March 31, 2020 • by Candee Rinde
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Think about this. God doesn't want our sacrifices so much as our loyalty and for us to know HIM. He is looking for a relationship with us! The thing He wants are than anything is just to be in relationship with YOU! The ultimate pursuit in life, according to God, is to be in a relationship with your Creator. He just wants you to know Him and love Him--because HE loves YOU. That is amazing.
- Jeremiah 29:13
- Isaiah 65:1
- Isaiah 29:13
March 15, 2020 • by, Candee Rinde
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”
— Acts 16:25 (I would encourage you to read the whole passage)
This is faith. For although they had been beaten and thrown into prison, they were weakened in their flesh and there seemed no way out, the disciples trusted God in their circumstances enough that they kept praying and praised Him and sang songs, knowing that despite what seemed like setbacks to human eyes, God was still at work in and around them. Their actions demonstrated an attitude that said “Never mind the circumstances. God is at work and we are thankful.”
Whether it's this pandemic we're facing, or some other trial in our lives, we can always look for God's hand, since He says He "works all things to the greater good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose" and also that He "knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Romans 8:28 & Jeremiah 29:11)
I pray that whatever you're facing, you'll look for God amid the storm, for it's in the storm that He reveals Himself to you. He assures us that we will "seek Him and we will find Him when we search with all our heart." (Jeremiah 29:13) Will you trust that He's there with you in the storm? He is waiting for you to find Him.
January 27, 2020 • by Candee Rinde
God’s goodness is not a prize to be won or something to earn….it’s who He is. He IS good. Like water is wet. Remember that if you can’t approach God it’s because of YOU. Not because of Him. We are separated from Him because He is good and we are not. Good and evil cannot co-exist. The One will vanquish the other. What happens when the darkness meets the light? The light dispels the darkness. The same thing would happen if we met God in our sin nature. His light would destroy us, for we are full of darkness.
I was looking up at the night sky the other night and asking myself, “What is space?” It dawned on me that “space” is just that; it’s the space that God put between Himself and us so that He would not destroy us in our sin, to protect us from Himself. That’s why it’s “space,”—it’s empty; it’s a vacuum. And it’s infinite. We cannot cross it, for to do so would be to reach God, which would destroy us because we are in sin. But God is light. I mean He IS light. So when He separates Himself from us, that leaves us in total darkness. So He placed lights in the space so we can see, and can navigate the earth by them.
So when Adam and Eve sinned, why did He not just shrug His shoulders and let His light vanquish them in their sin? Because God is good!
Romans 5:8- But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
THAT is who God is! He is so loving and gracious that He died to take the punishment for our sin so that we would not have to be separated from Him forever. To be gracious and merciful, He put a space between Him and us to protect us from being destroyed by Him, then came and joined us as a man and took our punishment so that by faith we could join Him once again in Heaven. When His plan is complete, He’ll destroy this sin-laden earth and make a new one and all His redeemed will live there in peace with Him for eternity. What a good, good GOD!! And what then, if the all-powerful God went to all this trouble on our behalf, could possibly separate us from the great and mighty God who is Love? Romans 8:38-39 We mourn that we’re sinners and rejoice and marvel that we’re saved! Oh how we would rest if we carried this understanding with us everywhere we went, all day long.
1 Chronicles 16:34- Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.
January 7, 2020 • by Candee Rinde
Why “So Long Self?” I got the inspiration from Mercy Me’s song of the same name. It’s the simple reality of a life walking with Jesus. In Matthew 16:24, “Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me’.” And, well, pretty much every lesson we glean from the Bible directs us to put aside ourselves for Christ. Often it tells us to put others before ourselves, but even the promises of God, which are there to encourage us and lift us up and fill us with joy, require us to put aside all of our doubt, shame, contempt, and the temptation to focus on all that’s wrong. Even when Jesus tells us in Jeremiah 31:3, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,” we have to put aside our self-loathing (there’s that ugly “self” again), and resist the temptation to focus on all our failures, weaknesses, and our undeserving nature, and put our focus on Him and His Word, which promises that He loves us with unfailing kindness and everlasting love. We have to determine to put aside our own ideas of how we think things are or ought to be, and trust in His Word instead of our own way. The temptation to focus on ourself is everywhere in life, and the command to put ourself aside is everywhere in the Bible. It’s not until we shift our focus from ourself to the Word of God that self-centeredness begins to wane. It’s an ongoing struggle and presents an ever-present conflict. So as we go through this journey of life, you might just notice that your self often rears its ugly head too. (I’m pretty sure it’s not just me! haha!)