known for his wisdom and his ability to rule justly. Is it any wonder that he relied solely on the wisdom he received from God? How, then, could we ever be so lofty to think we can raise our children, love our husbands, our wives, lead our family without the very wisdom that King Solomon himself was praying for? He went straight to the source of all knowledge and wisdom. We would be wise to do the same.

Proverbs 2:2 tells us “So, train your heart to listen when I speak and open your spirit wide to expand your discernment-then pass it on to your sons and daughters” Proverbs 2:2 TPT

We have to ask the Holy Spirt to come alongside us and partner with us as we train OUR hearts to listen to His direction and leading. When we do, we are able to lead our families where the Holy Spirit has led us; they will be following our leading as we are following His.

Isn’t that what we truly desire, that our families walk in the path of righteousness? We must be the example. We must be led in order to lead, be trained so that we can train. Get wisdom so that we can sow wisdom. We must train OUR hearts in order to train and steward theirs.

#TheMomMovement

#PointsToPonder

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Gotta Mean It

 

How often do we find ourselves apologizing only to undo the apology by adding an, "Im sorry......BUT!" In doing so, we are not really saying "Im sorry", we are trying to justify our actions. To truly apologize means to own up to what we did, and admit to ourselves and the other person that we are aware that our actions, whether intended or not, hurt someone we love and/or were inappropriate. Often times, it is not the motive we are apologizing for but rather, the behavior.

Take inventory before an apology, be honest with yourself and identify the heart issues so that you can be sincere when you finally say Im sorry. 

Also, remember that the BEST apology is change #tamaraism

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#themommovement

MOM. Who can clearly define who she is? Who really understands all that rests upon her shoulders and in her hands? 

Over the past few decades, the role of mom has been devalued and the expectations of women to do it all have taken the much needed role and foundation of the mother right out of the home. Sad to say, society views a mom, who chooses to stay at home and raise her child, as unsuccessful and not ambitious enough to make it in the "real world". On the other end of that is the role of the working mom who is expected to be as successful as a man, in addition to  keeping up the home while looking like a model and cooking life Rachel Ray!!! The pressure on women today, moms today, is unfair and completely and totally out of order. Sadly, the ones who are are suffering, due this this identity crisis in the home, are the children. 

Why is it that things have gotten to upside down? It is my personal belief that, over the years, men have abdicated their God given place in the home. They have allowed women to be the sole voice in the childrens lives and slowly but surely, as men have layed down their position in the home, women, by default, began to pick it up as they felt the tipping of the scales. We have had 2 sides of this flipping coin. Over the decades, both men and women have begun to devalue the role of mom, and expect women to fill one role to the detriment of another. 

Now, please do not misunderstand me here. I am, by no means, saying that a womans role is only at home, barefoot and pregnant. That would be very hypocritical of me being my past vocations as firefighter, medic and military. What I am passionate about and fighting for is that women start to revere being a mother with the same passion and view of success as anything else they pursue and, additionally, that Godly men start to rise up and cover their wives and mothers of their children, once again. There is power and safety in Godly order. 

I have been blessed to be able to stay home with my children, but it has also been a choice I have made. It has been a sacrifice of time and a sacrifice financially, being a single income home. But, I would not change it for the world. The gifting and talents that I could easily use outside the home for profit, I use with my children. I pour all I have into them, as they are my legacy, just as your children are yours.

Mom's, whether your work inside our outside the home, at the end of the day, we are mother's FIRST (for those who are married, we are wives first, mothers second, keeping with Godly order) We give an account before God for how we have parented our children. 

My true prayer is that the role, the heart of mother begin to beat again in the homes. That we start placing value on raising our children, being the heart of our home and creating a place where our families are loved and nurtured. It is a dog eat dog world out there, but it does not have to be "every man for himself" in the homes. That was never God's heart or design. 

"Remember, the hearts of the future are cradled in the hands of mothers". #tamaraism

Follow my FB page, Tamara Rae Ministries, for live FB interviews and more on #themommovement.

It's Up To You

"The duration of your season is determined by how long it takes for you to learn it's lesson"

It's been said that you can't run from yourself. We can change jobs, churches, marriages, but the one thing they will always have in common is us!  The patterns will repeat as long as we stay the same.  We can try and shift the blame, play the victim and avoid the truth, but nothing will change unless we do, unless we come to grips with the fact that there is something within us, a lesson that needs to be learned, that keeps us in this holding pattern in our life. 

There are 2 people we can never hide from. God and ourselves. 

I started this post back in April, 2018. It is now May 25, 2018 and I am  just getting around to finishing it. Truth be told, I have been struggling with this very topic. MYSELF. I often find myself taking 2 steps forward and then it seems like I take 100 steps back. I find a rhythm, and then something happens and I get tripped up and retreat to care for my wounds.  It is a cycle that I am very aware of, and one I absolutely need to break for myself. I know I am not alone in this struggle. So many have had, what seems to be, one wave after another come crashing over them that it leaves us gasping for breath and then afraid to ever step back out on the waters. We feel safer sitting on the shore watching everyone else. 

Is this all there is for you and me? A lifetime of sitting by the shore WATCHING? Today I came across a post by one of my Facebook Friends, Joshua Baeza. He wrote, "The moment you get comfortable with where you are, in any area of your life, is the exact moment you become in danger of losing the opportunity of getting to see yourself reach your fullest potential".

It was this post that kicked me out of my own pity party, got me up off my couch, into the shower and back on my computer to write this post. I had become comfortable to sit on the shore. I had allowed the waves to determine the depth of my "water walking faith". I had allowed my fleshly eyes to blind my spiritual ones. But the GOOD NEWS IS, God's Word says, "a righteous man may fall 7 times, but he GETS BACK UP!". While I would rather just not fall, lol, I am glad that I know to get back up. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to confront our cycles and mindsets. We have to DO what we know to do. I KNOW alot of the Word of God. I know WHAT to do, but where I have er'd is in the DOING!!! Why? Because at some point, I gave up. At some point, I decided I was tired of treading water and swam to the shore and got out of the water all together. BUT GOD! Where you and I want to just get out, God leads us back in! Where we want to quit, He reminds us we are more than conquerors. Where we want to hide in the dark, He comes in and shines His light. 

I don't know about you, but I am so thankful He does. I don't know how or when all of these pieces will come together and make sense, but I know He is not a God of incomplete work. My life, my story is a work in progress, as is yours. All we are charged to do is walk with Him and listen to the still, soft voice. Sometimes, it comes via a Facebook post, as it did for me today. If we pray, each and every day, to be more aware of His presence in our lives, we will see that He is always talking to us and leading us.

It is up to us to listen and take action. 

You Need Not Open Your Mouth

“Like a sheep led to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth”
Isaiah 53:7

This is not the typical points to ponder, but it is something very real to me right now. Have you ever been in a position where your character, integrity, ability, etc is being questioned or attacked? Have you ever had those around you challenger your every move, and you feel the need to defend yourself, or “put them in their place” start to rise up within you only to be told by the Holy Spirit to “be quiet?” I have, quite literally all the time. 

Just today I was praying about a situation and this verse from Isaiah dropped in my spirit (side note, if you want to know how God speaks to us, it is through His Word…..He will always quote Himself1). I knew immediately what He was telling me to do, “Tammy (those closest to me call me Tammy lol), just be still and be quiet! After a few laughs, tears and eye rolls, I knew God had me in His hands. I knew I didn’t have to fight for myself anymore, and this after years of going around this mountain. Yet, it still bugged me a little. Then I started to think about Jesus in this moment where He was put before Pilot, and Pilot was saying to Him “don’t you know who I am? Don’t you know I have the power to crucify you or set you free (John 19:10)?” Jesus made one statement, a declaration, in John 19:11 “you would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above”. Let us take pause and fully grasp the depth of trust Jesus had in His Father in order to make such a declaration knowing what was ahead. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would have been as calm and kept together as Jesus. Here is Jesus, the Son of God, The Word made flesh, the One who could command all nature to rise up in His defense, and yet He felt no need to defend who He was or His position. He had no need to. He knew who He was and so did His Father in heaven.

It took more strength and trust for Jesus to remain silent, to trust that nothing could happen to Him unless the Father allowed in, than it would have for Him to start to plea His case, to call Pilot out. He knew His mission and He knew that Judas, Pilot, the Soldiers, the Cross and the Grave were all just pieces of the puzzle that needed to be put into place in order for the big picture to be completed. 

When you and I fully trust in our Heavenly Father, we will come to realize that, more often than not, we just need be still and quiet. Let it all play out as need be, let Him vindicate, justify, elevate and reward. Noone or nothing can come into your life unless it is given permission from above. There is a greater lesson to be learned, a greater level of glory and spiritual maturity to be elevated to, but better yet, a greater trust in Abba, a new awakening in awareness of His presence in every situation. 

Don’t allow a momentary “win” to delay a lesson learned. Don’t chase after the dangling carrot of pride. You will just keep chasing after it as pride is a monster that grows fatter and fatter when fed. 

God sees you. He knows who you are, and that is more than enough. You need not open your mouth.

The Abuse Of Grace

 

Romans 6:1-2

 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 

2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

 

Over the past few decades, there has been an insurgent of "Grace Doctrine". This has been preached in such a way that it has led to a " do whatever you want to do, He sees your heart and that is what grace is for" kind of living. It has neglected the teaching of Holy and righteous living, and doing what Jesus said to the woman who was about to be stoned, "go and sin no more". 

