Consumed with What Christ Has Done for You

Consumed with What CHrist Has Done for You

How many times have you heard the phrase “It’s not about you?”  Some Christians are constantly reminding themselves and others of this, in an attempt to avoid becoming full of themselves. While we shouldn’t be totally wrapped up in ourselves all the time, the idea that it’s not about us can be over emphasized to the point that it actually holds a portion of the body of Christ back from doing what God’s called them to do.

Here’s what I mean by that. Some people conclude that since it’s about God, not you, if you enjoy doing something that brings you before the eyes of the public, you must be doing it to try to bring glory to yourself instead of Him. Therefore, if you want to do anything like speaking, performing music, acting, writing a book, starting a business, or anything else of the kind, you must an arrogant individual who is out only for yourself. While this is sometimes the cases, it most certainly isn’t true of all who are in such a situation!

Think about all the great evangelists and ministers in Christian history. They drew huge crowds, who came to hear them speak. Were they in it for themselves? Was it all about the show with them? Very few of us would say such a thing, and yet their names were widely known. They stood before many, and yet they drew countless people to God. Some of them, in fact, believed so intensely in the importance of bringing the truth of the gospel in front of as many as possible that they faced persecution in the process. If their careers were built off of pride, would they have put up with this?

It is the same today. Though there are those whose main focus is on their glory rather than that of God, this doesn’t immediately characterize all who are doing something that brings them in front of others as prideful, or mean that their motives are tainted. Some of them truly possess a burning desire to share with the world the One who has changed their lives, and have been gifted in a way that enables them to do so with many people at once, through doing something that they love and are good at.

Those within the Church are different parts of the same body, each of whom are individually designed and gifted by their Heavenly Father. Some people’s talents happen to lend themselves to doing things that are more visible, and some people’s talents lend themselves more to the behind the scenes work. Both are equally important – neither better than the other, just different. It’s just like a puzzle that gets messed up if you try to shove the pieces into places they don’t fit. For the body of Christ to function as it’s supposed to, each part needs to be allowed to do what it has been called to do.

The answer, therefore, to the fear of individuals striving to bring glory to themselves isn’t to try and force them into places that they weren’t created to occupy, merely to keep them from getting a big ego. The best way to keep people, whatever their talents and abilities, from being consumed with themselves, is for them to become consumed with the One who is greater than them. Share Jesus and His finished work at the cross, and people will become so overwhelmed by the One who loved them so, that self won’t even enter the picture. They will be humbled not by being told to remain humble, but by the realization of who He is. Propagate the truths of the gospel, and as others catch a glimpse of their wonder, those truths will become what they, whatever their position, propagate as well!

Walk In Freedom

Walk In Freedom

Yesterday was Memorial Day – when were remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.

Just like there are many who fought and died to protect our freedom, we have a Savior who gave His life for us at the cross, to set us free! We were once claves to sin, but He won our freedom, and made a way for us to become children of God!

God wants you to walk in freedom from worry, fear, anxiety, sickness, disease, addiction, or anything else you may be dealing with. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and He is both willing and able to do the impossible for you, if you will put your trust in Him. It is His desire for you to experience the freedom Christ purchased for you in every area of your life. You have been set free because of what your Savior has done for you. Receive your freedom today!

Remember and give thanks for those who have given their lives so that you could be free, including Christ, who gave His life for your freedom at the cross! Have faith that because of His finished work, you have been made free, and begin to walk in the freedom that is yours in Him!

Do You Believe?, and the Most Important Question

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(Note – Do You Believe? is rated PG-13. It contains some violence, and addresses a number of more grown up topics. For a thorough review and breakdown of the movie and its content, visit http://www.pluggedin.)

Featuring Newsboys’ hit song “We Believe,” the movie Do You Believe? brings us face to face with a very important question – “Do you believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so, “what are you going to do about it?”

Do You Believe? tells the story of 12 different people from various walks of life, each dealing with their own set of circumstances, who share one thing in common – they must each answer in their own way the question given above. For the pastor and his wife, as well as a couple that has lost their daughter, it means taking in struggling people the Lord places in their paths. For others, it means taking the step to either commit or more fully commit their lives to Him. Some must take a risk to stand up for and live out their faith. At the end of the day, however, they all discover that God is ready and willing to meet them right where they’re at.

The question the movie asks – do you believe in the cross – is the most important question we’ll ever answer. This one choice – to place our trust in Jesus, and accept Him as our Savior – both settles where we will spend eternity, and also has a life-changing impact on us here and now. If you believe in Him, then you are a child of God, with the right to have a close, intimate relationship with Him that will extend on into eternity. Refusal to receive Christ is THE ONE AND ONLY thing we do that prevents us from someday living with Him forever.

Once we have accepted Christ, God wants to use us to impact others for Him. As the movie shows, He can do so in a variety of ways in each of our lives. What’s important is that we are willing to listen to His voice, and allow Him to lead and guide us.

How will you answer the question the movie presents – the most important one you’ll ever be asked? “Do YOU believe in the cross of Christ,” and if so “what are YOU going to do about it?”

Rest and Receive

rest and receiveWeek 39 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished this week’s reading was Hebrews 1-5.

Hebrews 4:9 says that there remains a rest for the people of God. What is this rest? Where is it found? Jesus answers this question in Matthew 11:28. He bids all who are weary and burdened to come to Him, and promises that He will give them rest.

Our rest is found in what Christ did for us at the cross. When He gave His life for us, the devil was defeated once and for all. All who believe in Him are made righteous, and are qualified to receive all of God’s blessings! Are you worried? You have been qualified to receive peace! Are you depressed? You have been qualified to receive joy! Are you sick? You have been qualified to receive healing! Are you experiencing lack? You have been qualified to receive prosperity!

We don’t have to fight and struggle to be good enough to earn God’s blessings. Because we have been made righteous through faith in what Jesus did for us at the cross, God’s blessings are given to us as free gifts of His grace! Jesus paid the price for them in full. We simply need to rest in His finished work, and receive what God wants to give us. Find your rest in Christ today!

As He Is, So Are You!

As He Is, So Are You!This week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is 1 John 4:17. This verse says that as Jesus is, so are we – that in this world, we are like Him!

When we look at ourselves, we see our mistakes, our failures, and our imperfections. When God looks at us, He sees the righteousness and perfection of His Son covering us. You are not who you once were! You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are in Christ. He is your new identity!

As Jesus is, so are you! As He is accepted by God, so are you! As He is loved by the Father, so are you! As He is in perfect right standing before the Most High, so are you! As He is free from sickness, fear, depression, discouragement, despair, and anxiety at God’s right hand, so are you!This freedom is available to you for the taking – receive it!

Begin to view yourself in this light. See yourself as God sees you. Find your identity in Christ!

Complete In Christ

Complete In ChristWeek 34 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is drawing to a close. This week’s reading was Colossians 2-4, and 1 Thessalonians 1-2. These chapters finish Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae, and begin his letter to the church at Thessalonica.

Colossians 2:10 says that in Christ, we have been made complete.So many of us are searching for someone or something to fulfill us – to make us feel complete and whole. We look in all the wrong places. We come up empty, time and again.

Your search for completeness can come to an end, for you are already complete in Christ! In this world, you are as He is (1 John 4:17). As He is loved, cherished, valued, and treasured by the Father, so are you!

The One in whom true fulfillment is found lives inside of you. Stop trying to find something that can make you feel complete, and let this truth sink into your mind – that in Christ, you have been made complete!

Over All

Over AllWhat are you facing today? What are you up against? Do you feel like you’re on your own?

If so, know that you are NEVER alone. Jesus is with you always (Matthew 28:20). Not only is He always with you, but everything has been placed under His feet (Ephesians 1:22). Whatever you’re facing, know that it is under His feet, and that because you are in Him, it is under your feet, as well.

Christ has been made head over all for YOUR benefit (Ephesians 1:22)! All authority on heaven and earth is His (Matthew 28:18). As a member of His body on this earth, He has given you authority, as well. You have been given power over ALL the power of the devil (Luke 10:19)! When you use the name of Jesus, demons must flee, sickness must leave, and depression and anxiety must loosen their hold, for EVERYTHING must bow before the name of Jesus (Philippians 2:10)!

In Christ, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). Believe this, and begin to experience the victory that God desires for you to walk in!

Over All

As A Child Of God, You Can . . .

As A Child Of God, You Can . . .

As a child of God, you can . . .

believe what God says about you, rather than the devil’s lies. Sometimes, it’s easy to ignore what God has to say about us, and fall for the enemy’s deception. Your Heavenly Father says that you are His beloved, cherished, valued, and treasured son or daughter. Choose to believe His words, and accept them as truth!

approach God with the freedom and confidence that comes from with knowing that He is your loving Heavenly Father. You are a child of God, and as His child, you have the privilege of boldly approaching His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). Use this privilege!

allow God’s love and grace to free you from condemnation and regret. You don’t need to constantly condemn yourself over mistakes you’ve made. Christ has paid the price for them in full!

trust in what Christ has done for your continued right standing before God, rather than your actions. You can never be good enough to earn righteousness. If what Christ did was enough to save you, then it’s enough to keep you in right standing with your Father in Heaven!

receive God’s blessings as the free gifts of grace they are intended. God’s blessing upon your life isn’t dependent on what you do, but rather on what Christ has done. His finished work has qualified you to receive all of the blessings God has for you!

Linking up this post with Thriving Thursdays at Serving Joyfully, and Monday’s Musings at What Joy Is Mine.

Be Filled With Peace As You Trust In Him

Be Filled With Peace As You Trust In HimThis week’s memory verse from Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is Philippians 4:6-7. These verses bid us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything, to present our requests to God, and they promise us that His peace will guard our hearts and minds.

What are you anxious about today? Is there something that’s causing you to worry? Why don’t you talk to God about it?  ALL things are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26)! Nothing’s too big for Him to handle. Nothing that bothers you is too small for Him to concern Himself with. As your loving Heavenly Father, He wants to take care of you, and meet all of your needs, in every area of your life.

When you bring you concerns before God, you can be at peace, knowing He is both willing and able to handle whatever it is that you’ve brought before Him. Your mind can be at ease, and your heart can be at rest, knowing that you’ve cast your burden upon the One with whom nothing’s impossible (Luke 1:37).

Instead of being anxious, present your requests to God, and allow yourself to be filled with His peace, as you trust in Him!

Live In His Grace

Live In His GraceWeek 30 of Called and Created’s Bible Reading and Memorization Plan is nearly finished. This week’s reading was 2 Corinthians 11-13, and Galatians 1-2. These chapters finish one of Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth, and begin his letter to the church at Galatia.

In Galatians 1:6-7, Paul expresses astonishment at the church of Galatia so quickly deserting he who called them to live in the grace of Christ, and turning to a different gospel, which was really no gospel at all.

We have been called to live in the grace of Christ, but how often do we turn from His grace, and try to become right with God through the law – by obedience to His commandments – instead of accepting righteousness as a free gift, as God intended it? No matter how hard we try, we can never be good enough to gain right standing before God through our actions. God knows that we can’t do it on our own, which is why He wants us to live under the new covenant of His grace.

In Galatians 2:21, Paul says that he will not set aside God’s grace, for if we could gain righteousness by the law, then Christ died for nothing. In other words, if we can be good enough on our own to earn right standing before God, then there was no reason for Christ to die for us. Don’t set aside the grace of God! You were saved by grace (Ephesians 2:5). Continue to live in it!