Friday, October 19, 2018

Who I Am in Christ

I'm definitely late today but did not want to miss Five Minute Friday.  I always look forward to these posts....and am always amazed how one word can direct so many insightful, helpful and encouraging thoughts and posts!  Reading through the link-up is always a highlight.  This week's prompt is WHO.

Who am I because of Christ?  Who am I in Christ?  The Bible has many answers, but just to list a few.

Because of Jesus, I am:

   Redeemed and Bought with a price
       "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."  Colossians 1:14
   Completely forgiven 
       "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,."  I John 1:9

      "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."  I John 4:10

   A new creature 
      "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  II Corinthians 5:17

   A temple of the Holy Spirit 
        "....your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own"  I Corinthians 6:19
   Free from condemnation
       "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1 

   Gifted, Set apart and Prepared for good works
         "...he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."  II TImorth 2:21b

   A joint heir with Christ
      "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ;"  Romas 8:17a

   More than a conqueror  
       "....we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."  Romans 8:37b

   Blessed with all spiritual blessings 
       "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ"  Ephesians1:3

   A saint - 
      " them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord...."  I Corinthians 1:2

Oh my...but I could go on.  These truths I know, in my head, to be true.  But, unless I remind myself often - while reminding my accuser - I tend to forget them in my heart.  I get discouraged and defeated.  And how quickly, I can begin to listen to Satan's lies.  I would do well to take one truth each morning - to remember and to rehearse each day.  And to defeat the enemy!

Perhaps you need to remind yourself, too, of a few of these precious truths!  Have a blessed and Heaven-focused weekend!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Consider and Be Wise

Every day, the trees are slightly more painted in their fall colors.  The mornings have been brisk and we were even able to use the fireplace over the weekend.  Just to knock off the chill.  And to feel our spirits say "ahhh!"  First morning coffee in front of the fire is simply wonderful, in my opinion.

I'm continuing my thoughts from Friday's post.  Embracing the beauty of fall...even in this fall season of my life.  Not only is this a season to praise Him and to be grateful but fall is a season of preparation.

"Go to the ant....consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."  Proverbs 6:6-8

We know the squirrels, the birds, and the chipmunks are preparing for the winter ahead.  Food to be buried and stored away.  Geese flying to warm climates.  Even the bears prepare for hibernation.  (Of course, they do so by packing on pounds to sustain them but I will not draw conclusions there!)  The Bible says nature is wise in working while there is still time and preparing for the season when the harvest is past.  And that we would be wise to learn from their example.

It is easy to convince myself that this empty-nest season - with its extra aches and groans...and much less energy than in seasons past - is the time to quit.  And, if not quit completely, certainly a time to step aside.  Yes, I might not be able to do all that I once could, or with the same stamina, but there is much - much! - that I can still do.  And that I need to do.  I think this is true for all of us in the "fall" of our lives.

Investing our time, our talent and even our treasure today is wise.  Creating reserves that will supply us - and meet our needs - in the future.  When we get to those winter months of life.  Since we never know exactly when the winter will set in, now is the time to prepare.  Keep serving.  Stay surrendered and available.  Don't compare your preparation with anyone else.  (Just as the bird is not concerned with burying acorns.)  Don't even compare your work now with what you were able to do in years past.  Simply embrace this season for all the beauty it contains - all the extras "ahhhs" to enjoy! - and keep preparing for whatever lies ahead.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Season to Offer Praise

Today has been 100 percent fall.  The leaves are just beginning their transition...but the temperatures are perfect autumn.  Sweater weather.  Clear skies and glorious sunshine that warms up the chilly morning.  The front porch mums are bursting out in color.  I helped put out a staff lunch today at my church and the school there.  And even the kitchen smelled like autumn with dessert tables full of pumpkin bars, apple pies and banana pudding.  There was cider simmering and a hearty sausage soup in several crock pots.  Yummy treats of the season.

Often I find my thoughts of fall and this wonderful season of the year reflecting my feelings on this stage of life I am enjoying.  There are so many parallels.  I want to share a couple but for the sake of Five Minute Friday, I will start with one - and then finish up on Tuesday.

GO - Praise.  As hard as it is to believe, autumn is not everyone's favorite seasons.  Some love summer (which I do really enjoy) and there are even some who totally enjoy winter.  This I do not understand.  But whatever your first choice, few cannot find much to appreciate about fall.  God's handiwork is so vividly on display.  The red, yellow and fiery orange trees never fail to amaze and to reflect so beautifully on their creator.  Without speaking, they praise the Lord.  They demonstrate His majesty as well as His imagination.

This is the season I am in.  Time to reflect on the former months - even as I prepare for the winter months ahead.  My words.  My choices.  My attitudes and days spent.  All of it needs to reflect on Christ and not only point others to Him but to cause them to be in awe of who He is and what He has done for me.  In so doing, I praise Him.  Praise is not reserved for certain times.  Praise is not done only through worship songs or beautiful music.  Our lives can praise Him.  Indeed, our lives should praise Him.

As I soak in all the beauty that continues to emerge in the next weeks of autumn, I pray that each tree - more beautiful than the last one I saw - will remind me to review my days.  Am I a reflection of praise on my savior?

"Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."  Psalm 150:6