I asked God, “How much do you love me?”

I asked God, “How much do you love me?” He said, “This much…” Then He spread His arms… and died for me.

Sister,

These were the words written on a little plaque my mom bought from (I think) the dollar store when I was about eight years old. It was the classic 80’s style home decore. It was a peace oak stained wood, painted with a maroon colored sky, white fluffy clouds, a golden cross off in the distance and Jesus in a white and pale pink rob with his back facing out and His arms stretched out wide in the clouds as if he was falling forward. I can still remember the emotion that came over me when I read those words. Some how my little eight year old heart understood completely what God, the God of all creation, did for me on the cross. Some how, in that moment, I knew the depth of God’s love for me was real and true. I begged my mom to let me put it in my room. I recall a sort of confused look on her face but of course she said yes. I shared a room with my little sister at the time and I slept on the top bunk. I hung that plaque on the wall right next to where I laid my head to sleep. From then on I can remember a deep understanding that God died for me. I didn’t have much of a concept, though of sin, redemption, restoration, and never took the time to see what the bible said about anything. This, naturally, left me with no real direction on how to have an actual relationship with God. When I got to college and started asking questions about who Jesus actually was and how He came into the world (through a virgin birth, yeah right?, was my thought then) I was exposed to a ton of ideas about the specifics.

I have noticed lately, a lot of Christians these days don’t see the importance of understanding who Jesus actually is. They are of the understanding that we can’t really know exactly who He was and if we try, we are only fooling ourselves. There is also an idea that somehow we are or can be equal to Jesus. That we have exactly the same qualities as He and all we have to do is believe it.

If there is one thing I have learned about Christianity through the years, it is this one thing. Jesus is God. It doesn’t work any other way. There is no other way to see Jesus through scripture. It is very clear who he is and who he said He was.

I believe one of the reasons this is hard for people to comprehend is because we so easily forget the Holiness of God. If we could only comprehend the weight of His HOLINESS. I mean, the word says we can’t even be in His presence or we would literally die because of His holiness.

And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (Exodus 20:19)

Moses’ sandal’s couldn’t even touch the ground he was walking on next to the burning bush. Because it was Holy ground(Exodus 3:5-6)

“The bible says that God is Holy, Holy, Holy. (Isaiah 6)

Moses’ face glowed (it GLOWED!) after being in the presence of God. (Exodus 34:29-30)

From the very beginning, before God created the earth He knew He would have to save us.

Proverbs 3:19-20 - By wisdom the Lord founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens. By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth, and the clouds poured down rain.

The plan was always redemption and God knew the only one who could redeem us was HIMSELF and the only way He could get to us (without us literally falling over dead upon His arrival) was through His Holy Spirit and Mary of Bethlehem giving birth to Him, who we call Jesus, the son. It always was and always will be THE FATHER THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

When Moses asked , who do I say sent me? God said, Tell them I AM sent you. (Exodus 3:14)

When Jesus was asked, who are you? He said, I AM. (John 1:1-2, John 8:58)

It is clear who Jesus said he was.

Sister, Our God died for us! If that is not true, we do not have Freedom.

Hallelujah!! IT IS TRUE! Happy Freedom Friday !!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Freedom to lose

I have wondered what I might share with you on this Freedom Friday, all week. My heart is in a stirring season. I have found myself taking huge deep breaths all week to calm the racing in my heart. My brain is on overload and well, its overwhelmed.

My family loves baseball. My big brother played baseball all the way through college. Much of my growing up was spent at the baseball field. So, when I saw this meme this morning it brought a calm over me.

“You lose, you smile and you come back the next day. You win, you smile and you come back the next day.” ~ Ken Griffey Jr. (one of the best baseball players of all time)

Sister,

Some days are a win and some days are a lose. This is true in our walk with Jesus also. Some days are a win and most days are a lose BUT everyday we come back to the lover of our soul. Everyday we come back to Jesus Christ who won the battle between death and Life.

The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!"  Lamentations 3:22-23

It’s ok to lose the battle today. Jesus already won the war.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Freedom from having all the answers-because the relationship grows in the seeking

Sister,

Can I just assure you that you don’t have to have the perfect answer when your kids ask a tough question about God. My son asked a doozy last night and I was left his room feeling like I was an idiot and a failure to him and God.

But as I prayed, I felt the Holy Spirit say, You don’t have to have all the answers. My heart was instantly filled with hope in realizing we have a God who answers questions and on top of that my kid is asking questions, he is seeking.

When it comes to a relationship with God, the bond comes when He personally answers our questions through our seeking Him. It is the time it takes for us to get that answer in which our relationship grows deeper with Him.

What else can we ask for our children than for

them to be in process of answering questions with God.

~Dearsister.blog

When our kids are asking Who, What, Where is God, we can bet God is ready and willing to answer.

This does not mean we don’t also seek to help our kids answer those questions but in their seeking we can have peace that the time it will take for our kids to understand the answer will be time well directed, by our Father in heaven, in order to draw our kids closer to Himself.

Praise God!! When we don’t have it, God does!

Be encouraged today. Happy Freedom Friday!!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Freedom in Obedience

Dear Sister,

True freedom comes from Obedience to God. There is a notion these days that because of the cross we are no longer obligated to actually obey anything. We are free to do whatever we want to. The theme among popular woman’s books is, “We’ve been conditioned to (fill in the blank), indoctrinated, let your “wild run free” , ….. Deceit looks and feels so pretty doesn’t it (maybe even liberating)?

Freewill and Freedom are two different things. Quite often we choose freewill over actual freedom and it always gets messy for us, eventually.

The thing is, we think we know what’s good for us. We’re stubborn and hard hearted.

Choose obedience, sister. Choose the yoke of Jesus. There is where we find true Freedom!

If you aren’t sure how, start with the word of God and email me anytime at:

jesiebrowning@dearsister.blog

Happy Freedom Friday!!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

“Peace be with you”

Sister,

Do you know what the definition of peace is?! You know I always look for the freedom we have in Christ as I read God’s word and PEACE has been a result of my growing in Christ though the past several years. I have found myself “realizing” the peace that I have. I haven’t always felt this peace. A while back I decided to look up the definition of peace just for fun and I was pleasantly surprised when Webster told me it is: FREEDOM from disruption.

Peace is FREEDOM! Of course it is. After reading the definition I just smiled thinking of Jesus waiting for the day I would find out what it meant. I mean I knew what peace was in reference to a feeling but to get some details on it was refreshing.

So, disruption is the key word here. Disruption is a break or interruption in the normal course of some activity or process.

Years ago I heard someone say, Nothing comes to us unless God approves of it first. Think about that, Nothing can get to us until first God allows it to. No matter what it is, if we are following Jesus and seeking Him, EVERYTHING we go through or experience is first filtered through God’s sovereignty. Whatever he allows or does not allow, we trust that He is good, merciful, working all things according for our good, forgiving, faithful, and so there is no disruption but only eternal purpose. When we look at this through the sovereignty of God we see that there is no way for His will to be “disrupted”.

When visiting the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus said over and over, “Peace be with you” . Clearly at that time they were terrified because they were looking at a (who they thought was) a dead guy but Jesus’ words were more than calming their fear. They were also calming their doubts. They had just seen him crucified, they were grieving and wondering if they had been following a fool for all that time and then they see him and wonder if they are going completely mad. They are questioning everything on top of their grief. All that they had known they believed to be completely disrupted. He said simply, “Peace be with you”. In other words, Nothing has been disprupted. All is going according to my plan. Do not let the events of the last three days disrupt the work we have started.

In the past several years the difference in my walk with Jesus has been that I have been swimming in scripture. Everyday I have been studying and learning and praying and reading and reading and reading. I don’t say that to boast but to encourage you that knowing who God is gives peace beyond understanding.

Knowing what God has done and what He’s going to do opens the door for us to obey what Jesus said, which is to Love the Lord with all of our heart, and all of our mind and all of our soul. That leaves no room in our hearts for life’s disruptions.

