April 28, 2017

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 — 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 — TwentySeven: New Altogether

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The Truth contained in that Scripture is now more clear to me than ever before!  Surely I am not the only one to be having these moments of clarity and revelation?   If I was a cartoon character, I would have a little bubble over my head with the words “Oh!  Yes!  Now I understand!  Thank You, Lord!!!”  Truly, for so long, I have walked around endeavoring to renew my mind…I have!  Really!  But it has been such work because I was not keeping this Truth as my motivation.  The ‘cart before the horse’ syndrome.  No longer!  I have seen the light!  Since I have put on the new self, I am “being renewed in knowledge according to the image of <my> Creator.

Oh, the Lord does encourage us…He motivates us…and spurs us on.  And really all that is ours to do is simply believe Him and take Him at His Word. We CAN count on His Word being true.

Here are a few statements of Truth about who we are in the newness that Christ has made available to every believer.

  • new attitude of mind (Ephesians 4:23)
  • new heart (Ezekiel 36:26)
  • new spirit (Ezekiel 11:17)
  • new nature (Colossians 3:10)
  • new heritage (Galatians 3:28)
  • new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • new birth (1 Peter 1:3 and 4)
  • new self (Ephesians 4:24)

If God says we have all these things…then we do.  Mrs. Myers writes: “…you may sometimes think to yourself, ‘Well, that’s just not true of me, even though I <do> belong to Christ.’”  (Anyone else?)  Perhaps I have shared that mindset in the past.  But now, I no longer do.  I AM who God says I am! (And y.o.u. are, too!)

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator.
In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.
Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Colossians 3:9-17

This is quite a list of righteous, holy ways of living!  Images that God thinks of you…pictures that reflect the way that Jesus lived—and so can you (me, too)! Now those would make a beautiful page for our inner identity albums, wouldn’t you say?

“So take God at His Word and press forward into a growing experience of the renewal to which He has called you!”

— Mrs. Ruth Myers

CHRISTLife — TwentySix: Always A Receiver

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Time measured out my days, life carried me along
In my soul I yearned to follow God but knew I’d never be so strong
I looked hard at this world to learn how heaven could be gained
Just to end where I began where human effort is all in vain

Were it not for grace…I can tell you where I’d be
Wandering down some pointless road to nowhere
With my salvation up to me
And I know how that would go—the battles I would face
Forever running but losing the race…were it not for grace

So here is all my praise expressed with all my heart
Offered to the Friend who took my place and ran a course I could not start
And when He saw in full just how much His Love would cost
He still went the final mile between me and heaven so I would not be lost

Were it not for grace!”  I believe you (me, too!) are thoroughly and thankfully cognizant of the awesome goodness of Almighty God to mankind in the incredible provision of His grace.  And it is SO good to be aware of where we would be…but perhaps even more important to recognize that, because of grace, we are where God would have us to be.  As Mrs. Myers so abundantly points out, we are always  recipients of God’s amazing grace!  We are the joyful “receivers not independent achievers!”  Here in this 26th chapter, Always A Receiver, she writes about grace/God’s favor over 20 times!

Throughout the Bible, we find many believers well aware of and thankful for God’s grace!  Whether it was James offering motivation to the Hebrews living in dispersion throughout Europe or David’s exclamation of praise, these are just two examples of men who were assured of the truth regarding grace.

But He gives more grace.
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

Equally we, too, should be assured of all that Jesus’ sacrifice and death has given to us by God’s grace.

[All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God,
freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy),
through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
Romans 3:24

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace
in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:1 and 2

And so we can also praise our God declaring how good and kind He has been to us! We are redeemed, saved, freed from slavery to sin and now live, in that freedom, under grace.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Paul shared the following with Titus as he urged him to encourage and reprove the people in Crete. May we have the same heart—keeping in mind the grace we have received and do always receive!

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 and to purify for Himself a people
for His own possession who are zealous for good.
Titus 2:11-14

CHRISTLife — Week Four

CHRISTLifepart2coverpicOh! My!  THIS is going to be a good week!  Have you read ahead…or taken a look at this week’s lessons?  In case you haven’t, here is a sneak peek at just the chapter titles:

  • Called and Chosen
  • Desired
  • No Longer Condemned
  • Clean And More
  • Alive With His Life

I AM what God says I am (take a glance back at the list)…and, therefore, I AM all those things!  Talk about Truth and positive images to write in my inner identity album!

Are you a child of God?  Have you been redeemed?  Did Jesus die for you?  Do you love God?  If so Since ‘YES’ is the resounding reply… then take the verses below and insert your own name.  Personalize this Scripture with your own name (like this: “…God causes all things to work together for good to <Coleen> who loves God, to <Coleen> who is called….”)  OK?   Perhaps you might read this aloud…reminding yourself audibly that ‘I AM what God says I am!’  This IS the image that God holds of y.o.u.!  This is y.o.u. because your life IS Christ!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to <y.o.u.> who loves God, to <y.o.u.>  who is called according to His purpose.
For <y.o.u.> whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
And <y.o.u.> whom He predestined, He also called; and <y.o.u.> whom He called, He also justified; and <y.o.u.>  whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall <y.o.u.> say to these things? If God is for <me>, who is against <me>?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for <me>, how will He not also with Him freely give <me> all things?
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for <me>.
Who will separate <me> from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
But in all these things <I> overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved <me>.
For <I> am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate <me> from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus <my> Lord.
Romans 8:28-39 (paraphrased)

(And take a few minutes to go over to the Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs blog…the song that is featured today could just be our ‘theme song,’ my friends!)

