Feeling Unlovable?

Feeling unlovable?

Oh oh.

Whose lies are you listening to?

If you are a King’s kid, Almighty God loves you with an infinite, unfathomable love.

If you don’t yet believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and have not yet received Him as your Lord and Savior, turn to Him (See Becoming a Child of God).

God’s Love for His Kids

God is Truth. God is Love.

He, Almighty God, tells us about His love for us, He proved His love by sending Jesus to die for our sins, He promises unimaginable blessings for us for eternity. (See Chapters 6-9, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

When I sin, when you sin, God still loves us and is ready to forgive if we confess (1 John 1:9).

And His love means He will work on us and in us so we walk in holiness. He doesn’t quit on us (Philippians 1:6; 2:13).

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

If you don’t believe He loves you, then you are listening to lies.

Lies

Lies, at their core, are satanic.

[The devil] does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

You may hear statements, comments or accusations from others that you think mean you are unlovable. You may rag on yourself telling yourself you are unlovable. As a King’s Kid, those are lies.

The Truth

God loves you.

God is for you.

There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God. Nothing.

Your Choice

You have a choice.

Whom do you believe?

Choose to believe God.

As His child, He loves you. LOVES you. Loves YOU.

 

See also:

His Enormous Love

What Does God Think of You?

The Lord Sings Over Us

 

 

Praise His Name

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Praise His Name

We, believers, are called to praise His Name.

I will sing praises to Your name. (2 Samuel 22:50)

O may Your glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise! (Nehemiah 9:5)

Praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. (Joel 2:26)

God acts for His Name’s sake.

Then you will know that I am the Lord when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your evil ways or according to your corrupt deeds. (Ezekiel 20:44)

I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake. (Acts 9:16)

We are to act for His Name’s sake.

Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)

You have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. (Revelation 2:3)

Hallowed Be Your Name

This is the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer. His glorious Name represents all His is: His attributes, His actions, His nature.

To help us know Him, the scriptures include many names for God; one list includes more than 900.

Let us praise Him for who He is.

Practical Tips

To praise His Name, we need to know Him. We can say “Praise His Name,” or “Praise the Lord” all day long without coming close to meaningful praise.

Instead, practice praising Him for a specific attribute (for example, praise Him as Creator), or with a specific name (for example, God Almighty, Redeemer, Shepherd).

As you read the Bible, develop your own list of His names and His attributes, and praise Him, one at a time, using that list.

The Psalms include wonderful verses of praise. Use those to guide your own prayers of praise.

Praise His Name

God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) I praise Your holy name. You are God, immortal, eternal, totally other than me. You are from everlasting to everlasting, creating and sustaining all things, and working all things in accordance with the counsel of Your will.

Help me know You better, and praise You with my words, my deeds, my life.

To You be all the glory.

Next Time

Regret

We all have past actions—past sins—we regret.

We may have spent considerable time reprimanding ourselves.

We may still be stuck in that past sin.

Regretting sin is a good thing if it leads to godly sorrow, repentance, and determination to follow the Lord. (See, for example, 2 Corinthians 7).

But it is not a good thing to be stuck.

What to do

Clean up the mess as best you can.

Try to resolve the hurt you caused someone else.

Correct, with the Lord’s help, your underlying issues that led to the sin.

Resolve to not repeat the sin.

Determine, going forward, to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

Press on.

Next time

There is a wonderful story by Arthur Gordon about the roadblock of regret. He writes of seeing a dear friend, an eminent psychiatrist, and telling him about causing the failure of an important project. The dear friend, whom he called the Old Man, told him he was using the poison phrase: “If only.” “If only I hadn’t…”

            “The trouble with if only,” [the Old Man] said, “is that it doesn’t change anything. If keeps the person facing the wrong way—backward instead of forward. It wastes time. In the end, if you let it become a habit, it can become a real roadblock—an excuse for not trying anymore…

            [The remedy is to] “shift the focus…Change the key words and substitute a phrase that supplies lift instead of creating drag…Strike out the words ‘if only’; substitute the phrase next time….

            “As long as a patient keeps saying if only to me, he’s in trouble. But when he looks me in the eye and says next time, I know he is on the way to overcoming his problem. It means he has decided to apply the lessons he has learned from his experience, however grim or painful it may have been. It means he’s going to push aside the roadblock of regret, move forward, take action, resume living.”

Questions for you (and me)

Are you—am I—stuck in the past because of a failure, a sin?

