A Beautiful Offering- Angela Thomas
Chapter 3 Being Yourself-
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matt. 5:5)
"A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rick simplicity of being yourself before God." (1 Tim. 6:6 The Message)
"My sister-in-law, Jodi, looked me square in the eye and said, 'Angela, of course it's just you, and you will never be enough, you will never have all the answers, and you will never become the perfect Christian girl; that is why you have always needed a Savior. Not only does Jesus save you from your sin, He saves you from your weakness. He saves you from your flawed and fallen self. And He saves you from your doubts. He is enough every time you are not."
"You are blessed when you learn to be content with who you are and how I made you. Stop scrambling to look like the other guy. Quit imitating your neighbor and instead imitate Me. I put you together. The accent was on purpose. The introverted countenance was My idea. I realize your limitations. I am aware of your personality type. I am the designer. Just look at Me and rest in both your strength and your weakness. You are blessed when you can't be more, because I can. Turn in my direction. Be the woman I created. She is a beautiful offering."
"When you are sure that you are not enough, in desperate need of the Savior's strength, then your life is a beautiful offering because God comes to the rescue with all the resources of His kingdom here on earth."
"God sees that it's just you. And He loves it when you lean into Him with everything you have and everything you don't have and trust. That's the kind of heart He's happy to bless. God comes to us when we're meek, when we're absolutely sure that we are a little fish in a big pond, and provides all that we need on this earth."
Chapter 4 Falling In Love-
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled (Matt.5:6)
"Jesus said that when you are hungry and thirsty for His righteousness, then you are blessed. It is beautiful to Him when we desire His presence and long for right living. Right living means that we begin to desire what God desires. It means that our longings begin to line up with His purposes and His plans. Our decisions get filtered through the grid of His instruction, our love begins to mirror the reflection of His love for us, and our motives are refined as we consider His will."
"I imagine that there might be people who have known a lifetime of consistent spiritual passion, but over the years, my consistency has been interrupted by babies, fatigue, disappointment, and even now, the overwhelming schedule of our lives. But the more I know what His filling is like, the more I am deciding to ask God every day to make me hungry."
"Life is a beautiful offering when you are crying out for God to come and make you hungry for His righteousness, because He is the only One who will satisfy your spiritual appetite with the food that can fill your soul."
"Jesus said to them, This is good. I bless your hunger and your thirst. It's beautiful when you surrender to your spiritual appetite and do whatever it takes to feed your soul with My goodness, My virtue, and My example. I love it when you run after My right living like you cannot survive without it."
"He wants us to long for right living just as we desire human love or food. He wants us to come into His presence with the kind of intensity, but the order here: poor in spirit, mourning, meek, is intentional. He meant to give the other blessings first. Not because one is more important than the other, but because we need to hear His call to righteousness couched inside the truth of His compassion."
"We are blessed when we pursue righteousness, but He told us first that even in our lack or difficulty or imperfection, we can still be a beautiful offering. I want to be strong and focused and disciplined in my pursuit of Christ. But sometimes I have been poor or wounded and without an appetite for the things of God."
"Maybe you recall a time when you were excited about Jesus. Maybe you remember it as a phase, a part of your childhood, or as a dramatic life experience somewhere along the way. Would you like to yearn for a God-life again? Do you want to keep falling in love? Do you want like a prisoner to be freed from the chains of guilt and sin? Has it been so very long since you were hungry or thirsty for righteousness?
Then sink to your knees and pray. Lie on your face if you can. The One who fills has been waiting for your turn in His direction. Jesus still meets you where you are. In your turning and praying, God promises His blessing. He will not be put off if you come to Him in truth and pray something like this,
Lord, I am not hungry or thirsty for righteousness. I have become numb to longing for You. I can't remember what it was like to be in love, and I'm not sure I can even return. My heart is tired. My soul is empty. I have tried on my own and failed. My only option is for You to be something. Would You make me thirsty? Would You make me hungry? Would You make me want You more than anything?"