Journey of Faith: Day 14

 

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Day 14: Dare to Believe You Were Not Created to Be Enough in Yourself

 

You may have family, you may have friends, you may be in a relationship that leaves you feeling like you are not enough. If they cannot accept you flaws and all, then you are not enough for them. And let me tell you, you will never be enough for them.

But there is One who we are enough for. He sent His one and only Son to die a horrible, painful death for you. He loves you, He cares for you, more than anyone on this Earth could do. He knows your deepest, darkest secrets; the sins you think are hidden, well they’re not hidden from Him. He knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before they’re spoken, yet He is waiting patiently for you with open arms. He welcomes you home every time, again and again, knowing full well that you’ll mess up time and time again. See to Him, you are enough, just as you are flaws and all. And nothing we ever do could change that fact.

 

“Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent* in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

(2 Corinthians 3:4-6)

 

“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.”

(2 Corinthians 3:12)

 

“Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the LORD’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the LORD, who is the Spirit.”

(2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

 

“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your LORD.”

(Psalm 45:11)

 

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

(Psalm 34:4-5)

 

*competent: having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/competent

 

 

 

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Journey of Faith: Day 13

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Day 13: Dare to Surrender to the Process of Change

 

No one became who they are today without first going through various trials and obstacles. Neither can you become the person you want to be without first facing your fears and ridicule of this world and maybe even those you love. Is the process worth it? Absolutely!

The greatest leaders, the Christians we look up to and admire, the disciples, even Jesus faced adversity and hardship along their journey. They didn’t give up, they powered through, they leaned on and depended on God for the strength to keep pushing forward. They kept their eyes on the prize, the ultimate goal. Were they discouraged at times? Of course. Did they cry out and complain? Some more than others. But they would not be the people they are today if their lives had taken a much easier course. Everything they faced molded and shaped their character and they came out stronger because of it. The same God that carried them through will also carry us through, and He is waiting to receive us when we reach the finish line.

 

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

(Psalm 34:5)

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

(Psalm 91:14-16)

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

(Galatians 2:20)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

(Hebrews 12:1-2)

Journey of Faith: Day 12

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Day 12: Dare to Believe You Are God’s Treasure and of Great Value to God

 

Where do you place your value and worth? Is it the clothes you own, the car you drive, the size of your house, job status? Do you hold these higher than the person you are, the person you could become? God made each of us unique and with a purpose. How do you think he feels when he sees you placing all your worth on material possessions and trying to please other people? My guess is it makes Him sad, disappointed even. God who formed you and created you, gave you everything, and gives eternal life.

Until we believe that our worth lies in the hands of our Heavenly Father, we will live the rest of our lives trying to please those who cannot truly give us what we so long after. No matter what your boyfriend/girlfriend says, no matter the money in your bank account, you will feel lost and lonely in the end if that is who and what you are living this life for. Living our life for the One who created it will bring us joy, confidence, comfort, and eternal life with Him.

 

“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”

(Deuteronomy 7:6)

“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

(Isaiah 46:3-4)

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

(Colossians 1:16-17)

“You have searched me, Lord,     and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise;     you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down;     you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue     you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before,     and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,     too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,     your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me     and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you;     the night will shine like the day,     for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place,     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body;     all the days ordained for me were written in your book     before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, aGod!     How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,     they would outnumber the grains of sand—     when I awake, I am still with you.

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!     Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent;     your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,     and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them;     I count them my enemies. Search me, God, and know my heart;     test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,     and lead me in the way everlasting.”

(Psalm 139)

Journey of Faith: Day 11

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Day 11: Dare to Live No Longer for Self

I, like many of you at one point, created a five-year plan for myself. I believed that I would graduate in four years, land my dream job, make good money, and be able to settle down and buy a house. What I didn’t know at the time was that God had something else in mind. Something totally and completely different. After changing majors a few times, it didn’t take me four, but six years to graduate college. I had to move back home for several months, due to not finding a job too quickly after graduation in anything much related to my degree. After working a very stressful job in mostly sales, a career not up my alley by any means, for a year I did finally land my dream job as a nutritionist. I still do not have a house, and instead I am sharing an apartment with my sister, but I would not have it any other way right now.

When we make five year plans, who are we making them for? I believe that we look at everyone else around us and compare our lives to them, what they do and accomplish, and base our life around what we perceive as the “normal” standard of living. Deep down we do this to please ourselves and to please our peers, maybe even make them a little jealous. We forget that we are not in control of our life, but that each one is mapped out in the hands of God. You make think you know what’s best and what you need to do to get from point A to point B, but there’s going to be some bumps along the road, maybe even a few pits or standstills, circumstances and situations out of our control. Remember who formed you, who made you unique and special, the One who knows the number of tiny hairs on our head. He’s in control and He will bless you with more than you thought possible if you have a little faith and trust in His almighty power. This quote from Oswald Chambers that I took from the book puts it into perspective. He writes, “Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we will take this view, life will become one great romance – a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.”

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

(Galatians 2:20)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

(John 10:10-11)

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

(1 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Journey of Faith: Day 10

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Day 10: Dare to Guard Your Thoughts and Fill Your Mind With Good
It’s so easy today to fill our minds with negative thoughts and fuel our negative emotions. Social media, while it can be good, can plant deep roots of negativity in our minds everyday. With Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and others on the rise, self-esteem and self-confidence have plummeted. We see a picture of someone that we know has been enhanced, filtered, distorted in some way to capture the perfect selfie and our thoughts immediately turn negative toward ourselves, the way we look and how we feel. One minute we may be feeling good about ourselves and our accomplishments, but the minute we log-on those go out the window.
I had to take a hard look at how I was spending my time and what was fueling my thoughts. I was beginning to see how negative Facebook could be for me. I was literally so drained by it and I knew something needed to be done. I wiped it completely clean, not just deactivation, but I deleted my entire account. For two months I went without it, and it felt amazing, freeing really. I no longer felt pulled or controlled by it. I didn’t feel this need or even a want to log back on and see what I had missed. During that time I also paid more attention to how it affected those around me. They may not admit it, but I can see how easily it fuels their doubts. To be honest, it’s a little scary.
While I am back on Facebook now, my only reason for getting back on is to keep in touch with distant friends and keep up with updates going on in my home congregation; those who are sick, need prayers, need help in class, etc. Starting it back up this time around I was very hesitant. I still don’t feel the need to scroll through my news feed like I used to and I’m not stressed if I skip a day or two of not being on. I am not saying that all social media is bad, because it can definitely be used for great things. We all need to be careful of where our minds go, the kind of thoughts we have, what is fueling those thoughts, and is it pleasing to God. As soon as a negative thought enters, think of something or someone your grateful for. Thank God in prayer right then. Fill your mind with beautiful scripture of God’s love, compassion, and mercy. Know that He created each of us unique and with a purpose all our own.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
(Colossians 3:2)
 
“But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side…From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”
(Psalm 3:3-6,8)
 
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
(Romans 8:6)
 
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
 
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
(Philippians 4:8)