By His Grace

Posts Tagged ‘scripture

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)
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When I think of someone being “emotional”, I picture in my mind a female crying.  To think of the Holy Spirit as being emotional is a totally different story.  But it’s true, He has emotions.

The Bible tells us that we are capable of grieving the Holy Spirit.  To grieve means a deep mental suffering, usually done alone and in silence.  To mourn is more of an outward display of sorrow but grieving is done inwardly.

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Grieving is an emotion.  Sorrow is an emotion.  Grieving the Holy Spirit by what we say or do is a big deal.  It’s not like just simply hurting someone’s feelings.

The Holy Spirit can be grieved when:

  • we return to the things from which we should have been set free
  • we don’t forgive others
  • we hold onto bitterness and resentment

The Bible also talks about “quenching” the Holy Spirit.  This means “restricting” the Holy Spirit.  We can restrict the Holy Spirit by not doing the things we are suppose to do.  For example,  instead of thanking God, we are ungrateful and question what God is doing.

What are some of the things the Holy Spirit does for us?

~ He gives us assurance of our salvation.  If we have grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit, we won’t feel close to God and may begin doubting our salvation.

~ He teaches us and helps us remember Scripture.

~ He leads us into holiness and moral living.  If the Holy Spirit is restricted then fleshly desires will be more evident.

~ He produces fruit in our lives, such as  love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.  Grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit will produce just the opposite.

~ He reveals the deep things of God to us.

~ He comforts us.

~ He intercedes for us in prayer.

I know when I grieve the Holy Spirit I can feel it.  It doesn’t feel good.  It’s like an aching in the middle of my chest.  The best thing to do is pray and repent of my sins.  And after that, not continue in the very sins I was asking forgiveness for.

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”  1 John 1:9

As Believer’s, we obey God because He loves us and know that He wants to help us succeed in this life.   Once we realize how much He loves us, we are motivated to trust in Him.  God provides the power for us to live a godly life.

The proper response to God’s grace is right conduct.

The apostle Paul writes in Titus 2:12,

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures.  We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God.”

I always find it intriguing how Scripture written 2000 years ago can still apply in the crazy world we live in now.  Obviously, men’s (and women’s) hearts back then are in the same shape as our hearts are today.  Our world has definitely evolved since Paul wrote this letter to Titus back in A.D. 63-66, yet we can relate to what Paul is talking about and apply it to our lives here in 2012.

Paul goes on to say in verse 13,

“while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.”

There is an excellent payoff to being a Christian and working hard at having self control and right conduct.  That payoff is the “blessed hope” of Christ’s glorious return.  I certainly look forward to it and can’t wait to hear those 3 sounds talked about in 1 Thess 4:16.  We will hear 3 sounds as Christ descends from heaven:

  1. A shout.
  2. The voice of the archangel.
  3. The trumpet of God.

Talk about a grand entrance!  God’s grace is for everyone on earth.  God desires for all people to be saved.

“For the grace of God has been revealed bringing salvation to all people.” (Titus 2:11)

None of us deserve God’s mercy and grace, but it is available to everyone because of what Christ did on the cross.  Having self-control and living a godly life involves daily devotion and committment.

The devil wants us to focus on how little we have grown spiritually.  One of the lies he tells me is, “you should be a lot further along by now Michele.”  It’s a trick to stifle my self-confidence and get me to feel guilty.  When feeling like this, I get upset with myself and I am playing right into the lie.  If I were to keep believing this lie, I become an unproductive follower of Christ.

If we want to have any kind of chance in this evil world, we need to focus instead on how far we have come!  God’s amazing grace gives us the confidence we need to live a godly life, have right conduct and the power and strength we need to accomplish any kind of right behavior.

If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7 KJV)

Jesus Christ provided us a way to have a relationship with God the Father.  Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave.  By believing in Him and becoming a child of God through salvation (who will enter heaven?), we have direct access to God and His blessings. 

God provided a way for Christians to come into His presence.  Prayer is the way we are able to receive what we need from Him.  If we want God to hear our prayers, we must worship Him.   God is seeking prayers from true worshippers, who will worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).  God delights in the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:8).

Through prayer, we can receive three things from God:

  1. Help
  2. Strength for our lives
  3. Needed guidance

What does the Bible say is the most powerful type of prayer?  How do we get the greatest results from our prayers?  John 5: 16 tells us it is an earnest prayer.   Other words for earnest are devoted, diligent and heartfelt.  We need to be earnest in our prayers.

