July 23, 2017

CHRISTLife — FORTY: Embracing A Glorious Future

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What an opportunity, privilege, and awakening we have experienced in the last 39 days of this study.  We have been made aware again, or perhaps for the first time, that God created us because He loves us.  He created us on purpose to have a relationship and fellowship with Him.  We didn’t come crawling out of some swampland.  We came out of His heart.

We discovered that the ideal mirror to look into is not our bathroom mirror but the mirror of God’s Word, which is His Truth and His Love.  It is the “reliable, unchangeable grounds for accepting ourselves.” (Ruth Myers)

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

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Yes, we each came into this study with images of ourselves influenced by our past; many of those were negative experiences, failures, and hurts.  But God chose this time, this study, and each of us to destroy those images and replace them with His image of us from His Word, transforming our minds to line up with His mind.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern  of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2

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For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

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Through this study we have begun to recognize and accept God’s description of us, His followers.  We “have chosen the way of Truth” (Psalm 119:30, NKJV).  I flipped back through the book, CHRISTLife, and was blessed to read again what God calls us:

created, child of God, daughter, called, chosen, loved, saved, sanctified, desired, beloved’s, bride, quilt-free, blessed, clean, redeemed, forgiven, righteous, purified, justified, alive, alert, new, holy, victorious, obedient, Christ-like, delivered, united, fruitful, transformed, temple, priest(ess), filled, complete, receiver, empowered, strong, enlightened, belong, accepted, approved, friend, citizen, servant, worshiper, worthy, delighted in, favored, honored, royal, nurtured, satisfied, secure, treasured, competent, beautiful, bold, confident, overcomer, anointed, purposeful, witness…and more!

Wow!  After reading those I’m breaking out into a little song and dance—what about you!?  Those affirmations fill me with hope, and confidence for now and for my future. As Ruth Myers said, “In God’s unlimited view, He sees our increasing glory as His Spirit transforms us into finished works of art.”

…Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

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Ladies, these “works of art” (us!) weren’t created to hang on some museum wall and gather dust.  We weren’t even created to walk this dusty earth forever.  Oh no, God has created us for purpose: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).  Our hope will be complete when we meet Jesus face to face (Isaiah 33:17).   Our future will be for all eternity, worshiping and serving in the presence of our King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 1:5-6).

Time after time in the Scriptures, God shares His desire and plan for us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  Here are just a few passages for you to look up as you study today:

John 3:14-17, 17:2-3
Psalm 16:11
Romans 6:22-23
1 Timothy 6:12
Titus 1:2, 3:4-7
1 John 1:2, 2:25
Jude 1:21
Revelation 3:5

Ecclesiastes 3:11 even tells us that He has set eternity in the hearts of men, even though we can’t fathom everything He has done for us.  God loves us, God has chosen us, God planned from before time began for us to spend eternity with Him.  That desire is in His heart, and He placed it in our hearts—and Jesus went to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-4).

If you have given your heart to Jesus, then you have everything you need to spend a glorious future in the very presence of our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It’s time to embrace your true and deepest identity, for “God is the strength of your heart and your portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).   “I AM Who God Says I Am!”

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

~~ * ~~     ~~ * ~~     ~~ * ~~

Dear Lord, we have completed the study of this book, but I pray that we never stop studying from Your Book what You have to say to us and about us.  Thank You for loving us and choosing us to be Your children so that we can spend both here and in Heaven a glorious future with You.  I pray that You, the God of peace, will sanctify each lady in this study through and through.  May their whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.   The One who “…calls each of us is faithful, and He will do it”(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).  I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyNine: Purposeful

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We each have the very same purpose that Jesus had when He walked this earth.  His purpose—to love. Our purpose—to love.

God purposed to love the world by giving His Son.

Jesus was sent to show God’s love, to be God’s love, to give God’s love.  He was the epitome and the manifestation of His Father’s love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Jesus purposed to love by revealing God’s love.

Immediately before He allowed Himself to be arrested, and knowing that He would be interrogated, tortured, crucified, and ultimately give His life, Jesus prayed this prayer.

Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me]
may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory,
which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me];
for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed
to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually];
and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character
and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known,
that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them
[felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.
John 17:24-26

Jesus purposed to love by giving up His life.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Our purpose is to show God’s love by giving of ourselves.

Jesus taught a great lesson (Luke 10) about love in the parable about the Good Samaritan.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

Jesus taught His disciples and other followers numerous times about love and the immense importance of it. There is much to glean and learn in Jesus’ lesson.  In this account, He gave a graphic example of what love DID NOT look like…and how love DID look.  And then He said,

“Go and do the same.”
Verse 37

The love that the Samaritan showed for the stranger laying on the side of the road was purposeful…intentional…took effort.  All love should be the same.

Not only do we have the same purpose……but we have the same ability.  With Christ in our hearts, we can know this love.

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.
God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence
in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
1 John 4:16 and 17

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:4-5, 10-11

I pray that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-20

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:11

Each of us is a person with one life of purpose to live along with the choice to love.
By God’s love and grace we have been given the ability to purposefully live out this high calling.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

And NOW here is some encouragement from Kim
along with the final  page for her beautiful inner identity album!

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I love how Mrs. Myers writes: “We are not qualified from a human viewpoint, for we lack many longed-for qualities, abilities, talents. Yet from Gods viewpoint we are qualified. God does not call the qualified.”   He qualifies the called…so let your light shine before men so that your Father in Heaven may be glorified.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyEight: Bold and Confident

cl bold and confidentGod chose us.  He also chose us to do His good works here on earth, as we await His return.  And the most amazing thing about this is He seems to choose the most unlikely and unqualified people to carry out His most important works.

Do you know this to be true? And often the response to His calling is, “Are You sure, God? Me? Why?”  Unintentionally we limit Him by what we think we can and cannot do.  For what’s impossible to us is possible with God.  We just have to believe that He has called us and He has a mission for us to spread His Word to the world.

Feeling unqualified?  When He calls, He equips and qualifies us to do that which we so feel we aren’t qualified to do.  Let’s go to His Word and look at some of those He called…and their response to Him.  And how different the world would be if they had felt they couldn’t do it!

God calls Moses:

Moses was 80 years old when he was sent to free the Israelites from Pharaoh.  His response was something like, “Me? I can’t even speak well. Do You really think anyone would even listen to me?”  When Moses finally quit making excuses and obeyed, the way was paved by God through the Red Sea, across a desert and, finally, to the entrance of the Promised Land.  All along the way, God was providing food and shelter and water for these people who trusted Moses with their lives.

Have you ever thought about what could have happened if Moses has said no?

God calls Jeremiah:

Jeremiah was a teenager at the time that God sent him to deliver news to the Jewish people.  Because He was so young, he thought that no one would take him seriously.  But God did.  He said in Jeremiah 1:5,”Before you were born I set you apart.”  For 24 years, Jeremiah was at God’s call, and all he did was write books filled with God’s words. The first one was destroyed and Jeremiah was imprisoned. His feet were in chains and he was thrown into a pit. But God sent rescuers and made a way for all His messages to be delivered.

God calls Gideon:

Last one on my list today is Gideon—and my favorite, I will have to say!  God called him His mighty warrior!  He told him to save His people who were being attacked constantly by their enemies.  He also wanted Gideon to destroy the idol, Baal.  But Gideon, who was working in a wine press, hiding in fear from his enemies, had many excuses as to why he wasn’t God’s man.  He said that he was a coward and how could God use him to fight for His people?  Fast forward…God fully equipped Gideon to do so much more.  He used his weakness to prove God’s strength.

See?  You are ready for any task that God has laid in front of you.  You may not even know what you are called to do but know this—you are called to do great things!  And He will make sure you have everything you need to complete His will.  God calls you to serve with what you have and just as you are.  All you have to do is trust and believe Him,  and love Him enough to do what He says.

  • Matthew 14:22  If you love Me, then look at me. Keep your eyes on me.
  • Matthew 16:4     If you love Me, follow me.
  • Luke 10:37          If you love Me, go and do likewise.
  • John 21:15-17    If you love Me, feed My sheep…tend My lambs.

And remember, there is only one that wants to see you fail. There is an enemy who wants to fill you with fear and lies and keep you silent so you won’t do the Lord’s work. But God did not give you a spirit of fear, “…but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

He gives you courage.  Courage is what will help you persevere.  And it’s God’s power that resides in you and gives you the confidence you need to go on and accomplish with victory the will of your Father in Heaven.  The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want for…anything!

CHRISTLife — ThirtySeven: Competent

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We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ.
It is not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything
as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.
2 Corinthians 3:4 and 5

This is the Truth.  There is nothing, not anything, not even one tiny bit that you (or me, too!) can do to add to…or even take away from…this fact.  Our competency (some versions use the word ‘sufficiency’) comes from Almighty God.  He planned for it, He purposed it, He predestined us to be competent…through Christ.

“How, Coleen?” you might ask.  The ‘how’ is by continuing to learn about who we are in Jesus…and Who He is…through the Scriptures!  We seek Him and keep our eyes on Him.  As we do, we will be transfigured (or changed) into His very own image! (Those are not my words…listen!)

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold
[in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are constantly being transfigured into His very own image
in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another;
2 Corinthians 3:18

“God has purposed for us to share in Christ’s glory so that the glory of the Son might be magnified in the countless mirrors of those who are conformed to His image.”  Every believer (you and me!) has this supernatural thing done in them by God’s grace and mercy!  It is a continual process, this redeeming work, and has been begun by our Lord in each of us!  It is part who God knew you (me, too!) to be before the foundations of the world.

For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,
in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified,
and those whom He justified He also glorified.
Romans 8:29-30

This is our competency—our sufficiency IN Christ—already accomplished for us.  We must have the mindset that ‘I AM who God says I am!’  We must keep the Truth in our minds, replacing the negative images we have thought about ourselves for so long with the righteous, holy, sanctified, justified, TRUE images that the Lord tells us we ARE!

So if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above,
where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.
When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

The day will come when the fullness, the completeness, the total magnitude of ALL that God has purposed will come to pass.  At that time we, too, will BE the glory of the Lord! At that time we will no longer be hidden in Christ but will be revealed in full with Him in glory!  But even now, we have been made sufficient and competent!  We are constantly being transfigured (changed). We can do!

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10

We ARE who God says we are!  And we are ready to be the fullness of His glory, amen? Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  We want to be all that God has purposed for us to be!  We want to bring honor and glory to You!

CHRISTLife — ThirtySix: Nurtured, Satisfied, and Secure

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Today let’s go to one chapter in the Book of John to be reminded of the Truth.  The one I would like us to focus on is Chapter 17; this is the record of Jesus’ prayer to His Father.  This prayer was offered to God immediately prior to Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, unlawful trial, torture, crucifixion, and His death.  Jesus, knowing of all that was imminent, took the time—not to ask His Father to help Him to prepare, He didn’t go hide somewhere, He didn’t do anything for Himself—He took the time to pray for His disciples…and you and me.  Listen to His words of love.

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

And this is the verse that speaks to the value, the enormity, the security of God’s love for you (for me, too). Isn’t this so amazing?

I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united,
that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me
nd that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
Verse 23

I AM who God says I am! We have been staking our claim to this Truth, these righteous God-ordained images throughout our study, true? So, based on the words of our Lord Jesus, let me ask you a question: Since you ARE loved by Almighty God—Jesus SAID so—how secure is that love?

I pray the following prayer of Paul’s over each of you…perhaps you could take this into your heart/personalize it with your name…and believe it. <3

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you, ______ , to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your heart, ______ , through faith; that you, ______ , being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you ______ may be filled with all the fulness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19

CHRISTLife — Week Eight

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Here we are, friends, coming down the homestretch!  This is week 8—the final week of our CHRISTLife study!  Y’know perhaps ‘homestretch’ is not the right word.  Truly this is not the destination but rather the launching pad to living our lives with the mindset ‘I AM who God says I am!’

Born-again and given a new identity in Christ, we have total sufficiency in Him (2 Corinthians 3:5).  And this week, Mrs. Myers puts before us that “…righteous, holy living is consistent with the persons we are now. It isn’t something foreign to us that we have to produce out of duty or even gratefulness. Rather, as we choose to follow Christ, we can expect to live a holy life because of who Christ is, what He has done, and what He has made us through our new birth.”

We ARE who God says we are…who Christ has enabled us to be!  Some of these images we will consider this week are:

  • Nurtured

Casting the whole of your care…on Him, for He cares for you
affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
1 Peter 5:7

  • Satisfied

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
Psalm 63:5

  • Secure

He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
Psalm 40:2

  • Competent

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

  • Bold

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

  • Confident

And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying,
This is the way; walk in it,
when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21

  • Purposeful

…for it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

May I encourage each of you, friends, to believe and take hold of these Truthful images that we are looking at each day this week.  They are who you are (me, too!) because of the indwelling of Christ!

In this song, I Lift My Life Up, the lyrics go “When I hear You calling out…I follow now wherever the road may go.”  We, too, can make this commitment knowing that God has already enabled us!  This is who we ARE!  And, God has not left us alone to figure out what to do with these enablements. We have His Holy Spirit inside us helping us to remember that I AM who God says I am—nurtured, satisfied, secure, competent, bold, confident, and purposeful!  All for His glory!

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord, I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up
Have Your way in me

CHRISTLife — A Quiet Time (part four)

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This week we continue to look at one of the absolute joys of our relationship with our heavenly Father—our ‘quiet time’ with Him.  Each Saturday we have been looking in-depth at a few of the more important aspects of a dedicated, purposeful, intentional, devoted quiet time.

Over the past few weeks we have considered some of these aspects, such as:

  • reading the Scriptures
  • singing our praises
  • thankfulness

In addition to each of these, I do believe that quietness—actual ‘physical-absence-of-distracting-noise quiet’…and perhaps even more important…quietness in our hearts—is required as a component of a purposeful, intentional devotional time.

Before we go any further, let’s stop for just five minutes and worship our God giving our praise for these times of stillness and quiet alone with Him!

Here In The Stillness  {Singer/Songwriter – Ali Matthews}
Here in the stillness my heart is at rest
Alone in the silence, that’s where I hear You best
In the rush of the river, like a song in the breeze
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

When I’m lost in Your Presence the world disappears
Taking all of my troubles…my burdens, my fears
Oh how gently You hold me, You are all that I see
It’s here in the stillness You speak to me

I will be still, I will stand in awe
Oh, just to know You are my God; You are my God

Yes it’s here in the stillness You speak to me
You speak to me

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Our Lord recognized His need for quiet and time alone to pray to His Father.  If He, in His perfect sinless life, needed quiet time alone with God then we surely do also…and even more so!  His example speaks clearly to us.

And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up
and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35

…and great crowds gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their infirmities.
But He would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15, 16

(Perhaps, when our Lord was alone, He sang words similar to those in that beautiful song we just listened to….)

There is also another type of quietness—a quiet, peaceful heart.  Isn’t this something that each of us yearns for?  Truly I believe it can only be found as we seek Him. There is a incomparable quietness that we are promised as we trust in our Lord.

Be still and rest in the Lord;
wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;
fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way,
because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.

Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing.
For evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord
shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:7-9

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
Psalms 46:10 and 11

And as Jesus Himself said to us,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
Matthew 11:28

In closing, think about how the psalmist viewed his quiet time with his God.  As we intentionally pursue having quiet time alone with our God may we ‘pour out our heart before Him; God is a Refuge for us!’

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him..
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him;
God is a Refuge for us. Selah
(excerpts from Psalm 62)

CHRISTLife — ThirtyFive: Delighted In, Favored, and Honored

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Hadley, my two-year-old granddaughter, recently spent a week with me.  And, yes, I pampered her as all grandmothers do their grandchildren.

Like most women, Hadley enjoys a bubble bath at the end of a day and I was happy to oblige her.  One night, along with the rest of the bath toys she likes to surround herself with, I tossed a crown into the tub that had been used for decoration on a birthday cake.  As she soaked in the bubbles, the crown floated past her.  She grabbed the crown, placed it on her head and said:

I’m a Queen.

Oh, the imagination of a child!  How quickly Hadley had made the transition from being a little girl surrounded by bubbles and toys to wearing the title of Queen!  Just for fun, let’s play an imaginary game.

