Posts Tagged ‘Lord’

Who Am I?

Who I Am?
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We live in a world where identity crisis is rampant. When I was growing up, I remember hearing older kids, teenagers, talk about finding themselves. As I got older, it was understandable what they meant by finding yourself because who I became wasn’t exactly who I thought I was and I was glad.

I witnessed some people lose their way and heard some say that it was because they couldn’t handle who they were or that they hadn’t yet found out who they wanted to be. It’s still common to hear my mother say that men take longer to find themselves than it does women.

I learned in psychology classes that the emotional growth of a woman is stunted when she gives birth to a child too early in life, since she hasn’t fully matured yet. I had a friend in the military who was an anorexia survivor and continued to struggle with the disease. She advised me that those that suffered with anorexia and bulimia were suffering from an identity crisis. A friend of mine has a ministry in Florida and their goal is to minister to homosexuals and lesbians who are trying to find their way and have questions about their identities.

The Book of John tells us that we are both the children of God and a Friend to Jesus. John 1:12 says, “But to all who did accept Him and believe in Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” And in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father.”

The Book of Romans tells us we are justified, freed, secure and assured. Romans 5:1 states, “Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Romans 8:1-2, it says, “So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made me free from the law that brings sin and death.” And in Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called because that was His plan.”

In I Corinthians, it says we are united, we belong and that we are a member of Christ’s body. In I Corinthians 6:17, “But the one who joins with the Lord is one spirit with the Lord.” And in I Corinthians 6:19-20, “You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.” And, in I Corinthians 12:27, “Today you are the body of Christ and each one of you is a part of that body.”

In Ephesians, we learn that we were chosen. In 1:3-5, “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. That is, in Christ, he chose us before the world was made so that we would be His holy people, people without blame before Him. Because of His love, God had already decided to make us His own children through Jesus Christ. That was what he wanted and what pleased Him.”

In the Book of Colossians, we learn that we are forgiven and complete. Colossians 1:13-14 says, “God has freed us from the power of darkness and He brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son. The Son died for our sins and in Him we have forgiveness.” And, in Colossians 2:9-10, “All of God lives in Christ fully even when Christ was on earth and you have a full and true life in Christ who is ruler over all rulers and powers.”

In the Book of Hebrews, we learn that we have direct access. Chapter 4, verse 16 states, “Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.”

Finally, in Philippians, we learn that we are citizens of heaven! Philippians 3:20, “But our homeland is in Heaven and we are waiting for our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ to come from heaven.”So, is it an identity crisis or identity direction? Is it about knowing who we are, or is it not knowing who He is?

If You Are Waiting on an Answer to Prayer, Read this Now!

Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in ...
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The act of praying is a mystery to me.  Sometimes prayer pours out of me as natural as breath, sometimes I struggle with it, to the point of almost giving up. Occasionally, we get answers immediately and there are times, we wait and wait and…some of us are still waiting for an answer.

Unanswered prayers are discouraging at the very least, but did you also know that unanswered prayer is an effective tool of the enemy? Think about it, how many times have you been hesitant to pray about anything while you’ve waited on an answer to a past prayer? If you’ve waited a long time, has resentment crept into your heart and are you giving God the silent treatment because you’ve not received an answer? How wonderful for the enemy if he can use an unanswered prayer to drive a wedge between us and our most effective power against him.

Please don’t allow this to happen. If you are still waiting on an answer, there’s three important things for you to know:

1. The answer could be No.

In Deuteronomy 3:26, Moses states, “But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.” It’s not that I’m saying the Lord is angry with you for anything, but it could just be that the Lord has said no, and He means it. And, it may not be important for us to know the reason. Or, the reason could be revealed in the future. This is where faith and trust will be paramount for you, in that you must trust God that He is working everything out for the best and you must place your faith solidly in His hands.

2. Your sin is blocking God’s work.

In Isaiah 59, the Bible tells us, “Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” And, again, in Psalms 66, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.”

If we are living in continual sin and not repenting and trying to clean up our lives, God isn’t going to mess with us. He has no choice but to separate Himself from sin and if we aren’t even trying and are just coming to Him with our shopping list, He’s going to close the store. That doesn’t mean you stop praying, just start refocusing your prayers on asking God to help clean you up, instead of on what you’ve asked Him about originally.

3. It’s Not About You

It could very well be that the reason your particular prayer hasn’t been answered is because God is letting things play out for your good (plans for a better future). Or, that your faith and patience requires growth. It’s at these times that we must remember our time is not the same as God’s time. However, more importantly, we have to recognize that we are not alone in the world. The waiting may not have anything to do with you at all. We tend to relate every event or circumstance to how it affects us, but sometimes it really isn’t about us at all. Our waiting could have everything to do with someone else. The reason we could still be waiting is because there is someone else’s well-being, possibly even their soul, at stake.

We are given everything that we need to know in the Lord’s book, the Bible. We have many promises from Him, and He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us. We should try to be satisfied with this gift, and leave the mysteries unknown.

Seeking: One Rose Garden

Aarhus rose garden

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I had a limited record collection when I was a kid. After memorizing all the lyrics to the soundtracks of Grease and Saturday Night Fever and a Shawn Cassidy album, I would sometimes listen to my parents’ LPs. One of them was an album by Lynn Anderson. One of the songs was ‘I Never Promised You a Rose Garden‘. At my young age, I didn’t yet have a good concept of this figure of speech, and couldn’t quite figure out why it was such a big deal that this guy wanted a rose garden so bad. I’ve since figured it out. I want a rose garden, and I want it bad.

Every person on earth carries his or her own set of issues. When we hurt, no one we know can turn off our fears and our pain. Not even our best friends can truly understand our inner struggles. Is there any help at all for us?  The answer is a definite yes!

God didn’t promise us a painless life, but he did promise “a way of  escape.” He promised to help us bear the pain and strength to get us back on our feet when we don’t think we can make it.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is
common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above
that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that
ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Our heavenly Father watches over us with a eye that never wavers. Every thing we do, everything that someone does to us, it’s all on His camera. He identifies and feels the pain and hurt that we feel. He saves all our tears. He is always there.

We don’t have a rose garden, but we have something much better, we have an eternal Guardian. He will never leave us nor forsake us whether we are in a garden or on a rocky, barren path.

Today, instead of wishing for what we cannot or do not have, let’s be grateful for what we do have. The opportunity for peace that surpasseth our understanding.

Enjoy this glorious day, it is a gift!

Jeremiah’s Hope and Change

Rembrandt - Jeremiah lamenting

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It’s something America already knows about God, but it won’t touch her soul until she comes to the end of herself. She will discover that at the very bottom, God is there! The farther down we go, the more of God there is to be discovered. The best place to discover and recognize God is in the shadows of grief and despair.

When Jeremiah hit the dark bottom, he bumped into God! This is what Jeremiah learned:

“God is a God of compassion…his compassions for me cannot fail…they are new every morning…great is his faithfulness…” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jeremiah realized that great truth can only be realized by those who are falling down.

1. We are at a very low point; when troubles flow over my heart like water, I say, “I am cut off,” but God draws near and whispers, “Do not fear!” (Lamentations 3:54-57).

2. When God seems to have “covered himself with a cloud, so that my prayers could not pass through,” he will still see our troubles and will “judge my case” (Lamentations 3:44, 59).

3. If the Lord allows grief and sorrow, he will at the same time uphold us with abundant compassion and love (Lamentations 3:32).

4. God is not against us, trying to crush us under his foot when we are down (Lamentations 3:34).

5. God is not trying to sabotage any of our plans; he is not causing confusion; he is not working against us (Lamentations 3:35-36).

6. Even in despair and bitterness, when it’s hard to face a new day, his compassion does not fail. His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

7. Because God is always faithful, he will not cast us away. He will do right by us and save us (Lamentations 3:25-26).

8. Being down will leave us empty and humbled, so hopefully we will begin to depend on his mercies! (Lamentations 3:18, 20-22).

We are falling down America! We have enemies, and some are from within. Are you looking to God to save you and your family? He’s the only one with true hope and change that will save us. Join me on my knees for our country.

Secret Recipe

How often do you hear people say, “That church just doesn’t do anything for me.” Or, “I just don’t get anything from going there.” How often are you guilty of going to church to feed on the message, the activities, the “entertainment”, not willing to offer anything from yourself? I’m guilty.

“I went up…to Jerusalem…by revelation and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach” (Galatians 2:1–2). Paul didn’t go to Jerusalem because he was looking for something, he went to share something with them. He went to share what God wanted to reveal through him.

Paul didn’t learn what he preached about in a library with books and commentaries. He didn’t isolate himself from the crowd and write down his message, thinking, “Someday my work will be read by future generations.” Paul wrote his many chapters in dark, damp prison cells, while wiping the blood from his back after being scourged. He wrote them as a shipwreck survivor, after crawling from the sea.

Everything Paul knew and taught was learned on the battlefield of faith, and he rejoiced about his trials, saying, “now I can preach with all authority to every sailor who’s been through a shipwreck, to every prisoner who’s been locked up with no hope, to everybody who has ever looked death in the face. God’s Spirit is making me a tested veteran, so I can speak his truth to everyone who has ears to hear.”

We will never attain the glory of God by praying our way out of every inconvenient or horrible circumstance. True spirituality is going to come to us right where we are—in the bad or good life events. God doesn’t always lift us out of our pain, but He will always walk through it with us.

Paul’s secret recipe to living a glory-filled life was a willingness to accept his conditions without complaining. “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11). The Greek word for content means “to ward off.” So Paul is saying, “I don’t try to get out of my situation, I don’t beg God to lift me out, I own it. I have faith that the Lord is doing something I may not understand, but whatever it is, it will bless my life and the lives of others.”

Our job in every circumstance is to trust God. He can provide all the power and resources we need. It doesn’t mean we enjoy our bad situations, it’s just that we no longer try to protect ourselves from them. We leave that up to our Father and trust that He is shaping us into the image of his Son.

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