Daily Archives: April 16, 2012

R12- False Beliefs

 Romans 12:3
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think yourself with sober judgment ,in accordance to the measure of faith God has given you”  

 

What keeps us from discovering who we are, and what God has called us to do?  Last week we discussed the importance of using sober judgment to reflect on our past and how God has used our relationships, responsibilities, training, and experiences to shape us into the men and women we are today. Now lets dig deeper into that and focus on what keeps us from answering these questions about our identity in Christ. 

There are 4 ways that we use to seek approval using false beliefs. As you are reading think about which one applies to you. First, The Performance Trap. Where we think we must meet certain standards to feel good about ourselves. Next there is the Approval Addict where we must be approved by certain people in order to feel good about ourselves. Others might play The Blame Game. The false belief here is that those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. Lastly, there is Shame. A person with this belief thinks that they can not change what they are, and they are hopeless. The challenge we have is to recognize the category we fit into and then ask ourselves what the bible says about this. Here is what Jesus commands of us in Luke 16:15 He says ……………
 

“You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

 

We shouldn’t’t be content with ourselves because we have the approval of others; because God knows our every fear, doubt, hurt, and burden. And he chooses to love us just the same. We are to be content in Christ and remember that we are Holy in him. He sets us apart from a reason and purpose. Our lives have meaning and value when we glorify his name. This week keep that in mind when you feel pressure to perform, or feel shameful or undeserving. God’s asks us just to stop looking to others and just look to him.

Your Sister in Christ,
 April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
The Search for Significance, Robert McGee
Into Thy Word.com
Romans 12

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R12-who has God made you to be?

Hello brothers and sisters! This week we start a new section, where we will focus on self assessment. I will warn you that the next 5 weeks, may not be easy. It may even be pain full for some of us.This is only to help us discover who we are, where we belong, and what our purpose is. Therefore, bringing us closer to true spirituality.

First lets look at Romans 12:3

 Romans 12:3
“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think yourself with sober judgment ,in accordance to the measure of faith God has given you”  
 

We are being called to think about our lives with sober judgment. Which means we need to start by looking humbly at who we are, and how we got here.Then with our faith and humility we will reflect on how we can work together as one body of Christ to serve.We will get into more detail about serving in the coming weeks. Before we learn how to serve; we need to learn how God made us into who we are. So this week take time to think about your childhood, youth and adulthood. What opportunities has God brought you through that have shaped you into the child of God that you are today? What are your strengths, talents, and weaknesses?
When we have come to terms with the good and the bad from our past; when we have taken the time to realize where God has worked in our lives; and when we can come before God with sober judgment about who we are, then we will have greater understanding about God’s will for our life and how he wants us to serve him.

Your Sister in Christ,
 April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
Romans 12

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R-12 Are you trying hard but feeling guilty?

Romans 12:2
“Do not Conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will”
.

Are your tired of trying hard and feeling guilty in your walk with God?
 

This week we continue our walk in faith by examining what motivates us as christians. Now you might be saying to yourself “I read my Bible, I go to church, I show God I love him by making efforts to be kind, and donate time and money to those in need.”
 

All these things we do are important and God calls us to do them. However, we should reflect on WHY we do these Christian things. What is our motivation? Do we do these things because it’s what we’re taught by the Bible/Church? Because we fear that God will love us less if we don’t? Or are we doing these things because we know just how much God Loves us and the only way to thank him and show him we love him is by throwing ourselves into living this life – set apart – transformed – and renewed by the hope and love God gives us?

 It is easy to get caught in a routine or to be motivated by the thought that “If I go to church and give my time and money to God it will be good and pleasing to him”, but  we run the risk of conforming to rules rather than serving God with joy and love for him.It is important to remember that there is nothing you can do that will make God love you more! And there is nothing you can do that will make God love you less. Romans 8:38-39 lays this out for us.
 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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”.

 

We are blessed! We have so much to be thankful for. We need to remind ourselves everyday what Jesus Christ has done out of his divine love for us. He will never leave us, he is always watching, listening, and guiding us . He doesn’t want you to live a Christian life because you have to, but because you love him and there is no other way.

 

 

Your Sister in Christ,
 April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
Romans 12

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R12-Mental Diet

Romans 12:2
“Do not Conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will”
.
Previously we have discussed the importance of surendering ourselves to God as our act of worship. We also have begun to discuss how to surrender by being separated from the world. Let us now dig deeper into what that entails.

Could your mental diet be killing your soul?

Paul asks us to renew our mind so that we can be changed by it. He is talking about an inside-out kind of change. As we continue to renew our mind and how we perceive the world and our relationships, our actions will begin to slowly transform us into more spirit filled beings. We will be able to see the change in our actions which is our way to approve God’s will (good ,pleasing ,perfect).Take a look at this quote from Alan Johnson, writer of Everyman’s Bible Commentary:

“In consciousness of a person who is being transformed by Christ Spirit, there lies the possibility of actually recognizing and doing the will of God in every human situation.” Later he adds “In the testing and affirming of what is actually the will of God, the believer will also discover that it is precisely equivalent to the good ,acceptable ,and perfect-in God’s eyes in each situation.”
 

I hope you are beginning to see the cycle here. By renewing our minds we will begin to be transformed in our actions which will cause what is God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will to be reveiled in us. 

Your Sister in Christ,
 April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
*Everyman’s Bible Commentary,Alan Johnson
Romans 12

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R12 -Being a faithful lover

          Romans 12:2
“Do not Conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve whats God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will”
.

 
This week we continue to look at Romans 12:2 and Chip Ingram asks us “Are we a faithful Lover?” This question can be hard to swallow during a time of self reflection. But it begs us to look deep into our actions in our relationship with God. Are we really being faithful in the Love we have for God? We Know that our heavenly Father has unending ,unchanging,unfaltering love for us. But in our sin we fail to match his love .Now we need to be separated in his love to show our Father that we LOVE ,TRUST and NEED him . We talk about importance of spending time alone with God. About learning the word and allowing it to change us so it renews our mind. But now we have to apply it to our life. It’s easy to confess and repent your worldly loves to God and tell him you love him. It’s another story when you leave your room and are tempted by TV, music, fashion,sex ,and anything else pop culture will throw at you .(Not to mention the good responsibilities like paying rent,having a career and doing well in school, which can also turn into idols.) It is no easy task but we need to Separate ourselves from worldly passions,and not let them pull our love away from our Savior to whom we owe so much . My Brothers and Sisters we can not live a sacrificed life to our Heavenly Father if we allow this world to mold us with it’s habits. Paul asked the same thing of the Ephesians .

 

Ephesians 4:17-24
“7 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. 20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
 

 

So, my Bothers and Sisters I urge you to open up Ephesians and continue to read as he gives guidance as to how we are to live a Separated life and what that looks like. And please check out the website below for more information,and videos from the book Living on the edge.May God Bless you all as week and give you the strength and encouragement you need to battle the temptations of the world with his spirit.

 

Your Sister in Christ,
 April Carmack

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
Romans 12
Ephesians Chapter 4 and 5

 

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A piece of the puzzle

Week of April 15th 2012

            

 

Romans 12:4-8
 

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

 
 
My grandfather loved to put puzzles together. He always had a square card table with a puzzle that he was working on. During visits to see my grandparents it was pretty common for family to go in and try and see if we could help figure it all out. My grandfather was pretty good at puzzles and it would often be too hard for me to figure out what piece goes where; so sometimes it ended up one of two ways I would loose interest or try to cram a piece into a spot it didn’t belong. However my grandfather knew that every piece no mater what the shape or color had a place in the big picture, because that is how the creator of the puzzle designed it.
 
Do you ever wonder how your puzzle piece fits into the grand picture that Our Lord and creator has made? Just like the puzzles that my grandfather did there are many, many pieces and each one is important. Each one is absolutely necessary to complete the picture. Each one of us has been chosen by God to do his work by the Spirit. Each one of us has been given strengths and weaknesses. Our strengths give us God given purpose to help others become close to him. Our weaknesses give God given need for others. So that there is a give and take between each relationship that we Christians have, making every person important as we are united as one big picture of God’s kingdom.
 
Reflect on Romans 12:4-8 and, taking what we have learned over the last 12 weeks, think about your spiritual puzzle piece with all of your skills, strengths, and weaknesses and how God has created you to be a part of his big picture. 
 

 

For more on this topic visit  http://r12online.livingontheedge.org
*Living on the EDGE, Chip Ingram
Romans 12

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