Our Ultimate Source by Danielle Chambers
There’s something deep down in the heart of humans that knows we need a savior, and from the beginning of time the human race has tried to fill that need for saving in every way imaginable.
For the Christian, we know why we so strongly feel the need for a savior. It is because of our own sin nature and the fact that there is absolutely nothing we can do, regardless of how “good” we can be, to become right with a holy God.
Enter Jesus. God, knowing we could never get to Him because of our sin, sent His Son to live a perfect life on this earth, die the death intended for us, and rise again defeating sin and death all ultimately to make a way for us to live eternally in fellowship with Him. The cost was Jesus, but He made the sacrifice for us. Jesus made the impossible, possible. There was a solution to our death, a way out. Our job? To simply believe and accept His forgiveness (Romans 10:9).
What a beautiful story God has laid before us.
He is the Ultimate Rescuer, the Salvation Giver before we even knew we needed it, and the Unlimited Source of grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.
Knowing God has forgiven us of everything we have ever done frees us up to forgive others when they wrong or hurt us. Yet, if we are honest, even though we have accepted forgiveness for our own sins, we have such a hard time letting go of being wronged by others, don’t we?
We are quick to accept restitution and forgiveness from our Savior, knowing there is grace unending and mercy forever. But when someone wrongs us...they better watch out.
Jesus spoke to this attitude - of the forgiven not forgiving - while he walked here on earth. Take a second to read Matthew 18:21-35.
In verses 32-33 The Message version sums the story up with this: “I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?”
The Lord says in Hebrews 8:12, “I will remember their sins no more.” But what if He took a lesson from us grudge-holders and instead said, “I will forgive, but I will never forget.”
What would salvation look like for us then?
Take a minute and imagine if Jesus forgave the way you forgive others who have wronged you. If Jesus forgave like you forgave, would you have His perfect salvation, or would He be holding a grudge against you for something that happened a long time ago? Or would he secretly be angry about something small that happened last week?
Jesus said in Luke 7:47 (NIV), “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little." As Christians, we know that we have not just been forgiven a little, but a lot. In fact, salvation means that we have been forgiven entirely. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that “love keeps no record of wrongs”. This means for us, we are commanded to love as much as we have been forgiven...entirely.
I believe your ability to forgive directly coincides with your own sense of self-righteousness.
You are not greater than the sinner next to you, no matter what they have done. Romans 3:23 (NIV) says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (emphasis mine). So if you are unforgiving towards someone, it’s comes across as if you believe that their sin is greater than yours and not worthy of forgiveness.
Have you ever been in an airplane and looked down upon a mountain range or an ocean shore? You can look down and see the peaks of the mountains or the breaking waves but you cannot tell which mountain is taller or which wave is bigger. Why? Because you are so far above them. They all look the same when you are looking down at them.
The same is true about our sins in the eyes of God. While some sins may result in more serious repercussions, when it comes to separating us from God, all sins are the same. One is no bigger than the other when it comes to our relationship with God. Every sin breaks fellowship between us and our Father. No one is exempt.
So today, let’s forgive like Jesus has forgiven us and let’s love entirely. We all deserve to be eternally separated with God but instead, we were offered forgiveness and fellowship with Him forever. What a gift. So when someone wrongs us, let’s not look at it as a reason to hold a grudge, but an opportunity to forgive just as God has forgiven us. What a picture of the Gospel!
Have you accepted forgiveness from your Savior? There is nothing too great that He cannot forgive. I pray you accept His mercy and grace today and live in that freedom.
1. How did you get involved with 818 Ministries/what was your motivator?
Ever since we met, Rebecca and I made our periodic lunch dates a priority. So when I moved to the Caribbean, Rebecca and I kept our "lunch dates" going through frequent emails. It ended up being a blessing in disguise because Rebecca and I both began to hash out our dreams, ideas and the real things on our hearts through writing out those emails to each other. After Rebecca's Mom was diagnosed and began treatment, the Lord began to place this incredible ministry idea on Rebecca's heart and through her sharing her heart in those emails, I got to watch it all unfold firsthand. Just a few years before I had walked closely with my aunt as she battled, and overcame, breast cancer and I saw the same need that Rebecca saw and wanted to fill. I knew I wanted to help however I could for my aunt, and for Rebecca and her Mom, Robin. What I didn't realize was the incredible blessing I would receive to my own heart through this ministry. I am thankful to be a part of 818 and I cannot wait to be blown away by what Jesus will do all the way through 2017 and beyond!
2. Life verse/Favorite Scriptures and how God has used them:
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I had to really think through my answer for this question because I don't necessarily have a "life verse" (you will learn in the following questions that I have a hard time narrowing things down!). However, this passage has been one that I have come back to for years and years. So often I feel inadequate or unqualified for the calling God has placed on my life. This passage gives so much hope to me because I know that when I am not enough, He is more than enough and in all my weakness His grace will always be sufficient for me.
3. 5 of your favorite things!
I have so many favorite things!
my husband & my puppies
crushed ice (ALL the ice)
traveling (I am always up to go anywhere, anytime)
my guitar named Stella
Sweet Tennessee & a little island in the Caribbean called Cayman Brac
(that was totally more than 5 but that was the best I could do!)
