The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Tag: Forgiveness

Experience Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me and Enjoy Your Life”)

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE REST IN GOD?
In order to rest in God, we have to have total faith in Him. When we choose to believe God above everything and everyone else, we experience rest. Philippians 4:7 says we experience a peace that is beyond human comprehension. It’s something that can’t be explained. For example, you may be going through something really difficult, yet you appear to be very calm. As a result, those around you, who don’t know about resting in God, think something is seriously wrong with you! Due to your current situation, they expect you to be upset, angry or depressed. Because you’re not, they assume you’re in denial about your situation. But, you’re not in denial! You’ve just chosen to put all your faith in God!

Personally speaking, I know resting in God is not always easy. Just because I have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean I will automatically handle every situation, good or bad, as God would expect. I have to work at it every day! Why? I’m still in this flesh. I’m not perfect. However, I do serve a perfect God, and I have to make a decision to pursue the perfect God every day!

God has provided us with His Word to show us what to do, how to behave, how to think and what to avoid. God doesn’t just TELL us to rest in Him, but He shows us how. Throughout the Bible are examples we can emulate. In my article “Resting in God,” I shared the story of Paul and Silas when they were in jail (Acts 16). While they were in jail, they worshipped God! They could have gotten mad or been depressed. Perhaps they were experiencing some of those emotions. However, instead of yielding to those negative emotions, they pursued God’s peace. They chose to still believe God. Consequently, they were set free from jail because of their faith. James 2:26 (King James Version) says:

“…..faith without works is dead…..”

Paul and Silas didn’t just claim to have faith in God, but they proved it by praying instead of complaining and by singing praises to God instead of worrying or crying. They did this all while locked in chains behind a prison wall.

Another individual from the Bible, who demonstrated how to rest in God, was King David. Anyone who is familiar with David’s story knows he made some serious mistakes during his life. Nevertheless, even when he fell down, he found rest in God through his repentance. In Psalms 51:10-12 (KJV), David prayed to God:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

King David prayed this particular prayer after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him about a sinful act he had tried to cover up
(II Samuel 12). Although God could have easily struck David down for his wickedness, He chose not to. Instead, He extended His love, mercy, and grace to David. Recognizing that God was giving him another chance, David repented—–he SINCERELY repented.

WHO IS CONDEMNING YOU?
Like David, you may have done something you’re not proud of or once lived a life you wish you could forget. Even though you have asked God to forgive you, you still feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty? Is God condemning you? NO!!! The eighth chapter of Romans lets us know that those of us who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have been set free!

So, if you still feel guilty, even after you have sincerely repented, perhaps it’s because those around you like to remind you of your past or because you haven’t forgiven yourself.

Either way, Satan is behind it! But, he’s a LIAR! God doesn’t want you holding onto that guilt. He wants you to let it go and rest in Him. Trust in His power of forgiveness and salvation.

While you may have to suffer some consequences for your past wrongdoing, it still doesn’t mean God hasn’t forgiven you and changed you on the inside. For instance, if you have sex with someone to whom you’re not married, you may wind up with an unwanted pregnancy or with an STD. If that’s the case, it’s not a sign that God hasn’t forgiven you. It’s a sign that you’re reaping what you sowed. However, as you move forward in God and strive to live holy, He can bless that baby in a special way or completely heal your body.

Recently, a young lady contacted me requesting prayer. She admitted to doing something she knew was wrong and was feeling bad about it. I assured her I would pray for her. I then encouraged her to not beat herself up and reminded her of God’s love and forgiveness. I also explained to her that her feeling of guilt was a good sign. Why? It proves she has a conscience and that she is still God’s daughter. Finally, I encouraged her to avoid going down that road again.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTENT?
I’ve shared before that you can find rest in God through worship, prayer, and obedience. You can also find rest in God by simply enjoying your life. Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. You may not be where you want to be or have certain things you would like right now. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to be down in the dumps. Trust me, someone somewhere wishes he or she had YOUR life. Paul says in Philippians 4:11:

“…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

To be content with where you currently are in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means your desires shouldn’t cause you anxiety and stress. Your desires shouldn’t be more important than you being grateful and giving God the glory. God doesn’t want to hear our murmuring and complaining. Rather, He wants to hear our praise and see our smiling faces. He wants us to extend a helping hand to someone in need. When we focus on the Lord and do what pleases Him, Psalms 37:4 says He is guaranteed to give us what we desire.

Resting in God takes away the pressure Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He gives us His peace, and then things can be done His way….the RIGHT way. So, make it a point every day to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has so graciously given you!

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JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!!

JESUS IS ALIVE
Jesus is alive! Contrary to what some people believe, Jesus lives! Yes, He was beaten! He was nailed to the cross! He was pierced in His side! He wore a crown of thorns on His head! He died on that cross! His body was placed in a tomb!

BUT, three days later, He was resurrected! The tomb was found empty!

And He now lives forevermore!!!

I am saved today because of Jesus! Therefore, I never get tired of hearing the story of His crucifixion and resurrection. In fact, we, as believers, should remember and meditate on the story more than just once a year on Easter Sunday, because it serves as a reminder of His love for us.

HE SUFFERED FOR US

Have you ever considered what Jesus truly went through for us? Have you thought about the pain He endured so that we could be set free from our sins? Can you fathom the agony He suffered so that we won’t have to experience hell and eternal damnation? Can you?

What Jesus endured, no human being would have been able to go through that! As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus was tortured before He even got to the cross. He was spit on! He was punched in His face repeatedly! Moreover, He was scourged or flogged! I use those particular words in place of words, like beaten or whipped, because the brutality they inflicted upon Jesus surpasses anything we could ever comprehend.

What is scourging/flogging? Just before Jesus was taken to the cross, they removed His clothes and scourged him. In scourging, a soldier used a whip which was made of leather straps that were embedded with metal and glass fragments with small metal balls sewn into the end of each strap. Each time this particular whip hit Jesus on His bare back, it tore His skin off, exposing muscle, maybe even His very bones.

We can only imagine the amount of blood He lost, as a result! And this happened BEFORE He was even crucified. Bible scholars say that the average person would have, more than likely, been dead from just the scourging.

So, again, NO ONE could have done for mankind what Jesus did! In fact, how many people would have been willing to die for ALL humanity, to take on the sins of the WORLD? I know from history that individuals have sacrificed their lives for their family, for their race, for their religion, for their country, but not for ALL mankind.

THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
Jesus is the ONLY one who has made the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed His life for those who knew Him and had spent time with Him, like His disciples, and for those who didn’t yet know Him, like you and me. He sacrificed His life on that cross for those who loved Him and for those who hated Him. Can you imagine giving up your life for people you KNOW hate your guts? Think about it! I can’t imagine doing that! That’s why I’m not Jesus.

Jesus paid the price because He LOVES us! In fact, Jesus demonstrated nothing but love during the whole ordeal. He showed love when one of His own disciples Judas Iscariot betrayed him right into the hands of His enemies for thirty pieces of silver.

Have you ever been betrayed by someone close to you? How did you respond? In Jesus’ case, He didn’t fight back and had no intentions of fighting back. Luke 22:49-51 (NLT) say:

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!”
50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.
51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And He touched the man’s ear and healed him.

That’s how Jesus reacted, and He willingly went with them.

As Jesus was being interrogated and ridiculed, He remained calm. He didn’t retaliate. He didn’t even use His words to curse them. When Isaiah prophesied about Jesus’ crucifixion, he said in Isaiah 53:7 (NLT):

“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth.”

During the ridicule, the beatings, and the crucifixion, Jesus never complained. He never spewed words of hate.

FATHER FORGIVE THEM

Furthermore, as Jesus was hanging on the cross, according to Luke 23:34 (KJV), He said to God the Father:

“Father forgive them; for they know not what they do…”

Can you believe it? In the midst of all the evil being done to Him, He asked God to forgive them! Jesus was pleading with God on behalf of His enemies, on behalf of the ones who had zero respect for Him, on behalf of the ones who despised Him. He was pleading with God to neither be angry with them, nor hold their actions against them. Talk about LOVE!

There’s a song that the worship leaders at our church sing sometimes. It says:

“Jesus went to Calvary
to save a wretch,
like you and me;
that’s love, that’s love.

They hung Him high,
they stretched Him wide.
He hung His head, for me He died;
that’s love, that’s love.

That’s not how the story ends,
three days later He rose again;
that’s love, that’s love.”

That final verse of the song is the most important piece of this whole story. Jesus rose again! Jesus lives! He’s alive! Because Jesus rose again, those of us who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, now have new lives. I Corinthians 15:20-22 (NLT) say:

“20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man (Adam), now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man (Jesus).
22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.”

For those of us who have repented of our sins and believed and confessed that Jesus is Lord, we are new. Therefore, when we leave this earth, we will gain everlasting life.

Now, for those who are not yet saved, you can receive Jesus right now! All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

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I Love YOU!


I love you! Yes….YOU! I don’t have to know you personally to love you, for God has placed a love inside my heart for His children. And you are His child! Whether you acknowledge Him or not, whether you serve Him or not, you are His. After all, He created you in His image and likeness. Genesis 1:26-27 says, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”

With everything that is going on in today’s world, I must remind myself daily to LOVE. “And you must love the Lord your God with all with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these,” (Mark 12:30-31). I admit that it’s not always easy loving those who may abuse and hate you, but God commands it. The old adage says, “Love conquers all!” Not hate! Why would the originator of this quote make such a bold statement that LOVE conquers? It’s very simple. GOD is LOVE! I John 4:7-8 declares, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Personally speaking, I can’t see where possessing hatred ever made a person’s life better. In fact, holding a grudge against another individual only made me miserable. The mere mention of his or her name caused me to cringe. Now, as a child of God, that should not be. I am to be an example of love, not hate. John 13:34-35 states, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”

How can I witness to people about Jesus, while picking and choosing whom I’m going to love? I must love everyone. I’m not at all suggesting that to love everyone means to endure abuse! For instance, if a woman is being physically or even verbally abused by her husband, then, by all means, she should remove herself from that toxic situation. Again, the scripture says that we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves, which indicates that we MUST love ourselves also. So a woman, who chooses to love herself by creating distance from her abusive husband, can still love him from afar by praying for him and hoping the best for his life.

This current Presidential election and the increase of unarmed black boys and men being fatally shot by law enforcement have made it apparent that racism is still very much alive in this country. Unfortunately, hate begets hate! So if I’m not careful, as a black woman who loves and honors the black men in her life, I will find myself hating those who hate me simply because of skin color. Nevertheless, my relationship with God has taught me to love, in spite of the negativity thrown my way. Let me give an example. Several years ago I was emotionally hurt by a friend, and it left me very angry. Although I understood that as a Christian I wasn’t supposed to harbor any negative feelings, I yet found myself resenting this individual. I hated the way the negative emotions affected me and knew I needed to be set free through forgiveness. I’ll be the first to admit that forgiveness didn’t come overnight because the resentment didn’t build up in one day. So, I had to continually ask God to cleanse my heart and renew my mind. In addition, every night before going to sleep I read I Corinthians 13 aloud to myself, focusing on verses 4-7, and made it personal by replacing the word “love” with “I”.

“[I am] patient. [I am] kind. [I do] not envy. [I do] not boast. [I am] not proud. [I do] not dishonor others. [I am] not self-seeking. [I am] not easily angered. [I keep] no record of wrongs. [I do] not delight in evil, but [I rejoice] with the truth. [I] always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.”

Speaking and hearing God’s Word uprooted the unforgiveness that had taken residence in my heart. However, I would not have been set free if I hadn’t accepted God’s truth over my own.

Each day I leave my home and encounter various people throughout the day, I am well aware that some may despise me because I don’t look like they do. Nevertheless, I choose not to entertain such thoughts! It doesn’t matter if they hate me or not because I am STILL commanded to love. In fact, I am now built to love through God’s love. So regardless of who you are, I declare today that I LOVE YOU!
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