April 28, 2017

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!

FAN OR FOLLOWER? and MEET MISS RACHEL!

acceptJesus_NewHey ALL! It feels so good to blog again for my sweet friends at GCH: decaf!! I have been going through withdrawal! I hope everyone has had a beautiful Christmas and I pray everyone has a safe and happy evening ringing in the new YEAR! I am so pumped to start the not a fan study! I am even more pumped to introduce to you one of our very own Online Bible Study participants and my new friend, Rachel! If you are wondering what not a fan is all about and if you are just as excited as I was to get to know Rachel a little more then read on dear readers…
“not a fan”…those words bring back some really great memories for me! I did the not a fan study with my small group a while back. It was brought into my life at just the right time-thank you Jesus. It makes me laugh because as we were doing this study and even after it was over you could constantly hear me say to just about everyone I encountered that this study changed my life! Some friends constantly teased me that I was being so dramatic. However, what those friends seemed to not realize is saying that this study changed my life was an understatement. You see, during this study, I learned to let God into this study with me. I let God change me! People can think what they want, dramatic or not, when God changes you there is this huge desire you get to let everyone know what it is God has done in your life, right?
There were so many burdens in my life that I was carrying on my cross when I did this study. I wanted so desperately to be free from these burdens, but they were so much a part of me I did not know how to break free. Then, I did it. I followed God into therapy. I gave Him EVERYTHING even the parts of me I had been holding onto for so long for fear that if I gave them up I wouldn’t be “me” anymore. The best thing happened, I put everything that belonged on His cross there and I finally became the “me” I was so scared of becoming…the “me” that God created me to be. That same day I vowed to take up my cross each day and follow Jesus just like it says in the Bible in Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.
This verse is mentioned a lot in the not a fan study. It is one of those verses that make you stop what you are doing and think to yourself, “am I a follower of Jesus? To be a follower we must turn from the things in our life that are keeping us from God, we must give up our entire life for God as He did for us on HIS cross that dreary day, and follow His desires and plans for our lives, follow His truth that is shared with us in His Living Word. Rachel explains this perfectly when I asked her what her thoughts were, so read on!
I can confidently tell you (without an ounce of convincing) that I am a follower of Jesus. Pre-study, I would not have been able to say that with confidence—can you see why I was so excited to share what God changed me to be through this study; one of his followers? Now, your turn, can you say with confidence and without an ounce of convincing that you surely are a follower of Jesus? Whatever your answer may be, I am excited to start this journey with you. A journey in which we give up our lives to receive God’s strength, healing, and freedom through what Jesus has done for us on HIS CROSS.
One of the girls going on this journey with us would be Miss. Rachel. I had so much fun talking back and forth with this amazing GOD GIRL earlier today. She inspires me. She is only 15 and ¾ (even though she told me 15 1/2) and she really gets God. She knows the importance of having a relationship with God and embraces that. I am so glad to have “met her” even though we have never really met! I had some very important questions to ask Miss. Rachel and it just so happens that through her answers I learned we have a lot in common (especially our frustration with prematurely hitting enter while sending a facebook message, they really need to change that)! Any time I meet a sister in Christ I can be guaranteed that we will have one thing in common: our love for Christ and that is just the best thing to have in common! Here is how our conversation went. Enjoy getting to know Rachel, she is one fascinating young lady! Thank you Jesus for bringing her to GCH: decaf!
ME: What city and state do you live in?
RACHEL: Murfreesboro, TN
ME: Who is your favorite Christian artist?
RACHEL: Flyleaf
ME: What is your favorite movie of all time?
RACHEL: Meet the Robinsons
ME: What is your favorite style of clothes, accessories, shoes, etc?
RACHEL: Sophisticated stuff medium length flowy dresses
ME: What is your favorite thing to do with friends?
RACHEL: Sleepovers and mainly just talking—-this is Diane speaking: oh ya, girl after my own heart!!
Ok this is the question that Rachel answered which made my heart smile HUGELY
ME: What is one thing that changed your life?
RACHEL: One thing… well I started going to World Outreach Church last May. At first I wasn’t excited, but I think it’s helped in my relationship with God, with me going there and stuff I hope that’s good!
Good?? Rachel, that is amazing!
Here are Rachel’s wise thoughts on what it means to be a follower of Jesus and what it means to be a fan of Jesus…We would love to hear what your thoughts are, share in the comment section below or in our group…can’t wait to hear from you!
A follower? Well we just talked about that last month at church. For me, I guess, a follower of Christ would be choosing to be like Him. Of course, perfection is out of the question but that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make yourself better, with God’s help. A fan is “an enthusiastic admirer.” They aren’t willing to give EVERYTHING up for Him.
I do not think I could say it any more perfectly Rachel!! Thanks for sharing with us!! I had so much fun talking with Rachel. As we prepare our hearts for this study, I am excited to continue to get to know each and every one of you!

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If you are interested in joining us in our GCH:decaf Teen Girls Ministry, please click the sign-up form button at the top of our webpage. Just follow the instructions on the form and hit submit. We’ll be happy to add you to one of our Online Bible Study Groups! Please email GCH_Decaf@girlfriendscoffeehour.com for more information.