Friday, November 25, 2011

I Know That You Are For Me

What a wonderful song from Kari Jobe...God is for us, so faithful and true to always be there for us, on our side, accepting and loving, uplifting and acting on our behalf, carrying and holding, guarding and keeping, comforting and encouraging, delighting and smiling upon us!

Thank You, Lord, that You are for us!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank You, Lord

Thank You, dear Lord, for just being You and for all You are to us!

Thank You, Lord, that You are for us!  Thank You that You are with us!

You always remind us who You are, and who You are is pure love and grace!

You are ever faithful and true to us!

Thank You that Your steadfast, unconditional, loyal love for us endures forever!  It never ends or grows weary of us, never runs out, never gives up on us or turns away from us!

It always hopes, always trusts, always believes, always endures!

Your love never fails!  It never fails us!  It will never fail us for all eternity!

The arms that hold us are everlasting arms that will never fail to be there for us, never fail to catch us when we fall and lift us up again, never fail to embrace us as we are, never fail to carry us through anything and everything, forevermore!

Thank You, Lord, for such love that caused You to reconcile us, save us, adopt us, re-birth us, accept us, uplift us, empower us, befriend us, walk with us, and just be with us for ever and always..

Thank You for Your presence with us, that You fellowship with us, sing over us with joy, and delight in the perfect, intimate union of our spirit with Yours for all eternity!

Thank You, Lord!  All praise to You forever!


Happy Thanksgiving to all, with love from Sparrow!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Secure in Christ 3 - We Have a New Nature

Still pondering the wonder of the new birth and how it shows me I'm secure in my salvation:

Because of the new birth, we are permanently new creations and can't ever go back to the "old man."  We now have, as part of our spiritual DNA, the imperishable divine Life of God.  In fact, we are so united with the life of God that our spirit and His Spirit are ONE.  Being inseparably one with eternal Life like that, we'll never die.  But there's more good news..we have been made new creations with not only the very Life of Christ as our life, but also with the very nature of Christ as our nature!

We have only one nature - Christ's nature.  The old sin nature that we had passed away; all things - ALL things, think of that! - have become new.  So our nature is new, and only new, and the only nature we have is new - it's the nature of Christ Himself, who is our life.  Just as we have the characteristics of our earthly parent, so we have the characteristics of our heavenly Parent - His life, His immortality, His nature!

We have been made "partakers of the divine nature" and this nature is a righteous, holy, loving, good nature.  There is nothing in our new selves, our real selves, that wants to sin.  Our new nature loves holiness, loves God the Father, loves other people, and always wants to do what is right!  That is such a relief to me to know I'm not bad or evil or rebellious against God.  I used to be an enemy of God in my mind, but now my spirit, my true and real self, is a friend and lover of God who always wants to follow His ways.  Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and they know Me, and they follow Me."  Isn't that a comfort, to know we will follow Him?  And why?  Because it is our very nature to do so.  We wouldn't want to do anything else.  When Satan does tempt us and we fall, that is why we feel so bad about our failure - because it's not our nature to want to sin or to do sin!  It's not our nature to fear, doubt God, rebel, be self-centered, or pull away from the Lord!  It's our nature - the very nature of Christ in us - to say "I delight to do Your will."  that is such a comfort to me!

We have a righteous nature, and that's the only nature we have.  So we are fit for heaven because we are righteous with the righteous nature of Christ as our nature!  You can't get any more righteous than that!  And we didn't become that way through our hard work, efforts, or willpower:  we were RE_BORN that way and thus will be permanently that way.  It's just another characteristic we have as new creations!  We're re-born as righteous, not unrighteous, people!  We're newly made as not sinners any longer but as saints.  The sinner man is gone forever and the saint man is here forever.  The saintly, righteous new creation that God has made doesn't want to leave Him, fall away, turn from Him, or walk off and leave Him.

So often I've been afraid that I'd leave God and that I'd lose my salvation.  I didn't see how set in stone my salvation really is - because of the new birth, my nature is wholly changed.  I am now a person who doesn't ever want to leave God!  And that is my permanent condition, because the new birth is a permanent thing that can't be reversed.  So I never have to fear that I'd leave God.  There is a verse in Hebrews 3 that says to see that you don't have an evil and unbelieving heart in departing from God - did you catch that?  People who aren't yet saved have evil and unbelieving hearts.  They have hearts that are rebellious and depart from God.  Believers have have a new heart and new nature!  Our hearts are good and righteous and believing hearts!  Our hearts are not rebellious - we hear Jesus' voice, know Him, and follow Him!  We won't depart from God!  We cling to God and love God with all that we are, and want more than anything to please Him.  So we can rest assured that we won't fall away or walk away or depart from Him.  We really can't go against our very nature, which is the nature of Christ Himself in us.  Christ would never leave God, so neither will we.  Whew!

God showed me a very special promise from His Word that says this very thing.  It is such a comfort ot me:  it's in Jer. 32:40  -  " I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me."  Isn't that wonderful?  God not only promises that He would never turn away from us, He also promises that we will never turn away from Him.  He has given us a new heart that fears (awes, revers) Him and so won't turn from Him, ever, NEVER!  What a relief..

What a wonderful thing that God has wrought in us in the new birth!  It shows me how safe and secure I am as His new creation child!

So we

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Secure in Christ 2 - We are in Union with the One who is Eternal Life!

Here are more thoughts on our new birth and how it shows us just how secure we are in Christ:

" our life" - and He's the only life we have; the old life we had passed away and was ended at the cross, and we are now alive with His life.  "I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me."  Christ is my very life - His divine Life is flowing through my spiritual veins and sustaining me in this life forever and ever, because His life will never end - He is God, eternal, immortal, ever-living for me!

And His Spirit is in me, making me alive in the same way - this is the law of the Spirit, that we are buoyed up in LIFE and have been delivered out of the realm of sin and it's result, death.  Wow!

It is wonderful to think of the very Life that is inside us, and not just dwelling inside us but in actual and real union with our spirits!  Christ Himself is in union with our spirit - His Spirit and our spirit are one!  One!  "He that is joined to Christ is one spirit with Him."  (Some translations just say "one spirit!")  One - that's pretty close!  That means there is absolutely no separation between us and Him. And there never will be any separation between us and Him, because this union is part of the new (and permanent) birth - it is how we were re-made and newly created.  So I am not just a newly made Sparrow - I am now Sparrow-in-Christ!  That is the way I have been newly made and the way I was re-born, and it is a fact of my new creation.  I was created that way, as Sparrow-in-Christ, and that is permanent and how I will always be, because it is the way I was made and born.  Always in Christ and Christ always in me!  Never separated or apart from Him.  Never separated from His life!  I can never be separated from Him, and He is the One who is Eternal Life.  That means I have eternal life forever and that my life is eternal, for my life, the only life I have now, IS Christ!  My spirit is in indissoluble union with Christ's Spirit, and His Eternal Spirit lives forever - thus, so do I!  Where He goes, He takes me with Him - into eternity!  

Safe in His Life!  We can't ever get out of who we are now, who He has re-made us to be!  The new birth has brought us into a whole new permanent existence - Union with Christ - that is out of this world and already into the next world, the world of eternity!  Yes!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Secure in Christ 1 - The New Birth is Irreversible

The miracle of the new birth helps me to see just how secure I am in Christ..

The new birth is irreversible!

It's a historical fact that actually occurred at a point in time.  When we were born again, a new being came into existence that hadn't existed before, and an old being was gone forever.  2 Cor. 5:17 says that we are new creations!  The old is passed away, behold, all things are become new!  The old is passed away and gone - it can't be brought back!  The old us, the dead in sin, self-centered, slave to sin and Satan self is now gone - the old man is dead, buried, and will not ever be seen again.  We can't go back to being that old person because that person has passed away forever.  We can't be a lost person anymore, or a sinner, or a child of wrath or the devil.  The old has passed away!

All things are become new!  We are now and forever a new creation - a new person, a found person, a saint, a child of God!  We are now alive to God in Christ!  We've emerged as wholly new-made creations into a wholly new and eternal realm.  We're on the other side of the "womb" and can't go back to that other place where the old man once existed.  We have been born again, and birth is irreversible and permanent - we can't be unborn!  God says, "I make, and who can unmake it?"  Nobody can!  We are new; we are never old again!

Thus we are safe and secure as babes in God's arms, and we can't lose this wonderful new birth or ever stop being this newly created being He has so beautifully and wonderfully made!

What we've been born of - the substance that we are made of - is of heaven!  It's heavenly and divine material.  We have been born of imperishable seed, indestructible life, eternal life..  We're made with the imperishable Word of God, the very life of God - He is in our spiritual DNA.  That's the make-up of our spirit man.  Our new spirits are made of the eternal life of God, for He is our parent and we are His children, born of God, born from above, born of the Spirit who gives Life!  The Life of God can't be destroyed, and this is the Life that is now ours and what makes up our spiritual cells.  It is the material that we are made of.  We are born of imperishable seed - that means it can't (and therefore WE can't) perish, be destroyed, be lost, or die!

Wow, this thought leaves me feeling so free and happy and secure!  My spirit will live forever, because it has been born of forever material - Divine Life, Life that is imperishable and goes on forever!  That means my spirit is imperishable and unkillable and will go on forever with God!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Secure in Christ - Introduction

I have struggled many times in the past with feeling secure in my salvation and have been afraid that I might lose my salvation somehow.  It seems many other people have these same fears and troubling thoughts at times. 

God has reassured me so often about my security in Him, and I think one of the first benefits I experienced upon learning about His grace was that I am so safe and secure in His hand, and He won't let me go.  He showed me how loving He was because it was He who led me to this place of being receptive to Him and opening my heart to Him, and He will surely "keep" me and take care of my heart and life from now on into eternity.  It was like I could see that it was all part of His over-arching plan, and it wasn't so much up to me to get all my ducks in a row - it was really all up to Him, He had His hand on me, and He would finish what He started in me. 

Learning about grace, and how it's all about His work and not my work, just gave me peace and a sense of relief.  Salvation isn't up to me, it's up to God - that takes the fear out of it that we might fall away..for He is strong and He will hold on to me!  My sins just aren't bigger than God's grace - His grace is bigger every time!  His grace is holding on to me, and that brings such peace and joy. 

I would like in the next few posts to share some things I've come to realize and things I've seen in the Bible that have helped me to know I'm secure in Him forever.  And I hope these thoughts will be an encouragement to anyone who has doubted their security in Christ or been fearful of losing their salvation. 

We are safe in His arms!  We have come to Him and we find rest, blessed rest, for our souls!  Grace is such good news in every way..

Until next time..

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Tale of the Poor Old - I Mean, Wonderful New - Roof! Part 5

 The way God just provided our family with a much needed roof, and for free! - has encouraged me so much!

It has helped my faith so much to see how God prepared me for this whole situation, giving me the verses in Phil. 4:6-7, enabling me not to worry about it, and that He helped me to pray and ask, and that He made faith rise up within me and gave me peace.  And then how it all worked out so perfectly!  God is so good.  I love Him so much!  

This whole thing also helped me to feel God's love for me and my family...At the moment the man told us we were getting a new roof for free, I didn't feel like just one of the millions of people on earth.  I didn't feel like just a number or another nameless human walking through the masses.  I didn't feel like just a little unimportant nobody.  I felt LOVED!  I felt the LOVE of God on our family, and that we are so important to Him and special, without having to be "important" and "special" according to the world!  I felt like we are cherished children in His family, NEVER out of His notice or concern or care!  He cares even about little ole us down here in a little tiny town in middle class America!  It is a miracle of love that He has given us with this roof!  It is such a blessing to know He loves me and my family and we are important to Him.    

Another big thing I got out of this whole experience is just the idea that we aren't less than someone else in God's family - we, along with every other Christian, equally qualify for His blessings just by being His children.  That is such a comfort to me and makes me know I'm not some failed Christian (like I might sometimes feel or like the enemy might sometimes try to tell me) but a fellow heir with all the saints with just as much access to His throne as any believer!  Qualified for the inheritance with every other saint!  Isn't it wonderful that we qualify not by our good works or even perfect faith but by the precious and perfectly sufficient blood of Jesus?    We qualify to receive answers to our prayers, and that means every single prayer - "Call unto Me and I will answer you."  I think that is in Jeremiah 33:3.  We qualify for every spiritual blessing, which is actually already ours, according to Eph. 1:3.  And we can know for sure that God will meet ALL our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19), for we qualify for that provision through Christ!

I think I also learned something about faith.  I'm the kind of person that tends to think I have paltry faith or am weak in faith.  But really, it's all about His perfection and even His perfect faith, not mine - don't you think our faith is really His faith in us rising up, like it says, a fruit of the Spirit in us?   "The life I live, I live by the faith OF the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me."  (Gal. 2:20b)  When I examine my faith, it seems small and weak.  But if I realize I have Him living in me with His faith inside me, then that would mean my/His faith is really quite strong and certainly adequate!  I would rather rely on His faith within me than try to muster up my own! With His faith inside me in infinite and perfect supply, I feel relieved that I AM a person of faith and trust.  Because the faithful and trustworthy One lives in and through me!  Jesus never doubts the Father's word.  He trusts Him perfectly.  And that's the Spirit who lives in me!  It makes faith seem as natural as breathing, with the very Spirit ("pneuma" - Wind or Breath) of God breathing and blowing in me!

Thank You, Lord, for all Your gifts, especially Your wonderful Son who died for us and Your Spirit who lives in us!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Tale of the Poor Old Roof, Part 4

Picking up from where we left off last time:

I was so floored by what happened..I was telling the kids and breaking down in tears, and calling my husband with the wonderful news - I even called the lady at the insurance company that had "rejected" our roof to tell her the good news, and she said the story "made her day."  I just wanted to brag on my Good God, He deserves it so much!

well, the very next day we were having some friends over to hang out with the kids, and I shared our "miracle roof" story with the mom.  She said, you need to call my friend from church - he's a roofer.  She pulled out her phone and called him.  Of course he was in the area and came right over.  Of course he looked at the figure we had to spend and said he could lower his price a little and put on a new roof for that amount.  Of course he re-arranged his schedule so he could start sooner.  

And of course, we had a completely new roof only 2 DAYS after the insurance adjustor handed me the check to pay for it!  Wow!  When God does something, He does it right and well!  Things can seem so impossible, yet what's hard to us is so EASY to God.  Our problems real and they are so terrible.  Yet He is SO big.  My Daddy-God can do anything!

I love how He gave us this roof, and it was a complete grace gift.  I wasn't praying long prayers and fasting and believing for a roof.  I wasn't having the most spiritual walk of my life right now.  I wasn't going out winning souls daily for Christ or having some amazing ministry or anything.  We got something for FREE that we didn't deserve, and that's the beauty of grace:  you don't have to be worthy of the gift!  The Giver gives because He loves us, because that's who He is, GRACE,  and He gives based on His love and His worthiness and the worthiness of His Son and His Son's work!  I love Him so much!

To be continued..
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14