Thursday, June 28, 2012

Set Apart?... Really?...

We all spend so much time of our life just trying to fit in!  I am pretty sure most people want to be accepted.  They want to have a place they belong.  I was studying about living a life being set apart.  Really, God, You want me to be set apart?  The truth is as soon as I accepted Christ into my life… I was set apart! The tough part comes when I am faced with the question… Am I willing to live my life honoring God by being set apart?

I can remember growing up, I had incredible parents (they still are)… they worked hard to meet all our needs, but many of our wants were out of reach.  I was blessed to have a mom that sewed (although as a kid I did not see it as a blessing!) so until about the 5th grade many of my clothes were homemade.  I always felt like that made me not fit in with the other kids that had store-bought clothes.  I can remember when I was in junior high the Jordache jeans were the big thing.  Of course, my parents would not spend that kind of money on a pair of jeans, and honestly I didn’t want them to… I just wanted to have something that looked like everyone else’s.  I can remember finding some knock-off designer jeans at a store called “Foxmoor”… they were only $20 and they actually fit!  Surely this would be my answer to feeling like I fit in. Needless to say it really had nothing to do with my clothes why I didn’t fit in… it had to do with Christ living inside me.  Many of the kids around me thought differently… acted differently… spoke in ways I would have never.  Looking back now I can see it was my Heavenly Father setting me apart, it was hard then but now I am thankful.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 

God has set us apart to be His witness. He has set us apart to bring Him glory.  Are you willing to fight to live a life set apart?  Think about the women of the Bible that chose to live a set apart life… Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Mary… to name a few of my favorites.  Just common people, like you and me.  Their beginnings might not have been ideal, but when they took that first step down the path God had for them… I am sure they had no idea where it would all lead.  There is no way they could even fathom what impact fighting to be set apart would have on the world… just like we have no idea where a single step towards God will lead. 

“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased” Galatians 1:15
I know where I fit in now… it is by being set apart that I fit in through God’s grace.  I do not really care about pleasing people very much, but I do live to know that I am pleasing God.

"Know that the Lord has set apart His faithful servant for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him." Psalms 4:3

Ok, here is the challenge… you are set apart, chosen by God to stand out as His witness to bring Him glory.  Now is the time to find a way to be comfortable in this lifestyle of being set apart.  Accept who God has chosen you to be… you can make a difference in every area of your life.  It is the right time to become more watchful about your walk with God.  Remember, common people do great things for God when they choose to walk the path of purpose.

“We have been set apart as holy because Jesus Christ did what God wanted Him to do by sacrificing His body once and for all.” Hebrews 10:10

Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Truth Is...

Have you seen on social websites posts that start off, “Truth is…”?  A few of my friends which happen to be teenagers is mostly where I see these kind of posts.  Since I am not a teenager, I guess the purpose behind it is to see what your friends will say the truth is about you… I think they are hoping for good things that will confirm acceptance from their peers.

So here is a set of “Truth is” for Christ followers.  I don’t know about you but when I need focus in my life… when everything seems upside-down… I have to start with what I know to be the truth.

Truth is… All people want their life to matter.  Especially, as Believers we should be driven with passion to live a fruitful life for Christ.

Truth is… There are three things that are required to have a fruitful life.  First we must be cleansed through the blood of Christ.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

Truth is… We must abide in Him.  Abide… not really a word we use in our normal everyday language.  What does it mean to abide?  To live; to wait; to endure; to remain. When things are going good, you abide in God… when things are going not so good, you will still abide in God.  No matter the circumstance… we have to abide in Him!  You can be mad at Him… you can feel life is unfair… you can be frustrated or irritated, but one constant must remain… you will abide in Him! Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

Truth is… Obedience is the outward sign of love for our Savior (John 15:10). In 1 John 5:2-3 in says, We know that we love God’s children when we love God by obeying His commandments. To love God means that we obey His commandments. Obeying His commandments isn’t difficult.”  Its great how it says, “obeying… isn’t difficult,” this is from God’s Word translation… it is really straight forward and to the point… love that!  Obedience is not difficult; it is our flesh that makes it difficult. (Galatians 5:13)

Truth is… Serving the Lord is an incredible privilege! You are good enough and equipped to do it through Jesus Christ! We are God’s hands and feet here on earth, today… think about that… if we are not willing to walk it out or lift a finger to serve in the church we attend, then are we accepting the honor God has given us???

God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Truth is… I am writing this out of devotion for God.  It is also directed at me as much as it is at any of you.  I don’t know where you are at in serving the Lord, but I challenge you to take that step in obedience. God has empowered each of us to do greater things for Him, but we need to take that first step.  Remember, your help comes from above!

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seasons of Change...

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

Take a couple minutes to read that whole chapter.  Verse 6 just jumped out at me... "A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;"   That is how I want to live my life... realize that life keeps going and changing... there will always be loss in life, but from that loss we all need to be able to find the good to come... we better be ready to accept it and roll with the punches... we need to keep growing and changing or we will become stale and discouraged... I do know for sure that no matter the season of each of our lives we need to keep trusting God... and all He is really asking from us is an open, willing heart and a loving attitude.

Just as the winter turns to spring,
Our lives have changing seasons too;
So when a gloomy forecast comes,
Remember -- God has plans for you. – Sper

Father, I ask you to uphold me, Lord, as I try to live a blameless life. I trust in You, Lord, that I will not falter.  Test me and examine my heart and mind that I am always mindful of your unfailing love.  I will rely on Your faithfulness no matter what changes come my way.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Whatever you may be going through... God is right there with you... remember He is the only thing that will never change! (Hebrews 13:8)

Rejoicing in Truth!