Thursday, August 28, 2014

I Am My Father's Daughter, Part 4

WHAT I DID...


     For a time, I gave heed to lies.  It is a shameful admission, but the truth.  I wish to spare other sisters this shame.
     I did not have a strong Christian upbringing.  I do believe my parents did what they could, with what they knew.  Yet, I did struggle as a young, new believer.
     I did not have any friends, that I can recall, that had the same frame of mind, as myself.  Even when I sought out the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), in my public school, I would not say that that group supplemented my needs, and desires, for true Christian fellowship.  Also as sad, I cannot recall any good friendships, of that Christian caliber, from my time in my old church.  I do have happy memories from those times, nonetheless.
     Even with those handicaps, I can see the Lord's hand on me, as I look back in my short history.  There were Christian influences, in my life; here and there.  I can see how He prevented me from attending those parties, dances, and the like (though, at the time, I greatly desired to frequent them!), that my "friends" attended.  I had already been introduced to many things I ought not have; however, the Lord kept guard over me; and that protection, I see very plainly.
     Although I was handicapped, spiritually, in some ways, I do have to admit:  I had a conscience, and the Spirit within me.  As I said earlier, that night I came to God to save me, through the amazing, redemptive powers of His Son, Jesus Christ, it was as though a light came on inside me, for the very first time.  I could finally see.  Life actually had meaning.
     I can recall times, where God was warning me not to do, or say, or think, certain things.  Many times, I failed to heed His warnings.  All too frequently, I cared more about what my friends (or those of whom I desired a friendship/their good estimation of me), than obeying God.  It was a battle, my friends.
     I remember, so many times, being called a "Miss Goody-Two-Shoes:" by relatives, friends, enemies, and even other professing Christians.  I remember being an oddball.  I remember being told that I did not have to forgive those, who had so greatly wronged me.  I could not understand that thinking, for I had been forgiven much.
     I remember being teased:  "She can't do that:  she's a Christian..."  That was an all-too-familiar, biting phrase, shot out at me.  Oh, how Satan used those revilings, to tempt me to sin against my God!
     As a weak, immature, babe in Christ, I was easily led astray.  Oh, please do not blame my Lord!  He was always faithful to me!  It was I, who was unfaithful to Him.
     Wanting to belong to the groups that had my esteem, I compromised.  What did that compromise give me?  A world of hurt.
     I gave in to the temptations, of which the flesh desired to fulfill.  I was ashamed, and rightly so.  Satan used that shame, to keep me low.  God did not let me stay down for the count, though.




     So many times, God put people in my path, that rerouted my thinking back to Him.  Maybe they would not be highly esteemed in some Christian circles, but they are esteemed in my heart!  They were faithful to point me to the Lord:  caring more for my soul, than many a "Christian" these days.  
     Forever I will be grateful for the Lord's ministry to me, and those fine folks who were faithful to Him, by warning and/or protecting my immature soul.  It takes courage, my friends, to speak up to folks who are erring:  many erring folks do not like being told they are in the wrong.  
     Not just when I was in the wrong, did the Lord send people my way.  He also sought to keep me around believers, who would help strengthen my weaknesses.  They would minister to me, so that I could live.  
     Whenever I seemed to be steady in my walk with Him, Satan was lurking right around the corner:  always a temptation;  always a fear; always a doubt; always trouble.  Satan is good for nothing but heartache.
     He wanted to get in between me and my God.  The God who had became my Father.  The God who was my Saviour, from a devil's Hell!  The God, who was my family!



So, what did I do?  

More times than not, I gave in to his wicked wiles.

And, I wallowed in despair, at my unfaithfulness to my precious Lord.

**Here are the links, to the other parts to this series:

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Am My Father's Daughter, Part 3

REDEEMING THE TIME...



Since I became God's daughter, through Jesus Christ His Son, my life became His to control.  

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:20


I knew that I would no longer "be in control" of my life, when I came to God to save me.  It was worth the cost!



So, what does it mean, to be my Father's daughter?



Well, first, it means I have been bought with a price:  a precious price, that I do not desire to blaspheme, or give cause to blaspheme.  His name is much too precious for such shame. 

