Why & How to OBEY GOD

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What is the Purpose of OBEDIENCE in our life?

Our OBEDIENCE to God YHWH is an indicator of our heart attitude.

In John 14:15 we read, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”

So, obedience demonstrates our thankfulness, our appreciation, our devotion, our reverence for God and our praise.

“Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17, ESV)

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HOW do we become OBEDIENT? Is there a method to it?

Here are some suggested steps to learning OBEDIENCE in order to please our Heavenly Father:-

Step 1: Reading the scriptures daily to know God’s will

The first step to doing God’s will is to actually know what it is, and learn about what pleases our Heavenly Father by reading His holy words in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).

And it [the Word of God] shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear [reverence] the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.” (Deuteronomy 17:19)

Proverbs 8:34 reads, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates.”

Why did the Apostle Paul describe the Brethren from Berea as “more noble” in character than the Thessalonians?

Acts 17:11 (ESV) tells us why. It is because “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

It is a lot easier to deal with the issues of life, the trials, difficulties and testings that come to us, if we have daily input from the scriptures. It produces in our heart an overriding confidence and peace that “transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), helping us “do ALL things through Christ” who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

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Step 2: Developing the will to do God’s will:

As we learn about the Heavenly Father’s will and what God wants us to do, we experience the “old man” (Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 6:6-23), that is, the fallen nature appearing on the scene, that wishes to slow things down in our progress of maturity in Christ.

Fighting against the tendencies of the flesh, which we wish to put to “death” from moment to moment, IS THE BATTLE against sin!

How zealously and diligently with GREAT DISCIPLINE over our thoughts, words and actions do we barricade the fleshly interests… the fleshly wants… the fleshly tendencies in order to let the New Creature in us grow?

You see, the “Old Man” and the “New Creature [in Christ]” are AT WAR with each other! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

If the “old man” gains strength, the “New Creature” in Christ, weakens.

 

In Galatians 6:17-27 we read,

“17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. 27 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

 

  • Which one are we choosing to feed right NOW?
  • Which one will we choose to feed after we read this post?
  • Which one will choose to feed for the remainder of today?
  • How about tonight?
  • How about tomorrow and then for the remainder of this week and this month and year and until the day we die?

Are we consuming more spiritual food than earthly food?

Let’s say we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few snacks in between, well, then that would mean the spiritual food would require to be served seven or more times a day or else the flesh will receive the growth and not the spiritual mind!

Better still, we shall like to feast on the spiritual ALL DAY as it is this kind of “food” that has no side effects but only most righteous and richest benefits (John 17:3, 1 John 2:25). Consuming spiritual food means feasting with Jesus and the spiritual “eagles” (Matthew 24:28; John 6:53-56, Isaiah 40:31).

In 2 Corinthians 5:15-18 the Apostle Paul well explains how all the “New Creatures” in Christ, should treat each other :

 

“14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one [who is “in Christ”] from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

 

May we find time each day to read a psalm and read or sing a hymnrecall and share some biblical verses with whomever we can edify along our day’s pilgrimage. Let us pray on our knees if we can, like the prophet Daniel did (Daniel 6:10)… like the Apostle Paul did (Ephesians 3:14), and above all, like our Lord Jesus did (Mark 1:35, Matthew 6:9-13, Matthew 14:23, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:32, 41-44, Luke 23:34, John 11:41-42, John 12:27-28, John 17:1-26, Hebrews 5:7). By being able to come boldly before the throne of Heavenly grace through our Advocate, Christ Jesus, we are able to keep on the right track, asking for our Father to mercifully show us His will EVER STEP of the narrow way. 

Do we with great joy in the hope set before us, thank our Heavenly Father even when severe stormy experiences come our way?

How much effort do we put in to represent our titles of members of “a royal priesthood”… the “peculiar people”“God’s special possession” (1 Peter 2:9)?

Brethren, how much do we strive to live in the world as citizens of heaven but NOT be “of the world”?

Do we long for earthly friendship OR are our minds consumed by the joys of our friendship with Jesus, whom we are training to be like in character-likeness?

