August 20, 2017

Living Sanctuary

SeekingHimLogo

Do you not know that you are the temple of God
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16 HCSB

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Ouch!  This verse steps all over my toes.  Especially right now.  We just made a rush trip to Texas this weekend to visit an old friend who is in the end stages of liver failure.  It was emotional and stressful.  We also spent time with other friends that we haven’t seen in ages.  Not to mention all the yummy foods available in Texas that we can’t get here in Colorado.  (Can you say Tex-Mex heaven?)  I overindulged repeatedly…justifying my actions because it would be a loooong time before I could have such goodies again. The NLT version asks, “Do you not realize…”? The AMP version questions, “Do you not discern and understand…”?  Did I even think about being a living sanctuary—God’s temple?  Not really.

For we are the sanctuary of the living God…
2 Corinthians 6:16

And you are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.
What’s more, you are His holy priests.
1 Peter 2:5 NLT

As I read this verse, I thought about what a temple or sanctuary actually is….

Wikipedia defines a temple as “a temple (from the Latin word templum) is a structure reserved for religious or spiritual activities, such as prayer and sacrifice, or analogous rites. A templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur.”
Dictionary.com defines a temple as “any place or object in which God dwells.”
Dictionary.com and Wikipedia both state a sanctuary is “a sacred or holy place.”

So, I am a ‘sacred precinct’, a ‘holy place’ where God dwells.  Am I taking care of it properly?

Rick Warren puts it like this: “When you don’t take care of your body, you are vandalizing God’s temple.”  That is a very scary thought because I sure haven’t been treating my body as I would something sacred and holy!

And I “know” all this.  Why do I find it so hard to put this knowledge into action?  God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in me!  But there are times you would never know it by my behavior.  James 4:4 HCSB asks

“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?
So whoever wants to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.”

Yet I still can’t seem to do what I know is right!

Romans 7:21 NLT describes this perfectly: “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”  The struggle is constant and real.  It is a battle I cannot win alone.  It would be very easy to feel hopeless and give up.  Thankfully, Psalm 73:26 NASB whispers to me: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

These verses remind me I do not have to do it alone:

The Lord hears His people <me> when they <I> call to Him for help.
He rescues them <me> from all their <my> troubles.
Psalm 34:17 NLT

God is our <my> Refuge and Strength; always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 NLT

For You have rescued me from my troubles
and helped me to triumph over my enemies.
Psalm 54:7 NLT

God will give me victory over my fleshly desires if I call out to Him. He is always there…waiting to help…if I am willing to give control to Him.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Father, gently remind me that Your Spirit dwells permanently in me.  Let my actions reflect that I am a sacred and holy place.  Taking care of Your temple, Your sanctuary is in itself an act of worship and gratitude.  Thank You for being there…a proven help when I struggle.  I am so thankful Your mercies are new each day and that I do not have to do this on my own.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen – It is so!

We Believe

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only One Foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only One Salvation
We believe, we believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the Crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the Resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, we believe

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised
In the here and now, let love invade
Let the Church live love, our God will see
We believe, we believe
And the gates of hell will not prevail
For the power of God, has torn the veil
Now we know Your love will never fail
We believe, we believe

He’s comin’ back again
He’s comin’ back again
We believe, we believe

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *  

I imagine you can say along with me that there have been times of desperation in your life.  At some time we have all experienced doubt and fear.  Those things happen in this broken generation, and in our weakness and temptations.

BUT GOD—

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
Psalm 73:26

But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth
Psalm 86:15

With God, our Triune God, we find our One Foundation, our One Salvation.

I get chills as I sing this song. It is my statement of faith, because I BELIEVE!  I believe in God the Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in His Holy Spirit.  I believe in Jesus’ crucifixion, and in His resurrection.  I believe in New Life through Jesus Christ. I have experienced it!  I believe He’s coming back for every believer (you and me.)

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood,
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God
John 1:12,13

Because I believe, I agree that The Church (you and I) need to live love that our God will see.  We need to stand against the gates of hell, because our God has torn the veil, and is The Power and The Love we can depend on to conquer sin and death.  We believers need to show and tell that Good News to those who don’t know God’s love yet.

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
Romans 5:7, 8

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord
Romans 6:23

Ladies, Jesus is coming back! Do you believe? If not, today is your day to surrender—and take a stand for the One and Only True Foundation and Salvation by which you can be saved, and live eternally with Him.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
Romans 10:9

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.

Girls with Swords: Chapter 7- “Pressure” (pages 115-117)

As Lisa tells us about her “doubtful moment” it brings me right back to one of my very own doubt-filled moments….

It had been several months after my very last therapy session.  I knew in my heart of hearts that I was healed, but as I stepped into my counselor’s office that day, the doubt that had been filling in my heart since the last time I was in that room followed me in.  Even with a beautiful sign from God’s heart to mine that I truly was healed and made new, I still somehow let doubt get in the way.  As I was explaining all of my doubts my dear counselor asked me a simple question, “What are the things that you know that you know that you know are true?”

I am safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

I am loved. (John 3:16)

These were the only thoughts that I was able to muster up, but somehow they proved to be just enough!

Each truth above comes from God’s Word.  Apart from Him we have nothing, we are nothing.  God’s Word is our source for confidence.  He is our Source for power and protection.  He is our all in all.  He is our portion forever and ever.  He is all we ever need and He has come to RESCUE YOU AND ME from doubt and all of the hardships of life!

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26

Knowing the truth is just not enough to keep the doubt away.  I have found that the more we “know” something, the more Satan tries to convince us that we don’t know anything at all.  Prior to this moment in counseling I had found the more confidence I had, the more doubt consumed me.  How does that even make sense?  It makes sense because my confidence used to come from the wrong source.  Think to yourself, do you find confidence from the shifting sands of circumstances or do you find confidence in our Mighty Rock?  It is still a struggle from time to time for me to let go of the false advertisements for confidence we find ourselves surrounded by in our world.  We think we know what we need—the best make-up, the finest clothing, the right man, the popular friends—the list goes on and on.  These false eye-catching traps just leave our hearts filled with doubt.  Truth be told, even the best this world has to offer will never give us the confidence that we can find in God alone.  Again, I know this is true because Scripture backs it up!

Proverbs 3:26 assures us, “…for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.”

We can have confidence in God because of His Word! When we fill our hearts with God’s truth, His confidence seeps into every crack and crevice of our soul!  God’s confidence in us will enable Satan’s lies to stay tucked under our feet as we press on in our journey with the Lord of our lives!

It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put His hand on you for something special.  When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words.  Something happened in you.  The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.  (1 Thessalonians 1:5 MSG)   

Knowing God’s Word will not suffice in the spiritual battle at hand.  I know this personally. Since I have started this study, God has been using many hardships to show me just how true it is that knowing scripture is not enough, and we must be trained to use it.  God’s Word is our training manual.  Everything we need to know is found in His Word, not the lies of Satan.  Our sword must be filled with the truth—God’s truth—which has the power to strike down Satan’s consuming lies and doubts.  As a princess warrior in training, we cannot let doubt consume us.  We must empty ourselves into God so that He can consume us.

The more we know who God is, the more we have confidence from Him in who we are created to be.  No two princesses of the King are the same.  We are all created for a unique and important purpose.  It is time to wash away the doubt caused from past hurts or maybe current hurts and hold tight to God’s promises that will never shift.  It is time to call out to God…He promises to answer.  All we must do is empty the doubts that have been filling up our hearts at His feet.  When we seek God with our whole empty heart, He will fill our hearts with HIS blessings.  No more room for doubts, only His love.

When I left therapy that day, I was supposed to write what I knew on a rock, to remind me of the solid hope I have in God alone.  I never did find a rock big enough to write down all the truths God has reminded me of since that night as I spent some time seeking Him.  Spend some time today thinking about the truth that you know that you know that you know God is craving to fill your heart with.

(From Christi & Colleen Dent:  Here is your Rock, Diane!  We made this especially for YOU!)

Rock_Diane

Let’s all echo Lisa’s prayer for us on page 117:

Dear Heavenly Father,

May we, Your daughters, be one with Your heart and heaven’s purpose.  May our very lives be an intricately woven expression of all that You long for us to live, touch, see, hear, and have.  Make us one.  We submit to Your process.  Have Your way in the fiery forge and in the baptism of water.  Shape us into something so fierce and flexible that every facet of our lives would declare Your love and power to save.  In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Thank You Jesus!

________________

Day 4 of our Anniversary Celebration!

Well, have you enjoyed our week long celebration so far???  We sure have!  I can’t wait to tell you what our next giveaway is! Another exciting gift!!

How many of you struggle with taking care of your body physically?  If you are like me, you want to, but maybe you just don’t know how to get started!  You don’t know the first thing about eating healthy, or what exercises may be right for you, and so on!  Well, we want to bless one lucky winner with a ONE-HOUR SESSION with Wellness Coach / Fitness Designer Crystral Breaux!!

Breaux Announcement

I am so VERY EXCITED about this giveaway.  Crystal is new to Girlfriends Coffee Hour, but she is not new to wellness, fitness, or blogging!  She not only blogs for GCH, she blogs for CreatedWoman.org, as well.  She offers some amazing wellness tips and fitness advice in both blogs!  Beginning in June, Crystal will begin taking your personal questions and answering them on her blog right here on Girlfriends Coffee Hour!  No matter what your question is about (food, or fitness, etc.) she will address them on our At Home with GCH blog the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The question of “where do I start” is just one “comment” away!

All you have to do to enter this drawing is read today’s blog and then make a comment below in regards to what God spoke to you in today’s blog!  That’s it!

ALL ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY 8PM CST TONIGHT.
WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY PAGE, ON MAY 11th.