Tag Archives: sanctification

Genesis 1; Matthew 1; Ezra 1; Acts 1

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness…So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. Genesis 1:26-27 NCV

A beautiful love story.

God created me. Created me in His own image and likeness. The pattern He used was flawless and never duplicated. He knows every part of me. I was called good.

And yet, even in the freedom that was given, that perfection was whisked away and I fell. I welcomed drama into His perfect world and our love crumbled. Our connection was severed. He was forced to turn His back to me; yet only for a moment.

He had a plan…

The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the baby in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20b-21

His name is Jesus. Fully God, yet fully man, come to earth, born of a virgin. His purpose: to redeem and reestablish. His goal: to love. The end and the beginning on a cross at Calvary. Christ paid my debts in death and life. His blood covered me, my faults, my sins, from head to toe. An exquisite, red dress that I continue to wear exposed the sacrifice made to save me. I turned and twirl back into His caring arms. I surrendered to His grace and mercy, my will melding into His. Restoration.

May God be with all of you who are his people. Ezra 1:3a NCV

We are together forever. He in me and I in Him. Our relationship renewed. Jehovah Jireh, my provider. Jehovah Rapha, my healer. Jehovah Raah, my shepherd. He is my sanctification and my righteousness.

Jesus said to them, “The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. These things are not for you to know. But when the Holy Spirit comes to you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.” Acts 1:7-8 NCV

I am waiting only for the marriage feast, the reception to celebrate our eternity together. A time, drawing closer and closer, to when we will be able to walk together once more in the cool of the day. And until that time, I will roam the world telling the mysteries of His everlasting love for me.

And so, one year ends and another begins. A reminder of my new birth, my new creation. A reminder of happily ever after.

 

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Happy New Year!

May 2013 be a year of blessing and abundance in your life!

 

 

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Bible in a year reading plan, Ezra, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

1 Samuel 28; 1 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 7; Psalm 45

I was a late bloomer athletically.  During most of my school years, I was one of the slowest boys in my class, year in and year out.  I’m not sure when that began to change, but by late in high school I could keep up with the pack when running, and in my college years I discovered I could actually leave many behind in a sprint.  Only in sprints though.  I had developed a quick but short-lived burst of speed.  Several times I began a jogging regimen only to remember a couple weeks into the process that I absolutely hate distance running.  My all-time record distance is a two-mile run.  Noteworthy, it is not.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Paul uses athletic events such as foot races as metaphors for our spiritual journey.  He doesn’t mention the distance of the race he has in mind, but for the comparison to have any validity, he must be referring to a long distance event.  My spiritual growth remarkably mirrors my running achievements, and thus you may correctly imagine that I find this passage  somewhat concerning.

My spiritual growth tends to come in sharp bursts followed by distressing plateaus or even periods of backtracking.  I see the growth I’ve undergone, or I revel in new knowledge or a breakthrough in understanding that God has provided me, and I stop growing while I indulge my sense of satisfaction.  On occasion I’ve even gotten so confident I’ve grown past a given sin that I’ve gotten complacent and fallen right back to the struggle I had supposedly overcome.

Paul urges us to instill in our spiritual growth the attitudes of an elite athlete in training.  Stopping in the middle of the race course to revel in my progress along the track…  Getting so confident in my lead that I actually backpedal along the more scenic sections of the course so that I can take it in all over again…  Paul says that’s no way to run this race of the life of the Believer.

Enduring self-discipline.

Constant clawing and scratching for every new inch of the track.

Steadfast determination to never give up ground.

Focusing on the prize awaiting every victorious servant of God.

Doing all things that draw me closer to it and doing nothing that carries me away from it.

These are the attributes of any Olympic runner capable of grasping a prize of limited value.  Paul invites me to consider how much more I should be doing to win a prize of eternal value.  My conclusion?  Far more than I’ve ever done thus far.

Dear God, You’ve taken me far from where I began in my journey of sanctification and service in Your glorious name.  At times, You’ve grown me in ways and with speeds that took my breath away.  In between those times I’ve often sat idly waiting, distracted from the goals You’ve set before me.  Forgive me.  Build within me great energy and endurance.  Teach me to keep You and Your plans for me in the forefront of my mind at all times.  Show me how to love all actions that bring me closer to the man You desire me to be, and teach me to hate every use of my time and energy that takes me in other directions.  Make me into a servant that pleases You, one with a record of service that is worthy of the time You’ve given me on this earth.  Amen.

Michael  (mmattix)

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament

Judges 20, Acts 24, Jeremiah 34, Psalm 5, Psalm 6

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You… You hate all workers of iniquity…. who speak falsehood;

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness … Make Your way straight before my face. …For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:4-8, 12

 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judg.%2020;%20Acts%2024;%20Jer.%2034;%20Ps.%205,6&version=NKJV

Judges 20                What a tragedy: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25  Israel fights the Benjamites and annihilates them. Where is the sense? The justice? And why the defense of a man with a concubine? Precisely because Israel had no king. Now we have the Righteous King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus the Christ. People born again have the indwelling Holy Spirit for counsel and comfort, wisdom and healing. May I avail myself of these gifts tirelessly every day so that I might not be “senseless” and instead live for God to reveal Himself through me more clearly!! (Revelation 19:16, John 3:3,5-6, 1 Peter 1:23, John 14:26, John 15:26)

 

Acts 24                      16 “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” says Paul. No matter how many people were offended by the Truth of God’s Word coming out of Paul, including religious leaders and royalty, Paul feared not man, but God. And thus God changed people throughout the ages through Paul’s words, actions and attitudes. May I be this way Lord Jesus – grow me!!  Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33 , Psalm 51

Jeremiah 34             “But your fathers did not obey Me nor incline their ear. 15 Then you recently turned and did what was right in My sight—every man proclaiming liberty to his neighbor; and you made a covenant before Me in the house which is called by My name. 16 Then you turned around and profaned My name…”

Judgment and death (of all types) come to those who turn away from God and His commands. How I see that in the lives of the people around me, and in myself, too! I am not allowed to change my mind towards my own selfishness and pride, but only towards God’s Holy Mind and heed His Word! (1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:1-2)  

Psalm 5                     For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You… You hate all workers of iniquity…. who speak falsehood; But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness … Make Your way straight before my face. …For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalm 5:4-8, 12

Psalm 6                     I am troubled, worn and weak. Watching evil doers consumes me, wears me out. I feel their pain, I ache for the trajectory of their demise. I yearn for their transformation by the Lord Jesus Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Watching the slow growth in Jesus Christ of those I love leaves me with less hope than is rational. What am I to do? Face Christ Jesus and Live! (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Cor 4:18 They, like I, are in process, and the Best is yet to come!! Guaranteed!! (Philippians 1:6) You showed me that Father, when I came to You!! You filled me with reasonable Hope – True Hope of You and Your Word! Thank You!!

7 My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies.” But I do not consider people my enemies but enemies of God instead. (Philippians 3:18, Colossians 1:21, Romans 5:10, 1 Corinthians 15:25) So Christ’s Love compels me to pray for their salvation (v. 8-10) and sanctifaction.

While I am sometimes in Great pain because of those around me, You, Lord God, compel me to come to You for what I deeply and truly need. I trust You Lord Jesus, for You have done the Unexpected Goodness for me continually!! >> “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:19-20

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Jeremiah, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized