April 23, 2017

CHRISTLife — FORTY: Embracing A Glorious Future

CLday40gloriousfuture

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

~~ * ~~

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

~~ * ~~

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

~~ * ~~

But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

~~ * ~~

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

~~ * ~~

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.

“I AM” Chapter 7 – Day 5: I AM…with Christ in Eternity!

I would like to invite you to listen to this video before reading today’s blog.  Close your eyes, if you will;  allow the Holy Spirit to surround you and speak to your heart.  (You will definitely want to turn up the volume!)

 

I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by His side…I can only imagine what my eyes will see when His Face is before me…I can only imagine!  How about you?!?  Does your heart not yearn for our Lord’s return?  Do you not have your heart set on life eternally spent in the Presence of the Great I AM?  Can you hardly wait?!?

King Solomon, a man graced by God with more wisdom than any other man, wrote the following.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  He has also set eternity in the human heart;
yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

God did this!  He put a strong desire to dwell forever with the Great I AM in the human heart!  We understand this, don’t we?  I can only imagine….

In our final lesson today, Teresa shared with us that we have REASON, we have HOPE, and we have PROMISE to cling to.  (Please insert your name in the blanks.)

  • REASON:   (_______) needed a Savior—John 3:16 and 17
  • HOPE:         (_______) is awaiting the Lord’s return—Philippians 3:20
  • PROMISE: (_______) will have a new, perfect body—Philippians 3:21

Please personalize this, my friends!  When we recognize and believe that the Great I AM has made a way from the beginning for (______) to be saved and redeemed and bought back with a precious and costly price—the blood of Jesus—then, I can only imagine….

And check this out!  Here is another promise…we shall see Him; how AWESOME is this?

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12

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

Hope remains for God’s children (us! you and me!) We have these beautiful promises from our Faithful God—we SHALL SEE Jesus face-to-face.  I can only imagine….

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him,
because we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2

From this glorious verse we are assured of THREE things:
we know that He will appear;
we know that we shall be like Him;
we know we shall see Him.

To KNOW and be assured of these things gives such comfort and joy to our hearts, doesn’t it? This is TRUTH to speak to ourselves every day!  To remind ourselves that I AM God’s child, I AM going to be like Him (like HIM!!!  amazing!), I AM going to see the Lord.  The truth contained in the Scriptures is our standard, upon which we can stake our very lives because God has spoken it.   I can only imagine….

Jesus’ followers have always believed that He will come again.  He promised the apostles: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” John 14:3.

Paul related the same promise: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness…” Titus 2:11-14.

The Church today believe this, too.  We wait for His return!  When Jesus was finishing giving Revelation to John, at the very end He says,

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I AM coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Revelation 22:20

————————

Friends, this concludes our study of ‘I AM, Discovering the Character of God through the Revelation of the Scripture.’  Has this study been EVEN MORE than you had hoped?  It certainly has for us!  We pray that Teresa’s book, the accompanying blogs written over the past 7 weeks, and our group study has been a great blessing in your life.  God has certainly knit our hearts together as we have studied the truth of His Word together.  God bless you! <3

And, Teresa, we just would like to communicate our love for you and our thanks!  At the opening of your book, you invited your readers to dig in and ‘find ourselves’ in the pages of God’s Word.  Oh! My!  How amazingly that has happened!  We remain so very thankful for your obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit as He taught you…and you taught us!  We are so thankful to God for all that He has worked in your heart, Teresa.  May He continue to make Himself known as He leads you along this path He has placed you on!  We pray for you and your loved ones asking the Great I AM to continue to bless you, keep you and make His face to shine upon you…in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

_____________________

Ladies, may I pray for you?

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Lord, I thank You for each and every one of Your daughters who I have been privileged to journey with through this “I AM” study.   We have shared this journey—the growth, the challenges, the struggles, the peace, the joy—and grown closer together.  Thank You for that, Lord!  I pray for each of these dear hearts that You would continue to draw them close to Yourself.  I ask, Lord, that as You have worked in each of their hearts, they would continue to seek You and find You through the Scriptures.  Thank You, Lord, for their hearts, their lives, and their loved ones.  In Jesus our Lord’s name.

Amen.