~Dearsister.blog

Sister, do not let the circumstances in your life disrupt the peace you have in Christ. There is nothing that you are going through, your children are going through, your body, your job, your anything is going through that God does not have full authority over. Through Christ, you have freedom from disruption. PEACE. BE. WITH. YOU.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

We are freed through repentance BUT not free from repentance

Hey Sister,

In the last couple of weeks I have accidentally found myself on a road to what we aren’t free from. I’m not really sure how that’s happened but it has actually given me much more clarity on freedom itself. Understanding the “requirements” of following Jesus is freedom!

That very word, “requirements” can instantly give our belly’s a twist. In our culture today, if we put an requirement on anything; that is instant oppression. Following Christ though, requires EVERYTHING. Literally, your life.

In saying this, so often people call themselves Christian’s and follow the belief that all they need to do is believe and be nice to people. If Christianity is defined as following Jesus Christ’s teachings and you don’t even know what he taught than why would you call yourself a Christian?

When we decide to believe what Jesus says to be true we should change. Not immediately but there should be a steady “changing of our minds” which results in the changing of our hearts. We should be able to see a difference. What is this “changing of the mind” it is literally REPENTANCE.

Our walk with Jesus requires a constant posture of repentance. There is no relationship with Jesus without repentance.

The best news about repentance is that when we get tired. When our endurance to follow Jesus feels like its on empty, repentance is our fill up. It’s our gas pump that refills out tank with the truth of who God is and who we are NOT.

We do not have freedom from repentance

and that is because it is REPENTANCE THAT FREES US!!

~dearsister.blog

Let’s draw close to Lord today, Sister. Let’s Repent and be humbled by the holiness of the Lord God.

Happy Friday!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

We are not free from God

Hey Sister,

So, Autonomy. This is a new word I learned this week. It means self-law or no accountability outside of ourselves.

As Christian women, if we don’t understand what true freedom in Christ is than we will be in a war of authority for our entire lives.

Christian Freedom is not Autonomy. In all things we are accountable to God. The freedom of a Christian is “God-law”. James says in 2:12 “whenever you speak, or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law of love, the law that set you free. God’s law IS what sets us free. Jesus said he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17

The truth is no matter if you believe in God or not you can never be free from Him. You can either be accountable to yourself here one earth or accountable to Him here on earth but either way you will stand before Him when you die and the fate of your eternity will be in His hands. Either way you can never actually be free from God.

And Thank God, we can never be free from God! Can you even imagine? Our Freedom is in the fact that we can never be free from God. His ways are perfect. He is for us and not against us. He loves us and has good plans for those who love him.

Take heart today sister, that you will never be rid of your savior and what a blessed truth that is.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

A trip with a Lily and a bird

Hey Sister,

So I’ve been reading this book and a bunch of the way through it I felt like I was on board the magical mystery tour bus. LOL It’s called “The Lily of the field and the bird of the air” by Seron Kierkegaard. I discovered this author a few years ago when I came across a quote of his in regards to freedom. You know how much I love freedom so I finally got one of his books. This was published in 1848. 1848! crazy right? Well, this particular book is a “discourse” (as he calls it) on Matthew 6. Particularly the verse 26-28 when Jesus himself says,

“Look at the birds . They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are…”Look at the Lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, wont he more surely care for you? You have such little faith!”

Even though the author does get a little trippy and very philosophical he is so on point with his dissection of the lives of these little creatures in relation to God. I had to share a few things I’ve found freedom in after reading it. It’s major premise is in looking to the Lily and the Bird as a teacher and finding , silence, obedience and joy.

The silence comes not just because they can’t speak but because they realize that God’s Kingdome is the only thing to seek. In seeking God’s will first and always they master silence, which is what they embody where as for us humans, it is an art to be silent. We often come to God with the how, what, and why’s; instead of just being before him in silence.

“What is it that I must do, what sort of effort is it of which it can be said that the Kingdome has been sought first? In a certain sense there is nothing. You shall in the deepest sense make yourself nothing, become nothing before God, learn to keep silent.”

– The Lily of the Field and the bird of the air by Soren Kierkegaard

Obedience is the lily and the bird’s assurance that God’s will be done. No matter the length of the life for the Lily or the sorrows and struggles of the bird, they are unconditionally obedient to God’s will on earth; Just as the Lord’s prayer says, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” There is no ambivalence when in comes to their “today” they do not worry about tomorrow because today they abide in the Lord and must look no further for anything else.

