Thursday, January 29, 2015

"He must increase..." ~ John 3:30

Jesus as All ~ by Bella

"Sometimes, we don't realize Jesus is all we need, until Jesus is all we have."  - Unknown 

Do you ever wonder why we care so much about things like... Am I as pretty as that girl?  Does that person like me?  Does this outfit look okay?  Will I ever be able to go do this someday?  When deep down in our hearts, we really want to just be fully in love with Jesus!! We want so much to go deeper with Him.  We know He should be our first love, but all this stuff that really doesn't matter, can mean so much to us.  

Even us girls who are following Jesus are tempted to think that the things of this world will fill the longings of our hearts.  They often can seem more real to us than the promises of God.  Why is that, even though we know Jesus is the answer to our longing hearts, we so easily try to fill that emptiness with other things?  I think for myself it has often been that I've had a hard time believing God's promises... I think especially as girls, we can base things on our feelings, rather than on Truth.  

There was a time in my life, where I was really thinking about all this... One moment, I would say, Jesus, “You are all I need”, but then the next moment, I couldn't imagine living without this or that.  Jesus has used difficult seasons in my life to show me that He is the answer to every longing in my heart.  It's been the times where I have felt like I couldn't take another step, that Jesus was my strength and carried me through...It was the times my heart was overwhelmed, that Jesus and only Him, was my peace...It was those times when I couldn't see what was going to happen, that Jesus was my hope.  It's truly been amazing, experiencing Jesus being my all through the every day, difficult things in life.  I think, one of the reasons God allows us to go through fires in life, is not only to refine us, but to show us how much we need Him. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)  

Recently, I was struggling with this.  I wanted so badly to have Jesus be everything to me, but I couldn't seem to get the desires of my heart out of the way.  I realized in order for me to truly have Jesus be my everything, I needed to surrender everything to Him.  I love the quote that says, "Coming to the cross, means much more than believing Christ died for your sins, it means exchanging all that you are for all that HE IS."  Jesus brought me through a very stressful time in my life, but through that He showed me in such a deep way who HE IS... It wasn't until He brought me to the point of being completely broken before Him and left in awe of Who He is, that I truly experienced Him for Who He really is!!  He is worthy of all that we are!  It was through much searching to know my Jesus more that He truly showed Himself to me.  "If you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him."  (Jeremiah 29:13)  When we let Jesus completely take over every area of our life is when we truly experience Him for all that He really is!! He is EVERYTHING we ever wanted!  It was in seeing Who He really is and how deep His love is for me, that I couldn't help but only want Him and completely surrender all to Him!

I've realized, that unless I'm living completely surrendered to Jesus Christ, I can't experience Him as being my all... because my heart is too full of me and my own desires.  Surrender is key!  "He must increase, but I must decrease."  (John 3:30) 

Some truths that have really helped me in times when I want to hang on to things and am struggling with surrendering them to Jesus are... First, submitting all my fears to God!  (Psalm 118:6) and then really meditating on His truths. 

Some truths that have really helped me are:
#1 Jesus is worthy of all that you are! Rev. 5:12
#2 He CARES about you...your future, desires, etc. He cares about every detail of your life, even more than you do!  1 Peter 5:7
#3 He will not withhold anything good from those who walk uprightly!  Psalm 84:11
#4 He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think!  Eph. 3:20
#5 He knows all! Your desires, fears, hopes, dreams, passions, weaknesses, needs...everything! Isaiah 40:27-28
#6 He is faithful to do His best in your life!!!  

"He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”  1 Thessalonians 5:24 

I just encourage you to embrace the hard moments in your life as a chance to experience Jesus as truly your everything!!!  He wants so much to make Himself real to you, but, so often we can miss it.  We just want the pain to go away.  I have learned to say, truly from my heart, “Thank Jesus” for that pain and ask Him to help me to experience more of Him through it.  Jesus loves and cares for you so deeply.  He wants to fill that longing in your heart with more joy and more peace and more hope than you ever even thought possible!!!

This life is so, so short...Only Jesus and what's done for Him will last!!! "This world will pass away and the things in it, but they that do the will of God, will abide forever."  1 John 2:17 

Only Jesus satisfies in the end!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"I have loved you with an everlasting love..."

