April 28, 2017

Remind Me Who I Am

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

When I lose my way
And I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don’t wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is

Tell me, once again who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You, to You

When my heart is like a stone
And I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it

I’m the one You love
I’m the one You love
That will be enough
I’m the one You love

Singer / Songwriter: Jason Gray

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it,
and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions,
I obviously need help!
I realize that I don’t have what it takes.
I can will it, but I can’t do it.
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it;
I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.
The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.
Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.
Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7:17-25 MSG

I must admit I am feeling pretty worn and weary.  I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to make the changes I desire in my life. I have lost my ‘want to...’.  Lysa TerKeurst puts it this way:

“It’s not the how to I am missing. It’s the want to…really wanting to make changes and deciding the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice.”

As I was deciding which song to blog about, I was torn between this song and “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. God whispered to my heart “You must know who you are before you can thrive.”

  • How do we so easily forget who we are and Whose we are?
  • Why is it that “…in the mirror all I see is who I don’t wanna be…”?
  • Why do I struggle to do what I know is right and not do what I know is wrong?

I read an article on the story behind this song.  In it Jason Gray says this:

“Most, if not all, of the time I really don’t want to sin, so that I do so seemingly against my own will.  Or as the apostle Paul famously said, “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway…”
So sin begins to look more like addiction than anything else, as though there is a ravenous hunger deep inside of me that demands to be fed. What is that hunger, I wonder? Genesis Chapter 3 tells us that one of the first consequences of sin entering the world is that the ground would be cursed, that we would eat by the sweat of our brow and the soil would produce weeds and thistles. This carries in it the idea of futility: that our efforts are frustrated, that no matter what we do, we feel it’s never enough–that perhaps we are never enough.”

Oh, how I can relate.  I have been ready to throw in the towel.  I am “afraid I’ll never be enough.”  Why?  Because I have been trying to do it on my own. No matter how much effort I put into it, I am doomed to fail on my own. Only when I realize who God says I am and rely on Him to lead me will I have success.

Who does God say I am?

  • Colossians 3:12 AMP says I am “well-beloved [by God Himself,”
  • 1 John 3:12 NASB tells us “now we are children of God,”
  • Zephaniah 3:17 NIV states “The Lord your God is with you…He will take great delight in you;  He will rejoice over you with singing.”
  • Isaiah 49:16a AMP reminds us “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands;”

Think about Isaiah 49:16 for a minute.   Can you imagine the pain of having something inscribed (or tattooed) on the palm of your hand?  How much more painful was it for God to sacrifice His only Son for me?  I need to remind myself that God gave up everything for me so I don’t have to do life on my own.

All I need to do is ask God…
If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it?

Remind Me Who I Am

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

When I lose my way
And I forget my name
Remind me who I am
In the mirror all I see
Is who I don’t wanna be
Remind me who I am
In the loneliest places
When I can’t remember what grace is

Tell me, once again who I am to You, who I am to You
Tell me, lest I forget Who I am to You, that I belong to You, to You

When my heart is like a stone
And I’m running far from home
Remind me who I am
When I can’t receive Your love
Afraid I’ll never be enough
Remind me who I am
If I’m Your beloved
Can You help me believe it

I’m the one You love
I’m the one You love
That will be enough
I’m the one You love

Singer / Songwriter: Jason Gray

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it,
and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions,
I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it.
I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.
My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.
It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.
The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.
I truly delight in God’s commands,
but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.
Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope.
Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.
He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions
where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind,
but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7:17-25 MSG

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   * 

I must admit I am feeling pretty worn and weary. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to make the changes I desire in my life. I have lost my ‘want to...’.  Lysa TerKeurst puts it this way:

“It’s not the how to I am missing. It’s the want to…really wanting to make changes and deciding the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice.”

As I was deciding which song to blog about, I was torn between this song and “Thrive” by Casting Crowns. God whispered to my heart “You must know who you are before you can thrive.”

  • How do we so easily forget who we are and Whose we are?
  • Why is it that “…in the mirror all I see is who I don’t wanna be…”?
  • Why do I struggle to do what I know is right and not do what I know is wrong?