“In nature everything is unconditional obedience; his will is done because everything obeys him unconditionally, because there is no other will than his in heaven and on earth.”

-The Lily of the field and the bird of the air by Soren Keirkegaard

Which brings us to Joy, the bird and the Lily are Joy; they have no conditions on “how or when or what ” will arise in their lives and that is precisely where their full joy comes from. Every care they have is put upon the Lord and because of that they rejoice. So often our joy in conditional on our circumstances and unless we cast all of our sorrows on the Lord we will not experience true joy and we will inevitably forget to rejoice in God.

“Learn, therefore, from the lily and the bird. Cast all your sorrow upon God, entirely, unconditionally, as the lily and the bird do: then you will become unconditionally joyful like the lily and the bird.

-The Lily of the field and the bird of the air by Soren Kierkegaard

So, with silence, obedience and with Joy we find that the Kingdom of God can be sought first. The reoccurring word before all of these things that I noticed was “unconditionally”. We so often create conditions in which to worship or ask or experience God under and that ; “the conditions” are what get in the way of our freedom in Christ. We have freedom from the conditions of this world.

May we never look at a lily or a bird the same again. May they always be our reminders of seeking the Kingdom of God first; in unconditional silence, unconditional obedience, and unconditional joy!

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

Burden vs. Rest

Happy Freedom Friday Sister!,

So, the coolest thing happened this week. Last Friday I shared with you about the rest that Jesus gives our souls. So, I have been reading this book called “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer for months! It is a very small book so I have often been mad at myself for taking so long to read it. This past week I finished up the chapter I had been on for weeks and then moved on to the next. You will never guess what the chapter was titled! “Meekness and Rest” As I began to read the chapter it started to answer several questions that I was asking myself after posting the “Yoked?” blog. As I dug into the chapter it referenced Matthew 11:28-30, the very same verse we talked about last week! How cool is God?! That just could not have been a coincidence

A few of my questions were, How do we “yoke” ourselves to Jesus? What can we do to find rest in Jesus? and here is what he explains in the chapter.

A. W. Tozer began this chapter with Matthew 5:5 which is a verse from the Beatitudes. No, not your tweens attitude, lol the Beatitudes. If you don’t know what that is, the Beatitudes are the blessings that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5:5 says, God blesses those who are meek and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them. He then explains how the very attributes that the beatitudes teach are the very opposite attributes of human conduct. The burden, if you will, that we are all born with.

” These evils are which make life the bitter struggle it is for all of us. All our heartaches and a great many of our physical ills spring directly out of our sins. Pride, arrogance, resentfulness, evil imaginings, malice, greed: these are the sources of more human pain than all the diseases that ever afflicted mortal flesh. ~A.W. Tozer

What I learned is that in Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus is basically elaborating on how to apply the meekness that he talks about in the beatitudes to our lives. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am meek and lowly, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light. In essence this tells us the way to yoke ourselves to Jesus is to “take on” the attributes of Jesus. This is not easy for us because our first instinct is to satisfy ourselves and when we do so the burden of the world begins to weigh on us. Jesus says his burden is light. One might wonder how Jesus could give any kind of burden? I know I wondered about this. When we hear him say his burden is light, its the meekness that He is talking about. When we take on his meekness we are taking off our pride, our pretense, and our desires (that which we don’t realize the weight of) and replacing it with Jesus’ burden that is righteousness, patience and humility, which is actually the rest that our souls are searching for. This rest is only obtained by coming to Christ.

A burden means a load carried or toil borne to a point of exhaustion. Rest is simply release from that burden. It is not something we do, it is what comes to us when we cease to do. Jesus’ own meekness, that is the rest.

A.W.Tozer

The freedom here is when we realize what our actual burdens are. In my last post about being yoked I failed to define the burden correctly. Our actual burden has nothing to do with any day to day activity or work. The burden we must focus on is the burden we are literally born with, the burden of inward sin. Our inward sin makes us the priority, makes us the tiny God, and makes us the hero. Our Freedom is in self-forgetfulness.

I hope this finds you well.

Sincerely,

Jesie Browning

“There is no release from our burden apart from the meekness of Christ.”

A.W. Tozer