Mark 2: Moving On From A Broken Past

The Tax Collectors

In Mark chapter 2, Jesus calls out to Levi as Levi was sitting in a tax booth. Jesus asks Levi to follow him, and so he does. Jesus and Levi then proceed to sit in Levi’s house in the midst of tax collectors and sinners. When the scribes of the Pharisees see Jesus, they are appalled and confused, and ask Jesus how he could sit with sinners. Jesus replies, “Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous but sinners” (Mark 2:17)

Never Too Dirty

It seems that many people believe that they have to attain some sort of righteousness or holiness in order to sit at the foot of God, in order to come to church, in order to call unto God for help. But this is so far from the truth.

You are never too dirty or broken for Christ. You CANNOT clean up and become righteous without the help of God. Titus 2:12 states that the Lord is “ training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age” the only one that can train you to be holy and righteous like you intend to be is GOD. God is holiness, God is righteousness, and if you are straying away from Him than you are straying away from those characteristics as well. Your flesh is incapable of pleasing God “ Those who in the  realm of flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8). The Lord understands that we cannot serve Him with our own strength but God expects us to live righteously. God is righteous and Holy, so to live righteously we have to tap into God’s power in us, the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t matter how broken your past or present feels, God wants to be close to you.  The Lord has the power to turn the most sinful person to a servant of Christ. You don’t need to wash anew for God to welcome you; the Lord already did this when He shed blood on the cross. The only thing you need to do today is to REPENT and you will be forgiven “ as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12)

You Have A Seat

“ I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). The Lord has come to take you out of darkness and bring you into light. You cannot move into light if you don’t grab unto the cloth of the light itself. You are loved, you are cherished and you have ownership in the Kingdom of God. Christ has already created a seat for you, now it is your turn to lay claim to that seat. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too dirty to call unto Jesus, don’t let anyone tell you that your past discredits you or makes you undeserving of God’s love.

Salvation

So now that you understand that you are not too dirty, too low, to broken to enjoy the love of Christ, what do you do? Well there is only one way and that is salvation. Repent from your past “ repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Declare Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and watch Him transform your life. There is so much more in store than you could have ever imagined. A Christian life isn’t an easy ride, but it is a very beautiful journey.

What This Means For The Church

I think the church has gotten a bad rep over the years. As the body of Christ, we should uphold a very high standard, but this does not mean that we must push away those that cannot meet the standard off the bat. It is one thing to have a standard and to aid and lead people towards living at that standard. It is another thing to push away people that are willing to meet the standard but are not yet there.

The body of Christ is a sacred place and we should keep it that way. I don’t believe in preaching lukewarm messages or in lowering Christ’s standards just to please the public. Standards need to be maintained, but with love.

Jesus was open to sinners like Tax collectors, than we should be too. There is NO ONE without flaw, so let us share our stories. Our testimony is a revelation of God’s power. Let us open our doors to EVERYONE so that we may teach them the ways of the Lord.

Prayer

Father God, I pray that whoever is reading this post and feels unworthy of your love will now know that your hands are wide open, ready for them. Lord I pray that they will allow you to encompass their atmosphere so that they may walk the walk and talk the talk. Heavenly father I declare success, love and passion over their lives. I ask that any chains and baggage that they carry that reminds them that they are unworthy will be broken in Jesus name. You are the only way Lord, and today I pray that everyone will know this.

Lord protect the body of Christ and allow the church to be a home that your children can go to. If anyone reading this has been hurt by a church, in Jesus name you will heal them and place them into a church home that will value them. You came for the unclean and not those that are perfect oh Lord, remind us this when we hide from you. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Stay blessed,

The 22 Most Important Lessons Learned

Wow, another year in my book of life. God has been so faithful in leading me to this place. On this day, I celebrate my birthday and some of the important lessons learned in life thus far. This was a beautiful chapter, and like last year, I would like to share lessons I have learned. Cheers to 22, and cheers to 22 new lessons!

 

Most Important Lessons Learned

1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, not only do I know this but I believe it. No amount of praise can help you gain confidence, only God can.

2. It is important to care and love on your family and friends. Often times we are so busy taking care of others outside of our circle, serving and what not that we forget to show that same love to those in our home. I can’t treat my family and friends as less because I believe they won’t go anywhere. Life is short, cherish your time with those you love.Birthday balloons, important lessons learned

3. Television is overrated and boring. Reading is much more relaxing and educational. I have gained so much wisdom from reading and I am so thankful for the ministry of each and every author that has planted seeds in my life.

                  4. Smile beautiful, it looks good on you. I smile on most of my pictures, partly because I don’t know what else to do ( lol) but mostly because I have joy. Joy and peace from the Lord cannot be understood, simply felt. It is such a beautiful gift to smile in the hills and valleys.

5. My faith walk is not dependent on rules and bylaws, more so an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Because I seek to build a strong and intimate relationship with Christ, I stick close to His teachings. Religion and rules do not guide me, the Holy Spirit and the truths written in the word do. It is vital for any Christian journey to walk with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

 6. Beauty starts within. You shine, not because of the makeup or clothes you wear, but as a residual effect of the light that is within you.

7. I will no longer make excuses for my quirks. I am me with all the quirks, either you like it or you don’t. If you do, great but if you don’t, that’s also great. Everyone does not have to befriend me and that is more than ok, it just means that our destinies do not cross.Birthday, roses, important lessons learned

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Yes, my hair is big, curly, thick and doesn’t always act the way it should, but I love it. I use to be so annoyed of my hair, but I am starting to see how much of a blessing it is.

9. Perspective is key. Instead of moaning over your issues, look at them through God’s. How is this situation working for my good, and how is it molding me in my path of purpose and destiny. No experience is a wasted experience!

10. One of the most important lesson I learned is to not be afraid to love hard and to say it even if you’re scared. I used to be very fearful of how people would perceive me if I ” cared too much” or ” gave too much”, I thought they would say that I was extra, but that hasn’t been the case. Those that respond negatively are those that need love the most. We live in a broken world, love is the last thing we should be hiding. Love and serve others. 22nd birthday, important lessons learned

 11. It is okay to be selfish. It is okay to be selfish. You need to protect yourself and guard your heart. This means that you will have to say no to some things; you may have to cut relationships. Walk in wisdom and don’t leave situations in a sour state but guard your heart.

 12. Laugh your problems away. Laughter is great medicine!

13. God is faithful, worthy, deserving and powerful. It is so unfortunate that we do not fully  understand the power and love of God. He is mighty, and He has not let me down yet, and He never will. I am so glad that the Lord turned my story around, that He called me when I did not feel deserving of His world. To God be all the glory!

14. Change is good. I used to hate change, detest it, the strongest word you can possibly imagine. Routine is still near and dear to my heart but I am not scared to try new things because I have found that it is in that new thing that God matures me. I am forced to depend on God when I am not in my comfort zone.Ivy walls, important lessons learned

 

 

 

15. Parents and grandparents have a lot of wisdom. Listen to the elders in your life and gain some wisdom. We youngins don’t know it all, as much as we want to believe we do.

16. Ministry is one of the most frustrating and rewarding experiences that I have ever had. I have cried, sulked, ran out of patience, and yet I continue to do it with love. God is good, and it is an absolute honor to serve in His house and lead His children back to Him. Thank you God for choosing me.

17. Be still. Be at peace. The Lord did not make me and set me free so that I can work like a slave. I am allowed to take breaks, to rest and to be still in His presence. I can let the Lord do the heavy lifting.

 18.  My desires aren’t fairy tales, they can be a reality with Christ. I am a dreamer and a planner, and sometimes my dreams and expectations may seem big to some, but God is infinite, and because of that, my desires and dreams do not have to fit the extent of reality. I serve a supernatural God!birthday, important lessons learned

19. Spread your wings and fly! Trust God and He will lead you. I came into 21 sure that I was going one route with my career, and I came out of 22 with a totally new route. God had to reveal this new root to me even though it was always deep down inside of me. It was hard to make the switch, but as I held on to God’s hand, He led me and never let me fall.

20. Life is really beautiful! not because of the things that you have or do, but because you can walk in freedom.birthday joy, important lessons learned

21.Contentment is very important in a world that always wants to make your feel that you aren’t enough, not doing enough, and don’t have enough. Be content with your present and be expectant of your future.

22. Did I mention that God is good! REALLY REALLY good.

 

 

 

 And there you have it folks, 22 lessons on my 22nd birthday. I am so excited and expectant for this next chapter in my book. I would like to thank my family, friends, pastors, and church family for their continual investment in my life. Cheers to 22!

 

Stay blessed,

Rachel’s Unveiling: Overcoming Shame

“Rachel, you are a liar. You have nothing of value to say. You are sexually immoral. All you bring is shame. You can never be loved. Everything you touch breaks. You are broken.”

Veiled

This is me. Or rather, this is who I thought God called me to be. Not knowing that these were words from the devil to keep me in bondage; to keep me masked and from walking in my purpose. You may be thinking, “Sis, did you really battle with these thoughts? You are always laughing and smiling. This can’t be!”

Well, for the longest time this was my truth. I believed that the things that happened to me in my past were God’s way of punishing me. I suppressed these thoughts for so long that when I did become saved, I found myself backsliding and sinning.

I was that fig tree, full of leaves but bearing no fruit; the appearance of a Christian on fire for God, but I wasn’t maturing in my walk. I couldn’t see beyond my circumstances. there was lust and deeply rooted unforgiveness in my heart that I did not want to see. So I continued to fold into a cocoon of loneliness only to be consoled by the lies of this world.

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 (ESV)

 Overcoming Shame

I realized that to truly experience freedom, I had to rip off the bandages and expose my wounds. I was reluctant to fully let God in, but I soon realized that God reveals things if you open up to Him.

