Friday, September 27, 2013

This Weekend's Musing

"When God's children sing to him, it moves the heart of God and invites him into what's happening-and chases the enemy away.  Is anything overpowering you today?  You know what to do!"
-Sally Lloyd-Jones, "God's Battle Plan," Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I am...

"Our identity as men and women is not achieved by what we do but rather received by what God has done, making us in his “likeness.” As a mirror reflects our image, so we are a mirror made by God to reflect his truth, love, goodness, beauty, generosity, and justice to the world."

I've always been interested in counseling.  Every now and then, I get the itch to look in MSW programs online and think about what it would be like to help others in such a deep and personal manner.  One of my friends posted the above quoted article on Facebook.  Since I had some spare time on my hands (my in-laws had taken the kids to a parade where my daughter won "Most Voluptuous Hair" in a Cute Baby contest.  Random, I know.  But she does have great hair!) I decided to check out this article.  It was encouraging and convicting in an area that I wasn't expecting it to be: identity.

I know I fall into the trap of defining who I am by what I do.  It's often the first question we are asked when we meet new acquaintances ("What do you do?") and we say I am.....  It's a big part of our culture to define ourselves that way.  For me personally, that definition sets me up for a big fat helping of failure.  I feel that when I look to my roles as a wife, mother, daughter, etc. to define me and my own little picture of what they *should* be and do I always fail.  I'm never doing enough or doing enough well.  And I often approach my relationship to God in the same way.  In order to be a "good daughter" I need to make sure I read my Bible, pray for my kids, read a devotional to them every day, etc.
But that's not how God defines us as Christians. As Pastor Mark says in the article, we are made in His image and we are "in Christ".  Ephesians is such a treasure trove for reminders of who we really are:

"In love he predestined us for adoption 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.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." (Eph. 1: 4-14).

 
Doesn't that definition of self make your heart happy?  We are children of a God who loves us, forgave us for turning our backs on Him, is building up an inheritance for us and has given us a purpose here on earth: to unite all things in Him by the guidance of His Holy Spirit.  And we aren't doing it alone!

"You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord." (Eph. 2:19-21)
This is who we are.  And so often we chose not to meditate on these rich truths and instead settle for anxious toil or possessions that will turn into dust to define us.
Instead of using my own definitions for success in my own life, I am going to start reminding myself to "be who I am" in Christ and asking Him to change my heart to accept, love and live out His definition of me.  I think spending some time in His Word (esp. Ephesians) is a good start towards living as His child.  I hope these words encourage you today too.

Friday, September 6, 2013

This Weekend's Musing

"God loves it when we ask him for great things!  Because he is a King-and Kings love to do marvelous, powerful things."
-Sally Lloyd-Jones, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing