September 21, 2017

He Knows My Name

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Spent today in a conversation
In the mirror face to face with
somebody less than perfect
I wouldn’t choose me first if
I was looking for a champion
In fact I’d understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that’s just not my story

True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing

I don’t need my name in lights
I’m famous in my Father’s eyes
Make no mistake
He knows my name
I’m not living for applause
I’m already so adored
It’s all His stage
He knows my name oh, oh,
He knows my name oh, oh

I’m not meant to just stay quiet
I’m meant to be a lion
I’ll roar beyond a song
With every moment that I’ve got

True to who You are
You saw my heart
And made
Something out of nothing

He calls me chosen, free, forgiven, wanted, child of the King
His forever, held in treasure
I am loved
I don’t need my name in lights
I’m famous in my Father’s eyes

Singer/Songwriter: Francesca Battistelli along with Mia Fieldes, Seth Mosely

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This song speaks to me in so many ways….  Do we really know how precious we are to God??  It amazes me when I think about the details of my life and that He still chose me.  Me—a girl once so beaten down by life and caught up in the depths of despair.  But I am redeemed, I am chosen and He knows my name!

And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved,
put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
Colossians 3:12

He knows who you are and He knows who you are meant to be…and, oh sweet sisters, you are so adored!

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!
The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1

We don’t need applause from man or our name in lights.  We only need to live for an audience of One.  We were chosen by Him.

“Your Heavenly Father is the creator of the universe. God created all things. He is holy, righteous, omniscient, all knowing, loving, full of grace and mercy, and He calls you his child. You are a co-heir to the one and true God, and you will receive all the benefits that are attached to being an heir.”

(From Adored By God…by Karen Stubbs.)

Click here to read entire devotional.

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people.
You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,
for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9

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Father, thank You for seeing my heart and for making something out of nothing.  For choosing each one of us and calling us out of the darkness surrounding us and into Your wonderful light.  May we produce good fruit and remember each day that we are living for You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!!!

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.

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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 — ThirtyOne: Accepted

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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

We ARE!  This is one of my oh-so-very-favorite verses in all 66 books of the Bible!  What comfort…what encouragement…what enablement is communicated in this one sentence!  And, as His children, He has accepted us through the accomplishments of Jesus Christ!

According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,
To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 1:4-6 KJV

Now THIS, my friends, THIS should definitely be one of the ‘images’ in your inner identity album.  “I am ACCEPTED ‘cause God says I am!”  It truly is as simple as that, y’know.  There is nothing—nada, not one tiny thing, not anything at all—that you (or I) can do to be accepted or make yourself any more accepted by God.  He has done it all…in Christ.  There aren’t too many words which communicate God’s love to us than these; they always cause tears to well up in my eyes (if not flow out of)!  Words which tell of His great love for us: chosen…without blame… adoption… His Will…to the praise of the glory of His grace…accepted in the beloved!   Amazing, yes…and TRUE!

Webster’s definition says that to ACCEPT means to ‘receive willingly, to regard with approval, to value, to esteem, to take pleasure in or to receive with favor.’ Take that and think of yourself, child of God, insert your name—“I, _______, am willingly received by God;  God regards me, _______, with approval;  God values me, esteems me, takes pleasure in me, and receives me with favor!”

C.H. Spurgeon wrote, “Are there grander words in any language than these four ‘…accepted in the beloved’?  There seems to be a sacred poem in these words.  To my heart, there is more heavenly music in those four words than in any oratorio I ever heard.”

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Psalms 139:1-6

We—every single human being who ever has been born and who ever will be born—are known by God.  Truly “such knowledge…it is high; I cannot attain it!”  But it is the truth!  And God’s desire—His love—for all is to be saved through His Son, Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
John 3:16 and 17

When we are saved and brought into a relationship with Almighty God as His children, we receive access to Him.  He has completely accepted us and made us part of His family, His household.  Again, nothing we can do or could have done to accomplish this—it is all His gift of love, His doing through Jesus!

For through Him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
Ephesians 2:18 and 19

This was according to the eternal purpose that He has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him.
Ephesians 3:11 and 12

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Might I encourage you to take a little bit of time right now and seek your Father’s presence.  Put everything else aside and thank Him…praise Him…exalt Him…love Him.  Tell Him how thankful you are to be His child and to be accepted—because you are!   ♥  

Awesome God

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

There’s thunder in His footsteps and lightning in His fists
(Our God is an awesome God)

And the Lord wasn’t joking when He kicked’em out of Eden
It wasn’t for no reason that He shed His blood
His return is very close and so you better be believing that
Our God is an awesome God

Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God

~  Singer/Songwriter Rich Mullins: Our God Is An Awesome God  ~

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See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God;
and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.
1 John 3:1

Our God is a wonderful, loving, merciful, and graceful God. He loves us all in a way that we will never truly understand. The closest that we can come to understanding any of it is that He shed His own blood on the Cross for us. God has shown us the greatest love by giving us the greatest sacrifice of all time—His own blood.

Our God is a wonderful loving Father who takes cares of us, provides us with what we need, and rebukes us when we do wrong.

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil.
He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat,
and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden
to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out,
he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword
flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:21-24

Adam and Eve committed the first sin recorded in the Bible. God had told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). Yet, Eve, as most humans tend to do, followed her own nature, listened to the serpent, and ate of the tree. Then she convinced Adam to do the same. When they did, they became conscious of themselves and realized that they had sinned. They tried to hide, but were not able to. God found them. He knew where they were and did not have to look for them.

Even though they disobeyed Him, God still loved them. As any loving Father would do, God punishes Adam and Eve and sent them from the Garden, but He still provides for them. He clothed them and provided them with food by providing Adam with an area to farm. He punished Eve just a little more, but this pain also brings a gift. Through the pain of childbirth, women bring forth life. To keep them from eating of the Tree of Life, God banished them from the Garden. They were punished by their Father, but He also continued to provide for them.

God loves His children. He provides for them in amazing ways. He also knows what is best for us and provides and cares for us in ways that we need. God loves us, and that is amazing enough.

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being so amazing. Thank You, Lord, for shedding Your blood to show us how much You love us. Without this great sacrifice, we could not be close to You or live eternally with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Esther – Chapter 3:8-11

Haman the Agagite is an arrogant, prejudiced, hateful, bold-faced liar. He was given a position of honor by King Xerxes (Ahasuerus), but that wasn’t enough for him – he had to be worshipped, as well.  And when Haman wasn’t worshipped by Mordecai, he leveled a false charge of disobedience or insubordination against an entire race of people, wrapped it up in an ingratiating package that looked like loyalty and served it up to the king.  Deceived, the king obliged him.

Does Haman sound like anyone else you know??  May I speak Southern, ladies?  Haman is the devil.  (We call all manner of things “the devil” in the south that seek to do us harm – that nosey neighbor, preparing your taxes, cupcakes…. You get the picture.)  Now Haman is not LITERALLY the devil, but he has so many of Satan’s characteristics – elevated to a high place, yet wanting the worship due the King (God); arrogant; hate filled; a definite prejudice against God’s people and a liar.  In this book, Darlene reminds us of Job’s story, where Satan has an exchange with God about Job, and she calls him a tattletale of sorts; “… who puts God’s people in the worst possible light to discredit our faith as he seeks to tempt and destroy all believers” (page 39).  I do agree, but let’s call things as they are – Satan is known in the Bible as the accuser.

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down”  (Revelation 12:10 NIV).

To accuse, per the dictionary, is to charge with a shortcoming or error, or charge with a wrongdoing, fault, offense or crime. Sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it?  Satan, per Revelation, stands before God day and night charging you and me with wrongdoings, with crimes against God, with faults. What did Haman say in verse 8?  “They do not obey the King’s laws; it is not in the King’s best interest to tolerate them.” (Esther 2:8, NIV) Furthermore, he suggests that he be allowed to destroy them (verse 9).  Unlike the King, God is not deceived! The blood of his son, Jesus, was willingly shed for you to save your life and make you a brand new person!  In Psalm 103:12, it says: “He (God) has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” (NLT)  Not perfect?  No problem!  In 1 John 1:9, John says that “If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV)

Now hear me, sisters.  If Satan is working day and night to accuse us before God, and God’s not listening to him, who do you think believes Satan’s lying garbage?  We do.  What does Satan’s accusations look like?  Stop me when this sounds familiar: “You don’t obey God’s commands.”  You think God can love you with your past?”  “You’ll never be good enough.”  “You’ll never amount to anything.”  “You aren’t a very good Christian.”  “You’ve never finished anything you’ve started.  Why even try?”  “Do you really think you’re equipped to lead a small group/start a ministry/teach a class/make a difference?”  “God doesn’t care about you. Why bother?”  Lies, lies, LIES!!!   Satan is going to be punished for all eternity, and he’s trying to take everybody with him.  If he can’t get God to sign off on you (never happen!), then he’ll try  to get you to give up on God.

