Rejecting Vanity (Killing Insecurity Part 12)

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Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears, but a person who honors the Lord should be praised, based on Proverbs 31:30.

We live in a society that is obsessed with youth and beauty. There are entire markets dedicated to helping people achieve this “standard” of beauty. It is a source of insecurity for many people. After all it’s the “beautiful people,” who get everything they want right? We will come back to this question.

Like the picture stated above, you can be the juiciest peach in the world and there will still be someone who hates peaches. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What society deems as beautiful is relative to preferences. Yes, symmetry and certain shapes attract more attention, but beauty is relative to the observer.

So, what if the image you see in the mirror does not match the images in the magazines? What if no one tells you that you’re beautiful or cherished? What if you’re rejected because of your physical appearance? Does that mean you’re not beautiful? Absolutely not!

I love art. My favorite artists are impressionists. A few years ago my friends took me to an Andy Warhol museum. I did not enjoy his work. Some people love it; I do not. I do not think Andy’s artwork is beautiful. I like a particular type of artwork. My preferences do not diminish the quality or beauty of other artist’s work.

You are God’s artwork. God is the beholder, and He says you’re beautiful. He says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). God cannot lie. If He calls you beautiful, you are. Let His word define you. He’s making you attractive from the inside out.

Back to the question above: do people the world deem as beautiful get everything they want? Not necessarily. People are people. If you gain advantages solely based on physical appearance, there will always be someone deemed more beautiful. All people age. So, if outward beauty is all there is, it can be lost. I know plenty of physically appealing people who are unemployed, have family issues, have never married, have challenging lives, feel judged for their appearance, or have had unfaithful spouses. Beauty does not equal a pain free life or easy life.

Just in case no one has told you today, “You are God’s handiwork, created to shine bright! You are one of a kind; a masterpiece, simply beautiful!”

May your life be free from the trap of vanity.

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Don’t Give Yourself Away (Killing Insecurity Part 11)

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Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

First I will say the purpose of this post is not to condemn anyone not living in purity as God defines it. The purpose is to get to one of the roots of promiscuity and talk about God’s view of sex. God’s grace, healing, and power are greater than sin. That being said, let’s dive in…

I hate the way the media portrays sex. Two people are attracted to each other and the dive right in, giving all of themselves to another person. They walk away like nothing significant happened. It’s like eating lunch. You’re hungry, you eat. No big deal.

Here’s the problem. God created sex to join two people for life. It seals a covenant (promise, contract, commitment). Sex is not like eating food. It joins two bodies, spirits, and souls. The intention was to have the closest form of intimacy two humans can share be within the confinement of a life long commitment and to be done in covenant. Why? Covenant is rooted in love, protection, and faithfulness.

Have you ever used super glue? I have. And sometimes because I can be clumsy, I’ve glued two things together that I did not want to bind together. If I could pull them apart, one or both pieces had residue of the other. Sex was intended to bond a man and a women together; two become one. God designed sex to be intimate, edifying, pleasurable, and fruitful. Children are one of the fruits of a physical union. What a beautiful miracle!

God thought and thinks sex is good. It was His idea. He doesn’t think it’s dirty or shameful. He does not think evil of the desires for physical intimacy. God blessed physical intimacy between Adam and Eve.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground,” Genesis 1:28.

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man,” Genesis 4:1.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one,” Ephesians 5:31.

Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh,” 1 Corinthians 6:16.

God gives us guidelines for sex (what is proper) because He places an even higher value on it and us than we do. Think of it this way. You have a Lamborghini. This car cost upwards of 1.4 million dollars. Would you let any and everyone drive it? Probably not. Why? Because of the value you have for that car. God says you’re worth more than a Lamborghini. He paid for you with the life of His Son!

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So what do you do with desires?

Talk to God. God is more powerful than any desires. He will help any person asking for help; to manage their desires and purify those desires.

There is also no shame for those who have given themselves away outside of marriage. God forgives, heals, restores, and makes all things new. Repentance and accepting God’s forgiveness washes you white as snow, as if you never sinned.

Prayer:

Father help us to view sex as You do. Remove all lies, shame, lack of value for our bodies, and purify our hearts and desires. Help us to live as You call us to live. Without you, we can do nothing. In Jesus name, amen.

You can find some great resources on the Moral Revolution website. http://www.moralrevolution.com.

Who Are You In Christ?

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Last post I talked about humility is different from insecurity. It does not glorify God for us to demean humanity since He made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). We are actually insulting God when we put ourselves down or others. The value He placed on humanity was the life of His Son. The Father gave His most precious, valuable Son in exchange for us.

