Little Balloon

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“Always how my story ends
Feels like I’m slipping from your hand.
Try and try, time and time again,
I want to hold on; hope I can.

No one is able to steal what is in Your hands.
No one is able to steal what is in Your hands.
No one is able to steal what is in Your hands.
No one is able to steal what is in Your hands.”

-Jenny & Tyler, Little Balloon

Listen to the song “Little Balloon” and you will know exactly how I’ve been feeling lately.

I’m always trying to make my relationship with Jesus work. I try to read my Bible daily, encourage others, do the right thing- but somehow, I mess up. That balloon slips away from my hands. And I’ll try to catch it again, and for one second I have it. But my story ends the same way every time. I end up weary and tired from chasing that balloon. I give up. The balloon slips away from my hand. I feel like I’m slipping from God’s hand.

But truth is, I am not.

I am not slipping from God’s hand and I never will. I was trying to hold on to me and my abilities, instead of holding on to God. I forgot about what God did for me and the fact that no one is able to steal what is in His hands. Nothing and no one can steal me from God’s hands. Even when things slip from my hands, I will never slip from God’s hands.

And neither will you.

Who Could Love You?

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You are loved.

Maybe you don’t believe me because you’ve stopped believing in others.
Maybe your heart’s been broken too many times.
Maybe you live in a broken home.
Maybe your mother’s told you that you’re ugly.
Maybe you’ve lost all hope.
Maybe no one listens to you.
Maybe people have told you you’re useless and ugly and unlovable.
Maybe you feel like you’re not worth it.
Maybe you think you’re not worth loving.
Because you think you’ve sinned too much.
Because you think you’re not pretty enough.
Because you’re overweight.
Because he dumped you.
Because you’re bullied.
Because you’ve messed up.

Who could love you?

I’ll tell you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
-John 3:16

About 2,000 years ago, a man named Jesus died on a cross for you and me. He died for you out of love. He didn’t have to do it. He chose to. Do you understand that? He chose to! He was beaten and bruised for you. He bled for you. He carried your guilt, your pain and shame and he put it on his shoulders so you could live.

He loves you with a love like no other. He loves you more than anyone ever could. He made you. The same Being that made the beautiful heavens and earth made the beautiful you. And you belong to him.

There is nothing you could do that could make him love you less. He loves you in every season of your life and He always will.

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”
-Isaiah 54:10

Even when you’ve done the unthinkable. Even when you’ve made mistakes. Even when you’ve messed up.

You are precious and honored in God’s sight because He loves you.
You don’t have to try to be lovable.
You don’t have to do anything to be worthy of love.
You are lovable.

Your worth doesn’t come from you- your successes, your failures, the heads you turn and the heads you don’t turn when you walk by, your sin, your weight, your beauty- your worth comes from God. You’re worthy because of his love for you.

And no one can take that away from you.

Who could love you?

Jesus does.

over and underneath and inside and in between.

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Have you ever felt like you’ve gone too far? So far that you know you’re broken? So far that you know you need God, but don’t come back because you feel like you’ve crossed the line? Have you ever felt afraid to come close to Him because you believe he’ll turn his back on you? Ashamed of what you’ve become?

I have.

And guess what?

You’re never too far.

God’s love is bigger than your sin. God’s grace is greater than your sin. God’s forgiveness does not run out. His mercies are new every day.

He says, “My love is over, it’s underneath. It’s inside, it’s in between.”

His love is there in the times when you’re broken and think you’re beyond repair. He’s there when you think He’s not there. His love is there when you’re heartbroken. He is there when there’s chaos around you. He’s there when temptation wins. His love is there when you think grace has run out. He is there all the time.

He says, “My love is over, it’s underneath. It’s inside, it’s in between.”

Stop thinking that you’ve gone too far. You have not. Don’t be afraid to run back into God’s arms. He is not done forgiving. He knows your heart. He loves you.

His love is over and underneath and inside and in between.

His love is everywhere. Everywhere. Over and underneath your shame. Inside your sorrow. In between the pain. Over your guilt. Underneath your brokenness. Inside your doubt. In between your fear.

Over and underneath and inside and in between.

“Well, my love is over, it’s underneath. It’s inside, it’s in between.
The times that you’re healing and when your heart breaks, the times that you feel like you’ve fallen from grace. The times you’re hurting, the times that you heal, the times you go hungry and are tempted to steal.
In times of confusion, in chaos and pain, I’m there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame. I’m there through your heartache, I’m there in the storm. My love, I will keep you by my power alone. I don’t care where you’ve fallen or where you have been, I’ll never forsake you. My love never ends.
It never ends.”

[Tenth Avenue North, Times]

Brokenness Aside

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Will your grace run out if I let You down?
‘Cause all I know is how to run.

I am a sinner; if it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Caught up in words, tangled in lies.
But You are a Savior and you take brokenness aside and
Make it beautiful.

-All Sons & Daughters, Brokenness Aside

This song takes me to a place of grace and breaks me every time I listen to it. Those lyrics break me every. single. time. There is so much truth in them. I am a sinner. I get caught up and tangled in my sin. I forget. I forget. I forget what He did for me. And then grace happens. He is a Savior and he takes my brokenness aside and He makes it beautiful. He turns my sin and makes something beautiful out of it.

I am so grateful for the gift of grace. His grace won’t run out if I let Him down.

And maybe you think, “Doesn’t God get tired of dealing with me? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. There’s always something that seems to go wrong.”

But no.
When you experience grace, it changes you. It makes you want to leave your sin behind and live life in a way that glorifies God. Your brokenness is put aside and made beautiful.
Beautiful.

Grace

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This post is in Spanish!

My favorite word in the dictionary is “grace”. Its meaning, according to A.W. Tozer is, “the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving”.

Let me break it down for you.

Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.
Grace is unmerited favor.
Favor for those who do not deserve it.
As in you and me.

Grace means that God loves us no matter what. It means that no matter how many times we’ve messed up and let God down, He won’t stop loving us. Isn’t that amazing? (Amazing grace, get it? I’m so punny, I know.) Grace means that God loves us and is merciful towards us even though we don’t deserve it. We are sinners, we make mistakes, we mess up- and yet God loves us all the same.

And this is the best part- you can’t earn grace. You don’t deserve it, but God extends it to you anyway.

If you’re reading this, and if you’re understanding what I’m saying, you should be dancing around and jumping and singing because God is giving you the best gift that you could ever have.

Go on. Dance. I’ll wait.
Done? K.

Now, just because God loves us and extends his grace towards us, it doesn’t mean that we can continue to sin and think that He’ll forgive us later.

“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of His wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined Him in His death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in His death, we will also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”
(Romans 6:1-7, NLT)

This doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes. It means that God’s grace should make us want to leave our sins behind, let God work in us and live lives that glorify Him. I love what Jenn Arman says about this: “The point of grace isn’t for us to live however we want because we know God will take us back. The point of grace is God’s acknowledgment of our humanity. God knows we aren’t perfect, but He expects us to patiently allow Him to work in our lives and constantly make us perfect”.

Let His grace work in you.

I’ll leave you with some of the most amazing lyrics ever:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

–John Newton

Isn’t grace amazing?