Jan 30 2015

Pursuit

There’s something about a good mystery that really intrigues me. I love trying to figure out the different plot lines in a movie, TV show, or book before the story comes to an end. I actually get this strange sense of achievement or victory whenever I can unravel the mystery half way through the story. Pursuing God is a lot like a good mystery. There is so much about him that we don’t understand and each new revelation takes us deeper into the reality of who he is. I love the mystery of who God is and I love pursuing him because it is in the pursuit that we get another clue to who he is and what he is doing. Each time we draw close it’s like unwrapping another layer to his identity, seeing his face from another perspective, and catching a new glimpse of his heart’s desire for us. Sometimes I just want him to tell me what is next so I can be prepared for what is coming but that also takes the surprise out of the equation. Just like a kid waiting for Christmas morning and wondering what is behind all the wrapping paper under the tree. There is a curiosity and excitement that goes with unwrapping each one of those gifts. And there is a curiosity with unwrapping each new season God has planned for us. Even as we wait for revelation, breakthrough, or for the waiting to be over, it’s important to enjoy the thrill of the mystery because knowing what’s coming isn’t nearly as exciting as having it all revealed in the moment. Enjoy the thrill, enjoy the moment, enjoy the pursuit.

@genelloyd
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Jan 23 2015

Wounded

Have you ever noticed how some people are always depressed, or always sad, or maybe always angry? Have you ever wondered why they go through life with this demeanor? The simple answer is that they are most likely carrying an unseen wound on their soul and the outward behavior we see is a result of that wound. Ok, maybe that isn’t a simple answer so let’s unpack it a bit. Most everyone carries around some type of wound because when we sin or when others sin against us it wounds our soul. Let’s face it, life can be messy and if we don’t know how to clean up our souls those wounds we end up with can lead to bigger problems down the road. For example, if a parent repeatedly called their child stupid it creates an unseen wound that can lead to low self-esteem as they get older. Even psychologists have recognized this issue and have been teaching positive reinforcement for years to curb this problem. And there are many other examples from domestic abuse, sinful lifestyles, or other issues in life that typically create emotional problems. Have you ever met someone who, immediately after seeing them, you wanted to reject them? This is a common situation when you encounter someone carrying wounds from a lifetime of rejection. It’s almost as if the soul wound is broadcasting “reject me.” And the same is true for the myriad of other problems that all of us encounter on a daily basis.

I actually tend to think that most negative or unhealthy personality traits are probably connected to some form of soul wound and though it isn’t a subject discussed very often in church, it is a real issue that we all deal with whether we realize it or not. The other reality is that these wounds are like targets for the enemy to go after and he will use them to build strongholds in your life. Jesus did not die just for salvation (though that was a big piece). Isaiah 53:5 tell us “with his stripes we are healed.” That’s a physical healing. And in Psalm 23 we see this reference, “he restores my soul.”  Jesus’ death brought about the possibility for a spiritual healing (salvation), a physical healing, and a healing for the soul. And we need to experience all three if we want to be completely whole! But the church typically doesn’t do a very good job with salvation because the tendency is to get someone to pray a prayer and then send them on their way without working out the process of repentance, soul cleansing, or deliverance at the altar. Then we end up with all of these wounded Christians walking around wounding others with their own words. The good news is that you can break that cycle by forgiving those who caused the wounds (including yourself) and asking God to bring complete healing to your soul! It’s so easy to be free when you know what is causing the problem. Take a few minutes today and ask God to heal the wounds you are carrying.