"...I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."
~ Jeremiah 31:3

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pure Heart Conference ~ Session 1 Video ~ The Heartbeat of Purity

Pure Heart Conference - Session 1 - The Heartbeat of Purity (2010 Edition) from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

God has a far deeper purpose for purity than meets the eye. He desires us to pursue a pure heart and life, so that we fulfill His purposes in creating us – to see, know, be satisfied in, and glorify Him. As this takes place, we will receive His strength to flee sin and cling to Christ.

Join us for this deeply encouraging session as we look at the purpose for your life and purity!

You can find companion handout pages on the Loving the Lord Ministries, Inc. website at!

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Pure Heart Conference ~ Introduction Video

Pure Heart Conference - Introduction from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

God created you to live a life of freedom, fulfillment, and fruitfulness in Him! We are so excited to look at this together in the Pure Heart Conference! Please join us for this warm introduction - and all 4 sessions! 

You can find companion handout pages on the Loving the Lord Ministries, Inc. website at!

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

New Videos Online!

The Introduction and Session 1 videos from the Pure Heart Conference are now online! ♡ Join us for a warm welcome in the Introduction video and then deep encouragement as we look at "The Heartbeat of Purity" in Session 1! ♡ We are so excited for what the Lord has in store! ♡ You can join us - and download a companion handout at!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A God Story Life ~ by Amy Vest

A God Story: Walking closely with Jesus and following Him in surrender as He unfolds His perfect will for your life. 

I stood in the sanctuary after church, talking with a friend who had gotten married since I’d last seen her.  “It’s a God story, Amy”, she told me with joy as she started to tell me her story.  My heart rejoiced – God stories are my favorite!  “I want mine to be one, too.” I earnestly replied. 

But, even more, I want my whole LIFE to be a God story – don’t you, friend?  A life that displays God’s power and goodness, a life that is only explainable by Jesus, a life that points to God – a life story that is clearly written by the hand of God.  Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” – and I am so glad!  Jesus is so wonderful and wise, His heart is love, and His plan is perfect.  I am so grateful that He is the Author of our story… I just want to let Him write His story freely in my life!  

After surrendering to Jesus at salvation, it is then a daily, moment-by-moment yielding to Jesus by the power of His life in us.  In the daily, moment-by-moment surrender, I need His help and strength so desperately.  Are you with me?

Our life and story is made up of moments.  It really takes place in the daily attitudes of our heart, Truth we know we should live out, promptings of the Holy Spirit to follow, choices to walk by the Spirit instead of the flesh, etc.  There are moments when we know we should: respond in love to someone who hurt us, slip off the computer and soak in time with Jesus, walk in Truth instead of how we feel, obey something that He is leading us to do, etc.  In these moments, we can yield to Him, say, ”Yes, Lord”, obey by His grace, and experience the joy of closer fellowship with Him as we walk into His best with Him, or, we can respond in selfishness and hinder our fellowship with Him and His very best in our lives.   

Maybe you have found this, too?  When I walk in yieldedness to Jesus, I see that He is all that I need and His plan is perfect.  I witness Him do wonders and my heart sings that nothing compares to His best.  Yet, the times I sin by trying to take control of the “pen” of my life and write what I think He has for me, or what I think is best, my peace fades and I make mistakes as I stumble away from His best.  Then Jesus so graciously brings repentance to my heart, forgiveness, redemption, and guides me back to surrender and the joy of experiencing Him.  I see afresh that I don’t want anything but Him, His glory, and His story for me.

That is really what a God story – and the purpose of our lives - is about: A close walk of dependent obedience to and relationship of love with Jesus, His work in us, and His guiding our steps and working through us for His glory! 

It is only in this place that truly we are satisfied, He is glorified, and others are blessed.  It is so essential to remember that the story of our life is a part of His Story of redemption – the beautiful love story of God drawing His people to Himself!  He has a special plan for your life story as a part of this biggest story.

It is so important not to compare the story that God is writing in our lives to the lives of others.  While the Lord and His Truth are always the same, every story is different because we are all individuals and the Lord knows exactly what you need to fulfill the purpose that He has for your life.

Over the past months, the Lord has been highlighting for me in His Word the verses in the Gospels where Jesus says, “Follow Me.”  It is a call to surrender everything – our self, desires, agenda – and follow the One that created, saved, and is our King!  It is a call to follow Him – not knowing where He will lead, but knowing He is all we need.

