I Am a Friend of God

Last week we talked about how we are:
– Chosen by God
– Treasured by God
– Holy and Blameless by God
– A Child of God

Today, we are talking about being a friend of God.  In John 15:15, Jesus says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  Jesus considers us His partner….His friend.  We get to know His business and do life with Him to advance God’s kingdom.  His business is about spreading the Gospel all over the world.  How amazing is that?!

But, first, Jesus tells us “you are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:14).  We must obey God in whatever He asks us before we are called His friend.  We are called to do Kingdom work.  God created us for a purpose.  He created us so we can do His work on earth.  God will trust us to do great things as long as we allow Him to guide us in the right direction.  We can only do great things through Him.

In John 15:13, says that “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  We are a friend to Jesus, and He gave the ultimate sacrifice.  He died on the cross for our sin.  Jesus is a faithful and true friend who can never be replaced by earthly friends.  His friendship goes far beyond what an earthly friend can do for us.  He laid down His life for you and me.

Here are some questions to ponder:
1) Are you a friend to Jesus?
2) Do you consider Him a friend?
3) Do you treat Jesus like a friend?
4) How do you talk to Jesus? As a complete stranger or someone who is your best friend?

Jesus is an amazing friend who will never let you down and will always be there when you need to talk.  He is always there even when you do not want Him there.  He is the most consistent friend you will ever have, and this kind of friendship needs be honored by respecting who Jesus is in our lives!

 

I Am a Child of God

We are on day four of “God Calls You By Name” Series.  This week I have talked about how we are chosen by God, and how we are God’s treasured possession.  Yesterday I talked about how we are holy and blameless in God’s sight.  This is a powerful series that I hope you are enjoying.   I pray you are learning who you are in Christ through Scripture.

Today, I will talk about how you are a child of God.  Second Corinthians 6:18 tells you God “will be a Father to you, and you will be [His] sons and daughters.”  That statement is breathtaking.  We are all called to be God’s sons and daughters.  “Because you are His sons [and daughters], God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls you out, ‘Abba, Father.’  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:6).  This Scripture goes into great detail about how we are a child of God.  We are His heir which means a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another.  We are righteous, because God is righteous.  We are holy, because God is holy.  We are everything God is, because we are His child.

I encourage you to take a moment to let this sink in and allow it become real to you.  In Galatians 3:26, it says “you are all children of God through faith.”  As long as you believe in Christ, you are a child of God.

I Am Holy and Blameless in God’s Sight

Ephesians 1:4 says God “chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”  This is a powerful Scripture.  God chose us before creation to be holy and blameless.  That is incredible.  We are imperfect beings, but, yet, God sees perfection.

Colossians 3:12 states that we are “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…”  We are not just chosen and holy, but we are also dearly loved by God.  The only way to be holy is through Christ.  First Peter 1:15-16 says God “is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'”  We are holy, because God is holy.

We have to act like Christ through our actions and words to be holy.   We are to mimic Jesus’ ways through our lives.  Jesus is love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled (Galatians 5:22-23).  We need to be all those things to be called holy and blameless.

I Am God’s Treasured Possession

We are on day two of “God calls you by name” series.  Yesterday I talked about how we are chosen by God, and His unconditional love for us.  I am still amazed God calls us chosen even when we don’t deserve it.

Today, we will talk about how we are treasured by God.  1 Peter 2:9 declares we are “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] declare the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness in His wonderful light.”  Deuteronomy 7:6 says, “you are a people holy to the Lord your God.  The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession.”

We are not only God’s treasure, but we are chosen and considered royalty in Christ.  Now, that is something to shout about!  God calls us princes or princesses.  We are crowned in royalty in His Kingdom.

I am reminded of a time when God sacrificed His treasured possession for us.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  God gave up His treasure for us so we could have eternal life with Him.  That is breathtaking!  He gives us value that cannot be repaid.  He chose us over His Son, Jesus.

Let’s be reminded today of the sacrifice God has given us so we can be treasured by a loving God.  We are precious in His sight!  We are worth more than gold and silver!  We have value in Christ that cannot be measured nor can be understood.  God is one-of-a-kind!

 

 

 

I Am Chosen By God

In the Bible, God calls you by name.  He tells you how precious you are to Him.  He brags about how much He loves you.  He even calls you His own!  Now, that is exciting!!!  For the next 12 days, I will be posting the names God calls you in the Bible.

Today, we will talk about how you are chosen by God.  In John 1:15-16 it says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…”  How amazing is that — God chose you!  God knew you before you were born (Jeremiah 1:5).   God set you apart for a purpose.  He knew you would do great things in His name.  1 Thessalonians 1:4 says, “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you

It is incredible we have been chosen to be a part of His grand plan.  We need to celebrate who God is in our lives and daily be reminded we are chosen by a loving God.

 

 

Filling the Void

God has been challenging me lately on what I spend my time doing during my free time.  Lately, I have been the “yes man” when it comes to people asking me to help them.  I say yes before I consult with God, because I have the skill or talent to complete the task(s) that is asked of me.  At times, without realizing it, I say yes to things outside of God’s will, even when I am working in the gifts that He has given me.

God does not want us to be too busy for Him.  He does not want us to fill our time with things and people that are not purposeful.  God wants us to have time to worship and pray outside the church walls.  Free time does not mean to fill it with unnecessary obligations and things.

When we fill the void with obligations and things that don’t fit into our lives, we tend to cause stress and exhaustion.  We become overwhelmed and pressured to complete the task at hand.  We do not want to break our promises to others, because we decided to say yes rather than nicely decline the offer.  As long as we continue to say yes before asking God first, we will be doing things in our own power.

I know, personally, I have to stop being the “yes man” and consult God before making a decision.  My life would be less stressful and more peaceful with God working beside me rather than doing it in my own strength.  I have to remember even though I have the skill or talent to do what is asked of me, I need to always have God close to me to make the right decisions at the right time.

Yes, God wants you to use your hands and feet for His kingdom, but you cannot put that much pressure on yourself to please everyone’s needs, even if it is a God-given talent.  There is a time and a place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3), and we all have different seasons in our lives.  Sometimes God asks you to rest and be in His presence for awhile.  Maybe God has asked you to accomplish something through His strength.

We all have to be sensitive to God.  We must hear the Father say “go” before jumping prematurely.  We must be obedient to His Word and always believe that God knows best!

Satan’s Schemes

Satan is real and dangerous!  First Peter 5:8 states that we need to “be alert…[because] [our] enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  In verse nine, it says to resist satan and to stand firm in our faith.  The devil uses schemes to trick us into walking away from God and Godly living.  He uses busyness to distract us from Christ.  There is a saying, “if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”  As long as satan is distracting us from God’s Word, prayer, and fellowship by giving us worldly opportunities, he does not have to be worried about us defeating him.  He uses deception, beauty (2 Corinthians 11:14), emotions, and hindrances (Matthew 13:19, Hebrews 12:1) to keep us in his embrace.

BUT, the Bible tells us that Jesus defeated satan, and we live in victory.  Ephesians 6:11 says for us to “put on the full armor of God, so that [we] can take [our] stand against the devil’s schemes.”  Here are some ways to resist the devil:

  1. Confess your sins to God. – 1 John 1:9
  2. Repent from your sins – Acts 8:22
  3. Submit to the Lord – James 4:7a
  4. Resist the Devil – James 4:7b; Ephesians 6:11
  5. Accountability – 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Proverbs 27:17

1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 8:22 –  Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that He may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and He will flee from you.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Proverbs 27:17As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

All these things help us resist the devil and to live a Godly life.  Confessing and repenting our sin purifies us in Christ.  Submitting to the Lord helps us acknowledge satan’s schemes and resist the devil.  Accountability helps us stay focused on God and be encouraged during difficult times.

I’m reminded of a story in the Bible (Matthew 4:1-11) when satan tempted Jesus for forty days and nights.  Jesus did not drink or eat during this time.  Satan tempted Him three times in the wilderness.  The devil offered the most beautiful and enchanted things to Jesus to distract Him from God.  Every time, without hesitation, Jesus quoted Scripture and defeated satan.  We are to do the same when the devil tries to trick us into his schemes.  We need to be alert and ready for the devil and learn how to resist him without hesitation.

 

 

 

 

Lead By Example

As Christians, we are called to live by example.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:19 “to go and make disciples.”  The only way to bring people to Christ is to be like Jesus.  Through Jesus’ actions and words, He showed kindness, goodness, and patience towards His disciples and those around Him.  Jesus perfected self-control in life’s circumstances.  He was faithful and gentle in the words He spoke.  He was love to those who were rejected and alone.  He was joy in the midst of chaos.  All these things (Galatians 5:22-23) are who Jesus was and is today!

We are role models to those around us – home, church, workplace, stores, etc.  We can even be a role model to a complete stranger.  What we say and what we do matters, because people watch our every move.  Sometimes we don’t even realize someone it watching us.

The definition of being a role model is, “a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.”  People will imitate what we do and say.  How we lead others will determine how well we live for Christ.  If we live by Jesus’ example, we will lead people to Christ, not away from Him.  We can easily lose followers by making bad decisions.

The Bible is full of Scripture on living by example, such as:

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 2:21To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Philippians 4:9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Me, or seen in Me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Ephesians 5:8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

Galatians 2:20 says that “[we] have been with Christ and [we] no longer live, but Christ lives in [us].  The life [we] now live in the body, [we] live by faith in the Son of God, who loved [us] and gave Himself for [us].”  Let’s strive to live by Jesus’ example and show the world who He is through our actions and words.  Let’s be Jesus to the lost and the hurting.  Let’s be Jesus to those who have never been loved or accepted.

Let’s be a role model for Christ!!!