Tuesday, May 26, 2015

You Can’t Shock God

Photo by Jeff Meyer (Flickr)
One of the safest and most secure feelings I have about God is that He knows me. Fully!

I need the kind of security in which Someone knows me better than I know myself. Someone I can’t hide from. Someone I can’t fool.

This is why Hebrews 4:13 is so reassuring to me:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (NIV).

In my past, I lied to myself (and others) in order to conceal my eating disorder and other bad and sinful habits. I played so many games that eventually I didn’t know for sure who I really was.

But God never stopped knowing the real me.

Therefore, as I meditate on (with the intent to memorize) Hebrews 4:13, I will pray for God to show me the hidden areas about myself and for His grace to yield to the guidance and discipline I need.

Have you gotten so lost within your own lies that you need Someone to fully know the real you, too? Do you want God to help you stop your game playing and reveal to you what you may be hiding (even those habits and thought processes that are embarrassing and quite painful)?

Think about it: you can’t shock Him because He already knows—all of it. And He’s available to meet with you right now. Thankfully, He lovingly reveals our secrets in stages, giving us time to heal before disclosing the next one.

Will you allow Him to uncover your secrets to you so you can begin to live with less shame and regret?

I can’t begin to imagine all God knows about me—good and bad. But I’m glad He knows all of it and that He still loves me—a whole lot.

____

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What Does God See When He Looks at You?

Photo by Taston (Flickr)
Do you know what kind of person God sees when He looks at us? He sees His children who sometimes fear that they will never live up to their potential or be the person they dream of becoming.

However, Philippians 1:6 says we can confidently trust that God is never going to stop perfecting His work in us:

Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

From the day we first committed our heart and life to Him, God began shaping us into His image (which, even if we’re not aware of it, that is the person we most want to be). And when we don’t see changes in ourselves as quickly as we would like, it’s nice to know God isn’t going to quit on us, isn’t it? Especially when we’re about ready to give up on ourselves!

In fact, when we’re convinced that “not even God can help us this time,” He reaches into our situation and continues the work He has already begun in us. Then, as we learn to continue trusting in Him, we will begin to see progress – especially the changes His presence is making in our hearts, minds and attitudes.

But as we memorize or mediate on Philippians 1:6, are we willing to consider this same principle for other imperfect, “unfinished” people, too? Let’s ask God to help us believe that He is more than capable of completing His work in them, as well.

Will you take the plunge? Put your confidence in this very thing: God will finish the work He started in you, me – and others – and won’t quit. Not ever!

I love that about God.
____

Would you like to discuss this further? If so leave a comment or email me (see About tab for my email address).

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ready for Anything

Photo by Yogendra Joshi (Flickr)
“Hi, Jennifer. I’m calling to check on you.”

“I’m doing okay. Thanks for asking.” Her voice was somber, but strong.”However, I can’t deny that it’s been tough, especially when my car broke down, again. But thankfully my tax refund arrived just a few days later.”

Almost a year ago, Jennifer, a single mother of three, lost her job. And even though she receives help from family, friends and her church, the stress she remains under is real. However, her faith in God’s ability to carry her and her children remains very real, too.

What about you? Maybe you’re also going through a financial trial, or you are feeling pressure at work or home to do more. Or maybe you have read a scripture verse that tells you to forgive those who have hurt you, but you can’t seem to let it go.

God knows how to help us succeed at anything that is part of His plan for us. Notice how the Amplified Bible powerfully expresses this thought:

Philippians 4:13
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Ready for anything and equal to anything. Wow! But it only happens when we allow God to infuse His inner strength into us. Spend time thinking what it means to have the strength of Almighty God permeate your entire being.

I’ll say it again: Wow!

Will you commit to memorize or meditate on Philippians 4:13 this week, and see how it changes your perspective on the challenges you are facing?

___
As always, please remember that I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are You Where You Want to Be?

Bert talking with Justin (P.T. Doctoral Candidate Intern) 
My husband, Bert, loves to greet people with a huge smile and ask, “How you livin’?” His question (though perhaps a bit grammatically incorrect) is a great one for us to consider.

So ... how you livin'? Specifically, what kind of life are you living? As we conclude our study of Romans 6, I’m not talking about what social class you enjoy. Instead, I’m asking what return you are receiving on the choices you are making, especially as it relates to this week’s verses.

Romans 6 (NASB)
:21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed?    For the outcome of those things is death. 
:22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 
:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Are you enjoying peace, joy and fulfillment? Are you where you want to be regarding your character and legacy? How are the relationships in your life?

On an even more somber note, are your choices earning you turmoil and regret, so much so, that you are disappointed in the kind of person you’re becoming?

When I wrote the last question, I felt emotional because I understand feeling like a failure due to wrong choices. Indeed, God has brought me out of a past filled with regret.

Yes, many times, choosing to obey God’s directions is hard. But so are the consequences of sin.

Verse 21 asks what benefit or gain have you reaped from the things of which you are now ashamed. It’s an excellent question that can help us decide whether the resulting shame was worth it.

But how could your life be different today if you asked God to forgive you, and help you make better choices from now on?

Wouldn’t the resulting peace and joy be worth it?
___

We now conclude our study of Romans 6! I am being changed by the powerful, powerful chapter. What were your favorite or most challenging verse(s)? Were you able to memorize the verses - even imperfectly?

I will send you the weekly verses, formatted to fit a standard index card. You must be subscribed to the blog, via email. Leave a comment to let me know what translation you prefer.

As always, please remember that I’m here if you need me. You can use a pseudonym if you want to share a little about your struggle (via the comment link). I’d be honored to pray with you.


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