Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

 

“We are all God’s Children.” Over the years I have heard people use this phrase to attempt to position themselves, or others, in the family of God. Their logic is that God created every person, so we must be His children. It always bothered me a bit, but I never felt I could dispute their logic….until now.

The thought that ‘we are all God’s children’ is a nice one. It makes for warm, fuzzy feelings in the heart; a bit like sitting around a campfire singing ‘Kumbaya’. The problem is that it is not Scriptural. So, today I want us to consider three reasons why we are NOT all God’s children.

 

Three Reasons Why We Are NOT All God's Children

 

Relationship

The basic assumption in the ‘we are all God’s children’ theology is that God created all of us, so we must be His children. To be someone’s child assumes a parent-child relationship. It also assumes that one of two things happened: the child was either born into the family, or they were adopted.

In the Old Testament, God had children. Those children were the nation of Israel. He was their God, and they were, for better or worse, His people. Only when an outsider believed in the God of Israel were they taken into, or adopted into, God’s family, i.e. Ruth, Rahab.

In the New Testament, and going forward, the Jewish people rejected God’s Son Jesus. In doing so, they set themselves outside of God’s family. From the time of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the only way to be part of God’s family, or to be His child, has been to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life. Jesus made this crystal clear in John 14:6 when He said that no one comes to God except through Him. Hebrews 2:11 also speaks to the issue of God’s family.

First, there must be a relationship in order to be God’s child.

Spirit

At the moment you ask Jesus to be your Savior and to forgive you of your sins, the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of Christ, comes to live within you, and He never leaves you. He is the seal, or guarantee, of your salvation.

Romans 8:9 (ESV) is the verse that spoke clearly to me on this issue of being a child of God. Paul is seeking to clarify what qualifies a person as belonging to God. Consider this verse:

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Also consider Romans 8:14 which tells us that anyone who is a child/son of God is led by the Spirit.

Second, in order to be God’s child, you must have His Spirit living within you.

Obedience

As a child, I was highly motivated to be obedient to my parents because I did not want the Bolo paddle applied to my backside. Other times, my motivation came simply from a heart of love toward my parents. Either way, as their child, I was expected to be obedient.

God expects no less from His children. He has set forth His commands in Scripture, and He expects His children to know the expectations and follow them. They are for our good because He knows what we need. He is not some cosmic judge just waiting to zap us when we are bad. He loves His children and wants them to be the recipients of His best for them. That best comes when we are obedient to His Word. (John 14:23-24, John 15:10, Romans 8:7, and 1 John 5:3)

Third, God’s children must be willing to be obedient to His commands in Scripture…..all of them.

I believe Scripture is clear that only those who are adopted into His family through the saving work of Jesus are God’s children.

Have you made sure that you are ‘one of God’s children’ by accepting Jesus as Lord? 

What are your thoughts about this issue? 

SDG/FCA!!

Want to read more in this “Lies We Believe” series? Click the links below:

I Just Can’t Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

 

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

Thursday Thoughts ~ 2.7.19

Our Thursday Thoughts quote is one that I have pondered often, given its author and the circumstances surrounding his death. Let me give you the quote, then I will share a brief story about the author of the quote.

 

Thursday Thoughts 2.7.19

In 1956 Jim Elliot and four other Christian missionaries attempted to share Jesus with the Auca Indian tribe (Operation Auca), located in Ecuador. All five young men knew the dangers of what they were doing because no outsider had ever survived making contact with this tribe of people. Yet, they all agreed that the only way for outside people to ever be able to have contact with the Aucas was to introduce them to Jesus.

For several weeks, pilot Nate Saint flew an airplane over the area where the Aucas lived and dropped gifts and supplies from the plane to them. The missionaries also used a loud-speaker to voice friendly Auca words to the tribe.

The time came for the men to attempt to make contact with the people of the Auca tribe. Their first attempt was successful and they visited with a man and two women. They ate a meal with the Indians and Saint took the man for a ride in the plane. The missionaries encouraged these three to bring others to meet them.

After several days of waiting offshore, the men saw two Auca women appear on the beach. The men began to approach the beach, but quickly realized they had been ambushed. The Auca warriors that appeared behind the women used spears to kill all five of the men.

Eventually, Jim Elliot’s widow, Elisabeth, her daughter, Valerie, and Rachel Saint, sister of Nate returned to the island, made friends with the Aucas and lived among them. Many were brought to faith in Christ and missionaries live among the Aucas (now known as the Waodani tribe) to this day.

Books were written and two movies were made about Operation Auca. Elisabeth Elliot authored a book and made the movie, Through Gates of Splendor. The other movie, End of the Spear, based on a book by the same name that was written by Steve Saint, was released in 2005.

Now that you know the story behind the quote, what are your thoughts about what Elliot said?

SDG/FCA!!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

I am offering Amazon links to Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor and Steve Saint’s, son of Nate, book entitled End of the Spear for your reading pleasure.

Fighting Fear With Faith

In 1996 my husband, Greg, and I were in transition. He was opening his first dental practice in a town about 25 miles from where we were living. We were living in the condominium I had purchased as a single girl and the impracticality of staying in the condo was obvious to both of us.

We listed my condo for sale and found a home to purchase that was one mile from his practice. We put a contingency contract on the home and prayed my condo would sell in time to purchase the new home. Soon, we were presented with a contract from a couple (aka Couple A) wanting to buy my condo. CELEBRATE!

 

Fighting Fear With Faith

 

Oh, but wait! The contract on my condo was contingent on the sale of Couple A’s home. We also learned that there was a contract (Couple B) on Couple A’s home that was also a contingency contract.

Every one of these contingency contracts had to go through perfectly and without a hitch in order for us to buy the home near Greg’s practice. Oh, there’s more. Every one of these contracts was set to close within 14 hours of each other. My anxiety and fear were at earthquake levels.

Recently I spent a week in Psalm 56 and HOLY MOLEY!! It is powerful. Psalm 56 offers us a picture of King David in a predicament of earthquake proportions. He has been captured by the Philistines and imprisoned in their country. He doesn’t know if he will live or die. He is fighting fear and desperation in his heart throughout the early verses of this Psalm, yet there is also hope and trust. Please click this link to read the Psalm or read it in your Bible. Don’t pass over the blessing you will receive by reading it thoughtfully and prayerfully.

David was in a mess and he was frightened and fearful. Yet, if you will look carefully at this Psalm you will discern that David was preaching faith to his heart. Go back and read the Psalm, breaking the verses into these sections:

  • 1 and 2 – I’m in a mess and I’m afraid
  • 3 and 4 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 5 through 7 – I’m in a mess and I want them to pay for what they have done to me
  • 8 through 11 – Preaching faith to his heart
  • 12 and 13 – Praises flow out of faith and trust in God.

What caused David to have hope and trust? He knew God was for him (Verse 9).

God is for you, girls and boys! Think about it. GOD. IS. FOR. YOU!

What is the fear are you fighting?

What has been your reaction thus far?

How have your reaction and actions concerning this fear worked for you? 

How much control do you have over whatever is causing you to fear? 

WHO has a complete understanding of your situation? 

WHO is able to comfort you and assure that you are loved and cared for AND work the situation out for your good? 

In light of your answers to these questions, what should your next move be? 

Dear reader, God is FOR YOU. Put your trust in Him and praise Him. Preach faith to your heart if you need to. Preach it 50 times a day if necessary. That is what I did when we were trying to sell my condo and God worked it all out. We sold my condo and moved to our new home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If there is a situation in your life that causes you to fear or you are uncertain what your next move is, I would love to walk alongside you as your Life Coach. Together you, Jesus, and I will face that fear and walk toward a place where faith kicks fear and uncertainty out of your heart. Visit my website by clicking HERE to learn more.

SDG/FCA!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

I would love to recommend a wonderful book by James G Merritt. It has been such a blessing to me in my daily quiet time. If you are receiving this post via email, please click here to go to my website and see the link to the book.

“I Just Can’t Forgive Myself” and Other Lies We Believe

“I just cannot forgive myself for _______________.”

This statement is something I hear from women over and over. Perhaps you have said it yourself. It sounds reasonable, especially after doing something you wish you had never done; something that causes you monumental regret.

The only problem is that it is not biblical. In fact, nowhere in Scripture will you find one verse that talks about self-forgiveness in order to (a) be truly forgiven, and/or (b) ‘feel’ forgiven and able to move on.

 

I Just Can't Forgive Myself and Other Lies We Believe

 

Let’s look at a few verses that speak about forgiveness.

Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sins are covered

Psalm 32:2: Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity

The Hebrew word used in Psalm 32 for ‘blessed’ is asrey, meaning blessed or happy.

