Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Filling Our Needs: Ephesians 3:14-19

Identifying our shortcomings should help to clarify our needs. We need resources, inner strength, love, direction, and power. And we don’t just need these things once, we need them to be replenished constantly because it seems that we keep running out.

The apostle Paul prayed, “From his [God’s] glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you . . . experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. . . . Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16-19; 5:17-18).

The words made complete and filled in these passages mean “to fill up completely” or “to make full.” The verb tense used indicates that this is an ongoing process—we are to be made complete and filled up continually. True recovery only comes as we find a way to fill up the needs in our lives. Wherever we are short, God has the resources, love, direction, strength, and power to meet our needs. We can invite the Holy Spirit to fill us up every day.

God’s love reaches into every corner of our experience.

NewLife Ministries

Monday, May 17, 2010

John 2 - Three Things

What is God like?

God himself is present in all things. He takes an interest in the predicament of the poor (they ran out of wine). He works miracles with water, the very element of life. He not only changes water into wine, but He changes it into the very BEST wine, the choicest of vintages.

He also demands respect for His house, and will physically drive out and reprimand those who take His house for granted.

He refuses to perform on command, given by unbelievers, but rather still offers promises that He fulfills in the fullness of time.

He does not need a man's testimony or confession because he already knows a man, inside and out.

What needs to change in me to be more like Him?

Sometimes I have a really hard time realizing or at least, making it part of my every day living reality that He really is present in all things, every little thing. I have no trouble realizing that He is present in the big things, for some reason that's not an issue for me. I feel that it's probably the same for a lot of people, too. But for me, I really have issues with living with the daily awareness that He is literally IN all things, present, always.....

What will I do for Him today?

Today I will be more aware of His presence in all of the little things.....

John 1 - Three Things

What is God like?

God IS everything, IN everything, always there. God is LIFE. God is LIGHT. God is the giver of a second childhood that blesses and uplifts, that does not condemn. God is full of grace and truth, the truth that shines deep within and illuminates from the inside out. God is glorious. God gives one blessing after another, we cannot begin to count them all. God is manifest in our lives, God has taken away the sin of the world, God made Himself the sacrificial Lamb in order to take away that sin. God calls out those who He wants a personal relationship with, persistent. God renames us in His glory and discernment. God sees us, even when we do not see Him.

What needs to change in me to be more like Him?

Sometimes I am condemning of myself, and that translates into having a condemning heart towards others, even if I don't say it, it comes across in my spiritual flavor. I can accept that God does not condemn me, which increases my acceptance of myself, and automatically allows for acceptance of others.

What will I do for Him today?

Today I will focus on being a reflection of His light. Today, I will close my eyes and embrace the image of His illumination shining out of every pore. Today, I will accept myself, and in turn embrace acceptance towards others.

Ephesians, Three Things

There are three chapters that I have done so far in Ephesians. I share this specific book every Friday with a friend in North Carolina; we each do the reading/questions on our own, then we read each other's posts and comment. It's fantastic because what comes up is almost always something different for each of us, and yet when we read the other, so many more dots are connected for us. It just feels as if God is SO moving us, asking us to contemplate things of His nature, and bringing it back to SPECIFICS. It's fine and dandy to talk in lofty terms, but the real trick is bringing it to the specifics.... that, I feel, is where real change begins to happen!!!

What is God like?

He blesses us

He chose us before the beginning of time

He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters of Christ

He forgives us

He has grace towards us

He has a purpose for us

He has sealed us to Him for all eternity

He gives us wisdom in Him and knowledge in Him

He gives us hope

What needs to change in me to be more like Him?

I am not always a believer in God's grace towards me; I do not always believe that God has a purpose for me.

I need to believe in God's grace towards me. In believing more fully in God's grace towards me, I feel that I will be better able to have grace towards others. I can be very judgmental when I think someone could be doing something more efficiently, or if my way works really well for me, but I don't extend them the courtesy of letting them do it their own way. My way is the best way. Ha, right! My life shows EXACTLY how well my way works!!!!!

I need to believe that God has a purpose for me. I always thought my 'purpose' was to be a helper's mate to my husband. I always believed that I would be like a lioness, doing the dirty work and the rearing of children, all that stuff, if only I had a male to come around and help out when things got REALLY tough and I couldnt' do it all by myself [being faced down by a pack of starving hyenas, for example].... Kinda silly I know, but I've ALWAYS prided myself on my work ethic and my sense of 'can do!' and I've always felt that I was meant to be a workhorse for my husband because dammit, I'm capable and what man WOULDN'T want a wife who was as capable as I am!? Guh. Talk about OVERFUNCTIONING. I need to turn MY WILL over to God, to realize that HIS PURPOSE doesn't necessarily mean it's the same thing as MY purpose. God knows what He has in store for me, I need to stop planning and overfunctioning, and DROP THE BALL so that God can PICK IT UP.

What will I do today for Him?

Today I will stay in the Word! Today I will practice believing in God's grace towards me. Today, I will practice believing in God's purpose and will in my life. That means, letting go of planning. Open handed through each day! Not white-knuckling through the day!

What is God like?

He makes us alive like we never were before.

He is rich in mercy.

He loves us as no one on this planet can possibly love us, truly 100% unconditionally.

He shows us his grace through his loving-kindness towards us, in his sacrifice.

He gifts us with these things, not because we are worthy or deserve them, but because He loves us that much, that He would give us His all.

He is peace.

He has broken down walls that keep us separate.

He has built us a home where we are always welcome.

He has built a home inside us, too, so that we are inhabited by His spirit.

What needs to change in me to be more like Him?

I am not nearly as merciful as I could be. Tonight on my way home from hanging out with BS crew I started rehashing conversations in my head--conversations that were completely fictional, conversations btwn my ex and myself, where I confronted him with his insanity and his clear illogic, his clear narcissism. I am not feeling merciful. I am feeling wrathful and full of judgment and holier than thou-ness.

I could honestly try to love MYSELF unconditionally. I usually tried to love everyone else but me unconditionally, but it never worked out right because I honestly was operating with a hidden agenda, one I was not even aware of. This agenda comes from not loving MYSELF unconditionally, of not accepting nor simply loving, who I am, where I am, AS I AM.

I will continue to tear down the walls that separate me from Him Most High.

What will I do today for Him?

Today, I will not stand in His way, in loving me, in accepting me, in giving me the gifts which He so much wants to give me. Today, I will accept in grace.

What is God like?

He gives grace, as a gift.

He has revealed the mystery of the Son through His Spirit.

He shares the promise of Christ with us.

He works within us, using His holy power.

He created all things on heaven and on earth.

God is wisdom.

He is our Lord; through faith in Him He allows us to approach with confidence and true freedom.

He gives us confidence and freedom.

He strengthens our inner being, our soul, with His power, with the Holy Spirit.

He inhabits our hearts.

He has sown us as seeds with ultimate love, showering us with His love and blessing.

He fills us to the brim, full to bursting, with all that is Him Most High.

He can do everything and anything, far more than we can ever imagine or want.

He works His power within us.

What can I change to be more like Him?

Submit more fully to the Father's wisdom.

Walk with ever-increasing strength full of the knowledge of His love, and His blessing.

Be more willing to talk about my faith with others, regardless of their walks of life, or the constraint of situations .

What will I do for Him today?

Today I will praise Him for having the patience to wait for me!

Today I will praise Him for having the utmost love for me!

Today I will pray to Him, giving Him those three things that have been weighing on my heart the past few days.

Today, I will talk to someone about His remarkable presence and love, through which He rescued a scared young woman and gave incredible freedom and ever-gaining confidence!