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Spectacle of Glory - A Spectacle of Weakness

A spectacle of glory…what an awesome privilege.  To be used FOR the Lord, BY the Lord, to glorify Himself.  Most of you have heard of Joni Earekson Tada, a woman who gave her life to Christ after a diving accident and became paralyzed from the neck down, and has been in a wheelchair for the past 51 years.

Despite her circumstances for all these many years, she has been a spectacle of glory, wouldn’t  you agree??

I want to open with a story Ray Stedman had shared:

While I was in Illinois, I spoke to a breakfast group on a Saturday morning. I noticed a woman in the audience who had a patch covering her right eye and cheek and much of her nose. Yet the part of her face that I could see was radiant. I wondered who she was. At the end of the meeting she came up to me, and took my hand, and thanked me, saying how much she had enjoyed the time and how it had ministered to her. I noticed that she had some difficulty talking, but her face was just radiant.

Later on I met her husband and he told me her story. Three or four years ago she discovered that she had cancer of the eye. The eye was removed, but later the cancer reappeared and she had to have more surgery -- this time removing part of the bone around the eye. Again she had to go back and this time they removed part of her nose and cheekbone. And a fourth time she had to return for further operations, and now practically half of her face is gone.

But her husband told me of the joy in which this woman lives continually, an unbroken sense of joy which floods her being and which she expresses  all the time. Though she has had plenty of struggles and times of resentment and bitterness, still God has led her into joy.

Her husband said, "You know, she wasn't like that before. She was a complaining woman who whined about everything. But God has used this disease to bring her to a sense of peace and has turned all that complaint and sorrow and discontentment into joy!" 

The purpose of this study is to encourage you ladies, that we, you and me   can be a spectacle of Gods glory in our sicknesses, in our hardships, in our weaknesses, in our sorrows, in our sufferings of life if we allow the joy of the Lord be our strength, just as it has for this woman and Joni.

The Lord want to heal your life and bring you into a land of abundance and promise, of excitement, of blessing , of fruitfulness.  With a sense of worth and power, and to be your God and to be available to you, so you can be a spectacle of glory for Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that, for the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him.  

God is looking for those hearts which have are open to Him who are going through much pain and sorrow and that are willing to yield to his Lordship and allow the pain and suffering to be used for good. If we allow this to happen we will see his promises in a new light. 

Here’s a small poem to help us see this:

God has not promised skies always blue,
   flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.
God has not promised sun without rain,
   joy without sorrow, peace without pain,
But God has promised strength for the day,
   rest for the laden, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
   unfailing sympathy, undying love.

To help share in these truths I would like to weave in my testimony of how the Lord used and is continually using my weakness for His glory.

Many of you know that I am a mother of 4 children. Ages range from 24-30.  The 3 youngest children have autism and live with us and most likely Lord willing will always live with us.  Our son is nonverbal, use to be self-abusive, praise God he is no longer, and along with being severely autistic, he is obsessively compulsive about many things that are extremely difficult to live with.  Our 2 daughters autism lye in speech and language, auditory processing, socialization, and having very childlike minds. 

I can only stand her before you, to give glory to God for what he has done and is still doing in my life.  It is nothing of what I have done, but everything of what He has done in me and proof that he can do this in you also.  

It is only Jesus who can see you through your troubled finances, your troubled marriage, your relationship with others, your unhappiness at your job, your loneliness, your wayward children, your raising difficult or special needs children, your diagnosis of cancer or any other health ailment.

Jesus, was the only one able to get me  through the early years and these continual years of caring for my autistic children, get me through hard times in my marriage and now the process of an aging parent.  

He is my strength; He not only is my strength in my weakness but has brought joy to my life that I never had experienced before.    

I didn’t always know the Lord, I tried raising my 4 children apart from the Lord for 10 years.  And I felt discouraged,  felt I couldn’t go on any longer, that I needed to place my severely self abusive child in a home for children with severe disabilities. My marriage was failing due to the stress, and I was in complete survival mode, day by day, my own strength failing, day by day.  

