Believe

Believe, it is a word we see almost everyday during Christmas. It’s associated with something that gets our hopes up. The hope of getting something we really want. It builds our anticipation and creates wonderment in our imagination. However, the true meaning of “believe” during Christmas is really about believing in Christ. 
Abraham believed in God’s promise centuries before the promise was born. God credited Abrahamโ€™s belief as righteousness, meaning Abraham was fully forgiven and given eternal life because he believed God’s promise.

The same is true for us today. Believing in Jesus, the entire act of how he was born, the life he lived, his death on the cross, and his resurrection to life again activates eternal life in us. All we have to do is believe. We have the history as proof. Abraham had only the promise.

Jesus is the proof of God’s love for us. When we believe on Jesus, we get the gifts of love, joy, peace, and hope. All of them living in us. Jesus is an all inclusive package, so to say. Believe on Him and receive a bounty of goodness in return. 

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Wonder

I came across something in the last few years. It is a saying that I now have hanging in my home. The magic of Christmas is not in the presents but in His presence.

Magic is a word we can easily visualize. Something that wasn’t there has now appeared. But I would like to exchange that word “magic” for another commonly used word during Christmas, “wonder”. During the Christmas season, there is wonder in the air. The wonder of a miracle in the virgin birth and the coming Savior of the world.

So why change magic to wonder? Because wonder is what Mary experienced when the Angel told her that she would become pregnant while still a virgin. The Holy Spirit brings wonder in His workings. We experience wonder at Christmas because of the workings of the miracle of the Holy Spirit. Who is God. And in Jesus who is God with us. It’s seems complicated but it really isn’t. To work on earth, God needs hands that are seen and spirit who is unseen. God is truly amazing.

The foundation of wonder at Christmas time is not in getting the things we long for, it is in the miracle of a virgin birth and the arrival of the Savior of the world. If you experience wonder this time of year, it is because it is the foundation of the experience of the season. Your spirit is agreeing with the meaning of the season. 

Prince of Peace

Peace comes at Christmas because the Prince of Peace has come to earth. I know, for some, experiencing peace is an unfulfilled desire. It seems like all this talk about peace is a big fat lie. I get it, I have been there. 
Peace is a promise and peace is real. The problem is, we believe that peace can be obtained with practical application or experienced externally in our environment. Peace is internal. It is possible to be in the midst of total chaos and feel at peace. The presence of the Prince of Peace is on the inside. 

Jesus keeps us in perfect peace when we think about Him. You might wonder how that could possibly be. The thing is this: Jesus is God represented in human form. Think of it as meditation. You can access peace in chaos when you meditate on the highest power… God with us. It is possible if you choose to disengage for a moment to remember, the season is simple and the expectation is about someone else. Not what you are to obtain or produce. It is the simple celebration of God with us.

When you feel the chaos of the times, search inside for peace. That is where it lives. It cannot be manufactured anywhere except through the presence of sweet Jesus. He’s there, just say His name. 

Captive Thoughts

Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming in church? The pastor is preaching some not so interesting stuff and you disengage because what is going on in your head is entertaining? Well, if you haven’t, I guess you’ve been perfected! ๐Ÿ˜„ God’s still working on me. 

Hundreds of things go through our minds a day. Some worthy, some not so worthy, of our time. Taking our thoughts captive is a discipline. You have to catch yourself in the act of thinking to take a thought captive.

Some thoughts can be fleeting some stick around for a while. Those ones that stick around, do they line up with the Truth? Truth sets us free, lies keep us bound up. Learning the Truth requires the Word. Jump into the Bible when your thought life needs some truth talk. There, you will find freedom.  

The Promise

Have you ever thought you needed a heart transplant? Like you can’t believe you just thought or said that… Someone else would say it but never you? Our hearts carry who we really are deep down inside. Our hearts store up our negative thoughts and our positive thoughts. We aren’t conscious of this until we see, from God’s perspective, the true condition of what is in us. Without a new heart, we can’t hear God and we can’t see ourselves clearly. 

So if we are born again, why would we need a new heart? Wouldn’t that be a given? Yes and no. God can’t have access to us without a new heart. We can’t truly change without seeing ourselves from His point of view. A new heart, a spiritual heart, is necessary for a new life. 

What happens when we have a new heart? We can receive the Word of God for our lives. We can be taught self – discipline by the Holy Spirit. It gives us Godly compassion for others. A sensitive heart creates change in us to produce change outside of us. Vulnerability comes more naturally. 

