June 28, 2017

Thankful Representatives

seekingHimthanksgivinggraphic

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.
And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives.
Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:15-17 NLT

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According to Google.com, a representative is “a person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others.”  And at Dictionary.com it is also defined as “a typical example or specimen of a group, quality, or kind.”

This passage of Scripture gives us a lot to consider.  As one chosen by God, we, as Christians, are to represent Christ Jesus to those around us.  We are to be a “typical example of His quality.”  And how do we do that?  “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives” (verse 16).

What is “the message about Christ?”  It is the message that God loves us so much that “He gave His Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 MSG).  Does that good news fill your heart with thankfulness and joy to the point of singing?  It does mine!

“If thankfulness becomes a way of life, it will make it much easier to maintain a state of peace.  It helps us look on the bright side instead of focusing upon the events which can disturb our calm [our inner peace.]”

quote taken from The Complete Biblical Library,
The New Testament Study Bible Galatians through Philemon

God’s quality and quantity of love is beyond measure.  God is not asking us to “be Him” [which we know is impossible], but He is asking us to live and love “like Him.” When we choose to be the representative He wants us to be and in the place He wants us to be, we will have His peace.

In Philippians 4:1-9, Paul told Euodia and Syntyche to settle their disagreements, and he told the church to help them.  Paul wanted them to experience the joy and peace that God desires for His people, and to be the representatives God wanted them to be. When we live in peace, joy, thankfulness, and God’s wisdom, we will be representatives that show the world around us our God of love. With thankful hearts, we can sing, speak, and do that which draws others to Christ, and that also strengthens our sisters (and brothers) in Christ.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

A life that is full of Christ’s peace and His Word
is a life that is thankful, and rich and wise.
It will enrich everyone around you. Thank You, Lord.

(Many years ago I wrote this note in the margin of my Bible; I still believe it today.)

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Dear Lord Jesus, we come to You with thankful hearts.  Your Word—Your Good News—fills our lives with wisdom, peace, and joy.  Those are qualities people around us are looking for in their lives.  Lord, please help us to be Your representatives so that others will be drawn to You.  May our thanksgiving during this season of the year (and everyday) make people curious enough to ask why so we can share You with them.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

Esther – Chapter 7:5-8

Haman’s story is coming full circle here, in verses 5-8 of chapter 7 in Esther.  We’ve talked about Haman quite a bit, haven’t we?  In chapter 6, we discussed that, while we rejoice in knowing that God will avenge any evil done to us, we should try to look at all people (even Haman) as God sees them.  But in chapter 3 we see that just like Haman was a deadly adversary to Mordecai, the Jews, and Esther, so the devil is our adversary.  We saw that Haman was the accuser, just like Satan.  And in verses 5-8 of chapter 7, I am again reminded of the similarities between the two (Haman and Satan), and how, like Haman, Satan is going down! Let’s revisit a scripture I introduced from chapter 3’s discussion:

Wk7_Caddell_Esther

Darlene reminds us of an excellent point – one we should not forget – “Because of redemption through Jesus Christ, we are overcomers in this life” (page80).   OVERCOMERS!!  Hallelujah!  Did you see a similar word mentioned in the verses above?  Look again.  “They (the brothers, but sisters are included!) overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony….”

Did you know that through Jesus you have the power to overcome Satan in your life?   You do!  When you belong to Christ, the Holy Spirit resides in you (Acts 2:38).  In other words, you are covered by the blood of the Lamb. But what else was used to overcome Satan?  The word of their testimony.  That’s your part.  Share your testimony.   This is where some of us get a little discouraged or confused, like we don’t have a powerful testimony to share.  WRONG!  I don’t even know you, but I know your testimony is powerful.  Your testimony is your story…your life.  How God has changed you/shaped you/intervened on your behalf.  This is how you “defeat” Satan:  You know those reminders that he throws in your face of your past failures? You look him right in the eye and say, “That’s right, I did those things. But that’s who I WAS. Jesus washed all that garbage away and has forgiven me!  I am clean!  And now I’m going to tell others how God can turn their lives around, too.”  I’ve seen this quote many times and I love it – ‘your mess becomes your message; your test becomes your testimony’!  Can I say “Hallelujah!” again??  Hallelujah!