Are we consumed by the friendship we have also in the Apostles and Ancient Worthies whom we are all getting to know actually RIGHT NOW?! The Bible is like a Reading Manual for our preliminary “Orientation” Program given to us by God’s grace, whereby we look forward to working with these whom proved faithful unto death.

The Apostle Paul explains that learning God’s will and wanting to do God’s will is a matter of development in our lives.

 

For it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

 

This means that we not only just learn to desire doing God’s will, but that we actually DO do it to the best of our abilities. These experiences and training in the school of Christ, involve TIME and we DO it with GREAT JOY being motivated by “the precious and very great promises” of God which in turn, gives us HOPE.

“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

The Apostle Peter explains about these precious promises in 2 Peter 1:2-14 (ESV), which  reads:

 

“2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.”

 

By clinging onto the Divine gifts from God founded upon His word, the new mind in Christ, by God’s grace and mercy, is able to overtake or over-weigh the “old mind” of the flesh, growing into maturity in Christ through the tests of faith, to prove worthy as sharers in the grandest prize of all—belonging to Jesus’ body, bring the Heavenly Father greatest possible joy and being granted the privilege to bring the world of mankind into harmony with GOD during the 1000 year Millennial Kingdom Age.

We come to delight in God’s will and delight in doing it when the desire to do so is continuously presented before God.

If we do our part,
God will do HIS part in our lives
and IMMEASURABLY MORE!

(Ephesians 3:20)

 

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There is a wise saying:

“God helps those
who help themselves.”

Expecting miracles without asking, seeking and knocking is perhaps how this can be understood based on what we read in Matthew 7:7-11,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

 

In Philippians 4:6, we are reminds:

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING,
but IN EVERYTHING
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.”

 

In Isaiah 26:9 we read,

“With my soul have I desired thee in the night;
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early.

 

A Desire to Serve God

One of the ways that God brings us to the point where we desire to serve Him is by showing us His Divine Plan of Salvation that we can truly love and respect now “early” before the resurrection of the world—who will all desire God and turn to Him in the Millennium when all shall be taught to walk up the Highway of Holiness in order to gain eternal life, and most will seek life. For is not God’s love better than life itself.

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Let us think back in our lives to a time where we have studied scripture, or attended a convention, or had special fellowship with brethren or in some way come to a special appreciation of God’s character. For instance, when examining some glorious beauties of the Truth and recognizing the perfect harmonious relationship between the Scriptural types and anti-types. Perhaps it was that “eureka” moment of enlightenment upon some glorious gem of God’s Divine Truth that had never been realized before (Daniel 12:10, Proverbs 2:4-6).  Here we were left with a stronger desire and eagerness to seek and do God’s will since. We continuously learn that GOD is more perfect than any other living being that we have ever know.

The Heavenly Father’s love, is the TRUEST, MOST LOYAL LOVE because it is PERFECT LOVE—a love that is balanced perfectly with PERFECT JUSTICE, PERFECT WISDOM, PERFECT POWER and PERFECT STRENGTH (Ephesians 3:14-19).

 

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

 

Jehovah’s love is reflected in Jesus—God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16).

When disappointment and discouragement comes with trials, testings and failures and the realisation of the emptiness of what the world has to offer, we know then that there is no real choice between serving God and serving the flesh/the world. This is another way God’s power works in our lives, guiding us through those experiences and teaching us things.

Perhaps the most painful experiences to the flesh are actually the GREATEST BLESSINGS to the New Creature’s development, for perhaps these are the moments of existence when the SURRENDERING up of self-will occurs fastest or with the best results. When we “let go” of the pain and not fight against the experience, we learn not to attach feeling or any label to the “what is” experiences of the flesh, trusting that “all things work out for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). By numbing the flesh in this way, one can concentrate on feeding the Spiritual Mind and take care to develop joy in the hope given to God’s people through the marvelous precious promises in the Bible.

