Your Identity

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Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.                   John 1:12-12 NIV

It’s extremely easy to lose our identity, furthermore, to find ourselves searching all over to find out who we are. We hear stories on the news and we see it in the people we associate with. Additionally, we certainly deal with it in a very private as well as personal way as we hear voices, voices which tell us and then are projected into the world. We tell the world what we think about ourselves and don’t think for a minute we’re fooling the entire world. We may fool some people, but overall, we aren’t fooling everyone.
We hear the voices in our heart, spirit and mind telling us good and bad. We hear the good from those who really love and care for us, we hear that good from God — yet we tend to believe the bad which comes from Satan and from those who don’t care for us. We hold onto that bad stuff.
We hear things like . . . you’re
Not good enough, Not smart enough, Not attractive enough
Not skinny enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough, Not from the right family, We’re told we’re not enough! And countless other lies. Hearing those lies long enough and your identity will be formed by it. You feel rejected. Eventually you believe you’re not enough. The voices which shape our identity begin early in life, from the moment we are born. Those words and thoughts stick! Don’t they? They play like a broken record. I know I’ve heard them. I was reminded I wasn’t good enough too many times.
As much as we think we can overcome them, they come back and haunt us. You remind yourself, they were right, I’m no good, not good enough.
Then we begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. We realize in our heart, spirit and mind we need Jesus to help us through life. Yet we sin. We know this fact and the world knows it, and we think we’re worthless; unlovable. I’ve committed too many terrible sins. My sins exempt me from God ever loving me. So, I question if Jesus would die for me. Maybe He’d die for a Saint but certainly not a sinner. I’m not good enough.
That’s where we get it wrong friends. You see, there’s nothing we’ve done which is so bad that God cannot forgive us and bring us into His family. Humanly speaking, some may never forgive you, divinely speaking, we have a God who is not human! Thank God for that!! And He can and will forgive you . . . if you ask.
So, whatever you’ve done in your life up until this very second, know that God wants to be in a relationship with you. He loves you, He died for you. In 2 Peter 3:9, as Peter wrote about the return of Christ, he said, The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
That’s God’s desire for us. God doesn’t want you to think you cannot be loved and embraced by Him. Peter tells us repent, turn away from your sin. Turn to God and God will embrace you in a life changing relationship, he will change you and I from the inside, out. He wants you in His family. There is not a wall which is meant to keep you away, the door is always open, the lights are always on. But, we must receive Christ.
To receive this blessing from God, we must except Jesus for who is truly is, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, the “Great I Am” What Paul wrote to the church in the book of Ephesians was readily understood but is often missed by us. Paul tells us in the book of Ephesians 1:5-6 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us the one he loves. Paul wanted the Ephesians to remember their identity. He wrote, in love he predestined us for adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.
It was God’s great joy to adopt us into His family. God didn’t have to, He wanted to. What is your primary identity? God adopted you — do you understand that? If you believe in Jesus, you understand you don’t earn God’s love. God loves you because of who you are and who you will yet become in His kingdom. In Ephesians 2:4-5 Paul tells us, but because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved. Also in the same chapter 8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift from God- not by works so that no one can boast. John Wesley the founder of the Methodist Movement summons up grace in three parts-Prevenient Grace, the grace that surrounds us: is the grace that comes to us before we know God. God showers it upon all people whether they are aware of it or not. Justifying Grace- The Grace that makes our brokenness whole. Justifying Grace brings a big change to the relationship we have with God. We come to acknowledge our sinfulness and trust that we are forgiven by God’s grace. Justifying Grace is when God reaches out to a person through Jesus Christ with accepting and pardoning love.
Sanctifying Grace- Smoothing out the rough edges. Prevenient Grace is God meeting you at every corner, Justifying Grace is God reaching out to you with love, you turn a corner in your faith journey. Sanctifying Grace challenger’s believers to go deeper in faith, to love the world energetically, and to keep growing in the knowledge and love of God.
So, Paul was telling the people this — — If you have come to know Jesus, your most defining moment isn’t who threw you out BUT who took you in. God picked you out, picked you up, and took you home. God did that for you!! He was willing to die for you, so you would never again have to face rejection from the world. He wanted you to be part of His family, even when nobody else did!
There were so many issue facing the churches then as well as so many different problems we face today. Paul tells them as well as us of today, we need to change our ways, he reminds them they belong! Their most defining moment is not who threw you out, but who brought you in. If you heard the call of God and responded to Christ, you need to know He picked you out, picked you up, and brought you home. He adopted you. You’re family! Let that sink in. Remind yourself, God adopted me. Hold onto those words, believe them! The term redemption was also a trade word. In Ephesians 1:7, Paul wrote ~ 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.
Jesus paid the price for you and me by his suffering on the cross. That was the purchase price. Christianity is not about doing enough for God so he finally loves you. No, God buys us — redeems us — through the blood of Jesus hanging on the cross: “In him we have redemption through his blood—the forgiveness of sins.” God doesn’t need to punish you for your sins, somebody else was already punished for them.
In Ephesians 1:13, Paul wrote, In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were SEALED with the promised of the Holy Spirit.
Paul is reminding them, when they believed in Jesus – – – they were marked with a seal of the Holy Spirit.
We need to know and believe our identity in Christ. Whatever happens that is not good in your life. You name it! Maybe you’re in it right now. Know that you are His! You are the King’s child! The Lord of life, the God of all Creation, the Lord of the Heavenly Armies . . .
He loves you . . . He adopted you, He redeemed you, He sealed you. You are His! That my friends are your primary identity . . . You are a child of the Highest God, Jesus, the Christ!
And that is freeing. I don’t have to earn my way in, I don’t have to buy my way in, when life is a struggle I don’t have to buy junk to satisfy me, because I am the Lord’s.
When I remember that I’m loved, I serve differently. When I remember that I’m loved, I love differently. When I remember who I am, I give and live differently.
When I find myself in one of those moments when I’m buying something I don’t need and I think, What am I doing here? Why do I do what I do? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am.
When I find myself leaving a conversation and think — Was it necessary to rip into that person and bring them down? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am.
When I find my blood pressure rising over something really, really stupid and think, You don’t understand me! Why don’t you agree with me? Chances are, I’ve forgotten who I am. When I remember who I am, when I settle this identity thing, and when I remember it, I’m free to give grace, because I’ve received grace. I’m free to give love, because I’ve received love. I’m free to serve, because God has served me and lavished His mercy on me. When I remember who I am, I live differently. Just as the people of Ephesus needed to remember their identity, we too need to remember who we are. Knowing our primary identity as children of God, bought by the blood of Christ.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

