Narrow Gate

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ” Matthew 7:13-14

The “gate” that leads to eternal life is Jesus (“I am the gate for the sheep… whoever enters through me will be saved” John 10:7,9).

The fact that the gate is narrow does not mean it is hard to become a Christian (just call on His name and you’ll be saved -Romans 10:13). What it does mean is that sometimes living God’s way might not be looked upon as “popular” or “cool” -but it’s the only true and right way.

All of us at some point can be tempted to walk through the wide gate and forget or put aside God’s Word and commandments, but thank God for His mercy! He always helps us find our way back.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) and it is through Him (the gate) that we know God and have eternal life.

Is it sometimes hard for you to live this “narrow gate” life?

I know it is hard for me sometimes. Thank God for His grace!

Have a blessed day, friends!

You Are…

I hope you have enjoyed the previous five posts about your true identity in Christ.

This is my prayer for us after these past few days:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your love, mercy, and grace.

Help me to walk in your truth today and every day.

Thank you that

I am chosen,

I am free,

I am enough,

I am your friend,

and I am victorious!

Help me to never forget that.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Thanks for reading, friends.

Hugs,

Ani

You Are Victorious

You walk in Christ’s victory!

How would your days be different if you started them by telling yourself “my victory is in not in my accomplishments, but in Christ alone”?

The truth is nobody likes losing. Not in competitions or games, and certainly not in life.

However, when you find your identity in what you do (and how well you do it) your self-worth suffers.

You will fail sometimes, but you can get back up again. Don’t allow setbacks and shortcomings to determine how you see yourself. Only God is perfect, but you can be victorious in Him! He gave his life for you on the cross so that you can experience true freedom.  Don’t walk through life, then, as if you were enslaved –by what other people say or think of you or by what they expect from you. In Him, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).

Positive Affirmation today: “I Am Victorious.”

Here are three verses for you to reflect on and pray over today:

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57

For the Lord your God is going with you!

He will fight for you against your enemies,

and he will give you victory!

Deuteronomy 20:4

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

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Hugs,

Ani

You Are a Friend

God desires a relationship with you!

If you really believed that you are in fact a friend of God, would that change the way you act and the way you see yourself?

Having friends and being in healthy relationships is very important –we are hardwired for connections with people. However, your first priority should be to have a relationship with Jesus. He even calls you friend!

God knows what you need, but He wants you to talk to Him about anything that’s on your mind and heart.

He wants you to include Him in your everyday life.

Jesus in not only your Lord, He is your friend. With the strength found in that truth, believe that you can do what He’s calling you to do (in your home, your relationships, your work, etc.) because your best friend Jesus is walking right by your side.

Positive Affirmation today: “I Am a Friend of God.”

Here are three verses for you to reflect on and pray over today:

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:15

“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness

—and he was called a friend of God.”

James 2:23

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God

because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”

Romans 5:11

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Hugs,

Ani

You Are Enough

God is enough and He calls you beloved, so you too are enough!

How would owning the truth of who you are in God’s eyes change the way you think about acceptance and / or rejection from people?

It seems like there’s always a gap: who you are and who you wish you were. Where you are and where you wish you were. If you chase after things (or people) in this world to give you that feeling of “fulfillment,” you will at some point be disappointed. The purpose and meaning in life you’re looking for can only be found in Jesus. In a life with Him, you don’t have to “try too hard” to be liked and loved. You are already loved.

Are you waiting to get your life “in order” before coming to Christ? Don’t! You are already accepted by him. Always. Every day and no matter what you do or what you have done. You will never be rejected because your salvation is not dependent on your actions… it is a gift given to you and me by God’s grace!

What you need now and what you’ll ever need can only be found in Jesus. He supplies all your needs and you have full access to approach Him in prayer. He’s always ready to listen because you’re always important to Him.

Positive Affirmation today: “I Am Enough.”

Here are three verses for you to reflect on and pray over today:

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”

Ephesians 1:4

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.” Psalms 23:1-3

“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you

so that God will be given glory.”

Romans 15:7

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Hugs,

Ani

You Are Free

God set you free.

What internal desire are you trying to fulfill with a temporary external win?

One of the lies we often believe is that we can fulfill an internal longing with something that the world offers. A new job, more social media followers, a certain relationship, more money, and the list goes on.

That is why too often we walk around worried about being “people pleasers.”

But, friend, the truth is that in Christ you are free –by surrendering your life to Him, you are set free from that bondage. God is the only one you should care about pleasing. When you do that, everybody in your life wins anyway! By surrendering to God, you can be a better parent, a better spouse, a better sibling, a better friend, etc.!

Don’t let the weight of self-doubt and comparison bring you down, be yourself –be who God created you to be. You’re free to do so!

Positive Affirmation today: “I Am Free.”

Here are three verses for you to reflect on and pray over today:

“So Christ has truly set us free.

Now make sure that you stay free,

and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

Galatians 5:1

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”

Romans 8:1-2

“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

John 8:36

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Hugs!

You Are Chosen

God called you by name, you are chosen by Him.

What do you believe about yourself? Is that what God’s Word says about you?

Your flaws, your past, your mistakes don’t define who you are.

Maybe you feel you’re an accident, but God is not a God of accidents or of things that just happen by coincidence. He knew you and chose you long before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).

Lies that you tell yourself (or that others make you believe) can enslave you, but the truth sets you free! That truth is that you are loved and chosen. Your life has a purpose and the world is a better place because of you. Shine your light for all to see!

Positive Affirmation today: “I Am Chosen.”

Here are three verses for you to reflect on and pray over today:

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2

You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.”

1 Peter 2:9-10

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:14-16

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Hugs,

Ani

Facing Our Giants

As I face the “giants” in my life,

I’m often overcome by a bigger enemy:

discouragement. Can you relate?

David’s brother didn’t think he could do it,

King Saul didn’t think he could do it,

Goliath himself didn’t think David could defeat him.

But David believed. He knew it wasn’t really him

fighting that battle -it was the Lord’s battle

and he would surely have the victory!

He said “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37)

Then he faced the giant and said “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45) “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord ’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

With a slingshot David defeated Goliath!

With faith and courage David defeated that “giant.”

Friend, if you feel discouraged because of any giant you’re facing,

take heart! God is with you in this battle. It is his battle!

I love the song Confidence by Sanctus Real

because it is the prayer of my heart right now:

Give me a heart like David,

Lord be my defense,

so I can face my giants

with confidence.

Amen.

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Hugs,

Ani

Not a Heart of Stone

No, I don’t have a heart of stone,

but sometimes I don’t know what to say.

I care, it hurts,

and I want to help,

but I don’t know how or

sometimes the only way

to help is to be there -to say something.

But my lips are sealed and

I feel stuck -like the words are within me

but they just can’t come out.

And yes, there are times

when the other person just needs

for us to sit with them in silence.

To hold their hand and

just be there in the quiet.

But, Lord, when you do want me to speak

please give me the words,

the right words,

your words.

Because your word and your hope

is what we all need.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Hugs,

Ani