Do We Really Have Free Will?

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Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. … By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:19–20, 30 NIV). He said, “I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it” (John 12:49 NIV).

Jesus said that He is just like the Father. He didn’t do or say whatever He wanted but only what the Father willed Him to do and say.

Jesus never made one person sick. He never refused to heal one single person.

If all this is true—which it is—then Jesus would have misrepresented God if God is the One who gives sickness, disease, and problems. If God just allowed it, well then, Jesus misrepresented God because He never refused to heal a single person.

I can, however, show you a couple of instances where people refused to accept healing from Him. 

Look at Mark 6:1–6. When Jesus visited His hometown, “He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5–6 NKJV). Notice that it’s “could,” not “would.” It’s that He couldn’t do it, not that He didn’t want to do it. He couldn’t do miracles there because of their unbelief.

Not His unbelief. 
Their unbelief.  

You see, there are a couple of instances where Jesus could not heal people—not because of His lack of power but because of their lack of faith. It says the same thing in the book of Acts and other places. But you cannot find a single person on whom Jesus ever put sickness. He never said, “No, you didn’t learn your lesson, so suffer a bit longer with this disease.” He even healed unbelievers. Check out the story of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11–19). That is how loving our God is!

If you really believe that Jesus is a perfect representation, the exact image, of the Father (Hebrews 1:3), then you have to take Jesus as the example and say, “It’s not God’s will for sickness to remain in our bodies.”

The only time God ever struck people with sickness was in punishment and judgment, and ALL of our judgment has been fully placed upon Jesus in the new covenant. It is no longer our portion! 

Who He Is

While I was at my lowest point, I decided I would believe God and who He says He is regardless of my circumstances. He is Healer. It’s who He is, not what He does. He sent Jesus to die, not so you could have a home in heaven but so you could intimately know God and He could live in you. You are His hands on this earth. That’s why Jesus said, “And these signs will accompany those who believe…” (Mark 16:17 NIV). God works through His people.
Daily we have to decide, in light of our circumstances, do we truly believe God? Far too many times, we redefine Him in our own minds based on the prayers He supposedly didn’t answer or the bad things that happen to us. We think God is trying to teach us a lesson. Your life doesn’t define God, but it can glorify Him.
I daily break agreement with my own understanding. I don’t want to know; I desire to trust Him in all my ways. Sure, I fail. Our natural minds strongly search for the meaning of life and the whys behind what happens. We wonder, “Why did God do this?”
I wonder how many of us will be utterly floored by how much more gracious and wonderful He is when we see Him face to face. No mind can or should try to explain. We do know that He works out all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). This doesn’t mean everything that happens to you is good or everything that hits your family is from God.
We have a real enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. It’s time to stop agreeing with the thief. Resist this. Submit to God, who came not to condemn you or shame you but to make you new and fill you with overcoming, life-changing power!
God is a good, good Father!

Our Skewed Views of God

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Beautiful song, super long-lived.

As I catch myself singing it this morning, I’m thinking the amazing grace isn’t that we were saved from hell. It isn’t that we were lost and now we’re found and have a new destination. Amazing grace is that God loved us so much He provided a sacrifice for us while we were awful. That is amazing grace. Amazing grace is that He loved us so much He provided a way for us to have a relationship with Him. It wasn’t so He could torture us and we could be His disciplined children whom He beats into submission. He didn’t want an army. He wanted children. He wanted a family.
It is breaking my heart this morning to think about our skewed view of God: that He is the big boogeyman in the sky with His club ready to strike us when we mess up.
God is not like man. No matter what you think, He is not like that. He doesn’t even remember our sins. They’re completely washed away. When He looks at us, He sees righteousness.
It’s like looking at your children. You love them even when they mess up and have their hands in the cookie jar when you told them not to get a cookie. It’s crazy how much He lavishes His love on you and me. It’s crazy how much He adores us and wants to spend time with us. I think God is more like a grandparent. He is delighted to have you. He is not in the child-rearing years. He pours out His love on us.
It’s such a shame that we think He doesn’t actually love us enough to tell us the things to come or to keep us from being hurt.
This morning, I repent of my own skewed view of God. I hope you’ll join me and ask the Father to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better:
I want to know You, God, more deeply and intimately. Will You open the eyes of my heart where hardness has covered up the ability to know You? Whatever callouses are on my heart, would You remove them so I can know You, God? Will You reveal Yourself to me today? In Jesus name.

Increase My Faith

How many times have you prayed and begged for God to move but you see nothing?

I have. I begged God to heal my mom. I begged for more faith. I begged for anything! 

Father, please please please please please increase my faith.
(Like the more times I say “please, the more likely He is to do it.)

I will do anything if You will just give it to me. Lets go. Send me. Okay, I am waiting … 

Im not the only one who has begged for more faith. 

The disciples did this, too: The apostles<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-25657H" data-link="(H)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-family: “georgia” , “times new roman” , serif; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”>
 said to the Lord, Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5 NIV).

Look at Jesus response. 
“He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-25658J" data-link="(J)” style=”box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;”> you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6 NIV).

He was saying that you do not need more faith. The tiniest amount of faith is more than enough for you to speak to a MOUNTAIN and it will be uprooted and thrown into the sea! You have all the faith you need.
We dont need more faith. We need our faith to be pure and not tainted or diluted by the hurts, bitterness, and unforgiveness we can have in our hearts. Many times when you fail to see the thing you are hoping for come to pass, a little bit of doubt creeps in and dilutes your ability to believe God.

You dont need more faith! 
Clean up your broken heart so you can trust fully 
in Jesus and the word of God! 
Jesus said, “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21 NIV). (Also see Mark 9:29.) 
Many people pray and fast to get God to move, but prayer and fasting are meant to get your heart to move into alignment with Gods heart and help you to weed out the old hurt, unbelief, and bitterness. 
Lets study this and talk about it. Its a big subject.

If we can truly understand this, it changes everything! 

Tool HighlightCheck out these healing scriptures at

God Is Not Surprised by You

In my worship time, I was inspired and wrote part of this. The other half is from Misty EdwardsI Knew What I Was Getting Into song.

Oh, how our Father loves us! We are so loved and adored by Him. We can withstand ANY storm with His great love sheltering us! 

Read this and listen to Gods love for you!

Daughter, I love you.
You may feel lonely, but you are never alone.
I never leave you or forsake you.
You may feel like you are unworthy, but I value you.
I made you, and you are my masterpiece.
You don’t think you are lovable, but I love you. I love you. I want you.
You are holy and blameless in my sight.
Maybe no one else sees you this way, and you certainly don’t see yourself this way, but I do.
I have covered you with the blood of my Son, and you are holy and blameless in my sight.
I speak only good words over you.
Receive them.
Let them sink into those wounds where you have been hurt and let them heal.
It’s the healing balm.
My words are medicine to your heart. Let them do their work.
See yourself as I see you.
chose you still
I knew what I was getting into and I still like you
I know your frame
And I remember that you are but dust
But I know where this is going
When I called you
I don’t regret it
I am not shocked or put off by your struggle
I am not disgusted or ashamed of you
I knew what I was getting into when I chose you
And I said,
“She’s my vessel, she’s my chosen one
You see, it’s not about you
It’s all about me
I chose you and that’s enough
And I’m gonna bring you forth in love
I’m gonna bring you to the end in strength
Cause I see strength in you
When all that you can see inside of you is your own weakness
Oh, but I see the end from the beginning
And I know where this is going
And you’ve barely just begun
But you see,
So few will ever fight the good fight
At least you’re fighting
I see righteousness in you
I’ve clothed you with the blood of my Son
And it’s enough
It’s enough, it’s enough
Why are you trying to get in a room you’re already in?
I know you better than you know yourself
And you say “yes” and so few do
Dare to believe
I know you’re disappointed with the way your life is coming down
And bitterness is trying to bind you like a plague
You’re not a project to make me look good
There’s more than only mercy working here
I don’t just feel sorry for you
You’re the object of my affection
You’re the center of my world
You are the apple of my eye
I want you
want you
love you
like you
delight in you

Father, You are good. Flood the eyes of our hearts so we can know You more deeply and intimately. We pray that You would root and establish us deep in love. May we have the power, together, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is Your love.

Move us.
Change us.
Remind us.

Help us to keep our eyes fixed on You. We love You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, 
the author and perfecter of our faith, 
who for the joy set before him 
endured the cross, scorning its shame, 
and sat down at the right hand 
of the throne of God.

(Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

Why Seeking the Approval of People Never Satisfies

I remember having this deep pit inside of me, this feeling that I needed to be loved. I felt so desperate that I searched everywhere. It was as if until someone loved me, I couldn’t value myself as worthy—worthy of living, worthy of respecting myself. So I disrespected myself by chasing boys and men in an attempt to feel loved. Every time, I fell flat. I was always left heartbroken and empty.

What I didn’t know at the time was the truth found in Ecclesiastes:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)

He “set eternity in the human heart”?
My desire to be loved was a God-shaped hole He had put inside of me from the very beginning. It was a need to be fully known, fully loved, valued, and worthy.

It’s interesting that when I eventually gave my life to Christ and realized that I was massively loved by the Father, the greatest gift-giver in the world, the void was gone.
My eternal God had filled my heart.

Yet slowly, over time, in my marriage and with my kids, I began to have new fears and new desires.
I want my husband to love and know me fully. My kids are going to leave me. They prefer their friends. They prefer their dad. I just want them to love and know me fully. I want my mother to accept me and think I’m a great mom. I want her to love and know me fully.

Somewhere in the middle of my journey through life, even as a Christian, I began to kind of scoot God over a little bit inside of the God-shaped hole that He had already filled. I again tried to allow others to fill that empty spot. As I began to give pieces of my heart away, it made me dissatisfied and discontented. I wanted more.

When our God-shaped void is not fully filled by the Lord Jesus Christ, God Almighty, it’s impossible to love others fully because you’ll always need something from them. You’re always searching and seeking to be filled, rather than reaching out and loving others because you’re already filled.

Seeking God is not just about finding Him and becoming a Christian. It’s about a daily renewal of understanding how much He loves you. To seek God is to enjoy His presence and remember what He has already given you.

Remember, we don’t ever lose the love that God has so generously given us, but we can lose our understanding of it. Deception from the evil one can creep in and begin to steal from you.
What God thinks of you and how He loves you never change. But sometimes your perception can change, and you begin to think you need more from people. That is a lie. The enemy has been up to the same trick from the beginning in an effort to move us away from the beauty of knowing, obeying, and trusting God. The moment we stop seeking Him and instead pursue others to satisfy us and bring us joy, love, and peace is when we will truly lack what we are chasing.

Seek to know and experience God’s love daily. Then, when you aren’t invited to the party, when you’re overlooked or undervalued, when disappointments come, you will still be content. You will brush off the sting quickly because you know you’re fully loved and known by the God of the universe, and that is more than enough.


Without a fresh understanding of God’s tremendous love for us, not only do we inwardly ache, but also we are unable to pour out His love to others.
Let’s grow in our understanding of God’s profound love for us! Begin the five-day YouVersion Bible reading plan, Why Does God Love Me?
Start today! Allow God to renew and sharpen your mind with His truth about His love for you!

Jesus is my rock…

I’m here tonight to give you a short little message.
Who knows who David is in the bible? Everyone? Okay. I really want you guys to read this if you can this week. It starts at 1 Samuel 16.
Before I start, let me tell you a story in high school. I went to a public school and I loved to go there for one reason. Want to guess? It’s not the food! Okay, there’s this one guy, he’s seriously so handsome. I was like, “Ooh, there’s Joe! He’s so cute!” He never knew. I never talked to him. Never ever, ever, ever, ever. But I could not wait to see him at school. He dated all the pretty girls. He liked all the pretty girls and I just thought of myself as ugly, homely, big haired. It was a long time ago. Big hair was popular back then. Like this, kind of. I was a cheerleader with big hair.
Have you ever looked at someone else and thought, “They are so much prettier than me,” or, “They are better at sports than me.” Have you ever felt like that? Do you compare yourself? Every day of the day. When you compare yourself, do you put yourself up like, “Yeah, I’m better than them,” or are you always feeling down?
Don’t you sometimes feel like crap when you compare yourself to someone else? Don’t you? Really? It’s easy to do, right? “They talk better.” “They have more friends. These two spent the night together and I wasn’t invited—right? You can feel pretty stinky most of the time if you want to.
Well, David had a whole slew of brothers. Samuel went to David’s dad’s house and God told him someone in his house is gonna be a king. So he’s like, “Go to Jesse’s house. Someone in the house of Jesse is going to be king.” God was choosing them and picking them out. So Samuel shows up and he scans.
Samuel just started scanning the room with Jesse and his sons. “Who is it, Lord? Who is gonna be king?” Guess what? God did not pick the dad. It wasn’t the dad, Jesse. He did not pick the oldest in the room or the wisest in the room either.
When Samuel saw Eliab, he said, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed one standing here.” The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his height for I have rejected him.” The first thing Samuel did was look and think, “Yes, he’s the one! He looks like a king!” Have you ever looked at somebody like that before? They look rich, right? They look like a hunter, right? We judge people from the first time we see them. 
The first thing Samuel did was he started judging all the people by their appearance. God said, “People look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” So think about that for a minute. When you look at somebody and you think they’re better than you, maybe that’s just the stuff that they can do or what they look like on the outside. But it’s not what their heart is.
Then Jesse called another one of his sons and he passed in front of Samuel. He sees him and he passes by and Lord’s like, “Nope. I haven’t chosen that one either”. They’re old boys. It’s all the oldest sons. And then another one passes by and the Lord’s like, “Nope. I didn’t choose that one either.”
Jesse had seven sons that had already passed by Samuel and the Lord was like, “I have chosen none of these. None of them.” He’s like, “Man, Jesse are these all the sons that you have? I don’t see anybody here that is fit to be king.” I love this, because Jesse says, “There’s still the youngest.”
Do you have a younger sibling? Or are you the youngest? So how do we typically think about the youngest kid? Spoiled. Annoying. They are bossy, sassy, and loud. They may be underestimated. You look down on the youngest one, don’t you? I bet David’s brothers looked down on him too.
But Jesse’s like, “Well there’s still the youngest.” Guess what he’s doing. What did he do? He was a shepherd so he was in the fields. He was tending sheep. So they sent for him and Samuel said, “Send for him and we will not sit down until he arrives.” Think about this—all the oldest sons are already present so they work near the house. They probably have an honorable job. But David is out far away and they have to go send for him and bring him in. “He was glowing with health. He had a fine appearance and handsome features.” God said, “Rise and anoint this one.”
Can you imagine if your little sibling was anointed by God and said like, “Hey, you know what, you’re not gonna be king, Jake, but Abby is. Sorry.” But you know what, sometimes, we don’t see the heart because we don’t take the time to get to know the heart, right?
Here’s what I do know: I do know that every single one in this room is called to reign as a king in this life. Including your little brother. That’s what Romans says. Romans 10:17, if you look it up in the Amplified Bible, if anyone’s taking notes, it says that we’re to reign as kings in this life.
So it’s as if God walks in this room and he scans it. Every single one that knows him, he is choosing. He has picked you and he has called you to be a king in this life. You may be the youngest in your family or you might be the oldest, but he has chosen you. He needs you to step up into the role that he has called you.
The world will let you just be a kid and have fun but God wants you to be a king. When you’re a king, it comes with a responsibility and accountability. It comes with a calling and a cry of your heart. You guys are here worshiping God but David, the reason he was appointed king was because he knew God so well.
David spent time away from the crowd learning who God was and talking to him and speaking to him and learning. It said he glowed. Did you know people, when they spend time with God, you can actually see them radiate? If you look with spiritual eyes, if you say, “God, give me eyes to see people how you see them and tell me what’s really going on with them,” you can see them glow. How seriously are you taking that charge to seek God when you’re all alone? If you can’t hear his voice, you can read the bible and hear from him every day. You can read your bible, you can pray, you can just sit and listen.
But I wanna give you guys a challenge this week. In Kathleen’s challenge you may be the first fifteen, maybe you are the first thirty. You read Revelations. You have lead worship. But the challenge is can you have a heart like David? The bible says that David had a heart like God’s. Don’t you want a heart like that? I just wanted you guys to know that. 

Do you receive that God has chosen you to reign as a king in this life? When you start to compare yourself, just think like, “Hey, wait a second. I’m to reign as a king in this life.” When you know you’re supposed to reign as a king, you don’t give up. You don’t give up. You don’t quit. You don’t stop. You keep going back to God and say, “I’m sorry, will you help me?” 
Would you guys like to make a pledge to just take that up and pray? Leaders, raise your hands if you’re interested. You don’t have to raise your hand.  So we’re just gonna say a little prayer-ish pledge.
Father, thank you for making me a king like David. I take it seriously. I wanna know your heart more. Will you help me mine deep the word of God? Will you open my eyes? Will you open my heart? Will you make me real? Help me to stop judging myself and others.
Father we love you and we praise you for this day. God, we thank you for your word and we just thank you God that we get to reign as kings in this life. I pray that each one of these kids will make an impact in their family, that when their family is down or discouraged or frustrated that they would bring joy and lift up because they bring your truth and your word and they glow in you. In Jesus’s name, amen.

One Thing Keeping You Down

I’ve got LeCrae in my CD player. He is a rap artist. He knows who he is. Everyone wants to be like him. But he is an original—an original creation. He’s not tame. He’s got his name. He knows it from the beginning of time. His fingerprints are like a birthmark that no one can imitate. He’s the real thing.
It made me think about how fun it is to sit here and try to rap. I mean, I’m forty something years old and I’m sitting here trying to make up a rap song like LeCrae. I just had this thought pop in my head—maybe I was supposed to be a famous rap artist too. I’ve been rapping since the 80s – for fun. And…I’m really horrible at it—but horrible in comparison to whose standards?
Some of us have had such a lack of confidence for so many years that we never really reach our true potential; because the fear of man or the fear of failure. 

The one word that can hold you back from all that God has designed for you—fear. Fear of what? Fear of losing? It’s interesting. When you have nothing, you’re afraid of losing nothing, instead of willing to risk it all because you realize you have nothing.

I just wonder how has my lack of confidence over the years has held me down rather than catapulted me to where was originally designed to be. I wonder that—for you, is there something else you’re supposed to be doing but—maybe the fear of paying your bills or being able to provide for your family has kept you from moving forward. It’s got you on lock down. I just wonder.
I believe today, God wants to release us from that FEAR. He’s calling you and I to step out – Bigger than we ever have. How do you need to trust God and throw down every chain that’s been keeping you down?!
Father, I just ask you to release me from anything that is holding me back from fully engaging with the confidence that I can come before your throne with anything; that you’re for me—and when you’re for me, no one can be against me. Set us free, God. Set me free Lord. in Jesus name.

Our Skewed Views about GOD

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Beautiful song, super long lived.

As I catch myself singing it this morning, I’m thinking the amazing grace isn’t that we were saved from hell. It isn’t that we’re lost and now we’re found and we have a new destination. Amazing grace is that God loved us so much that he provided a sacrifice for us while we were awful. That is amazing grace. Amazing grace is he loved us so much that he provided a way that we could have a relationship with him. Not so that he could torture us and we could be his disciplined children that he beats into submission. He didn’t want an army. He wanted children. He wanted a family. It’s what he wanted.
It is just breaking my heart this morning to think about our skewed view of God—that he’s the big boogeyman in the sky with his club ready to club you when you mess up.
God is not like man. No matter what you think, he’s not like that. He doesn’t even remember our sins. They’re completely washed away. When he looks at us, he sees righteous.
It’s like looking at your child. Even when they mess up and their hand’s in the cookie jar when you told them not to get a cookie—he looks over there and he sees like, a perfectly behaved child. It’s crazy how much he lavishes his love on you and me. It’s crazy how much he’s in love with us, how much he adores us and wants to spend time with us. I think God is more like a grandparent. You know, he’s delighted to have you. He’s not in the child rearing years. He is loving, frolicking, relishing his love, lavishing—it’s an outpouring of love that he has for you and I.
It’s such a shame that we think that he doesn’t actually love us enough to tell us the things to come or to keep us from being hurt.
This morning, I just repent of my own skewed view of God. I just hope you’ll join me this morning and ask the Father to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know him better.
I want to know you, God, more deeply and more intimately. Will you just open the eyes of my heart where hardness has covered up the ability to know you? Whatever callouses on my heart would you just remove it so I could know you, God? Will you just reveal yourself to me today? In Jesus name.