August 23, 2017

CHRISTLife — ThirtyNine: Purposeful

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We each have the very same purpose that Jesus had when He walked this earth.  His purpose—to love. Our purpose—to love.

God purposed to love the world by giving His Son.

Jesus was sent to show God’s love, to be God’s love, to give God’s love.  He was the epitome and the manifestation of His Father’s love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Jesus purposed to love by revealing God’s love.

Immediately before He allowed Himself to be arrested, and knowing that He would be interrogated, tortured, crucified, and ultimately give His life, Jesus prayed this prayer.

Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me]
may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory,
which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me];
for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed
to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually];
and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character
and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known,
that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them
[felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.
John 17:24-26

Jesus purposed to love by giving up His life.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Our purpose is to show God’s love by giving of ourselves.

Jesus taught a great lesson (Luke 10) about love in the parable about the Good Samaritan.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

Jesus taught His disciples and other followers numerous times about love and the immense importance of it. There is much to glean and learn in Jesus’ lesson.  In this account, He gave a graphic example of what love DID NOT look like…and how love DID look.  And then He said,

“Go and do the same.”
Verse 37

The love that the Samaritan showed for the stranger laying on the side of the road was purposeful…intentional…took effort.  All love should be the same.

Not only do we have the same purpose……but we have the same ability.  With Christ in our hearts, we can know this love.

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.
God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence
in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
1 John 4:16 and 17

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:4-5, 10-11

I pray that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-20

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:11

Each of us is a person with one life of purpose to live along with the choice to love.
By God’s love and grace we have been given the ability to purposefully live out this high calling.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

And NOW here is some encouragement from Kim
along with the final  page for her beautiful inner identity album!

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I love how Mrs. Myers writes: “We are not qualified from a human viewpoint, for we lack many longed-for qualities, abilities, talents. Yet from Gods viewpoint we are qualified. God does not call the qualified.”   He qualifies the called…so let your light shine before men so that your Father in Heaven may be glorified.

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

The Positive

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Let them praise the Lord for His great love
and for the wonderful things He has done for them.
Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about His glorious acts.
Psalms 107: 21-22

My mom has been talking to me about what I focus on.  Basically, I need to stop focusing on the negative.

I’d call the season I’m in now one of discovery. I’m learning more about God and myself. And yet, when the road gets rocky and circumstances aren’t favorable, I’m prone to focus all my energy on the problem until it is solved.  Focusing on the negative is like having blinders on that stop you from seeing all the good in your life.

So, when I was told what our next devotional was going to be on, it’s no surprise the word “sacrifice” is what had my attention. (Nothing negative about that, right?) Forget that verse 21 says, “Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.” I was going to write about how obedience is much better than sacrifice, but something just didn’t feel right.

So, I waited. (Yay!)

For four days I pondered. Every time I went to write, I felt like I was being told to wait. Three of those four days I was drawn to Micah 6:8, “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

On the fourth day, I got curious! I went back to the beginning of Micah chapter 6. This chapter is about God bringing his case against the Israelites and Him asking them to bring their case against Him (verses 1-8).

God went first asking, “O my people, what have I done to you?  What have I done to make you tired of me?  Answer me!” (verse 3).  He then reminds them of good things He’s done for them.

The Israelites replied asking what sacrifice they could bring Him (verses 6 and 7). And then, verse 8 is God’s response.

I reread Psalms 107:21-22 and noticed that I’d completely missed the positive in the verses. And finally, it dawned on me, I am inclined to focus on the negative, even in God’s life-giving, hope-filled Word.

I’ve decided to focus on the positive and to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18); to fix my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). I know this is possible because God is working in me, giving me the desire and power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:13).

* * * * *

Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes and softening my heart. Thank You for Your faithfulness and for constantly loving me.  Amen.

Guard My Mouth, Lord

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Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3

Now this is not the thing to pray AFTER letting a tirade fly out of your mouth!  RATHER it should be our prayer—perhaps at the opening of each day—before any words even come out.

