Posted by: Kimberly | Fri Jun 8, 2018

What Value Do I Have?

Self-worth is a heady subject, no pun intended, but it’s one that needs to be addressed. This morning after another popular celebrity committed suicide, I saw a statistic that 45,000 Americans committed suicide last year. That statistic was quoted as a ‘trend’ that is up from years past. Another trend that has been pervading the United States is to be an atheist. I’ve heard from people who grew up in families, who went to church that they just aren’t sure about the whole “God thing.” The same people ask me or my friends, who they think have a connection to God, to pray when they are in need. It doesn’t matter, I’ll gladly pray for them, because I went through the questions myself many years ago and determined that there was way too much evidence that God Does Exist than that he does not. No matter which camp you’re in; we all search. I believe God is present and does care for us, so let me share with you what I think my value and your value is as a person. 

God created humans for relationship, with each other and with him. When a person does not have relationship with God, he or she is missing a piece of their lives and they search and continue to search their entire lives for that missing piece, unless or until they find God. That is why we see seemingly very successful people such as actors, chefs, designers, millionaires, etc. commit suicide. Sadly, they have not made peace or found peace with their creator. They’ve searched for peace and fulfillment in careers, relationships, money, alcohol, and drugs and they have not found the peace they desire. They won’t find it without a constant and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s just beyond their fingertips and they’re usually the ones who fight it the hardest. Another group that fight God and can be the hardest won cases are usually the intelligentsia. I happen to be amongst this crowd. I don’t say that in a bragging way, but sometimes our minds get in the way of our faith. We prefer to prove things, rather than just believe. We want hard physical evidence, yet it’s all around us, in the sunrise and sunset, in nature and the geometry of a flower. It’s in the way science works and our bodies are uniquely created. When we realize God IS, we start to see it everywhere; the wonder of the creator and the amazing genius behind his creation. What we once deemed as a ‘bad’ bug has benefits that we haven’t discovered, but eventually do with our limited minds. God’s mind is infinite. We cannot contain all that he has, but we learn, and continue to learn all that he has for us, if we are willing. 

dove of peace

In the same way we learn the mysteries of the world around us, hopefully we learn the value of ourselves and how important we are to him and those around us. We may think that if we didn’t exist it wouldn’t change a thing, but there is a chain reaction that we never see if we take our lives in our own hands and end it. We are valuable, not only to our family, no matter how scorned we may be or have been, we are valuable to God. It doesn’t matter what hidden things we have in our lives, God knows them all and still accepts us. There is not anything that keeps us from His Love! He created each one of us with a purpose and a destiny. We have a destiny to fulfill on this earth and he wants a relationship with us. But we must put our preconceived notions of God being angry or disappointed in us away, because that is not who he is. He accepts us exactly as we are, who we are, where we are. Sinner, saint, drunk, sober, smart, stupid, addict, or free; all are welcome in his loving arms that are full of peace. Peace that man cannot understand until we enter them without reservation and by humbling ourselves with the trust and faith of a child. Picture how trusting little children are, how they don’t see good from bad. Children don’t perceive the things we do as adults, because they haven’t been hurt, if they’ve been raised in a loving home. Picture them running into a stranger’s arms willingly and then run to God’s open arms in the same trusting way. He’s waiting. He’s there to fulfill that piece of the puzzle you won’t find anywhere else. He’s there to give you value and call you his child, his beloved. God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, will comfort you and give you all that you need to feel worthy and loved where others have failed you. Then get into the Bible and study it daily and ask God to reveal to you what he wants you to hear in your reading. Don’t let this world and the people and pressures of life make you feel that you are not worthy because you are. You’re worthy to me and to Jesus. You are LOVED!! You have Merit, you have Worth! If you are a Christian who struggles with self-worth, remember to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and worthy of praise; as Paul instructs in Philippians 4:8, because anything else is a lie.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:15

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 3:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

 

Posted by: Kimberly | Tue May 29, 2018

Loved, Accepted, & Worthy!

Many times I’ve heard people say they don’t feel worthy of love from someone else, either they don’t feel good enough for certain friends or to be in a relationship with a certain person. I wish that I could help them know that isn’t how God sees them! God sees us as his children, created in his image, his beloved. God shows no favoritism between his children as some parents do. He wants all of us to succeed. There are several verses that tell us that God is no respecter of persons. Romans 2:11-16; Galatians 2:6; Acts 10:34-43; 1 Peter 1:17 are all examples of how God does not choose favorites.

 

I understand when a person has been raised in a family where one or both parents were not loving or were absent, that it’s hard to conceptualize God as a loving Father. But that is just who God is — a loving and compassionate parent. It is in these situations, that we must not compare God to our parents, but see God as the parent that ours should have been, which is kind, compassionate, caring, loyal, trustworthy, nurturing, and always present when we need him. If he weren’t, could he have sent his own son to die on a cross like a criminal so that we could be restored to fellowship with him? Just think of how Adam and Eve had so much ease with God in the garden to speak with him and to fellowship. He wants that for each of us. He wants to take us back to a garden experience.

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Jesus made a new way for us to regain that experience and covenant by making a new covenant through his death, burial, and resurrection. He also gave us a new commandment in John 13:34 to love each other as he loved the church. Jesus became our once and for all sacrifice for sin. Jesus was the perfect lamb who did away with sacrifices with his ultimate sacrifice in death. He did away with the law by replacing it with grace, love, and truth. Jesus loved without measure, he healed those who were thought to be unable to be healed, he loved the untouchables, he loved the outcasts, he dined with sinners, he ate with those others felt unworthy, he spoke to those many thought beneath him. Jesus showed no favoritism in his communication with people. He only grew angry and frustrated with those who led people astray in Biblical teachings or profited from others by kicking out the thieves in the temple. He showed mercy to the man next to him on the cross, telling him that he was forgiven. If all of these people were able to fellowship with Jesus, how can anyone else feel unworthy? There is no calamity, no illness, no sin that separates us from God.

We are adopted into his sheepfold, like a shepherd guards his sheep. He gathers us tenderly and takes care of us, if we are willing to allow him to do so. We are all worthy and it doesn’t matter where we came from, what our past is or was, as long as we put it behind us from this day forward, Jesus’ arms are open. God adopts us, he takes us in, we are his, and we are worthy of anything anyone else is. It doesn’t matter what people have said to us that contradicts that over the years. Whatever contradicts what or who God says we are, is a lie. 

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us… And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:31-34 &38

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.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:15-17

 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:4-5 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 1John 5:1

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. John 1:12-13

Jesus was born of God as a man. We are born of a man and may be reborn as a child of God. We can become joint heirs with Jesus Christ and obtain all that inheritance encompasses. I will share what our inheritance is in a future blog. But for now, be accepted, feel loved, and feel worthy of all that God has for you in this life. You are a precious child of God. 

family

Posted by: Kimberly | Wed May 23, 2018

The Giants, Our Armor, & Freedom

1 Samuel 17:38-40,45,47,49 Then Saul gave David his own armor-a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine… David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies-the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled… And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!”…  Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

Mountain sunset

David was offered Saul’s armor when he went out to face Goliath, but the armor restricted him and didn’t allow him to move freely. He knew that he couldn’t go into battle wearing armor that was intended for someone else. He also knew that the only armor he needed was the protection of God. There are times in our lives that we face battles and we listen to how others faced a similar situation and try to do what they did and it doesn’t work for us. Sometimes we run to others for advice or counsel before we take our problems to God. David as a young man, walked with God and tended his flock of sheep. He had a close personal relationship with God and he knew the voice of his Lord. David knew better than to take on another man’s ill-fitting armor that would only encumber him in battle. Whose armor are we trying to wear instead of the armor that God has provided? David also knew that God would protect him and that he had found favor in his eyes. Have we not favor in our Father’s eyes? You may ask what is favor. Favor is an act of kindness beyond what is due, hmmm, that sounds like grace. Isn’t the fact that Jesus died on the cross favor and isn’t the fact that by grace we are saved, favor? Grace is easy and free, it isn’t encumbering and it doesn’t restrict us.  

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:8-9

So, if there are giants (problems) in our lives, are we willing to go to God first and take on his counsel through the word and hear his voice by listening to the Holy Spirit and not run from one person to the other to seek advice? If we know and have confidence in the Word of God (Jesus Christ – John 1:1) that he has a plan for our life, then why are we looking for the advice of anyone but God? Of course, if it effects our spouse, we should discuss it with them. Another exception would be in ministerial fellowship, where it effects the direction of a church. Our counsel should still come from God, first and foremost and be directed by the Holy Spirit. The people in our life should be in tune with the Holy Spirit also; then they will hear the same message we hear or a very similar message. If we are not making wise decisions, perhaps we need to consider who our confidants are. When we know the ways of Jesus, the armor is easy and the burden is light, as he says in Matthew 11:28-30, which I especially like in The Message translation.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” — Matthew 11:28-30
The plans of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart). Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. Proverbs 16:1-3

As we take on the armor of God, (Ephesians 6:10-18) which is all we need, we are fully prepared to defeat any opposition that rises against us, because we realize that our wisdom comes from God and that Jesus defeated the enemy on the cross. Nothing we put on will feel wrong or ill-fitting, it will feel right and we will feel free as we are intended to feel when our lives are lined up with the will of God. We have Liberty to walk in all that he has for us. We, who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, are victorious in our salvation and need to learn to live as victors instead of victims. We need to put away, the thinking of “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” and remember that we are “Joint heirs with Jesus Christ!” Just think how much there is in an inheritance when we forget the past and look forward to the future! This is a brighter outlook, this is worth getting out of bed for every day. Let’s be giant slayers, victory claimers, and know that no matter what battle we face, Jesus is on our side, because he already fought the battle and won! He never said we wouldn’t have trials, but he gives us a way out. He is there with us and he is For Us! 

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. — Romans 8:31-34

 

 

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