Without Love

The Doobie Brothers recorded a song in 1973 called “Long Train Runnin”. One of the lyrics in the song is “Without Love, where would you be right now?” Think of all the things, places and people in our lives to which we ascribe love.

That lyric begs the question, “Without love where would we be right now?

Imagine for a moment marriages without love. Think of all the people places and things to which we ascribe some form of what we believe is love.

I love my wife with compassionate, unconditional devoted love. I love my children. I love to listen to Gospel music. I love rock and roll. I love fried chicken and corn on the cob.

I love pizza, I love chicken salad. I love to watch college football, I love our church family, I love chocolate. I could go and on about the things in my life to which I attach the emotion of love.

It is a worldly misconception that love means different things to different people.

ALL love of every kind, for any person, place or thing comes from God in the person of Jesus Christ. There is no other source. There is no other definition or meaning.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

God is the creator and source for all love.

Where did we come from and When?

Some folks who call themselves Christians don’t know where they came from or WHEN?

A friend I sang in a choir with some years ago told me he knew Jesus did not exist before he was born on Christmas day in Bethlehem. I shared scripture with him to convince him how wrong he was but God’s word didn’t move him at all.

In Ephesians 1 Paul writes, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he (God) chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”

In Psalms 139 David writes, “My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.”

If we are ever to know and understand our true identity in Christ, we need to know and believe in our hearts that God created each believer in Christ, and He created each believer before the foundation of the world.

How we got here

Occasionally I like to remind myself how I got here.

So I trace my steps from my godless birth in Adam  to my intimate eternal relationship with Jesus Christ that I enjoy every day. I had little to do with creating the intimate relationship. In fact God did it all.  my entire participation in his process amounted to accepting the gifts he freely gave me.

We all have a similar biography.  Read Ephesians chapter 2 and you’ll discover that Paul seems to have captured our story there.

From death to life

 our life in Christ

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

We were dead in our trespasses and sins but God crucifed his only son on the cross so you and I could be free from the life of sinners forever.

Our old self crucified

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin—

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ on the cross so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.” That does not mean we will never sin again. It means that forever we are free from the control of sin foreveFor if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!r. Sin no longer has power you control our lives. So God takes away our old self,our old life of sin away from us.

He freely gives his life to us

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the life of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10

Now He lives his life through us

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

Empowering

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

If you watch much TV you discover there is a  vitamin,  a cream, a lotion, a diet,  a pill,  a vacation spot, or a breakfast cereal  that  will empower you and bring you happiness and good health and long life all for only $19.95.

Lately I’ve noticed that some of these products promise you they’ll empower you to face and conquer life’s challenges and become the successful person you’ve always wanted to be.

Bunk

How gullible some of us are to believe that there’s power in a pill or breakfast cereal. Or that we will be empowered  to leap tall buildings in a single bound if we brush with a certain brand of empowering toothpaste.

We are woefully misguided if any of us believes he or she has the ability to generate any power on our own.  Many of us rely on our own resources to generate self power, which  is not real power. If we rely on our flesh to produce power, we will surely fail and become frustrated.

 The only Power that is beneficial or  helpful to us is the power that comes from God. That power  resides in the life of Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus as our Savior we reside in him. To access his awesome power we must become weak and surrender our flesh to him. The weaker we become the more power becomes available to us through Christ..

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here is a list of things you are when you live out of your true identity in Christ

  1. you are a totally new creation
  2. you are in Christ
  3. you are totally forgiven for EVERY sin you’ve ever committed, are committing now, or ever will commit in the future
  4. you are totally righteous
  5. you are totally reconciled
  6. you are redeemed
  7. you are sanctified
  8. you are justified
  9. you are totally accepted
  10. you are an integral part of the body of Christ
  11. you are a citizen of heaven
  12. you have eternal life and you’ll never die
  13. you are unconditionally loved
  14. nothing you could ever do would ever make God love you less than He does now

How to feel accepted

We claim  here on For His Glory that acceptance is  mankind’s greatest need. We are all born with it.  In fact none of us can function very well in this life without it.  Many of us enjoy acceptance if we’re fortunate enough to grow up in a healthy home and family environment.  Some of us enjoy acceptance in close friendships or business environments.

 Then there are those without the benefit of healthy families or relationships. Consequently acceptance is often lacking in their lives. They still need  to feel acceptance, but in order to gain it they feel the need to manufacture it themselves.  This is acceptance by self effort. It doesn’t work and often leaves the person feeling frustrated and more unacceptable.

 One way we try to force acceptance is with our appearance. They think if they dress the part   and wear the right clothes  and impress people with their outside appearance they’ll be accepted.

 Some try to gain acceptance with their behavior.  They think if they follow all the social conventions and go to all the right parties and act with social norms they’ll gain acceptance.

Some have  family heritages or business success they can flaunt to make  them appear acceptable.

Unfortunately all these things we do with self effort do not work.

We find are acceptance, needs and self-image met only in God. This is the person God accepts.  In God is the only place we can find who acceptance. And God’s acceptance is true, unconditional and eternal.

Forgiveness

Psychologists and psychiatrists today generally agree that forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance or anger toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.

Dr Tony Evans in his book Detours  divides forgiveness into two categories: unilateral and transnational. If  we forgive someone unilaterally we don’t expect a response. We forgive and forget.  That doesn’t mean we were not impacted by the  or words by the  ocean we are forgiving; it just means we are no longer allowing What they said or did to take up residence in our  minds and thoughts.

If you choose transnational forgiveness you will try to reconcile the relationship with the person  whose actions or words caused you to harbor resentment and  unforgiveness.

Good Christians don’t exist

Lots of folks who want to improve their lives (e.g. to be accepted by God, to get closer to God, to be loved more by God,  to gain God’s favor and blessing) try real hard to be a good Christian. The operative word here is “try“.

But “good” Christians don’t exist.In addition, if someone is declared a ” Good”  Christian  that means somewhere there has to be a bad Christian and a superior Christian and a poor Christian. Do you see the judgmental comparison trap we’d get ourselves into?

The moment we “try” to improve our lot as a “Christian” we take the focus off God and place it squarely on our self effort.

In God’s Kingdom what we do on our own doesn’t count for anything.  The only thing that counts in God’s Kingdom is surrender to Christ’s life allowing him to live His life through us. Christ wants to live His life (not ours) in us, through us, and as us to bring Glory to God. Period.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remains in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Who are we really?

 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.I have identity issues. Ephesians 2:10

You have identity issues. I have identity issues.

 In fact we all have issues about who we really are.

 Fur instance: Do people accept me for who I am?  Am I good enough? Do I need to make more money? Am I in the right job? Could I be doing better for myself and my family?  Do we get along with others? Do I have strong moral values? Do others get along with us?  Can other people trust us? Do we trust other people?

If we’re honest many times many of us walk around in a cloud of confusion wondering what our true identity really is.

For many of us our identity is born from our self-image– what we think of ourselves.  And what we think of ourselves determines our attitudes and our behavior.  Some self-help books tell us to build a better self-image we need to accept ourselves and love ourselves more.  This is a world view–and patently false

God has other ideas about our true identity. During February we’ll be exploring God’s Word  and his instructions about  our true identity. And it has nothing to do with the world. So keep reading For His Glory (.  Prayerfully we’ll be discovering what our true identity in Christ is and how we can learn to live out of it.

3 reasons to believe in predestination

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How well do you know your true self?

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What I believe about myself today

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Good people don’t go to heaven. Bad people do.

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The “Good Christian” myth

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Are we born into sin, or do we become sinful after we’re born?

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I couldn’t survive without my G.P.S.

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The majestic, simple Gospel

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I can do some things through Christ who strengthens me.

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Baskin Robins Christianity

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Child-like

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Who we are in Christ poetically

EDITOR”S NOTE–This week we are fortunate to have Deborah Ann Belka as a guest author. I encountered Deborah when I linked to her post last week on Bloggingmeetup. I wanted to share a post of hers each day this week. She writes beautifully about discovering our true identity in Christ. You may remember that the sole purpose of my blog is to help us all know, understand, believe and live out of our true identity in Christ. Many of my posts focus on those four goals. Deborah Ann captures the pure essence of what our true identity in Christ is in her poetry. I wanted to share her thoughts with all of you. I know you will be blessed. You can read more of Deborah’s writing on her blog at Poetry by Deborah Ann

Who am I in Christ?
By Deborah Ann Belka
I am fearfully
and wonderfully made
I am His new creation
I am predestined
I am chosen
I am adopted
I am a son of God
I am God’s child
I am a child of light
I am a child of day
I am God’s bride
I am God’s clay
I am God’s future
I am God’s hope
I am alive to God
I am destined
I am called

©2013 by Deborah Ann Bulka

New Identity

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A Whopper of an Aroma

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How Big Is Your But?

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A New Guest Blogger

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