Tag: Chosen

The Ring I Wear {On This Mother’s Day}

I began this Mother’s Day, with a choice. And, I have thought about it – as I continue to walk through this day.

I wear a ring. It is a special kind of ring. I don’t wear it for fashion or accessory purposes, but as a specific reminder. It is a reminder that I allow my faith to be of greater importance than anything else.

Just as people of other faiths allow their appearance to alert others that they are of this or that religion, this is my reminder that God is greater than my desire for other things.

While I may not be a mother at this specific point in my life, I am someone who is choosing to put God above her own human nature. I am choosing Jesus and allowing my faith to impact the kind of friends I pick, whom (or if) I date, and how I allow my body to be used.

I wear a “True Love Waits” ring on my left hand, as a reminder that I am pursuing something and it is for God. I am reminded that I am choosing to walk faithfully with my God (which is something Enoch did). I am choosing to walk closely with my God – instead of the world.

On Mother’s Day, it is easy to feel like I don’t measure up. On Mother’s Day, there are a lot of greetings geared toward women that come with an expectation. An expectation that every woman is a mother. In those moments, it is rather easy to feel defective. It’s then that we are reminded of what we are not.

. . . But, that is not my story today.

I am more rooted in Jesus Christ, as my Anchor and Hope. I spend more moments engaging in the struggle, versus trying to “size up”. In the past, I struggled immensely with this day – because of such expectations.

Today, I am a different person than I was – last year.

A year can change a person in a lot of ways.

I firmly believe God can do a great transformative work, which isn’t limited by any time frame.

This time last year, I was without a couple diagnoses. The biggest one is PCOS, which is the number one cause of infertility. Last year, I wasn’t aware I had it. While there has been a great amount of wrestling with it, I am becoming more secure in who God has made me to be.

Yes my ovaries (and various other parts of my body) don’t work as though they should, but I am still wholeheartedly approved and loved by God. I am growing secure in my identity as a woman who is intensely loved by God.

This awareness and growing process is aided particularly through our “Inspiring Women” Bible study (which I need to try and be more faithful to, which will become easier after Wednesday)

Let’s celebrate who we are as women dearly loved and celebrated by our great God. We are dearly loved so fiercely, and our womb doesn’t have any effect on who we are as women or how loved we are by God!

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; AMPC).

We know that God has chosen you, dear brothers, much beloved of God. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not just meaningless chatter to you; no, you listened with great interest. What we told you produced a powerful effect upon you, for the Holy Spirit gave you great and full assurance that what we said was true. And you know how our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, TLB).

Deuteronomy 3-4

The Lord said to me, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands. . . I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land. [Go] and after [winning the battle], each of you may go back to the possession I have given you. . . [Just] as the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you (see 3:2, 18-22).”

God is going to give His people the victory He promised. While He will give them what He promised, they have to be willing to follow Him. God is sovereign and does not owe humanity anything, yet He has willfully come and saved us through our Savior Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins and raised from the dead to give us new life!

We cannot allow fear to stop us from seeking out the promises of God and abundant life. We need to seek the Lord and give Him our best by becoming “doers of the Word” like James teaches.

We need to not just hear God’s Word, but internalize, learn from, and apply it to our daily lives.

Take to Heart –

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them (4:9)

We are taught the importance of watching ourselves closely. Today, we need a passion for God and His Word. We need to passionately tell of God’s goodness, mercy, justice, and eternal Good News.

Seek –

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath (4:29-31).

Even when we fall away and turn our backs on God, there is still an opportunity to return to Him – as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have that choice. Don’t delay, let’s resolve to choose and turn to Jesus Christ – today! Let’s seek after Him right now at this very moment, as we pray and turn to Him with the Holy Spirit’s marvelous help.

God doesn’t want us to half-heartedly seek Him, but to wholly seek after Him. And He gives us the ability to seek Him, so we can pray for His help. As we seek Him, He will continue to show Himself to us. Remember and take to heart: God will never abandon you, so keep following our Lord Jesus Christ.

Week 7: 2 Thessalonians 1:11

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith (2 Thess. 1:11, NIV).

It always stops me in my tracks, when I read “By His power, He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” Many of us have unmet desires we are waiting on. God can give us these desires, but it is up to God if they are fulfilled and when that fulfillment happens.

Let’s focus on the Lord, and give Him our heart’s desires!

Truth be told, it is about surrendering our desires to God and keeping our focus on Him. Our focus needs to be on drawing nearer to our King Jesus, not the dreams.

In the waiting and wondering period, we are learning to trust that God is working on our behalf. As we draw nearer, God is changing us from the inside – out. Look at what Philippians 2:13 teaches us – For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (NLT).

The right kind of desires are given to us by God, and fulfilled by God in His timing!

Keep coming back to Jesus – our Redeemer. When we keep coming back to Jesus as our Redeemer, we will not be disappointed. We will be reminded of the abundant hope we have been given. Jesus Christ came for you and me.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim. 1:15).

Called by God

While the God of the Universe gives us other desires, He gave us the ultimate desire for Him. God is the One who calls; what we are called to is God’s own kingdom and glory (Reformation Study Bible). We have been moved from a place of condemnation because of our sins (see John 3:16-17) and ushered into the presence of God (see Hebrews 4:14-16). It is a complete change in our destination.

Not only has He chosen to save us, we can enjoy His sweet presence – today!

Cleansed by Jesus

Through Jesus Christ, we have been saved and made new. His love for us is what made the difference in our lives. Jesus Christ is what matters in our lives, which is why we celebrate our Redeemer. He came for us, and is away. He is worthy of our praise and the One who makes us worthy.

Because of Jesus Christ, we can stand in His presence and enjoy our heavenly Father. We have been reconciled to God and He will make us worthy and cause us to grow in all areas of our lives. Now, that’s worthy celebrating!

Both past election and present growth are crucial. They are already children of God; they are to live lives governed by this reality. Thereby, Jesus’ name will be glorified and they in turn will be glorified in him. All of this is accomplished through grace (Asbury Commentary).

Exodus 28-29

“Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest (Ex. 28:1-3).”

Chosen

God chose Aaron and his sons to serve Himself as priests. God chose them, specifically! He gave them sacred garments to give them dignity and honor. Jesus Christ has come, set us apart, and gives us dignity and honor as we learn how to trust and follow Him! We have been specifically chosen and set apart too. Also, take notice of this: God used those whom He gave special skills. He used them to be a part of His work in Aaron’s family’s life. How awesome is that?!

God will use many. All who are willing. He will chose us and invite us to join in His big work that He’s doing!

I am reminded that everything served a purpose. Even the “church” bells ringing, as they entered the Holy Place (see Ex. 28:35). Because the bells were heard when He entered and exited the Holy Place, these priests (set apart for God) would live.

The breast piece was an important aspect of their priestly uniform. They said that it was involved in decision making. In Ephesians 6, we can see what it represents. The breastplate is of righteousness. Our decisions are so critical, when seeking to live with Jesus and choose righteousness (see Ex. 28:15a, Eph. 6:14-17).

Consecrated

In chapter 29, we are reminded of the importance of being consecrated. For Aaron and his sons, this was such an important event in their lives. This set the stage for the entire serving job they had been given.

Got Questions reminds us that…

The Bible tells believers to be a holy people, separate from the world: “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Being consecrated is a critical component in our relationship to God and to those in the world.

See Romans 12:1-2

The consecration process was extensive. We are sinful people, and undeserving of standing in our Risen Lord’s presence. Aaron and his sons were equally unworthy, even if they were part of the twelve tribes. The consecration process requires much. Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be consecrated and set apart for God and His purposes. God wants us to walk in relationship with Him. This happens, because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. He took our sins away!

He is the One who cleanses us from the inside – out. He is also the One who gives us faith to believe in hard times and to remember that we have been given a brand new life with Jesus Christ – our Lord!

God consecrates us, through Jesus Christ, to stand in His Presence and so that we may serve Him. He is our great Lord, and will fully direct us in our paths.

 

Week 1: Friday Five (1 Thess. 1:1-2:6)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:6. . .

(1)  Our prayer lives are to be the strongest aspect of the Christian life (see 1:2-3). One of the more noteworthy aspects of this section of Scripture is their prayer lives. These were men who knew the significance of the need to praise and pray to the Father. If we want to grow as believers in Jesus Christ, we would be wise to take cues from their example –

We always thank God for all of you. We keep on praying for you. We remember you when we pray to our God and Father. Your work is produced by your faith. Your service is the result of your love. Your strength to continue comes from your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1:2-3, NIRV).

(2) God dearly loves us, and has chosen to call us His own (1:4). The most important form of love comes from our heavenly Father. We have been hand-picked by Him and passionately loved. Because of the way God loves us, we know that we will never have to walk alone. God, our Creator, is the One who walks with us – even carrying us, as we face difficult days in our lives. We need to keep our eyes focused on the One who loves us more than any other ever could!

(3) Our faith rests in our Lord Jesus Christ, and is transformative (see 1:6, 9-10). The Thessalonians’ lives were changed from the moment they first heard the Gospel and chose to believe. They put all their heart, soul, and mind into what they believed to be true about Jesus. They never half-heartedly believed, but the way they trusted Jesus showed up in every aspect of their lives.

. . . They tell about how you turned away from statues of gods. And you turned to serve the living and true God. They tell about how you are waiting for his Son to come from heaven. God raised him from the dead. He is Jesus. He saves us from God’s anger, and his anger is sure to come (1:9b-10).

(4) Our actions will change, in light of faith (see 1:10). As we gaze at the way the Thessalonians’ lives were changed by their beliefs in Christ, we can be encouraged that our lives can experience the same kind of transformation. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, and no other, our lives can be radically changed.

(5) While our goal is to please God, not people, our faith-filled lives causes us to become examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ (see 1:7-8, 2:4-6). Before we can become examples ourselves, we must be taught. God has given us Christ-centered people in whom we can see how they lived out their faith. Paul called people to imitate him, as he imitated Christ. He taught with his words, but as well as his very life.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).

As we follow our Lord Jesus in faith, we are given many others who show us how to trust Jesus as the Lord of our lives. These people help us learn what it means to have faith in Jesus and allow it to alter the choices we make. As we grow, we are gifted the opportunity to entrust others with what we have been taught. It is a continual gift to others in the church.