Measure Up!

Measure Up!

Comparing ourselves to others is one of the many harmful attitudes of the carnal nature. This can steal our trust, destroy our hope and bring fear. As a child of the most High God we always measure up. We praise God for whom and where we are, and trust Him for everything He is doing in our lives.

We might compare today with our yesterdays, when we thought we had more success and happiness. We might compare our today with our tomorrows, when we believe we will have many more accomplishments. We might compare ourselves with others, with who they are or what they do. Their looks, words and actions might appear more valuable than ours; or we might think ours is more valuable than theirs. We are not to look at the outward appearance. We do not compete with others but complete one another. Our worth is in Christ. We are His. We glory in the Lord!

Our measuring of our spiritual growth will always come short of what it really is. Let’s throw down any carnal measuring tape and trust His spiritual tape! We are called to appreciate and celebrate each moment in the now, leaving the past behind and taking no thought for tomorrow. We measure up, from glory to glory!

2 Corinthians 10:12 “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

 

It’s Personal

It’s Personal

Each of us encounters the risen Lord. One primary way we encounter Him is through personal encounters unique for every person — intimate and private.

We grow in our awareness that God knows and understands us with love and compassion. What we find in the process is that God draws us to know and understand Him. He does so personally: to a gardener, He reveals Himself and speaks through the gardening process; to the fisherman, through fishing; to the shepherd through sheep;  to a parent, through a child. He meets us where we are and ministers to us through personal experiences and situations so we can know Him for ourselves. Mary recognized Jesus after He had risen when He called her by name. This showed His knowledge, love and care for her like only He could. When we seek the Lord, amid our tears, we will find Him closer than we ever expected.

The personal relationship we have with the Lord is such an individual experience we cannot compare it with others. We can never think that one is experiencing the Lord more than another, because it’s not the more or less, it’s the one on one. It can never be the same, because God’s ways are new every day. Familiarity can hinder our hearing from God through a fresh approach. We are taught not to take things personally, but that doesn’t apply to what comes from the Lord: it is personal, from glory to glory!

John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

 

Just the Way We Are!

Just the Way We Are!

As we discover the new creation we have in Christ, we find the Lord giving new life to us so we can walk in who He created us to be. Parts of our self may be hidden under scars we received from various woundings. If we express who we are now, others make fun of us and we end up feeling rejected. This rejection will cause us to reject that part of us as well, and we may keep it hidden.

The Holy Spirit revives individual talents and attributes we were given when we were created as He leads us into our purpose. For example, a man may enjoy cooking, a woman may like to work on cars or any talent that is uncommon and unaccepted by peers. They grew up trying to be somebody else. This man will therefore learn to fix cars and this woman will take care of the cooking, laying aside their God given talents. We might have become what we were not trying to be, allowing others to define us by their expectations. This can result in years of therapy as we learn to identify this stranger, how we got here and who we really are. Only in Christ do we receive total freedom as we hear His truth about ourselves. Areas that were hidden open up in our process of transformation.

Another area of liberty comes in the expression of our hearts. Our sense of humor, joy and dance in our steps come forth as we learn we are not only accepted in the Lord but uniquely and wonderfully made. No one is alike; each one so special and free to be, from glory to glory! 

John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 

Totally Secure

Totally Secure

As unity is increasing among us, insecurity in relationships is being eliminated. Insecurity is part of our “old” man, who we are in Adam, before being born again and being a new creature in Christ. The more secure we are in our relationship with God, the more secure we can be in our relationship with others. Through the grace and love of God, we walk in newness of life.

Insecurity causes people to assume and receive rejection, build walls and try to control others. It feeds their fear of losing what they have because deep down they do not trust they really have it. It disables intimacy and steals joy. It causes people to have faith one day and fear the next. In our security with Christ, insecurity is defeated. Relationships will not remain the same, but our position in Christ will never change.  Others will not always be responsive to our love but we love regardless.

The love of God conquers all and destroys the walls that have been built. We unconditionally love, care and unite with one another. No matter what the changes are in relationships, it can never change our bonds in Christ. We are accepted in God, even when rejected by others. We are loved by God, even when disliked by others. We are safe in the Lord, even when threatened by others. We dwell in security in the Lord,  from glory to glory!

Ephesians 1:5-7  “…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” 

 

Out of Love

Out of Love

Everything we do for the Lord has to be done out of love, and in love. It’s because we love Him that we obey Him. It’s not to earn His love, but in response to His love that we love Him with our whole heart. We love Him because He first loved us.

We do the things not because we have to, but because we get to. We get to worship the Lord; we get to praise Him; we get to give unto Him and we get to serve Him; not out of obligation but because of adoration. We don’t have to do this or that for the Lord in fear that He will not love us anymore. We get to because of the faith we have in His eternal love. The way we have experienced human love can hinder our experiencing the love of God in a deep, intimate way. Intentions may be good and come out of love, but sometimes the way things are done may not be done in love because of hurts of the past. As the Lord heals those past hurts, what we do out of love, we also do in love.

As we do things out of love, we find that the love of God in our hearts enables us to do all things in love. We do not do things to receive love in return, but because we return to Him the love He gives to us, unconditionally, from glory to glory.

1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.” 

 

Belonging

Belonging

Knowing in our hearts that we belong to God changes the choices we make regarding what belongs to us by strengthening our boundaries and helping us to never question our security in Christ.

This knowledge also enables us to become better stewards of what has been entrusted to us. What belongs to us has to match our belonging to the Lord. We are not our own; we have been bought with the precious blood Jesus shed on the cross for our redemption. Our bodies, talents, gifts, finances and all we are and have is His. The Holy Spirit in us enables us to care for what is His, not ours, by reaffirming how precious we are in God’s eyes.

We are so precious to God! He knows how to care for what belongs to Him, and He watches over us with love and protects us with power. He is able to keep what He paid such a price for, with surety and watchfulness. We are God’s property and we can evict every intruder in Jesus name! We are not lost, we are found. We are not blind, we can see. We are not alone and abandoned, we belong to God and this belonging takes us, from glory to glory 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

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