Suppose you were standing outside the palace gates of a king. As you stood there at the gates, your attire looked something like this:

  • you were clothed in filthy rags of whining, coaxing, self-pity, anger, resentment, revenge
  • you fought for your own rights and pushed your way through life
  • you always tried to borrow from others the kind of love you desperately needed
  • you rummaged through garbage pails looking for scraps of self-realization
  • the life of a pauper was your lifestyle

As you stood outside the palace gates in your filthy drab, you heard the king beckoning someone to come to him and be his bride.  You look around to see who he is calling, but there is no one else standing at the gate at this time.  And then you hear him issue the call again.

You look up to the window where he stands, your eyes meet his gaze, and say:  “You can’t mean me—why I’m just a pauper.  I’m not good enough for you. And my appearance, well, I am not the prettiest woman in the world.  I wouldn’t be a very good helpmate either, because I am just so dumb.  One of my teachers in school told me I would never amount to anything, and she was right, I didn’t; I’m just a failure.  No, I can’t marry you; I’m just too unworthy to be your bride.  But, thanks for asking anyway.”

Without another word spoken from the king, he stretched forth his hand beckoning you to come into his arms.  This time, you caught a look of love on his face that you had never ever seen on another.  It penetrated into the very depths of your heart and you at last realized that, “Yes, he wants me!”  You accepted his proposal, you were quickly ushered into the palace to be with him, and he placed a crown on your head.  Instantly, your life took on a new identity with the king in the palace.

Oh, my dear friends, this is no fairy tale, it is for real.  It is a story about YOU and ME, and how quickly we transitioned from our pauper state into a place of royalty when we accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.  Oh, yes, we became the Bride of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You now stand daily in His presence and—

  • He sees you as His gift that He delights in—Ephesians 1:11; Isaiah 62:4
  • He takes pleasure in you—Psalm 149:4
  • He rejoices over you with gladness and singing—Zephaniah 3:17
  • You captivate His heart—Song of Solomon 4:9
  • You have favor in His sight—Psalm 84:11; Exodus 33:12; Psalm 4:3; 5:12
  • He honors you by making you royalty—Revelation 1:6; Romans 5:17

Enough said!  Now, if you will excuse me, I think I will just go fill my bath tub with bubble bath, light a candle, turn on the praise and worship music, and hop into the tub with my crown on. Just like Hadley said: “I’m a Queen!”

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Let us pray: Father God, I thank You for rescuing us out of our pauper state through the shed blood of Your son, Jesus, into a place of royalty. I am overwhelmed when I read in Your Word how much You delight in me, how much You favor me, and bestow honor on me as Your queen. May we all wear the crown and title in a way that will bring honor and glory to Your name by fulfilling the purpose for which You created us to be. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

CHRISTLife — ThirtyFour: Loved

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In this is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10

The KJV substitutes “Herein is love” for the phrase “In this is love” at the beginning of this verse.  Isn’t that a tremendous interpretation?—‘Herein, or, in here’ is love…truly nowhere else!  In God is love…He is love!

In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace….
Ephesians 1:5 and 6

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures.  It is true whether we believe it or not.  Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it.  It originates in the very nature of God, who IS Love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” ~ Jerry Bridges

The love of God for you (me, too!) is a fact…an absolute…a given—the Truth.  I can doubt it, if I choose.  I can worry about losing it, if I want.  I can wonder how God could possibly love me, if I want.

OR, I can believe it.

This God, the Great I AM, my ABBA Father, communicates all throughout the Scriptures of His love—

  • steadfast (Psalm 103:11)
  • unfailing (Psalm 147:11)
  • inseparable (Romans 8:38 and 39)
  • faithful (Exodus 34:6)
  • everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3)
  • unconditional (Luke 15)
  • compassionate (Psalm 86:15)
  • merciful (Titus 3:4 and 5)
  • enduring (Psalm 106:1)
  • and more; so much more!

Confess these Truths to yourself, my friend…encourage and strengthen yourself in the Truth of God’s love for you!  Would you, please, do this…Look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself of the Truth, “God loves me!  He chose me, actually picked me out for Himself to have a relationship with Him.”  (Did you say it out loud?) Read through that list of truths that tell of the love of God…and speak them over yourself.  You are loved by God!

Perhaps you can sing along with the Psalmist David,

…in the morning I will sing of Your love;
for You are my Fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
O my strength, I sing praise to You;
You, O God, are my Fortress, my loving God.
Psalms 59:16 and 17

Perhaps you can sing this beautiful song, too; will you…would you try?   ‘Cause He loves us..oh, how He loves us!!!

