Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: 9/9/12                         
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
(Galatians 1:10, NIV)

BRAND NEW YOU                                                                                                                           
There are so many of us who live life worried about what everyone else thinks of us. We often work so hard at impressing others that we tend to miss something very important. I certainly have been guilty of this over the years. As human beings we were all created uniquely with our own set of gifts and talents. No two people are the same. I find it ironic that God chose the “fingerprint” to establish this fact. No one on this earth has your fingerprint, it is exclusive to you. With this unique physical trait you alone have the ability to be identified as your own person. You do not have to fit into anyone else’s mold.
The plan and purpose for each life is different. I can’t be you and you cannot be me. But, we can learn to become the person that God created us to be. I have personally learned the hard way that I have spent way too many years trying to gain acceptance and approval of people over God. This is foolish activity! No matter how hard one tries, there will always be somebody who rejects or criticizes you for not fitting into their mold.
It is also really important that we are careful with the practice of self-criticism. I became really good at pointing out my own flaws to myself and dwelling on past mistakes. It’s kind of funny now when I think back on this; because now I see that God used it to encourage me to begin a proper self assessment in order to see His purpose for my life. Until you settle the issue of your identity, you run the risk of conforming to something you were never intended to be.
Too often we measure our worth by the wrong viewpoint. When we come to the end of life we are not going to be called before people to give an account of our lives. No, the Bible tells us that we will stand before Almighty God. We will stand there as individuals and we’ll undoubtedly face some pretty tough questions. I don’t know how that resonates with you, but if you claim Christ as your Lord and Savior it should take your breath away and cause you to refocus.
It’s not about your imperfections or the mistakes you have made. It’s not about what other people think of you, or even what you think about yourself. It’s not about what you have accomplished or what you have failed at. In the end it’s going to be about what we’ve done with what God has given each of us. I expect we may also hear the question “Did you become who I created you to be?” Did you stay true to the things that I put inside your heart?”
There is an example in the Bible (1 Samuel 15:24) of a man who forfeited his destiny because he was a people pleaser. Saul was a man created to have a good future. The problem was that he became very insecure. He was afraid of disappointing others. In his own words he said, “I disobeyed the Lord’s instructions because I was afraid of the people, so I did what they asked.”
I have no doubt that listening to people over God will leave us empty and trembling on the last day. It’s just not worth it! Today I pray that we can begin to see ourselves as imperfect human beings all traveling on a road with two options – Heaven or hell. Praise God that there is a road map available to anyone who desires to be on the road to Heaven!  If you haven’t picked up your copy, there is no better time than the present. To be without it is like taking the chance that you might get to your final destination and realize there was a better way. God is clear in His instructions. One road leads to eternal life and the other road leads to eternal death. The choice is ours.     
 2 Corinthians 5:17                                                                                                                  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.” (NIV)
Ephesians 4:24                                                                                                                                  “and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (NASB)
For me it’s no longer about my imperfections or mistakes or pleasing others. In fact, it’s not about me at all. It’s about staying on the right path as I work to develop a personal relationship with my Creator. It’s about being in His Word and learning from Him daily. It’s about making changes when He shows me it is necessary. It’s about learning to discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit and being willing to go through the sanctification process. It’s about putting God first and valuing His opinion over that of man. And, it is about sharing forward the Good News with others.  In order to embrace and achieve my God-given purpose which I now understand is to become more like Christ in a lost and chaotic world, I have to face God’s mirror on a regular basis. This is not always comfortable, but on the last day we’re promised that it will be well worth the effort. Be blessed.
“Helping someone come to a saving knowledge of Christ is the greatest achievement possible.” – Dr. Charles Stanley

Revelation 21:27 “Nothing evil will be allowed to enter – no one who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty – but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

“Eternal life is available to you only because of what Jesus, the Lamb, has done. Trust him today to secure your citizenship in his new creation.” – LASB
Dig Deeper:  Identity: Know Who You Are by Rick Warren                                                                                                                                                             

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