CHRISTLife – Nine: Too High or Too Low

Oh, how we suffer and struggle under the lies and misconceptions we struggle with in our hearts!  (I can almost see your beautiful heads nodding in agreement.)  We must find a way to “be realistic in the way we view and accept ourselves” (page 40).  As we continue along in CHRISTLife: Embracing Your True and Deepest Identity, Mrs. Myers lovingly and faithfully keeps bringing us back to the Truth of who we are in Christ.   Or, as we like to phrase it, ‘I AM who God says I am!’  There is a children’s song, originally sung by the Gaither Family back in the day 😉 that could be our new anthem. As you listen along, hopefully you will be renewed in your mind to sing along believing that you ARE a Promise (with a capital P)!

I am a promise…I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital “P”
I am a great big bundle of potentiality
And I am learnin’ to hear God’s voice
And I am tryin’ to make the right choice
I am a promise to be anything God wants me to be

  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  

Kim shares another page with us from her ‘Inner Identity Album’ along with her encouragement for us today:iiakimiamapossibility
“I love this page because it serves as a reminder that even though there may be times in our walk with God that it doesn’t seem like He is working, or perhaps we are walking through circumstances and they are screaming loudly—these are the Truth’s that we can hang on to!

He loves you
He has good plans for you
He is working for your good
He hears you
You are His
He will never leave you or ever forsake you
HE IS FAITHFUL in ALL Things!!!

These reminders could not have come at a better time for me…God’s timing is always perfect!”

  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  

So, sisters, Kim and I pray for you (and ourselves!) that

  • you will keep on listening to hear God’s voice (He has MUCH to tell you!)
  • keep on trying He’ll help you make the right choice (He never leaves nor forsakes you!)
  • ‘cause you’re a Promise to be anything He wants you to be (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

CHRISTLife – One: A Crucial Question

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Who are you? Is your first response, ‘Don’t ask me that question!’ or perhaps, you have a ready litany to spout out of accomplishments and positions you hold, of who you are in relation to your little world.  So I ask you again (and believe me…we are going to ask this question of each other and of ourselves many times during this study!)

Really now…who are you?

As the answers rise up within you, I suggest that you write them down.  Keep a running list.  And don’t NOT write down any response that is a little ugly or dark or something you don’t want to admit.  As we move along through this study, we will purposefully and intentionally work to find the Truth from the Scriptures of just God says you are.  And your list can be overwritten with those Truths.

Now, when you ask yourself ‘Who am I?,’ how do you feel about looking within?  Is it uncomfortable…painful even.  We each have areas of our hearts, our memories, our minds where we have pushed down the things that we don’t like and the things that we don’t want to deal with.  And perhaps there are things in your heart way down there that you aren’t even aware of anymore.

The Psalmist knew that it was God, and God alone, Who knew the depths of his heart! Over and over we read of him asking God to show him his heart.  In Psalm 139, he declares,

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
Verse 1

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Verse 23

Throughout our lives, situations and circumstances have led us to believe ‘things’ about ourselves—things that are simply not true. For many of us, perhaps even the majority of us, because of life events, our thoughts and beliefs about who we are have been molded without our even knowing it.

I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit reveal to you these lies that you believe about yourself. This will not be easy…most probably, very uncomfortable! But what great value there will be to not holding onto these lies anymore. And to shed light where there was darkness! And to hold onto the Truth that is revealed—the Truth about who God made you (each of us!) to be.

For You, O Lord, are my Lamp; the Lord lightens my darkness.
2 Samuel 22:29

This little song, sung by a few teenager girls, expresses my heart. How about yours?

“Search my heart, Lord, find anything, anything that keeps me from You
Find everything, everything that leads me away from Truth
I’m asking You, Lord, now know my heart
Every little secret, every hidden part
And what You ask of me, Lord, I’ll do…anything.”

Day by day, chapter by chapter, week by week, as we choose to persevere through this study, we will come to recognize just who we are in Christ!  Oh, to trust and believe it—I am who God says I am.

  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  ~  *  

Oh, heavenly Father, I pray for each and every one of my sisters asking, Lord, that You will fill each of their hearts with the Truth of who they really are and how very much You love them. I ask that You would help each one of us to replace every single lie that is counter to the way that You see us with Truth from Your Scriptures.  Please help us to believe that ‘I am who God says I am!’  With Jesus’ precious blood we have been redeemed and made whole; it is in His Name that I ask and pray these things. Amen. Thank You, Lord.