Grace…. His love for us is so far beyond our finite comprehension….. To fathom the mind of God is truly a humbling experience. An impossible journey into Something so far beyond us that it truly boggles the mind.
When I think about His love and grace I find myself constrained by my very human thinking, how could I not?…. the depths of His grace and love is so far beyond any of our comprehension…. I always pray that this extremely crucial truth in written on each and every saint’s heart and that every single one of us focuses on this truth deeply and often.
I cannot stress enough that this is not me preaching!!! This is me desperately wanting every person to understand how free, and how loved they are, even if they don’t fully comprehend it. There are Christians still shackled in the illusion that they are not forgiven. They carry around such guilt and shame….. they doubt that God loves them or their very salvation. THIS CAN NOT STAND! We all must understand the reality of what we have been given and share this truth so that no one is fooled by this lie from hell!
A quick glimpse into me, I have always been the hardest on myself. I have a feeling quite a few of you can relate to with me on this. Even when people would forgive me, I couldn’t accept it. I would continue to beat myself up over mistakes, both intentional or not. I never felt I was being adequately punished, (whatever that means) so as a result I carried a lot of guilt.
In hindsight, this inability to forgive myself was one of the more effective chains that satan used to successfully bind me for so many years. I was unaware of the grace of Christ at the time but the self condemnation took me into such darkness that I had no hint of light……I was consumed by the darkness of self hated.
This is a tactic used by the enemy continuously in the hearts and minds of believers and non believers alike. He wants us to forget the fact that we already have victory. He wants us to doubt our salvation….. he is constantly whispering, because he wants us to doubt our worth based on our mistakes.
“Am I really saved?”,”I keep messing up, I must not be saved because I keep sinning.” How many of us have said or at least thought this at some point as a believer?
And for the non believer, “How could God forgive me!? I can’t even forgive myself!!! I deserve punishment, pain and every bad thing. You don’t understand what I have done!! My past is unforgivable!”….. this quote right here was the truth of my condition until Holy Spirit changed my heart, praise God!!
I am going to be real with you, my heart still aches over a time a yelled at my son because he wanted me for something but I was too busy… This random moment, like a million others, randomly come to mind…. Sometimes I shrug them off and other times they take root. The enemy’s whispers have the ability to drag me/you down to a place of darkness. I begin to feel the familiar pull of self loathing, guilt and hatred that I had carried all of my life.
I kid you not y’all, spiritual warfare is for real and we are always vulnerable while on this earth. We have protection and power yes. But the reality is there is an enemy and he is specifically after you and me. And if we don’t hold close to Holy Spirit and other believers, we will not make it!
We must know what we believe and we must know how to stand up against the devil’s schemes, lies and tricks!
This place of self condemnation robs us of basking in the scandalous grace that God has already given us. I can only speak my story, because it’s the only one I know. And for me, these self condemning whispers are a reality for me to this day….the enemy is always pulling at me. Trying to use my very human thinking against me…. and he will do the same to you.
Sometimes the guilt of our mistakes allows the enemy a foothold. We feel we don’t deserve to be forgiven so we condemn ourselves. The beautiful truth is, we don’t deserve it, but we get it anyways! God’s love and grace is so far beyond our comprehension. Be blessed and bask in the freedom of His amazing grace.
Be blessed and bask in the freedom of His amazing grace.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Isaiah 41:10
“As far as the east is from the west, so far had He removed our transgressions from us Ps. 103:12
Written by: Justin Ludwig
It has been no secret that my kids moving away has been really hard for me. The thought of not getting to see them very often upsets me ways I can’t even begin to put into words. Coupled with the death of my dad a couple months ago I have been feeling like I am suffocating, sinking beneath the surface back down into the darkness.
Today I was pleading with God for strength, wisdom and encouragement. I have been praying this for awhile with no real relief. But this time, the Spirit chose to answer me, with another question.
It was the weirdest thing, I’m in the back smoking and I hear Him, “Why aren’t you grateful?”
I say, “I am Father, You saved me from so much”, and as I begin to continue He stops me….. “I am talking about your dad…. your kids.”
All of a sudden it hit me, this is His mercy… this is His grace. It was inevitable that my father would die, but the Lord kept him around long enough to mend our broken relationship….
With my x wife being in the Navy, I knew it was inevitable that it would take my kids far away, but the Lord kept them here and helped me establish a loving and amazing relationship with my children. A solid foundation that we never had before….
What if these things happened 4 years ago? My pops and I so hateful to each other, my kids remembering a dad that loved them but was so broken he had to go away.
Suddenly the Spirit washes over me and I start to cry and I thank Him for giving me the chance, the time, and the ability to make things right, His way.
Suddenly the Spirit says, “Now this is rejoicing in your suffering”
I kid you not guys, it was almost audible and it made me laugh as I sniff and took a breath.
It doesn’t make the hurt go away, because it hurts. But the truth the Spirit showed me was how lucky… how blessed I truly am to get the time I had.
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
“Not only so, but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”
Writing by: Justin Ludwig
hurts to breathe
to move is worse
like a victim of a curse
no way out
fuck it all I want to die
Problem is my kids would cry
then ask mommy why did daddy die
He was sick, she would sigh
That’s the reason I can’t die
Written by: Justin Ludwig between 1999-2012.
I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14
Delayed Sight Highlighting
Until it’s too late
we the few won’t see
why the things happen to me
All my gems were sold for free
Again And again
in a frantic search
for those to blame
Suddenly all I feel is shame
confused at first
Now I, we
the one to blame
My God….. its me
Written by: Justin Ludwig sometime between 1999-2012
I escaped my life of darkness, self destruction & addiction. Click here to read my story. http://wp.me/P7v0VX-14
Without faith how can we ever hope to be blessed to the extent that God desires for us? Take David for example; God let David know what amazing plans that He had for his life. Then all of a sudden, his life is turned upside down. His path took a drastic turn, much different from what was promised to him. Instead of glory and kingship, he was living in caves and running for his life from the very people he was supposed to rule. How easy it would have been for David to turn his back on God….
What if he had done what so many Christians do now a days and lose hope in the character of God because things are playing out differently than they had envisioned?
As the story plays out we see that all of the chaos, all of the pain and drama was imperative to build David’s character, to prepare him to lead God’s people, God’s way. Simply put, if David had not gone through all of that insanity, he would not have been capable of handling what God wanted to give him. His blessing could have turned on him and become a curse, because he was not ready.
He is working on You, right now…. Right now in your pain, in your boredom, your frustrations and fears, He is working on fulfilling His promises. Don’t lose hope my brothers and sisters, I have seen it and experienced it first hand. He will come through for you. My prayer is that every one of us will never waiver from this truth, and then, and only then can we truly be the followers that He desires instead of just another fan.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” =2 Thess 3:5
Photo from: http://www.parkerfordchurch.com/blog/2012/05/02/has-god-been-at-work/
I have so much love and devotion to God. The Holy Spirit has blessed me with the eyes to see His hand In my past, present and future. … but that doesn’t always stop my demons and pain from reminding me that the past is not forgotten.
Some days… I wake up overwhelmed by my demons. Demons whispering in my ear that I am kidding myself. When feelings of cutting myself become such a “perfect solution.” When I desire death with all my heart and am overwhelmed by hate…
Some may ask, where the hell is Jesus in all of this?
When I have the overwhelming urge to drag a blade across my body…. He is there…. When I am convinced I am kidding myself about God, myself and my hope…. He is there…. and when I crave the silence of the grave because all I feel is sadness, pain and anger, He is there.
There is so much pain in this life. We all have our burdens to bear; death, loss, fear, uncertainty, pain, hate, selfishness, addiction, or even the overwhelming desire to destroy ourselves.
I share this raw and honest portrayal of my burdens for one reason……
Stop believing the lie that you are too far gone… Stop pitying yourself because “there is no way anyone understands why it is so hard for me!”
When you feel so horrible that you feel you cannot take another breath, and you feel that Jesus may be able to help that other person, but not mu stuff… not me, because my situation is different. Stop!!!!
These lies not only put God in a box, limiting what You will let Him do for you, with you and most importantly through You.
This “Sunday School” mentality of who people think God is or who He should be must stop…. it as no place in the kingdom of God.
Stop disqualified yourself as the exception and be empowered that God Almighty has your back and won’t leave you hanging.
His ways are so different than what we think they should be.
God has saved so many, so much worse…. so far gone, so hopeless. Stop thinking or believing that you are different. You are not different, we are all the same…… let Him set You free….. daily.
God comes through, always…. God never lies, and God will see You through to the very end.
You are not different, we are the same, and He will help you, me and every single person who truly wants His help.
He said “Be still and know that I am God” -Ps 46:10
“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” -Job 23:10
“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Phil 4:6-7
“He will not let your foot slip-He who watches over you will not slumber -Psalm” 121:3
“For my thoughts are not Your thoughts, neither are Your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah:55:8-9
Photo from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/299137600220402669/