Let’s get real.  Will we experience trials?  Yes.  Difficulties and obstacles?   Absolutely.  Will that burden look too heavy to bear?  Quite possibly.  But you are not alone…Almighty God is on your side.  He is greater!  John is addressing a church about spiritual warfare, false prophets, and the spirit of the antichrist when he reminds them in 1 John 4:4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  Do you see that, sisters?  The one who is in YOU is greater than the one who is in the world.  Through the blood of Jesus, Satan has no claim on you, no hold on you, and no power over you!   You are NOT hopeless!  You are NOT powerless!  You ARE a daughter of the King!  YOU ARE AN OVERCOMER!!

Today, what “Haman” in your life is threatening you?  What trial are you going through?  What in your life has set itself against you—the daughter of the King?  TODAY, resolve to throw those things at the foot of the Cross and ask God to fight for you!  TODAY, change your mindset and claim the victory!  God will deliver you – say it out loud – I AM AN OVERCOMER!!!

 
Let’s Pray:

Holy God, THANK YOU for the POWER of the blood of Your Son, Jesus, that was shed on my behalf!  Thank You for my salvation.  Thank You that I don’t have to be threatened by my past mistakes, but that You can use my life as an example of Your abundant love and saving grace! Today, Lord, I throw at Your feet everything that is burdening me and ask You to intervene on my behalf.  Help me, Lord, to see Your deliverance in my life.  Give me a revelation of You that gives me the confidence, boldness and joy to claim victory in my life and overcome all obstacles! Give me the courage to share my story with others who need to know the unrelenting, merciful love and grace that is ours in Christ Jesus!  In the power of Your Son’s name we pray.

Amen.

A Daughter’s Worth: Week 11/ Day 4 – Be Willing to Accept “Yes” or “No”

Girls let me start off first by saying that when we write our blogs every week, the messages that we are assigned to write about in the book are messages that go to us first. What I mean by that is, (I am sure that the other Bloggers will say the same thing), what we have to write about is usually something that God is working with us on, in our own lives and to say it best…we have to take our own medicine, first. It reminds me of what my old Pastor used to say…”First to the messenger.” We have all been wowed by our Blog titles and subjects during this study! God is amazing like that!

Today’s topic, “be willing to accept yes or no”, was one that I really needed myself and so, I can better write about it because it is truly something that I am dealing with now. It can be hard to wait on God’s answer to a prayer that you really want Him to answer! You pray and then you wait: ( I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is trying to hear what God’s answer is to a request. I have learned over the years that you CAN NOT rush God! He is ALWAYS going to move when He is ready! He is going to move in His own timing! He knows what is best for us and we have to keep on trusting Him.

God KNOWS what is BEST for YOU! : ) I think that getting an answer of “No” from God is the hardest answer to receive from Him, but when your prayers aren’t answered the way that you think they should be, God provides comfort. I love how the author of this book, Ava Sturgeon, says that when the answer is “no”…”He’s promised never to leave you”, even when the answer is “no”.  Whatever His answer is, it will always be the BEST thing for us in the long run.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

God wants you to come to Him for EVERYTHING! He wants to be included in EVERY aspect of your life! He loves you so much!! Talk to Him like you talk with your friends and family. He doesn’t want to be left out : (

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always having our best interest at heart. Help us to be able to receive Your answers to our prayers whether it is a yes or a no. We know that You love us and want what is best for us. Help us to have a heart that trusts You dear Lord. We thank You in advance and we are asking these things in Your darling Son Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

Love, Ms. Tonya : )


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.