 

Where did we lose sight of repenting of our sins? When did we forget that Jesus said "Be ye holy as I am holy". When did we forget 1 Corinthians 6:9-11:

 

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

 

When did we forget that the purpose of the Cross was to bring us back into right standing with God, to free us from sin, not to allow us to stay in it's condition. Sin separates us from God. He cannot look on or bless sin, yet we have taught that we an do whatever we want, and still call ourselves Christians.

 

Romans 6:1-2 clearly states "GOD FORBID

 that we continue living in sin as to abuse His grace.   Grace covers our sinful NATURE not our sinful BEHAVIOR. We have been given the power to overcome sin, just as Jesus did when He walked this earth. 

 

We have a CHOICE and we have to CHOOSE. Are we going to serve GOD or the FLESH. 

James 4:17 says "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

CHOOSE!

#pointstoponder

 

3 Steps of Walking in Love:

Step 1: Love them where they're at!

Romans 5:8 says this to us; "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".

While we were STILL SINNERS, God demonstrated His love. He did not wait for us to change, or clean up our act. He loved us where we were. Jesus, even while on the cross, looked past our current state, and saw us through His Fathers eyes. He loved us as sinners, because He saw us as redeemed.

Where would we all be if Jesus didn't love you and I right where and as we were? What if He didn't endure His cross for the glory set before Him? Have we forgotten what He forgave us for? Have we forgotten who we were before we found the Cross? 

The Bible tells us , in Luke 12:48, to whom much is given, much is required.

Simply put, you and I have been forgiven much. You and I have had an abundance of grace an forgiveness, lavishly bestowed upon us, yet while being so undeserving. How then, can we be so withholding of what was given to us so freely?

 

Just as Jesus loved us, we are to love others. But, we cannot do it in our humanness. We cannot love with a God love when we still have a heart in need of healing. A heart in need of His love and grace to flow through us. 

 

Pray this prayer with me.

Dear Father, I ask that you search my heart today. That you show me where I need to forgive and where I need to allow You to heal my heart and make it whole. Father, help me to look past the failures and disappointments, help me to look past and forgive the sin and love the sinner as You loved me.  Help me to see them how You see them. Love them through me, Jesus, and cause me to lean into You for all I need while you complete the GOOD WORK You started. Where I fall short, perfect Your strength in those areas.  I thank You, Father, that just as you change me and grow me from glory to glory, step by step, that You will grace me with all I need to be that grace to (insert their name). You never fail. You never lie. You are the Great I AM in every situation and it is in that truth, I find my hope and my peace. 

In Jesus Name, I ask and it is done.

Amen

#pointstoponder

Step 2: Remember Grace

As we all know, being in relationships with others is not easy. The fact is, human nature is not automatically prone to unconditional love, let alone forgiveness and selflessness. e get hurt and become easily offended and our first response, more often than not, is that of anger, bitterness and even retaliation in one form or another. Sadly, it is a growing problem in our marriages as well.

We go into our marriages with high hopes and expectations. We "say yes to the dress", but we neglect saying yes to the Biblical way we are to love each other as husband and wives. We have a Cinderella, "Happily Ever After" picture in our mind and when the reality of the every day begins to set in, our human nature begins to take over. This is why the divorce rate within the Church, is not too far off, if not equal to that on the world . Let's now add to it the un-equally yoked component and what are we to do?

Before I go any further, I want to begin by saying, the emotions, tears and fears are all valid when dealing with issues of the heart and marriage. Noone here down plays or over spiritualizes the very REAL day to day struggles. It is very easy for some, who have not experienced this journey, to give advice or encouragement when it hasn't hit the 4 walls of their home, or the 4 chambers of their heart But, I can tell you, it has hit both of mine, so I write to you from a place of "I get it" and I am daily leaning in on God's grace to do the very things I am writing to you.

So, are you read to take these steps with me?

 

Step 2: Remember Grace

To whom much has been given, much more is required. Luke 12:36

It is very easy for us, after walking this christian walk for awhile, to forget where we came from and what God saved us from. It is easy to forget the amount of grace that has been given to us, daily, by God and by others.  We can be very quick to point out others shortcomings and failures and shake our heads when they miss the mark, all the while forgetting how often we have done the same and yet, God STILL showed us grace and picked us up and set us back on solid ground in addition to giving is the strength to "go and sin no more".

I believe, a big part of this comes from a misunderstanding of what grace is and what it is not.  So, let me put this as simple as I can. 

 

What grace is NOT

A get out of jail free card 

 a license to live as you please and believing that His grace will cover your sinful choices.