4. Top 3 favorite books and why:
Other than the Bible (which I most highly recommend ;) )
Jesus the One and Only by Beth Moore
Wherever the River Runs by Kelly Minter
Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
GO READ ALL THESE IMMEDIATELY.
5. Favorite hobby and how I got started:
Playing music, singing and songwriting. I sung my first solo at the age of 2 and was hooked. Since then I have had the opportunity to do some very cool things and travel some amazing places because of music. I even met my husband (a fellow musician and worship leader) because of music. It is my career now but it will still always be my most favorite past-time.
Seeking Wisdom by Danielle Chambers
Proverbs 12:15, James 1:5
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.” Proverbs 12:15
If there is anything I wish I had more of, it would be wisdom. The pursuit of wisdom is the primary reason I have a mentor. Wisdom gives us the perspective to see beyond our own feelings and circumstances. Wisdom gives us stability in the midst of chaotic situations. Wisdom is the ability to take advantage of all situations as a learning experience. Wisdom produces growth, where foolishness leads to regression. When a person is wise, no circumstance is wasted. Wisdom seeks after Christ, knowing He is the foundation of all knowledge. I need more wisdom. In fact, I could never have enough wisdom. I pray I will grow in wisdom for the rest of my life.
The Bible is clear that the Word of God is the source of all wisdom. Simply put, if you want to be wise, live by His Word. Read Scripture, memorize it, dwell on it, quote it, make His Word the standard of truth, and God will transform you mind and lead you to wisdom only He can impart.
While these things are vitally important to our walk in godly wisdom, the Bible also makes another important point if we are pursuing wisdom: wise people seek godly counsel (Proverbs 11:14, 19:20, 24:26). Unfortunately, some things are easier said than done when it comes to godly counsel. We can most definitely get counsel - everyone has an opinion and everyone wants to share their thoughts on your life (y’all know what I am talking about!) - however, godly counsel is different…and much harder to come by.
One of the most incredible ways I have seen godly wisdom and counsel manifested in my life is through a spiritual mentor. Throughout my life I have been blessed to have godly mentors that I can trust and hash out problems with. These women in my life have been straight-up, real life God-sends. I believe if you are willing to open yourself up and admit the need for discipleship, the Lord will provide the godly counsel you need. If you are searching for a godly mentor, here are some things to look and pray for as the Lord leads you on the path of godly wisdom.
First things first: pray the Lord will put a godly mentor or counselor in your path that you can deeply trust.
While some people can walk up to a lady they admire in the church, but don’t know very well, and say, “Hi. Will you be my mentor?” that is not always how it goes. While I have seen that method work before, more commonly I believe the Lord places people in relationships that are destined to being life-giving mentor relationships that are straight from the goodness of the Lord to grow us in our faith. Ask the Lord to show you who could be your mentor or ask Him to bring someone into your life that you can fully trust. Allow the Lord to grow the relationship organically and ask him to “knit your souls together” in a way that only He can do (James 1:5).
Don’t be surprised if your mentor is around your Mom’s age or older - in fact seek that out! Often the Lord graciously allows us to learn from someone who has gone before us which means we don’t always have to make mistakes in order to learn what is right. This can save us a lot of heartbreak and hassle. I believe many people think that if you are not in the same life stage as someone you asking advice from, then they “just won’t get you” or “they don’t know what it is like this day in age”. Y’all, that’s wrong. Scripture says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9) Listen to your elders and cherish their godly counsel. They know and they have lived through more than we have. Older mentors are a gift, look for these ladies and cling to them as the gift from God that they are.
Stand firm on the Word of the Lord.
A good mentor is completely useless if they are not grounded in the Word of God. All advice, even from earth’s most brilliant minds, will prove to be void if they don’t all lead you back to Jesus Christ.
Live life together.
It is invaluable to be able to have someone to call who gives advice that you know you can trust. However, there is another level of love and trust that comes from just knowing your mentor. Get to know her and her people, and in turn let her learn you and your life. Not all answers in life are black and white, and it really helps your mentor if she has context into your own life dynamics and your backstory.
Be willing to say the hard things, and hear the hard things back.
Gaining wisdom through a godly mentor is great but, unless you are willing to share the not-so-pretty things of your life, you will never get anywhere. Go there with your mentor, tell her your struggles. A good godly mentor will wrap you with grace, just like God does, when you expose your brokenness. And from there you guys can work through it together.
With that being said, be willing to hear the not-so-fun answers back. Sometimes we need to hear the hard things, and we especially need to hear it if we are about to make a huge decision. It may hurt now, but it will most definitely be worth it in the end. Do yourself a favor: take the advice - you know you’ll regret it if you don’t!
Remember your mentor is human, too.
Always, always come back to Jesus. Your mentor will let you down at some point, but remember that relationships have give and take. As much as your mentor will pour into you, take every opportunity you can to encourage her back. The Lord created us to be people who need each other. Some of the greatest examples of Christ I have seen in my life is through people who simply exposed their real life to me, in all the bad and good, and who showed me love no matter who I was or what I had done.
Now get out there, find some fellow warriors in the faith to lock arms with and fight hand in hand against the enemy with godly wisdom and for a godly life that no power of hell can stand against.