May I See Your ID?

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”

This is an amazing promise in God’s word, so packed full of hope and expectation. Some of us may say, ok God if we have everything we need then why isn’t our life everything we imagined it would be with you?  Could it be that our expectations have been in ourselves and other people instead of in God and now we are disillusioned or confused or depressed or we are still hanging on tight trying to ‘make’ our life work?

In Susie Larson’s Your Beautiful Purpose, this line jumped out at me, ” Movement doesn’t change us, soul engagement does.” She was talking about how churches are filled with sincere Christians who consistently come to church and volunteer etc, in other words ‘look the part’ but when you look up close nothing changes in their character. The difference she says is engagement, ” God’s work through us is directly proportionate to His work within us. And He’ll only work in us to the extent that we give Him access to our soul and permission to change us. Either we humble ourselves, admit our daily need for more of His life and influence within us (and we’re beautifully changed in the process) or we continue to show up at church, look the part, and miss out on the absolute miracle of life transformation.” POW!

That was just one paragraph, needless to say this book is kicking my butt in a good way. Her perspective goes along with the teachings God has been showing me through Graham Cooke. It is all about identity. If we operate from the position of knowing who we are in Christ then our response is from what He has done in us.  We will serve, live and give from the life giving power of God at work in us, not out of obligation or our own goodness or an attempt to please people.

In Christ we receive our identity, we don’t create it as the we do in the world. We are made in the image and likeness of God. When a man is asked to describe himself, he typically responds by saying what he does for work, a woman typically identifies herself through relationships, like she is a wife or a Mom, or a friend etc.  Are we all of these things? Yes, but the loss of these kinds of identities can be devastating. A man losing a job for example or the last child moving out or a friend betraying us can rock our world if we are rooted in those temporary identities. God gives us our new identity immediately when we choose Jesus as our Saviour and from that point on, God’s perception of us is through the lens of our perfect Saviour. He saw the old us die on the cross with Christ. Our new identity is based in Him.

God did not choose us because we are good, but because He is good. We need to start there. He loves us. Period.

One exercise that Graham Cooke gave with his sermon was to make a list of all the things that hold you back, the lies you believe about yourself, the things keeping you from your destiny. Then number these things and on another piece of paper put the opposite word or words to each one of those words. Then with every one of the new words write a blessing or a scripture and those will be your new promises. Now burn the old list. Mine had 24 and I am working through the promises, slowly changing the old beliefs and lies to the truth of how God sees me. This exercise will help you to see how you are seen in heaven and to walk out what God has for you and in essence for others. As I heard the other day, we are healed so that we may serve. Luke 4: 38,39

If someone says May I see your ID? How would you respond right now? Who does God say you are? His identity is the one that will count for eternity.

http://www.wateroflifecc.org/media/sermon/key-to-personal-breakthrough

– this is the link to the Graham Cooke sermon I referred to and you can click on download the notes on that link to see the full exercise.

 

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The Lord is Gentle

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4,5

I was challenged recently to ask God what aspect of His nature does He want to show me. One day as I sat in my swing in the backyard on a sweet summer day, the word I felt impressed on my spirit was Gentleness. I realized as I sat down to type up an entry about my friends, that spending time with Cheryl was one way He revealed this aspect of His nature to me. Verse 5 above, let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near, is an excellent description of how she lives her life. I am blessed to call her my friend.

Our family had the privilege and blessing to host Cheryl and her husband and four children last week. They are genuinely one of the most selfless families that we know. We delighted in their stories and being able to love them and their children. They have been missionaries in Maun, Botswana for the past six years. Their youngest two children were born there. Keith is a pilot for Mission Aviation Fellowship – MAF and they have just signed on for another 4 year term.

Their journey in Africa has been bittersweet but so full of amazing fruit for God’s Kingdom. In the early months of their ministry, tragedy struck and their 20 month old son Johnathan died in a drowning accident. This story still crushes my mother heart but also amazes me with the wonder of how God can turn things that were meant for evil into good for those who love Him. As Cheryl conveys a parents’ worst nightmare of losing a child, God’s peace settles over her to speak of the fruit God has brought from such a tragic event.

Johnathan’s Seeds ministry was birthed during this time. Friends and family who mourned and prayed with them from near and far sent money instead of flowers and this started the funding for Johnathan’s Seeds. One ministry stream from this fund has been a kid’s club that meets after the homeschooling is finished and the children have napped. Children from the neighborhood gather in a shed on their property and Cheryl and the older children share the gospel and the love of Jesus to these precious children. This is just one way that Keith and Cheryl have been able to minister to others through Johnathan’s Seeds.

There have been many other stories that have risen out of the Kowalski’s serving in Africa and it is truly a blessing to support our friends in this ministry that they do. It is one more way we can partner with Jesus to be His hands and feet as He moves in the world. You never know the impact that a bible or a box of crayons can have on those who have next to nothing. I encourage you to check out their story in the links below and if God has spoken to your heart about giving to this ministry, know that it will not be wasted. Please don’t hesitate to give generously in any way you can, every little bit counts.

I challenge you also to sit quietly with God and ask Him to show you what part of His nature He wants to reveal to you. Then sit back and enjoy His faithfulness in showing off that part of Himself to you. If you want, please share what that is for you in a comment. I would love to pray for you. 🙂

https://mafc.org/missionarypages/kowalski/

http://kowalski-altimeter.blogspot.ca/