“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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Life Coach Package Giveaway ~ Read on, friends.
It was late in 2000 and the Y2K non-event was already a distant memory. My husband and I had followed the leading of the Lord and moved back to our hometown in the beautiful north Georgia mountains one year prior. He started a new dental practice and I was working part-time in a local pharmacy. We were living within 15 minutes of the vast majority of our immediate family and felt blessed to be back in the small town where we grew up. Yet, something was missing for me.
I knew exactly what that ‘something’ was, but had no idea how to solve my problem. The ‘something’ I was missing was an intimate relationship with Jesus. A relationship like my Grandma Eula had that made one think she could actually see and talk to Him. I was hungry, Y’all! I was hungry for Jesus. My soul was so parched that I was certain that if I did not figure out a way to develop that relationship with Christ my heart might wither away. Decades prior I had asked Jesus to be my Savior, but I had never done the first thing to really allow Him to be my Lord and best friend.
Thankfully, God placed a friend in my path who came alongside me and guided me toward in-depth Bible study, prayer, and face-to-face fellowship with other women. Together with six other women we explored Scripture and learned the amazing power of prayer. It was life-changing for me and I will never go back to a life without an intimate relationship with Jesus.
What about you? Have you ever wished you had a ‘personal trainer’ for your Christian walk?
A personal trainer for physical fitness is someone who works one-on-one with a client to develop goals and strategies that help the client become more physically fit. The trainer also helps the client identify obstacles that stand in the way of their client achieving those goals. They cheer their client on and encourage them to find ways to move past those obstacles.
A personal trainer for your Christian walk is also known as a Life Coach. A Biblical Life Coach does everything a physical personal trainer does, but they do it from the foundation of Scripture and with the goal of making the client’s walk with Christ more intimate.
A Biblical Life Coach does so much more, though. They are trained to:
- Help their clients get out of a rut in their personal, spiritual, or relational life
- Identify values, dreams, and passions of their clients, and help the client live them out
- Walk with clients and help them successfully navigate significant life events, such as career changes, moving to a new home or city, empty nesting, and so much more
- Assist clients in navigating difficult relationships
- Help clients gain clarity in work, marriage, or ministry (NOTE: I am not a marriage coach, so if your marriage is in jeopardy, you likely do not need a coach…you need a counselor or therapist)
- Provide accountability and encouragement on the client’s life journey
- And so much more
Hiring a Life Coach is an investment in YOU!
Perhaps you know God is encouraging you toward something new, but just can’t quite put your finger on it. You have dreams, passions, and goals for your life, but need to discover how to prioritize and channel them. Maybe you just need some accountability in your life to stay on track with a project, kick a habit, or make a life change.
Invest in YOU, friend!
It would be such an honor to serve as your Life Coach. In celebration of the opening of my Life Coaching business, Leah C. Adams, Biblical Life Coach, LLC, I am giving away 5 coaching packages to 5 women. Each coaching package includes a 30-minute FREE assessment consult and 3 FREE coaching sessions. Each coaching session lasts 50 minutes and is done via telephone, Skype, FaceTime, or email. Local clients have the option of meeting face-to-face. Clients will set the coaching schedule (every week, every 2 weeks, every month, etc) and conversation agenda. Each giveaway package is a $135 value, but during this giveaway, they are FREEEEEE to the 5 winners.
Here are the requirements to win:
- Women only
- Age greater than 18.
- In an email to me, be able to identify an area of your life or a concern that you would like to work on with a life coach.
- Commit to actively participating in at least 3 of the 4 sessions.
- Email me at [email protected] and tell me you are interested in being entered to win a package and share about the area of your life or issue on which you would like to work.
That’s it. The giveaway will be open until Saturday morning, February 2nd. At that time I will notify the winners and give them further instructions.
Make an investment in you today!
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
I have had a long struggle with JOY.
There…I admit it. Joy and I have had a tenuous relationship over the years. I know it is not the sort of thing a Christian is supposed to admit, but I am done with Sunday school Christianity. I want to be real and transparent before you and those who circle my life. Although it has been a long while since I wrote a post for the Authentic Christianity series, today’s post is definitely a great fit for that series.
I know all the Bible verses about joy….all 150 or so of them, according to my Bible study tools app:
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~~ Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. ~~ John 15:11 (NKJV)
This one makes me wonder if my joy-bucket has holes in the bottom of it!!
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. ~~ John 16:24 (NKJV)
And then there is this gem…..
