Month: March 2012

Coming in to His Own

There comes a point in each of our lives where we realize that something has changed. After the tumbles of childhood & the rebellion of teenage years, we find ourselves as adults in our right minds. We realize that after making it through unknown territory and difficult seasons, that we have come into our own. A confidence settles in, and we feel more comfortable in our own skin.

The point in our lives where we realize that we are God’s own is one that cannot be described in words. When a believer realizes the impact of this phrase, confidence reaches a whole new level.

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 1:5

The verse above simply describes what the Lord did to make us his own. He knew long before the world was created that He wanted to bring His beloved back. Before we even distanced ourselves from Him, He had already planned to reconcile us. His plan was to adopt us…to make us His heirs…to love us unconditionally. The ideal Father, wouldn’t you say?

Being known in Christ entails many great things. He hears you when you call. He prepares you for the battles ahead, even the ones you aren’t aware of. He removes the fear of death with the promise of eternal life, in His presence. He takes away fear, shame, and makes us new. No other identity can match these promises.

We have been purchased with his own blood and his own body. (Acts 20:28, John 2:21)

Come into His own. Be known in Christ, and let God show you the identity that can never be taken away…the one of God’s child.

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“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” – Ephesians 1:14

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15

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The Romancer

The most common view people have of God is as a father. The guidance He provides, the nurturing love, endless forgiveness, and unavoidable discipline.

Others simply view Him as Savior with no reference to a relationship. God alone.

My favorite way to view God is as The Romancer.

Think about the endless pursuit displayed throughout the Bible. God loves to chase us…to win our love.

In the early stages of a relationship, love is so alive. Flowers, gifts, long conversations, and touching moments are sure to take place. It is no different with Jesus. Everyday, He is courting His beloved. There are many ways we can see Him wooing us if we look for them.

  •  Joy & Blessings – After a rough day, He makes you smile with a sweet gesture from a friend, an unexpected blessing, or even something sweet, such as a rainbow. Nature is bursting with His gifts.
  • Holy Conversation –  He speaks to you like you are face to face. He loves to get our attention by using themes. For example…you start the morning reading a certain verse in the Bible…and you keep seeing a that same verse in different places(websites, emails, songs). He’s talking to you…practically shouting to get your attention!
  • Visits -You feel His spirit. There is nothing like the presence of God. It not only brings a feeling of peace, but also you will feel joy, love, and power. Sometimes it will give me chills when He is near…other times, I just feel overjoyed.

Let the Great Pursuer catch you. Don’t be the one that got away.

 

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life…” – Psalm 23:6
“Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me.” – Matthew 12:18

Transition

A beautiful read, friends. 🙂

jonathan stone's blog

I was reading a post on difficult transitions yesterday and it got me thinking about a lot of different difficult seasons in my life. Not all of my transitions have been difficult. Some of them were short and sweet. Barely perceptible. But anytime I use a phrase like, I am in a season of transition right now, it is a safe bet that things are pretty tough.

When I think about transition one of the places that I always get taken back to is when Emily and I were expecting our first child. I go there not just because the birth of your first child is one of life’s more monumental transitions, but also because of what I learned about the transition phase of labor as we anticipated our daughter’s arrival.

In labor transition happens as the body adjusts for the last few centimeters of dilation. It is also…

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God Be Praised

A few weeks ago, I attended a concert at my church. One thing I adore about my church…their gift of praise. Since I first began going there, my spirit has always been moved by the songs they create & their delivery. It draws me in everytime.

With a few hundred worshippers, it was quite loud. (love it!)

Among the noise, I clearly heard the Holy Spirit speak a simple phrase to me:

“God be praised.”

Like an “amen”, I spoke it to confirm what I heard. 

And then I see the next song they start to play. 

“God Be Praised”

Ironic, yes?

God knows what gets our attention. For me, simple things can grab me more than obvious elephants in the room. I think Jesus gets a kick out of seeing my reaction when I catch what He’s trying to get across to me.

Read between the lines. Keep your eyes peeled. He is working in every little detail. 

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Lyrics:

You saved my life from death
When I was all defeated
You spoke Your promises
And brought life to my weakness
Came as a conquering King
And You warred for my freedom
My soul can’t help but sing
Hallelujah

You opened up my eyes
For the first time I saw You
Your love commanding life
And deserving devotion
You told me who I am
Now in faith I believe it
My soul can’t help but sing
Hallelujah

You’ve made a place for me
Silenced all my accusers
Leading me forth with peace
Filled with joy I will follow
Your cross demands my life
Now Your grace is my anthem
My soul can’t help but sing
Hallelujah

Hallelujah, we’re redeemed and made free
By the blood of the Lamb We have won
Hallelujah, we will sing victory
Jesus conquered the grave
God be praised.

(Gateway Worship)