The Bible is flooded with precious promises and we know they are true because already so many have prophecies have been fulfilled with the Nation of Israel as promised long ago, by the mouth of the holy prophets. For instance, what was once a valley of dry bones, is now an independent country which has gained not only “tendons” and “ligaments”, but “muscles” and soon “the bones” will live again and all things shall be renewed in the approaching millennial reign of Christ with his bride of 144,000 members. (Ezekiel 37, Revelation 7)

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Step 3: Incorporating God’s will into our lifestyle:

We have responsibilities at work and with our families, entertainment, school, neighbours, activities with brethren etc., but how many opportunities do you think you have for obedience in any particular day?

Well, nearly everything we do is an opportunity for obedience.
Every time we interact with people is an opportunity.

A lot of the commandments in the Old Testament apply to us as well as in the New Testament. Let’s consider a few:

  • 2 Timothy 4:2: “Be instant in season and out of season.”

That’s about teaching the word, but really it can apply to us in every regard.

  • Hebrews 13:16: “Forget not to do good and communicate, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

This is talking about an entire lifestyle, being connected with your brethren, being aware of what type of things they’re going through; because if you are, you will have no lack of opportunity to do good.

  • James 1:27: “Pure religion before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

That’s a commandment and a perfect balance between commitment to brethren and personal caring.

There are other things in the Old and New Testament about how to relate to other people, but there are other commandments that also tell us how to act when not with other people, even when we are by ourselves.

  • Philippians 4:8: “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. Also, Pray without ceasing.”
  • 1 Timothy 4:15: “Meditate upon these things: give yourself wholly to them, that your profiting may appear to all.”

This instructs us to take the necessary time to think about what we do in the eyes of God and respect it, so that we may stand in awe of the grandeur of the high standard of being Christ-like, and thus pleasing to our Heavenly Father as His Sons and Daughters.

  • Psalms 4: 4: “Stand in awe, and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”
  • In Hebrews 12:12  we read, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.”

 

In other words, let us be a strengthening influence upon the brethren around us. Let us seek out those hands that hang down and lift them up. Remember Moses, when his hands were up the children of Israel would win and when down they would lose, so it was important for his hands to be held up. We have the same opportunity with our brethren.

 

  • Hebrews 12:13 “And make straight paths for your own feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but rather let it be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” 

By striving to BE RIGHTEOUS IN THE EYES OF GOD—that is by being amongst the company of the the Bible characters during our daily meditations of the Word, we can be saturated with Godly thoughts… Godly words—which result in Godly actions. We can BE GOOD examples to others, someone others can look to for encouragement.

 

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Acknowledgment:

This post was inspired by the content of an excerpt from a talk by Br. Tim Alexander titled “Five steps Towards Obedience.”

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2017/05/11/why-how-to-obey-god/

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But Do You Really Like Yourself?

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Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24, NASB)

Ok so let’s be honest! Do you REALLY like yourself? Do you really think you’re not too this or too that? Maybe the “if only-ies” or “I wish I coulds” creep into your mind as the going gets a bit tougher and rougher than the flesh would want? Maybe your displeased with your reactions or actions? Are you becoming your mind’s worst enemy or nightmare?

Well friends, you are definitely NOT ALONE in your thinking! Many of us seem to fall hostage to the unhappiness of ourselves, which brings us to the question – as Christians, aren’t we supposed to like ourselves so we can be more like Jesus?

How often do we try to drill cliched sayings like this into our subconscious through self talk and perhaps even ‘recite’ one-liners like, “how can I love others if I can’t even love myself.” We start to loath the psychologist in us and end up wasting another day trying to figure out how to stop running away from the root cause to all our problems: coping with one’s self! As if we could do that, then couldn’t we cope with anyone else?

So, it’s time to stop right here and find some answers.

Let’s think BIGGER and think HIGHER as we delve into the world of thinking from a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.

We’ll examine some Scriptural supported reasons why we may feel we don’t like who we are, with realistic solutions.

REASON 1:  I am inherently flawed!

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5, NASB).

16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17, NASB).

This Scripture very specifically says that God loves His human creation, so much, that He sent His son, Jesus with the intention to REDEEM EVERY SINGLE HUMAN!

