Born to Praise…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven.  In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence.  He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons—in keeping with his pleasure and purpose—so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One. Ephesians

We are holy and without defect in His presence.  He said so; if we are one of Christ’s.  We are his children; sons and daughters; planned for!  He said so.  This is His purpose in our creation.  We bring Him praise. He gets the praise for the grace He has extended to us..

What can we do outside his grace?  Nothing.  What can we do in his grace?  Whatever He desires…

In union with him, through the shedding of his blood, we are set free–our sins are forgiven; this accords with the wealth of the grace he has lavished on us.  In all his wisdom and insight he has made known to us his secret plan, which by his own will he designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah and will put into effect when the time is ripe–his plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.

Also, in union with him we were given an inheritance, we who were picked in advance according to the purpose of the One who effects everything in keeping with the decision of his will, so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring him praise commensurate with his glory. Ephesians

We are in union with Christ; we are one.  We are set free of the penalty for sin.  We are given wisdom and insight into his plan for us.  We have an inheritance.  We have all this for one purpose–to bring him praise.

How can we allow the enemy to spread lies about us to us? Why would we believe the enemy? and not God?  It is imperative that we realize how blessed we are!  Let it sink in and take root.  Any thoughts that come to say we failed, we are inadequate, we cannot…any thoughts of this nature are lies from the enemy.  It is time to recognize who we are in Christ and call the lie what it is!!

Eve believed the lie and look at its consequences.  Christ’s coming changes all that.  We can because he did and God said so!

Pray- I am and doubly so because of Christ therefore I can praise You and will praise You for the change You bring in the second birth.  I will sing to You, Lord, for You are highly exalted.  The horse and its rider You have hurled into the sea!  You, Lord are my strength and my song; You have become my salvation.  You are my God and I will praise You.  You, Lord, are a warrior!The Lord is your name!

Repent – I repent for not praising You more.  God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hidden from You.  Let those who put their hope in you, Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot, not be put to shame through me; let those who are seeking You, God of Isra’el, not be disgraced through me.

Ask – As for me, Adonai, let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Yes – Praise you, my God!  Let the sound of Your praise be heard; You have preserved my life and kept my feet from slipping.  For You, o God, tested me You refined me like silver.

Be exalted, God, above heaven!  May Your glory be over all the earth!

Sources:  Exodus 15:1-3; Psalm 69, 66:8-10; 57:5; Ephesians 1

Perfect needs Practice…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
Practicing the doing of the Word.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Practicing the peace(shoes), the righteousness (breastplate), the salvation (helmet), the faith (shield), the truth (belt), the scripture (sword), praying (the activator) is work.  When we speak of salvation it is a gift, not of works, lest anyone should boast; we are not saying there is no work.  A misconception that is commonly heard.  What is said is simply the truth that we cannot work to attain salvation; but salvation, the gift, comes with a set of instructions so that it may be complete.  We do the instructions; following them requires practice.  Even in this, God is the enabler, we are not abandoned to a task impossible…

So what does this practice look like?  When one decides to learn a new skill, one first researches it; studies it; asks for a ‘master’ of the skill to help.  Then one begins to practice that skill.  Simply wanting the skill does not make one skilled at it.  The celebrities of the world did not go out onto a rink, onto a court, onto a stage and begin their ‘game’ untaught and unpracticed.

How does one practice a skill of the Christ-like lifestyle?  Not by following a set of restrictions, but by being freed up from fear to continue the practice.  Freedom from fear of failure, fear of inability, fear of inadequacy allows confidence in who one is, the identity in Christ, and what tools are available to use in the quest for an overcoming life full of the blessing found listed in Ephesians.   Who one is in Christ and what is available to the believer is found clearly defined in Ephesians 1-3.

Begin with study.  We have a study guide full of encouragement and advice directly from  God!  Follow with coaching from one already skilled.  We have teachers of the Word and those walking in faith as well as fellow students at different levels of ability.  Pray, asking for that promised enabling that comes from God, keeping the focus on “the ball”, “the light,”  the Lord, not on the circumstances.

In conflict, follow Psalm 62: My soul, waits in silence for God alone; my salvation (from the conflict) comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation (not any other source; money, job, etc.) my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  ( emotions are recognized but don’t rule my actions).  I sit, listen, wait.  I’m gathering information about the other person, about the nature of the conflict, and I’m hearing the voice of the spirit in the Word I’ve already placed in my heart and mind.  I speak only when given prodding to speak by the spirit, not by the emotion.  This is practicing peace(shoes).  Dug in and standing firm, unmoved by emotion or fear.  It is practicing truth(belt), it is practicing the Word in action ( sword and shield).  Activate it all by praying the scripture in the heart and mind; ready for use in deflecting accusations.

Pray – My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  Putting on the helmet of salvation and the shoes of peace.

Repent – I repent for those times I have placed my efforts before your instructions came; Moving out in my own strength without waiting for your commands, without seeking Your commands.

Ask- My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be moved.  O God, You are my God, I will seek you eagerly.  My heart thirsts for You, my body longs for You…, my lips will  worship You.

Yes – Yes, I will bless you as long as I live.

Sources: Psalm 62,63; Ephesians 1, 4, 6