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Anchored In God’s House

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The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome. This letter presents theology om a logical, organized way and focuses on salvation, as a gift from God, through grace, by the blood of Christ Jesus. Romans 8:12-17 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry “Abba,” Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now it we are children then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Do you wonder about the disruption and confusion in today’s world? There is an answer: We have lost our homing instinct, we have become “world citizens.” As a result, many people have lost direction. The relationships in our lives are not coincidence. there is a reason the verse says, A man had two sons.” It is a silhouette of our connectedness with God. The devoted child of God sometimes longs for heaven with the same deep longing that we have for our birthplace implies our parents home, our childhood memories, our brothers or sisters. No wonder the first commandment that deals with human relationship starts with “Honor your father and mother.” (Exodus 20:12) He who understands the wonder of parenthood also understands the wonder of God’s loving Fatherhood, and of being a child of God. 

Being lost is being without God, without anchors or connectedness unattached and unrestrained, this is perdition itself. Salvation is being inextricable anchored in God and confessing I know to whom I am entrusted. This is eternal life! This is heaven. And so our earthly attachments grow into eternal anchors. We don’t come from nowhere and we’re not on our way nowhere. We are attached to our Father for now and eternity. His word teaches me: “See how much our Heavenly Father loves us, for he calls us His children and that is what we are. (1John 3:1)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Happy Thanksgiving To All!

