By His Grace

Archive for the ‘Getting To Know God’ Category

jesus world

In the passage of Matthew 1:18-25, we read of Jesus’ birth.  I would like to stress that these verses not only speak of Mary being a virgin and with-child, but more powerfully it speaks of Mary being with-child by the works of the Holy Spirit.   Going back to the context and the time in which Jesus was born, the Jewish culture thought of the Holy Spirit of having very definite functions. 

According to the Jewish idea, the Holy Spirit was the person who brought God’s truth to man.  It is the Holy Spirit who taught men of God what to do.  The Holy Spirit taught the prophets what to say.  It was the Holy Spirit, throughout the generations and ages, that brought God’s truth to man.  So then, Jesus is the one person who brings God’s truth to men. 

To put it another way, Jesus is the one person who can tell us what God is like, and what God wants us to be.  It is in Jesus alone that we can see what God is and what man ought doveto be.  Before Jesus came into this world, the Jews only had vague ideas and quite often wrong ideas about God.  But Jesus could say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9).

In Jesus, we see the love of God, the compassion, the mercy, the seeking heart and the purity of God.  This cannot be seen by anything else in the world.  Before Jesus came into this world, man did not know what goodness really was.  In Jesus alone we see true goodness, true manhood, true obedience to the will of God.  Jesus came to tell us the truth about God and the truth about ourselves as well.

The Jews also believed that the Holy Spirit enabled men to recognize the truth once they saw it.  So it is in Jesus that men’s eyes are opened to the truth.  As humans we are usually blinded by our own ignorance.  Our minds are darkened by our sins and we go astray because of our own prejudices.  Jesus is the one who opens our eyes when  we are ready to see the truth.  Jesus is so glorious in this fact because He knows when we are ready to hear something and when we are not ready to accept something as the  truth.  He knows the perfect time to open our eyes.  Life can be quite different when Jesus teaches us how to look at things.

jesus hug

I recently started reading a book by Philip Yancey, “The Jesus I Never Knew”.  I’ve been on a search of a book that will catch my attention in the first few pages and I am happy to say I have found it.  I’ve been wanting to learn more about Jesus and have had an inner tug at the back of my thoughts recently to go back to the beginning.  Life can be so hard at times and so confusing.  I find myself slipping away from the very thing that has always kept me grounded and moving forward.   That “thing” is my relationship with Jesus and all he has done for me.  Simply reading and studying Jesus again undoubtedly brings me closer to Him but it also gives me a sense of peace and purpose in this life.

The birth of Jesus was so important that it split history into two parts.  B.C. and A. D.  When studying history we usually always see these dates Before Christ or After Death.  But Jesus isn’t just someone who changed history but he is the one who holds the secret of eternity. 

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God,”  Jesus said in Luke 12:8 (nlt)

According to Jesus, what I think about him and how I respond will determine my destiny for all eternity.  Many of us believe that Jesus was brave, sinless and emotionally stable.  We regard him as easy to understand, physically strong and attractive, practical, warm and accepting.   In spite of how we see perceive him,  many of us who look for Jesus cannot see past our own noses.

Jesus himself, when challenged, didn’t offer airtight proofs of his identity.  It’s as if he welcomed the risk of dissection by saying, “Examine me.  Test me.   You decide”.   Jesus would drop clues here and there about who he was but he also said, after appealing to the evidence, “Blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”

The actions and behaviors of other people affected Jesus deeply:  stubbornness frustrated him, self-righteousness infuriated him, simple faith thrilled him.  Jesus seemed more emotional and spontaneous than the average person, not less.  More passionate, not less. 

Two words that could never be applied to the Jesus of the Gospels is:  boring and predictable.

Much of what I’ve written above may be directly from the book because honestly I just couldn’t figure out a way to paraphrase it to make it any better than what was already written.  So I give Philip Yancey the credit where credit it due.  Smile  It is my hope that as I read more of this wonderful book I will have more posts about “Learning Jesus”.  Thanks for reading everyone and God bless you all!

to you with love

“I want you to learn a new habit.  Try saying, ‘I trust you, Jesus’, in response to whatever happens to you.  If there is time, think about who I am in all My power and glory; ponder also the depth and breadth of My love for you.

This simple practice will help you see Me in every situation, acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe.  When you view events from this perspective — through the Light of My universal presence — fear loses its grip on you.  Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what.  You receive blessings gratefully, realizing they flow directly from My hand of grace.  Your continual assertion of trusting Me will strengthen our relationship and keep you close to Me.”

excerpt from “Jesus Calling”, by Sarah Young

 

When we feel down or discouraged with life, remembering who we are in Christ helps bring us back up to a better emotional state. Here is a list of verses and reasons we can experience joy and contentment even if our emotions are telling us different today.

jesus-loves-me

Who am I in Christ?

