Saturday, January 26, 2013

Who We Are & What We Have

A partial list of the blessings we have because of Christ.  Some of these are automatic, but many of them only impact us if we live in the truth of them.

We are justified through faith (declared innocent & guiltless) (Gal 2:16)
We are redeemed (bought back from Satan) (many Psalms, Galatians 3:13)
We are saved from death (Rom 10:13)
We are loved unconditionally (Rom 5:6)
We are more than conquerers through Christ (Rom 8)
We are friends of Christ (John 15)
We are heirs with Christ of eternal life (Rom 8:17)
We are ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20)
We are light to the world (Matt 5:14)
We have been given all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Eph 1:3)
We are free from sin & death (Rom 8:2)
We have been created in God's image (Gen 1:26)
We are citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20)
We are sons & daughters of God (Gal 4:6 & Heb 12:7)
We have peace with God through Christ (Eph 2:17)
We are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
We died with Christ (Rom 6:8)
We will live with Christ (Rom 6:8)
There is no condemnation for us (Rom 8:1)
We cannot be separated from Christ's love (Rom 8:35)
We will not be put to shame (Rom 10:11)
We are members of the body of Christ (Rom 12:4)
We each have unique gifts (1 Cor)
We are accepted (Rom 15:7)
We have grace from God (1 Cor 1:3)
We do not lack any psiritual gift (1 Cor 1:7)
We will stay strong & will be blameless through Christ (1 Cor 1:8)
We are called into fellowship with Jesus by God (1 Cor 1:9)
We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16)
We are of Christ & Christ is of God (John 15 & 1 Cor 3:23)
We are washed & sanctified (1 Cor 6:11)
We are given the victory through Christ (over death) (1 Cor 15:57)
We have Christ's sufferings & his comfort in our lives (2 Cor 1:5)
We are established with Christ by God (2 Cor 1:21)

Heck yeah!  THIS is what I should be thinking about all day!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jesus Listens

Time and time again, I find that if I actually seek God and Christ with my whole heart, they listen and answer.  For me, this has meant that I'm not searching outside of them for answers, but that I go straight to them (or I catch myself as I'm wanting to get advice or comfort from another source, and turn to them instead).

If I show them that I actually believe that they can solve my problem, they always do.  Not that a solution is what always solves the problem, and not that I'm looking for a quick fix for everything - I know that often, all I need to keep going can be provided by a word of comfort or encouragement from my Master or my Father.

But from there you will seek 
the LORD your God 
and you will find him, 
if you search after him 
with all your heart 
and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29

Monday, January 14, 2013

"In My Distress"

I have a tendency to think that because I've messed something up with my own sin or even just my own silly mistakes, I shouldn't or can't go to God for help.  But as I was reading this verse...:

"In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me."
Psalm 120:1 ESV

...I realized that much of my distress in life is caused by my own bad attitudes, mistakes or wrong reactions (etc) to things, more so than the things themselves that happen to me.  For example, somebody wrongs me and I start feeling really badly for myself, and the pity turns into more distress than the wrong that was done to me to begin with.  When that happens, I feel it is my own responsibility to "get over" my problems since they seem to be my fault to begin with.

But a good parent wouldn't leave their young child to untangle their own mess - they would lovingly step in when possible.  They would understand that a child can't be perfect, and is still learning and figuring out boundaries, etc.  And when problems arise, as they are sure to, a child really isn't capable of saying "Oh, I know exactly what went wrong - I can handle this no problem now."  Rather, they will be upset from whatever happened, and will need extra support.

So, even when I think my distress is my own fault, I can and should try to turn away from what I know is wrong, and most importantly, ask for help!  God is willing.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Set Apart Living

I recently read a book called "Set Apart Femininity" by Leslie Ludy.  It is about giving our whole lives to the Lord, and not just sprinkling him in to our lives here and there.  I loved the book.  I agree with her message - it's so easy to give God and Christ only the attention that is convenient for us, and to treat them like consultants rather than like they are actually in charge of our lives as they ought to be.

Since reading it in July, I have been going back and forth with questions about how it should look to give my life completely to the Lord and to really put him in charge of it.  Leslie gives the impression that living completely for Christ will mean doing something absolutely world shaking and abnormal.  She uses women like Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael, Jackie Pullinger, and Sabina Wurmbrand as examples of "set apart femininity" - women who sacrificed absolutely everything most of us hold dear (a "normal" life, a home, marriage, their homeland, children, etc) for the cause of bringing glory to God and loving people.

There is nothing at all wrong with doing mind-blowing things in service to Jesus, but she makes it sound like being an upstanding woman in your community and serving the Lord on a small scale is not important in the Lord's eyes.  I am trying to decide if I believe whether, in totally giving up ones own will to the Lord, he might direct a person to simply serve their own family in some way (for example, caring for a dying parent or a child with a special condition could be all-consuming).  I believe smaller things can be just as radical, and just as important to the Lord, because I believe that he thinks that one person is just as important as many people.

I will be looking into scripture to see what I think, because I have this nagging feeling that one can live radically in a "normal" setting.  Any thoughts??