Psalm 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us

Isaiah 43:25: I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins

Hebrews 8:12: Quoting from the Old Testament, the writer of Hebrews reminds his readers of the promise God made to Israel. “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Do you see there is nothing in the verses above about forgiving oneself? With that said, let’s think about times when our actions caused us great regret and the need for forgiveness. Every sin and disobedience that we perpetrate is, first, a direct offense toward our Holy God. Light bulb moment!!! Had you ever considered that truth?  (Psalm 51:1-4) Because of that God is the one who must offer forgiveness to us.

You might be thinking, “Leah, I know all that, but I just cannot ‘feel’ forgiven.”

Let me offer an illustration I hope will clarify this for you.

Do you remember when the cute guy who would ultimately become your husband asked you to marry him? Weeks or months later you walked down the aisle and said ‘I do’ to him. The minister pronounced you husband and wife and off you went to begin a new life together.

A few weeks into your married life, you decided to go out with girlfriends. You went to a place where you previously went to meet guys and saw a guy that interested you. You caught his eye, flirted with him. and he eventually asked you out on a date. You accepted.

One of your friends said to you, “But, you just got married a few weeks ago. Your husband is at home. What are you doing?”

To which your response was, “Oh, but I just don’t feel married.”

Most people would say, “Well that is crazy. No one would ever do something that ridiculous.”

Friend, that is exactly what you do when you hold onto the idea that you must feel forgiven in order to move past a sin or the consequence of something you did. If you have sinned and asked God for forgiveness for that sin, it is done. You are forgiven by God and He will never remember that sin again.

Allow me to offer a quote by Dr. James Merritt from his marvelous book entitled, 52 Weeks Through the Psalms.

What do we do with the guilt we feel years after our transgression, sin, or iniquity? To put it plainly, we need to forget. God forgives our sins and then forgets our sins; he charges our sins to Jesus’ account and wipes them off our books. Sometimes we feel guilty even though we are not because we keep trying to remember what God has forgotten and trying to uncover what God has covered. 

When we remember what God remembers, we are guilty. 

When we remember what God forgets, we feel guilty though we are not. 

When we forget what God forgets, we are not guilty and won’t feel guilty.

As deep as our faults go, forgiveness goes even deeper.

Friend, this does not mean that you never think about what you did again. That is likely not humanly possible. What it does mean is that you do not allow guilt to take you captive ever again over what happened. This is a situation where you must apply the old ‘fake it till you make it’ principle. If you have asked God to forgive you for sin, STOP remembering what He has forgotten and walk forward in His forgiveness. You are forgiven, now think and act like a forgiven person.

SDG/FCA!!

Want to read more in this Lies We Believe series? Click the links below.

3 Reasons Why We Are NOT All God’s Children

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Praying the Promises of the Cross

It is my honor to be one of the contributing writers for my friend, Arabah Joy’s FREE 2019 Praying the Promises of the Cross event. This is a special time of focus, leading up to Easter, on the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice. In a world of ‘self-centered’ Christianity, this challenge is a critical and relevant way of getting Christ-centered truth into our hearts. Please click HERE below to discover more about Praying the Promises of the Cross.

There is also an awesome Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle that contains some wonderful items like a 40 day Praying the Promises of the Cross Prayer Journal, 40 Daily Prayer Cards, and Scripture Coloring Sheets.

 

Praying the Promises of the Cross Bundle

 

These items will focus your heart on the cross and help you be intentional in your prayers during the Challenge. You can purchase that by clicking on the link HERE.

I have given you my affiliate links to the book I referenced above by Dr. Merritt and also a marvelous book I am reading for my Life Coach certification, The Lies We Believe by Dr. Chris Thurman. I highly recommend both of these books. If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can see the links to the books.

 

 

Taking Christmas Into the New Year

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you had a blessed Christmas. Mine was busy and beautiful, exhausting and exhilarating, full of family, friends, food, and Jesus.

Two days after Christmas I spent many hours removing the ornaments and lights from my Christmas tree. Then there was the Great Pine Needle Sweep-Up of 2018. I do love a live Christmas tree, but along with the its beauty comes a bit of work. Honestly, I think I swept up enough pine needles to make another small tree. My husband dragged the tree out into our woods where it will become a hiding place for small critters. Although my mantel still has winter decor on it, most of the traces of Christmas are gone from my home.

 

Taking Christmas into the New Year

On the same day that I took my tree down, I came across a poem by Howard Thurman (1899 – 1981) that has taken up residence in my heart. I’m not usually a poem kinda girl, but this one velcro-ed itself to my heart and so today I share it with you.

For many people (at times, myself included), Christmas is over when the decorations are stored away. After reading this poem, I’m convinced that we do Christmas, and all it means, a huge disservice when we mentally tuck it away until next December. In truth, Christmas was only the beginning…..

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

For Jesus, Christmas was only the beginning. In His short 33 years He found the lost, healed the broken, fed the hungry, released the prisoner, and so much more. His earthly mission began on Christmas, and He left the Holy Spirit here to enable those of us who follow Him to carry on His mission. In doing so, we point others to Christmas….to Jesus.

As we journey into a new year I am seeking to take the work of Christmas along with me rather than boxing Christmas up until next December. I want the ears of my heart to listen intentionally to the words of others with the goal of making certain that person is really heard. My desire is to point other people to Jesus and His wonderful, life-changing Word. I want to do life face-to-face with people rather than through a screen and a keyboard, and I want to speak life into their souls. If God allows, I will take the work of Christmas into 2019 through loving, mentoring, speaking, coaching, writing, and serving my family, friends, and clients. I will write and speak and coach and wife (is that even a word in that sense?) and mother and mentor out of the overflow of Jesus living in my heart.

So, today my question for you is how are you taking the work of Christmas into the New Year? 

Hearing from you is a sweet blessing to me. Leave a comment below and share your answer with me and other readers. If you are reading this via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can leave a comment.

Happy New Year, friend!

SDG/FCA!!

One way you can take Christmas into 2019 is to sponsor a child living in poverty. Compassion International is the way that I have chosen to do this. Click my affiliate link below to find out more. If you are reading this via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can see the banner.

 

My OneWord365 for 2019…What is Yours?

Do you participate in the OneWord365 movement?

Let me share about it from the OneWord365 website:

One word you can focus on every day, all year long… One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

 

My OneWord365...What is Yours?

 

I have participated for the past several years. However, I do not just randomly pick a word. There is great intentionality and prayer that goes into it for me. This year I began asking the Lord in late September what He desired for my OneWord to be for 2019. Only He knows what 2019 holds for me and only in His Sovereignty can He assign me the word that will be perfect for me.

Here are a few of them from past years:

2012 – Trust

2013 – Jesus

2014 – God gave me 2 words – Loss and Others

2015 – Renew

2016 – Rest

2017 – Come

2018 – Christlikeness

 

Several words will usually bubble up and float around in my mind and heart at the beginning of praying into this. I will continue to pray and eventually He will pop the bubbles that are not His choice for me and leave one bubble floating in my heart. Then, I will ask Him to confirm it so that I know I am in His will. He has never been wrong yet. Duh!!!

This year was different. A single word floated to the top of my heart. I tried to convince Him that this could not be the word because it had been my word several years ago. He did not listen to me. He was adamant that it was my OneWord365 for 2019. In addition to giving me a OneWord, for the first time, He gave me a Bible verse that would accompany my word. Oh boy, 2019 must be gonna be a doozie of a year!!

Here is my OneWord for 2019 and the accompanying verse.

OneWord365 for 2019

 

Yep, ‘trust’ it is. Have mercy! That scares me half to death. What in the world will happen in 2019?

In fact, I know part of the reason why He chose ‘trust’ and Jeremiah 33:3 to be my focus for this year. I shared in THIS POST that I am currently training to be a certified Biblical Life Coach. I am definitely going to have to trust Him to equip me to be the very best life coach I can be because being a life coach requires me to change my way of relating to others….at least while I am coaching. For all of my ministry life I have been a speaker, teacher, and mentor…offering biblical wisdom and insight to others. I’ve had to take off those hats in order to wear a coaching hat, for coaches rarely advise people on what to do. Instead they listen intently and ask questions that prompt the client to ponder the issue on which they are working. A coach’s job is to help a client come up with the solution to their own problem. So, I need God to give me wisdom and insight into my clients, helping me listen well and ask great questions.

The other reason I can identify with His choice of word and verse is because I have a new writing project, about which I will share the details soon. I stand in desperate need of His guidance and words for that project. I have to trust Him to give me marvelous and wondrous things that I could never figure out on my own as I write. I know He will.

What about you, friend? Do you chose a OneWord365 each year? If so, I would love to hear what your word is for 2019 or tell me about a word from a previous year. Feel free to leave a comment below. Sweet blessings to you today.

SDG/FCA!!

This post contains affiliate links.

Hey, need a gift for that ‘hard-to-buy-for’ person on your list? An Amazon Gift Card is the perfect gift. Get it now. Get it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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