Tag: Truth

To My Valentine

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Psalm 37:4 NLT


This verse struck a cord with me today.  That’s why I’m not surprised that He wanted me to write this on Valentine’s Day because nothing is a coincidence with God.

Growing up, I remember exchanging valentines with my classmates while drinking Hawaiian Punch and eating those delicious heart-shaped sugar cookies from the local bakery.  These childhood memories are so sweet for me to look back on.  I thank God for them.  Remembering the significance of this day in my childhood would better prepare me for the shift in perspective He knew I would encounter in the future.


As I’ve gotten older, God has certainly shifted my perspective and opened my eyes to see the stark contrast between God’s definition of love and how the world defines love.  Merriam-Webster offers several definitions of love.  One, in particular, stood out to me the most and it was this: “a person’s adoration of God.”  I don’t know what I was most surprised by: The fact that God was mentioned under love in the dictionary, or that this definition was the fifth one listed when it should’ve been the first.  Why have we allowed the acknowledgement of the love God has for us to take fifth place in our dictionary? Could it be that our culture has distracted and disillusioned us (God’s people) with the fleshly desires, to such degree that has pushed our definition of His love further down the list and possibly even further out of our minds and hearts?  I believe the question isn’t whether or not we acknowledge God’s love for us. I believe the real question we should be asking is, Have we unintentionally forgotten the depth of His love for us in the midst of the rush and distractions?


According to the concordance in my Bible, love is defined as a verb and a noun. The noun version is defined as “the ultimate expression of God’s loyalty, purity, and mercy extended toward his people.” (Jesus-Centered Bible, 2015).  I chose the noun version of love because I’m referring to God in the flesh (Jesus). Besides, taking a step back and looking at the idea of Valentine’s Day, implies being with the person or people you love and letting them know how much you care about their “desires.”  (I hope you’re seeing where we’re headed). In the same way a person might choose to go above and beyond by showing them how much they care (everyday but especially on Valentine’s Day) God did the same thing for you and me by sending Jesus to die for our sins. (Luke 2:1-20, John 3:16, 1 John 4:8)  Looking at Valentine’s Day through a Biblical lens helps us see how much the earthly view of the day pales in comparison to the Heavenly view of being loved by our Valentine whose name is Jesus Christ.


God’s desires and my desires are often opposite from each other. He is God and I’m not.  The day I finally came to this realization through the conviction of the Spirit marked the beginning of God transforming my heart and mind. (Romans 12:2)  I praise and thank Him daily for continuing to make me more like Him on a daily basis.

After walking through many years of dry seasons and seas of tears, I can honestly say that the minute I began to align my desires with His, I fell in love with Him ALL over again!

I may not have a boyfriend to spend this day with yet and I’m okay with that.

Because I am loved with an everlasting love.

And so are you.

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.

Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

Happy Valentine’s Day!

©Andrea Pierce. 2017. All Rights Reserved

Don’t Underestimate Your God Given Potential

Gideon Blog

It’s one thing to speak an encouraging word to someone in passing, but it’s another to call their God given potential out before they can see it in themselves.  I’m so grateful for the people in my life who have called me to courage before I even knew what was coming.  They saw the potential God has for me and were brave enough to tell me about it.

I think we can start calling others to courage by not underestimating the potential God has given us.


Growing up in church I had always known that God had a plan for my life even though I couldn’t exactly bring myself to trust His word and believe what God says about me.

Gideon was someone who witnessed God’s courageous calling for his life firsthand.  In Judges 6:11-16, we see Gideon’s story begin to unfold.

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”    

Judges 6:11-16 NLT

I love Gideon because I see so much of myself in him.  He was taken by surprise when the angel appeared in verse twelve calling him a “mighty hero.”  As I was praying in preparation to write this message I couldn’t help but think of all the times where I’ve been surprised by what God has called me to do.  I can totally relate to Gideon’s current perspective of the situation.  We’ve all had times where we feel weak and unequipped to fulfill the calling God has given us.

God knew Gideon was going to be a bit surprised by his calling that’s why He sent the angel to declare that truth over him.  God does the same thing for you and I.


I’ve walked through many seasons of life where I have known and sensed the Sprit pulling me in a certain direction.  As much as I trusted Him there was still a  tiny part of me that was doubtful.  Feelings of insecurity and insignificance flourish in our moments of self-doubt.  Satan adores our weakest moments.  I don’t want to assign false thoughts to Gideon in any way, but I can just imagine those feelings of doubt were starting to weave their way into Gideon’s mind when he replies with Judges 6:15:

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

I can’t even tell you how many times I have told God this same thing.  It starts when those feelings of insecurity and insignificance flourish in self-doubt.

In verse sixteen, the Lord says to Gideon:

The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”  I just LOVE that this was God’s response to Gideon because that’s His response to me in the midst of my self-doubt.

P.S. The rest of Gideon’s story is amazing in the way he trusts God to defend his army against the Midianites!  Check it out in Judges 7!

I want to close by reminding you of three key points we can learn from Gideon’s story:

  1. We must not underestimate the powerful potential God has given us.
  2. Trust His calling in your life even when it catches you by surprise.
  3. Feelings of doubt and insecurity flourish in moments of self-doubt.

Childlike Faith for Adults: How Do We Regain It?

trust blog

As a kid, I had several heroes or heroines that I admired.  The Disney princesses are a great example because I wanted to be just like them one day.  I’m sure we could all identify with doing the same thing if we looked back at the childhood we lived.

What I find intriguing about the modeling phase of childhood is this: No thing or person could ever convince you that you couldn’t be like that person you deeply admire.  You see, I feel like as people get older and the world keeps its firm grip of distraction on us and as a result we begin to lose that invincible spirit or childlike faith we once had.  We should carry the same attitude of deep admiration and appreaciation as adults when following hard after Jesus’ example.

The question is how do you and I regain that childlike faith and spirit as adults?  I have wrestled with that question for quite some time now and I think we can start by thinking about what we admire most about God?  We do this with our friends all the time.  We want to get to know them and their character.

 

Several weeks ago, I posed the following question on social media, What quality or qualities do you admire most about God?”

The response I received was quite overwhelming.  I couldn’t believe the amount of comments there were and how well they related to one another.  The top three responses will be discussed and we’ll also talk about how each of them describe God for who He is.


God is always ready and willing to listen to us.  He is never surprised by anything and we have total confidence in Him.  Meaning, whatever we tell Him will always stay between He and I.

He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
  Psalm 121:3-4 NLT

What a great comfort to know that nothing will ever take God by surprise. He knows what’s going to happen long before we do.  I am eternally grateful that God is one in control of everything, so we don’t have to be.


God’s love for us is immeasurable. We really can’t imagine how much He loves us.  I mean He gave us a pretty good idea by sending His one and only son (Jesus) to die on the cross for the sins of humanity. (John 3:16) Someone who loves me enough to die for me is someone worth believing in-no matter the cost.

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
    With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. 

 Jeremiah 31:3 NLT

God’s love for us is everlasting. There’s nothing we can ever do or say to escape the grip of His love.  This verse reminds us that the love of God is always present.  In addition, Mercy also coexists with God’s love. My Bible defines mercy as, “a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion; withholding of the judgement or punishment our sins deserve.” (Jesus Centered Bible 2015) God’s mercies for us are unending, just like His love.


I love the fact that I can’t keep anything from God because He knows everything about me before I even knew myself. Don’t get me wrong, it has a cost.  There are always consequences for our sins.  However, that doesn’t alter God’s love and mercy for us in any way.  He loves us fully and completely in spite of our messy imperfections.

Jonah’s Story is a beautiful example of this. At some point today, take a minute to read his story in the first three chapters of Jonah.  (Side note: The chapters are fairly short, so it should be an easy read.)  Jonah knew what it felt like to hide from God and he also recognized the beauty of repentance and freedom in Christ. Through his experience, he learned that God is already there, waiting for us on the other side of the adventure.  We can’t hide anything from God because He knows what we’re going to do before we do.

But, God in His mercy chooses to love us and use us for His glory anyway! How cool is that?!  That’s something I deeply admire about God.


Let’s take what we’ve discovered and apply it to the original question: How do you and I regain that childlike faith and spirit as adults?  Remember these three things:

  • God Can Be Trusted (Psalms 121:3-4)
  • His Mercy and Love is Unconditional (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • God Already Knows (Jonah 1, 2 and 3)

I hope and pray that God uses these words to encourage and guide you today. He has certainly blown me away in the things He has revealed to me while writing this!

©2016. Andrea Pierce. All Rights Reserved.

The Promises Outweigh the Problems

The Promises

Have you ever wondered how God looks at the reality of time?  I know I have.  When I was younger I just had the understanding in my head that He sees time as we do.  Truthfully, God sees time in a different light and this shouldn’t be surprising considering that He spoke the entire universe into existence.  (Genesis 1:1-31) Although I’ll never fully understand God’s concept of time until I meet Him one day, there are two (upon many) promises from His word that I cling to down here while living in my temporary home:

  1. “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.  So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11-12 NLT

  1. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 

I can look back on my life over these past twenty years and see where each of these faithful promises have proven themselves to be true time and time again.  I promise you you’ll be able to see it in your life, too.  All we have to is “trace his hand of faithfulness” as Lysa Terkeurst says.  All the while it has taken me these last twenty years to understand that I needed to be clinging to the promises of His word rather than the “problems” of this world.  Don’t misunderstand me here.  I’m not trying to make light of the things we face here in the flesh. They are real. The years of pain, frustration and anger they cause is even more real.

Let me step out into a moment of personal confession with you.

Being born with a physical disability is far from easy.  It comes with its own set of challenges, or “overgrowth” as I’ve heard it called just like anything else we are given in this life.  The older I get the more God is showing me that it’s less about the overgrowth, as it the promises I’m using to hack away at the thick weeds of doubt, insecurity, anger, depression, anxiety and selflessness that the Enemy has built up around me for years in seasons of my life as a way to keep me defeated in my relationship with Jesus.

Now, I’ll be brave with you and ask, What problems have you clung to instead of promises?  Has the overgrowth started to creep its way into your life?  Trust me.  I know the feeling.  I know what it feels like to have to sacrifice some elements of independence just to make it day. by. day.  It’s so tiring and sometimes it takes every ounce of strength I have to send the “I’m ready to get up” text to my girls every morning.

What I love about my weakest moments is that’s when I feel God’s strength the most.  When I don’t have any left and I can’t see past the overgrowth covering my eyes.  The same is true for you.  There are promises written in His word just. for. you.  Just as Ecclesiastes tells us, “…God has made everything beautiful for its own time…”  You may not be able to fully comprehend His promises right away, or peek through the overgrowth, but in His timing you will.

It’s up to you: What will you be clinging to?  The promises or the problems?

I hope it’s the promises.

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The True Vine

The True Vine  I was awestruck today by the power of God’s Word particularly in John 15.  It’s entitled “Jesus, the True Vine” in my Bible.  I have always known and heard that as Christians we are called to bear fruit in our daily lives since we’re rooted in Jesus, who is the vine.  As I read through the passage the truth and reality of it hit me instantly.  There are two crucial questions I believe we should ask ourselves when reading this passage:

  1. Am I truly living my life connected to the grapevine as Jesus describes? (Deuteronomy 7:9)
  2. Is there evidence of His fruit in my life and in the lives of those around me?

What I love most about the way Jesus taught is the sheer simplicity of the parables.  They’re so simple and applicable.  There’s no doubt in my mind that Jesus was intentional about making them this way- They are meant to be understood.

Keeping the questions I asked you earlier at the forefront of our minds, let’s discover this passage together.  Right away we know two things to be true: (1) Jesus is the grapevine and (2) God is the gardener.  Next, Jesus tells us that God (the gardener) cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.  I’m just telling you, this second verse seriously amazes and leaves without words.  I can’t think of a greater banner or mantra to hang over your life than that. right. there. J Our hearts should and need to be open to the Gardener’s pruning.  I tend to be a pretty rational thinker so I like to think of the “pruning” in terms of the situations or circumstances that we don’t understand about our own lives.

I’m gonna get real, real honest here by saying that I believe I’m experiencing God’s gracious pruning through having Cerebral Palsy.  That’s what hit me the most from this passage today.  It has given me even more opportunities to bear fruit in this life than I could have ever imagined otherwise!  He’s given me friendships and relationships with very dear people through the pruning process and that’s something I’m eternally grateful for.  I know, I know the pruning looks different for each of us but this I know:  He has a purpose and plan behind the situation we’re facing but nonetheless, the end result is to bear fruit.  And, trust me, if we are truly connected to the grapevine (Jesus) our lives will be abundantly fruitful!  Why?  Because we are rooted in the True Vine.

Let me encourage you to once again take a step back and look at your life.  If we’re not rooted in Him then we cannot be fruitful. (John 15:4 New Living Translation) We all have to start somewhere.  Just as a garden doesn’t become immediately mature, our relationship with Christ doesn’t either.  He’s not asking us to get a head start he just wants us to START.

 

Let’s start planting our roots

NOW.

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The Incapable Possibilities

trust2 Some “seasons” in life can feel seemingly impossible to endure.  Since we’re being truthful it really is if we are only choosing to rely on our own strength.  However, if we choose to rely and trust in God’s strength, the outcome is quite the opposite.  Luke 1:37 says it all: “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God!” (The Message) Recently, I’ve been faced with situations that I feel like there’s no way I can do what He calls me to and truthfully I can’t if I’m only relying on myself, or the people around me.

In keeping with the theme of possibility through Christ, I always like to refer back to the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  This experience in the Bible is yet another prime example of what it means to rely on God’s strength and not our own.  Even as a teenager David knew that he was incapable of defeating Goliath by himself and he recognized his need for God’s strength.  The reality is: David trusted God to help him. Let me ask you this:  Have you ever truly experienced what it means to trust Him and the peace that can only come from Him alone?   Personal confession: It wasn’t until several years ago that I encountered the reality of totally trusting Him in every aspect in my life.  Until that point I had become so full of bitterness and discontentment toward the Lord that I couldn’t possibly trust him wholeheartedly and in every circumstance.  Once I was convicted of the bitterness and shortcomings through the Spirit, I was able to be unblended by Jesus, in the sense that I understood in that very moment I was faced with two choices- To trust or not to trust.  Upon recognition of this the choice was simple:  I’m going to continually trust in Jesus Christ for everything I need until the day I meet Him.  Will you be doing the same?

The bottom line is this: We were put on this earth to reflect Him and bring even more glory to him through the lives we live.  Besides, we are the Light of the World!

“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.”

Proverbs 16:3 NLT

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

This song is a great summary of what trusting God is all about and I would encourage you to really focus on the lyrics and the message they’re proclaiming!


Hit Counter provided by iphone 5