Once we are saved, we are given a new nature and identity. To focus on the old man is to deny the power of the cross. Yes, we still make mistakes, but our identity was changed when we chose by faith to follow Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:18, Galatians 2:20). He longs for us to live out of our new identity as sons and daughters of God. Here are some affirmations.

I am accepted…

I am God’s child, John 1:12.

As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus, John 15:15.

I have been justified, Romans 5:1.

I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit,1 Corinthians 6:17.

I have been bought with a price and I belong to God, 1Corinthians 6:19-20.

I am a member of Christ’s body,1 Corinthians 12:27.

I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child, Ephesians 1:3-8.

I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins, Colossians 1:13-14

I am complete in Christ, Colossians 2:9-10.

I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ, Hebrews 4:14-16.

I am secure…

I am free from condemnation, Romans 8:1-2.

I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances, Romans 8:28.

I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God, Romans 8:31-39.

I have been established, anointed and sealed by God, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

I am hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:1-4.

I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me, Philippians 1:6.

I am a citizen of heaven, Philippians 3:20.

I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1:7.

I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me, 1John 5:18.

I am significant…

I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life, John 15:5.

I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit, John 15:16.

I am God’s temple, 1 Corinthians 3:16.

I am a minister of reconciliation for God, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm, Ephesians 2:6.

I am God’s workmanship, Ephesians 2:10.

I may approach God with freedom and confidence, Ephesians 3:12.

Sweet friends, the Bible contains so many promises and encouraging words about who we are in Christ. He made all things new, and He’s transforming us into the image of His Son. We have no confidence in ourselves, but boldness in who we are in Christ. “If we call ourselves sinners, we will be more prone to sin by faith. For as a man thinks and believes, so is he,” Bill Johnson. Lets think of ourselves as God does.

Prayer:

Father help us to keep our eyes on You. May we walk in Your version of humility, and love and accept ourselves as You do. Jesus died to free us, let us not become slaves to introspection, insecurity, fear, unbelief, shame, or condemnation. You call us chosen, holy, royal, and the apple of Your eye. Help us to live loved! Thank You for all things. In Jesus name, amen.

Humility is not Insecurity (Killing Insecurity Part 10)

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So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you, Deuteronomy 31:6.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong, 1 Corinthians 16:13.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.

I’ve met numerous people who have mistaken insecurity with humility. Insecurity is one of those things we either glorify (that person is so humble) or pity, or we make excuses for.

The Bible does not link insecurity with humility. Jesus was perfect in humility and completely secure in His identity as the Son of God. He did not put Himself down, compare Himself to others, or doubt the Father’s love for Him. He knew who He was, why He came, and made no apologies for His confidence. Jesus was confident and bold, yet humble and compassionate. He was not filled with fear. He was filled with love.

What if I’m insecure?

Most people have battled or battle with some insecurities. It may not be appearance, status, or age related. It could be insecurities about God’s love, insecurities about the future, or just plain fear of bad things happening (foreboding).

The cure is an identity rooted in Christ and a filling of God’s love! There is no fear in love, all insecurities are rooted in fear.

Insecurity is not only rooted in fear, but unbelief. It is refusing to fully believe and accept God’s truth about who He is, what He’s called us to do, and our identity as sons and daughters.

God does not want us to be insecure. He longs for us to trust Him and receive His great love.

The Bible tells us to be courageous, to trust God fully, to place our confidence in God’s abilities and not our own. Jesus changed our names and gave us new identities in Him. We are called to live out our God given identities. We have a reason to be confident; our hope is not in ourselves or something, but Someone great. We place no confidence in our flesh, but place all confidence in God.

What is humility?

Humility is being a servant, seeking what’s best for others.

Humility is rooted in love.

Humility gives God the credit and acknowledges dependence on God.

Humility is trusting God. Without Him, we can do nothing.

Humility is God centered. Insecurity is self centered (the focus is not God, but us).

Humility exalts God. Insecurity exalts our weaknesses or shortcomings.

Humility is acknowledging that greatness comes from God.

Sweet friends, God longs for us to see ourselves and our situations the way He does. He loves us. Our feelings may not line up with His word. If we ask God for help, He will help us to be confident in Him. We are a chosen people, set apart for His glory!

Prayer:

Father help us to receive the fullness of Your love. Uproot all lies and unbelief. Replace them with Your truth. Your perfect love cast out fear. Help us to be bold, courageous, and humble. We need You. In Jesus name, amen.

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