I AM a Perfectionist

I AM is a Perfectionist. Remember those italicized words in the King James Version, those smaller words that added clarity to the sentence from the Hebrew translation? I speak here as I have learned from the Great I AM.

I AM is a holy God, a perfect Father, Creator and Redeemer. The realm of His kingdom is perfect, nothing lacking, nothing out of order, no frustration, no oppression, no war, no anxiety, no fear, violence, sickness, death, disappointment or tears. In His kingdom there is no criticism, anger, jealousy, envy, dishonesty, or falsehood. He is surrounded by righteousness, humility, peace, harmony, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and temperance.

The LORD has established his throne
in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Psalm 103:19

Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He rules in power, truth, grace, mercy and glory. From His own mind, heart and Spirit He lives and lavishes His own Being throughout His heavens. As a Perfectionist, He created the heavens and the earth, with expectation of having a perfect family bearing His image.

Did He go wrong somewhere? Then He is not a Perfectionist, and He is not able to rule and govern what He created.

Or is all still going according to His plans? Is providence the working out of His holy will?

Human Perfection
If we were perfect, then we would understand His plans and agree that He is perfect.

If we could see the end of all things as He has planned, we would understand His perfection.
We cannot, so we must look to the Perfect One who makes all things perfect.

“The trying of your faith works patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that you may be perfect and entire,
wanting nothing.”
James 1:3-4

Special revelation comes by the power of His Spirit in the lives of those who are His children, born of His Spirit through His Word. Within us He enables us to see beyond this world and its imperfections  (the list is too long). We are brought beyond the power of sin to be occupied with God. The heavenly Father, Creator and Redeemer, whose perfect, heavenly love, humbles us, and begins the process of perfecting us by the power of HIs Son and His Holy Spirit, to share His eternal kingdom.

We give up our human perfectionism when we understand that only He can make things perfect, and His plan for perfection was not intended for this earth, but for eternity with Him. The only perfect thing here on this earth is His love. In the end, it will perfect all those who are in Christ, His Son. We are holy and acceptable in Him, now and forever  (Romans 12:1)

Gracious and blessed Father, Perfect in all things, with the plan to perfect the disciples of Christ, your Son: in the power of your Holy Spirit, birth and train us according to your perfect will through your Word. Through us, by transforming our minds and hearts, make known your love to a perishing world . Fill us with your light that pierces the darkness and brings your children to a perfect love, joy and peace, as we wait for our Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Fran
Related article: The Power of God’s Holy Will

Psalm 18:32
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Psalm 19:7
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: .

Psalm 138:8
The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me:

Proverbs 4:18
But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Luke 6:40
 but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

2 Corinthians 12:9
 strength is made perfect in weakness.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,

1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace…make you perfect.

1 John 2:5
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.

Every Christian Needs a Mission Statement

Not until recently have I seen the need for a personal mission statement. Churches and other ministries usually define their mission because they are setting up organizations for other people to join and/or to follow. In this new phase of my life, I want to challenge any who consider themselves Christians ~ followers of Christ ~ by what I have been recently experiencing. In the following weeks, I want to share some of what I have learned that reveals the need for us as children of God to take hold of what He has given us in Christ; to stand; to proclaim; to live what we say we believe.  We must make a definite statement before the world of who we are.  If we have enough mission statements that agree, we might then have a strong stand together without the things that separate us and that makes the world point their finger at what seems to them an imitation Christianity.

Mission-Statement

While we may not see a mission statement as necessary for our personal lives, we must consider two things:

* First:  A mission is the same as the purpose for which we live.

* Second:  Even without a written statement, others see and join us. There are many blogs that people follow.

Let’s look at these two separately.

A mission statement defines who we are as Christians and our purpose for being. It sets us on a path whereby we may see the progress and accomplishments God desires for us. Whether a parent, child, sibling, friend, employer or in any relationship, we have a purpose for living and being in that relationship. Every person living is in some relationship, unless he/she is a hermit. We won’t get into what this means, but we will concentrate on our relationships and how a mission statement will determine how we relate to others. What a difference it would make if Christian couples would begin their marriages with a mission statement and what if parents would establish a mission statement for their families?

Our Relationship with God
As Christians, we believe what the apostle Paul said about God to the Athenians in Acts 17:28.

“’In him we live and move and have our being’…..For we are indeed his offspring.’”

Our main purpose is in our relationship with God our Creator and heavenly Father, to obey and glorify Him through our relationship with Jesus Christ, His son and His Holy Spirit whereby He birthed us into His family.

From and in this relationship, He defines who we are as inhabitants on this planet earth. As His children, we are disciples of Christ, His Son, whose purpose was to obey, glorify and witness of His kingdom. By His finished work of living and dying for us, He has provided the means of setting up His kingdom here in the hearts and lives of His people, so that we continue the message and the mission that He set up for us.

imagesWith a personal mission statement, we make known whose disciple we are. We establish within our own hearts and minds who we are and why we are here. We may not have a determined ministry, so to speak, but God is making each of us a ministry to Him. In His timing, we know what our ministry is to others. Aside from having a public ministry of preaching, teaching, writing, or any other outreach of witness, others will see, hear, and notice who we are. This will bring approval from those of the same mind and heart, and persecution from those who are not.

 As we are all part of the antithesis (the war between Satan and God that began at Creation) we need to establish, without a doubt, on which side we stand and live.

Jesus said that if we are not with Him, for Him, following, and obeying Him, we are against Him. There are only two sides. On which do you stand? What is your purpose here, for the few years that you live on this earth? Is it to live for Christ and to proclaim His message? Is it to practice the worship and adoration that He deserves? Is it to know Him and to encourage others to know and grow in His grace?

images (1)As a child of God, do you live with the understanding that the reason you are here is not for yourself, but for Him to prepare you for His presence and His glory for eternity, and to tell others about His plan?

If this is your purpose, then this is your mission, and He will accomplish all in you for which He created and redeemed you in Christ.

When we personally set down in writing what we know our purpose to be, then we are more apt to accomplish our mission.

Write your own personal mission statement, and share it with those who are closest to you. Encourage them to write their own. When you know your calling, establish your platform and make your statement public, joining others who are proclaiming His kingdom here on earth.

Dear Father, thank you for creating us with the purpose of revealing your plan and your purpose for us; for preparing us for your eternal kingdom and training us here, so that we are practicing and showing others what eternity will be like with you. Work in our hearts and establish the mission you have for each of us.  In Jesus’ name I pray, I thank you, and I praise you.  Amen.    ~ Fran
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“COME” and “GO”

I have heard the message from Matthew 28 on the Great Commission  in different places, from different pulpits, from tracts, television, from different pastors, etc.?  It is always accompanied with the sense of guilt.  The last time I heard it was no different, but my response to it this time brought me to the Lord in prayer, to ask forgiveness for where I may have failed to share Christ, and for further help to be the witness He wants me to be.

As I hear the command,  “Go,” the thought of going seems to be the last thing we are to do.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus’ message was “Come, and find.”  how-can-the-bible-help-meBefore we can “Go” with any kind of witness we must have “Come” first to Jesus, in humility, to find rest for our own souls.  We must know this rest that is in Him.  We must first have been born of His Spirit and be fruit bearers of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and temperance. 

The commission to “Go,” to make disciples, and teach them what they had been taught, was given to those who had been with Jesus; during His ministry, His suffering, His crucifixion, His resurrection and ascension.  They were a motley crew until they knew without doubt who Christ was.  They deserted Him, but were brought again to see that He indeed was the Son of God, the promised Messiah, the Savoir of the world.

I do not mean to say that the commission was to them alone; or to pastors alone.  These were not the only witnesses of Christ and the good news of salvation; these were not the only ones who taught in His name.  The point is that when we have first “come” to Christ, receiving the gospel, born of His Spirit we “go” wherever He leads us, whether to the mission field, or simply where He places us daily.   We share what He teaches us in our daily living; He draws others to Himself through us.

Freedom from Guilt
What does God’s word say about guilt and fear?

In John 8:31-32 Jesus speaks to believers who are not true followers.
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When the law of the Spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of sin and death Romans 8:2 the life in Christ is a new life in us, free from guilt.

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.” 1 John 4:18

If we fear talking to others about Christ we need to be diligent to make our election sure.  (1 Peter 1:10)  Simon Peter in his letter to the early Christians reminds them that they have been given all things pertaining to life and godliness in the knowledge of God, the Father and Jesus Christ.  Paul writes to the Philippians.

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life.” 
Philippians 2:13-16

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13

The Personal Commission
Bible_Study

Before we have the true sense of what it means to “Go” we must come and stay awhile with Jesus.  We must sit at his feet to receive the good portion of grace and faith that is allotted to each of us. For some it is exciting to talk about a new faith.  Discouragement can come when we hear the words, “I don’t want to hear it.”
Long term witness becomes our life as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We have the witness in ourselves of the truth of Jesus Christ. (1 John 5:10)

Witnessing to others of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is not something that is meant to be a dread or drudgery.  Talking to others about Jesus Christ is our whole life because He is our Life.  Christ in us is our hope of glory.  (Colossians 1:27) It is who we are in Christ.  Christians who believe, who are true disciples of Christ, those who are “the called” are those who have “come” to Christ and have studied Christ.  We have been caught up in Him and taught by Him.

It is not a dread or fear to talk about PeopleTalkingwhat we love.  The world naturally shares what they believe and love.  And so do we; but supernaturally.  It is not we that speak but the Holy Spirit of mercy and grace ~ the same truth that He spoke to us, and that brought us to Christ.

All that Christ means to us will out, to people we meet.  We cannot hide it.  The Word of God that is a light to our path and a lamp to our feet cannot be hidden.

When we rejoice in the Lord, making our moderation known to all men we are witnessing to the gospel.  When we have any concerns we make our requests known to Him in everything, with prayer and supplication; with thanksgiving.  And the peace that passes understanding keeps our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Let us, as His redeemed, continue to rejoice, request, rest, and remember that we were bought with a price; so that we would testify of His great salvation.  Those who are His will hear, and by His Holy Spirit, come to Him.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

Let us understand what it means to be His disciple; to come to and after Him, denying ourselves, taking up our own crosses daily, to follow Him.  (Luke 9:23)

Fill us Lord, with your fullness
that we may overflow with your grace.

Dear Father, thank you for showing us that this is not our work but yours; just as you spoke your word to us you speak it through us wherever we are.  Thank you for making us your own that through us you call others to new life in Christ.  Please continue to bless us with your fullness, bearing the fruit of your Spirit through us as your children.  Speak through us today to someone in the wilderness who will hear and come to Christ. For those who cannot yet speak of Christ, fill them with your Spirit,  with your truth.  Give them the joy of your salvation.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Father of Grace and Glory (Part 4)

To sum up our meditation of Jesus’ revelation of the Father—“our Father” of grace and glory—John’s recollections are used last. John was “the disciple that Jesus loved.” Being closer to John than any other man on earth Jesus perhaps made more of an impact on him than on any of the other disciples.  John is the writer of the fourth gospel, which is more personal than the other three; also, he wrote three letters, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation.  He quotes Jesus’ words in his gospel and in the book of Revelation.

We see in his writings four different facets of Jesus’ words, as He proceeds to unfold the work of the Father’s grace and glory: 1.  His relationship and unity with the Father. 2. Their purpose and work of grace for our redemption. 3. The relationship of disciples to the Father and the Son. 4. The end result—legacy, inheritance, and glory of His children with the Father and the Son.

1. Jesus’ relationship and unity with the Father is revealed in John 8:54-“the Father honoreth me;” John 10:30-“I and the Father are one;” John 14:9- “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;” John 14:10-“I am in the Father, and the Father in me. The Father that dwelleth  in me, he doeth the work;”  John 14:13- “the Father is glorified in the Son;” John 15:23-“He that hateth me hatheth the Father, also;” “John 16;28-“I came forth from the Father, and I go to the Father.

2. Their purpose and work of grace for our redemption is seen in John 6:27-“everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father sealed;” John 12:49-“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave what I should speak;”  14:28-“I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I;” John 15:1-“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman;”  John 16:15- “All that the Father hath are mine;” John 18:11-“The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

3. The relationship of disciples to the Father and the Son is revealed in John 6:37-“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;” John 6:44-“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him;” John 6:45-” Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me;” John 14:16-“And I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:26 “whom the Father shall send in my name, He shall teach you all things;” John 14:21-“he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him;” John 14:23-“If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him;”  John 15:8-“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples;” John 16:23-“Whatever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you;” 17:11 “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are;” John 17:26-” I have declared unto them thy name and will declare it;” John 20:17-“I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God;” John 21:21-“As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you;”   Luke quotes Jesus in Acts 1:4, speaking of “the promise of the Father”—that they would “receive power when the Holy Ghost had come upon them” (in the Father’s timing) to be witnesses of the gospel of the Father’s grace.

4. The end result—legacy, inheritance, worship, and glory of the children with the Father and the Son is seen in John 4:24-“true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him;”John 17:24-“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou has given me;” Revelation 2:26-27-“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; even as I received of my Father;” Revelation 3:5- “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels;”  Revelation 3:21-“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

WHO BUT A FATHER CAN SIRE CHILDREN OF HIS OWN?

Dear Father, make us to know who you are, that we may know whose we are, for your glory and our joy