Not Too Good


We are never too good to do God’s will in His kingdom. When the musician steps down from the platform to serve food, and preacher comes out from behind the pulpit to scrub sinks, we have seen a genuine show of God’s kind of humility. Every role is significant to Him, not one more important than the other.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)

The Power of a Choice

 

choice

As many choices as we face every day, we often forget that we’re not the only one who has had to make them.  God has also been faced with choices – one especially that will impact us for eternity.  Though our choices might be based on our needs and desires, God’s choice was based on love.

The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Deuteronomy &:7-8)

Though this was written for the children of Israel, that same promise of acceptance has been passed on to us through the sacrifice of Jesus (Romans 1:16).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6)

Without God’s decision to choose us, we would be lost in our sin and hell-bound.  Gratefully, out of His great love came a choice to pay the ultimate price so we could be right with God.  Rather than selfishly leaving us floundering without hope, God made a way to spend eternity with Him.  No greater choice has ever been made!

 

Choosing Our God

God’s choice isn’t the end of all decision-making, however.  God then challenges us with a choice of our own.  Will we serve Him or someone or something else?

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Though God’s choice to choose us was the very first and greatest choice to be made in history, our choice for our lives is the second most important. Notice that this verse says “choose for yourselves.”  God can’t make the decision for us.  Our spouse and friends can’t make it for us.  We have to make the choice.  God’s desire is that we, like Joshua, will will to serve the Lord.

(If you’ve never received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and would like to make that choice today, please see the “Prayer for Salvation” tab at the top of the page.)

 

Choosing Our Lifestyle

The list of choices doesn’t end there, as much as we’d like it to.  God also has a specific plan for our lives that we have the choice to follow or reject.  It comes in the form of “bearing fruit” as a testimony of what God we serve.  It is proof to the world and to God that we have genuinely accepted the sacrifice He made to choose us.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)

“Fruit” manifests in our lives in many forms, the greatest being our spiritual growth as we follow Jesus day in and day out.  They are the signs of a true disciple:

  1. Choosing to obey God in every decision we make rather than following our own plans.
  2. Choosing to live a life of integrity rather than following the world’s example of poor character.
  3. Choosing to walk in love rather than living selfishly.
  4. Choosing to follow our spirit rather than following the desires of our flesh.
  5. Choosing to reach out to the world with Gospel rather than keeping it to ourselves.

 

Choosing Our Blessings

Bearing fruit precedes receiving “whatever we ask for” (see also John 15:7) Once we make the above choices and live them, it opens the door to the blessings God always desired we have!  They are part of our inheritance as children of God.

“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14)

Once again, though, it’s our choice to receive these blessings.  They don’t just enter our lives because we want them.  Just like we had to choose to believe Romans 10:9-10 to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must believe the rest of God’s Word. We must choose to believe God’s blessings exist, choose to believe God wants us to have them, and choose to act as if they are true.  This is what a life of faith looks like:

  1. Choosing to believe it is God’s will to heal us (Isaiah 53:5).
  2. Choosing to believe God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19).
  3. Choosing to believe God will protect us from evil (Psalm 91).
  4. Choosing to believe God will bring peace in chaos (John 14:27).
  5. Choosing God will give us the desires of our hearts as they are in His will (Psalm 37:4).

 

Choosing Our Ending

Unfortunately, we live in a world that consistently does not make the right choices.  They base their decision-making on their feelings and needs.  Often the choices are inspired by a whim that momentarily looks gratifying.  They are made on temptations planted by the devil to destroy their lives.  The result is heartache, frustration, and disillusionment.

It may not seem like it at the moment, but each choice we make is a choice of life or death.  It extends to choosing life or death spiritually, to life and death in relationships and finances.  Whatever the choices we make, our lives are a result of those choices.  Consider what would be the result of not making the choice to receive Jesus as Savior, rejecting the lifestyle of a Believer, and disbelieving the goodness of God?

However, when making choices based on the unfailing Word of God, the result will not be death and cursing.  It will be life and blessing.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live . . . (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Life is a result of making godly choices!  We all want life, but it does come at a price.  It first came at the price of Jesus’ life, but it also comes with price of laying down our personal preferences and choices, and making God our only choice.

. . . that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:20)

Let’s be a people that consistently chooses to love, obey, and cling to our God!

 

How to Overcome Self-Consciousness

self-consciousness

Now begins the crazy schedule leading into June!  Writing my normal blog once a week is going to be a little more challenging with a week of our church’s SuperKids Camp, family vacation, and appointments filling the weeks.   So I’ve decided to share an article on one of my favorite subjects.  It’s written by Kenneth Copeland, an internationally known minister of the Bible.  If you struggle with self-consciousness, please read below!

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I can’t go in there dressed like this—what will people think?

I can’t stand up in front of all those people and speak—what if I make a fool of myself?

When was the last time the “spotlight” got uncomfortably close to you and you just couldn’t go through with what you were supposed to do because you felt self-conscious, inadequate or just simply afraid?

Maybe you held back because of the color of your skin. Maybe you held back because of your lack of education or lack of confidence.

Whatever the reason, know this: What the world refers to as self-consciousness, the Bible calls fear.

That’s right, being embarrassed—or being self-conscious—is just a form of selfishness that is fear-based.

Now what should we do with any kind of fear?

Resist it.

God’s Heart-Sighted Vision

Romans 9:33 assures us that “whosoever believeth on [Jesus] shall not be ashamed.” Jesus already bore all our shame and reproach. Therefore we have nothing to be embarrassed about.

Besides, 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Think about it. Have you ever had the sense that God was looking at you in displeasure because you were not dressed right?

Certainly not.

Did you ever get the feeling that God had given up on you because you were born into the wrong family, or on the wrong side of town?

Absolutely not!

God never treats us as though we are third-class citizens.

No, God always looks on the heart of man. He always looks at the heart of the matter. Your clothes, your abilities, your past—your anything—do not affect God’s love for you. Your appearance or performance has no bearing on His love.

Consequently those “outward appearances” that are limited to this natural realm should have no bearing on you. Here’s what I mean.

A few years ago one of our teenage granddaughters had to attend a formal occasion at her school. And, oh, was she ever dressed up. She had her formal gown, her high-heel shoes and everything. She was beautiful.

Well, earlier that day before she went to this function, she and her mother, our daughter Kellie, stopped off at a store to take care of an errand.

When they drove into the parking lot, Kellie said, “Now, sweetheart, if this bothers you to go in the store all dressed up like this in the middle of the afternoon, you can just wait for me in the car while I run in.”

“Why, Mama,” she said, “what difference does it make to me if I’m the best-dressed person in the store?”

And out of that car she came without giving it another thought. And why not? She wasn’t embarrassed.

Here was a teenage, high-school girl—who was about to “stand out” in the crowd in a very obvious way—yet she wasn’t a bit self-conscious or upset about the situation.

Why?

She had no fear in her. She had been raised to recognize all fear and immediately resist it, giving it no place.

The Resist-Desist Maneuver

Perhaps the most important truth to remember about fear is that Satan is fear himself.

What’s more, Satan does everything he can to keep fear involved in our lives because that’s the only entrance he has into us. Fear is the only way he has of getting a foothold in our lives. It is the connector to darkness.

But what does James 4:7 promise us where the devil is concerned?

If we resist him, he will flee from us.

The reason fear—the devil—is quick to bow down and back out when the Name of Jesus and the blood of the Lamb are thrown in his face is found in Hebrews 2:14-15: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

In other words, Jesus took on human flesh that He might destroy Satan—who previously had the power of death—and thereby deliver us from the fear of death which is actually the root of all fear.

Second Timothy 1:10 tells us that Jesus once and for all abolished death. So, with death out of the way, we have absolutely no need to be afraid. By Jesus going to the cross and plundering all of hell, we can now live totally free from every fear…the fear of flying, the fear of heights, the fear of going hungry, the fear of public speaking, the fear of “what people might think.” All of it!

But, again, that’s only part of the work. It’s up to us to enforce our deliverance by resisting the devil—fear—in every situation. It’s up to us to flush out all fear from our lives by truly receiving the fact that God loves us, which is explained in 1 John 4:16-18:

We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

The key to flushing out all fear is not just “knowing” that God loves you, but also “believing” that He loves you.

You see, the more you meditate on the Word of God concerning love, the more the truth of that love fills you. And the more love fills you, fear has no place to go but out. We don’t “deal with fear” or “cope with it.” We eradicate it.

Resist fear—resist the devil—then begin developing the love of God in every area of your life.

Remember, hurt feelings, self-consciousness and embarrassment are all just forms of fear. And, really, it’s nothing more than others finding out that you are not perfect.

But we already knew that, right?

Keep in mind that what really matters is that burning, white-hot love God has for you, the love that causes Him to do everything He does…just for you.

The next time you start feeling a little self-conscious or embarrassed, remember the love. Get your mind off yourself and over on God’s thoughts, His thoughts of love for you.

Courtesy of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, kcm.org.