Happy Saturday, y’all! I haven’t written in a couple of days because I’ve been busy revamping the website. I hope you’ll take a look at all the additions I’ve made and learn more about us and our journey with the Lord. We have so much to share about how He’s always working in our life and we just love to do so! He has rescued us from the pit of hell and transformed us completely, so how can we NOT be excited to tell the world about His goodness, kindness, mercy, grace, and redeeming power!?
We made a new podcast episode last night (which you can check out on our home page or podcast page) called “Life After Divorce,” where we talked about our experience with divorce–both our own and our parents’–and we talked about the challenge this poses in a church environment, among other things. It’s been a very difficult path to walk at times, having a blended family–from just raising our kids in general, to having outside influence on both sides, and with the added pressure of always feeling like we had to explain ourselves to church people. You can hear more about it on the podcast, but we really wanted to tell about the victories and positive experiences that have come from this as well, and it’s along these lines that I’m going to share this message today.
Yesterday in my quiet time, I read two portions of Scripture that really got me thinking and I was still meditating on them this morning. That’s when you know you’ve really heard a good message from the Lord! On Thursday, Will shared a short, encouraging word on our Instagram reel from Matthew 15 about the Gentile woman’s faith, and I read the whole chapter yesterday along with Hosea 14. What really stood out to me in Hosea was verse 9:
9Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the LORD are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.
This whole chapter speaks of God’s healing for those who are repentant. Of course this is Old Testament, and is speaking of Israel, but it is applicable to every person and for all time. God’s call to every human ever to live is to “return to the Lord.” In the New Testament, John the Baptist (the forerunner to Jesus) and Jesus’ message was to “repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” We are ALL separated from God and Christ due to our sin, but the amazing news is that by repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ for salvation, we CAN return to the Lord. He has made a Way for us, praise God, hallelujah! This is the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel. So what does verse 9 say? It tells us that those who are wise will understand these things (the way of repentance and returning to God), and that those with discernment will listen carefully (we made a podcast recently over discernment too, if you want to go check it out…we’ve got you; we’re always putting out stuff to help you in your walk). It tells us that righteous people will live by walking the Lord’s true and right path (the narrow path-Matthew 7:13-14), but that sinners will stumble and fall on this path. What does this mean? It means that in order to walk the right path, we must turn to the Lord and trust in the Way, the Truth, and the Life…Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness, mercy, and renewal for us when we come to Him in repentance and faith. This is a beatiful, short chapter about all of these things, and I highly recommend going to read it.
The other chapter that I read was Matthew 15, and in verses 21-28 it speaks of the Gentile woman’s faith and this is what it says:
21Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Gentilee woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” 23But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” 24Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” 25But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” 26Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” 28“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
What stood out to me in this portion of God’s Word is that again, this is geared toward Israel–Jesus said He was only supposed to help God’s lost sheep, the people of Israel–yet we see this woman come relentlessly, unashamedly, boldly. She knew that Jesus could heal her daughter and she wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer! Her faith moved Jesus to action, and He instantly healed her daughter.
So we see that salvation is available to ALL and that faith moves Jesus. He wants us to come to Him, repent of our sins and forsake all that this world has to offer, and trust Him with everything-our very life and heart and all that we are, and walk with Him on the narrow path. He wants us to have a great faith that comes to Him boldly and assuredly that He will act on our behalf. That He will do what He says He will do. That He will make all things new. And He will.
What about you? Have you repented and returned to the Lord? Have you trusted in Him to make you and all things about you new? Are you walking with Him on the narrow path and inviting others to join you in this amazing, beautiful walk of faith? Is your faith growing and do you come before His throne boldly and with the confidence of this Gentile woman? That is the call to us all, and so I just encourage and leave you with this today. There is NOTHING that He can’t forgive, redeem, and transform. NOTHING. He is in this business of creating beauty from ashes. Give it all to Him today, and then give Him YOUR all. He is worth it. Amen.
This song is a beautiful invitation. Come.