Is Our Identity In Christ?

identity
Where does our identity reside?

Is it in a building, a person, a credit card, a location, a wardrobe or a philosophical teaching?

I see a Christ that cries for his servants to realize that true identity is only found and held in Him.  In his wounds that bled on Calvary.  In his blood that was shed for our filth.

It is at the foot of His cross that we find our identity.  It is there that we see the savior, hanging lifeless for all of mankind.  It is there, at the foot of his cross that we loose all that we are and gain all that He wants us to become.

Let us not loose focus on who the author and finisher of our faith is.  He is the Christ child, who grew up among Jews, gentiles, prostitutes and heretics.  The Christ child who spoke with authority in the temple while others marveled at his wisdom and criticized him.

The child that grew up and spoke to crowds congregated in Jewish temples. The savior who rescued a harlot from being stoned.

The redemption of mankind who came into the world as a child and left as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

His identity was in His father and in doing the will of his father.  He was no less of a savior when he established his ministry among unbelieving Jews and Pharisees.  He was and always will be God incarnate.

Let us find our identity in him and in him alone.

Amen – Mariana

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Come Lord Jesus – A Prayer

Come Lord Jesus,
Come and reside in my heart.
Come and dine with your servant.

Behold I lay at your feet, holding on to your garment, waiting for a release of your power in my life.

I lay at your feet, humbled and with a contrite spirit, asking for your covering.
Come and cover your servant as Boaz covered Ruth.

Come Lord Jesus,
Come and cleanse me from my sin
Come and bless your servant.

For I am here awaiting your call.
Let the power of your Spirit be restored in my broken heart.
Let the joy of your salvation be evident on my lips.

Come Lord Jesus,
Come and reside in my heart.
Come and dine with your servant, for I am ready to break bread with you,
now and forever.

Amen
Mariana

Jesus was accused, mistreated and hated – But how did He react?

In reflecting on Jesus I can only imagine all the stuff he had to deal with.  Every single day He was followed by multitudes of people.

Just think for a moment of them pulling at him, tearing at His clothes, calling out to Him, screaming at Him, trying to catch up with Him.  Imagine the complaints and arguments between the disciples.

What was His attitude though?

He chose an attitude of total abandonment to His Heavenly Father’s demands, nothing more.  God’s sole purpose in sending Jesus was to bridge the gap between mankind and God.  To establish a new covenant, a direct road for us to enter into His presence and be forgiven from our filth, be restored and be sent out to accomplish His will.

But it is important to note that Jesus never forces His way upon us. He is not like a thief that breaks into our home and holds us at gunpoint until we do what He says.  No my dear friends, He doesn’t force us into His will with brutality and scorn. With one prayer to the Father Jesus could have forced millions of people into submission. But we do not see this picture of Jesus.  Instead, He wants us to knock at the door of His heart. When we do that, He is there for us and will lovingly help us and forgive us when we seek him in true repentance. Are you knocking at His heart today?

When we knock He answers.  Which takes me to consider how Jesus handled things, how was His attitude?  From reading the bible, it is obvious to me that His attitude reflected complete submission to His Father’s will even as He carried out the difficult task of offering up His body as a living sacrifice.  Even though He was rejected, accused misinterpreted and spat on, His attitude never changed, it was an attitude of love and submission to His Fathers will.

It is amazing how many lessons we have to learn about Jesus but today, I reflected on His attitude and His love towards us.  I know that in my life; I have to repent daily as I don’t always exhibit His holy attitude.  The world and all its garbage sometimes takes a foothold on my heart and instead of acting out Jesus I act out junkBut God wants us to act out Jesus not junk.

Even when Jesus was bothered or correcting someone He did only as His Father had instructed Him.  His attitude was not selfish, demanding or prideful.  He acted only as God told Him because He knew exactly what the Father wanted him to do.
Why?

Well because He prayed daily and often had to leave the crowds, the noise and the craziness to sit silently at His Fathers feet for instruction.

How often do we sit at His feet?  How often are we lost in His presence, crying out to Him for forgiveness and direction?

We can’t expect to be like Jesus, to have His holy attitude if we don’t spend time with Him in prayer.

We will always have trouble in our life and difficult circumstances and people that test our very commitment to God, but we must always seek to obey His calling and adjust our attitude to His instruction.

This message is not an easy one to swallow, I know.

I am choking right now at God’s amazing revelation in my life. I know that it is not easy to be continually refined and cleansed from impurity.

The fire burns as we pass through it, but the finished piece shines like a golden vessel ready to be filled with the precious will of the Father.

How is your attitude today towards others? 
Do you believe that God has a purpose in every situation He brings your way? 
Do you need an attitude adjustment so you can start acting out Jesus instead of junk?

My prayer for us:

May we be dependent on the Lord as a nursing child depends on his mother.  May His words never depart from our heart and may the Glory of the Father be evident in our life today and forever!  ©

God Bless you! – Mariana

Thoughts from Suffering

These past few months have been so intense.  We have endured so many trials both in our life and in the lives of our close friends, its been exhausting.  From health to finances, homelessness and miscarriage.  The rain has beaten down hard on all of our faces and its left us weak.

With all that has been happening its easy to slip into depression, freak out and call it quits.  When life beats us down, its only normal to feel broken, lost and confused.  But as I look up towards heaven through all my tears and sadness, I know that He hears me.  He sees our faith and He knows our pain.  I don’t completely understand why He allows us to suffer so much.  It crushes me to see people that I love go through so much pain.

At times it frustrates me and I struggle to understand why sickness happens to our family and to those around me.  But at the same time, I know that God has a plan in all of this mess, although I don’t understand it.

Going through this period of spiritual and physical suffering has reinforced the belief that we suffer so we can carry the crucified Christ in our hearts and be sensitive to a hurting world.  When we suffer we carry Christ and His love with greater intensity.

So if you are going through a difficult time that has sucked up all your energy and faith, don’t loose heart.  Please don’t loose focus on Him, the resurrected Christ who knows your suffering and is walking with you.  He can carry you through the difficult stony paths if you let Him just like a father carries a tired child.

One of my favorite bible teachers put it this way: “Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts.  If our circumstances change for the better, but we remain the same, then we will become worse.  Gods purpose in providence is not to make us comfortable, but to make us conformable, “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29).  Christlike character is the divine goal for each of His children.”  Warren W. Wiersbe

Scripture reminds us in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 that “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies…..So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Amen – Lots of Love – Mariana  ©