"Grace covers our sinful nature not our sinful behavior"

 

What grace IS

God's supernatural HELP to live out the Christian walk with His strength, joy and peace.

It is God's knowing that we have a sinful nature and at times, we will miss the mark and fail, but He will cover those shortcomings as He knows we are working out our salvation daily, as we grow from glory to glory. 

When we fully understand what grace is and what it is not, we are better equipped to share in giving that grace to others as God empowers us to do so.  God will give us the grace we need to extend grace to others. 

 

Does it mean we live blindly and allow wrong behavior.? NO

Does it mean that we make excuses for others?  NO

What grace empowers us to do is lovingly correct and journey with those in our lives. To love the sinner, not the sin. To forgive and see our husbands, children and loved ones through His eyes and to do like Jesus did on the  cross when He said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do".

 

About 7 years ago I walked through the doors of the church I attend and serve in now.  I walked in those doors with a spirit of entitlement, pride and the "been there done that" posture. I, of course, was unaware of these things because truly, my heart was to serve the Lord and others, but I had alot of unhealthy heart issues that would soon surface and bring about what me and my Pastor call my "funkytown years". We laugh about it now, but it was not at all fun or pretty during the process. It was her immeasurable love and grace towards me. Her unwavering KNOWING of the good in me and the call on my life that kept her loving me despite the dark days that we journeyed together. She showed me GRACE. She lived and breathed it's definition into my heart and because of the grace I was shown, I was able to see it, pray it through and allow God to heal it; the hurt in my heart that caused me to act out in ways I truly did not want to nor did I understand.  There were times where I had to be corrected and put into check for sure, but it was always covered in grace and truth. Never condemnation,

 

As we journey through the steps of loving people where they are, remember it is GRACE than enables us to do so. It is God's grace that He loves us where we are, each and every day. 

"If not for the grace of God, there go I"

If not for God's grace, none of us would be able to stand. FREELY you have received His grace,  freely give it. 

#pointstoponder

Grace covers our sinful nature, not our willing and continual sinful behavior.
— Tamara Rae

Step 3: Check in with your heart

It is so important to be heart healthy. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. The bible has so much to say about our heart and the role it plays in our lives. The Word of God  instructs us as well in saying  "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23. ABOVE EVERYTHING, guard your heart. I think that pretty much sums it up. Just like our physical heart pumps life giving blood and oxygen, so it is that our spiritual heart does the same. If it is not working properly, than what needs to flow in and out of us will not be able to. Instead, we get clogged up, we slow down, and if not taken care of, it can stop all together leading to spiritual death. 

 

I wish I could say that I read this verse and heeded its wise instruction from the get-to. I, like many, learned most of my lessons the hard way, with many tears and sleepless nights.  So, the question is, why are we so care-free with our hearts? Why are we so quick to throw it at anything and anyone with reckless abandon?

 

I do not know your story, but I can certainly share with you a portion of mine.  Truth be told, I never knew my heart had any real value to anyone, let alone God. "Yes, Jesus loves me" was the extent of my outward understanding, let alone my inner knowing. Family circumstances had left me confused, broken and without any sense of true stability. I had leaned, through experience, to always expect something to go wrong, someone I loved to leave and for prayers to go unanswered.  What was my heart to do? I desired to feel something other than what I had been feeling, so I, like many others, chased after the quick fix, the knock off of the real thing, if you will.  This took an already fragile heart and left it with barely enough strength to function, let alone thrive.  I was certainly flowing with issues, but none of them were full of life. 

 

It was only when I began to learn that I was not only valuable to God, but that He called me His beloved, that my heart began to heal. Little by little. When I finally handed over this beaten, bruised and toxic heart over to Him, He began to show me all that I had been trying to hide from Him, myself and others. This heart that longed to be loved and beat with vitality and purpose, was full of anger, bitterness, jealousy, insecurity among other things. I had ignored it for so long, that my heart and become hardened and had learned to function at less than full capacity. I needed a whole heart in order to live, but I only had 1/4 of it functioning, so needless to say I was constantly tired emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. I was not flowing. 

 

Had I checked in with my heart years ago, had I not ignored the warning signs and had I looked at my heart through the lens of His Word, I would have been spared years of living less than half alive. I could have been thriving, instead of striving. 

 

We cannot love others until we have first brought our hearts before God and asked Him to reveal it and lead us into healing. Checking in with our hearts, even if multiple times a day is a vital part of healing and staying healthy.  It is a process and we have to do the work alongside the Holy Spirit, but I promise you it is so worth the temporary pain of peeling the layers when you start to live with a healthy heart. 

Unchecked heart hurt shows itself in ugly ways. So, surround yourself with people who can CHECK  YOU and ride those crazy emotional waves with you and in grace.

Tamara Rae

#pointstoponder