Suck At Success?

As I read day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Biblical Meaning Of Success” I came to a deeper understanding of what God wants me to know & do. 

Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/Qj

Lies about Success

The most overlooked part of the parable of the talents is the second half of verse fifteen: the master gives talents to each servant, “…each according to his ability.” The master understood that the one-talent servant was not capable of producing as much as the five-talent servant.

We want to protest this as unfair. Yet we know this is true from our own experience. Diversity is woven into the fabric of creation.

However, culture tells us two great lies about success: you can be whatever you want to be, and you can be the best in the world. These lies are based on the premise that we all are created equal. While we are all certainly equal under the law, equal in God’s eyes, and equal in many other areas, we are not created equal where our abilities are concerned.

Not everyone can grow up to be president or a brain surgeon. Yet, if you say this in many circles you will be quickly chastised and informed that we all have the same potential if we just try hard enough.

But even though we’re not created equal in regard to the talents we’re given, there is equality found in the parable of the talents. It comes from the fact that it takes just as much work for the five-talent servant to produce five more talents as it does for the two-talent servant to produce two more talents.

This is why the reward given by the master is the same. The master measures success by degrees of effort, as should we.

Like the servants in the parable of the talents, God has given each of us unique resources and talents to be used in everything we do, especially our vocational callings. The master gave out a different number of talents to each servant “according to the servant’s ability.” The one talent servant was not expected to produce five talents.

Biblical success is faithfully using all gifts, talents, and opportunities God has given us for the furtherance of his kingdom here on earth. This work should bring us both joy and peace of mind knowing we have done our best, through the power of Christ working though us, to accomplish what he has called us to do in order to make a difference in our world.

As Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10,

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are given different gifts. 

We can’t be anything we want to be, but we can be everything God uniquely created us to be.

Consider spending some time in prayer and with trusted friends or family members to consider what unique gifts the Lord is calling you to use for him.

Additional Elements

Read more about the implications of your unique gifts in this ebook Monday Morning Success: How Biblical Stewardship Transforms Your Work from the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics.

Here is the parable:

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.  To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,  each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.  

The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more.  So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more.  But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  

 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’   “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’   

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’   “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’  

 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’   “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.   “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags.  For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matthew 25:14‭-‬30 NIV

http://bible.com/111/mat.25.14-30.NIV

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1‭-‬8‭, ‬10 NIV

http://bible.com/111/eph.2.1-10.NIV

From the @YouVersion Plan T”he Biblical Meaning Of Success.” Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/Qj

Even A Baby Knows That.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
Psalm 8:2 NIV

Lord , our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

You have set your glory in the heavens.  

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?  

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.  

You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:  all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,  the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.   

Lord , our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1‭-‬9 NIV

http://bible.com/111/psa.8.1-9.NIV

He is all that matters.

Compulsively vs. Compassionately (Wires Crossed)

As I read one of the Bible plans from youversion this morning I received a real confirmation…

Satan wants to drive us compulsively, but God wants to draw us compassionately. Satan wants to take advantage of our compulsions and use them to drive our lives. But God is our Good Shepherd. He wants to draw us in toward himself and peace.

I’ve listened intently as several people shared John 10 where Jesus reminds us…The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.   

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. 

Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.   

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.  

I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. 

They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.  

No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

John 10:10‭-‬18 NIV

http://bible.com/111/jhn.10.10-18.NIV

Peter Lord used to say, “Ninety percent of what God wants to say to you is encouragement.” If all you ever hear from God is negative messages, something’s wrong. The wires have been crossed.
If you feel like God’s told you to do something but you have increasing anxiety because of it, then the wires are crossed. 

Something’s not right.

The Bible tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).
do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 ESV

http://bible.com/59/php.4.6-7.ESV

“So here’s what I want you to do. When you gather for worship, each one of you be prepared with something that will be useful for all: Sing a hymn, teach a lesson, tell a story, lead a prayer, provide an insight. If prayers are offered in tongues, two or three’s the limit, and then only if someone is present who can interpret what you’re saying. Otherwise, keep it between God and yourself. And no more than two or three speakers at a meeting, with the rest of you listening and taking it to heart. Take your turn, no one person taking over. Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other. 