     It also means that I am adopted, by the sheer grace and mercy of the Heavenly Father:  who is now my Heavenly Father.  It means that I did not earn it by my good behaviour; but, that He pitied my soul's plight:  He sent His Son to rescue me, showed to me my danger, showed to me the One who could (and would, bless God!) save me, and then willingly redeemed me at my call!
     It means that I now have a high calling.  This calling is not by my choice, my deeds, or anything else of myself.  It is something that was ordained, long before I was ever in existence.  It was a calling, decreed of God so to be, for anyone who would be born again.  That calling is to be an ambassador for Christ.
     It means that my life is not my own, to choose how I see fit to live.  I do not get to chase after dreams, contrary to His wishes.  I do not get to decide how I want to live, then run it by Him for approval.  No, I go to Him, to see what He has already approved, and to receive the grace to live it.
     It means that I have an astoundingly large family, now!  I belong to the family of God.  I have many brothers and sisters, this side of Heaven, all around the world!  I have siblings, awaiting me, up in Glory!  I have an amazing Father, and an incomprehensibly loving Brother.  I have a Creator...Lord...God...who lives in me!  Can you say, "WOW!?"
     It means I have peace:  peace with God, knowing that all is well between us, everlastingly.  I surely did not make things right:  He did.  All I did, was take Him at His Word, seeking that free gift of reconciliation, salvation, and redemption, many years ago; as an ignorant, young girl.

     It means that I do not "fit in" with the world.  Oh, sure, I can try to blend with the world.  I even tried it, for a while.  It does not work.  It is one of the most miserable experiences in my life, as a believer.  It simply is not part of God's designs, or wishes.

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." 
James 4:4



**Here are the links, to the other parts in this series:



Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Am My Father's Daughter, Part 2

God was not about to let my life be wasted!

     I may have been bombarbed by Satanic lies, but Christ is a great deliverer!  He came, and pulled me out of harm's way, where He could tend to my wounds.  He also placed me in a setting, wherein He could see to it that I would mature...finally.
   


     Though there was much pain, at the beginning, I will forever be grateful for the work that had to be done.  All those years ago, when Christ adopted me, I had no idea the depths of His love!  I am still seeking to learn, and grasp it!
     Though He need not do so, time and time again, He proves Himself to me.  Not that I am asking Him to prove Himself.  He, I believe, is showing me how He loves me, as my Father.  He is teaching me that kind of love, that I so desperately needed, and need.  
     He has never disowned me; as I have been disowned, by others.  He has never forsaken me, as others have forsaken me.  He has never abused my heart, as others have abused it.  He has never used me for sick pleasure, as others have.  He has never shown tyranny with me, as have others.  He has never treated me, as I have treated Him; or, how I have treated others.  He has never lost His temper with me, beaten me, lied to me, mocked me...He is showing me, always, amazingly, that I am precious to Him.  What a thought.
     Though I am much older than the girl I was, the night I cried out to Him, I still need my Father.  I always will.  
     I will always need Him.  I cannot live this life, without His steady hand, holding mine.  If I do not keep my sights on Him, as He leads, I will fall by the wayside.  Then, as always, He will have to come and drag me out of the ditch.  Oh, how grateful I am that He does!
     There are times, too many to count, that I give the enemy opportunity to blaspheme God's name.  When I realize what I have done, it grieves my heart.  After all He has done for me:  I return Him in kind, in that way?!
     There are plenty of folks, who are there to remind me, when I err.  Sadly, I have also been on the other end...Just ask Dear.  Despicable of me, I know.  Especially when the Lord would not have me pointing out his mote, whilst I have a beam...And, especially, when I know the pain of pointing fingers.
     Though I fail Him, I am still His child!  The devil would like to convince me that my relationship is contingent upon my behaviour.  However, there is nothing that would separate me from His love!  I do not have liberty, though, to go and behave poorly.  I am carrying His name.

 

     Since learning from great errors of my own, I have been passionate about helping other Christians.  I do not desire to see them, or myself, grow complacent in our relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is worth too much.
     I do not want to be, nor do I want to see my Christian family, flirting with Satan.  Oh, the temptations are strong.  Yet, we have a stronger Lord!
     I have learned, and will always learn, how very much I need to lean upon Jesus.  I have no strength, in and of myself.  I do not care how redundant I am, on this matter:  it is something of which I need reminded, and others need to hear.
     Life on earth, is much too short, to be wasted.  I am all too familiar with wasting my life, instead of redeeming it.  Yet, my desire is to redeem it!



**Missed the first article in this series?  Click the link below, to read it:

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Am My Father's Daughter, Part 1

I was adopted, when I was twelve years old.

I was reborn, into a different family.

I became...

...My Father's daughter...

     Oh, the thoughts stirring inside my mind, at that statement.  How marvelous, how wonderful, is the thought!  Yet, oh, how weighty!
     To even fathom the possibility, that the Creator who was the recipient of my rebellion, would choose to make a way to repair the brokenness between us.  To muse upon the fact, that He sent His perfect, awesome Son, to suffer punishment, for me, so that I could be spared...So I could be adopted into His kingdom...So I could be a child of the LIVING GOD...So I could have a right relationship with Him...So I could be everlastingly clean from my sins...

     Even now, just typing out these thoughts, creates a knot in my throat.  To sit and muse upon just some of the blessings of this adoption, is more than my mind can comprehend!  Amazing grace, indeed!




     I cannot recall much, prior to being born again.  I have memories, but, it is as though they are in a fog.  Some of the reason, I am sure, is due to some of the traumas of that time, and the fact of my age at the time; but, nevertheless, there is a marked difference between the time before my salvation, as well as after it.  There was light within me, whereas before, there was not.
     I remember well, that night.  I may not remember specifics, but this one thing I know.  My life was forever changed!  I knew my life was set on a different path...a special path...I just did not know how it would be.
     I had certain ideas, implanted by the preaching and teaching of my church, at that time.  I also had thoughts, due to others' teachings to me.  Thank GOD, though, that He has been faithful to work on removing the heresies taught to me, that were in my mind!  I thank Him, too, that He reached me, while my mind was still ripe for the picking.
     I cannot speak for you, but, for me.  For me, I remember not ever wanting to commit another sin!  I never wanted to do that which made Christ suffer.  I never wanted to do that which had so angered my God.  
     I wanted to be clean.  I did not want to dirty up the new life given unto me.  I wanted to walk in holiness.

     I knew that my life, was not truly mine:  it belonged to God now.  I had been bought with a price.  That price:  HIS SON.
     Oh, yet how soon I learned, that though my heart was willing, my flesh was not!  I did not understand the conflict.  I did not get a grasp on the war within me, until many years later.  If there had been lessons on it, I do not recall them.
     Because of that war, and my immaturity, many times I yielded to temptation.  Oh, how grieved I was, too!  Yielding to temptation was not how I wanted to treat God!
     Yet, fail Him, I did.  Satan used those failures, to foster a sense of despair and defeat within me.  Too many times to count, I figured I would just stay down, since I had already "messed up."  Yet, time and again, God saw to it, to pick me back up.
     God knew my immaturity.  He knew my background.  He knew me.  He was not willing for me to be wallowing in defeat.
     God was always there for me.  He may have let me learn things; but, He never forsook me.  He always had His grip on me.
     Of course, the devil was not, and still is not, content in my relationship with God.  The Bible is truer than anything I know:  

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 
1 Peter 5:8

So, ever since the night I came to Jesus to save me, I have been on Satan's radar.  

I might have been on Satan's radar, but I was in my Father's hand:

"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." 
John 10:28

     Satan has wanted, more than anything, to keep me from my Lord.  He has wanted to make me useless, for the cause of my God.  He wants me diverted and/or immobilized.
     There was a time in my life, where that very thing happened.  Oh, there have been hiccups, here and there.  Yet, God did not give up on me!
     Many had, or have, given up on me.  Then, there were Satanic lies being shot out at me, trying to get me to believe that God would give up on me.  Oh, the angst!


But God is faithful to finish what He started with me!  




Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Scripture: "3 Heavens And Paradise," by James Knox

     Here is a little something, interesting, to wet your whistle.  Dear and I watched it the other night.  It gave me some things of which to ponder.  If you watch it, care to give me your thoughts?



Friday, August 8, 2014

How Is Your Heart Toward Your Saviour?

     Yesterday morning, I was blessed to listen to a lady's testimony of salvation.  It stayed with me, all throughout the day.  Honestly, after watching it, I do not know how it would not.
     God used her heart, to show me the lukewarmness of mine.  He used this sister's love for Him, to cause me to spend the whole day, talking to Him...Meditating on His Word...Thirsting to go back, to my first love.  For this gift, I thank Christ, and Kristen!

May the Lord soften your hearts, and fill it with a renewed love, as you listen to her marvelous testimony!



The Garden of Gethsemane
Edward Lear

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

W.o.W. Wednesday! & Link-Up

 photo SunPeaksOverCascades.jpg


     Dear and I recently re-watched a documentary about some Amish folks.  Years ago, a friend had referred it to us.  Oh, we are so thankful she did!  We never tire of it!
     Their testimonies are always encouraging, edifying, and convicting, to me.  These people, who were willing to go against their church's tradition and teaching, for the sake of the Gospel, is very moving.  To also see how the family functions, and loves one another/others, is beautiful.
     I pray that you avail yourself of the nearly hour-long documentary.  I dare say, you will not regret it.  Let me know what you think, once you have watched it!





**NEW!  Come join me now, on Wednesdays, and link-up!  Have an article that will encourage us sisters, in the Lord?  Something about homemaking?  How about that delicious, healthy (:D) recipe?  Please, come share!  Don't forget to grab the button, on the lower right side of the page!  Blessed sharing!**

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