I am here to tell you that whatever circumstances you may be in there is hope.  If you have put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus there is always hope and strength for today and strength for tomorrow.

That’s what I did 20 years ago. After coming to Jesus,  My circumstances did not change, but my inward life did.

As I surrendered to his lordship in my life, a new work in me had begun.  And it can in you also.

Paul tells us that we are all works in progress 

Phil 1:6 “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” 

This work is all for the glory of God making us spectacles of glory.  It’s a process.  As I begun putting together this study, I found it is a process, that we are all a process.  I knew that  the  Word said it  but it wasn’t until I actually dug deeper, preparing for this study that the Lord was showing me the different steps that we need to go through to be able to be a spectacle of glory for Him in our weakness.   

He had given me 7 steps to share with you.  This is all to Him who desire all the glory!!

STEP 1

ACCEPTING GOD'S WILL FOR YOU 

This is one of the hardest things isn’t it…

But we can take Gods promise to heart,

Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD.  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  In those days, when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.  I will be found by you, says the LORD.”

We can’t see the big picture, but there is only one who can, God alone.. Thank goodness for that!  

Proverbs 16:4

“The Lord has made everything for his own purpose.”

We were created for Him and by Him Paul tells us in Colossians.

Romans 9:20 

“Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God?  Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, why have you made me like this?”

God has shown mercy to each and every one of us who believes in him.  Our lives are in His hands.  Do we accept only the good stuff and not the bad? We need to understand that when we do go through struggles and go through trials, does he not do this to make  the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory??   Romans 9:23

Romans 8:28-30

“And we know that God caused everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for the.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the first born among brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, he called them to come to him.  And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself.  And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”

Christ can use you and your circumstances right where you are at.  Our inabilities make it His availabilities, right where we are.  This gives us no room for us to boast in ourselves.  When and where  we are weak, it doesn’t matter, is his greatest advantage point to use us if we are willing and have come to understand that our lives are not our own.  We are merely vessels, containers to display his love to others, but I like to think of us as wire, a conduit, where we are an object, that the power, like electricity, goes through and reaches the ultimate goal.  let me add in, yes we are tools that he uses, but he loves his tool box so much, that he sent his son to for us.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life!

STEP 2 

LEARN TO BE CONTENT

Contentment comes much easier once you accept Gods will for our life. 

I came to accept that God had given me these children for a specific purpose and I was to accept them for who they are, I found contentment in  who God created them to be, and let the trials in my life deepen my faith without complaining, and let the Lord bring me through each day  to victory and to peace.  I came to see my children as a privilege rather than a problem.   

Now on being content in your circumstances, I like how Paul tells us 

Phil 4:11 and 12in the NLT

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have LEARNED how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on  almost nothing or with everything.  I have LEARNED the secret of living in every situation. Whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little, ” 

Paul LEARNED  contentment when he stepped out of himself and stepped into the fullness of Christ.  He says the word learned here twice, which show and teaches us that it is a process.  We are works in progress!!  

Also, in the Christian life we are taught  there is no such word as “I can’t”. 

Paul goes on to says in Phil 4:13

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.   If you still say I can’t knowing that you have the power within you to do, it’s not a matter of I can’t, it’s a matter of I won’t.  God doesn’t change our will, we must do it.  We must do the choosing and He will do the supplying.  When we choose to act on that basis of His power in us,  then that power flows to us and through us.  

He never tells us to do something without making available to us the power to do it.  

Apart from Christ we keep trying to balance our lives and we have a great struggle doing so.  We push to one extreme and find we have gone too far.  So we have to compensate in another direction.  

It’s a zig zag on the surface going from left to right and a rollercoaster of highs and lows emotionally.  We never attain that happy medium of smooth sailing.  

