Feb 15, 2012

Wednesday SHINE....

Today's Reading: Romans 2

Happy Wednesday, SHINE girls! Hope your Valentine's Day was extra sweet! For the record, I have eaten every piece of conversation heart candy (orange and purple only) from here to New Mexico.

Yep, I have. Not lying.

Pray for my waist line. (thank you in advance.)

Didn't you just love Leslie's story yesterday? I'm telling you, one of these days we are all going to get in a big room and hug each other's necks!

I cannot wait for that day! Every single one of you are special and treasured.

Yes, YOU!

Okay, let's jump right into Romans for a minute. Whew! That Paul is something, isn't he?

He is one of those friends that tells it like it IS...and THEN some. This is exactly what I LOVE about him!

If you are not familiar with Paul, (which the only reason that I am is because I did a tiny little study on him a few years ago), he was a man who persecuted those who followed Jesus. Can you believe that?

His name was Saul, before his conversion to Christianity.

Did you catch that? Saul?

 Another Saul.

After his conversion he became "Paul".

Got it?

Okay, good.

I have often wondered if the reason Paul was so passionate in his mission to spread the gospel was because of his filthy past. If so, I can totally relate to Paul.

My past has some very ugly places that I would just rather not remember. However, I believe it makes me want to tell others the TRUTH even more because I know what it's like being in the filth, just like our friend Paul.

When we know what life with Jesus is like, we want to tell the world. Don't we?

 If we haven't been on the ugly side of the street, we don't realize just how beautiful we have it over here on this side with Christ.

Are you following me?

Paul was passionate because he KNEW first hand how lost he was before he came to Christ. He probably shuddered (just like I do) at some of the things from his past.

We all have a story and a past. This is what makes us relevant to the unsaved world. If we were all just pretty, cleaned up, perfect little Christians, who in the world could relate?

Nobody.

People would not  listen to a word we had to say. They would think that there was NO way that we could understand their circumstances.

Right?

This is why, girls, our testimonies are our treasures. Our testimonies draw others to Christ because of their realness. The more vulnerable we are, the more effective we can be to someone.

My little heart hangs on my wrinkled white cotton sleeve every single day. It hasn't always been this way, though.

 For many years, I wanted to hide my heart and my story because of the embarrassment and humiliation it brings. If I had an eraser, I would have taken that eraser and wiped that part of my story clear off the board.

God showed me that He wanted to use my story, even the ugliest parts, to glorify HIM.

What?? Seriously??

That big ol' ugly mess of a story can be used to bring glory to the Lord?

YES!

Just like our friend Paul, He can use us and He will use us.

Girls, be real with each other. The best way to minister to a hurting heart is honesty and realness. If we can't be authentic, then what's the point?

You all have a story. Every single one of you. Thank the Lord for it. He brought you through it, didn't He? If you are still in it...hang on, sister. He's carrying you through.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9


using my story for His glory,


jill

p.s..one more thing. my high school friend, Mandy Nobles McKnight, is having a fundraiser for the adoption of her baby girl, Anns Faith, from China. The fundraiser is on her blog at www.mcknightdiary.wordpress.com. If the Lord leads you and if you have a heart for adoptions, please consider visiting her blog. She is giving away a $200.00 gift card to Amazon as well. :)

11 comments:

  1. I am loving Romans and can so relate to Paul. **raising my hand...yes, me with that ugly past.
    Coming to really know Jesus in a personal way brought about a radical change in my heart and then my life. Praise God that I will never be the same.
    Thank you for blessing me with this post and reminding me that I have a story, God's story. Love you so!!! <3

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  2. In the same boat with both of you guys!! :)

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  3. Anonymous2/15/2012

    For some reason I'm sitting here crying at my computer! In a good way though. I feel so blessed to have fallen into this wonderful thing called Shine. And I feel so blessed to have you Jill. I get to hear from Jesus every morning as He speaks through you. And we get your sweet and tender self everyday with all of your bubbling wisdom, thank you for being you. We love you Jill!!!! I've definitely seen the "ugly side of the street" and I definitely have those ugly places I would rather not remember, but they make me all the more thankful that I have a Savior who loves and loved me enough to die for that sin. And He still loves me when I fall short everyday. Love, Sarah

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    1. i love you, sweet sarah! SO glad that the Lord brought you and your momma back into my life! what a blessing you both are to me! wow!!

      love your heart so much!!!

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  4. Wouldn't go back one minute! The good, the bad..and the ugly...all made me..me. I wouldn't trade the wisdom that has come with any of the younger more beautiful ... less achier ... days...

    Though none go with me...I still will follow...I sang as a young one...and I still sing.

    Paul's change ...Saul to Paul...

    My change..Teddi young to Teddi older...to Mimi..Aunt Teddi..and Mama or Mum Mummy from the nations...

    Tears in eyes today...as I've spoken to 4 young men..one in Nigeria..one from Nigeria but in Dubai (Middle East)...one in Pakistan ...and one in India...declaring themselves my sons...
    Im so in awe of God this day...sharing with you girls..because the vision He's given you...will come to pass!