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, etc.. ~~ Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
My ‘joy’ tree is sparse on fruit sometimes, let me tell you.
I look at people who are always ‘up’ and bubbly-happy and all ‘it’s a great day to be alive’ and think “I’m not sure what drugs you are taking, but I need a dose”. It’s not that I am chronically depressed, it’s just that I sometimes (okay, well maybe, often) see the world and the glass as half empty. I lean toward the pessimistic side of things, although I will usually tell you that I am more of a realist.
So, with that spilled out all over you, I want to tell you about something I have been doing all year in 2018 to encourage joy in my heart. I will confess that I have waited almost 4 months to share this to make sure it was going to be something that I made into a habit.
I use a Passion Planner for my calendaring needs. Late in 2017 (like, December 31st) the Lord gave me the idea of writing down at least one blessing that came my way every day…..kinda like a blessing journal. I called it “Each Day, 1 Blessing” and decided to write the blessing on my planner. So, at the end of each day I choose one thing from that day that was a blessing or joy to me and write it on the bottom of that day’s calendar page. Some days are easier than others. Some days a blessing or joy jumps right out of my heart and onto the page, while other days, honestly, I have to mine pretty deeply into the events of the day to find something that blessed me.
Here are pictures of some of my entries.
This exercise forces me to intentional about looking for blessing and joy in my life. The things I enter are sometimes BIG things like helping to find sponsors for children in poverty, but other times they are ordinary occurrences in my day like a beautiful sunset. Each entry is a reminder of God’s goodness in my life. This is one of the ways that I am being intentional about CHOOSING to grasp joy for my heart.
How do you encourage joy in your heart?
Do you struggle with joy or some other fruit? I would love to hear from you about your struggle and how you navigate it. Leave me a comment or email me at [email protected]
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
Hello, I’m Leah!
I thought I’d introduce myself, because it has been a few weeks since I posted anything here. The last few weeks have been F-U-L-L of all sorts of goodness, and honestly, I just have not settled down to get my thoughts in order. I will write more about that soon, but today I am so excited to share with you something the Lord has placed on my heart for us.
As you know, Resurrection Day (Easter) is on April 1st and it is all about new life springing forth from the grave when Jesus rose! Jesus had been crucified three days before and His followers thought that all was lost. But God!!…….He did a new thing on Resurrection Day and death was defeated once and for all. Hallelujah!! (Want to know more about why I think Jesus is such a big deal? Go HERE.
What better time to start a new habit that draws us up close to Jesus than Resurrection Day and the beginning of a new month!
If you have hung around here for even a pair of minutes, you will know that I am like a dog on a bone about being in the Word. Scripture is LIFE to me, and I want it to be LIFE to you. I never knew how much I needed to be in the Word every day until I got in the Word every day way back in 2001. It feeds my heart and soul and gives me what I need to walk through this messy world. I’m hooked on Bible study for life!
Sometimes, though, for some of us it is hard to decide exactly HOW to be in the Word every day. So often I have women say to me, “I just don’t have time to do an in-depth study that requires 30 minutes or more of at-home work each day,” or “I want to read my Bible, but I just don’t know where to start.” I get all of that. I really do. So, for the month of April, I want to offer you a way to be in Scripture, AND to draw little nuggets out for your own heart.
Ta-da! My Resurrection Day/Spring/April Scripture Challenge!
I can make you a guarantee….100% money back guarantee. If you will commit 30 days to spending time reading one chapter of Scripture each day and journaling about it, your faith will grow and you will fall more in love with Jesus and His Word. I promise. Pinky-swear! God promised that His Word will never return void, which means it will always make a difference in the heart and life of the one who interacts with it. I am living proof that this is true.
So, here is how we will roll with this. Beginning April 1st, I am challenging you to:
1) Choose ONE CHAPTER of Scripture (any chapter, anywhere in the Bible) each day.
2) Read that chapter.
3) Write a little (or a lot) about what the Lord spoke into your heart from that chapter. (Keep reading, I have a FREE GIFT to help with this.)
Easy, huh? You may want to read 30 chapters out of one particular book in the Bible, or you might want to go totally rogue and random with your chapter choices. You might even want to read the same chapter every day for 30 days. You decide what works for you!
I have created a FREE journal page to help you keep track of your chapters and your heart ponderings. You may already have a journal that you like to use for such things, but I thought it would be fun to have a dedicated sheet for the effort, for those who would like to use it. I’ve named it ‘Chapter Read….What It Said (to me)’ and I would love for you to have it. There are two ways you can get it. Either download from the green button below, OR send me an email to [email protected] and I will send it to you via email.
What do you say? Would you like to grow in your faith this spring? Do you desire to learn more about Jesus and His Word? Will you take my challenge?
If so, please leave me a comment below or send me an email letting me know you will taking the challenge. I am so excited to hear what God speaks into your heart and life in April.
NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.
I have been in ministry for ten solid years, and in that time I have written about a lot of topics. There is one topic, however, about which I rarely write because, quite honestly, I do not feel that I have enough wisdom to offer in that arena. That topic is marriage. After 23 years of marriage, I still do not have it all figured out and I am far, far, far from the perfect wife to Greg. Yet, today, I believe that I have stumbled upon a treasure trove of marriage wisdom that I want to offer to you.
Let me give you the back story.
Our family has experienced the joy of seeing two young men choose beautiful young women as their future wives. In 2018, our nephew, Kalem, will marry his fiancee’ Erika in May. Then, in June, Greg and I will be blessed to gain a daughter-in-love when our son, Charlie, marries Morgan.
All of this wedding chatter and planning prompted me to think about when I got married and how I wish there had been a ‘marriage mentor’ to walk alongside me and pour into me. Of course, I had my parents, but there is something different and special about having someone come alongside and pour into your heart in a specific way. Someone just a few steps ahead of you in the journey who is willing to share, and yes, even to call you out when you step off the path of truth. Now, that all assumes that I would have been willing to L-I-S-T-E-N!
Last week, the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart that there is a ton of godly wisdom on the topic of marriage within my circle of friends, and that perhaps our kids, and maybe others, would benefit from hearing some real-life wisdom born of trial and error and experience. To that end, I tossed a question out on my Facebook page, and HELLO!!!! wisdom poured onto the page. Today I want to share some of that with you because it is toooooooo good to let it get buried on my Facebook feed.
So, here is the question I asked:
Our family will be blessed to witness two weddings this year: our son, Charlie and his fiancee, Morgan, AND our nephew, Kalem, and his fiancee, Erika. We will also be blessed to have young friends who are getting married in 2018. What marriage and relationship advice would you give a young couple as they say “I Do”?
One major theme of many of the responses was the importance of good communication between a husband and wife. Check them out:
Cindy said: Do not bottle things up, talk, talk and talk some more until it’s all worked out!
Teresa M said: Keep talking with God, each other, and as needed, reliable Christian counsel.
Shelley offered: Don’t be too proud to apologize – and make it heartfelt. There will be times when you will feel out of sync, and that’s okay, it will pass. But, if you are uncomfortable with it, just ask your spouse, “Are we okay?” Then talk about it. Girls AND guys need to feel connected
This wisdom from Kathy speaks loudly: My biggie is healthy communication and determining to work completely through an issue to a healthy resolution. You may come to an impasse at times, so call a time-out and go to neutral spaces but DETERMINE to come back to it when the dust and emotions have settled. That may be 30 minutes, 2 weeks or 30 days BUT come back to it and “finish” resolution of the issue to a healthy place, and then lay it down and learn from that process. I believe one of the biggest problems is that, with most couples, nothing ever gets fully resolved but rather just pushed aside to remain alive and festering, sure to rear its ugly head again some time….
Cathy gave us four rules of communication.
1 be honest
2 keep current
3 attack the problem not the person
4 act don’t react
And this from Larry: The men need to learn 3 phrases – 9 words: 1.) I was wrong. 2.) I am sorry. 3.) Please forgive me.
And all God’s women said, “Amen!”
Another theme that emerged was conflict resolution in marriage. Kathy’s comment from above was on this theme, as were these:
Gloria reminded us that: You don’t always have to be right… it’s okay to admit that you are wrong. And fight fair.
Karen said: Tell on your spouse to God and not to others. Always do this. God is the only way for change either in you or your spouse.
Once again, Kathy added a wealth of wisdom with this: Make it your daily practice to try to “out-serve” each other…and i think that speaks for itself. Can you imagine how many things would never even make our “grumble lists” if, as couples, we were trying to serve the other the most while they have that same goal?!?!?!? About the only thing we’d have to fuss about would be being served and loved TOO much!
A third major theme of finances emerged. This one is huge because research shows that the NUMBER ONE thing couples fight about is M-O-N-E-Y. Let’s take a look at some of the comments on finances:
I said: Since money is the number one issue about which couples argue, do not get into debt (the borrower is slave to the lender).