Have you—have I—repented? Tried to make it right? Worked not to repeat the sin?

Are you—am I—looking forward to what God has for us, determined to walk in His way?

Are you—am I—thinking “Next time?”

 

~~~

Arthur Gordon, “The Roadblock of Regret,” in A Touch of Wonder: Staying in Love with Life (Grand Rapids, Michigan. Fleming H. Revell, 1974 77-78

In Kristin Snyder, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?

See also: If only; I Blew It.

 

 

 

Be Courageous

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Be Courageous

God tells us, about 50 times, to be courageous.

What is Courage?

Courage: “The quality or state of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.”

Courage enables us to do what the Lord tells us to do.

Remember: There is a difference between courage and foolishness.

HOW

Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)

How do we “gather up our courage?”

#1 Stand on your firm foundation in the Lord.

Jesus Christ is your Lord. Remind yourself about who He is, your position as God’s child, and God’s promises about your future.

Remember: He is with you.

Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid. (Mark 6:50)

Remember: You are in a battle for a great cause.

#2 Be clear about your objective

The Lord has chosen you to do some task. ACT! (1 Chronicles 28:10)

What is it He wants you to do?

Or, sometimes the Lord has chosen you to wait. It can take courage NOT to act, but to wait. (Psalm 27:14)

#3 Be conscious of your witness

Courage can be contagious… But so, also, can cowardice.

Paul’s imprisonment gave others more courage to speak the word of God without fear. (Philippians 1:14)

#4 Pray

Pray at every step, not just this one!

#5 Do It Scared!

Still Scared? Did God tell you to act?

Do it scared.

Do it.

Past, Present, and Future

 

Everyone living has a past, is living in the present, and has a future. There are no exceptions. However, the specifics are different for each of us.

Believers have many common elements for our past, present, and future.

Here is a description just from Romans 5:

Believers’ Past

We believers—all of us—were enemies of God, and helpless to do anything about that. (vv. 6, 10)

But! Christ died for us, the ungodly, demonstrating God’s love for us. (v.8)

We, those who believe in Christ Jesus, and, by faith, trust Him, have been justified (declared righteous). (v. 9)

We were made righteous and received an abundance of grace. (v. 17)

The Holy Spirit was given to us. (v. 5)

God’s love was poured out within our hearts through the Holy Sprit. (v.5)

Believers’ Present

We have peace with God, being reconciled to Him through Christ’s death. (v.1)

We stand in grace, through faith, through Jesus Christ. (v.2)

We are saved by Christ’s life. (v.10)

We exult in the hope of the glory of God. (vv.2, 11)

Believers’ Future

We are saved from the wrath of God through Jesus Christ. (v.9)

In other chapters, our future is more thoroughly described.

We have eternal life (John 3:15), with glory beyond comprehension (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Be Encouraged

In the past we, believers, were saved from the penalty of sin.

We all have a past of ungodly behavior. Don’t get stuck there. Remember the fact—the fact—that God, even though I was, you were, His enemy, He loved us so much that Christ died for us.

Even though…He made us righteous.

Even though…He gave us His Holy Spirit.

Even though…He poured out His love into our hearts.

In the present we, believers, are being saved from sin’s power.

And we have His help in the present, enabling us to live more godly lives.

We stand in His grace, knowing He is with us and will never forsake us.

In the future we, believers, will be saved from sin’s presence.

We are assured of eternal life, glory beyond comprehension.

 

Hang in there

 

 

 

 

With All My Ability

 

With all my ability I have… 1 Chronicles 29:2

Best Effort

As I thought about this, the more and more powerful this verse became for my life.

The phrase “with all my ability” doesn’t demand perfection, because none of us can be perfect, but it does demand our best effort.

This changes our outlook from the end result, to our daily, moment by moment, striving to achieve our goals.

I find this both freeing and challenging.

“How To”

As I started to think about it, a library hold became available: Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts; Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith.

The book gave me some “how to” ideas to apply the best of my ability to specific goals in my life.

Goldsmith said each of us are Planners (our goals) and Doers (our actions), but that we often are better planners than doers. What we need, he said, was a coach to help the Planner become better at Doing. One tool is to develop daily questions to ask ourselves to what extent we did our best to…

Did I do my best to do, this day, what I know I should have done?

In his model it looks like this:

PLAN

What is the goal I want to achieve?

What is the associated question, for example, “Did I do my best to…”

COACH

Monitor yourself

Assess your effort

Keep score

DO

Stick with it

Improve your skill over time

You’re the Coach

The Coaching element helps us identify issues that we need to address in order to do our best, and, over time improves our skill in DOING what we need to do to reach our goal.

You have to come up with your own goals and Daily Questions, but here are some examples:

Did I do my best to read and study the Bible?

Did I do my best to have a meaningful prayer time?

Did I do my best to exercise according to my plan?

Did I do my best to stick to my diet?

Or, if it more powerful for you, word the questions in the negative:

Did I do my best not to eat sugar?

Did I do my best not to waste time?