    You can't help it..or hurry it...Love is patient...long suffering...I wanted to be a missionary...saw myself going to Africa...or....?? I do daily ... now ..2012 ..from my dining room...as I also minister to and am ministered to by you each day..same dining room...

    God has joined us...we're like Esther...born for this time...this moment...talking to each other from our homes and phones...as we go...certainly the time in Malachi that says "running to and fro"

    Jesus is coming soon...we're in the vineyard of the LORD...

    if you haven't been to womenwho pray on fb ...please go today and hear the prophetical words from the son in Nigeria..."seeing the harvesters coming" to take our prayer blanket to the uttermost...

    we may one day not have our bound Bibles...and certainly some nations have lost acces to theirs...like Malaysia...

    but...the LORD has given us the prayer blanket...the word spoken in 1st person plural ...we abide in the secret place of the most high..we are strong in the LORD...it is just paper that can be folded..and carried in your pocket..or purse...or hidden...

    Just thought I'd share where I've been this mroning ..in my dining room ...talking to 4 nations at the same moment of time...

    only GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! It's 10:02 am...I'm still in jammies and robe...I pick up Lili in less than 3 hours... I've prayed with prayer warriors this A.M. ...exercised...ate breakfast...and been to the nations...and now to you...

    You are precious to me girls!!! You make my day!!! Go gettem'!!!!

    Clap your hands!!! Stomp you feet!!! Dance!!!! Shout!!!! all weapons of spiritual warfare!!! the enemy hates to hear us coming!!! He has to leave wherever the redeemed of the LORD go!!! as long as the redeemed know who we are!!!

    Glorrrryyyyy!!!!!!!

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  5. I love Paul's boldness and his love when he has not yet met the recipients of his letter! I am buckling my seat belt for Romans as Paul drives home all of his sharp points about the Christian walk. I, like Paul, have lived in the dark long enough and I am not willing to any longer. Spreading His name and His love, I want Him to be a thread holding each of my days together.

    I love you girls, so much!!!!
    Bek

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  6. While I can't take credit for this, I found Joyce Meyer's commentary on Romans helpful in setting the stage for our reading. She states in the introduction that we must separate our "who" from our "do:" We may do things that God is not pleased with, but He is always pleased with who we are because we are in Christ.

    I have many, many things in my past that trouble me, and I am so thankful for the many people along the way who have not judged me by the choices I made due to a lack of judgment on my part. I do believe that once we know who we are in Christ, we will not make the same harmful choices of our pasts. But we must know God before we can stop these patterns of harmful choices.

    Thank you, Jill, for leading us on this journey.

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    1. Yes! LOVE some Joyce Meyer!! :)) Thank you for this, Kelly!

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  7. Anonymous2/15/2012

    My favorite verse in this chapter is V. 11

    11 God shows NO favoritism!!! (from the NIV, HCSB)


    The New Century version says:
    11 For God judges all people in the same way.

    Love that!

    I know that I am guilty of categorizing sin and showing favoritism towards others in various ways either consciously or unconsciously!

    How often do we see sin in our own life or the lives of others and think it is no big deal, it is just a little glitch! I mean it's not like I murdered someone!

    Or we are on the opposite end of the spectrum and say WHOA.....can you believe what she/he did? (of course, I don't think we would point that out about ourselves as quickly as we do others!)

    It is all the same to God...sin is sin is sin!!

    With a past like mine....I am in NO WAY going to sit and pretend to be the judge of ones actions or more importantly ONES HEART!

    That past has also allowed me to see all of the blessings I missed out on because of my disobedience!

    It has allowed me the opportunity to be genuinely grateful for God's mercy and grace.

    It has given me the chance to give all the credit to God and allow Him the glory for a life changed!

    It has also allowed me to have compassion for those are walking down a not so desirable path....because I have been there! And I can show those same people that they have a HOPE for something better!

    We know God is just and He does not categorize us because of or in light of our actions!

    10 but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 11 There is no favoritism with God. Romans 1:10-11

    THANKFUL for a God who shows no favoritism and judges everyone the same! He doesn't have a favorite, he's impartial!

    He sees sin as sin!

    He is not partial to one person over another!! So, that girl over there with the seemingly perfect past is viewed, through God's eyes, the same as me-the girl with the a past full of poor choices!!

    I was, to some, a lost cause! But through the blood of Jesus I've been born again!! With God there are NO lost causes!!

    Look up the lyrics to the Casting Crowns song:

    Jesus, Friend of Sinners

    Such an awesome song and the last line is........

    And I was the lost cause and I was the outcast
    Yeah...
    You died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet

    I pray that God will show me areas where I show favoritism and/or pass judgment and that He will stop me in my tracks when this happens!! For there is only one true judge.....who just happens to love us all the same!!

    Love to u all,
    Kim J

    Hallelujah!!!

    EVERYone....that is us and all of our brothers and sisters in the family of God!! He

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  8. I have learned that actually being real and honest, is so much easier! Perfection is exhausting.

    But more importantly, keeping up the appearance of perfection, or never sharing my gloomy or bad-to-the-bone stories, puts the focus on me, not on the ONE who rescued me!! And it's all about HIM, not me, for goodness sake!

    :-)

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Your comments are welcome!