I have so many life thoughts in my head, one post will not cover all of it. I'm running the risk of someone possible taking me wrong- I'm all about balance. Most of the time. In some areas I'm crazy radical- at least compared to my surroundings. So today I'm just talking about one aspect of life. It's a lesson that I really needed to learn.
Accepting gifts, favor, blessings.
Somehow I got it in my head that living without was more righteous. At first, it seemed that I was more self sacrificing and content, because I could live anywhere, in any circumstance. I wasn't picky. This can be a good thing.
However, as my dreams and my family grew, it turned into self pity, bitterness, and jealousy. I got in a huge rut that seemed as if it would never go away. I couldn't bless anyone because I was always in need. I was miserable.
What I didn't know was how to receive blessings. But when I started to humble myself (yes, I need humbling. It takes humility to receive!) and to learn more about who God was and what He wanted to do in my life, I was looking at life through different glasses.
As a follower of Christ, I am saved. I have received salvation.
What is salvation? From my understanding, and according to various sermons and Bible footnotes, "salvation" in Hebrew and Greek means deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and soundness of mind.
Other words connected to salvation are: justification, redemption, grace, propitiation (the sacrifice of Christ that appeases divine wrath), imputation (transfer of Christ's righteousness to me), forgiveness, and sanctification (set apart, made holy).
Whoa. I hadn't been living like I had all of that. This means, if I am worried about....anything (money, health, safety, my sins) I was not living as though I had received salvation. It's like a pretty gift sitting on a mantel containing value beyond imagination.....unused. Or if you had nothing and was handed an invitation to move into a royal palace and live as one of them. You show your friends and tell them about this wonderful opportunity for you. You carry it around with you wherever you go, put pictures of the Royal Family up on your wall, and collect all kinds of information about what it is like to live in royalty, yet you never actually go.
Maybe you don't know the way. But then again, if you know the awesomeness of this invitation, wouldn't you do everything you can to get there?
Maybe you are scared they won't like what they see. Maybe you don't really believe their guarantee that all un-royalness will be left at the door, and you will be adopted in as pure royalness. No questions asked.
Maybe you are comfortable in your poverty and are scared of leaving it.
Maybe you don't really understand what it means to be royalty.
I am grafted in to God's family. I want to know all of the benefits that go along with that. But it doesn't stop here.
I am finding that God knows me personally- he is the one who created me. He knows the things I love and he knows my shortcomings. He provides perfectly in a way that is tailored to me. My individual needs, loves, joys, gifts, and responsibilities- in accordance with His word. Sometimes it is circumstantial, many times he blesses me through other people.
I am slowly learning what it means to be a part of God's family. Each perfect revelation reminds me that my heavenly father is the perfect provider, and I am more than happy to receive it.
There is more to this story but I'd like to point out that God drew me in by his incredible love. He showed me where I was and then what was waiting for me, upon my acceptance. I pray that my children come to this realization earlier in life than I did.
Here are some verses to ponder:
Genesis 15:3 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
2 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His given power as given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, but which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 1:3-7 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 mad us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
From: How He Loves (listen to it here)
He is jealous for me.
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me.
Oh, How He loves us oh,
Oh, How He loves us,
How He loves us, oh