My Identity: What does God say about me?: Loved

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Bible reads that we are “new creations” if we are followers of Christ. Have you ever wondered about the way God feels about you? We can be very hard on ourselves at times. We often struggle with our identity. This week, we’ll turn to God’s Word to find out how He views us and how we can find our identity in Him.



“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”

1 John 4:9-10, NLT

1_Loved_MONDAYDo you struggle with believing that God loves you just because you are, not because of what you do? This has been a lifelong struggle for me. I grew up thinking God loved me more on the days  I was a good girl, attended church, put a quarter in the offering plate, and didn’t torment my little sister. However, on those days when I was mean to my sister and that Sunday I told my mother that I didn’t want to go to church because it was boring, I envisioned God crossing His arms and shaking His head at me.

He must have been disappointed in me, right? Of course He loved me less on my bad days, right? Wrong! I’m a rule follower, so it’s easier for me to understand the concept of conditional love. Being good equals being loved. That was my understanding for a very long time. Finally, I started comprehending God’s matchless, unconditional love for me. God doesn’t love me because I do. He loves me just because I am.

God’s amazing and unending love for you is already at maximum capacity. He couldn’t possibly love you more (or less) than He does in this very moment. His love doesn’t waver based on your actions or even your attitude toward Him.

We can get stuck in a vicious cycle of attempting to earn God’s love, respect, and forgiveness. The good news is that God doesn’t need us to earn anything. He sent Jesus to earn it for us. Today’s verse in 1 John defines real love as God sending “his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” Even before we loved Him, God made a way for us to be accepted as His loving children.

Learning to receive the love of God is a lifelong journey. Let’s allow God to lavish His affection on us. Another of my favorite verses is Isaiah 62:3 (NIV), which reads: “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

Today, remember that your identity is held by God. You are a royal jewel in His hand.

Seeking Him,


What’s Your ‘Tude?: Gratitude

“It’s a good day for my bad attitude!” If that slogan’s speaking your language right about now, perhaps you should consider joining me this week to discover what the Bible says about attitudes. Could be a ‘tude adjustment is in order!



“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

Luke 7:47, NLT

We’ve looked at the role our attitudes play in allowing us to show God’s love to others. We’ve seen how sinful attitudes are ineffective for reaching others with the love of Christ and harmful to our Christian growth.

Today, let’s consider one of my favorite ‘tudes—gratitude. As I have a natural tendency to take blessings for granted, I appreciate the work of the Holy Spirit in my life to remind me to stop complaining and start remembering the wonderful things God has done in my life.

Friday_Day_Five_Pic#2-Woman_oils_Jesus_FeetRead today’s Dose verse. It refers to the story of a woman who the Bible describes as having been immoral. She crashed a party at a Pharisees’ home in order to get close to Jesus, who was invited to dine with the Pharisees.  “When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them” (Luke 7: 37-38). The Pharisee was indignant that this immoral woman was not only at the party but that she “wasted” expensive oil on washing Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair. Jesus reminded the Pharisee that he’d not even bothered to greet Jesus properly, let alone, anointed His head or feet with everyday olive oil!

He told them a story about gratefulness. (vs.39-46) This woman was so grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness that she went toFriday_Day_Five_Pic#1-grateful what looked like extreme measures to lavish her love and gratitude on him. But, she was so grateful because she’d been forgiven of many sins. She didn’t think she was too good to acknowledge her sinfulness. She valued the forgiveness extended to her. The Pharisees acted like they only had a few, if any, sins to be forgiven. Jesus said this is why they showed little love.

Showing an attitude of gratitude is important in our walk with Christ and relationship with others. It shows others that we appreciate their assistance and recognize we’ve grown with help, not on our own efforts.

God desires for us to have the attitude of Christ Jesus. Through Christ’s obedient sacrifice for our sins and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can. Now that’s something to be grateful about!

Grateful for forgiveness,


[Read the story of the woman with the alabaster box in Luke 7: 36-50.]

I’ve referred to Believers a lot this week. If you’ve not yet come into peace with God and would like our help to find out how you can, please contact any member of our ZMI team. We’d be honored to assist you.

A Place at the Table: There’s Always Room

As much of a social butterfly as I consider myself to be, one social situation sends my heart racing – and not from excitement. I turn into a bundle of nerves when I have to find a seat at a table, especially in a public place. What if there’s not a seat for me? What if I sit in someone else’s place? I’ve come to discover that those fears reflect some fears I didn’t realize I had about the Kingdom of God. I’ve learned though, sitting around tables across the world, that there is always room at His table. Hopefully you’ll find some encouragement in these stories shared around my table.


There’s Always Room

All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn my family each of us has his or her own seat at the table. I know where I’m sitting for every meal, and I know when someone is in the wrong spot. A lot of my close friends are creatures of habit and are the same way in the coffee shops and restaurants we frequent.

The one and only place where I have seen even my most OCD friends give up the need for a consistent seat was in the student center at our university. When we showed up to campus in the mornings for our first classes, we’d stay on campus until our final class let out in the afternoon. In the awkward in-between times after one class and before another, we’d gather around a table in the student center.

Soon more people started pulling up chairs with us. We’d crowd eight people around a four person table most days, some of us eating lunch while others reviewed notes one last time for their next tests. More people showed up, more chairs were added. We slid tables together and expanded our four person table into a seemingly endless table of 15-20 people. No one had a specific seat, and it wasn’t rare to see friends giving up their seats for someone else. No matter what, no matter who showed up, there was always room for one more.

That table with its always open seat calmed the anxieties I used to feel whenever it was time for me to find a place at a table. I learned there was always room. Even more importantly, that table in the student center taught me about the heart of Christ.

The heart of Christ is reflected when we create space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. Offering someone a place at our table instead of pushing them out reflects love and acceptance—the same that Christ offers us.

My friends at that table in the student center had 15 different schedules, 15 different majors, and a whole catalog of different interests. Some stayed at the table longer than others, but no matter the differences, the love of Christ met us there as we met together.

Who are you inviting to your table? Who are you making room for?