I’ve been there, I’m sure you all have also.  Why do we do this?? Because we are not drawing upon the life which is already balanced!  A glorious thing too, We do not have to balance the life of Jesus, its already balanced!  If we surrender to Him,  what you do will be balanced.  Its not you being or doing the balancing its him living in You, Christ in You!!

A balanced life also brings peace.  

Oh what peace, calm waters, beautiful mountain tops, clear skies, novisible trouble ahead…

In our natural human state most people  see the peace of God  as this ---, but this is unrealistic peace.  Jesus told us we will have trials and tribulations.  Our peace shoud look like this

The way I like to define the peace of God is  not the absence of storms, but rather the assurance of God’s presence in the midst of it.  When everything seems to be caving in around us, we are still and confident.  Make up our homes around the chaos.  

I needed peace and   I needed to learn contentment in my life, and I found it in Jesus, but only by step 3… trusting in the Lord.

STEP 3

TRUST IN THE LORD . . .

The Lord recently showed me that not trusting in the Lord is disobedience because it is unbelief.  Unbelief means we are not believing that the Lord is adequate to meet our every need.  

365 times in the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation, tells us to stop worrying, or do not fear. That’s a lot! The Lord knows our weaknesses doesn’t he.  Did you know statistically that 92% of things we worry about, never come to pass, that’s a lot of wasted time isn’t it! I recently heard John Courson say that our worrying is like a rocking chair, It keeps you moving but it doesn’t get you anywhere! We want our circumstances to change so we won’t worry, but God never  promise that are circumstances will change.   

What He does promise us in  Phil 4: 5 -7, “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made know to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  

This verse is well known and well quoted.  But we forget to use the verse before it,our Miss Suzie Carr taught me this and  it makes all the difference in the world!!  “The Lord is at hand, therefore, ….be anxious for nothing…

Phil 4:19 tells us  “ my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  

All we have to do as believers is to trust in the Lord, have confidence in the Lord.  

If we who worship God in the Spirit and glory in the Spirit, we should put no confidence in ourselves.  Self-confidence destroys.    We are to no longer depend on our old life, the old method of operating.  We once depended on our personalities, our education, our training .  These are no longer to be our resources.  These are natural resources.  But for the believer God as imputed to us a new life, life In Christ.    Through Christ Spirit in us , we are able to handle any possible situation.  He will direct us to whatever response is required if we allow Him.  When we do this His life is flowing in us and Christ is at work in us. Making us spectacles of glory.

I love Isaiah 40:28- 30 

Visual imagry, I love it.  Lets read it together,

Do you not know have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tird or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

Do you believe that?? You can fly high above you’re your circumstances by the power that He gives you.  

Some people showing their concern for you may ask,  “how are you today, and sometimes we may reply, oh fine, UNDER the circumstances! This is not where we should be, ladies.   We should not  be under the circumstances, we should be over them.  High above them, keep this verse in your heart, keep this visual picture in your head.  The Lord gives strength to those who are weary, and through Him and for Him you will soar high above,  being a spectacle of glory in your weakness for Him.

We need to trust in the Lord and hold onto  the promises of God like 

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, Yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” 

Matt 28:20

Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

In Deut 31:6 Moses tells us to:

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the one who goes with you.  Who will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Trust, trust in Him, take him at his word.  Take hold of it.  Have confidence like you do whenever you plug in your blow dryer.  Knowing that it’s going to work and do its job.  Yes, occasionally it may stop work and not do its just job.  That is because something is wrong with it.  When peace isn’t in our lives during a trial or circumstance, it isn’t the circumstance that is wrong, there is something wrong with us.  Jesus told us that were going to have trials and tribulations, but what we need to do is to remain at peace by trusting  Him.

Prov 3:5

This verse is my life verse, its what I hold on to.  Even had it made into a ring in Israel to take with me wherever I go, it goes with me!

“Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding,”

Verse 6 goes on to tell us that in ALL our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths”.

The more we acknowledge Him and  abide in ways to the Lord, greater our faith with become, greater our peace will become  and greater our  trust will be in Him.

The key…

STEP 4

STAY FOCUSED ON THE LORD 

Staying focused…dwelling on the external things and circumstances as being the important thing, is looking away from the indwelling of the Lord to the outward event going on in your life and counting that the important thing.  Majoring on the minor stuff of life I call it.    We need to keep our eyes fixed on what is permanent, eternal, and His spirit will help us along. 

We need to remember that the Lord is big enough to solve any of our problems.  If we lose perspective and don’t see the greatness of God, then we will stay focused  on our problems. 

1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love, so I am using a heart.  

Here is God in all his fullness, all his greatness, wanting to give them to you, 

Now take out your object lesson stick.  Hold facing up, you, yellow smily face, you may be smiling on the outside but inside you are trouble by the cares of this world.  When you hold it up in front of God and focus on yourself and your problems, God is no longer there available to give you all that he wants to give you.  

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.

BUT if you put yourself behind God, with all your worries and anxieties, 

Turn over and place God in front, and focus on Him, and  His love for you, His greatness to take care of all your circumstances in life, your issues in life dimish, because you are focusing on the creator of the universe who can take care of our weakness, our worries.   Isnt this a glorious thing!  Our focus needs  to change, we have to do it. It’s a matter of life and death in some cases.   

If we lose sight of God, Satan will overtake us.  Have you ever tried to walk a straight line with your head turned to the side??  Its almost impossible to do.   

Proverbs 4:25-27

Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you, ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established, do not turn to the right or the left.

Staying focused of walking that straight line, Its not a matter of just knowing about Christ, it knowing him personally.  Yes it has its value to about Him, but knowing him has vitality.  It has life. Jesus said in  John 10:10,”I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  

One example of having life more abundantly is joy in your soul.  Joy is not based on our circumstances, it is not achieved by struggling and striving it comes simply by a product of knowing him. 

Along with joy, knowing Him brings power, resurrection power.  It is the kind of power that works when all hope is otherwise gone.  Wasn’t this true at the grave of Jesus.  All hope of the disciples had collapsed.  There was nothing left for them except hopelessness, so they went back to their old routines.  Oh how we do this!  But then came the resurrection .  Out of despair and death, out of hopelessness there was a shining light, the resurrection that changed everything.  The resurrection of Jesus transformed the whole picture and moved them out of despair into an abundant life in Christ.  This resurrection and the  power it brings is available to us in our lives.   it can and will change every situation from hopeless to hope, from sorrow to joy.

Christ did this for me and he can do it for you.  He took my weakness, and gave me His strength, He took my hopelessness of having a “normal life” and turned it into a light on a hilltop, shining in radiant glory of what Christ has done.   He took my failing marriage and filled it love, He gave me a servants heart, joy in my soul, songs on my lips filled with worship, and dancing hands and feet to praise Him. He turned my life, in my opinion into a spectacle of glory for Him. 

Oh the power of Christs resurrection in our lives   scripture tells us in eph 3:20 that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us!”

Paul declared in Phil 3:9, oh that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection!  Do you long for that, to have that unexplainable peace that surpasses all understanding?  To be in the midst of a trial and have peace, Gods glorious peace?  Its available to you, right now, right where you are right where he has you.  

I love how God always gives us examples in His word for everything. 

Paul had an infirmity, he called it, the thorn in His flesh.  It is believed it was an issue with his eyes.  he prayed 3 times for the Lord to take it away.  The Lord answered, “my grace is sufficient for for you , for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  2 cor 12:9

The Lords strength is made perfect in weakness, 

This goes so against the worlds thinking of “you can do this, just man up!”

Gods ways of living and receiving his strength far exceeds the worlds views.

The Lord didn’t take Paul’s infirmity away, but gave a better solution, His grace and strength to see it through. 

Now Paul may of not thought that was a better solution, but Gods ways are always better.  In Isaiah 55:8, God tells Isaiah, my thoughts for you are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.

Staying focused on the Lord helps us to remember that God has his best intentions for us.  Remember He sees the big picture. 

Plus, Isaiah 55:11 tells us that His Word does not return void.  

NLT “My Word, I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”  Get into His word, His promise, it will not return void!!  He will make it work in and through your life for your benefit and His glory.

20 yrs ago, being  new believers for the both of us, we and our 4 children  moved away to the mountains, its something we’ve always wanted to do.  To a small town called Quincy in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We lived there 7 years, wonderful years of growing in the Lord.   Prior to moving and before knowing Christ our lives were filled with autism support groups, endless, speech therapies, occupational therapies, our lives were consumed,  with trying to help ourselves, trying to help our children to be  “normal children”.  It was exhausting and nothing never truly helped.   

When we moved away to the mountains,  it gave us time to focus more on being in His Word, learning from Him, serving Him in whatever capacity he lead us.  My children no longer ran from therapy to therapy but rather spent their days, especially summer day, in front of our house, playing In the river with me sitting near by on the riverbanks reading my bible.  I cherish those days, of hours upon hours of being in his word.  This is where I began to draw my strength in Him.  The Lord knew me and knew I needed his word to be embedded in my heart to get me through the many rough days that were still to come.  

He became my peace, my strength in my weakness, when I wasn’t able to do anything about a situation. I rested in Psalm 28:7“The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” 

Does this mean we will never experience episodes and moments of weakness?  NO, I just had one not too long ago, many of you were with me.  Thankfully I was at church and was able lay it all down during worship time.  It’s going to happen, we are in a battle of the flesh and the spirit at all times.  What matters is, do we stay there in that place, in the sadness and in the sorrows?  Do we spiral downward and find that temporary satisfaction? Or do we quickly turn to the one who can give everlasting strength and everlasting peace and victory to overcome our circumstances? 

Only the Lord can take a spirit of heaviness and turn it into a garment of praise.  He is not a quick fix, he works on the inside for long-term change, not something quick that will only take care of the moment.  

Staying focused sometimes require some refocusing, and that’s what we are doing this weekend.  Getting away from our busy daily lives and spending more time with the Lord than we usually do.    Romans 8:6 tells us that we need to let the Spirit control our mind at all times in all circumstances, and that will lead us to life and peace.

As I was growing in the Lord I found the riches of being in Christ, and this brings me to step 5.

STEP 5

KNOW WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST

Exodus 3:2-4 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him(Moses) in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.  So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.  Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.  So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses, and he said, Here I am.  

In a devotional by Joni Earekson Tada in which she considered herself in her infirmity as a bush that was burning but not consumed., we can do the same.  In our infirmities, our trials, our tribulations of this present life   We may be burned but not consumed, as the fire did not consume the bush in which the Lord was in.  Did you catch that, in which the Lord was in.

The Lord is in us as we are in Him

Galatians 3:26-28 gives us insight into the phrase “in Christ” and what it means. I like how the NLT puts it,

“for you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.  There is no longer Jew or gentile, slave or free, male and female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Paul is speaking to the Christians in Galatia, reminding them of their new identity since they placed their faith in Jesus Christ. To be "baptized into Christ" means that they were identified with Christ, having left their old sinful lives and fully embracing the new life in Christ. When we respond to the Holy Spirit's drawing, He "baptizes" us into the family of God.

Now the enemy will try and get you to depend on yourself, not on who you are in Christ.  He will try and make you fearful, worried, discouraged, impatient, or upset over something,  We all have felt this way from time to time.  Satan tries to bump us from our position of who we are in Christ.

Recently someone who is very dear to me, a fellow Christian allowed Satan to enter into their minds and tell me that it is unrealistic to find joy at the end of the day when everything looks bleak.  I am here to tell you that nothing is further from the truth to those who are “IN CHRIST”.    One of Gods greatest promises.

