Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Soon We Forget

Isn't that always the way? Something great happens, God shows us His power and sovereignty, and we praise Him for His goodness. Then the next day something goes wrong and we are back to worrying again. "I know He took care of yesterday's problem, but this is different. What if He doesn't this time?"
I was reading in Joshua this morning, and it struck a chord in my own heart. The first chapters talk about all that God did for the nation of Israel when they finally reached the land of Canaan. They crossed the Jordan River on dry land (sound familiar?), and then defeated the city of Jericho in an amazingly miraculous way. Things were going great! Then chapter 7 hit me like a punch in the stomach:
[7:1] But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.
(Joshua 7:1 ESV)

What? I kinda want to yell at this guy....even if he IS several thousand years older than me. God was so clear on what NOT to do...and taking stuff that belonged to pagan civilizations was definitely a big one. How could he have missed this? What happened from point A to point B to make him so clearly disobey God's command? His answer is honest and saddening:

[19] Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” [20] And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: [21] when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

Once again, I feel such frustration towards this guy. Although, at least he came clean. Which must have taken a lot of courage, because the penalty was death! So, if he knew how severe the penalty was, why take some measly items that he had to hide anyway?
 I think he did what so many of us do in our daily lives. He took his eyes off of God as provider. I think the correct name would be Jehovah-Jirah (The LORD provides.) He simply forgot. "But so quickly?" You might wonder. Well, yes. Don't we all forget just as quickly? Don't we see God provide, or give us an amazing victory in our lives, and yet doubt Him in almost the very next second? I do. All the time. Yesterday someone mentioned in a prayer that God has done amazing things for Derrick and me, because He's provided for us this whole year since Derrick stopped getting his assistant pastor salary. And you know what? I had forgotten how incredible that is. I was too busy worrying about tomorrow to even remember how good God has been to us, and how He has come through every time. I'm pretty sure this is what happened to Achan. He was so focused on where his next "paycheck" would come from, that He completely disregarded the powerful God who just caused the walls of Jericho to crumble at the sound of trumpets and shouting.
 So, I think I'll go a little easier on Achan. Better yet, I'll remember and praise God more often for what He has done, and look forward to seeing what He will do in the future. After all, "[26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
(Matthew 6:26 ESV)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Who I Am in Christ

 I'm pretty excited to start blogging...I used to use Xanga back in the day, but my account wasn't accessed in a very long time and I think it doesn't exist anymore! So, I will start here. I hope to share with you all what God is teaching me, and how we are growing closer to Him as a couple. Our goal in life is to serve Him, and as husband and wife, our purpose is to bring Him glory TOGETHER. So that's what we're all about.

 So I'm taking a 30-day challenge in the book I'm reading. The purpose is to remind myself of the security and acceptance I have as a child of God! Lately, I've been having a pretty big struggle with that. I feel so inadequate as a wife, friend, and even as a Christian. It's affecting a lot of aspects of my life! And I really want to work on it. I'm supposed to recite these verses every day for 30 days, so I thought I'd start by typing them out on here to share with everyone. My hope is that by reciting them, I'll be able to commit them to memory, and then they will always be "there" whenever I need to be reminded of what God thinks of me. This is an ongoing, uphill battle, but there's no better way to fight Satan than with God's Word! It worked for Jesus after all. :o)

Here we go:

I am Accepted in Christ
  • I am God's child. John 1:12 - "But to all who did receive Him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
  • I am Christ's friend. John 15:15 - "No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you."
  • I have been justified. Romans 5:1 - "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
  • I am united with the Lord and one with him in spirit. I Cor. 6:17 - "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him."
  • I have been bought at a price; I belong to God. I Cor. 6:20 - "For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
  • I am a member of Christ's body. I Cor. 12:27 - "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."
  • I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1 - "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus;"
  • I have been adopted as God's child. Ephesians 1:5 - "He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will."
  • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:18 - "For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father."
  • I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 1:14 - "In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
  • I am complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10 - "And you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority."
I am Secure in Christ
  • I am free forever from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2 - "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death."
  • I am assured that all things work together for good. Romans 8:28 - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
  • I am free from any condemning charges against me. Romans 8:33-34 - "Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."
  • I cannot be separated from the love of God. Romans 8:35, 38-39 - "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 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."
  • I have been established, anointed, and sealed by God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 - "And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."
  • I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected. Philippians 1:6 - "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
  • I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20 - "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."
  • I am hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 - "For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
  • I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
  • I can find grace and mercy to help me in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 - "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
  • I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me. I John 5:18 - "We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him."
I am Significant in Christ
  • I am the salt and light of the earth. Matthew 5:13-14 - "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored: It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."
  • I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of his life. John 15: 1,5 - "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
  • I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. John 15: 16 - "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you."
  • I am God's temple. I Cor. 3:16 - "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"
  • I am a minister of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:17-20 - "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. the old has passed way; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation."
  • I am God's coworker. 2 Cor. 6:1 - "Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain."
  • I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 2:6 - "And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
  • I am God's workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
  • I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12 - "In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him."
  • I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."