Self-esteem according to Christ(3)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

God planned and created us and we rebelled against Him. We decided that we knew better and betrayed Him. Doing that, we ruined His workmanship, us. But God has a plan, another one. He planned to make us holy and blameless and to adopt us.

That means God loved us so much that He found a solution to a problem we created, our separation from Him. It means God wanted us so much that He found a way to put our betrayal and our rebellion behind. And He made sure that we would not destroy everything again by forgiving us, giving us a new relationship with Him through Christ. Because of Christ and in Christ,  our relationship with God does not depend on our righteousness.

Moreover, He did not just plan all of that for the humans, but He chose us. He planned all of that for each of us individually. He said, “This is my plan for Kelly. “; ” This is my plan for Anne.” And I guarantee you that if the general plan is the same for all, details differ from people to people. Because our God knows us and loves us personally.

So do you feel that you don’t measure up? Oh, you don’t. But Christ does and that is enough. The Love of God is enough. He knew who you were, all you are, and everything you will be, but chose you. And He is not ashamed of you.

For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers… (Hebrews 2:11)

 

 

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Worshipping a holy God

“Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 15:11-15 ESV)

God is so amazing, so unique. He is a friend, a father, a brother, a helper, a comforter among other things. It is easy to focus on these aspects of His uniqueness and to forget His holiness. We tend to see His approachability as an invitation to do as we want in our relationship with Him. But there are rules to seek God. Repentance is one, faith in Christ another one, and gratitude and reverence others.  Grace is grace, but grace is holy. Love is love, but love does not mean disrespect, contempt, or right to complain or test God. There is a place for weakness in our relationship with God, but do not expect God to change His word, His rules for you. He did not even change them for David, the man according to His own heart.

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV)

 

Jesus doesn’t quit

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (Luke 22:31-34)

So peter would deny Jesus. Jesus knew it and instead of rejecting him, He prayed for Him. He prayed so that he would turn again. He prayed that Peter would quit only for a time, not forever.

Jesus doesn’t quit His relationship with us, we do. Jesus doesn’t quit, never.  And not only that, but He fights for us. He won’t let us go that easily. He paid the price to have us and will do everything to keep us. He will never forsake us, never. Even now, He is interceding for us.

In the same way, the Bible shows us that God never divorces us. We can be unfaithful, He can discipline us, but He doesn’t divorce. If you want to lose your relationship with the Father, you would have to quit. He is faithful until the end. He will even take us back after we have been unfaithful. (Ezekiel 16:59-63, Hosea 2:16-20).

What a love! What a commitment!

Did you say friends?

Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Romans 16:12

Different people come in your life for different reasons. Some wants to get something from you: love, information, attention. Some have their interests or the interests of someone they care for in mind. Some just want to gossip or to use your weaknesses to their profit. Some love you genuinely and want a true relationship with you. All of those don’t matter.
They are there for a time, for a lesson. They are there to teach you to be holier, wiser and more God-centered. Some hurt you, disappoint you. Some betray, despise or mock you. Some distract you, draw you far from the most important by loving you. Those don’t matter.
The only ones that matter are those who come to work hard with you in the Lord. Those whom God rejoice to see you spend time with. Those you want your name to be associated with for eternity. Those you can call fellow servant. Those who are your true brother in Christ, who know that the goal is Him and who will fight with you so that you can know Him. Those who will encourage you with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Those who will warn and help you in all wisdom (Colossians 3: 16). Those are the only one worth crying for. They are the one you want the inhabitants of heaven to see you with.
We all need friends. We all need people to listen to us and encourage us. Let’s just choose those we can honor the Lord with. They are those God wants you to be with and He looks forward  to putting your names in the same sentence in His book.
Greet those workers in the Lord, (your name) and (that person name).