1john 4:4

“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,” referring to Satan.    Let’s hold fast to that promise and look at who we are in Christ!  

In your bulletin there is an insert on “who I am in Christ” .Keep it tucked away in your bible but get it out periodically as a reminder of your position in Christ.  Lets  run quickly  through them some. 

Who I  am  “In Christ Jesus”

I am God’s child (John 1:12)

I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)

I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)

I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)

I am growing (Colossians 2:7)

I am His disciple (John 13:15)

I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)

I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)

I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)

I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)

I am promised a full life (John 10:10)

I am victorious (I John 5:4)

I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)

I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)

I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)

I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)

I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)

I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

I am safe (I John 5:18)

I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)

I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)

I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)

I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)

I am overcoming (I John 4:4)

I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)

I am protected (John 10:28)

I am born again (I Peter 1:23)

I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)

I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13)

I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Col 1:12)

I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)

I am assured all things work together for good   (Roman  8:28)

I am confident that God will perfect the work He has      begun in me (Philippians 1:6)

I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)

I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)

I am chosen before the creation of the world (Eph 1:4, 11)

I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)

I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)

I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)

I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

I am included (Ephesians 1:13)

I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)

I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)

I am salt and light of the earth (Matfthew 5:13-14)

I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)

I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)

I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)

I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)

I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)

I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)

I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19

I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)

I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)

I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)

In Christ we have a love that can never be fathomed, a life that can never die, a righteousness that can never be tarnished, a peace that can never be understood, a rest that can never be disturbed, a joy that can never be diminished, a hope that can never be disappointed, a glory that can never be clouded, a light that can never be darkened, a happiness that can never be interrupted, a strength than can never be weakened. A purity that can never be defiled.  a beauty that can never be marred, a wisdom that can never be baffled, and resources that can never be exhausted.  

Oh lets give thanks to the Lord!!

Personally, knowing these and speaking them to my heart, has freed me from so much self condemnation of my past sin. 

When I let Gods word tell me that I am Holy and Blameless, forgivin, secure,  and complete, it leaves me in awe of Him for what He has done for me.  

In and through my weaknesses, I fall back on Christ in Me.  It gives me confidence to stand fast, resting in Gods sovereignty knowing that in Him I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. He has given me/us such a great inheritance that we do not deserve.

But because of his great love for me/for you, he has given to us these indescribable riches through His son Jesus.

Now knowing who we are let do something about it.

STEP 6

POSSESS WHAT IS OURS BY FAITH

We don’t need seminars, we don’t need  prayer clothes, we don’t need motivational  dvd’s, and most of all, we don’t need to run endlessly around  like popeye  for a  can of spinach for strength.

2 Pet 1:3 says that “The Lord has given us for life

Moses was told to possess the Land and that the Lord had given him.  You know the scripture.  Spies were sent in to the Promised Land and they came back saying, we can’t, they are too big.  And because of their disobedience to the Lord, they did not possess the land for 40 years.  They could have had the blessings that came with obedience, but chose not to trust the Lord and obey.  

Are we not receiving all that the Lord has for us because we do not possess what we have in Christ Jesus?

Same insert, back page , Here are some things we have in Christ.  

What I have in “Christ Jesus”

I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

I have been justified (Romans 5:1)

I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)

I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)

I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)

I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)

I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)

I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)

I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)

I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)

I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)

I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)

God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)

If I had not possessed what God has given me, my struggles with my children would of completely consumed me!  But praise God that He has given me His peace.  Not only peace, but purpose. 

My goal in life was to try and be happy, live for myself, live to what pleased me.  And now, he has given me purpose to life.  To serve him, to be a servant to my husband, my children, and  to serve others.  To know Him and to make Him known to others.  

To live out the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19

“God therefore and make disciples of all nations!” by being involved in Operation Christmas Child.  Such joy in that.

The riches of this world can and never will compare to the riches that we have in Christ.  Take what belongs to us.  Do we not take what is inherited to us when our parents pass away?  How much more does our heavenly father have to offer us than our own earthly parents?  So much more!!

Romans 8:37 tells us that” the overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”  Take it, possess it!

And 

STEP 7

LET THE TRIALS DEEPEN YOUR LIFE

James 1:1

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience, but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.

Paul tells us that trials and tribulations in rom 5:3 produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.

I believe God allows things to happen for greater things to come.  It can allow us to have a deeper understanding and a deeper relationship with Him.  

Many people in the bible that we know of without their adversities wouldn’t be the person that we know.  

For instance, if  paul were not thrown into prison, he may not of had the  time to write letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.  And aren’t we thankful that He did.  All part of Gods plan!

Job, in the beginning of His book, He knew about God, but it wasn’t until he went through all His trial that in in the end of  Job 42:5 NLT “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”

Moses, went through such great exile, but it wasn’t until he met God at the burning bush when he said, Here I am Lord, that his life changed.

Our adversities can turn in to an adventure if you let the Lord lead you.

It can be thrilling to not know what tomorrow will bring but to go into each day, trusting the Lord, and say each morning, :

Here I am Lord, I am yours today, Lead me and guide me, fill me with your  spirit to  tackle today with you living in me.  Give me wisdom for today, peace for today, confidence for today, and your will be done in my life.  This allows room to challenge you to see God at work in your everyday life, in our homes, in our marriage, in our jobs, in our raising of children, in our taking care of aging parents.  May every area of your life be a challenge for us to see God in all our Circumstances.

Col 2 :6 “and now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him, let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and will overflow with thanksgiving.

Jesus said in Matt 16:25, “ he who saves his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake shall save it.”  We can continue on doing things are own way, but in the ends we will lose our lives.  I know this is referring to salvation, but it can also be applied to our strength.  If we hold on to our own strength, our own abilities, we gain nothing,  but if we give up our strength and obtain His, we gain everything!

Do not set limits on what God can do through you in your trials.   Embrace them, allow God to teach you as you walk with Him through them.  He wants ultimately for you to go deeper with him, see as he sees. 

Love as he loves, he wants a deeper work for you of His Spirit in you.

Don’t let your circumstances dictate your life.  Rather let your life in Christ dictate your circumstances.  

In my own life, what he has set before me to walk through,  gave me a better perspective on life from 1 cor 1:27 That God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put shame the things which are mighty.  And the base things of the world and things which are despised God has chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.  That no flesh should glory in His presence, but of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that, as it is written, “He who glories let him glory in the Lord”.

Jesus said in John 17:1 said, glorify your son, that Your son also may glorify You.  That is what we are to do.  Ask the Lord to raise us up as spectacles of glory so we may turn around and give you all the glory.  

Recently in my daily devotions, I came across this that was interesting…

Did you know that Frankincense never yields its fragrance until it is burned. This is a very instructive/applicable lesson for us.

How can we display his glory if life is easy, Remember what James said, count it all joy when you fall into various trial!   I believe we should be thankful  FOR our trials. Not just IN them.

Being thankful FOR the hardships and the difficulties which burn us, if we allow the Lord to do His work in us, will result in a  sweet, fragrant odor, a delight to the Lord.  Showing our dependence and reliance is all on Him.  

Now, being thankful IN them, we offer up a heart filled with praise and thanksgiving because  he is in us, we are using His strength, holding on to his promises.  knowing that God will see us through.

Psalm 84:5-7

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You.  Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the valley of  weeping, they make it a spring.  The rain also covers it with pools.  They go from strength to strength

I can honestly say, that I am thankful for my 3 children with autism. Through them I had to walk through trials that I wouldn’t of otherwise, which in turn drew me closer to the Lord.  Allowing me to go deeper with Him, to be a spectacle of glory in my weakness.  He is there for you also,  

 

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