February 22, 2018

Unredeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The cruelest word, the coldest heart
The deepest wound, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years
Life breaks and falls apart but we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope
We live in the shadow of the fall but the Cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

Songwriters: Chad Robert Cates / Tony W. Wood/ Brian David Petak
Performed by Selah

 *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

We live in the shadow of the fall BUT the Cross says these are all places where grace is soon to be so amazing!”  This—where grace is soon to be—is where I want to live…to stay…to abide.  You, too?

At the Cross, mankind was clearly shown the depth of God’s heart—His love for us. Almighty God has purposed from the beginning of time to have a relationship with the people He created.  Perhaps it appeared that because of the Fall that was not going to continue. But God’s purposes will not be thwarted.  His plans will come to pass.  It is in and through Christ’s accomplishments on the Cross that we have received much grace!

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

…Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold
from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19

That’s us (you and me)—not redeemed with perishable things…but with Jesus’ blood as He gave His life on the Cross!  Jesus’ death on the Cross, and all that God planned to bring to pass at the Cross, is all about His grace and love!  Through Jesus’ broken body and His shed blood, He redeemed us unto Himself – making us forever free, justified, forgiven, alive, purchased, and redeemed!

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—
for it is written,“Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”—
that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:13 and 14

He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
to the praise of His glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:5-7

We are now, and will be for all eternity, God’s children—all to His praise and glory! And we have a glorious life to live now…in spite of every situation and circumstance that tries to break us and cause us to focus on the hard, sad, evil things that do occur at times. But God—we have His promises to cling to!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

…Fear not, for I have redeemed you…I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory,
whom I have formed, whom I have made.
Isaiah 43:1, 7

The love of God—shown to us through the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord—is all we need to help us to focus on the Truth and set our minds to believe all that God has promised.  In doing so, we can remain faith-filled knowing He is faithful!

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13 and 14

And so, in spite of cruel words, cold hearts, deep wounds, endless dark, lonely aches, burning tears, bitter nights, and wasted years, we press on…we seek God…we choose to remain faithful to Him because “it may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored but you never know the miracle the Father has in store; just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed!”

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be anguish nor grief nor pain any more,
for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new.
Revelations 21:4

(It Will Not Be) Unredeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The cruelest word, the coldest heart
The deepest wound, the endless dark
The lonely ache, the burning tears
The bitter nights, the wasted years

Life breaks and falls apart but we know these are

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
They may be unfulfilled, they may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

For every choice that led to shame
And all the love that never came
For every vow that someone broke
And every life that gave up hope

We live in the shadow of the fall but the Cross says these are all

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But when anything that’s shattered is laid before the Lord
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed
Oh, He will wipe every tear…will not be, be unredeemed

Places where grace is soon to be so amazing
It may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored
But you never know the miracle the Father has in store
Just watch and see, it will not be
Just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed

Performed by Selah
Written by Chad Robert Cates / Tony W. Wood/ Brian David Petak

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * 

We live in the shadow of the fall BUT the Cross says these are all places where grace is soon to be so amazing!” This “where grace is soon to be” is where I want to live…to stay…to abide.  You, too?

At the Cross, mankind was clearly shown the depth of God’s heart…His love for us. Almighty God has purposed from the beginning of time to bring mankind back into the relationship He designed and wanted.  It is in and through Christ’s accomplishments on the Cross that we have received much grace!

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

…Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold
from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
1 Peter 1:18-19

That’s us (you and me)—not redeemed with perishable things but with Jesus’ blood as He gave His life on the Cross!  Jesus’ death on the Cross and all that God planned to bring to pass at the Cross is all about His grace and love! Through His broken body and His shed blood, He redeemed us unto Himself – making us forever free, justified, forgiven, alive, purchased, and redeemed!

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—
for it is written,“Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”—
that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:13 and 14

He destined us in love to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,
to the praise of His glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of His grace.
Ephesians 1:5-7

We are now, and will be for all eternity, God’s children—all to His praise and glory! And we have a glorious life to live now…in spite of every situation and circumstance that tries to break us and cause us to focus on the hard, sad, evil things that do occur at times. But God—we have His promises to cling to!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

…Fear not, for I have redeemed you…I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.
Isaiah 43:1, 7

The love of God—shown to us through the sacrifice of Jesus our Lord—is all we need to help us to focus on the Truth and set our minds to believe all that God has promised. In doing so, we can remain faith-filled knowing He is faithful!

[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalms 27:13-14

And so, in spite of cruel words, cold hearts, deep wounds, endless dark, lonely aches, burning tears, bitter nights, and wasted years, we press on…we seek God…we choose to remain faithful to Him because “it may be unfulfilled, it may be unrestored but you never know the miracle the Father has in store; just watch and see, it will not be unredeemed!”

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more,
neither shall there be anguish nor grief nor pain any more,
for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new.
Revelations 21:4

Let’s pray:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:3-12).   Amen and Amen!

may I encourage each of you to sing as the Psalmist did,

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary
Psalm 107:2

Take Me In

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

 ~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Take me past the outer courts, into the Holy Place
Past the brazen altar, Lord, I long to see Your face
Take me past the crowds of people, and the priests who sing Your praise
I hunger and thirst for Your righteousness, and it’s only found one place

Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take me in by the Blood of the Lamb
Take me in to the Holy of Holies
Take the coal, touch my lips, here I am

~  Songwriter: Dave Browning / Performed by Kutless  ~

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Isn’t that an amazing thought: Through the blood of Jesus and the sacrifice He made for you and for me that we now can enter that Holy place with God.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the Throne of Grace,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

I love that. Because of the forgiveness, love, grace, and mercy from the Father…we CAN with confidence draw near to the Throne of Grace. For a girl like me with a checkered past that is not only AMAZING but it is something I am so THANKFUL for everyday! One of the many reasons I love God so much!!! He is the God of second chances.

What is it you need a second chance for? Is there something that you think you can’t be forgiven for? Let me assure you there is NOTHING you have done that you can’t be forgiven for. How do I know this? Because I am LIVING PROOF of a changed life through the forgiveness and unconditional love of the Father.

Let me share with you another verse I am oh, so thankful for…

The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Living a redeemed life does not mean I am perfect or have a perfect life. It means that every moment of every hour of every day I NEED Jesus. It means that without Him I can do absolutely nothing.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Heavenly Father, I thank You that because of the blood sacrifice made on behalf of each one of us that we can come boldly with confidence to the Throne of Grace to receive help in our time of need. No matter what mistakes we have made we know and BELIEVE that there is nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing that cannot be forgiven! I thank You that we can start afresh and receive mercies that are new each morning. Great is Your faithfulness and love…something hard to imagine and yet something I am so thankful for. In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Redeemed

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

  ~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me
“Son, stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain
Now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed… I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper “Child, lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I don’t have to be the old man inside of me ’cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God redeemed

~ Performed by Big Daddy Weave ~
~ Songwriters: Benji Cowart and Michael David Weaver ~

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The first time I heard this song was when they were in concert.  Mike Weaver’s testimony of what he had just been through—not suceeding in his weight loss journey and the death of a family member—really touched my heart. But as time went along, and I would hear the song at other times, the words would begin to minister to me. Telling me that no matter what, by the Blood of Jesus I have been redeemed and made whole. I do not have to stay in the pit of self-pity, self-loathing, and whatever other negative emotions the evil one chooses to send my way.
It is our job to keep those destructive thoughts and feelings out of our hearts and minds. The ‘old man’ or old ways should be dead and we will need to be able to rebuke those thoughts as they enter. We are to take those thoughts captive and throw them back at the one who does not want us to feel the perfect love of God! We are to stand firm, stomp our feet, and tell him to flee! For we have been ransomed and wash clean. How I love that thought! How I have needed to write this as well. I have to let the old sinful nature die and not want to bring it back, ever!
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Thank You, Father, that we have indeed been redeemed. Thank You for those who have the gift of songwriting as You gave so freely to David. Let our hearts continue to sing praises to You as we offer our human voices to sing along with Your choir in heaven.  Thank You!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Esther – Chapter 9:6-16

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The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? It will also be granted.  If it pleases the king,” Esther answered, “give the Jews in Susa permission to carry out this day’s edit tomorrow also, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on gallows.”
Esther 9:12-13 NIV

In my Bible, the introduction to Chapter 9 is entitled “Triumph of the Jews.”  The enemies of the Jews thought they could take out their enemies, but the Jews were able to turn the tables on them! We also see that Haman’s ten sons were killed in verse 9 – so why the strange request from Esther?  Why hang ten dead men on the gallows?  Seems a bit—literally—like overkill. We’ve seen that all of Esther’s actions have been intentional so far, so what is the point of this request?  Darlene mentions that a public execution would put fear in the people (page 103).  It would do that, to be sure!   My Study Bible gives additional insight.

In Deuteronomy 21:22-23, God gives these directions through Moses: “If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight.  Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.”  To the Jews, this is a reminder of God’s deliverance and fulfillment of a promise made to them long ago through Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse…” (Genesis 12:3 NIV).

If you go to your Bible, you will notice that I didn’t include the remainder of verse 3 in Genesis.  It concludes “… and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Wow, what an amazing promise!  Did you realize that the promise to Abraham became your blessing, too?  Through Abraham, God makes a mighty nation—the Jews—His chosen people.  Through Abraham, God sends Jesus to fulfill His plan and redeem us all.  Hallelujah!  One of the beautiful revelations of studying Esther is how Esther’s story is our story!  We are all Esther–beautiful, favored by the ultimate King (God), chosen, given a helper (the Holy Spirit), redeemed and saved from our enemy (Satan)!  But here is a key difference—and please give it the reverence it deserves—in our life story, the One hung on the gallows, the One hung on a tree – is Jesus…yes…Jesus.

In Galatians 3:13 -14 (NIV) Paul writes “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”   I read this and I am so humbled, so grateful, so joyful!  You see, Jesus became the sacrifice that saved me from death.  Jesus became the curse so that I can receive the blessing!  Because He triumphed over the cross, over curses, over death, He rendered Satan’s power ultimately useless over me!  Just like the Jews’ enemies in Persia, who thought they were going to destroy them, Satan has had the tables turned on him! WE ARE SAVED!!  WE ARE REDEEMED!!

Praise God today, sisters, because He has made the power of the Cross available to us who believe in Him!  Don’t live in fear of the enemy; live in the hope and confidence of those redeemed out of the hand of the devil.  Just like the Jews were overwhelmingly victorious – so will you be in your life.  Read the story of Esther again and apply this knowledge to your life – I am Esther and, just like God worked in her life, He works in mine! God bless you, sisters!  WE ARE REDEEMED!! Let the knowledge of that change your life!

Let’s Pray:

Holy God, thank You for the Book of Esther!  Thank You for Your words that give us wisdom, knowledge, hope and all of Your precious promises.  Help us to live today and every day with the knowledge that You love us very much and that You want us to live abundant lives of joy! Thank You that Your son became the curse, OUR curse, so that we can receive the blessing HE deserved. May we be eternally grateful and strive to live out our days in humble, grateful submission to You and fulfill the purposes You have for us!  Thank You for loving us!  Help us to love others the same way. In Your Son’s name we pray, Amen.

Esther – Chapter 8:7-8

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness,

faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Oh, how I love this scripture, sisters!  We looked at it when discussing our “beauty regimen” in chapter 2 and now, as we revisit it, we see those “fruits” are also the proof of the Holy Spirit living and working in you! (But first, let’s get back to Esther….)

Things are FINALLY looking up for her, Mordecai, and the Jews!  Haman is gone, Mordecai and Esther have been redeemed and in verses 7-8 we see that the estate of Haman has been given to Esther.  Moreover, another decree is now being written in the King’s name on behalf of the Jews which not only allowed the Jews to protect themselves, but also to destroy anyone that attacked them AND plunder the property of their enemies.  This decree we see is sealed with the King’s signet ring and signifies the irrevocable nature of the new decree.  Hooray!

Darlene then compares this seal to the seal, or mark, of the Holy Spirit, which is given to us when we become a child of God.  Let’s look at the Scripture she provides: 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (NIV)

My Study Bible gives this further explanation regarding the seal of ownership: “It was both the first installment on a loan and a guarantee of its complete payment” (Quest Study Bible).  So if the Holy Spirit is a deposit and a guarantee of future payment – how amazing will the payoff be??  How exciting!!

The Holy Spirit is vital to your life as a believer!  Darlene provides a sampler of Scriptures to discuss the role He plays in our lives.  We see:

  • that He is a counselor (John 14:16)
  • that He will convict the world in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11)
  • that He is a guide into all truth (John 16:13)
  • that He glorifies Jesus (John 16:14)
  • and He testifies about Jesus (John15:26)

Think of the Holy Spirit as the ultimate Guide to help you navigate your way in this life and help you enter Heaven with as many rewards as possible!  In fact, different versions of the Bible will translate “Counselor” in John 16:7 as “Advocate” or “Helper.”  (For an incredible, in-depth study of the Holy Spirit and His role in your life, may I recommend “The Helper” by Catherine Marshall.)  But just like Jesus, the Holy Spirit will not work in your life against your will. We must choose to cooperate with the Holy Spirit.  Example: My GPS will give me the correct directions to reach my destination, but if I don’t turn it on, or if I ignore its instructions, it can’t help me!

How do we know if the Holy Spirit is guiding us down the right path?  How do we know that He’s working?  Well, that brings us back to Galatians 5:22-23, the first Scripture mentioned today.  When you see a tree, you know what kind of tree it is because of the fruit that is hanging from it.  Likewise the “fruits of the Spirit” are evidences that can be seen in our lives that we are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us.  The more we allow the Spirit to shape our lives, change our thinking, and mold our behavior, the greater the evidence – the greater the harvest of fruit!

So…. How are YOU doing??  I’d love to know!  Is there a fruit that is your favorite?  And which one do you need to cultivate more often in order for it to grow in your life?

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father – You are a kind and gracious God!  Thank You for redeeming us from our enemies.  Thank You for sealing us as Your children and giving us the Holy Spirit, not only as a promise for the future, but to help us in the present!  I ask You to help me listen to the guidance that Your Spirit longs to give me and help me to blossom into a beautiful, fruit-filled tree for all to see!  Thank You for Your blessings, Your goodness, Your grace and Your love.  May I be able to show those qualities to someone who needs them today.  In Your Son’s name we pray.

Amen.

 

Esther – Chapter 3:8-11

Haman the Agagite is an arrogant, prejudiced, hateful, bold-faced liar. He was given a position of honor by King Xerxes (Ahasuerus), but that wasn’t enough for him – he had to be worshipped, as well.  And when Haman wasn’t worshipped by Mordecai, he leveled a false charge of disobedience or insubordination against an entire race of people, wrapped it up in an ingratiating package that looked like loyalty and served it up to the king.  Deceived, the king obliged him.

Does Haman sound like anyone else you know??  May I speak Southern, ladies?  Haman is the devil.  (We call all manner of things “the devil” in the south that seek to do us harm – that nosey neighbor, preparing your taxes, cupcakes…. You get the picture.)  Now Haman is not LITERALLY the devil, but he has so many of Satan’s characteristics – elevated to a high place, yet wanting the worship due the King (God); arrogant; hate filled; a definite prejudice against God’s people and a liar.  In this book, Darlene reminds us of Job’s story, where Satan has an exchange with God about Job, and she calls him a tattletale of sorts; “… who puts God’s people in the worst possible light to discredit our faith as he seeks to tempt and destroy all believers” (page 39).  I do agree, but let’s call things as they are – Satan is known in the Bible as the accuser.

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down”  (Revelation 12:10 NIV).

To accuse, per the dictionary, is to charge with a shortcoming or error, or charge with a wrongdoing, fault, offense or crime. Sounds pretty serious, doesn’t it?  Satan, per Revelation, stands before God day and night charging you and me with wrongdoings, with crimes against God, with faults. What did Haman say in verse 8?  “They do not obey the King’s laws; it is not in the King’s best interest to tolerate them.” (Esther 2:8, NIV) Furthermore, he suggests that he be allowed to destroy them (verse 9).  Unlike the King, God is not deceived! The blood of his son, Jesus, was willingly shed for you to save your life and make you a brand new person!  In Psalm 103:12, it says: “He (God) has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.” (NLT)  Not perfect?  No problem!  In 1 John 1:9, John says that “If we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV)

Now hear me, sisters.  If Satan is working day and night to accuse us before God, and God’s not listening to him, who do you think believes Satan’s lying garbage?  We do.  What does Satan’s accusations look like?  Stop me when this sounds familiar: “You don’t obey God’s commands.”  You think God can love you with your past?”  “You’ll never be good enough.”  “You’ll never amount to anything.”  “You aren’t a very good Christian.”  “You’ve never finished anything you’ve started.  Why even try?”  “Do you really think you’re equipped to lead a small group/start a ministry/teach a class/make a difference?”  “God doesn’t care about you. Why bother?”  Lies, lies, LIES!!!   Satan is going to be punished for all eternity, and he’s trying to take everybody with him.  If he can’t get God to sign off on you (never happen!), then he’ll try  to get you to give up on God.

That’s why Ephesians 6:10-18 is so important .  It tells us how to shield ourselves “…against the devil’s schemes” (verse11).  This passage tells us about putting on “the armor of God.”  There are many ways that we can protect ourselves from Satan’s schemes, but only one way to fight back – with the Word of God, which is called the “sword of the Spirit” (verse 17).  When Satan whispers some lie in your ear, tell him (and remind yourself!) what ALMIGHTY GOD says about you!  You are LOVED (John 3:16) ! You are REDEEMED (Galatians 3:13, Psalm 107:2).  You are PERFECT (Psalms 139:13-14)!  You are a CHILD OF THE KING (1 John 3:1)!!

Enough, sisters!  Have you allowed Satan to accuse you of things that God refuses to hold against you, or even think about you?  No more!  If you see yourself as “less than,” let’s ask God to help you see the truth; you are royalty!  You are a child of the King!

 

Let’s pray:

Holy God, I thank You that You love me!  Thank you that You willingly sacrificed the life of Your son so that I can live eternally with You! God, I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s hard to see myself as You see me.  I see my faults, my failures, my attempts and where I don’t measure up. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever make a difference for Your kingdom, or if I’ll ever be good enough to be used by You.  And Satan is constantly attempting to drag me down!  Help me, Lord!   Help me to see my beauty given to me by You!

Help me to see the talents, giftings, and unique abilities that You have provided me by Your Holy Spirit.  Remind me, Lord, in ways that only You can, that I am Your child and am incredibly special.  Thank You for Your invaluable Word, Your infinite grace, wisdom and strength!  Thank You for every good and perfect gift that comes from You.

Shine Your light of love on me, Lord, so much that it pours out and strengthens others.  Help me to remember that through the blood of Your Son Jesus, Satan has NO POWER OVER ME!   Praise You, Lord!  Let my life be Your glory!  In Your Son’s name.

Amen

“I AM” Chapter 1 – Day 4: Look for the LORD

“O storm battered city, troubled and desolate. I will rebuild you on a firm foundation of sapphires and make the walls of your houses from precious jewels. I will make your towers of sparkling rubies and your gates and walls of shiny gems”

Isaiah 54:11-12

This is the verse I have clung to over the past few years, the restoring God, the God of hope when I had none.  As Teresa mentioned in the beginning of this study, the Great I AM will speak to you in the manner that you need.  He will be what you need Him to be.  Have you begun to see this for yourself? As I looked up each verse, I was overwhelmed by just how much He loves each one of us, so much that He does not want to leave us in the state we are in.

Today we have the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, a gentle nudge from the Dove, a Gift left to us by Jesus when He departed into Heaven.  But in the Old Testament, God sent prophets to do just that…to give His people His messages.  These messages weren’t always what they wanted to hear. Can you just imagine? I mean who wants to be told that you are not walking in His will and you are about to be punished? I know that being on the receiving end of “constructive criticism” is not easy (especially when I know I’m wrong) but, as Jesus followers, it is our duty to hold each other accountable and to do this in a loving, godly manner.  Praise God that He loves us enough to send messengers our way to redirect our path.  He is relentless when it comes to His children, right?

Just as Isaiah’s message to the people was “return, repent and be renewed,” so should ours be. “Fear not, you will no longer walk in shame. He is your Redeemer!Isaiah 54:4-5

He is my _________________ (fill in the blank). For example: do you need Hope?  He is your HOPE.  “From eternity to eternity, I AM your God.  No one can oppose what I do, no one can reverse My actions.”  Isaiah 43:13

Do you need Forgiveness?  He is your FORGIVER.  “I,  yes I alone, AM the One Who blots out your sins for My Own sake and will never think of them again.”  Isaiah 43:25

Do you need Rest?  He is your REST.   “I will be your God throughout your lifetime, until your hair is white with age.  I made you and I will care for you, I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4

Do you need Comfort?  He is your COMFORTER.  “I, even I, am the One Who comforts you, so why are you afraid of mere humans who wither like grass and disappear?”  Isaiah 51:12

Friend, His message to us is one of hope, forgiveness, rest, and comfort; but we must return, repent, and be renewed in Him to receive all that He has planned to give us, blessing upon blessing, and we must not be timid with His message.  He wants us to be bold!  Isn’t this what we were created to do?

There is a song that has been playing in my mind the entire time I have been writing. It is by the Sidewalk Prophets and goes like this: “If there’s a road I should walk, let me find it. If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment. Whatever your will.  Whatever Your will, can You help me find it?”

He will rebuild us and continue to work in, and through us, until His grand finale’ — the Coming of Jesus!!

How is He speaking to you today?  As you wrote out each verse from today’s section, which of His names really spoke to you? Would you tell us about it?

I love each one of you and I’m praying for you.

Blessings!!

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, Daddy, the Great I AM, You are so many names to us in the midst of whatever we are going through at the moment.  You become what we need.  You are the Redeemer, Deliverer, Comforter, our Resting Place, Beginning and End.  We praise You for satisfying our every need.  We thank You for Your unfailing love and Your Presence that never leaves us.  You give us Your words of wisdom so that we know what to say to all weary souls. Thank You for giving us an understanding of Your will. May we have the strength to boldly carry it out for all to see so that You alone are glorified…for it is in Your Son’s precious Name we pray.

Amen.

The Resolution for Women – Intelligent Design

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Memory Verse:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you.

I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit.

John 15:16

 

I have to be honest and tell you that today’s chapter really spoke to me in so many ways!  I can’t even tell you what an impact it has had on me!  I struggle with my value, like many of you do.  I always have.  It’s like I know in my head that I am valuable, but it just hasn’t reached my heart yet.  I can tell you how worthy you are, to God, and I do mean it.  I just need to take my own medicine.

Last week, I was on the phone with my Life Coach.  We discussed this very issue:  the feeling of no value.  Just after that call, I opened this book and read today’s chapter, and just about fell over!  I said, “Wow, God!  You know just how to get Your message across, don’t You!!?”  It was amazing!  But that really shouldn’t surprise me because God is always listening, and He is always ready to talk to us, when we are willing to actually sit down and listen!!

Today, I want to show you who you are in Him.  I am taking my own medicine in this lesson, also.  I pray that this scripture speaks to you, as it did to me when I read it.

1 Peter 2: 9-10 (MSG)

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Let’s look at those two scriptures just a little bit closer.

  • You are chosen by God
  • You are chosen for the high calling to do God’s will
  • You are chosen to be holy, set apart, sanctified
  • You are His instruments to speak for Him
  • You are to tell others what God has done in your life
  • You have been changed from being a nothing, into being a “something!
  • You have gone from being rejected, to being accepted!

Did you see that?  We have such a high calling on our lives because HE CHOSE US!  He chose US because He knew we would do what He called us to do!

He did not reject us!  He accepted us!

He turned us from being a nothing, into being a something!!

Wow, Ladies!  What more do we need to see here!?!

We should never allow others, or things, to control our thoughts about who we are, and what our value is!  God says it right here….WE ARE CHOSEN TO DO HIS WORK!  That is VALUE!  He would never choose us if He didn’t think we couldn’t do what He is calling us to do!

Whether your job is as a homemaker, a nurse, a doctor, a teacher, or a ….. the list could go on and on…..  HE CHOSE YOU to be that person!  He chose you.   Therefore, He will equip you.  If He will equip you, He will be with you all the way….  All the way, my dear Girlfriend!  He sees your worth to do His work; to spread His word; to spread His love!  And if He has chosen you, this means He thinks you are worthy and valuable enough to do what He needs you to do!

I don’t know about YOU, but I am about to jump up and down and shout, “Hallelujah!!!”  Can I get an AMEN out there???!!!

As Priscilla said on page 53, “this resolution is important – this commitment to assign genuine value to who we are based on our God-given worth, talents, gifts, and abilities.  Because once we’ve settled this issue (in our own hearts … my emphasis here), everything else can begin falling appropriately into place.  We’ll have the freedom to build our lives on what really matters, discarding all the things that don’t.”

Wow!  I don’t know about you, but I am ready to discard my stinkin’ thinkin’ and start focusing on what God’s word says about me!  I’m ready to stop owning those negative thoughts, and start taking back my life, and my value, for God!!

Remember, “The life you are renovating has far too much God-given potential for you to plant its roots in something so menial.  Dig deep and lean in to the truth – the truth of who you are and what He’s created you to offer to the world – and then orbit your life around that steadfast knowledge.”  That steadfast knowledge!  That knowledge that will never let you down, no matter what!  AMEN?

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Let’s Pray: 

Oh Father, we come to You today with open arms, and tears of repentance for the times we have doubted our worth; for the times we have not chosen to believe Your word, and allowed our stinkin’ thinkin’ to take first place over You.  Lord, please forgive us!  Cleanse us of all that junk that keeps us so bottled up inside.  Cleanse us from the pity-parties that we throw for ourselves!  Cleanse us from all the lies that we have told ourselves, and have allowed ourselves to believe.

Lord, I give You praise for all that You have shown us in this chapter today!  Thank You for opening our eyes to see who we truly are, in You Lord!  May we stand in that knowledge today, and allow it to sink down deep into our hearts, so that we know that we know, that we know!  Thank You Lord for revelation knowledge!  May we never go back to that stinkin’ thinkin’ again!   In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

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Today’s blog assignment: 

Name some things in your life that you have allowed to shape your self-worth or self-image?  When you have completed this assignment here on the blog, return to your Facebook Online Bible Study Group for today’s FUN Activity!!  You just never know what we have in store for you!! 

 

If you are not a member of our OBS Facebook Group, and would like to be, please send us an email and we’ll be happy to place you!!   Our email address is:  GirlfriendsCoffeeHour@gmail.com

 

BE BLESSED!!