Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 152- A Biblical Affirmation First

In our Bible study this morning, we were encouraged to read over 5 Biblical affirmations from Chip Ingram's book R12 daily for the next 6 weeks.  I read over them today for my "first."

The study was based on Romans 12:3 which says, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." The point of the study was that we need to think accurately about ourselves.  We need to see ourselves as God sees us.  There are two dangers in relation to this.  One is that we can think too highly of ourselves.  That is very unattractive and not a good witness for Jesus.  It's no fun to be around someone who is always thinking of themselves. The other danger is to think too lowly of yourself. It's no fun and not a very attractive witness for Jesus is we are always acting beat down and can't speak up because we feel we don't matter.

Chip said that we need to fill our minds with God's word and truth.  Part of that is filling our minds with what God says is true of us when we are "in Christ."  In fact, Paul's favorite term for believers is "in Christ."  We tend to use words like Christian, believers, or followers of Jesus and those are good words.  Paul used "in Christ" or some variation of that well over 100 times in his letters. Ephesians 1:3 says that  God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  The 5 Biblical affirmations Chip encourages us to go over each day deal with appearance, worthiness, belongingness, security, and competence.  Here are the affirmations:

My physical appearance (in my unchangeable aspects) is beautiful in God’s sight. He is my designer and maker. Psalm 139:13–17 (NIV) {13} For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. {14} I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. {15} 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. {17} How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
I am wanted, appreciated and loved by God, the most important person in my life.
Romans 8:31–32 (NIV) {31} What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? {32} He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
I am now a righteous person in God’s sight since I have trusted Christ.
I am covered by the robe of His purity and goodness. Also, since I have a new nature, I am a good person in my general practice of life as I continue to grow in Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 61:10 (NASB) I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
I am secure in my relationship to Jesus Christ in my daily safety and well-being, and in my future outlook. Whether on earth or in Heaven. Romans 8:38–39 (NIV) {38} For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, {39} neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am a competent person, equipped by the Holy Spirit to carry out God’s will in my daily life in a way that pleases Him, regardless of what stage of growth I may be in at the present. My real importance in life is connected with way I am touching other people’s lives with the love of God and message of Christ.
Philippians 2:13 (NIV) for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
So, I decided to run these affirmations off on card stock and cut them out so I can have them to read over each day.  I know I'll forget and it will just be another good idea that I don't do if I don't make some effort to remind myself. So, I'll keep these near my bedside, on the counter where I get dressed, or near my computer. I might need to go run off another set.

My photographer; she always manages a few selfies when she's my photographer

One of the purposes of doing this is that we replace our self-centered thoughts with God's thoughts. Some of our old thought patterns need to be cut away. They are unproductive, contrary to God's purposes and simply not true.  Many of us have a tendency to think thoughts are self-condemning, reliving mistakes of the past, and serve only to weaken our desire to live for Christ. These thoughts simply must be cut away.

Instead, we can think God's thoughts. God says certain truths about who we are in Him.  He gets the glory.  We get to honor Him by living according to what He says about us.  Instead of thinking I'm no good at anything and just a failure, I can think that I'm fearfully and wonderfully made.  Instead of worrying about my future and what's going to happen, I can praise God for the security I have in Christ. We can't simply stop the negative and untrue thoughts. We must replace them with God's truth.

When we start believing what God says about us, we can start living the way God intended.  Our thinking about who we are needs to match what God says about us.  When we can match our thinking with God's word, we can live a life of security, not needing other people's affirmations to feel good about ourselves, and not needing to be the center of attention (or afraid to be). We can just be who God made us to be.

The color of the cards match my shirt

Well, will I keep this up for the next 6 weeks like Chip suggested? I'm not sure, but I'm glad I did today.  Feel free to join in and read the affirmations each day (if you are "in Christ") and believe what God says about you. The truth will set you free.
Glad for the truth about the abundant life
3 things I thank God for today
1. Truth
2. Chip Ingram's book R12
3. Teenagers who shared about what God is doing in their lives at church tonight

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