Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Unspeakable Joy

This past Saturday i attended a conference held at my church. It was organized by Encouragement Cafe and JOY Fm. This is the second year Unspeakable Joy has been held at my church and I am so glad I was able to attend this year. It truly was refreshment for my thirsty soul. There were women speakers and Sisters performed. I had never heard of them but oh man those girls have some serious talent! 

The verse for this year was "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy"
1 Peter 1:8

There were a few key points that really spoke to me during the conference and I would like to share them:

Carol Davis spoke on how often we trade God's promises for a plastic substitute. I do not know about you but this was like a smack in my face. I have really been focusing and praying to keep hold to God's word and not compromise any of his promises for me. 

She also pointed out that following God is harder and can be more confusing than if we were to just do it ourselves. Let me tell you from first hand experience: doing it on your own may seem easier and make more sense but its not worth it! God has a better plan for your life than we could EVER imagine. This is one truth I cling to with all my heart. I know following God is not always an easy or understandable task but Christ says "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

Carol also touched on how easy it is for us to hold onto the things we are not proud of. She asked the question, Why do we remember what God has already forgotten? Isn't that such a profound question? So many of us think God could never use us or love us because of what we did in our past. However, God sent his only Son to die on the cross for those mistakes in the past so our slates would be washed clean!! That gives me so much comfort y'all because my closet has some serious skeletons. But if i were to focus on them instead of lifting them up to the father I would harbor serious guilt and feelings of being ashamed. Not how I want to live and how great is it we don't have to! "Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good." Psalm 25:7

Our name snow redeemed through Christ our Savior. That fact alone makes me want to shout from the rooftop the amazing grace of our God. Its our job to reach out to others and share that amazing grace.  

Nia Davenport spoke of giving our tithes to Christ and her words sat so heavy on my heart. It has always been so hard for me to give to the church or those in need. At least monetarily. I will volunteer  in a second or give someone a hand but give my hard earned money away? No thank you! Nia really opened my eyes to how obeying God in our finances pleases Him and he always rewards those who are faithful to Him.  She broke it down into 3 steps:

1. Knowing God- having intimate knowledge of just who He is 
-He is good Psalm 34
-He is love 1 John 4
-He is generous Psalm 145
2. Obeying God- willing to follow His directions
- Giving our first portion to Him consistently Malachi 3:10
3. Trusting God- we need to release our protective grip on money, for he always provides
 -Giving generously Luke 6:28

The last few things I took from this seminar was how we are a new creation in Christ. Without Jesus there are just bandaids to cover our wounds, but we need heart surgery. He takes what is old and uses them for His purpose in a new way. We are called to bring what God has given to us. I have really been praying about this last point. Ive been struggling to find what God has called me to do to serve Him. My heart yearns to serve Him Im just not sure where he wants me yet. I know I must be patient,  He will call on me when He knows its right. 

It was an awesome, Christ-filled weekend. I am so thankful I was able to spend it with God loving women just loving God all day long! 

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