Do you love me?

Jesus spoke these words three times, to Peter.

“Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. -John 21:17 KJV

 

“I don’t want to hear God say, ‘You cared more about following people than me. You were supposed to feed the others, not follow them’.” -Hannah Brencher-

 

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2 

 

I am not here to follow people. I am here to serve people; to feed them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am here to bear the burdens of those around me. I am here to be here. To be present. To be where my feet are. To show up when people need me. To turn off the screens and look people in the eye when they speak to me. To let them know I’m listening. I’m here to show people that they are more important than whatever is happening on the other end of the screen. Because they are here. This is now. And we’ll never have this time again. “Today is not rehearsal. This is your life.” -Dale Partridge- FullSizeRender (1)

This is our life. It’s time to really start living. We don’t get a redo and being present is our calling. 

 

Jesus is calling us to feed His sheep.  

He wants us to be doers like He was. He wants us to meet with people. Go over for dinner even when people think we’re crazy for being that person’s friend. Remember the story of Zacchaeus (Luke 19)? Cry with people and laugh with them too. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” –1 Corinthians 12:26-

 

 

It takes more than showing up.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” Hebrews 10:24

Wow. Provoke? Every time I think of that word, I think of someone making me extremely angry on purpose. Consider others and provoke them to love. Provoke them. Push them to the point of love, on purpose. Intentionally make them want to do good things. 

 

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25. We’ve got to band together with the people who can teach us and with people willing to be taught by us. The Bible says exhort each other.  

Synonyms for exhort: 

Call upon

Encourage 

Advise 

Persuade 

Counsel 

Insight

Prompt

Propel

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” –Hebrews 3:13

 

Juxtapose that and think about the real effects of exhortation. 

We’ve got to show up, but we must do. Action is key. Love. Doing good. Togetherness. Being the catalyst for the person next to us. That is how we feed His sheep. 

 

 

When I read John 21, I imagine it went down kind of like this:

 

    Jesus looks to Simon Peter and says, “Do you love Me more than anything else?

    Peter replies with something I’m sure we’d all say if we were sitting next to Jesus at dinner, “Yes. You know I do.”

    But Jesus doesn’t come back with a typical reply. He says something that kind of seems out of the blue. “Feed my sheep.” 

    Peter goes back to his dinner.

    Again, Jesus asks him, “Do you love Me?”

    This look forms on Peter’s face like, can you hear me? You just asked me that. “Of course I do.” 

    And Jesus throws His same response back at Peter. “Then why aren’t you feeding my sheep?” 

    (Crickets chirping on Peter’s end…)

    Jesus, “Do you love Me?” It’s like a cycle of do you love me, yes, then prove it; but there seems to be no action to prove it.

    Peter pipes in again, “Come on Man, I just told you I love you. You already know everything. You can read my mind.  I do love You!”

    Still, Jesus is sitting there, getting a response in words when He’s looking for a response of action. “Then what are you standing here for?” I imagine Jesus saying. “Feed my sheep.” If I could read Jesus’ mind I’d imagine Him thinking “If you did love me, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking about it. You’d be out there feeding My sheep.” 

 

 

I want to prove my love for my Savior. 

Let’s prove the love we have for Him. He deserves it. Let’s call upon each other for encouragement and advice. Let’s set each other up to do great things; to love and to do good. Let’s propel each other forward by bringing excitement in the Word of God. I want us to be a people who are in love with the things that will keep us in love. Let’s be in love with the Word of God and prayer. They are the things that will keep us. Let’s join together and listen to the preaching from a man sent by God, Himself. Let’s be there for each other and do good things for the people who are here in our lives, right now. Do you love Him? Then where is your proof?

Olivia Fortner

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In-Between — Candor

“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.” (Sid Caesar) Throughout our lives, we will experience in-betweens. I am personally experiencing an in between, and am struggling. I was seeking the Lord on how to approach this, and I felt led to listen to Amanda Cook of Bethel Music, as […]

A great post to read via In-Between — Candor

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Memorial Day: Live worthy of what you’ve been given.

