I know a mess when I see one because I am a mess. When we acknowledge our messes, we're a baby step away from acknowledging God. Your mess has the potential to bring God near you.

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Whether we’re religious or not, we’ve all been in, are in, or are only one decision away from a mess. But there’s a powerful connection between your messes and your relationship with God.

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On Easter, we don't celebrate a collection of teachings. We don't celebrate an idea. We celebrate an event . . . an event in history that changed history.

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If you were taught to believe in a personal God who is all-knowing and all powerful, how can you not turn your frustration on him when life gets difficult?

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In the Easter story, Judas tried to get Jesus to do what he wanted, without regard for Jesus’ ministry and mission. That may seem ridiculous, but there’s a little Judas in all of us.

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In the days and weeks preceding the first Easter, the high priest Caiaphas stood in the presence of Jesus, the Savior of the world. But he refused to abandon his quest for control and surrender to his Creator. It's easy to dismiss Caiaphas as a fool, but what have we put in the place of God?

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He is the treasure we seek, and to be with Him, we need to know Him. Once we know Him, we can have a fulfilling life with Him. It means surrendering our life in exchange for His, our will for His will in our life.

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For God: People think that what they accomplish for God is more important than His love for them. We think we are good compared to others who are not as good. The reality, however, is that we know we don't fare well when compared to another group. Chasing the standard leads to fear, insignificance, and despair. However releasing control and surrendering to God by placing our faith and control in Christ leads to freedom and peace.

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From God: People view God for what they can get from Him rather than a relationship with Him. We often reduce God to a vending machine. Understanding what God wants from us, changes things. He wants a relationship with us.

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Over God: When we think we have something figured out, we tend to leave God out of the equation. When we learn that God’s ways are helpful, we focus on His way instead of Him. Living a life of Godly principles should flow from our relationship with God, not the other way around. To learn more, we need to spend time in His word and ask Him to reveal Himself.

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