Teresa T said: Start a nest egg for retirement as soon as you get married. Don’t buy everything you want and see, save your money and pay cash and you might realize it wasn’t needed, after all. Follow the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace rules. Stay away from credit cards! Have a joint checking account and decide together what you will spend your money on.
Beth echoed Teresa with this: No separate checking accounts. Full disclosure in finances will keep everyone accountable.
The issue of romance and dating your spouse also garnered a couple of comments:
Kathy T said: Keep dating. Even after children, time with your spouse is crucial.
Anna, who is celebrating 50 years of marriage this year said: Marry someone you like first and then fall in love with… enjoy doing things together but also have your own time for hobbies.
Lori offered: Know and understand your spouse’s Love Language. Learn to “speak it” if you don’t have the same one. (See Amazon link below to Chapman’s book, ‘The 5 Love Languages’)
Alysa said: I cannot express how important it is to keep dating… Having a child throws a huge curve ball however, we are closer now than ever because we still date!!!
Another topic that elicited some wonderful feedback was the issue of praying for your spouse:
Natasha said: Fight for your marriage daily. We each keep a prayer journal and every day we pray together and separately and I pray to be the best help mate for my spouse and to help mold me into being a better wife and mom. For so long I prayed for change of him, when really it was me who needed changing!
Martha gave some incredible wisdom in her comment: Many many years ago as a teenager, my Pastor’s Wife taught us to begin to pray for our future husbands. I began to pray for him very specifically. I prayed he would learn the things that would prepare him to care for me and our children. I ask God to build my husband and equip him long before I ever met him. Now I recognize the Holy Spirit was preparing me to accept and respect who He was assembling for me. When trials and hardships come as they often do. This truth has been a constant encouragement to me. When my son was in the second grade I began to specifically pray for his wife in the same fashion. I cannot began to tell you how this has impacted our relationship. Now I pray in this manner for my grandchildren. I expect great things from my God because I have invested Great Confidence in Him in prayer. The most amazing thing to me, is for almost 40 years He has been Absolutely Faithful to every prayer I’ve ever prayed.
I want to leave you with a comment from Paula that blessed and challenged me so much as a wife. I hope it will bless and challenge you, too.
Recently I did an online study on the book “YOU & ME FOREVER, Marriage in Light of Eternity” by Francis and Lisa Chan (see Amazon link below). It was soooo good and so eye opening! The main thing I took from it, is we have to remember, God joined us together in marriage as an illustration to the world the love of Christ for His bride. How I treat my husband and vice versa is SUPPOSED to reflect the love, grace and forgiveness that Christ gives His Church.
It has completely changed my perspective in many ways. Now, if I feel like John isn’t acting in a way toward me that I like, for instance maybe he’s had a bad day and is being hateful. It may be quite irritating to me because I know it’s not my fault. But rather than get mad or pout, now, my first thought is…how many times have I acted this way toward God? And how many times has His grace and mercy loved on me through my bad attitude? So how then can I be Jesus to my husband, and extend grace and mercy to him and love him through this like Christ loves me?
To me, this just changes everything!
Then secondly I ask myself, as the world watches how I respond to my husband when he isn’t really my favorite person, or when I feel like he has treated me wrongly, am I showing the love of Christ to the world? Do they see grace, mercy, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (this is a concept that too many people only attribute to what God has for us, but we are called to love others this way, and we even VOWED before God to love our spouse this way)? Does my marriage reflect the image of the Gospel of Christ? Am I willing to serve my husband when he doesn’t deserve it? Am I willing to always put His needs first, even if I feel my needs may have been neglected (because that’s what unconditional love is… giving and loving as a choice, not because it’s earned and not as a reward to them for meeting your needs)? Am I being Christ like to my spouse?
These are hard questions, but, if we put our focus on the Gospel, and realize the world is watching us and the message of the Gospel is at stake based on how we act, then our marriages will be changed, and our lives will be changed. And most importantly, we will bring glory and honor to God in the process.
I hope this post has been a blessing to you…or maybe if you are like me, it has been a bit uncomfortable because it shines a light on areas in our marriages that could stand a little, or a lot, of tweaking. Whatever the case, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to mold and shape us in to husbands and wives that look more like Jesus.
What marriage advice do you have for young couples? Share it in the comments.
Have a great week!
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