That should tell us something. God loves us anyway!

Ok, so we know that, but do we really KNOW that?

Why not begin to look at ourselves through God’s own eyes? We like the idea of becoming godly and changing ourselves and growing, but when it comes to doing the work, we just like to talk about the idea. So do we just keep talking about what we want to change or do we actually role up our sleeves and start CHISELLING at ourselves to change and TRUSTING and DEPENDING on God to help us also be who HE wishes us to be?

TRUST comes from faith in our Creator and His Son Jesus, and faith comes from hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).

God sees our sin much more fully than we do, but recognizes our sin in the context of His love.

God not only provides us needed lessons of learning accountability and obedience to HIS WILL, He provides us a pathway back to Him:

6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones, which You have broken rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You” (Psalm 51:6-13, NASB).

David spoke these words after he had committed some pretty terrible sins and brought his guilt before God. But in these verses he began to realize his sins were being viewed through the eyes of love, compassion and mercy – as well as justice.

Make me know wisdom he is capable of knowing it if GOD helps him.

Purify me, and I shall be clean he is capable of being clean if he relies on GOD.

Do not cast me away from Your presence…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation –It was as if David was saying this in his prayer: “GOD, I love you and I know I am valuable in Your eyes, but I lost that value because of my actions. Help me get the value back that I know you see in me. Help me grow from my mistakes. I know am flawed, but I know you see beyond the flaws.”

This is a brilliant way to begin to address the issues of our lives. God sees our potential and encourages us to come up higher. We talk to God.

TELL GOD “THANK YOU” for forgiveness and seeing worth in me.

TELL GOD “I LOVE YOU.”

TELL GOD ” I’M SORRY.”

TELL GOD “PLEASE FORGIVE ME.”

TELL GOD  “I WANT TO PLEASE YOU”; “I WANT TO ONLY DO YOUR WILL AS IT IS AS PERFECT AS YOU ARE”; “I WANT TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.”

ASK GOD ” PLEASE FATHER, ABBA, HELP ME”; “WHAT IS YOUR WILL FOR ME?”; “SHOW ME WHAT YOU WANT OF ME FATHER.”  

If we do our part in wanting to improve, God will do His part. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

When we do bring our flawed selves back to God it is a glorious time, as we can learn to live in His love:

1Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; 3Who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; 4Who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; 5Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle” (Psalm 103:1-5, NASB).

David found a way to see from God’s perspective and it was a cause for praise. David understood it is that perspective that could rule his life.

This is a huge ATTITUDE CHANGE! It came from learning God’s LOVE through learning about God’s forgiveness.

We can consciously work to make an attitude change, but if we do not keep it changed, it will reverse. This is a challenge!

Let’s keep telling ourselves “What gives us the right to not like ourselves if God loves us?”

We insult God’s name if we walk around feeling worthless!

God is the potter and we are His clay. We do not have the right to complain about the way in which he molds us if we have surrendered up our wills to Him, trusting that our perfect Creator will creator a perfect masterpiece out of what He has allowed to come to life.

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When we communicate with others, let’s try to speak in glowing terms and not be pessimistic, insulting or harsh. Our communication reveals what we are leaning on.

Here is what to lean on for positive, strong communication:

12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:12-17, NASB).

If we have the Lord Jesus in our hearts and minds, it will elevate our communication even when we are not talking about spiritual things.

REASON 2: I have made many bad choices based upon my sinful flesh and desires!

“1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Ephesians 2:1-3, NASB).

Do you think that God is not aware of your bad choices? How does He see you in spite of them?

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures” (James 1:17-18, NASB).

Take a moment to ask yourself this: Why would God give me His love of the Truth for the benefit of all, if I were just trash?

Give God credit in His love for you.

Shine your joys of THANKFULNESS & GRATITUDE for all HIS BENEFITS shown towards you and this is what we are told to do in Psalm 116:-

“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people…” (Psalm 116: 12, 17, 18).

Let’s try to listen to God’s voice that says, “I love you, my child. I know you are broken, but that is why I am here in your life.”

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Regarding our bad choices, we cannot take away what has already happened – our personal history is there to stay.

Our personal history can be destructive, especially if we view it as our personal present and personal future.

Every time we use a Scripture that talks about how bad we are, we will go to the context to find out how good God is in correcting that.

So, how does God view our personal history?

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His GRACE in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by GRACE you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:4-10, NASB).

God loved us even when we were dead in our transgressions.

Whose opinion, whose observation, whose assessment of your personal history is most reliable?

God’s of course.
Do we believe it intellectually or actually trust it is true?

It is okay to not like parts of ourselves–this is appropriate when we are not doing things right, kind or loving.

But God sees our character as POTENTIAL ground for goodness and godliness.

 So we need to learn to love ourselves in spite of not liking what we do.

That is part of the balance. We have to rely on God’s eyes and not our own. See things through God’s eyes.

6 The LORD performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness. 9 He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:6-11, NASB).

We cannot comprehend the size and scope of God’s love. God’s grace, benevolence and plan are bigger than you or I can imagine! Why wouldn’t we trust His view of our broken selves?

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7, NASB).

Drive your desires towards God’s mind and God’s way. He knows it is difficult which is why He gives us so many things we can rely on.

Comparing ourselves to others (and never measuring up) is one of Satan’s greatest tools of lies. Our comparisons should encourage us.

Let us learn to say, for example:

The Apostle Peter made a lot of mistakes but look how strong he became. I can learn from his experiences.”

We do not want to let the mess of our lives override the love of God in our lives. God loves us in spite of our sin and in spite of our difficulties.

Would the God of the Universe not understand us? We need to rethink the eyes we see ourselves with and the voice we listen to.

God appreciates our frailty and has made allowance for it. Do you do the same for yourself?

20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you; or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honourable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable…” (1 Corinthians 12:20-23, NASB).

There is great wisdom in the structure of the body of Christ. Different members do different things, and some have more honor than others. But so what? They all have value and are a part of something bigger.

REASON 3: I don’t always do what is right, even when I know better!

14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:14-15, NASB).

Are we not all so often walking contraditions? We see, we know, and we want to do God’s will, but we so often do less, or act contrary or even defy it.

We see this as a reason to beat ourselves down, but how does God see it?

21 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:21-25, NASB).

God sees our flaming contradictions through the covering of Jesus. What is His reaction?

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God sees us as being made right through Jesus. Surely we could begin to see what He sees!

We being imperfect can never truly please God, so aren’t we really fighting an unwinnable battle?

We are weak and lack in discipline and focus. We even hold onto things that may not be right in God’s eyes, yet our Heavenly Father sees the depth of our heart above and beyond all of these things!

5 One person regards one day above another; another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:5-8, NASB).

The Apostle Paul was saying he was a slave to sin but did not want to be. He fought against that but acknowledged the fact that the fight existed.

One of the basic Christian principles is learning how to get beyond our own limitations when it comes to forgiveness.

REASON 4: Even when I do what is right, it seems to end up bad anyway!

6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 There is no one who calls on Your name, who arouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities” (Isaiah 64:6-7, NASB).

We see ourselves as so incomplete and so unworthy that we assume ourselves to be generally worthless, and this is the way we define our lives. What does God see?

God sees value, He sees worth, He sees potential. He sees what we can be in His hands:

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8, NASB).

The way we see ourselves dictates in whose hands we place our lives.

Do you place your life in God’s hands or Satan’s?

15 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer. 17 But the loving-kindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, 18 To those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them” (Psalm 103:15-18, NASB).

God’s thoughts and plans are based on eternity – shouldn’t we rely on His judgment of us? Temporary vs. eternity? Flawed thinking vs. perfect thinking? Creator vs. created?

Are we making accomplishments in lifting others to higher spiritual levels?

16 Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified… 19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life, which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly” (Galatians 2:16, 19-21, NASB).

The Law served a great purpose, but its real purpose was to bring us to the next step. Our lives have to be in Christ so we can become acceptable to God. We are acceptable not because of our own doing; rather, because Christ “covers” us with his righteousness.

God does not call us in order to cover a piece of dirt with Christ, but He calls us because of the “YOU” He wants to draw out.

The lesson for us all is not to change the way we look through our eyes or through the eyes of other humans, because God is interested in our sincerity of heart deep within our soul.

Be the best “YOU” as God sees you!

So, are we doomed to trudge through life – trying, failing and then finally dying?

Doomed? No! Privileged? Yes!

God absolutely loves us and absolutely has our highest welfare in mind, after all, He IS our Father!

4 You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, my son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 for those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives. 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:4-7).

REASON 5: I cannot escape from the mire of this pit of my own sin!

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, there is none righteous, not even one; 11 there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; 12 all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. 13 their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips…” (Romans 3:9-13, NASB).

Jesus has released us from sin so what we need to do is TRUST in that release as we see the WHOLE picture in Scripture of how God sees us!

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” (Romans 3:23-28, NASB).

When you are justified, you are made right in God’s eyes. We are not actually “right” while still in our sinful state, which is why we need the “covering” of Christ’s righteousness.

When God sees us through the covering of Jesus, He sees our potential. This is just how we look at our own children when they make mistakes – we look at their potential.

Think of the reasons why you do not like yourself and replace those reasons with how God views you.

That does not mean we stop our work on character development into the likeness of Christ but it means we recognized that through God’s eyes we  see we have potential to improve and change and thus we can TRUST God’s ABILITY to mold us into something of incredible value. We start out as a lump of clay in a potter’s hand, and end up a beautiful vessel.

To live above our dislike for ourselves is to FINALLY breathe the fresh air of God’s mighty plan and really understanding what God’s Perfect Righteous LOVE feels like to learn how to develop this same kind of love.

19 The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! 21 Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you who serve Him, doing His will. 22 Bless the LORD, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul!” (Psalm 103:19-22, NASB).

We choose what we set our minds upon. 

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NASB).

We must get out of the routine of, “I don’t like myself; I’m a failure,” and change that thinking to, “I love myself because I know unequivocally that God not only loves me, but He works with me and cares for me and has a plan for me. I am God’s MASTERPIECE. God sees great POTENTIAL in me. I can be an asset in the hands of God.”

We need to review Psalms 103 often!

God wants you to develop into something better–your potential. That is how we need to see ourselves. God has provided many inspirations for us to grab hold of. Learn to see ourselves through God’s eyes and put ourselves in God’s hands so His plan can be accomplished.

A text that easily puts the idea of loving ourselves into a positive light:

28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the foremost of all? 29 Jesus answered, the foremost is, HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. 31 The second is this, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31, NASB).

Keep our love for ourselves in a positive and humble light:
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality” (Romans 12:3-13, NASB).

 Let love be without hypocrisy when we despise ourselves, it is actually a hypocritical act if we do in fact believe that God and Jesus love us and want to walk in the footsteps of Jesus as we serve God’s will.

A prayer of Daniel that reveals the sinful and broken state of himself and the nation of Israel:

4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and loving-kindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6 Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land. 7 Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day–to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8 Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You” (Daniel 9:4-8, NASB).

With such a state of affairs, the temptation could be to go down the road of self-loathing but Daniel was far more mature than that and simply lived his faith in God’s forgiveness. Are WE that mature?

The answer to such a humble and sincere prayer came in the form of an angel:

“20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision” (Daniel 9:20-23, NASB).

Acknowledgment:

The content for this post is based on a radio program by “Christian Questions”– http://christianquestions.com/
At the above link, you can find out how to tune in to the LIVE Broadcasts of the radio programs via the “Mixlr” App (anywhere in the world) as well as sign up for CQ Rewind, and obtain a written transcript of each weekly program which provides all of the Scriptures discussed on the program and the reasoning behind them, complete with graphics and illustrations. It’s a great Bible study and character development tool.
The URL for this post: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/07/29/but-do-you-really-like-yourself/

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