Memorial Day. The day we bring to remembrance and give honor all who have given their own life for ours and for the life of our country. 

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

 

Without the fight for freedom, surely we’d be under a dictating rule. Without all that they gave, our nation would be no more. But thankfully our states are united and our freedom and rights remain. Oh the miser, pain, and torture they went through to attain such a great thing for us.

Let me tell you, even though courageous men and women sacrificed themselves so we could live, we still have wake up every morning and choose to live a life worth dying for. They thought the lives of their future generations were worth dying for. Let’s not let that be in vain. Soldiers gave their lives because they knew you and I were capable of doing something great– of doing something worthy of what they gave.

 

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Along with those American soldiers we are honoring, there’s someone else who gave their lives so we could live and live freely. The veterans who have fought and died for us gained our physical life and freedom; but nother warrior gave His life for our spiritual life and freedom.

Physical pain and suffering. Having to leave loved ones. Torture and death. Just like the soldiers who died for us, Jesus died for us. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” I Corinthians 15:22. 

 

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John 10:18

 

Here’s the question I’m asking today. Are you living a life worthy of what you’ve been given? If you feel like you’re living anything less, know that there’s more. There are greater things. Through the death of those before you and the coming to life again of our beautiful Saviour, there are greater things for you and me. There is freedom from all that keeps us from choosing the Higher Call, and it is attainable.

Let’s stand in honor to those who’ve gone before us. Those who’ve redeemee our freedom. Let’s thank them by waking up every morning and choosing life. Over and over again, I will choose life and live worthy of all I’ve been given.

 

Olivia Fortner

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Butterflies.

This Jesus, He has saved me. He has died for all of my sins, forgiven me, and redeemed me from the grip of hell. He was beaten and pierced and killed for me. He came from Heaven for me, to bring me back to my Father. He is the One who loves me relentlessly and endlessly and unconditionally. Oh, this hope, this joy and love and sweetness I feel, I must tell them of it! I must tell them about Jesus.

This will convict you and motivate you and spark that fire in your bones.

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Sister.

I do not feel very bold.

I have butterflies in my stomach more often than not.

I just care too much about what people think, and I doubt my natural ability to succeed.

So my stomach is often fluttering and fretting, my palms sweaty, and my knees weak. (If you got that, let’s be friends.)

So here’s where I’m at: This past week, I’ve felt so convicted about telling people about Jesus. And listen, I do share my faith. I write about it. I talk about with my Christian friends. I post some captions of Bible verses. But I’m not talking about that… I am talking about share the Gospel, raw and gritty, with people, face to face, who don’t know Jesus and may have no desire to.

I just have this odd paradigm where my heart just fills and overflows with Jesus’ love for us and I just…

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It’s All a Trust Fall

 

I stand here, blind to the evidence of human presence. I close my eyes. Take a deep breath, and let myself fall back into the empty air. My stomach tenses. My muscles brace for impact. They told me they’d be there to catch me. I know they’ll be just beyond the point of catching myself. I’m tempted to throw my leg back and stop the fall, but no. I’ll prove that I have trust.

And just before I hit the ground, as soon as I fall too far to bring myself up again, I sink into their embrace. A breath of relief floods. I knew it! I told you I trusted. I did it. The worst part is over and I know within myself that I can do a trust fall.

 

Trust is Faith

 

This life takes trust. It takes a whole lot of surrender. Living this life takes surrendering our entire selves to God. We have to trust He’ll protect us in our surrender. Because trust— is faith.

Trusting God is hard. It’s hard because we are people who have to see it to believe. It’s hard because trusting God takes hearing, and we’ve been let down too many times by someone who didn’t keep their word. We’ve tried trusting by hearing. We’ve heard them say we could trust them; but the words we heard never happened. Hearing just doesn’t work for us. We want to see.

Trusting in God is hard because people are not always trustworthy.

People have let us down so many times, until we stand back up and decide that we will not trust again. Our walls climb high keeping us from trusting anyone. We will trust no one but ourselves.

 

I know, at the beginning God told me He would be here. He told me He would be with me. He’d be right behind me if I needed to lean back.  I can trust He’ll catch me before I fall. He said He wouldn’t leave. Everything was so clear. I could trust. His voice was so close, I knew He had to be right there with me. But it’s been a while since I’ve heard the nearness. I don’t hear Him shuffling behind me. I can’t see Him. What if He’s not standing to catch me? It will hurt too badly to fall. Oh, please be here God; please be here to catch me. 

 

God is not people.

 

Trust the promises. Trust that He’ll be there. He said He would, and He will.

 

So, we ask the questions like, “How do I trust when my faith is weak?” or “How can I trust His words when I don’t even know what His words are?”

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17

Dig deep into your Bible. It’s there. The words of God are there for you to hear. And when you hear, you will receive faith and your faith will be your trust.

 

 

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” -II Corinthians 5:7-

 

“The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.”  -2 Samuel 22:3-

 

“Ye that fear the Lord, trust in the Lord: he is their help and their shield.” -Psalms 115:11-

 

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” -Proverbs 3:5-

 

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” -Proverbs 30:5-

 

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” -Nahum 1:7-

 

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” -Psalms 20:7-

“It’s not easy. Don’t give up. It takes everything you have when you’re called to Love.” -Echoing Angels-

 

-Olivia Fortner-

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What is Trust?

Trust is the action taken to get to Faith. “For without faith it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6. 

 

The opposite of faith is fear. 

 

The backbone of faith is trust. 

 

The legs of faith is obedience. 

 

When we have to know all the details about a trial, we’re walking by sight; but when we trust God while we cannot see the outcome, we’re walking by faith. When we trust and accept without question, we move into a dimension of greater peace and intimacy with God. When it looks like there’s no way out for you, just trust, believe, and pray. 

Faith is born in the storm, and conceived in the impossible. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t stop short of the prize. The greater the conflict the greater the victory. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:5.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Verse six tells us our reward for trusting the Lord. He will direct us in our lives and help us travel in the right direction. Sometimes we hear people say, “I wish I knew what I was supposed to do in this situation.” What they need to know is that the Lord will direct all of us if we will trust and acknowledge Him. 

People trust in things everyday. We go to our light switch and flip it on, expecting the lights to come on. We don’t even think about the electricity coming through the power lines. We trust, if we have paid our bill, that the lights will come on when we turn on the switch. We should have that same trust in God to supply our needs. 

If we pray, fast, and believe, it is the equivalent of paying our power bill. The power is there for our benefit if we have done what we need to do.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

So pray and trust. 

-Rebecca Crider-

 


 

Rebecca Crider first and foremost loves God. She loves her husband, children, grandchildren, sons in law and all of her family. She is so devoted to them and their wellbeing, spiritually as well as physically. She is a prayer warrior and an encourager to many.

If her family is well and happy, she is happy (also the beach; that makes her happy too). Her goal is to be with Jesus for eternity and take somebody with her. 

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Thank you to my lovely grandmother for writing this guest post.

stop waiting

Trust that He will meet you there. Great post by Madyson Grace.

MADYSON GRACE

Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. Hosea 12:6

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I want to encourage all of us to stop simply waiting, and start waiting upon. To start waiting for.

Waiting is stationary. Waiting uponis an action.

Waiting is staying in the same place. Waiting upon is reaching for more of God.

Waiting is a spiritual excuse for inaction. Waiting upon is pressing into God when you don’t know what to do.

Waiting implies we sit still. Waiting uponmeans that we might not physically be moving but spiritually we are drawing closer.

Waiting upon God is an action. It is a consistent pressing into the presence of God. It is a determination to set our eyes on the Only One who can give us direction.

Waiting on God does not mean we don’t take action. It does not mean we don’t take…

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