I read an article on the story behind this song.  In it Jason Gray says this:

“Most, if not all, of the time I really don’t want to sin, so that I do so seemingly against my own will.  Or as the apostle Paul famously said, “I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway…”
So sin begins to look more like addiction than anything else, as though there is a ravenous hunger deep inside of me that demands to be fed. What is that hunger, I wonder? Genesis Chapter 3 tells us that one of the first consequences of sin entering the world is that the ground would be cursed, that we would eat by the sweat of our brow and the soil would produce weeds and thistles. This carries in it the idea of futility: that our efforts are frustrated, that no matter what we do, we feel it’s never enough–that perhaps we are never enough.”

Oh, how I can relate. I have been ready to throw in the towel. I am “afraid I’ll never be enough.” Why? Because I have been trying to do it on my own. No matter how much effort I put into it, I am doomed to fail on my own. Only when I realize who God says I am and rely on Him to lead me will I have success.

Who does God say I am?

Colossians 3:12 AMP says I am “well-beloved [by God Himself,”
1 John 3:12 NASB tells us “now we are children of God,”
Zephaniah 3:17 NIV states “The Lord your God is with you…He will take great delight in you;  He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Isaiah 49:16a AMP reminds us “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands;”

Think about Isaiah 49:16 for a minute.   Can you imagine the pain of having something inscribed (or tattooed) on the palm of your hand? How much more painful was it for God to sacrifice His only Son for me?  I need to remind myself that God gave up everything for me so I don’t have to do life on my own.

All I need to do is ask God…
If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it?

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

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

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

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

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!!!

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Changing Your Heart from Critical to Caring

GL header

Dear Coach Megan,

God has really been working in my heart lately and, whether I like it or not, He has shown me that I have a really critical spirit with the people closest to me. I don’t like it and I want to do my part to change, but I’m not sure where to begin. Can you help?

~ DJ

Dearest DJ…

In my experience, anyone with a critical spirit is an expert at finding fault and focusing on it! Bless you for not only admitting this, but being willing to let God in and work on your precious heart to make an impact {in a good way} on all the lives you touch!  I pray that this blog post will be a blessing to you and your family, and I would love to hear how God fills your heart with His supernatural caring!

A critical spirit does not reflect the heart of the wise, nor does it reflect the heart of God.  Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man  brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him”  {Matthew 12:34-35}.

A critical spirit is an excessively negative attitude with harshness in judging.  A person with a critical spirit gives unfair criticism by fault-finding, nit-picking, carping, quibbling, and complaining.  The Bible is clear about those who are judgmental:

Romans 14:10

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister?  Or why do you treat them with contempt?
For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

On the flip side… a caring spirit is a thoughtful, attentive attitude with a heart to help.  One of the most important needs we all have is for someone to care about us; someone to be attentive to our dreams and disappointments, our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, our strengths and weaknesses, our vices and virtues.  How blessed we are when we have caring people in our lives!  Those who have a caring spirit reflect the heart of our caring Savior.

Nahum 1:7

 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him

How to change your heart from critical to caring:

Identify your shortcomings {Psalms 139:23-24}

  • Humble your heart to see your own sin, your imperfections, and your immense need for God’s mercy.
  • Help others see their significance in God’s eyes.
  • Pray: “Lord, may I see my sin as You see it…may I hate my sin as You hate it.”

Practice compassion for others {Colossians 3:12}

  • Look closely at the life of Christ to learn His compassionate way of confronting the truth.
  • Pray that you will not be a critical stone thrower, but a compassionate need-meeter.

Draw out the heartfelt needs of others {Proverbs 20:5}

  • Don’t listen to only what people say on the surface. Listen for the needs and feelings beneath the surface… feelings of being unloved or feeling insignificant or insecure.
  • Pray that God will give you a discerning spirit as you seek to draw others out.

Offer acceptance to others {Romans 15:7}

  • Realize that everyone has an innate fear of rejection and a deep yearning for acceptance.
  • Choose to be a channel through which God extends His acceptance to others.

See the God-given worth in others {Luke 12:6-7}

  • Treat every person, especially the one most problematic to you, as someone with God-given worth.  The truth judges our hearts, attitudes, and actions towards others.
  • Pray that the Lord will not allow you to despise anyone whom He created and loves.

Praise the positives in others {Philippians 4:8}

  • Avoid the temptation to try to catch people doing something wrong.  Instead, comment on what they are doing right.
  • Pray that you will see something positive in every person, then faithfully make that your focus.
  • Pray that you would see others as God sees them and value them as He values them.

Refuse to wound others with words {Colossians 3:16}

  • Consider the fallacy of the saying “talk is cheap.” Talk is costly when it tears others down. Prayerfully consider the possibility that what you are criticizing in someone may be something God wants to deal with directly, and that God may want you to pray and remain silent.
  • Before speaking words of criticism, ask a wise friend to evaluate the content and tone of your words.  Realize that after critical words are spoken, you can never take them back.
  • Inspire those who need to change by sharing with them your belief that they can change. Encourage them by saying “Don’t give up. Trust God to guide you in the way you should go. I know you can make the right decisions. I believe you can experience God’s best!”
  • Present your words to God as His instrument for good, and pray that He will put His words into your mouth.

See the unmet needs of others {Philippians 4:19}

  • Instead of judging the inappropriate actions of others, seek to understand the need behind each action.
  • Realize that people who speak forth cutting words reveal that they have unmet inner needs {for love, significance, or security.}
  • Realize that people don’t always mean what they say nor understand their own deepest needs.
  • Pray that your critics will allow the Lord to meet their deepest inner needs.

Rely on God’s Word and God’s Spirit for wisdom

  • Seek God’s wisdom by reading a chapter a day from the Book of Proverbs.
  • Write down every verse from Proverbs that pertains to the tongue.  Check your words against this list and see if you are being wise with what you say.
  • See God at work in every circumstance and trust Him for wisdom to know how to respond {wisdom is the ability to look at life from God’s point of view.}
  • Pray that God’s Spirit will teach you spiritual truths and lead you to speak these truths in love.

1 Corinthians 2:13

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom 
but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂 

Esther – Chapter 6:12-14

Wk6_Fox_Esther

_______________________________________________

Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate.

Esther 6:12

How interesting that all that honor and fanfare didn’t seem to give Mordecai a big head.  He went back to his daily position and duties.  I believe he knew his true value came from his God, and not from men, and that’s all he needed.  What a difference humility and faith makes in a person’s life!

Then there was Haman.  Obviously, honor from the king fed his self-centered pride so it meant everything to him.  But the honor went to the “other guy!”  Esther 6:12b, “But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief,”  How frustrating, depressing, and embarrassing for Haman.  What could be more defeating than to have his plans for destruction completely reversed, and perhaps begin to fall on him!?

Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.

Proverbs 29:23

Esther 6:13 (NLT), “When Haman told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends what had happened, his wise advisers and his wife said, ‘Since Mordecai–this man who has humiliated you—is of Jewish birth, you will never succeed in your plans against him. It will be fatal to continue opposing him.’”  In his arrogance, Haman expected some sympathy from his wife and his “wise” friends but instead they foretold of his demise.  They told him two things which turned out to be prophetic.

The first was based on a fact: “Mordecai is a Jew, and because of that fact your plan will fail.” They were implying that the Jews’ God was watching over them, and He was more powerful than any human plan.

I found this very intriguing.  Here was the Jewish Nation defeated in war, their cities destroyed, and the people taken captive to serve in foreign lands.  In spite of those facts, the citizens who lived around the Jews recognized that God was with them.  They saw the resilience, strength, and confidence of the Jews that could only be explained in reference to their worship of and their trust in their God.

This raised questions in my own mind: Do others see the evidence of resilience, strength, and confidence in my life that demonstrates my faith that God is taking care of me?  Do I live a life of humility so that my life points others to my God?

What “great“ friends these guys were, and they weren’t finished with Haman yet!  They barely took a breath when they hit him with the second prophetic statement: “You, personally, will be ruined!”

Without a chance to think that through, a knock came at the door and Haman was escorted, as was the custom, to the second of Queen Esther’s banquets.  I imagine in light of what his friends had just told him, he had many conflicting thoughts as he went.  Would this be his chance to make more “brownie points” with the king and queen and receive more honor, or was doom lurking in the very shadows of the queen’s banquet hall?

