Who God Says You Are

Let’s receive God’s love. Knowing who we are in Christ is mine and Marissa’s passion, along with helping others know who they are in Christ. May this love letter from God encourage you this week:

The Cry of a Father’s heart from Genesis to Revelation…

with love

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27

In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28

For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40

For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23

For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7

I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is… Will you be my child? John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications Copyright 1999-2014 www.FathersLoveLetter.com

Originally posted 2015-02-09 08:00:50.

The Power of Encouragement

Encouragement is life-giving words empowering people we journey with to step out into their goals

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)."

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).”

“in courage.”  God first encouraged us… “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thes. 2:16-17).”   God encourages us to walk “in courage” for Jesus. What has someone spoken into your life that touched you deep down, acknowledging your deepest passions and skills, and gave you a vision of how you can walk in that?

I remember I started speaking and teaching in front of small groups as a student at the University of Oklahoma. A good friend, Brad Brickell, spoke encouragement into me by saying that I was gifted at speaking. I was floored because I have a speech impediment because of cerebral palsy, and it was very prominent during that time.

In my daily quiet time, I was reading about when God gave Moses a God-size mission to be His spokesperson. Moses responded in Exodus 4:10: “Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’”

 I thought, “YES, that’s me!” It was so comforting to know that the great Moses who parted the Red Sea and proclaimed God’s words boldly had a speech impediment too!!! God’s response to Moses was words of life to empower him to speak “in courage”: The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.'” -Exodus 4:12

I have spoken around the world from Pepperdine University to universities in other nations such as Haiti and Brazil sharing about God’s power through my weaknesses, encouraging people to live for Jesus courageously in their weaknesses! More than a speaker, I pray to be known as “an encourager”. E-mail my wife to book me at your event (marissa@toddlollar.com).

How has someone encouraged you to live out your purpose, encouraging you in your God-given gifts, talents and passions? Please share below. How are you going to encourage someone in your life this week?

Originally posted 2015-01-19 07:00:00.

Dealing with Sorrow with God

Many of our heroes in the Bible dealt with sorrow. This, in itself, comforts me! David, “a man after God’s own heart” dealt with it in big ways! His journaling of feeling depressed in Psalms 42 encourages me and I hope it does the same for you:

42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water,Header-Donate so my soul pants for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. 5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My [c] soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Here are some practical ways to deal with depression that the Holy Spirit shows me through David (I hope He blesses you with this like He has blessed me!):

  • Verse 1: In the midst of David’s sadness, he never stops thirsting for God, panting for Him. V. 2: In his heaviness, David longs to meet with God.
  • V. 3, 10: Can you relate? Have you ever felt like you’ve cried days and nights? Have you ever had the world question your faith saying, “Where is God in all of your mess?”?
  • V. 4-6: Like David, in our dark nights and meloncholy, we need to REMEMBER and RECALL how our living God has blessed us and delivered us in the past, and truly know this is the same living, powerful God going before us!!! (Please read: Deut. 6:20-25; 8:1-20)
  • V.7: In all the shallowness of this world, know there’s ONE that longs to get deep in your heart!!! God longs to know you and to get deep inside us!!! As we long to be deep in the Lord, HE WILL FULFILL US!!! The deeper we get in Him, the deeper we will want to get. “Deep calls to deep”!
  • V. 8: God is longing to direct his love right to you! In the dark nights, God is singing over you: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zeph. 3:17
  • V. 9: Let’s do not be afraid to ask God real questions about how we are feeling such as: “Why have You forgotten me?!” or “Where are You in this mess?” or any other real question. God is our ROCK! He can take it!!! V.10: Praise God! The answer to our questions of agony is: PUTTING OUR HOPE IN GOD AND PRAISING HIM!!! He is our savior – He has saved us before and He will keep saving us!!! That is what He longs to do!

God is encouraging us as well to start our days panting for God in the morning and ending our days, praising Him and putting our hope in God!!!

  • How do you get through rough times?
  • What proactive ways do you pursue God in these times?
  • Looking back, how do you see God delivering you?  In light of this, how will you approach difficult times?

Originally posted 2014-08-18 07:55:00.

How Do You See Yourself?

I rolled by a laundry mat at 11:00 p.m. and saw a hanging sign that read… “Sorry, we’re close.”  I thought, you don’t have to be sorry, it’s 11:00 at night!  What am I going to do? Come back tomorrow and say to the employee, “Hey, I walked by at 11:00 last night with my dirty laundry… you should’ve been open.”
sorry we're closed
That sign has a phrase I could’ve had around my chest because I have said that phrase most of of my life, “I’m sorry”.  This phrase was so common out of my mouth that I started repeating it for all types of situations I could not control, for things that were not my fault and for things that were, as if that is a reason to speak over my whole identity that… “I am sorry.”  
In my journey with Jesus in my 20s, I began to have older guys befriend me and disciple me.  I use to be sorry for everything, for existing, then someone started living life with me, speaking into me who I am in Christ.  The first two verses of the Navigators Topical Memory System is anchored in knowing who you are in Christ:
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
  • I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
In Christ, you are a new creation!  The old is gone! The new is here! You’ve been crucified with Christ!  You no longer live. BUT, Christ lives in YOU!
The Webster’s Dictionary defines Identity as “a person’s conception and expression of their individuality.”  A secular view of Identity is how you conceive yourself; therefore, express yourself. Here is a biblical definition that is even more poignant:  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”:   (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).  One day in a quiet time, I wrote this in my journal: 
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me I am in Christ.  Galatians 2:20 says to me Christ is in you.  When you put your faith and trust in Christ, He becomes your identity.  Are you trying to “find yourself” or trying to answer the question “who am I?” Look to Jesus.  
 
Stay tuned, as we dig into more who we are in Christ.  Next, week we’ll talk about the first “P” of the series of “The 3 P’s of your identity.”  In Christ, you are pure.
  • Do you ever wonder who you are?
  • What Bible verses remind you who you are?
  • Think of someone you can meet with this week to discuss and memorize a Bible verse about who you are in Christ.

Feel free to continue the conversation and comment below the blog entry.

Originally posted 2014-07-28 01:00:10.