If you choose to speak, you’re also responsible for how and when you speak.

 When we worship the right way, God doesn’t stir us up into confusion; he brings us into harmony. This goes for all the churches—no exceptions.    1 Corinthians 14:26‭-‬33 MSG

http://bible.com/97/1co.14.26-33.MSG

The Bible reading was from day 6 of the @YouVersion Plan Hearing The Voice Of God. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/Kf


Still Alive

.Watch this short vid.”I’m Still Here!” By “Pastor Bob DAILY!” 

https://youtu.be/HYDL-fhy_xI

For those believers out there I hope this is an encouragement to you.

May your ministry, whatever it is, no matter how diverse or traditional, may your ministry continue on and on too.

As long as we are alive may we continue to serve The King of all Kings.

God bless & bless God,

Beetle

“Don’t Stop The Music, Stick To It.”

Think About Love & Marriage

Some are filled with dread & anger because “love” tore  their heart out. That is not love. 

1st Corinthians 13 gives us a definition of love.

We may not find that perfect love in a person but God’s word gives a good outline of attributes to look for.

When think bout love with another person & give our best from your side sometimes we don’t seem to get anything back but we need to know that love is not a miserable thing.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
1 JOHN 4:18 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/1jn.4.18.AMP 

What can you do on your end of love?

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack–rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen.

1 PETER 5:6‭-‬11 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/1pe.5.6-11.AMP

Perfect love will only be found in Christ. 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” For He will save you from the trap of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions, And under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a wall. You will not be afraid of the terror of night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

PSALM 91:1‭-‬5 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/psa.91.1-5.AMP

Personally I try to keep my focus on my marriage to Christ and as I do the love I have toward others is strengthened.

I do not have a very good record in my marriage to others. I have fallen short. I have regrets that I coukd not make 2 prior marriages work. I’ve learned two important things:

  1. When I become selfish the marriage does not work.
  2. There comes a point where if only one of you tries to make it last and both are not willing to endure it will not work.

Both of my past marriages lasted 9 to almost 10 years, both of them. I am now remarried and going on 8 years. We are both doing our best to make it last and I truly believe it will but it will not be easy at times. Each marriage, each point in history, offers different obstacles and challenges. God’s love endures all and it is only through Him that our love for each other will also last.

Extra- 

New Label 

Hey, let’s play a game… take several canned goods off the shelf and remove the labels.  Mix them all around and then try to guess what’s inside of them by simply looking at the can.

Without the lable they all look the same huh?

Pick the cans up & shake them. Now,  try again to guess again.

This is all very difficult; trying to know what that can, without a label contains, until you open it and look inside.

That’s the thought that came to my mind as I read today’s reading…

Overcoming Labels

Too old, too fat, too little, too young, wrong this, wrong that, not enough this, and too much that. We’ve all been labeled, and it hurts. A lot.

In fact, if we’re not careful, labels can do more than hurt us.

Tim Doremus, a pastor at Life.Church, says it well.

“The problem with labels is the longer we wear them, the less they describe our past and the more they determine our future.”

Read that again. “The problem with labels is the longer we wear them, the less they describe our past and the more they determine our future.” 

If we don’t rip off our labels, they begin to stick and become true

So, here’s the Good News: because of Christ, we have a new label that overcomes them all. 

Jesus gave us His spot in heaven as beloved Son so that we could be labeled sons and daughters of the living God. 

Now, to us who believe, our Heavenly Father doesn’t say, “Too much, not enough, wrong this, too old.” He looks at us, sees His Son, and says, “Well done.”

Pray: After you read today’s Scriptures, prayerfully ask God to show you what label(s) you believe about yourself. Then, ask the Holy Spirit to help you tear off the wrong labels and replace them with the right ones. Finally, thank Jesus for the power of what He’s done for you.

Todays Scripture: 

Now what I mean [when I talk about children and their guardians] is this: as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave even though he is the [future owner and] master of all [the estate]; but he is under [the authority of] guardians and household administrators or managers until the date set by his father [when he is of legal age]. 

So also we [whether Jews or Gentiles], when we were children (spiritually immature), were kept like slaves under the elementary [man-made religious or philosophical] teachings of the world. But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family]. 

And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! Father!”

GALATIANS 4:1‭-‬6 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/gal.4.1-6.AMP

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’

MATTHEW 25:21 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/mat.25.21.AMP

This is all part of the @YouVersion Plan “Overcomer.” Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/150

🎵🎵🎧💿EXTRAS💿🎧🎵🎵

Petra song: “Godpleaser”-

When I got to meet Greg X. Volz I thanked Him for his service to The Lord and told him how I personally know how hard it is to serve The Lord sometimes, even or especially when, you carry the lable of “pastor” or “Christian Artist”. As I sat an shared a meal with the drummer (Louie Weaver) he talked about his concerns for newer Christian Rock artist who were part of the ministry and carried the lable of “Christian” but were not living Christ like at all. You see, what really matters is what is inside.

Being called a Christian because you are in a church or in a Christian group is like calling you a hamberger because you are in a burger joint.

What matters is what is on the inside.

The question isn’t, “What’s in your wallet?” The question is, “What is in your soul?” Beyond your outside lable…what is inside you?

I want to conclude this post with a funny story that actually has a point to it…

The Barf Bag – on one of many plane rides Christian Comedian Steve Gyer took he decided to put good leftover food in bag to save for later. The only bag he could find was the one tucked in to the back pocked of the seat infront of him. Obviously used for when a person gets air sick but this one was clean, unused and regardless of it’s purpose Steve felt that it could be used for an even better purpose. As Steve went to exit the plane, holding his new bag of leftovers, the airline attendant went to collect it from him to dispose of it properly. It was then  he informed her, “No I am saving this to eat later!” 

The point? The value on the inside was known only to him. He knew that, regardless of the lable, what was inside that typical barf bag had value.

I am not just another barf bag and no matter how others may lable me or the harshness of my wolf like clothing, inside I am His sheep.

Althought it is hard for me to watch, knowing that my son will no longer be able to come to me since his death I know by faith with full confidence some day I will go to where he is (with our Heavenly Father). This particular video my son made before he died hits the nail on the head regarding what is on our insides & in our hearts:

Go to my son’s blog post https://lexbailey.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/a-sheep-in-wolves-clothing/

Don’t let his writing die with him.

“Even after we are gone, what we have left behind will remain on earth while our spirit will carry on.”

Honest to God Truth

I just finished day 4 of 4 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/12S

Each day gave me a better, clearer view of Who God is and what He is all about according to His Word that He has given us.

Today’s woke me up by explaining:

God’s Plans Cannot Be Stopped

God had all His plans in place when He created us. He knew exactly how much everything was going to cost, knew exactly what His ultimate goal was, and knew how everything was going to turn out.

So what is God’s plan? Theologian J. I. Packer, in talking about the overarching narrative of the Bible, said, “Its main theme is not human salvation, but the work of God vindicating his purposes and glorifying himself in a sinful and disordered cosmos. He does this by establishing his kingdom and exalting his Son, by creating a people to worship and serve him, and ultimately by dismantling and reassembling this order of things, thereby rooting sin out of his world.” That’s a mouthful so let’s break it down.

First, the main focus of God’s plan is God, not us. If we aren’t careful, we think that everything is about us, when it is actually about God. The Bible is a story about God expressing who He is throughout human history. He is the lead actor, and the rest of us are role players.

Second, God’s plan is to develop people who will serve and worship Him for His glory. God’s plan is not to glorify us but to glorify Himself. That’s why the Westminster Shorter Catechism is spot-on when after asking, “What is the chief end of man?” it answers, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Third, God’s plan is to completely dismantle our way of looking at reality and reassemble it. This is why Jesus often said, “You have heard that it was said … but I say …” (Matt. 5:27-28 ESV). He wanted to drive home just how different God’s perspective is from ours. Jesus came to turn everyone’s view of reality upside down and inside out because of how far away from reality we have gotten since the fall of man.

Finally, God’s plan is to eliminate sin from the world we live in. Obviously, we are not there yet, and we won’t get there completely until Christ returns. In the meantime, God gives us His laws, allows painful consequences to come our way when we sin, disciplines us when we keep sinning, sends the Holy Spirit to indwell and convict us, and puts us in “iron sharpens iron” (Prov. 27:17) relationships with others.

God has a plan, and there is nothing we can do to keep Him from executing it. From God’s perspective, the issue isn’t whether He is going to execute His plan but rather whether we are going to get on board with Him. God, by showing up two thousand years ago, makes us choose which side we are on. We are either for God or against Him; there is no straddling the fence.

Did you enjoy this reading plan? If so, enter to win the full book here

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right–the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.” MATTHEW 6:33 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/mat.6.33.AMP

In order to do this I find it necessary to truly know God, personally and nothing helps me get to know His attributes better than reading His Word.

It is one thing to get into His Word and another thing to let His Word get into you.

Amen.

Choice & Circumstances

As I read @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Several things stood out… Check it out here (also I’ll put a link at end for the whole plan).

First The Bible verses:

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord , choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
Joshua 24:15 ESV

http://bible.com/59/jos.24.15.ESV

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

http://bible.com/59/1co.10.13.ESV

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 2:16‭-‬17 ESV

http://bible.com/59/gen.2.16-17.ESV

Then the devoted thoughts: 

God Gives Us Free Will

God gives us the freedom to make choices. 

In giving us that freedom, He is not going to keep us from using it however we want to. 

He will never force us against our wills to go in the directions He wants us to go. 

God gave us the freedom to choose between right and wrong, and if this world seems deeply troubled, it’s because we humans keep making bad choices

Joni Eareckson Tada’s book The God I Love contains the insight that sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.

Throughout the Bible, it is clear that people have choice:

– If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. (Josh. 24:15)
– Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. (Prov. 8:10-11)
– Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17)

Giving us free will was risky on God’s part because we have a tendency to misuse it. 

People have made such horrible moral choices that there was a time in human history when God was sorry He made us. 

“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled” (Gen. 6:5-6). 

That’s how big a risk God took in giving us free will: that we would so grossly misuse it that He would regret having put us here.

God can’t be any clearer that He created us with free will and that we can use it however we want, even to our own demise. 

One of author Jim Butcher’s stories contains this insight: 

“God isn’t about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He’s all about you making choices—exercising the gift of free will.”

Understanding these six aspects of God’s sovereignty can help calm our fears, anxieties, and worries about life on this planet, especially when evil seems to be triumphing over good and we suffer in ways that are undeserved.

Personal note – Here are a few verses I keep in mind also: 

1 Corinthians 6:12 MSG – Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.

1 Corinthians 6:12 MSG

http://bible.com/97/1co.6.12.MSG

Also: 1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT- You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.

1 Corinthians 10:23 NLT

http://bible.com/116/1co.10.23.NLT

And: 2 Corinthians 5:16‭-‬21 NIV – So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16‭-‬21 NIV

http://bible.com/111/2co.5.16-21.NIV

And: 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9‭-‬10 AMP –but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough–always available–regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9‭-‬10 AMP

http://bible.com/1588/2co.12.9-10.AMP

For the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Go to: http://bible.com/r/12S. It real helps clarify who God really is and reveals His true attributes according to His onw word.
For another post I did on this subject (which also features a song by RUSH) go to: A Bigger Moving Picture- Freewill

The Naked Truth

Thought today… Shame & false guilt.

In the morning as i am trying to wake i also have this overwhelming sense of being so unworthy of God’s love. 

I sometimes don’t think clearly & feel a lack of hope, feel like there is no way God will accept me.

In times like this i shift my mind to God’s word and ask Him to help me see the truth.

If we look back to the very first sacrifice we see how God provides for us, made a way of Salvation for man kind from the start. He desired to have a relationship with humankind & has done everything on His end to keep that relationship.

Adam & Eve ate from the tree that bore the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. After eating it they knew sin. They realized they were naked & felt shame about being naked. God killed an animal to cover their nakedness. The first sacrifice.

When i feel a false sense of guilt i read, focus & meditate (chew on) God’s word to help me realize it’s just the devil talking trash. 

We can so easily believe lies that come to us externally or internally.

This mornings devotional thought helped me fight this false shame…

This is from day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Check it out here:

“Shame on You”

Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, humankind has been coated in shame. God has done all He can to cleanse us of our shame, the greatest expression being Christ’s death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

 No one pays a price that high for something unlovable, unworthy, and undesirable. 