@genelloyd
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Jan 16 2015

Proper representation

The church is in an interesting state today. There are a lot of churches doing good stuff but so many of the people in those churches are longing for something more. Long time Christians don’t want to hear the same stories they have been hearing since they were a kid and new believers are seeking something they can’t get in other organized clubs or meetings. Everyone really wants the same thing but they may not fully realize how to verbalize that desire. What they want is a real tangible encounter with God. Here’s a news flash for you: that’s why you are on the earth! Giving people the encounter they need is your primary mission. You were created to carry the presence of God with you everywhere you go. Supernatural activity should be part of your normal lifestyle. Joy should overtake sadness and depression, love should replace hate and unforgiveness, demons should run away in fear, and sickness and disease should disappear as soon as you walk into a room. Jesus changed the environment of everywhere he went because he knew his mandate. “On earth as it is in heaven” is not a catch phrase or wishful thinking; it is a mandate to transform the earth so it looks like heaven. People will flock to churches by the thousands if they know God is doing something real and tangible because they crave the encounter, we all crave that encounter. Let’s set the atmosphere for people to have the encounter they need. All it takes is one encounter with God to forever change a person and enough of those encounters will forever change the earth.

@genelloyd
www.nomorewounds.org


Jan 9 2015

Nature

Understanding God might seem tough especially when we look at the world around us and try to make sense of why he allows all the craziness we see on a regular basis. But once we get a feel for his nature it makes it a lot easier to realize that he is actively working to get us where he needs us to be. God’s early interaction with creation gives us some great insight into that nature; one of his first actions after creating mankind was to bless us. His relationship with Adam started with a blessing and an invitation to co-create with him by naming all the animals. God shows us right from the beginning that it is his nature to hang out with us, give us opportunities to help him, and to lavish his love on us. The problem is that we allow our perspective of God to be skewed by life’s situations and then start to wonder if he cares or if he is even listening. Throughout the Old Testament we see Israel in this constant back and forth struggle between following God or joining in on what the surrounding nations were doing. What I find so amazing about this is that God consistently responds with an invitation for the people to come back to him. Yes, there are prophecies about judgment but that judgment was only released because the nation ignored the invitation. Many of the bible’s prophetic books include God’s desire for the people to reconcile with him and have the added bonus of immediate restoration. His desire is to bless his creation. His nature is to see us succeed in the plans he has for us. It’s a new year so let’s start it off with the right perspective of what God thinks about all of us and toss aside any notion that doesn’t line up with his nature.

@genelloyd
www.nomorewounds.org


Jan 2 2015

You are worthy

I hear a lot of Christians say things like “I’m not worthy of God’s love,” “I’m not worthy of his sacrifice,” “I’m not worthy to be in his presence,” or other comments like that. And I think that their thought process is probably from the perspective that because someone else paid the penalty for their sins they are pushing the envelope a little too far by asking for more. I can understand the desire to be humble but sometimes we take it too far. Sometimes we allow our religious ideas to overshadow our relationship with God. And that perspective tends to skew the reality of who we are. Jesus said in John 15 we are friends with him, not servants. Friends have the ability to ask for anything they need because of the that close relationship. Servants only get what they are given. Friends have access to everything.

This perspective also makes us think that we need to learn to live with what we have been given; whether that deals with health, finances, relationships, or anything else we encounter on a daily basis. There’s this notion that our problems become our cross to bear. And it goes right back to feeling unworthy to ask for relief or help from the only one who can give it. John 3:16 say’s that God so loved the world. It doesn’t say he had mercy on the world, or that he had pity on us. It tells us that Jesus’ sacrifice was because of love. Jesus died for most of the human race before we were ever born. He wouldn’t have done that if we weren’t worth it. He wouldn’t have taken the step to free humanity if we were worthless. We can easily say that his blood made us worthy but it’s bigger than that because he decided we were worthy before he ever spilled a drop of blood. We were created in the image of God and given a unique opportunity to have a relationship with him that no other part of creation can have. Georgian Banov made a profound statement a few years ago. He said “If you’re not free from sin until you die, then Jesus isn’t your Savior, death is!” I think we can modify that quote just a bit to say that if you aren’t worthy of everything Jesus paid for until you die, then Jesus isn’t your Savior, death is! Here’s the deal, Jesus’ death paid for more than our salvation. A free salvation is easily the largest benefit we can receive from that but he also paid for healing, deliverance, freedom, and access to all that heaven has. He wouldn’t have done that if we weren’t worth it.

You are worthy.
You are worthy of his love, his grace, his mercy, his joy, his provision.
Stop saying you’re not worthy and start living from a new perspective.

@genelloyd
www.nomorewounds.org