If we want God to answer our prayers, we have to make our requests known to HimWe enter into prayer by being thankful and praising His name. (Phil. 4:6)  Start your prayer off with praising and honoring His name.  Give thanks for all He has done in  your life and all He will do in the future.  God can’t help us if we don’t ask Him.  Be specific in your prayers.  Come out and say exactly what you need and want. 

 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13 KJV)

3 hindrances to answered prayer:

  1. iniquity (sin, wrongdoing) in our heart –
  2. doubting or wavering trust
  3. wrong motive or purpose

We should always pray in Jesus’ name and with the right motives. Remember, God knows your heart. He will know if you are sincere and what your intent is behind your request.  We should always ask forgiveness of our sins.  Be specific, if possible.  Also, believe He will answer your requests.  God doesn’t want us wavering in our trust of Him.  Don’t doubt.

Just as an earthly father or parent wants to give all they can to their children, God does too!  We are His children and wants us to prosper and be happy while on this earth.  He wants to comfort us, encourage us and uplift us.  Even though God already knows your needs, He wants us to come to Him through prayer and worship.  There is much power in prayer and worship so be diligent and do it daily!

For we must all stand before Christ to be judged.  We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

I am having to deal with a consequence from my past actions.  God’s Word tells us that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  I am forgiven, I am cleansed for my past wrong.  God loves me and He is faithful.  Where would I be without His amazing love?  Where would I be without His amazing grace and mercy?  To answer that would be to say that I would not be sitting and writing this post for my blog.  I would not be where I am sitting at this very minute.  God is my everything and without Him I am nothing.  I know that now.

I like to refer to this time in my life as the “second half of my life”.  The first half of my life had many joys and many sorrows.  The second half of my life is just now beginning.  I am literally starting over in life.  That can be exciting at times, but I’m a worry wart and I have a lot of fear.  These are the current things in my life that God is healing me from.  It takes time.  So long as I am obedient to His Word, the worry and fear will disappear.  God’s Word says it happens, so I believe it.

I have wanted to go into nursing for a long time.  I love helping people.  I would rather go without if it meant it could help someone in need.  I want to bring value to a persons life.   I want them to know they are loved and they matter.  This is an attitude totally opposite of how I once lived my life.  Living the life of an addict consists of what I want, when I want and how I want it.  By the grace of God, I’m not living my life like that anymore.  But I have a problem.

I am not able to go into this field because of a particular charge on my record.  It’s a charge that cannot be expunged and will follow me my whole life.  I had a job offer the other day that I had to turn down because I know the background check will come back with a violation.  It doesn’t matter that I turned my life around, according to the state of Florida, I cannot work in any type of caregiving field.  I was devastated.

So here I am again.  Going through a test.  I am so tired of tests!!   But it’s of my own doing.  I am reaping what I sowed.  It’s a hard lesson.  Peter writes a wonderful passage in 2 Peter 1:5-8:

“So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life.  Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence.  A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.  Knowing God leads to self-control.  Self-control leads to patient endurance and patient endurance leads to godliness.  Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I want to be productive and useful in some way.  I’m not able to do it in the manner I wanted but I have to put my faith and trust in Him that He will make all things come together for good.  It’s what God wants now, not what I want.  I just hope I can pass the test this time.

replacefear

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

I hate being afraid.  It makes me feel vulnerable and unstable. What am I afraid of?  After all, it’s not like I’m going to die by stepping out the door into the real world and interacting with people, am I?  The Bible tells us that if our God if for us, than what can be against us?  It’s all in my head.  The body’s reaction to what we think and how we feel go hand in hand.  I still don’t understand why my heart jumps a beat whenever I open my eyes in the morning.  I don’t even have a thought in my head yet and fear has set in.

I remember when I was like this in years past, before I rededicated my life to the Lord.  I went to secular recovery programs and did my best to face the unknown.  Many people in these rooms were full of fear and scared to death to venture into a life without a chemical courage to keep them strong.  I was one of them.  I was never able to stop shaking though.  People made fun of me, even though I guess they were trying to be kind in their own way (at least I took it as poking fun).  They’d say, “look at her! you’re shaking like a leaf Michele.  Are you scared of me?”  And then they’d laugh.  Actually, I was afraid.  I was clean and sober and very raw.  I mimicked a Chihuahua whose whole little body would shake for no reason, even my head and face would tremble.  It was VERY difficult to go through that without using something to calm me down.  Eventually, I was prescribed a benzo and it was a miracle drug!  At first I didn’t abuse it.  I was living in a halfway house and the house “mom” would only give me my daily dose one day at a time.  It was prescribed from a licensed psychiatrist from a well known rehab facility who helps recovering addicts.  Yah, figure that one out, right?  I managed well on them and I didn’t shake.  Then I started saving them, and taking two at a time, then three at a time—–you get the picture.  Turns out, other girls in the house found out about them and stole a whole bunch of my pills.  I was in a panic!  Now what do I do? 

Those pills sent me back out on the streets over and over again going back to the heavy stuff that was killing me.  I didn’t know how to cope with it.  I didn’t KNOW I could cope without it if I just called out to Jesus for help.  I was a Christian but I rebelled and backslid right out of high school.  I was stubborn as a bull and just didn’t want to go back to the whole church thing.  I was soooo wrong.

I know now that Jesus and God’s grace and healing is the ONLY way to overcome my fear and shaking.  I am able to do this without narcotic drugs prescribed legally or not.  It’s taken me many years to learn this.  But it DOES happen and it DID happen for me.  My recent relapse put me right back where I was 10 years ago, shaking like a leaf and afraid to leave the house.  But I had a good taste of what the Lord can do in my life.  I stayed clean for 2 years and I experienced what TRUE JOY really was!!  I found a sense of peace I never felt before.  I remember waking up with a smile on my face, not a skipped heartbeat and a sense of fear.  I use to look forward to what the Lord had for me that day and was ready to overcome and plow through whatever was put in front of me because I had the Almighty God on my side. 

So today, I am facing my fears and moving forward no matter what the world wants to throw at me.  I have a lot on my plate right now, but I will not falter today.  Today I remain strong in spite of myself.  I still have the shakes but it will subside, it will pass!  I just have to hang on and not put ANY chemicals in my system.  If I have even one drink to calm my nerves, I know it will erase all my hard work these past two weeks.  Just gotta hold on to the Truth that is written in His Word and trust in God to keep me safe and to help me along.  I will keep it simple, not overwhelm myself and TRUST, TRUST, TRUST!!

I recently read a book written by Robert J. Wicks, “Prayerfulness, Awakening To The Fullness Of Life”.  He makes a list of ways we can mature spiritually and how to appreciate each day if we put these into practice in our daily lives.  I wanted to share them with you as they are exactly the things I want to achieve in my own life.

~  gain a clear awareness of what you are experiencing, thinking, or feeling without judging yourself or others;

~  develop a sense of intrigue about yourself and others without projection (blaming others), self-condemnation, discouragement, or expectations;

~  gain more interest in discovering the presence of grace—namely the wonderful gifts of God—rather than merely focusing on your own accomplishments;

~  gain an appeciation of being in the now and willingness to return to the present when you are drawn into the past or begin to be preoccupied by the future;

~  develop a spirit of “unlearning” and a willingness to see life differently that is inspired by the Lord’s call to “make all things new”;

~  gain a non ego-centered approach to life that recognizes it isn’t all about me;

~  gain a willingness to recognize, embrace, and flow with change;

~  gain a spirit of receiving life as it is without reaction or rejection;

~  develop a gratitude and an openness to being nourished by God in everyday life;

~  gain a focus on those activities that create well-being instead of suffering for others…and ourselves;

~  gain an appreciation of the beauty of patience and enjoying the process of life rather than solely looking forward to completions or successes;

~  develop an interest in letting go of the “secular training” we have received in grasping, being envious, angry, and unkind, and instead an openness to sharing without an expectation of getting anything in return, being intrigued by our responses so we can learn from them rather than responding by being defensive or self-indicating, and slowing down rather than straining toward goals (even perceived good ones);

~  gain an avoidance of comparing ourselves favorably or unfavorably with others;

~  develop a greater desire to be sensitive to how our words and actions affect others;

~  gain an openness to “spiritually touching” all of our denials, loneliness, shame, and negative feelings about ourselves with compassion, rather than running away from them;

~  allow information, negative and positive, familiar and unfamiliar, to flow to us without being obstructed or modified by our ego or fears;

~  develop an increased desire for transparency and being persons without guile in the way we live so we can help purify—rather than contaminate with our defensiveness—the spiritual atmosphere in which we and others live.

“Practicing, not just knowing about, these characteristcs results in your getting all out of the life that God gives you as a gift.  In addition, and of possibly even more importance, doing this will help you face life’s difficulties, gray periods, or sad experiences and deepen you in ways you may never have dreamed possible.  This will be a gift to those with whom you come into contact as well.”

This may seem like a long list but they are completely attainable by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.  So let’s pray for God to work in our lives to achieve these beautiful qualities every Christian should have and to grow spiritually mature as God’s Word tells us to do (Hebrews 5:12-14).


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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