Beyond cleansing our shame by His death on the cross, God made us in His image, adopted us into His royal family, made us spiritually rich, empowered us with His strength, exchanged our old ugly nature for a beautiful one, and included us in His great adventure. 

After doing all that, how could any of us continue to think of God as a shamer?

To overcome the lie that God is a shamer, I suggest the spiritual discipline of confession. 

Scripture challenges us to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16). If we are not honest with others about the sinful things we do and the character defects we struggle with, Satan has a greater opportunity to keep us in bondage to self-condemnation and shame. 

Richard Foster put it well when he said, “The Disciplines of confession brings an end to pretense. God is calling us into being a Church that can openly confess its frail humanity and know the forgiving and empowering graces of Christ.” 

In counseling, we say, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” 

To overcome shame, we have to quit hiding and covering up

We have to be courageous enough to share our struggles and let the grace and support of others help us heal.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “For a good confession three things are necessary: an examination of conscience, sorrow, and a determination to avoid sin.” 

  1. First, we must go before God and allow Him to prod our consciences about the things that require His forgiveness. 
  2. Second, we must experience genuine remorse about having sinned and having hurt the heart of God. 
  3. Third, we must ask God to help us have a strong desire to live holy lives.

God is no shamer. 

He came to set you free from shame, cleanse you with His love and grace, reinstate you into His family, and make you part of His great adventure. No, God is no shamer.”

As i write this post i openly admit, confess, that i struggle with this false shaming & want anyone who might read it to know that if they feel this way too that God is no shamer He is a forgiver.

Here is a verse i have committed to memory and will repeat like a mantra over & over again…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

http://bible.com/59/1jn.1.9.ESV

Remember God’s word tells us….

 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16 ESV

http://bible.com/59/jas.5.16.ESV

The Proverbs say, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”

Proverbs 28:13 ESV

http://bible.com/59/pro.28.13.ESV

This is from day 2 of the @YouVersion Plan “The Lies We Believe About God.” Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/12S

God’s Favorite 

As many know I live in St. Augustine, FL. It is more than just a nice name for a city it was actually named after a real person. People still quote St. Augustine to this day. This morning I came across this…Saint Augustine said, 

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.”

As Christians live in God’s love qnd mature we realize that this is true but all too often I have come across religious groups who act as if they are the only ones that God loves.

Some think that God plays favorites but the truth is He loves all of us the same. He loves the saint as much as He loves the sinner. 

On the cross He pleaded to The Heavenly Father to forgive those who not only didn’t believe but were putting Him to death.

When people quote Saint Augustine saying, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” 

Some may believe that God loves only those who love Him.

That is not what St. Augustine was saying and it us definatly not what God’s word says. 

The history of when foreigners (people from the old world) arrived in the city now called Saint Augustine is very sad, dark & depressing.  We have an amazingly huge cross where they landed & performed the first mass. The sad thing is that it is also the sight where if you didn’t convert to Catholicism you were put to death. The people from the old world considered those already living in what we know as Florida now as foreigners and as they set up shop they demanded allegiance to their king and country. Some how they honestly believed the honorable thing to do was convert or kill. They had the same word of God that we have today but in the name of Jesus Christ and their political leader they literally slaughter anyone who would not convert to their religious beliefs. 

Religious wars exist to this day. How can we claim we are Christ like (Christians) following Christ example and yet not love sinners as He loved them?

The devotional thought I read this morning (http://bible.com/r/12S) reminded me that God’s love is for all humankind—and for each kind of human. 

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8 ESV

http://bible.com/59/rom.5.8.ESV

The day I found out that my son died I was reading & studying Romans 8, not even death can seperate us from the love of God. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35‭-‬39 ESV

http://bible.com/59/rom.8.35-39.ESV

May we continually seek the truth about God. Don’t listen to the lies and rumors and what people say about Him. As we read His word and develop a personal relationship with Him the more we will see Him for Who & How He really is, regardless of the assumptions and false religious philosophy.

 I just finished day 1 of the @YouVersion Plan The Lies We Believe About God. Check it out here:

http://bible.com/r/12S

Remember God love the world (the whole world) so much that He gave His only son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).