Colossians 4.pngThe book of Colossians was written by the Apostle Paul while he was in a Roman prison, when he wrote to the church in Colossae. False teachers were coaching the Colossians to worship angels and follow special rules and ceremonies. Paul corrected this thinking through his letter, stressing that faith in Christ is sufficient for salvation and that nothing needs to be added to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

In chapter four Paul tells us that we need to devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answers everyone.                               Colossians 4:2-6

The Apostle Paul is telling all of us as Christians that we should always pray in all circumstances, in good times and in those difficult days and challenging days that we all go through, knowing that we do not journey alone in our lives. Receive God’s strength when ongoing problems require you to stick it out over the long haul. During these times we need to remember we walk by faith and not by sight. This is when you resort to grimly gritting your teeth, and try to not have a negativity mind. This is not the way that God wants his children to be and to deal with their difficulties. God is sovereign over the circumstances of your life, so there are always opportunities to be found in them. Sometimes those opportunities are so obvious you can’t miss seeing them. At other times especially when the journey is hard and seems endless, you have to search for hidden treasures. Do not be like the man who hid his master’s talent in the ground, lets us look to Matthew 25:25 “And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.” This man gave up and took the easy way out; blaming his hard situation rather than making the most of his opportunity. The truth is, the more difficult your situation, the more treasure there is for you to discover in it. God will gladly give you strength, it is limitless and freely available to each and everyone of his followers. It is exceedingly potent, because the Spirit himself empowers you and me–strengthening you with power in your inner being. This strength enables you to keep on enduring the unendurable. Since this strength has no limits there is more than enough of it to spill over into Joy! As I personally look over this past year and reflect on my own personal struggles I know that God has given me the strength to never quit, even when I wanted to and to remember when I walk by faith and not by sight I learn to have a victorious living in Christ Jesus, and I say ‘THANK YOU LORD”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

 

 

Do Not Be Anxious!

Anxious.pngRejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.                                           (Philippians 4:4-7)

Being anxious at any point of our lives is what we do, and we all seem to do it really well too. We as humans are worry about so many things in our lives each and everyday, we are worry (anxious) about our jobs, family, illness, debt, money, death, relationship, and so much more. If we only take the words of Jesus seriously of not to worry, because by worrying it will not add to our lives. When things begin to happen in life we all need to take it all to God in prayer, and share it with him. He already knows everything of what is going on however he wants you and me to Trust him, and I mean truly trust him.  The book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul, a follower of or Lord Jesus Christ. These letters was written to the church at Philippi, ranked among Paul’s favorite. This friendly and personal letter stresses that joy can be found in any situation. Paul delivers his own testimony on the meaning of his present life, encourages, his readers, and instructs them on living in harmony with others, and in obedience to God.  One of the reason to study God’s word it allows the human mind to remember it, as well as our hearts, and when things become anxious for us the words of God comes flowing their our hearts and minds, like streams of water. And once this begins to happen we will begin to calm ourselves down within our soul and turn everything over to God, to just but it all in the hands of God and simply trust Him and Him alone. During those times for me I at times begin to sing a song, Rejoice in Lord, to just focus not on my problems anymore but my focus will turn to Jesus instead. During the times I am overwhelm I sing the song “I am Holding On to You ” Listen Below”

 

You Have Gifs & Talents

Romans 12a.jpgThe book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul it is widely regarded as Paul’s most carefully considered, rhetorically sophisticated and theologically important writing, composed near the end of his ministry and containing his mature reflections on the Christian faith. In Chapter 12 3-8 Paul talks about the humble service in the body of Christ and all are given gifts and talents in serving Christ. (3) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ, we, through many, form one body. and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifs, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith. If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach, . If it is to encourage, then give encouragements, if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently, if it is to show mercy do it cheerfully.

