Saturday, February 11, 2017

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 

"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."

We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in Him." Ephesians 2:10

"and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24

So, we were created in God's image, we were created as His workmanship, and in Him we are found to be to made new. Scripture takes us deeper even. We are told that He lives within us! Yes, our bodies, that He created, He too made to be a temple, a holy temple, for the Spirit to abide within us. When we come to personally know Christ, when we invite Him into our heart, at the moment we believe He is our Savior, He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us. 

"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:13-14

"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, that we who first trusted in Christ Jesus should be to the praise of His glory." Ephesians 1:11-12

We are now sealed with a promise. We have an inheritance that is only found when we accept Christ Jesus as our Savior. Once we do, at that very moment, the Spirit abides within us. In our temple, designed specifically made for Him. 

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19

What was the price for us to have life? Christ Jesus. His life was the price in which was paid so that we could have everlasting life. This isn't just a life on this earth. Our life here is rather short compared to the everlasting life in heaven, our destination, our home, that was created for us by the God who gave it all. It is in Him that we find redemption. 

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth-in Him." Ephesians 1:7-10

This God who created us, gave us not only purpose, but one to bring glory to God. He didn't just create us and let us be. He loves us so much more that to do that. He planned our lives. Each moment, each breath before us, He planned. I tell you, it's difficult for me to take in that kind of love. A love that goes far beyond the love we feel on earth. Oh, don't get me wrong. We love deep, right? But see, God's love is deeper. 

"And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." Exodus 3:14

Our God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As He remains the same, we change as we walk with Him. The closer we abide with Him the more we are going to be in constant change. As we are always changing we are being made new. This remarkable metamorphosis can only happen through our Lord. 

"Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to you in order; If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered." Psalm 40:5

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

His thoughts toward me are good. My Savior intercedes for me. He goes before the Father on my behalf. What a mighty love. There are so many scriptures that share of who I AM is to us. He is our Everything. Through Him we are found righteousness. But what about my thoughts? Those daily thoughts that I have toward myself? 

In the Bible we see I AM over Seven hundred times in the Old and New Testament. These are places were God is described to us. He is the I AM. See, every time we speak, "I am", that is a description of God. We are made in His image, right? Everything good about us is His creation. But how often does our daily description of oursselves look like this?

I am so fat.
I am so ugly.
I am so lazy.
I am so stupid.
I am so...You fill in the blank. We do a lot looking down on ourselves, don't we? We speak a lot of, "I am", but when we speak of ourselves in such a way what is this saving of our Creator? That "I am" list could be pages long. It too could go to the other extreme and be a very prideful list. 

But somewhere in there we must instead of looking in the mirror and judging ourselves to this world's standards, let us look instead at our Creator and all that He is within us. That's extraordinary. 

See, every time we put ourselves down, we put down our God, our Creator. We are saying to Him, "What You created in me isn't good enough. You didn't do a good job with me. You made a huge mistake when you created me". Imagine Him designing each of us. Imagine our God creating us to be spectacular and unique in every way possible.

Think about for a bit. We say, "I am", all throughout the day.
I am so sad.
I am so hungry.
I am so happy.
I am so excited.

Yes, every single time we introduce ourselves to another we say, "Hi, I am Robin." That's something to really ponder! I AM is in everything about the people He created! This is remarkable to me to even ponder. 

Let us instead praise our Savior with words of edification. Let us be thankful. Let us speak with gratitude, finding the beauty within the ash. We are pearls of beauty to our Savior. I want to see myself as He sees me. I don't want to compare myself to others or judge myself as this world finds beauty. 

As I glorify my God with my words I too need to glorify Him as I describe myself. Give it a try today. See how it goes. Each day find something extraordinary about yourself and praise God by living a life of gratitude. It changes us. It also helps us to be examples for others. It's easy for me to praise Him for His creation. I easily see His beauty in others. But when it comes to myself, well, that's a bit more difficult. But we are always harder on ourselves than on others, right? 

Changing my attitude, catching myself when I say, "I am....", and then pondering my thoughts before I speak them brings me to ponder God all the more. I am not only thinking of my words I would use to describe myself today. How I look and how I feel. But going beyond appearance and thinking about my use of language and my actions throughout the day. It seems we talk differently when others are around. You know, when we are all alone? Yeah, those thoughts and deeds. I want everything about me to give praise to my Savior. To this God who create me, planned my life, gave me life, and continues to live within me. 

Of course, I can never repay Him for all He has done. If I could it would no longer be about my Savior. It would be about me. But see, it's about grace and mercy. And that's all about Him.

Of course we are going to have bad days. Things are always going to happen. But it isn't that circumstance that defines us. It is who we are in Christ and let me tell you, through Him, we are children of God. In that alone there is much to be praised. 

All those I am's I speak daily need to change. What about you? 

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8



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