Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Affirmation #136 by Susan L.

  I am the image of God. Genesis 1:27

  "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." NKJV
  "So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." JCB

  In Exodus 3:14, God tells Moses who He is.
  "I AM WHO I AM. And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you."
  I've pondered over this particular verse many times as I try to understand God's nature. Because I live in a physically divided state, being a woman apart from man, it's stretched my imagination to think of God as being both male and female.
  I've heard previous teachings that speak of the Mother Heart of God but I think it's deeper than His heart. There is no division of gender in any aspect of His being. He is the "I AM." It's humans that assign gender specific traits to His character.
  (Now there's something to Triple T! Why are traits limited by being gender specific?)
  Sunday's teaching was on this very subject so I am going to quote the notes, "Jesus came to show us that the God of power and judgement (thought of as male) is also the God who lays down his life to serve, sustain, embrace and nurture (thought of as female)."
  Jesus first miracle of turning water into wine has leapt into my mind. Was wedding preparation the domain of women back then like it is now? His mother was the one who pointed out the insufficient liquor supply. If so, Jesus providing wine was a very womanly act of service!
   I have to give thanks that I am a creator (small c) who is willing to set aside cultural and social gender limitations in much that I do.
  If God is the I AM, I am the "i am", God's child made in His image.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

I am Humble, Philippians 2:24 by Susan L.

  I don't know if it was an intentional mistake but the quoted scripture doesn't match the affirmation this morning. ;)  In reading though Philippians, I found this verse...
  "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each man esteem others better than himself." Phil 2:3 NKJV
  "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." JCB

  Humility is the offspring of gratitude.
  Gratitude, giving thanks, honours the Source of our being and doing, our skills and talents, our abilities and growth.
  Gratitude honours the gift of others whose presence is woven in and around our lives and experiences.
  Gratitude is acknowledging the worth in all our experiences, even the unpleasant ones.
  Hmmmm, that last one isn't so easy.
  Sacrificial gratitude is giving thanks when it is nearly impossible to do so. When every fibre of our being rebels and wants to stay angry or bitter or wants revenge, "Thank You," places those pride based emotions at the foot of the Cross.
  Gratitude is the gateway to forgiveness.
  To forgive is to embrace love.
  Love is humility.



Monday, 16 October 2017

I am Honoured, 2 Timothy 2:20-21

  "But only in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honour, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." NKJV
  "In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honourable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work." JCB

  I think of the classic book, "Les Miserables". It's also a movie and a theatrical production. The main character was an ex-convict, a thief. He sought a night's shelter with the only person who would let him in the house: a priest. The priest's housekeeper was concerned at letting such a disreputable person in. The thief did what he knew best, what the housekeeper knew he would do. He stole the silver flatware but, in fleeing the scene, got caught by the police with his bag full of loot. The police returned him to the priest to confirm the stolen items were his.
  The priest reacted by affirming they had belonged to him but, he added, he had given them to the thief. He chastised the thief in front of the police because he had forgotten to take the silver candlestick holders. Motioning to the astounded housekeeper to get them, he had a moment to quietly speak with the humbled thief and admonished him to use the silver to turn his life around.
  He did.
  God used the silver Judas took and used it to write the greatest redemption story ever. One that was set down for all mankind.
  My only concern about today's affirmation is the implied necessity of being "pure" before I can be used by God. There's much more behind this excerpt from the Bible. Other writings affirm we have a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit. Other writings affirm we are already cleansed of sin before God. Other writings encourage us to be better than we are because none of us, no matter what we do, ever has to go it alone.
  I want to add another verse from 2 Timothy that points clearly to the indwelling of Jesus in our hearts and minds. It is what makes it possible for us to be pure, to be ready to be used by God for good works.
  "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself." 2 Tim 2:13
  I am honoured to be the recipient of such amazing love.
  Lord, show me how to live in and through Your love. In Jesus' name I pray.