Hello Precious People out there in blogland!
If you are one of my regular visitors (bless you, hugs to you!) then you have come to expect to see a card in every one of my posts. Well, that is about to change, slightly!
I have decided to start sharing my heart with you, as that was my original intention for this blog, and why I came up with the title, "Crissy's Art and Heart". I have shared a lot of my art with you, but not a lot of what is in my heart.
So from now on, sprinkled in amongst my regular postings which do display my hand drawn images and hand made cards, you will also find my personal heartfelt beliefs, musings and teachings based on my relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has taken up residence within me!
It will be your choice whether or not you tune in to these posts. I will not be offended if you don't. This is first and foremost an act of love and worship to my King, whom I adore. So in a way, it is really between me and Him. But at the same time, I am making it public, and inviting you to see what He has done within me. And if you as my reader are encouraged by that, then He has used it to bless you. So that will be a double blessing for me!
God is showing me lately just how close He is to me. I mean, it is incredible, really!
Previously, and really for years, I had bought into so many lies.
I would look at this person or that person, and based on what I saw them doing, I would assume that they must be "so close to the Lord". As an example, I would observe these missionaries who had given up the comforts of the western world to go into the poorest of countries just to help the poor, build orphanages, build schools, feed the hungry, etc. I automatically judged them as knowing God more than I did, and loving Him more than I was.
I was judging myself, based on the works I saw them doing, in direct contrast to the works I was doing (or not doing).
And then to make it worse, I began to become very conscious of my own sins. I mean, I would hear this inner voice hundreds of times a day, reminding me of this old sin, that old mistake, and speaking negatively to me, about me. I agreed with those thoughts, and felt so burdened!
On top of that, I accepted as truth some misguided teachings by some well-meaning Christians which only re-inforced these ungodly beliefs. Unfortunately, some people teach that we have to do this, stop doing that, and cut this off and cast that out or we can't call ourselves Christians. They tend to put the whole emphasis on the works that we do, rather than the completed work of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So basically, I had become very burdened with thoughts of my own failings, my own sins, my own shortcomings. And I felt this tremendous pressure to measure up to a standard that seemed farther and farther away from the realm of possibility.
I was basically living without joy and without any peace all the time.
Fear began to permeate every part of my life. I had periods in my life where taking a normal breath was impossible. This would go on for weeks and even months at a time. I just could not take a deep breath or sigh when I needed to. I had so much trouble falling asleep, because there was so much tension in my chest and so much pressure there. I seriously had forgotten how to breathe, and relaxing was impossible. Needless to say, I was pretty uncomfortable a great deal of the time, and felt quite desperate.
Jesus had great compassion on me.
In my searching to find some answers as to why this was happening, I decided the one thing I needed was Him, and Him alone.
I guess you could say He began to stir up a hunger in me for the Truth. I knew in my head that Jesus was the answer. But I knew also that I was missing something, because I was not experiencing the peace that was supposed to be mine as a believer. Nor the joy, nor the love for that matter. And so I went on a quest to find out how to find Him.
Lo and behold
He showed me where He was..
People! He was in my heart all along!
I had long ago given my heart and life to Him in faith, believing that Jesus had died for me, forgiven me, and had made me His own.
But I had slipped into agreeing with and accepting ungodly lies about who I was to Him and who He is to me and what my calling really was. And these ungodly beliefs were preventing me from seeing the Truth about where He was - which was in my heart.
The Gospel in the simplest definition of the word means, "good news". I had forgotten how good this news really is. But God has broken this evil mindset I had been walking under, and now, I am seeing the truth, almost as if for the very first time:
All my sins are paid for.
Past, present and future.
Sin is out of the picture now, because of the shed blood of Jesus. I no longer have to be afraid of punishment or judgement of my sins. Jesus took them away and cast them away from me as far as the east is from the west (which is a never ending distance).
Because of what Jesus did, I am now a child of God, and will be His for eternity. I never have to fear God rejecting me.
In fact, I am Loved as much as the Father loves His perfect, sinless son Jesus! In John 17:26, Jesus is praying for all his followers, including you and me! And He says in that prayer to Father God, "I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them."
The love with which God loves Jesus is in us! And HE is in us! Jesus Himself is in every believer!! In this prayer, He stating His intent, to make His amazing love known to us, known in our experience, in our heart, in our emotions, in our minds, in all of who we are!
He wants in! In me and in you! And He wants the same love Father God has for Him to be ours! Isn't that incredible!
I choose to be the answer to His prayer, by letting Him in, and by letting His love come in! Yes Lord, you may come in! I open my heart to you afresh right now!
So as the days go by, I am meditating on these truths, thinking on them, pondering on them, letting them seep into my heart. Soaking in them.
I'm using my imagination, to picture Jesus on the inside of me. And when I do, you know what I see? I see Him smiling as He looks into my eyes.
Not because I've become a missionary and suddenly I'm working day and night to house the homeless and feed the poor. No. I am not doing those things right now. But I am seeing Him smile because I finally BELIEVE and TRUST that He loves me! And He is not smiling because I believe, as if to reward me for my believing, no! He is smiling just because He is delighted with me being one of His kids! Only I can SEE it now, because I believe!!!!!
I am believing in my heart that He is not angry with me. That He has not rejected me and will not reject me. That I am His Precious child. A Precious Peep to Him. Very precious. (like you are, dear Reader)
And as I am daily practicing this new belief, I am realizing, wow, my whole outlook is changing. Peace is coming in and replacing fear! I am actually experiencing and feeling God's love for me! Its like a huge Heavenly Hug felt only on the inside of me!
And the best part is, I now know I never have to loose this again. I never have to go back to the old dead works mentality or "crumbs" mentality, if you will.
I am breathing normally now, and taking deep breaths. And it sure feels GOOD!
I have so much more to say on this subject, but I will save it for another day. Just be encouraged today, that if you want to, you also can experience this lasting peace and sense of being loved, just as you are today. Without having to do any work at all. If you have invited Him into your heart because you want Jesus to be your Lord and you believe that He died for you, then all you have to do is look inside your heart to find Him smiling at you too. That is the good news of the Gospel. You are LOVED.
And if you are reading this and you haven't invited Jesus in yet, what are you waiting for? He is and has all the love, peace, and joy you have been longing to experience! He made you for Himself - to have as His very own prized son or daughter.... just invite Him in, and receive all He has for you.
He loves you!
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.