We Are Children of God

S (Scripture) – 1 John 3:1-3 “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.  For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.  And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  NASB

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us!  Just look at it – we’re called children of God!  That’s who we really are.  But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.  But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God.  And that’s only the beginning.  Who knows how we’ll end up!  What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him – and in seeing him, become like him.  All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.”  The Message

O (Observation) – What we believe about ourselves will determine what we think and do in our lives.  The writer of Hebrews reminds us that now we are children of God.  Despite what our lives used to be like apart from Him, we are now “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  If we truly believe that we are God’s children, our actions should reflect it.

A (Application) – No one is perfect, but those who are in Christ understand that He is coming back for His bride (the body of Christ) one day – we should live our lives in anticipation, and pursue holiness in our thoughts, intentions, and actions.  What are we watching, reading, sharing, laughing at, and spending our time doing?  How are we treating, serving, and loving others?

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, help me to be pure.  It’s so easy for me to slip back into the ways of the world and do what everyone else does, but You have called us to be holy, as You are holy (1 Peter 1:16).  If something is holy, it is set apart.  Help me to be set apart for You.  Help me to live this life with the truth that I am Yours – Your child.


Agreeing with God

I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 2nd, 2009

S (Scripture) – Genesis 3 “Where are you?  Who told you?  What have you done?”

O (Observation) – God already knows the answers to all of the questions He asks us, but He wants us to acknowledge what we have done.  He wants us to see what He sees.  God sets rules, boundaries, and limitations for our own good.  We may not understand why we are not to do certain things, but we need to trust that God really does know what is best for us.

A (Application) – We must recognize when we have fallen short and be quick to confess to God when He asked.  We, also as parents, need to make sure our children understand what they have done, and that it was wrong and unacceptable.  Proper discipline must follow.

P (Prayer) – Father, help me see things from Your perspective when dealing with myself and my children.

This particular entry is very special to me, as it was before I ever even thought of having children.  Now that I am a parent, it is all the more real to me in a mighty way!


I came across my very first journal recently, and plan to share these entries as a way to preserve them, pass them on, and see how the Lord has richly blessed my journey with Him over the years.

March 1st, 2009

S (Scripture) – The creation account in Genesis 1, “And God said…and it was so.” – Over and over again…in order.

O (Observation) – I see that everything has to happen step-by-step.  Like a cake recipe, you can’t leave one thing out, bake it too fast, and rush to make it faster.  Certain things need to happen before other things can happen.  The only one in control is God.

A (Application) – God is asking, “Do you trust me?”  As much as I want to change someone or their circumstances, I need to understand more completely that God’s recipe is far greater than anything I can come up with on my own.  He is looking for the best way to bring Himself glory, and only He knows what timing is best.  I submit to Your timing, Lord.

P (Prayer) – Lord, give me patience.  Help me see things from Your perspective.  Stop me from trying to change the recipe – rather, show me where I fit in.

Abide in Him = Confidence

S (Scripture) – 1 John 2:28 “Now little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”

O (Observation) – Lord Jesus, whether the world acknowledges it or not, You have promised us that You are coming back again.  Many people don’t realize how much You talk about that day, and eternity after, in Your word.  We are right in the middle of Your story, and one day, it is just going to happen.  Your word says, “…the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2)”  Everyone will be surprised.  Some will be fearful – perhaps those that have lived their lives in direct opposition to You.  Others will be joyful – those who have abided in You, know You, and are known by You.  They will stand before You with confidence, knowing that they have fought the good fight and have stood strong until the end.  Yet others will experience this shrinking away from You on that day – those that had every intention of getting to know You more, but were too busy and wrapped up in the cares of the world.

A (Application) – Life is short.  We know this intuitively.  We have watched loved ones as they age, said goodbye to others, and over the years it seems that we are constantly learning of someone we care about passing on.  Whether it be that we die, or that Jesus returns, either way we are at risk of living our lives without abiding in Him.

We must constantly re-evaluate our priorities.  What is it that we spend our time doing?  What have we allowed to become an idol in our lives?  Where do we spend our money?  What do we long for?  What breaks our heart?  What gives us joy?  What is our quiet time with the Lord like?  Who are we discipling?  Who are we caring for and serving?  Answering these questions will allow our true priorities to surface.  Ultimately, we must be ready to meet our Lord face-to-face on any given day.  If we are not yet saved by His grace, that would be first and foremost.  For those that are professing believers, we must ask ourselves, “Are we abiding in Him?”  Would we stand confidently in His presence, excited about the new and beautiful creation He has made out of the broken pieces of our lives?  Or would we shrink back in shame, wishing we had gotten around to learning what it meant to abide in Him sooner?

P (Prayer) – Jesus, You are the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords.  May we never put anything in our lives ahead of You.  Show us what it means to abide in You.  Help us each day to grow more in our faith, in our obedience, in our trust, and in our hope.

The song, “If You Say Go,” from Rita Springer comes to mind:

If You say go

We will go

If You say wait

We will wait

If You say step out on the water

And they say it can’t be done

We’ll fix our eyes on Your and we will come

Your ways

Are higher than our ways

And the plans that You have laid

Are good and true

If You call us to the fire

You will not withdraw Your hand

We’ll gaze into the flames and look for You

Authentic Fellowship

S (Scripture) – 1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

O (Observation) – Lord, You want nothing less than our authentic love for You and for others.  So many that claim Your name today live the vast majority of their lives apart from Your fellowship, and are in the driver’s seat of their own lives.  The result is a broken person…broken because their fellowship with both You and others isn’t genuine and mature.  These men and women walk in darkness, avoiding Your light of truth that is always shining, and ultimately end up either pulling away from the body of Christ, or withholding their authentic selves from others.

A (Application) – True growth comes as a result of God illuminating areas in our lives that need to be addressed – one-by-one, and it is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.  Maturity is intentional, and requires a person to be disciplined and focused.  The most basic element, however, is authenticity.  If we are going to grow in our Christian walk, we must be willing to open up 100% of ourselves to the Lord, and to others.

P (Prayer) – Everlasting Father, the sooner we acknowledge that You know everything about us, everything we’ve ever done, and everything we will ever do, maybe we would stop trying to be anything less than authentic with You.  May our relationships with others be an inevitable overflow of love, grace, and true fellowship that we have with You.  Show us what it means to love well, forgive always, and continuously walk in Your light.

Show True Humility to Everyone

S (Scripture) – Titus 3:1-2 “Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” NASB

“Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers.  They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling.  Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.” NLT

O (Observation) – Paul goes on to say in the following verse, “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.  But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

The Moody Bible Commentary says, “Believers lose patience with the lost when they forget their own past.  Kindness describes God’s benevolent disposition toward sinful humanity.”

It is very easy to get caught up in arguments with others who do not share our Christian beliefs.  Paul is clear in sharing God’s instruction for us to love others and demonstrate His kindness to all.  May we not forget that each of us at one point in time, regardless of our current fellowship with the Lord, used to walk to the beat of our own drum – apart from Him.

A (Application) – In order to be fishers of men and make disciples for Christ, we have to show the world what it is like to live this life having fellowship with the Lord.  That does not mean that our lives are perfect or without suffering.  We are able to walk through this life with a solid foundation, as well as the love and guidance of our God each and every moment.  Those in the world around us will take notice if they see what we have and want it for themselves.  If we are kind, humble, compassionate, gentle, and speak the truth in love, we will become the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and broken world.  Endless bickering about why other peoples’ beliefs are not in alignment with God’s Word is not going to all of a sudden change the way they think and feel.  We must not water down the Gospel, or any part of the truth, however we must bring that truth to others on the wings of respect and humility.

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, thank You for your presence.  A true Christ-follower is marked by Your Holy Spirit, and is actively walking with You – submitted to You.  May we show the world the peace that can only come from You, the hope that can only come from You, and the love that can only come from You, by what we say and do each and every day.

The song, “Salt & Light,” from Lauren Daigle comes to mind:

“Oh the beauty of the King

You make righteous those who seek

You have written and redeemed my story

Let my eyes see Your kingdom shine all around

Let my heart overflow with passion for Your name

Let my life be a song, revealing who You are

For You are salt and light

Oh the love that set me free

You bring hope to those in need

You have written and redeemed my story

For You are salt and light

You are love’s great height

You are deep and wide

A consuming fire”

Preparation for Eternity

S (Scripture) – Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

O (Observation) – I see that You want to take our hearts, Lord, and purify them.  You want to take them from the broken, sinful state we bring them to You in, and transform them into something completely new and beautiful.  You are in the business of redemption and restoration.

A (Application) – What we believe about the afterlife will dramatically influence how we live our lives today.  We will all die at some point, and will face eternity either with God, or apart from God.  “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:11-12).”  When we proclaim to “have the Son” by placing our faith and trust in Him, we cannot help but be purified by His Holy Spirit.

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, thank You for Your gift of sanctification.  As I follow after You, Your Holy Spirit is renewing my mind, drawing me closer, and purifying my heart.  Only You can raise a life.  As I go through this life on earth, may it be spent in preparation for eternity with You.  May I never lose sight of the fact that everything we see is only temporary, and that the work You are doing in me and the work accomplished for Your kingdom purposes are eternal.