All of God’s children have many gifts and talents in which he has given to you. There maybe some who feels that they are not smart enough, pretty enough, I am handicap in one way or another God can’t use me? Can He? I am here to tell you all it takes is to have a willing heart to serve him. You need to found out first what are your gifts, what is your passion in life? Do you like to write, send a note of encouragement to a friend, you may never know what they are going thru, however a cheerful note maybe just the thing that they needed at that time. If someone needs a prayer, then pray with them, you don’t need fancy words in doing so, just speak from your heart that is all God’s is looking for. What about a hug, anyone can do that, believe me at times that is all someone may need is a hug and a smile. Help out your church where there maybe a need, what about your local food pantry, or by serving a meal. At the one church where I served when we had our free monthly dinners for our community we would have this gentleman who did serve from his wheelchair, and even children serve that meal as well. There is never any kind of an excuse any of us can truly use to be able to help our fellow man or woman, and in the end you will be the one being bless. So friends what about you, what is your passion?

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

You Do Have a Purpose in Life!

Philippians 1.jpgThe book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi which ranked among Paul’s favorites. This friendly and personal letter stresses that joy can be found in any situation. Paul delivers his own testimony on the meaning of his present life, encourages his readers, and tells us how to live in harmony with others and in obedience to God.

As Paul writes in this letter he tells the people how he thank God every time he remembers them. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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: 3-6

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, they are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.                          Jeremiah 17:7-8

Everything in our lives starts with God, it’s not about you. The purpose drive life which is written by Rich Warren a great author sheds some light to our purpose in life. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were place on this plant, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point-ourselves. If we begin to search for God with our whole hearts and minds in time he will reveal himself to you and thru times of prayer and scripture readings you will come to understand what God is calling you to do for his kingdom. It doesn’t matter your past at all, it doesn’t matter what education you have received as long as you have the willing heart he can and will use you. Many times people feel if they are chronically ill that God cannot use them, that is so wrong to believe in that one, it you have any type of handicap you cannot be use, I am here to tell you all you, all anyone needs is the willing heart to follow and believe me he will use you. Changing direction in life is not tragic–but losing passion in life is! Something happens along the way. Convictions to change the world downgrade to commitments to pay the bills. Rather than make a difference, we make a salary. Rather than look outward, we look inward. And we don’t like what we see!

But God is not finished with you yet. Oh you may think he is. You may think you’ve peaked. You may think he’s got someone else to do the job. If so, think again! The Bible says, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.  Philippians 1:6

Allow God to make the changes in your life for His purpose and not your own, don’t just go through the motions in your life, begin to live for Jesus as his follower, as his disciples and that is when you begin to live, not for yourselves but for Him the “Great I Am”

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

We are Called to Love and Not Hate

Romans 12Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with  everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. “It is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord. On the contrary. If your enemy is hungry, feed them, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.     (Romans 12:17-21)

These words from the Apostle Paul is very hard to live by especially when you have been hurt by someone. When the wounds are deep from anyone what we all seem to want to do is to hurt the person who had hurt us or someone in our family especially when it comes to our children. This is why it is so important for all of us to stay in God’s word and meditate on what he is telling us. The easy thing once someone hurts us is to do the same however God doesn’t want us to do it, Jesus tells us we should love one another even our enemies, and I know that it hard for us to do. Can you ever imagine if we all did this, to love all mankind even when they hurt us his on purpose. The only thing that hates does to anyone is to destroy, families are torn apart, friendship, marriages and more all because of hate. You can not say you Love God and hate your brother, sister why because God is love and to know God is to love all mankind no matter how different they are to us, no matter what they have done, we are all called to love one another. This is the reason we need to have a walk with God because when we do we are more likely to do the things of good and not evil.

Forgive us Heavenly Father for not loving others the way you love us each and everyday, help us to continue to walk with you, and help us to love the way you love us.

In Jesus Name we Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends