Stronger

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God desires for you and me to become stronger. Stronger emotionally, in faith, in love and stronger in the sense that we rest on His sufficient grace.

Today, I will talk about how to become stronger, for His Glory and to help fulfill His purposes in our lives.

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Who is God?

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
Exodus 34:6

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You that You are my Abba Father. A heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally. I rejoice that I am your child. Your grace is enough for my failures, and I thank you for your forgiveness. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you want to get out of a stagnant position or situation, or you’re new to the Christian faith, possibly you’re wondering which area of your life needs to change; putting these principles, in this series of posts, into action holds the power to impact your life and make you stronger as a result. 

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Our relationship with God.

Have you ever believed that God is disappointed in you?

As a Christian, I have certainly felt this way before. Your church, the Bible and friends and family have told you countless times that Jesus loves you. And although that statement is completely true, in my experience, when life becomes challenging, it is easy to wonder if Jesus actually loves us? Does he even like us? Is God disappointed in us? Personally, I am disappointed in how the human race has destroyed earth and how we treat each other. So why shouldn’t God feel the same?

Our view of Christ will shape our view of ourselves – our view of ourselves will define how we live our lives. If we are to become stronger, and mature in our faith, it is crucial to understand who God really is and what he thinks about us.

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Position vs Performance

Imagine your child who has done the unimaginable. Dishonoured his parents, demanded their money, ran away from home and wasted everything that he had originally taken. You could say that this was the point of no return; punishment and rejection from his parents should be inevitable. Right? We’ll circle back to this in a moment.

Think about your own lowest moment, what do you feel you deserve?

After your son hits his lowest point he has no choice but to shamefully come home, ask for forgiveness and ask his parents for forgiveness.

In Luke 15:11-32 we find a very familiar parable:

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

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17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Notice how the younger of the 2 sons perceived himself and his situation, anticipating an angry and disappointed father on his return – and a life of repaying his debts But, something surprising happens. His father sees him approaching in the distance and he runs towards him, and throws his arms around him. He was received with gladness! The son received nstant forgiveness without even asking for it. See, where earlier we expected anger, but the exact opposite happened.

This is how Christ sees us and loves us – unconditionally!

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Love and not anger

A hug instead of anger, celebration instead of rejection! Wow! What had been acceptable to become a servant, His father still called him a son. The father rejoiced upon his return saying ‘For this Son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’.

Our lives are not defined by our performance, but by our position as Children of God! God loves you forever and always. He cannot love you any more and He will not love you any less.

Do you feel like you have gone too far down the wrong path, that God won’t accept you?

Take heart in the truth that you cannot disappoint your Heavenly Father who already knows everything about you. Nothing surprises him or can separate you from His love.

Food for Thought

How can you begin to live in your position as a Child of God, rather than striving to perform for your Father? Our strength is found in our identity as His Children.

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath

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