When we follow Jesus in surrender, we find the answer to the longings of our hearts in Him and He leads us into His perfect plan for our lives.  We find true life.  Jesus says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.   For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  (Matt. 16:24-25)  This is how we FIND our life – the life in Jesus for which we were created – and where He writes His beautiful story!

It is following Him and trusting Him for our:
~ Salvation, growth, and satisfaction
~ Daily needs, questions, struggles
~ Strength and grace
~ Guidance and future
~ and everything else!

There is no peace like the peace of following Jesus in surrender, resting in His hands, listening for His call to obey, walking in the grace that He always provides to do what He calls us to do, and letting Him do His amazing work in and through us!

The story of a person’s life is really as beautiful as the one whose hand it is in.

This story is a journey of faith – a beautiful, sometimes rugged, always-worth-it journey – of believing that God knows far better than we do. 

This past season for me has been a chapter that I didn’t expect as part of God’s story for my life.  Yet, I am seeing more and more beautiful glimpses of His purposes - that the times of pain, questions, and weakness were exactly what the Lord knew I needed to give me more of Himself, do a deep work in my heart, direct my steps in His plan, prepare me for what He has ahead, and so much more!  The longer I walk with Jesus, the more He shows me - I do not need to know the whole story of my life, because I know the Author.  “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Heb. 12:2) 

The One Who gave His life for us can so be trusted with every detail of the story of our life from beginning to end!

You can trust the Author, because you know:
~ His heart – He is loving, wise, perfect, and so much more!
~ His promises – He will never leave us (Heb. 13:5), He knows the plans He has for us (Jer. 29:11), all things work together for good for those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), etc.
~ The ending of the Story  – You will spend eternity with Him forever!

I am so excited about the story God is writing in your life, friend!  I am praying for you and cheering as He writes His perfect story in you.  He has amazing things in store!

I know that when we reach the end of our lives and look back over the story God has written in our lives, we will say with Psalm 18:30, This God—his way is perfect.”

May our hearts echo this prayer:
“I trust You and Your love, Lord.
Please have Your way in me.
I want You to write Your story freely in my life.
Please be glorified.
In the Name of Jesus, Who makes it possible,

Yes, that is what we want - a God story life.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"What Does the Call of Jesus to "Go" Look Like for You?" ~ Video interview with Amy Vest

What Does the Call of Jesus to "Go" Look Like for You? from Loving the Lord Ministries on Vimeo.

Join us for this interview with Amy Vest answering the question, "What does the call of Jesus to "Go" look like for you?" and be encouraged to look at what it looks like in your own life!
Join us for this interview with Amy Vest answering the question, "What does the call of Jesus to "Go" look like for you?" and be encouraged to look at what it looks like in your own life!

We would love to hear - What does the call of Jesus to "Go" look like for you today?

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..."

"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'” 
~ Matthew 28:18-20

The First Video is UP!

The first video is UP! Join us for this interview with Amy Vest answering the question, "What does the call of Jesus to "Go" look like for you?" and be encouraged to look at what it looks like in your own life! You can view it at:!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Exciting Announcement for 2015!

Happy New Year, Friends!

As we welcome this new year and all it offers each of us in Jesus, we are so excited to let you know that the Lord has brought an exciting opportunity for 2015!

In 2015 we will be posting over 25 videos and audios from the past 10+ years of Loving the Lord Ministries!

We are planning to post a new video or audio every other week for the whole year beginning January 8th!

Messages from Amy Vest include conference sessions from Pure Heart, Vibrant Christian Life, Changing Your World for Christ, and talks including The Power and Potential of Your Youth for God, What Does Jesus' Call To "GO" Mean for You?, Christ Alone, and MORE!

We treasure seeking and loving Jesus with you and pray that these messages will be a rich encouragement to you as you continue to pursue Jesus!

You can stay posted about the new videos in any, or all, of these ways: 
Google +

Email Newsletter – email us at to be placed on the list!

We will also be posting encouraging blog posts, inspiring verses, and more, so please feel free to join us and invite a many friends as you can to join us, too!

Jesus is amazing and it is going to be an amazing year of seeking with Him with you!

We love you and we love loving Jesus with you,

Amy Vest and the Loving the Lord Ministries Staff

"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us..."  Hosea 6:3

"You crown the year with Your goodness..."

"You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance."

~ Psalm 65:11