~~~~~

I am applying this to my life, and can sense that this discipline will help me achieve my goals. Do you think it might work for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise The Messiah

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“Messiah” means The Anointed One, translated as “Christ” in Greek.

Reading through the Old Testament, there are a number of references to an anointed one, usually referring to king, priest, or prophet. However, there is only one who is The Messiah.

The Messiah came, but most of Israel didn’t recognize Him. When the magi came and wanted to worship Him, Herod the king asked the chief priests and scribes where The Messiah was to be born. Bethlehem, Herod was told. The magi sought Him in Bethlehem, but there is no record the chief priests and scribes looked for Him (Matthew 2: 1-12). And they didn’t look even though they knew from Daniel when He was to be born. (Daniel 9: 25-26).

The question for us is: “Do we recognize The Messiah?” Have we received Him as our Lord and Savior?

The Messiah

The Messiah perfectly fulfills three offices: Priest, Prophet, and King.

The Priest

Jesus, so named because He came to save us from our sins, is our great high priest, our mediator with God. He both offered a sacrifice for our sins, and was the sacrifice for our sins. He continues to intercede with the Father on our behalf. For those who believe in Him, He reconciles us to God.

The Prophet

Jesus showed us the Father. Jesus, The Messiah, is The Truth, bringing God’s truth to us. And He revealed what is to come.

The King

Jesus, The Messiah, the King, possesses infinite wisdom and power, righteously ruling over all, delivering both mercy and judgment. He defeats every enemy. As King, The Messiah mediates the rule of God to people. He has God’s authority, and acts on God’s behalf.

 

~~~~

 

Praise You, Jesus, The Messiah. Praise You for coming to save us, offering Yourself for our sins, reconciling us to God. Praise You for showing us the Father, showing us the truth, and letting us know what is to come. Praise You for Your eternal, righteous rule.

 

Jesus Christ, our Lord: “Jesus” who came to save; “Christ,” The Messiah;“Lord,” Ruler over all.

Good Morning, Saint!

Good morning, Saint!

Now, insert your name: Good morning, Saint [your name]!

How many of you cringed at that?

The world’s definition of saint is not the Biblical definition of saint. The world says a saint is an “extremely virtuous person.”

The Bible says a saint is a believer, one who believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God, trusts Him for salvation, and has received Him as Lord and Savior.

In six of the nine epistles written by Paul to churches (rather than to individuals), Paul addresses his letter to the saints.

Saints are Righteous in Christ Jesus

We, believers, are not “extremely virtuous,” but God declares we are righteous in Christ Jesus.

Take a deep breath.

Another translation: [Your name], holy one of God.

Paul Prays We will Know

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints. (Ephesians 1:18)

A Few of the Riches for Saints

We have received revelation from God.

The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints… (Colossians 1:26)

Our prayers are incense to God.

When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8)

We will receive the kingdom

But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come. (Daniel 7:18)

We will judge

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? … Do you not know that we will judge angels? (1 Corinthians 6:2–3)

Saints Are Called and Have a High Calling

We are saints.

We are saints, not because the world says so.

We (believers) are saints because God says so.

So there!

Let’s not be embarrassed. But let’s live up to it.

~~~~

Grace and peace to you, Saint [your name]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Warned

 

She heeded no voice, she accepted no instruction. She did not trust in the LORD, she did not draw near to her God. (Zephaniah 3:2)

We’re Warned

That warning is to a city, but—oh my!—it pertains to us as individuals as well.

I know I have acted against the voice of the Lord. I know I have failed to act when I’ve had a nudge (or more) from the Lord.

Recently, I wondered about the security of a valuable item, but didn’t mention it to the owner. And it was stolen! Some time ago, I had a nudge to call a friend, and didn’t. Shortly after, she died! Oh no! I lost my chance to talk with her until eternity. (And, of course, there are much worse examples in my own life.)

You can probably remember times you didn’t heed the voice of the Lord and acted against, or failed to act on, His instruction.

Don’t Despair

Make Sure You’re a Child of God

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)

Confess

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Believe He Forgave

BELIEVE Him. He is faithful and righteous. He says He forgives if we (children of God) confess.

The Remedy to Avoid Future Failure

Draw near to God.

Discover who He is.

Learn about His sovereignty, His love, His faithfulness.

Make sure you’re “prayed up.”

Find out what He wants.

Trust in the Lord.

Follow His instructions!

Obey His commands!

How?

The best time for me is at the start of the day, to read the Word of God, pray, and get centered in Him. At that time I can commit my ways to Him, ask Him for the day’s priorities (my cherished “to do” list!), and determine to trust Him for whatever.

What are you doing?

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning: The process of learning through experience.

I was impatient with corporate “team building,” which often included “experiential learning” that had, to me, little applicability. The value of a ropes course totally escaped me. (Well, I did learn that I didn’t want to do that again…)

To be fair, I can recall a few exercises that illuminated both knowledge and action. But…not the ropes course!

And, given my many years in school, my love of education, what I often really want is to know what spiritual course I’m in, when the test is scheduled, and to receive a letter grade. And, then, to neatly store my books and notes.

I want to know when I’ve completed the basics and moved on to a higher-level course. I want to be tested on what I know.

Multiple choice tests would be fine; essay exams okay.

But practical exams?

Growth Requires Experiential Learning

However.

Our growth as Christians requires experiential learning.

And God, who knows everything about us, who knows how He is shaping us, is the all-knowing, all-powerful experiential learning master teacher.

God is “into” experiential learning. That isn’t to say knowledge is unimportant, because it is. We are to grow in the knowledge and love of God. And there is nothing so practical as good theory, as good theology.

But if we don’t put what we know into practice, we have failed.

Understanding is only evident when there is action.

Faith without works is dead. (See James 2:14-26)

The mark of a mature Christian is partly knowledge, being able to handle the word of God accurately (2 Timothy 2:15), but is shown, is proved, through behavior.

We will come to the judgment seat of Christ where we will receive awards based on what we do in this life. What we do. It won’t be a theological exam, but a review of many practical exams. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Knowledge-Doing Link

“You get to know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by studying God’s self-revelation, the Bible, and following Him. His Word says as we obey, we grow in knowledge. A wonderful cycle is one of the blessings of obedience: Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [so you] please Him in all respects [so you] bear fruit in every good work [so you] increase in the knowledge of God. (Colossians1:9-12) Then we know Him better, and because we know Him more, we love Him more, so we keep His commandments better. And then because we are keeping His commandments, we know Him, more.” (page 16, When Storms Come: Will You Be Ready?)

“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17)

Testing is an Experiential Learning Exercise

There are examples in both the Old and New Testaments of testing, and at least hints about the results.

Abraham

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, … and said to him, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” (Genesis 22:1,12)

Israel in the Wilderness

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:20)

the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:3)

Philip

This He was saying to test Philip, for He Himself [Jesus] knew what He was intending to do. (John 6:6)

Outcomes of God-Designed Experiential Learning

Christians are being refined as silver

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the Lord tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3)

For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. (Psalm 66:10)

Improved Endurance

The testing of your faith produces endurance. (James 1:3)

Glory to God

[Trials] so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)

Action Plan

We must gain knowledge and practice applying the knowledge of God in our lives.

  1. Ask for experiential learning!

~~~Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23–24)

  1. Gain knowledge with the intent to apply it.

We gain knowledge by studying the Bible. It is there that God reveals Himself, where we can learn about Him, His character, His ways of doing things, His instructions to us.

And it is there we can see how others have behaved, successfully—or not—applying the knowledge and love of God. We see models to imitate and behaviors to avoid.

Plan to apply your knowledge of God and His instructions. One of the put downs of college professors is that they live in ivory towers, meaning that they are full of knowledge that they haven’t put into action. There are a lot of Christians trying to live in ivory towers, but God won’t let us get by with it. Either we apply it or we don’t.

  1. As you develop our “to do” lists for the day (See What Are Your Plans Today), add plans to demonstrate your faith.

Think about, for example, how you can, this day, show your love for other Christians, or how you can, this day, calm your anxious heart by relying on God’s loving sovereignty.

Deliberately, purposefully, intentionally, practice applying your knowledge of God.