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Why? What has He done wrong?

In my quiet time the past few days, I have chosen to read chapters in the Bible that lead up to Resurrection Sunday. These are the final chapters that take us through revealing the plot to kill Jesus and then to The Resurrection.  This morning, I have been reading Matthew 27 which tells the story of when Jesus was handed over to Pilate.

As I was reading the part where the shouting crowd chose to release Barabbas over Jesus, Pilate’s 2 questions to them in verse 23 resonated from the page.   Pilate asked the crowd “Why?”  And then, He asked “What has He done wrong?”   These questions seemed to incite the crowd more and they shouted “Crucify Him!”, yet they never answered Pilate’s questions.

In Luke 23:34 after Jesus was on the Cross between the 2 criminals,  Jesus said “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”   When Jesus said to forgive them, He answered Pilate’s questions.  In my spiritual mind,  Jesus answered the questions in reverse order.

Pilate:  What has He done wrong?

Jesus:  I have done nothing wrong.

Pilate:  Why?

Jesus:  They have done wrong!  I am doing this for them.

Jesus’ dying on the Cross is the answer to what the people did wrong back then and to what we do wrong now.  On the day He was crucified, it was not about the wrongs that just occurred on that day.  Jesus’ death on the Cross was about our sins: the wrongs of our bad choices, the wrongs of our unclean thoughts, the wrongs of our sinful activities, the wrongs of our bad behavior and the wrongs of our bad attitudes.  Our sinful nature is the answer to the question Why?

Pilate’s questions where for that particular moment in time.  However, the reason the crowd did not respond with an answer was because Jesus had to get to the Cross for the answer to be revealed.   His answer was for all of eternity.   John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  (HCSB)

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Dear Heavenly Father,  thank You for Your Beloved Son, Jesus!  Thank You for the love You have shown us over and over again.  Jesus, we thank You for the precious blood You shed for each one of us.  I pray that as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, that lives will be changed and souls will be saved as we give remembrance unto You.  I pray there will be a true understanding for many to the question as to Why You died on the Cross.  I pray more people will come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Please forgive us of our sins!  It is in  His mighty and precious name, I say Amen!

I Am Worthy

I am worthy!  These  are the words I heard during my quiet time this beautiful Sunday morning and these are the words I choose to affirm over myself.  I am worthy!

I am worthy not because I have done anything so great or magnificent.   I am worthy because of God’s unconditional love for me.  I am worthy because of His grace and mercy towards me. I am worthy because He created me; He fearfully and wonderfully made me.

I am drawn to the scripture of the adulteress woman.  In the scriptures, her accusers forced her to stand before Jesus because of her part in adultery. She had to stand alone before Jesus accused of actions that required more than one person to commit.  Her accusers really wanted to see how Jesus would respond.  However, Jesus did not respond the way in which the accusers thought He would.  John 8:7-11 (NIV) says “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.   At this, those who heard began to go away one at a  time, the older ones first until only Jesus was  left with the woman still standing there.  Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?” She replied “No one, sir.” Then neither do I condemn you, Jesus declared.  Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I can’t begin to imagine how she must have felt after Jesus said that to her.  Did she run away in a hurry or did she back away slowly?  Did she even say thank you?  I am thinking she might have been saying “what in the world just happened back there?” What happened was that Jesus spared her life in front of all her accusers and He showed her love and compassion.   I wonder how long it took for her to realize how much He loved her.  When did she realize that she was worthy? In spite of her actions and in spite of her accusers, when did she realize her worthiness?

Your poor decisions and failures have a way of making you feel as if you don’t deserve God’s love.  The way others treat and talk about you will also make you feel as if you don’t deserve His love.  You may pull away from God because of your shame.  Or on the flip side, as you try to draw closer to Him, you may continue to  feel as if you are not worthy.   James 4:8 (NIV) says in part, “come near to God and he will come near to you.”  Then verse 10 says “humble yourself before the Lord,  and he will lift you up.”  To me, in these scriptures, God is saying  no matter what you have done, no matter the shame and guilt you feel, draw closer to Me because I love you and  you are worthy.  You are worthy of My love and you are worthy of My forgiveness.

Will you join me in this affirmation of “I am worthy” ?  Say to yourself  “I am worthy!  I am worthy! I am worthy!”  I encourage you to speak these words over yourself.  I encourage you to believe  you are worthy.  You are worthy of God’s love and all the blessings He has already Continue reading

Restored!

It’s been 6 years since I started this blog. In the past couple of years I haven’t written as much as I did in the beginning, but as “life happens”, I do have plenty to write about in the near future. I am reblogging my very first post called “Restored”! Thank you for your continued prayers and support these past 6 years! I was broken2b-restored!

Broken-2b-Restored



Welcome to “Broken-2B-Restored”!

Have you been to that point of brokenness where you felt you were alone in the world and felt you had no one that could help you get through?  God is able and He is ready to restore you from your brokenness and to give you new hope, new joy, new peace and new strength.

Just say, God, I  trust you!  That’s always a good start.  He will hear you and He is already working it out for you.  Your restoration process may take some time, but just envision what the finished product will be! Sometimes life will just back us in a dark corner and we can’t see our way out. Things will happen that will just cause us to crumble and feel like we don’t have the strength to go on.  Bad relationships,  loss of a loved one, addictions, financial problems, depression, divorce, health issues…

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It’s All God’s Time

Ecclesiastes 3.jpg

Ecclesiastes 3:1 starts  with “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.”   In just one verse, we move from a season into a time and then, for a purpose.  My season of harvest may be your season of planting.  My time of weeping may be your time to laugh.  No matter what time “zone” either of us may be experiencing,  it’s all God’s time.

God is the Creator of us all.  He speaks things into existence and He knows the beginning and the end.  As believers, we know that God is in control of all things and at all times; we know He has a master plan.  We know that what He has purposed will prevail.  We know that all He has purposed for you, for me, and for this world will come to pass.

God knew there would be times when some of us would agree with each other and there would be times when we would not  see eye to eye.  However, for those of us who believe, we must be in agreement that as things happen, whether we like them or not, that God is always in control.  He is aware of every activity under the sun and everything in its own season will be done according to God’s time.

As seasons change and as time moves on, God is always with us.  He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.  Will you trust God in your present season?  Will you give Him praise not only during the good times but also during the bad times? Will you glorify His name even when you may not understand what is going on?

Psalm 118:24 says this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.  Whether this is your season to reap or to sow, or whether it’s your time to speak or to be silent, it’s all God’s time.  Trust Him in this season to do what He has already purposed in your life.  Embrace your current season in a way that will show Him honor.

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Dear Lord, thank You for all you have done in my life. Thank You for allowing me to see different seasons and to grow and prosper in each one of them.  Lord, thank You for all the times You have kept me, even when I would not consider spending time with You.  Thank You for the times You turned my midnight into day.  Lord, I need You all the time. I know that You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and that all time belongs to You! In the mighty and wonderful name of Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

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Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

2015: Taking My Praise With Me!

As we approach 2015, I have read quite a few posts about what people will leave behind. Naturally, they want to leave the hurt, the pain and sorrow, disappointment, betrayals and all negativity behind.    I also started to ponder over what I would leave behind, but then I started to consider what I would take with me.   As I enter into 2015, I am taking my praise with me!

I am entering 2015 with praise and I am excited about all God has in store for me.   2014 has been a great year for me even in spite of some challenges and circumstances that came my way. Through it all, I made the decision to trust God and give Him praise even during the times when I was struggling, hurt and brokenhearted.  In the midst of tears flowing and wondering why I was going through what I was going through, I would tell God that I trusted Him and that I was going to praise Him no matter how I was feeling!  As down as I would feel at times, I would continue to praise Him because I knew that my joy was on the way. I knew that He had never left me or forsaken me. I knew He was restoring what was  broken and He was still blessing me.  I continued to praise Him even when I didn’t feel up to it and I continued to praise Him even when I thought He was silent in my circumstances!

I am definitely taking my praise into 2015. My praise gives me hope and peace. My praise tells God that I trust Him in all areas of my life.  My praise allows me to rejoice in Jesus who died just for me.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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I pray, in the wonderful name of Jesus, that you enter 2015 with praise, and that you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!  I pray you shout for joy, because His love endures forever!

God Is Ready To Celebrate!

Last night after returning home from a church service, my son, who is the youngest of my 3 children, called me.  Interestingly enough, he had already called me earlier that day to see how I was doing.  Although I had some inclination of what he might be up to, I was not absolutely certain. Well, my wonderful suspicion was confirmed when I heard the doorbell ring while I was still on the phone with him!   He was the one ringing the doorbell.  He came home to surprise me and to visit with some of his high school friends.  Needless to say if you could have seen or heard me, you would have thought I had just  won the grand prize showcase on the Price is Right!  As you can imagine, I was very excited to see him.  You see, this is his first year in college and as I said before, he is the youngest.  And to be truthful, I just saw him about a month ago, but I have really been missing him and his 2 sisters.

Of course, after all the screaming, hugging and more hugging, my motherly instinct of asking questions kicked in!  How did you get home? What time did you leave campus?  Why didn’t you call me to pick you up?  He told me that he rode the Mega bus from Jacksonville to Orlando.  Well how did you get to the bus station all the way from campus?  He said, I started walking and I was going to walk to the bus station if I had to because I really wanted to come home.  Then he said, I realized that would have been a long walk so I stopped at a local metro bus stop and asked a man did he know if the next bus would take me downtown to the civic center. (Okay, so now I’m thinking to myself, didn’t I tell you not to talk to strangers!)  He said the man was very nice and told him exactly what he needed to do to get to the bus station.  (I thank God for this man who gave my son good instructions on how to make his way home.)

As he told me of how he made his way home, I just started thanking God for keeping him safe and for getting him home.  I sent a text to his sisters, saying ” the baby’s home”!  I posted on Facebook that I was feeling fantastic because my son was home!  I asked him, what do you want me to cook for you while you are home?   I guess you can tell by now that I was overjoyed to have him home for the weekend!  I wanted to celebrate my baby being home and whatever he wants his mommy to cook, I will be in the kitchen cooking it for him!

This morning  I  thanked God for waking me up and for keeping my children safe and especially for the protection He had over my son as he traveled home yesterday.  Then I heard this soft whisper saying,  “Jackie, this excitement you have of your son being home, is how I feel when one of My sons or daughters come back home to Me!  No matter what My children have done,  and no matter the road they travel to get home, I am just glad to have them come back!  As they start to journey back to Me, I will meet them with open arms, hug them and kiss them and we will celebrate!”

20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15)

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My Dear Heavenly Father, today I am praying for Your children that are making the  journey back to You!  I am praying for Your children who think they are not worthy to come back home.  I am praying for the ones who just left home and will get into situations that will make them feel they can never go home again! I know You will keep them safe no matter where they are on their journey back to You.  Whether they are just leaving home, whether they have just hit rock bottom or have just made the decision to come back home, I know You are ready to run to them and welcome them back with open arms.  I am thanking You for the celebrations that will take place when they return home to You!  It is in the wonderful name of  Jesus, I am sending up this prayer!