Ezekiel 11:19 is God’s promise to give us a new heart and the Holy Spirit. This is long before Jesus arrives on scene but it is an important promise. It is the promise of a restored relationship with God and a promise of the restored original design of humanity. We are supposed to be sensitive! God’s true heart is supposed to live in us. 

All Things

Do you love this kid or what? I had to use this photo. He is living with abandon. Trusting he is going to land safely. 

You don’t see The Message version of this scripture very often but I love how it says “in the One who makes me who I am.” I hope I have done a good job of showing you who makes us who we are, why and how. That is the goal of I’m Made New. 

I think I have said this before, maybe more than once, we have a life to enjoy. We have humanity to serve. It is important to know who we are and trust that it cannot be changed, no matter our circumstances. We need to believe that we have a God who accepts us, makes us secure, and believes we are significant. 

Our identity in Christ is our confidence to carry out the enjoyment and purpose of life on earth. What God says about us is truth, it is what we rely on when the world around us tells us otherwise.

Forever Changed

Do you struggle with the same negative issues in your life? Does it seem like change for good is elusive? Even after great blessing, there can be a time where it seems like things stay the same. But God promises, we will be perfected. 

Christianity has a different perspective on life change. We have been forever changed and are constantly being changed. As we pursue relationship with Jesus, we are shown a new way to live. It happens over time and with the prodding of the Holy Spirit. Completion of the changing power of God is promised to us. When are we perfected? When we meet the Lord face to face. 

It is God who works in us to will and to work toward change, not us. We can’t do anything on our own. It is the opposite of the way we are taught to live in the world. Self reliance is our enemy. Dependence on God is our joy, the promise of change for good.

God is perfecting you. You are growing and changing as you live out your days. When it seems like it is all the same, remember God is perfecting you, you need only to be open for it to happen. Remember the things that have changed in your life. Ask God to continue His work in you. Thank Him that He is doing it. Regardless if you feel or see it. Change is coming, keep moving forward.

For the Good

Have you ever been afraid to step out in faith? Are you concerned you will fail? I know those feelings all to well. Romans 8:28 is our assurance that even if things don’t go as planned, He will work it out for our good. 

We can have confidence in our God with regard to this promise. Why? Because God is deeply concerned about us, about our well being. Our God is a good Dad, He really does care about our lives! 

We are called to live our life by faith. Our faith pleases God. He wants us to be assured that when He gives us something to do, we do it with the confidence that if it didn’t go well, He will love us the same and use it for His glory. 

Romans 8:28 falls under the security portion of who we are in Christ. Knowing God works all things together for our good gives us the confidence to step out in faith to fulfill our purpose and His plan for our lives.

Be faithful and bold knowing God is on your side. 

Radical Love

Do you know how far the east ๐ŸŒ is from the west ๐ŸŒŽ? I’ll give you โฐ to think about it… ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽถ Infinite. They never meet. Don’t over think it! We aren’t doing science. We are doing faith! All of your mistakes are removed from you. 

God’s forgiveness is radical! It is complete ๐Ÿ’ and total. Most importantly-it is for everyone๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ง, no matter what you have done. 

God’s interest in salvation ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ is not that we are worthy, it is in His โค๏ธ for us. His โค๏ธ and forgiveness is radical. Radical๐Ÿ˜Ž love says that even while you are hating God through your actions, He loves you. He loves you so much that He sacrificed the only P.E.R.F.E.C.T. ๐Ÿ‘Œ man on earth… Jesus… so that you could know God and He could know you. 

To God, through the cross and resurrection, you are free and clear. When you make Jesus your Lord, your old๐Ÿ‘ด life is gone, your new๐Ÿ‘ถ life has come. You are worthy. ๐Ÿ™

Child of God

Our final destination on Romans Road. You’re now a child of God! Romans 8 is the declaration of our adoption as sons and daughters! You are a son or daughter of the most High God. We are in God’s forever family. 

Because we are sons (or daughters) we are heirs. What do we inherit? The blessings and the sufferings of Jesus. Paul says that our blessings will outweigh our sufferings. This is truth friends, we will suffer as Christ suffered. But the glory in blessing will be greater!

A song of declaration I love is “No Longer Slaves” by Bethel Music. It is the summary of Romans 8 in song. Sing it loud, sing it proud. 

I AM A CHILD OF GOD!