I am Significant

  • I am raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6)
  • I am the salt and light of the world (Matt. 5:16)
  • I am chosen and appointed to bear fruit (Jn. 15:16)
  • I am God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16)
  • I am a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17)
  • I am God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
  • I can approach Christ with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3:12)
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
  • I have authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:18)

I am Secure

  • I cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom. 8:35)
  • Christ, the hope of glory, lives in me (Col. 1:27)
  • I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
  • I am confident that God has begun a good work in me. He will perfect it. (Phil. 1:6)
  • I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28)
  • I am free forever from condemnation (Rom. 8:1)

I am accepted and loved

  • I am God’s child (Jn. 1:12)
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8)
  • I am loved with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3)
  • I am Jesus’ friend (Jn. 15:15)
  • I have been made complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)
  • I am forgiven of all my sins, the debt against me is cancelled (Col. 1:14)
  • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)

Ever wonder what God really thinks of you?  How often have we said to ourselves, “if people really knew the real me……”?  God knowsfeel ugly the real you.  He knows your thoughts, your desires, your likes and dislikes.  He knows your past.  He knows your future.  God knows your heart!  It is in our hearts that the real you and me exist.  We may be able to say the right things or get people to believe we are one way when we are not.  But God sees our true character, the part of us that no one sees.

“Nothing in all creation can hide from Him.  Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes.  This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.”  (Hebrews 5:13 NLT)

I’ve been in situations before when no one believed me.  No matter how much I argued or tried to convince them I was telling the truth, they still thought I was lying.  This was very frustrating and in a way, I felt hurt.  This was especially true in the beginning of my sobriety.  My family and friends couldn’t trust me or believe anything that I said.  This mistrust was of my own doing, I realized that.  But I took great strength and comfort knowing that God knew the truth.  God knew my heart.   I eventually would answer back saying, “You can choose to believe me or not.  That’s your choice.  But God knows my heart and whether or not I am being truthful.”

God knows the truth about every one of us.  And yet despite all our faults and mistakes, He loves us unconditionally.  We don’t have to put on a front with God or try to convince Him we have changed.  He already knows.  When God chose us to be His children, He already knew what He was getting Himself into.  We are no surprise to Him!

God sees us as His created children.  Gen. 1:27

God sees us as humans who struggle with sin.  Rom. 7:19

God sees us as capable, loving and strong.  2 Tim. 3:7

God sees our thoughts and intentions.  1 Sam. 16:7

God sees us as valuable.  Matt. 6:26,  10:29-31

God sees our potential and possibilities.  Rev. 3:8

There are so many hurting people in this world.  I come into contact with many different kinds of individuals in my daily life.  I have noticed there is a common thread amongst most of them.  This common thread is the fact that these people are lonely.  They feel rejected.  They are broken.  They don’t like themselves and carry much guilt and anger.  If I can uplift them in any way I would tell them they would feel so much better if they could just see themselves as God sees them.  That He loves them and will never abandon them.  That God is with them constantly, even before they open their eyes in the morning, He is there for them.

“….do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

TRUST IN THE LORD

God has pulled me through so many difficult circumstances in my life I can not count. And yet, I still struggle with worry and fear. When a situation comes into my life that is unpleasant, I instantly feel that sicky feeling in my stomach and my heart races. I really don’t like this about myself and this problem is probably what I want to change most about myself today.

My faith in God has certainty strengthened through the years. He has done tremendous works in my life. In hindsight, I see extraordinary circumstances that just seemed to work out for the better without much of my doing. It was most certainly God working good in my life.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Have you ever thought just how busy God is making everything work together for our good? Look at all the mistakes we make. Look at the mess we can make in our lives from sinning. And yet God always comes through for us. Granted, God’s timing is not our timing. Sometimes God works quickly to resolve our problems, and sometimes He works slowly. Very slowly. It is during these slow processes that our faith is tested.

But my issue is with my FIRST response to unpleasant news. I do eventually calm down after a few minutes and start to pray for His help. I ask for comfort and the strength to endure. And I also pray to help me trust Him. The frustrating part is that I DO trust Him! And yet my someday-ahia-b (300x199)first response is fear and worry. I don’t get it. How do I change this about myself? Am I just built this way? God has changed so much about my life and my way of thinking, but this part of me hasn’t changed. I am aware that the difficulties that arise in my life are definitely coming from when I chose to go outside of God’s Will.

Awareness of where my problems start is one thing. I guess that can count for something. But awareness does nothing if not followed by practicing faith in God’s promises and what He says in His Word.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully”. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)

So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in Him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

The were two things I was sure of in this world— One was that I knew I would use drugs and alcohol that day and the other was the inner turmoil that came with it. This inner self-torture was so horrific that I thought the only way to get rid of it was to get high and numb it out. I thought to myself, “ If I could just stay high all the time I would be fine.” I didn’t think there was any way out of my life of addiction. Well, except for jail or death. I know I didn’t want to go to jail. I couldn’t get high in jail and that would drive me crazy. But the other was death. I welcomed it. Anything to get me out of my misery. I lost all hope for myself. I was hopeless and empty.

There is hope for the addict. That hope is in Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and through the power of God the Father, He was raised from the dead. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross enables us to have a pathway to the Almighty God. It is through God’s power an addict will get clean and stay clean. God is a God of hope. All hope rests in Him. I thought I was a lost cause. I truly believed that I would never be able to change. I had the desire to stop, but did I have the desire to stay stopped? Many times I thought I did, but I failed over and over again. The only way to “stay stopped” is through the power and strength of our Lord and Savior.hope-1 God loves you and me. He loves us more than our parents love us. He loves us more than our spouses and children love us. God sees our pain. He counts our tears. He knows the number of hairs we have on our head. He knows us! He knows us better than we know ourselves. He wants us to reach out to Him. As addicts, we lose everything. But when there is nothing left, there is the God of hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me know there is hope in You. I can’t do this without You. You are my only hope. Please show me, teach me, rescue me and free me from addiction. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.


A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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