New Year! New Me! ~ Who I am in Christ

Understanding who you are in Christ will give you a strong foundation to build your life on. Knowing who are you in Jesus is the key to a successful Christian life and a life lived ON purpose. Once you choose to follow Jesus you become a new creation, the old you passes away and you become who you are in Him. Stop living out who other people say you are and take hold of the truth of God’s Word! Your identity doesn’t depend on something you do or have done.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, every one of these statements is true of you. Try reading the list below every day for a month, preferable out loud. As you speak these truths, you will believe it and your behavior will reflect your true identity. This renews your mind so you are not conformed to this world.

  • I am loved (John 3:16) For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

  • I am accepted (1 Peter 2:9) 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.

  • I am a child of God (John 1:12) But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.

  • I am redeemed and forgiven (Colossians 1:14-15) For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

  • I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1) So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

  • I am a new creation because I am in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new creation. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

  • I do not have a spirit of fear but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.

  • I can always know the presence of God because He never leaves me (Hebrews 13:5) For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

  • I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39) 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. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved 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. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • I am God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?

  • I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me (Philippians 1:6) God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

 

New Year! New Me!

Today is the day! We have a brand new year ahead of us, a year that has the possibility to be filled with peace, promise, hope, and trust in the Almighty God. This is possible only through our God, whose love for you reaches as high as the stars in the sky. With God it is possible to get rid of the weight that entangles you and holds you back from the best life you can have.

There is an amazing, powerful God who wants to give you life to the fullest. At the same time, there is an enemy whose only goal is to steal, kill, and destroy you. However God is All-Powerful, and He overcame the enemy when Jesus died on the cross and rose again. It is because Jesus claimed victory over death that you can walk in freedom and have life!

God is after our hearts. His desire is to have an intimate relationship with you. He doesn’t make it hard to reach Him. Everyone deals with guilt and regret about mistakes and things in the past, so talk to God as openly as if you were talking to a friend. Because no matter what has happened in your life, God will never stop loving you!

God is holding this wonderful gift of life to you…all you need to do is accept it by realizing that God is the perfect King, and you’re in need of someone to save you. Welcome and allow God to be King of your life and to guide you. When you do, you will never be the same.

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:40-43

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to You. Psalm 86:5

 

They That Wait

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) those who wait on the Lord, Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

 

For the past few weeks I’ve been plodding along a path that has left me tired and worn.  Nancy has had more than her share of hardships, from a broken toe, falling down our wooden stairs and having emergency retinal surgery.  I’ve found myself in a pit of whining and complaining, convinced God had somehow let us down.  As my thoughts swirled I began to believe that God did not know or care about all that was happening to us.  It’s then, in my darkest hours, I tend to forget to praise the Lord for all that He has done for me.  Like the Israelites of old, I found myself complaining about the manna God was giving us.  Instead of seeing Jesus before me and following Him wholeheartedly, I  chose to complain.  I believed I didn’t have the strength for the journey and that God was asking me to do the impossible – to trust Him in the midst of the storm.

“It is much harder to walk in the ordinary pressures of life than to fly like the eagle in a time of crisis.” Warren Wiersbe

I found Wiersbe’s statement to be true in my own life.  Then the other day as I stood washing dishes, I thought about everything that had happened the past few weeks.  I was reminded that “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”.  I wondered what it meant to “wait on the Lord”.  The promise of waiting is a renewal of strength, and that’s what I needed, so I began to study.

The truth is, God knows.  He knows what we feel, what we’re facing and the challenges that lie before us.  The truth is that He is able and adequate enough to meet our every need.  On my own I’m unable to trust God completely, but He gives me the strength to trust Him if I wait upon the Lord.  My strength is insufficient but God is all sufficient and gives me strength for the journey.

I’ve learned that waiting isn’t just sitting around and doing nothing.  Waiting means “to hope” and to look to God for all that we need.

Isaiah 26:3 (AMP) “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You – in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

Isaiah 30:15 (AMP) “In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”

Rather than continuing to complain I need to put my hope in God’s character, having a purposeful mindset to pray, praise and glorify Him. I need to spend time meditating on His character and His promises.    It’s a concentrated effort to shift my focus from the storm and the waves of life.  I’m placing my hope in the One who speaks, “Peace! Be still”.

Finally, I’ve learned I need to renew, which means “to exchange”.  This is putting off one thing and putting on another.  I need to exchange my weakness for His power as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10.  As I wait on Him He enables me to soar when the trials are many, and to walk faithfully as I face the everyday challenges of life.

As I face each new day I need only to step out in faith, knowing that God has gone before me.  I trust in His promises and His character.  I know He won’t leave me, I know He will provide and I know He will fill me with His strength as I walk by faith and not by sight.

To Whom do I Listen?

Have you ever had someone in your life that cut you down, who used ‘honesty’ as a weapon? Have you ever experienced the cruelty of ‘friends’ who made fun of you because of the way you looked or dressed? When confronted about their verbal assault their response is: “What, I was just being honest”. If we’re being honest, probably every one of us has experienced what I’ve described at some point and most of us have made it a point to remove those people from our lives.

Still, there is one who causes us too doubt, steals our joy, robs us of happiness and tears us down every chance he can and we allow it. Somehow, when our adversary, the devil, whispers all those nasty, vile and corrupt words into our ears we have a tendency to listen as if it were truth. What’s more, when Satan causes us to doubt the goodness of God and the love of the Lord Jesus, we listen and if we listen long enough we begin to believe the lie.

“The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and kill and destroy” and “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (John 10:10a, 1 Peter 5:8). Satan has one agenda, your death and destruction, it’s just that simple. He will use every tactic in his arsenal of satanic weapons against you and do whatever necessary to discourage you in your life and your walk with Christ. We need to be able to discern the voice of God and the lie of Satan. And, yes it is possible.

My wife, Nancy, has been in banking most of her adult life. She told me that in order to spot a counterfeit bill she studies the genuine bill. She learns how it looks, how it feels along with the markings on the bill itself. Once she knows the real thing the counterfeit is easy to spot.

Jesus is the real deal. In order to spot the counterfeit (Satan) and his pack of putrid lies we need to study the Bible, the genuine article. As we read and study scripture we get to know Jesus, God the Father and Holy Spirit. We learn of God’s great love for each and every one of us, we learn of Jesus tender loving mercy and we’re able to spot the crafty deceit of Satan.

While Satan comes to steal kill and destroy, Jesus said; “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10b). The closer we walk with Holy Spirit and learn to hear His voice, the more we learn and the more we’ll be able to understand that “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you” (Isaiah 54:17).

Jesus is not the accuser. He does not condemn. Don’t listen to the lie of Satan when he says you’ve gone too far or done too much. Jesus said; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Stand firm in Christ, rebuke the devil and live in freedom.

~ Brad