Oh, sometimes it seems that we truly might have been better equipped if our Creator had chosen to give us a zipper for our lips, do you agree?  But, He Who knows best, chose to give us mouths to speak AND the responsibility to use our lips, our tongues, our words for blessing not cursing.

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, blessing, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.  For ‘Whoever desires to love life and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit…’*
1 Peter 3:9 and 10

As in all things that the Lord charges us to do…we are never left alone.  He is always helping us.  So as we pray asking for His help with these mouths and tongues of ours, we can be assured that He WILL help us!  Temptation(s) will come, and sometimes we may feel that we are just going to succumb and sin.  But we have the Lord on our side; He is strengthening us.

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 2:13 AMP

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

Today, friends, let’s choose God’s way—and seek His help in guarding our mouths and watching our lips.  May we speak blessings today!

* * * * *

Dear Lord, I so desire to be pleasing to You with my words!  And to be a blessing to those who hear them!  Truly as the psalmist prayed: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”  Praying in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

* quoted from Psalm 34

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Discerning The Will of God

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Dear Megan,

How can I discern God’s voice from my wants so that I can be in His will? 

I know that God will open the right doors, but in the meantime trying to wait and not push what I want to have happen is so hard.  Sometimes it is so hard to discern His voice when our desires are so strong and the enemy starts to make us doubt, plot and plan, and he makes us think that we are in God’s will when we are really just doing what we want. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Blessings!

~C

 

My dear C, this is one of the questions I get asked most as a Christian Life Coach and I am so excited to discuss it with you and a few friends here today!

One thing I know for sure is that the more you are in the Word, and have a consistent, deeply intimate relationship with the Lord, the more your will will be aligned with His and the easier it will be to discern His voice through your wants.

I think it is important to begin this discussion with a few Biblical facts about the will of God:

1. God’s will for you was prepared in advance:

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2. God desires to reveal His will to you in a personal way:

Acts 22:14

“The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will.”

3. God reveals His will primarily through the Spirit of God and the Word of God:

John 16:13

“…the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

4. God sees the whole big-picture of your life…past, present, and future. Discovering God’s will for you is like unrolling a scroll….  He unrolls it one line at a time:

Psalm 32:8

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you and watch over you.”

5. Sometimes God’s will for our lives includes sorrow and affliction. Suffering gives us compassion for others and allows us to see God’s sufficiency as we learn to depend on Him:

Psalm 119:71

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

Okay! Now that we have that background established, let’s move forward and discuss what decisions are pleasing to God. One thing I know is that God doesn’t play hide-and-seek as you try to discover His will! As you sincerely place HIS desires above YOUR desires, He will be faithful to point the way. Let THIS be the prayer of your heart:

 Psalm 40:8

“I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

In His Word, God states that He blesses decisions that…

 

He initiates (Proverbs 4:11)

line up with His Word (Psalm 119:33)

accomplish His purpose (Philippians 2:13)

depend on His strength (Philippians 4:13)

result in giving Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)

promote justice, kindness and humility (Micah 6:8)

reflect His character (Romans 8:29)

come from faith (Hebrews 11:6)

consider the interests of others (Philippians 2:4)

are bathed in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

My friend C… I so wish that I could just tell you exactly what to do and what decision to make, but we all know that is not possible (and you probably don’t even want that)!  I do know, though, that God is guiding you each and every day as you discern which path to take:

  • through your spiritual gifts, talents and abilities
  • through your understanding all facets of this decision
  • through impressions God is making on your spirit in the form of convictions and  establishing truth
  • through knowing that God placed certain desires in your heart for a reason
  • through advice from trusted sources who God so divinely places in your path who are grounded in the Word, who are mature in godly wisdom and who might also have overcome similar circumstances in their own lives
  • through the possible necessity of the situation (like having to move because of a sick parent, etc.)
  • through seeing beyond circumstances (Proverbs 16:9)
  • through the elimination of options which you discern are not the best options (1 Corinthians 10:23)

I pray that this has helped you to have a better understanding in your current situation and know that even if time has run out on this decision and you still don’t know what to do, you can still pray!

