Monday, 15 January 2018

Affirmation #194 by Susan

  I am on the winning side. Colossians 2:15
  "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it (the cross)." NKJV
  "In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross." JCB

  To get a better understanding of this passage and the affirmation, I'm going to include verse 13 and 14.
  "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross." JCB

  I played softball a long time ago over the course of a few summers. For some reason my team always ended up at the bottom of the league. It took the fun out of it, losing all the time. Oh, we'd win the odd game but most of the time the team was taken to the cleaners.
  The athletic ability was there. I remember one hot Saturday afternoon successfully driving half a dozen balls far into the outfield. Only...every single one of them was a foul ball, outside the baseline, and therefore didn't count. The right fielder got tired of playing fetch and, in the end, the pitcher won by striking me out.  (smile)
  It's funny what we remember.
  The athletic ability was there...perhaps, with some extra coaching these skills might have been honed. Perhaps, with some guidance foul balls would have become fair. Perhaps, had I practiced hitting a bit more...
  Mastering any skill takes practice. It takes study. It takes taking what is learned and applying it. It takes diligence and dedication. It takes having an awesome coach or teacher or peer or mentor who is able to draw out and expand innate abilities.
  To be on the winning side means making mistakes and learning from them.

  To be a woman of faith, on the greatest team in the universe, means I trust that the Lord will correct me when I am wrong, forgiving me in the process. He will encourage me to practice forgiving others until it becomes automatic. I trust He will guide me when I don't know where to go. I trust He will weep with me in sorrow or laugh with me in joy.
   I trust the knowledge that He died for me, for us, so we may come to know Him better.
  Victory isn't a destination, it's living life to the fullest through Jesus Christ.

  I think I've finally, after all these years, hit a home run. Amen!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Home Sweet Home

  I am of God's household. Ephesians 2:19
  "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God." NKJV
  "So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family." JCB

  As a Canadian, my citizenship by right of birth in this wonderful country enables me to access a whole range of services. Everything from free health care to having good roads to travel on. I can travel anywhere in this country that shares the largest unprotected border in the world with the USA. There's the right to speak freely, to worship freely. I can criticize our government or the weather without fear of retaliation. Education, up to the age of 16, is mandatory regardless of gender. There are further opportunities to pursue post-secondary education. I am protected by police. (Yes, speeding tickets are protection!) Fire or ambulance services are a 911 call away. I can own property or a car. I can work at the job of my choice.
  I do want to add that some of these freedoms aren't actually free. Canadians are some of the highest taxed people in the world. Freedom, it seems, can come with a price of admission. Our health care system is overburdened. Higher education is expensive. So is housing in some areas making it difficult to get ahead.
  Nevertheless, having been blessed with these things my whole life, I tend to take them for granted. So, thank You, Lord, for this marvelous, if somewhat imperfect, land!
  I want to hold up an even greater gratitude for belonging to Your country, the one that exists above and beyond any borders set down by man.
  In Your world is strength to overcome adversity. In Your country is safety, comfort and rest. In Your province is peace. In Your realm is provision. In Your home is grace and patience. In Your shelter is a Confidant and confidence. In Your dwelling is found a Councillor and a Guide who is available 24/7. Under Your roof is encouragement to become better than I am. In Your family is community, belonging and acceptance.
  I know there are many more good things ahead in a yet undiscovered land. Praise God because once I was lost...
  He found me and pulled me out of the shadows.

  At Your hearth, I have found love.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Ephesians 1:11

  I have obtained an inheritance.
  "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will." NKJV
  "Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan." JCB

  How many of us while away a few moments by musing on everything we would do if a previously unknown, exceedingly wealthy relative leaves us a fortune in their will? I've often thought about such things myself. Daydreaming of house renovations as kitchen and bathroom fall under an imaginary sledgehammer. A new car. A big trip. Then there's sharing this wealth with my children. I'd love to be able to buy a better building for the Krasman Centre. Hmm, never thought about buying a building for my church...I'd like that, too! The flights of fancy just keep on going until every single imaginary penny is spent ten times over.
  I've never done this with the inheritance I've received from God, though, and it's the real deal!
  What does God's inheritance include?
  First of all, He gave us His Son. Knowing Jesus means knowing the heart of God. So there's knowledge. Yet, knowledge is nothing without wisdom. That's part of it, too. We are given wisdom  through the leading and insights of the Holy Spirit. He's the second part of our divine inheritance.
  The next part of God's "will" grants us forgiveness for our sins. It's meant to be shared freely with others. Call it a tax free gift.
  Grace is interwoven through the act of forgiving and being forgiven. Grace comes when we fall short; when we wander from living according to our inheritance. Grace is why we are heirs in the first place!
  Then there's the peace that surpasses all understanding. I don't often experience this amazing gift because my very human nature gets in the way. But, when I do, it's awesome!

  This could go on for a while because the three hundred affirmations I've been investigating are statements of inheritance from the unending, incalculable, eternal estate of God.
  And I've been corrected because I stated that grace is why we are heirs in the first place but that's not totally accurate. Yes, it's part of it, but the reason we are heirs is because of four little letters: