#Children of God

On our own we are nothing

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He takes all our sins, faults, weaknesses, and failures, and gives us His ability, His righteousness, and His strength. He takes our diseases and sicknesses and gives us His healing and health. He takes our messed-up, failure-filled past and gives us forgiveness and hope of a bright future.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6.

But in Christ, we have a beautiful future, one worth looking forward to. In Christ means that we have placed all our faith in Him in every aspect of our lives.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the bright future we have in your son Jesus Christ.

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Move far away from the shallow

Advertisements Reflecting on the last wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, “Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born“. To view the firstContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments

Forgiving Offenses

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Have you ever found yourself frustrated by people who aren’t paying attention in traffic and inevitably force you to slam on your brakes? I certainly have. After an eye roll and a possible snarky comment and perhaps even a hand “signal”, does this reaction make you feel better or set up the rest of your day for bad reactions?

Why do we allow such trivial matters to dictate our days? Why in the world do we get so easily offended by the actions of others?

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It might be likely that we identify too much with being right. Think about my traffic example. Maybe you think: I’d never cut someone off—because I’m an excellent driver. 

Essentially, we get angry because we assume we’re a better person than the bad driver, better than others. We too quickly forget we’re all in the same boat: the imperfect boat. We all fall short of God’s perfection. 

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23

We might even assume others are intentionally trying to provoke or hurt us. We form instant negative opinions about others based on this hurtful assumption. We can’t allow our unfounded feelings to wreak havoc in our lives. Feelings are meant to indicators for us, not dictators. Recognise them, but then focus on the facts.

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Here are three ways to help you avoid becoming easily offended.

1. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Proverbs 19:11 gives us the wisdom to overlook an offense. People don’t always intend to hurt you. So, if you want to assume, just assume they didn’t mean to hurt you. Maybe they’re responding to real hurt and stress in their life. You and I have probably said offensive things we didn’t mean, and people have probably shown us grace. Let’s reciprocate that. A person with a mature faith will abstain from making assumptions and instead choose to give the benefit of the doubt.

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.  Proverbs 19:11

2. Lighten up. When we get offended, we assume that the other person had us in mind. That, my friend, is arrogance. There is a strong chance that you weren’t even in the equation when they said or did that offensive thing. Lighten up by not making yourself the center of the world—and lighten up by letting go of the offense faster than it can weigh you down.

3. Talk yourself off the ledge. When you feel an offense rising up, ask yourself: Why does this bother me? Will this even matter in a day or a week? We must get to the core of why we are so upset. The only thing we gain by being offended is chaos on the inside.

Remember: No one can make you feel offended. Will people say devastating things that make it difficult to remain unoffended? Yes. But can we really stop them? No. 

We cannot choose their actions, but we can choose how we respond—like letting go or creating boundaries for situations that show themselves to be repeatedly hurtful. Then, we can choose to give people the benefit of the doubt and talk ourselves down from situations when our offenses begin to skyrocket. 

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5: 1‭-‬2

“Jesus’ approval is better than life. We need to ask ourselves; do we want Jesus’ approval or is our desire for vengeance stronger and keeping us from seeing our Saviour? We must choose, to love as Christ loves, to take those thoughts captive, and choose not to dwell in the pain. In those moments, we must remind ourselves, “I can forgive, because I am forgiven.”

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And we must forgive ourselves, too.

Heavenly Father, please help me to show others grace today. Let my words be kind and my actions helpful. Please help me not to respond selfishly. Instead, allow me to respond with love. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Be Still my restless heart

Advertisements Watching the storm with a restless heart The roaring thunder The strong winds A flash of lightning The storm rages on In it, I hear God’s voice say: Be still. Psalm 46:10 God is Omnipresent 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?    Where can I flee from your presence?8 If I go up to the heavens, you areContinue reading →

Laziness Ruins Happiness

Advertisements What Makes Diligence a Virtue? Most people do not want to be thought of as lazy — as a person averse to hard work. We all know laziness is a vice — a corrupting and addicting use of a good gift: rest. Leisure in proper doses is a wonderful, refreshing gift of God. But habitualContinue reading →

Release Your Regrets

Advertisements Once you have recognised your regret for what it is, you are then ready for the next step: release your regrets. Ask yourself these five questions: Do you regret committing a sin? Your regret may have been something you did that put distance between you and God. Letting go of that regret will requireContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Forgiveness, 0 comments

Roots and Fruits – the Child of the Devil

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If you plant a fruit tree, let’s say an orange tree, you will expect oranges to grow. An orange tree will not produce pears. It is not part of the orange tree’s nature to produce a different fruit. This is a good way to imagine how the natural is a resemblance of the Spiritual. Just as a physical seed cannot produce something outside its genetic code, so God’s seed cannot produce something opposing to His nature. John shares a powerful and profound message that can help us to better understand our nature in Christ and to identify and be aware of the work of the Devil. 

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The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3: 8‭-‬10

The child of the Devil cannot produce divine fruit: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8‭). This is saying, satanic roots will produce satanic fruit. Someone who is doing the works of the Devil must have a nature within him like the Devil’s. 

The sinful nature we have today is one of the results of the fall of Adam. Adam was not created sinful, but his choice to defy the Lord and sin somehow twisted his make-up, and this twisted nature has been passed down to the human race through his seed (Psalm 51:5). It is therefore logical to conclude that an unbeliever cannot stop from producing the works of the Devil—it is in the unbelievers nature. 

Thankfully and blessedly, a child of God cannot remain in sin. John tell us in verse 9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” You might ask yourself at this point: “Wait, I still sin, does this mean that I am not a child of God?” If you read Paul’s parallel statements in Romans 7:14-25, the evil which I do, although is done my me, it is from my sinful nature. Therefore, the divine good I do is not done by me, it is done by my Spiritual, divine nature. Both of these natures dwell in the child of God simultaneously. 

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25

However, a new person in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) knows that when he knowingly sins, he is not acting in accordance with the change that took place when he was born-again. As he has the mind of Christ, he acts in harmony with his new identity in Christ. We tend to act in accordance with how we see ourselves, that is why it is fundamental to understand who we are in Christ. 

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As children of God, we make visible, or demonstrate (manifest), who we really are when we produce divine righteousness. On the contrary, when we sin we are hiding God’s glory. So, remember who you are. You were created for God’s glory, so manifest God everywhere you go. Wherever you are, manifest who you really are as a child of God. Manifest God’s glory.

Believe in Christ! Receive Christ! Become a Child of God!

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Roots and Fruits – Children of God

Advertisements Are you experiencing the deepest intimacy with God that you can? Do you soar in the heavens with Holy Spirit? If your answer to this kind of life is no, it is because barriers are chaining you down. If you are not soaring through this series, I will help you to understand what chainsContinue reading →

The Importance of Fellowship

Advertisements The Cancer of Sin In this series of posts, we will look at the New Testament book of 1 John. A letter written by John to the church. Through this letter, we can understand that as Christians we can be certain of our salvation and our position before God. We have been forgiven andContinue reading →

Move far away from the shallow

Advertisements Reflecting on the last wrote on this subject, I spoke about a song, an earworm, that I had playing in my mind over and over. Well, 2 days later and it’s still there. The song, “Shallow,” a duet by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from the movie “A Star is Born“. To view the firstContinue reading →

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in The Importance of Fellowship, 0 comments