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Because You know everything, You know the decision before me and the way I should go. I want only YOUR will, Father. Because I no longer have the option of waiting, I will choose one option. If this decision is not right in Your sight, I ask Your Spirit in me to put a heaviness in my heart. If this is the right direction for me to walk, please confirm it with Your peace that surpasses all understanding. I am willing to take whatever detours You decide to put in my path, as long as I reach the destination You have for me. In Your Son’s matchless name, I pray, Amen. <3

 

Blessings,

Megan Smidt, CCLC

Life’s Healing Choices: Week 2 – Plugging In To God’s Power

 

“Believe it or not, things work better when they’re plugged in.”

–John Baker, Life’s Healing Choices

 

A couple of months ago, I had a sink that would not drain—a sink full of yucky smelling water. I flipped the switch up and down on the disposal…and nothing. Being the fixer that I am, I bought three Rubbermaid containers and filled them up with this stinky sink water so that I could wash dishes.

I have a big family.  Four kids and a husband equals many, many dishes and utensils. To add to the inconvenience of this, we live on the 18th floor of a high-rise condominium.  In order to dump these containers took a dolly and manpower. After going to all this trouble, I finally called Maintenance up.  He took one look under my sink and said, “The disposal works better plugged in!” Are you kidding me? It was that simple? Imagine the trouble I could have saved myself if I had just known to plug it in.

It’s like that in our spiritual life, as well. Can you imagine the pain and heartache we could have saved ourselves from, if only we had just stayed plugged in to Him. His power is ours if we just stay connected to Him.  Believing in Him is not enough to get rid of our hurts, habits and hang-ups.

For me it wasn’t enough to keep me from taking that bottle of painkillers or taking that drink or running headfirst into an eating disorder.  I was saved, but I wasn’t satisfied; and salvation without satisfaction is a stronghold just waiting to happen. To be satisfied with God, we must really get to know Him, to read His word, and stay connected to Him. He gives us all we need to live this life that He has given us. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” Again, we have to come to the end of ourselves and allow Him to do the very thing we cannot do alone. Truly that means anything. I love John Baker’s statement about how when we stop trying to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, that we’ll find Christ will stand us up on our feet!

Now that we believe, we must receive! Believe He is who He says He is, and then cry out to Him for help. Tell Him what He already knows. He just wants to hear you say it. A simple yet extremely difficult four letter word—HELP!!! He will come to your rescue, but you must be ready for change.

Ever heard the saying that God loves you just for you, but too much to leave you that way? It’s so true. Change is hard; change is scary; but change is good when we serve a good God. We must pray for the willingness to change and His answer will always be “Yes, child! Here is the willingness you asked for and the need for my power!  Here’s the plug…just use it.” Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God Who is at work within you, giving you the will and the power to achieve His purpose”. The first choice we talked about was admitting we needed Him.  The second choice—the Hope choice—is getting the help we need. What freedom we will find from our pain! We can breathe again, right?

Remember His promise? Oh how I do love this verse! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2). Whatever you are dealing with today, please know that He wants to take it from you. He is able, and more than willing, to help you change whatever needs changing. His power is readily available to you. You just have to say the words, “Help me, Jesus!  I cannot do this on my own!”


Let’s Pray:

Dear God,  we praise You today for the loving God that You are. Your patience with us and Your love for us is beyond our comprehension and so undeserved. Please help those today who need to lay some things down at Your feet to have the willingness to ask and the power to change. And for those that aren’t quite ready, again I ask for Your loving arms to protect them and keep them safe until they are. Thank You for this freedom from addiction and our own human nature. Keep us connected to You so that we may be Your hands and feet to others. We love You, and thank You for giving us Your Spirit. For it’s in Your Son’s Precious Name I pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:

In what area of your life could you use God’s triple power surge and how? Remember, comments made here are public. You do have the option of signing in anonymously.



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