That’s why Ephesians 6:10-18 is so important .  It tells us how to shield ourselves “…against the devil’s schemes” (verse11).  This passage tells us about putting on “the armor of God.”  There are many ways that we can protect ourselves from Satan’s schemes, but only one way to fight back – with the Word of God, which is called the “sword of the Spirit” (verse 17).  When Satan whispers some lie in your ear, tell him (and remind yourself!) what ALMIGHTY GOD says about you!  You are LOVED (John 3:16) ! You are REDEEMED (Galatians 3:13, Psalm 107:2).  You are PERFECT (Psalms 139:13-14)!  You are a CHILD OF THE KING (1 John 3:1)!!

Enough, sisters!  Have you allowed Satan to accuse you of things that God refuses to hold against you, or even think about you?  No more!  If you see yourself as “less than,” let’s ask God to help you see the truth; you are royalty!  You are a child of the King!

 

Let’s pray:

Holy God, I thank You that You love me!  Thank you that You willingly sacrificed the life of Your son so that I can live eternally with You! God, I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s hard to see myself as You see me.  I see my faults, my failures, my attempts and where I don’t measure up. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever make a difference for Your kingdom, or if I’ll ever be good enough to be used by You.  And Satan is constantly attempting to drag me down!  Help me, Lord!   Help me to see my beauty given to me by You!

Help me to see the talents, giftings, and unique abilities that You have provided me by Your Holy Spirit.  Remind me, Lord, in ways that only You can, that I am Your child and am incredibly special.  Thank You for Your invaluable Word, Your infinite grace, wisdom and strength!  Thank You for every good and perfect gift that comes from You.

Shine Your light of love on me, Lord, so much that it pours out and strengthens others.  Help me to remember that through the blood of Your Son Jesus, Satan has NO POWER OVER ME!   Praise You, Lord!  Let my life be Your glory!  In Your Son’s name.

Amen

My Name is ‘Worthy’

It has been quite a week—the horrific tornado in Oklahoma and the tragic loss of so many lives…stuff and nonsense happening in my own life…hearing of sadness and grief experienced by dear friends.  All this wears on my heart; have you found this to be so?  Sometimes our hearts and minds get distracted by the things of this world and we forget to believe the Truth that we know.  And, sometimes, it causes us to wonder, ‘Why?’

Why?  The truth is we have an enemy.  One who loathes…no…truly hates God and His children.  He is determined to take what our Lord came to make available to us.  Jesus said,

A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come so that they may have life, and have it in abundance.
John 10:10

The evil that we experience is meant to draw us away from dwelling in God’s presence—to steal.  It is designed to dampen and diminish our love for our Lord—to kill.  And, ultimately, to cause us to turn away from God and His Word—to destroy.  This is what the enemy of our souls attempts to do.  However, Jesus has made it available for us to have LIFE full of grace and mercy, free, in abundance, joyous, peace-filled, and blessed!  Amen?

So much that God has intended for us is ours to simply receive—by His grace!  But we do have a  part to play in enjoying this life that Jesus has made available—we need to hold the Truth of God’s Word in our hearts and minds.

Your Word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Psalms 119:11

Treasured is also translated in other versions as ‘hid…hidden…stored…laid up.’  God’s Word(s) hidden in our hearts keeps us from sinning.  When the treasure of His Word is stored up in our hearts we remember what is written in the Scriptures and not only do we believe His promises but we trust in them, we act on them, we obey…all very pleasing to our Father God!

In my own heart, I can be distracted by words (from the past as well as the present) that are NOT the Truth.  These lies are the enemy’s attempts to steal, kill, and destroy my relationship with the One Who loves me so.  I must take His Word that I have treasured in my heart and remember it, believe it, trust in it, act on it, and obey!  When I do…oh, the abundant, joyous, free, grace and mercy-filled life I enjoy!  His Word tells me the TRUTH of who I am!!!

See what great 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

Hello, child of God!  What is your ‘name’?  I would love it if you would share it with us in the comments below!  My name is ‘worthy!’

Praying for each of you!  ♥ 

♥  coleen

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If you would like to send a personal message to Coleen concerning this blog post, you may email her at: Coleen@girlfriendscoffeehour.com