It seemed as though my wounds became deeper and deeper with no escape in sight. And it may seem like that for you too, however, He DOES provide an escape if you lay your issues at His feet and leave them there. 

I found myself stumbling upon scriptures and sermons that casted away every single feeling of doubt and hatred I had stored up in my heart. When I thought God was done, He continued to place impactful people in my life who held me accountable, kept me grounded, and reassured the importance of having God’s hand over every aspect of my life. In my quiet moments, God taught me that my past did not define me; it made me a relatable witness for those searching for His truth.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV)

Unveiled

The scales from my heart have been removed. I can now bask in the glory of Christ without having to be ashamed or question who I am. I AM a reflection of God. God is continually showing me who I am by washing me with His words; Words of affirmation, love, and destiny.

“Rachel, you are beautiful. You are whole. You are not alone and will never be alone. Your voice is valuable. Your words and actions bring healing to others. You are the testament of a conqueror, so invest in the trees around you.”

So I urge you to cast every single care you have on Him. Do not listen to a single lie that this crooked world tries to throw at you. Do not allow anyone to speak words over your life that contradict the words that Christ unceasingly breathes over your heart. Truly invite God in and He will unveil your hidden beauty.

 


Won’t He do it! The Lord is so amazing and wonderful. His grace transforms our lives. Thank you, Rachel for reminding us of God’s unwavering love. Thank you for reminding us that He is near to the brokenhearted and that He provides healing when we open up to Him. You are a gem, and I pray that you continue to blossom into your destiny.

Stay blessed,

Connect with Rachel on Instagram.

If you liked Rachel’s unveiling, read others and let me know about your own unveiling below.

 

Unveiled: Revealing Hidden Beauty

Veiled

I use to be that girl, the girl in the corner afraid to speak up, to let her voice be heard, to be seen. I use to be the girl that didn’t know just how beautiful she was, I was that shy girl…you know that girl that you easily pass by. I was afraid of revealing my hidden beauty.

Before I was here, I was there, a hidden place. All the gems and beautiful quirks that God so intricately planted in me was hidden deep inside of me. I didn’t let anybody in; I didn’t let anybody see me. You see, I (and you too) have an enemy, and the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. By destroying who I was meant to be, I became less of an obstacle for the enemy to do what he does best.

I was shy, broken, insecure, lost, with an identity that I didn’t understand. I was veiled, veiled by the evil one.

You might be familiar with the old me, you might have been her or is still her. But something has to change, you cannot stay veiled. The Lord placed so many gems inside of you; He placed characteristics, dreams, and wonders in you that can move nations. You can’t let Satan mask what the Lord has perfectly created, you must reveal your hidden beauty. You are wonderful, beautiful and have a voice that needs to be heard, you need to be seen just as much as everyone else.

How To Unveil

It is only through Jesus Christ that you may become the person you were meant to be. My unveiling was and continues to be a journey. Each and every day, the Lord shows me more and more of who I was meant to be. He reveals the hidden parts of me that I thought was dead, the parts that the devil wanted to steal.

For the longest time, I believed the lie that I wasn’t good enough and not deserving of God’s amazing wonders. I accepted a life of survival because I didn’t believe that I was “special” enough to experience heaven on earth. The devil led me to believe that my mistakes would stop me from experiencing more of God. I thought that endless joy and peace were for the few. I thought that my quirks made me weird, that it was a mistake on God’s part… an oopsie.

Little did I know that no sin could separate me from God’s love. That my story was written before time, that God knew me before I was in my mother’s womb and that the Lord is perfect and doesn’t make mistakes on His creations. Little did I know that I was God’s favorite (and you are too). I didn’t know that it pleases the Lord to bless his children, to bless me.

When you don’t know the truth, it is easy to believe lies. To become unveiled, you must meditate on the Word of God; you have to know what God thinks of YOU. When you open up your heart to Jesus, you will realize that His view of you is infinitely better than your view of you.

The Lord’s words

My father, the Lord of lords, the King of kings tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. That my presence will bring nations towards Him, that my house shall be blessed because of me. In my brokenness, I am beautiful.  I am His favorite, the apple of His eye. God tells me that my quirks make me different, and that is ok, I was never meant to be like everyone else. He tells me that I shouldn’t hide the part of me that wants to love and care deeply; it is those characteristics that the people around me need the most.

My father tells me that He made no mistakes when He formed me. No longer should I hide, the world needs what He has placed in me; I am the salt of the earth. I shouldn’t fear rejection but reject fear. He tells me it is time to be unveiled.

What is the Lord telling you?

It is time for your unveiling.

 

Stay blessed,

Relevant Verses: Ephesians 4:24, Ephesians 2:10, Mathew 5:13-14, Philippians 2:15, John 15:16, Romans 8:17, Romans 8:37, Psalm 139:14