Our author, Darlene Schacht says, “This entire chapter has a strong focus on the dangers of pride and the blessings of humility. It is further exemplified here as Mordecai is exalted and Haman is cut down.”  We talked last week in chapter five about pride and humility, and Tonya talked about the dangers of pride on Tuesday.  Oh my, here we are again today.  Over the years I’ve heard Bible teachers say that if God’s Word repeats something more than once God must consider it important enough for us to stop and reflect on it.  (Okay, Lord, I’m listening!)

Humility:  Mordecai is our example of humility.  He was meek, having a quiet, gentle spirit. He was more concerned about others than he was for his own welfare.  True humility is more than an outward act of service.  It is also an attitude that comes from the heart. Colossians 3:12, “Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Pride: There are two kinds of pride.  We can take “pride” in a job well done; that is to be happy for the accomplishment.  We see the other kind of pride that the Bible refers to in Haman; pride in himself, giving himself all the credit.  Like humility, pride is an attitude of the heart.  We, too, can have this pride which convinces us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. This pride can be subtle. This pride is self-righteousness, not giving credit to God for the good in our lives and what we’ve accomplished, and that is sin.                 

I Corinthians 4:7, “For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?”

Darlene asks, “What are some of the ways you might protect your heart against pride?”  I’ll share a couple and then please add your thoughts as you share today:

  1. I remind myself regularly that any gifts and talents that I have, and the fruit of the Spirit, all come from God.
  2. I must recognize that whatever is good within me is only because of Jesus.
  3. Your turn!

I would like to use some of John Piper’s quote that Darlene shared with us as part of our prayer today.

*****

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, we are once again confronted with the sharp contrast between humility and pride, two very opposing forces in our own lives.  You want us to be clothed in humility, and to be alert to protect our heart against pride.  Holy Spirit, we can’t do this without You.  Please help us “to cultivate a joy in Christ, His wisdom, power, justice, and love that is more satisfying than the pleasures of human praise.  We pray that we will experience the miracle of self-forgetfulness in the admiration of Christ, and in love toward people.”  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

“I AM” Chapter 5 – Day 2: I AM Family

GFCHmemverse3

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. 

Ephesians 1:11

******

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Colossians 3:12 

Chose. That word says so much. Here are a couple of definitions that I found for this word; looking at the definition helps me to better understand the full impact of the meaning of a word.

  • To want; desire.
  • Make a deliberate decision: to make a deliberate decision to do something

We can’t choose our earthly family, we are gifted (doesn’t always feel like it but yes) with them by God; they are genetically ours.  We love them for their good characteristics and pray them through their bad; as my son says “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”   This principle can be easily applied to our earthly families because, like Teresa said, these relationships are tangible, we can see the connections and they are sometimes easier to grasp than the concept of a spiritual family, whose connections we cannot see with our eyes.

Our spiritual family is different. It’s a family chosen by God; we’re related by blood,—but not flesh and blood like siblings are related—but by the blood of the Lamb.

We don’t choose our family in this life, but God chose us.  He picked each and every one of us.  If nothing else this gives us reassurance that we are part of the I AM’s family; take confidence that He wanted us!  He knew our past, present, and futures and still chose us.

He desires to have a relationship with us.  He made a deliberate decision to call us into His family.

There’s something that Teresa wrote that truly touched my heart: “When it comes to our spiritual family, we like to pick and choose.”  We walk around life looking at those around us, questioning why we have to accept them, and questioning why God chose them.  They may have hurt us, we may know things about their past, and we may wonder why we have to accept them.  I know I have been guilty of this.

Look at Colossians 3:12 again…and see how we are to interact and love our spiritual family:

Tenderhearted – Merciful – Kind – Walking in Humility – Gentle – Patient

 Why?

Because He chose you.   Because He chose me.
Because we are the family of The Great I AM.

__________

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for choosing me despite my past, despite my present, and despite what my future holds that does not live up to Your word.  Lord, please give us the hearts to accept our spiritual family as You have accepted and chosen us.  Lord, please guide us and give us the opportunities to walk with a tender heart, with mercy, in kindness, with humility, gently, and with patience. Help us to embrace that we are a part of Your family.  Thank You, Father.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen