Monday, December 7, 2009

A Work In Progress

Good Evening to All!

( I am leaving this salutation just as I typed it, because I wanted you to know that the inspiration came to me this morning.)

I am adding to this post this morning a little bit to write and tell you that I have felt the Lord's Spirit very stongly for some reason this morning. I don't know if it is because there is someone whom He has touched their heart about this lesson because they think they have to " be right with Him" before they get into a relationship with him, or just feel unworthy of His love . Neither of these things are correct. God wants them to know that He loves them faults and all. That He came to earth not for the "righteous" but to teach those who have sinned, and those who don't know about Him or His Love. After all, He sat with the "sinners and publicans" against the Pharisees approval. As He said, "Physicians heal thyself. I hope that whoever it is that God has wants me to write this addition to this post for, will read it and take it to heart. God loves us all. He created us, and knows us inside and out. I pray that this will bless as many people as He has called.

Now I know some may be skeptical when I say the Spirit has spoken to me, but I do not usually speak in the manner to which I have written the above paragraph, so I KNOW that it was not my own thoughts but those inspired by God, and I am truly working on being more obedient to Him, as in the past I would just shake the feelings off. I am determind not to do that anymore. I love y'all and want you to know that God Loves You Also.

Daily Inspirations from the NIV

(27) And he who searches out hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those Gold foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified, he also glorified.
Romans 8:28-30

The Amplified Version states it this way: (27) And he who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [ Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His ] design and purpose. For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-30

God did not create us for failure. We may fail at some things on our way to success, but if we trust Him, he will take even our errors and work them out for our good. God can take our mistakes and turn them into miracles, if we continue to trust confidently and completely in Him. We tend to give up too easily. He doesn't give up on us, therefore we should show Him the same respect if not more. After all, He knows our past, where we are in the present, and what is to come for us in the future. Who better to trust everything to? I have "failed" a great deal in my lifetime, and He has always been there to help me recover. Much of the time, my failure was for the best.

According to the New King James Reference Bible, it explains that As children
of God, we do not always know what to pray for or how best to pray for it, but we can know the purpose of God which the Holy Spirit desires to accomplish. "Work together for good: the primary reference of "all things is the sufferings of this present time. All circumstances will work together in cooperation for the believer's good--that is with Him later. Those who love God are in fact those who are the called by God. Our love is our response to the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We are called according to His purpose. God does everything, including redemption, in order to accomplish His
overarching plans.

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I was hoping to find a Devotional to go along with the above mentioned scriptures,
but to no avail. This has shown me that as usual, I am attempting to do things backwards.

Bible Seeds

Seeking Perfection

Today's Seed: "Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect (completely cleansed) forever those who are being made holy." Hebrews 10:14

Perfect forever! Who wouldn't want to be called perfect? Many of us have3 grown up believing the lie that to be truly loved by God, we need to be perfect. We know intellectually that God loves us just as we are, but emotionally, we often feel as if he might love us even more "if only."

I don't know about any of y'all, but I've been there. I was in a very dark place for a long time. I knew that there was "a God", but I didn't see how He could love a person like me. I had very low self-esteem and felt like I was lower than dirt. I felt if only I weren't so stupid, if I had a better figure. my chipped tooth makes me ugly, if I hadn't quit school, I could have been smarter and be worthy of respect. As It was, I had no self respect, so how could I expect anyone to respect me? I couldn't look anyone in the eye when in a conversation, which made people wonder what I had done, I'm sure. I always heard that God loves everyone, but I thought to myself, "yeah, yeah, ... then why doesn't he help me out of this "black hole" that I'm in. I am so thankful that God finally rescued me and got me out of that dark place. I still have some self-esteem issues, but God has definitely brought me a long way, and I owe everything to Him. Ok, enough thoughts, back on track.

"If only we didn't lose our temper occasionally or we had more patience. (I'm guilty). Maybe you can't even identify the "if only's" in your life. They are just there in the background--vaguely making you wonder if God really can love you.

This seed holds the key to being set free from the "if only's" that keep us from experiencing God's perfect love. There are two parts to understanding this freedom. First, realize that when God looks at us, he sees us through the image of his Son. Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross paid the price for all our "if only's. " In God's sight we are already perfect. Second, Jesus Christ has been given the task of making us holy. This is a lifetime, ongoing process. You and I are a work in progress. We don't have to doubt our perfection in God's sight, nor his perfect love for us. Our responsibility is to join Jesus by cooperating with him as he makes us holy.

***I like this picture because it reminds me that a new day dawns which means we get a new chance everyday to grow, and repent, as well as learn from our mistakes.

Dig Deeper:The Greek word for "perfect" is teleioo. It means to bring to an end by accomplishing or completing. This is what Christ's work on the cross did for us in the sight of God.

Weed & Water: We can't make ourselves holy or perfect. The harder we try, the more we see that is impossible and we feel like a failure. Jesus Christ has been given the job of refining us, making us into his image. We join in the process by confessing our sins, learning from our failures, and starting again. Along the way we can have the assurance of Philippians 1:6. The Living Bible says it this way: And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns."

Sprout and Scatter: As we become free from trying to reach perfection in our own strength, we can also help others discover their freedom and perfection in Christ. Often we project our expectations of ourselves onto our friends and family. Sometimes we allow other's sins or failures to shake our faith in their salvation. When we view others, as God does, through Jesus Christ, we can see that they, too, are a work in progress. Then our focus moves from condemnation to helping them discover the promise that Jesus is working to "make us holy."

I have caught myself doing that from time to time. I would love to be able to witness to people as the disciples did when Jesus was alive, to have the confidence that they had, but that's where my self-esteem problem comes in. I'm really working on it, and I'm confident that God will help me do it, but I still push others to do better because of my own inadequacies. I hope that I'm making sense. I know what I mean to say, but sometimes what my heart and brain is saying doesn't come out right on paper, (or on screen).

Think about it: What "if only's" keep you from believing that in God's sight you are perfect?

How can understanding that you are a work in progress help you grow in his grace?

Prayer Pot: Dear God, help me cooperate with you in......(insert your need).

You are a work in progress.

I always get a lot from these little Devotionals, and I hope they are as uplifting and eye-opening for you as they are for me.

Good Night and May God Bless!

PJ
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2 comments:

Lynette said...

I am not trying to upset so please do not take it that way. Just sharing my viewpoint is all. But,
I have never felt comfortable sharing my views of religion. I feel that is the most private part of my life...even more so than sex. Really. And who am I to tell someone else to believe different. As I would be most offended if someone did that to me.

Lynette said...

Prayer request:
Little Emma's grandmother (Connie) and thus also Jennifer Henderson (new member at Curves) mom was diagnosed with Cancer yesterday. Please pray for all around.

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