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And NOW here is some encouragement from Kim
along with her beautiful inner identity album page for this week!

CLkimiia0227

God’s redeeming love is such a powerful life-changing love…unlike ANYTHING I have ever experienced in my life!  He loved me out of my darkness and redeemed my life.  As Isaiah 54:8 states, “With everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.”  Thank You, Father, for loving me that much….

CHRISTLife — ThirtyThree: Worthy

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Worthy ~ having sufficient merit or importance, estimable, honorable

Do you know that you are worthy in your Father’s eyes?  Read that definition again and let it sink in.  You are worthy.  Do you see that nowhere in that definition is the word “feeling”?  We rely so much on those, feelings I mean.  We base our worth on what we have done, who we have hurt, what we have said and who we have said it to.  You are not defined by what you have done, praise the Lord!  You cannot do anything to get in to Heaven.  You were bought with a price and that price was the life of Jesus Christ.  God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die on the Cross with every sin that we would ever sin on Him.  God had to turn His back on His own Son, they were separated by darkness—His only Son was beaten and suffered for you.

The only way to be worthy is through Jesus Christ.  You have to accept Him as your personal Savior; apart from Him, you are not worthy.  It’s that simple, really.  You confess with your mouth that you are a sinner and you fall short of the glory of God;  then you ask for forgiveness and ask Jesus to come live in you and walk with you through this life and to fill you with His joy.  Oh friend, I cannot begin to tell you how amazing this is.  If this is hard for you to believe, and even if it’s not, listen to just how worthy He says you are!

But God so rich in mercy and He loved us so much
that even though we were dead because of our sins,
He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead.
(It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
For He raised us from the dead along with Christ
and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms
because we are united with Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-6 NLT

If you are a parent, when you hold that beautiful baby in your arms, you are in love. Fast forward to the years that they try you every single day.  Are they still worthy to be your child?  Yes!  Just as our Heavenly Father feels about us, no matter how far down we have gone, He still loves us and calls us His.  He designed each one of us to do good works for Christ.  And He wants us to do good works of eternal significance.  We are called and chosen by God to finish well.

Think about this: God made us. We may all get here differently.  Some are prayed for and loved on.  Some are unwanted by their parents while some are brought in with love.  We may not like our circumstances but each one of us has the chance to be born again.  Before the earth was created, God knew all of the details of our lives. Here’s what we do know:

  • God chooses us: You are chosen, individually by name.
  • God is always with us: Even if our parents have neglected us, God never leaves us or forsakes us.
  • God names us: Before we were given a name by our parents, God already knew us.
  • God calls us: We are all wanted! God wanted us because He called us and designed us from the womb.
  • God saves us: He has made a way for us to be born-again!  You actually get a do-over!  He wipes away all your sins, your many mistakes and messes and gives you a clean slate. He writes your name in the Book of Life with a pen…it cannot be erased. He gives you a hope for the future! His mercies are new every day, to all of us! Each one of us has the same opportunity with God! Whether you are rich or poor, sick or well, God sees us all the same—His!
  • God is our Father: You may have a father that doesn’t interact with you, or maybe he’s never told you that you matter.  But God promises us that we can know His voice and that we will become more like Him daily, as we spend time with Him and in His Word.

God chose you despite your failures and sometimes uses them for His benefit.  Now it’s our job to spread the hope to others.  God’s people are hurting and may be feeling a little less than worthy but we know they are and we need to tell them.  So from now on, don’t overlook anyone.  Make everyone feel important and tell them this: “God loves you!”

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Let us pray: Dearest Lord, thank You for creating us and loving us before we were ever a thought in our parent’s mind.  Thank You for having such good things in store for us and for all the blessings that rain down on us every day.  You are amazing and so loving and we praise You for that.  Lord, forgive us when we speak negative to ourselves.  Help us to remember Whose we are always and may we never forget the price You paid for us.  Give us the courage to step out of our comfort zone and tell others that they are loved by You and that You have a great plan for us all.  Keep us humble, oh God, and keep our ears open so we will hear Your voice always over the lies of the enemy.  We love You and we thank You.  It’s in Jesus’ name.  Amen.