Sunday, August 31, 2014

Made in His Image

“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NIV)
 
We are made in the image of God. Have you thought about it? You are made in the image of God. I am made in the image of God. The God of the universe. The God that created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26, NIV)
Not only did God make us in His image, but He also gave us power and dominion over everything in the land. In addition, God gave us a general purpose. He also gave us individual specific purposes.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:22, NIV)
God realized that we not only needed Him but we needed each other. We were created for companionship and relationship.
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18, NIV)
It's in the relationship and companionship of marriage between a man and a woman that we learn about the true meaning of love, more about ourselves, as well as more about God and our covenant relationship with Him.
God created a good helpmate for the very first man. She was taken from his side. She was created to compliment him and help him in God's purpose and plan.
The same is true for most of God's children today. Most of us have a suitable helpmate who compliments us and was created for us in order to help fulfill God's purpose and plan for us.
"But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man." (Genesis 2:20b-22, NIV)
Bottom line: We are all made in His image. We have power and dominion in Jesus Christ. We have a general purpose. We have individual purposes in God's plan and sometimes also with a suitable helpmate.

 
Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Renewing Our Minds

"Do not conform 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."  (Romans 12:2, NIV) 

Renewing our minds is very important to the transformation process of all believers in Jesus Christ.  It helps us to not conform to the pattern (i.e. design, style, model, form) of this world but it also helps us to know God's good, pleasing and perfect will for us.  

'Renewing our minds' simply means restoring, recovering, or reviving our minds. 

The Apostle Paul spoke about the wise person with the Spirit who knows the mind of the Lord.

 "...But we have the mind of Christ."  (1 Corinthians 2:16, NIV)

He also talked about believers becoming the new creation in Christ. 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"  (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV) 

It takes us continually renewing our minds to keep on becoming the new creation in Jesus Christ. 

How do we renew our minds? 

First, we purposefully read and study the Bible (God's word).  We schedule time on our daily calendar or set aside time amongst our daily activities. 

Perhaps, we also participate in other Biblically-based opportunities whether at home, church, or elsewhere.  It could be a small group Bible study.  Watch and listen to a strong, Biblical teaching on television.  Listen to a Biblical message on the radio.  Maybe, listen to the Bible on a CD. 

What are some other ways you can personally renew your mind? 


Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Faith...

Have you ever read and paid close attention to the faith chapter in the Bible?

Let's start in v3 of Hebrews 11. 

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Hebrews 11:3, NIV)

Now, let's look at v4.

"By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead."  (Hebrews 11:4, NIV)

Next, check out v5.

"By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God."  (Hebrews 11:5, NIV)

Let's skip down to v7.

"By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith."  (Hebrews 11:7, NIV)

Then, pick up with v8-10.

"By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God."  (Hebrews 11:8-10, NIV)

Lastly, look at v11-12.

"And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.   And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore."  (Hebrews 11:11-12, NIV)

Let's recap.  So far in this chapter---we understand that the universe was formed at God's command by faith; Abel brought God a better sacrifice and was commended for it by faith; Enoch was commended, didn't experience death, and was taken from this life by faith; Noah built an ark, saved his family, and condemned the world by faith; Abraham went to a strange land, lived in tents, and made his home in the promised land by faith; and Sarah was enabled to bear children past childbearing age by faith.

You can finish reading the rest of this chapter on your own---picking up in v17-31.

Did you notice...?  Everything in God's kingdom is accomplished 'by faith'.  What are you now doing by faith?

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."  (Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."  (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)



Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Freed From the Law

I don't know about you, but I am really tired of the law.  Looking back over the last few years, I have come to realize the numerous times that people have tried to put me 'under the law'.  I have also realized some of the times that I have put myself 'under the law'.

Unfortunately, when we lack knowledge, it can be to the detriment of ourselves and others.  "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."  (Hosea 4:6a, NKJV)

Thankfully, my Father God, has opened my spiritual eyes of understanding and enlightened me even more recently with more knowledge and revelation.  (Ephesians 1:17-23)

Once you have accepted Jesus into your heart and made Him Lord of your life, you have the fullness of Him living on the inside of you.  You don't need anyone giving you rules and regulations nor telling you what to do and not do.  (Colossians 2:6-12, 20-23

God has made us dead to sin and alive with Christ.  (Romans 6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 2:13)  Baptism by water immersion is a great picture of us being buried with Christ and raised to new life---His life. 

"Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.  So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.  Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian."  (Galatians 3:23-25, NIV)

Too many times, members of the body of Christ are still living like they are 'under the law'.  Perhaps, unbeknownst to them.  However, they are in bondage. 

Jesus freed us from the written code of the law.  "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  (John 8:36, NIV)  We are redeemed from the law.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the law.  (Matthew 5:17)  We are under grace.  The life we now live, we live by faith in the Son---Jesus.  (Galatians 3:11-14)



Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sitting at Jesus' Feet

Are you familiar with the story about Mary and Martha?

Most people within the body of Christ have heard it at one time or another.  Here it is again.

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:38-42, NIV)

"...Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."  (Luke 10:42, NIV)

Did you catch that part?  What Mary chose was better.  It won't be taken away from her. 

There's more of a tendency in this world to rush around like Martha---always going, going, going and/or doing, doing, doing. 

However, God tells us in His word in this account from Luke that it's contrary to His thoughts and His ways.

The prophet Isaiah spoke about God's thoughts and ways. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.  "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)

I have learned more about sitting at Jesus' feet over the years.  At times, I have had to discipline myself to do it.  Other times, it comes more natural.  I have also learned that the more I do it---the more I enjoy doing it and find myself doing it more often.

That time is precious.  The time sitting in His presence cannot be rushed.  It must be savored and cherished.  It's in those sweet times with our Lord and Savior that we come more into a place of peace, calmness, and rest---no matter what's going on around us. 

The rest of the world may be rushing around like Martha was rushing around the house, being busy, making all the preparations she thought she had to make for Jesus.  However, the more we discipline ourselves and just choose to sit at Jesus' feet---the better off we are spiritually and otherwise. 

For I am reminded that Mary chose what was better, and it wasn't taken away from her.  Neither will it be taken away from us when we choose what is better---sitting at Jesus' feet.



Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And God said...

Have you really read and observed the very beginning of this world in God's word?

God who is the ultimate, superior, spirit being in the universe created this world. He has been around longer than anything or anyone else. He will continue to exist after everyone and everything is gone. (Revelation 22:13)

What really intrigues me though is the creation of the world---the way God created it---found in Genesis 1.

Please read along with me either on-line or in your Bible.

Let's pick up in v 3.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (v 3)

Did you notice the way God first created light? He first spoke it. Then, what He spoke came into existence. It became reality.

Let's take a look back later in the same chapter and pick up with v 6-7.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. (v 6-7)

He spoke it out first. Time passed. And, then what He spoke became reality.

Now, let's look at v 9.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. (v 9)

The Creator spoke. Then, it happened.

You can do this with the rest of this chapter picking up in v 14-15.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. (v 14-15)

Isn't that great?!?! Those three words---And God said---are powerful. When we receive revelation or heart knowledge, it makes a difference.

We are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) He is the ultimate Creator. However, we also are creators.

God was speaking His faith. He was calling those things that were not into being. (Romans 4:17) Then, they manifested in the physical world.

In the same way, we speak our faith. Whether we realize it or not, we create our own world---our own reality.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21, NIV)

That's the reason it's very important to guard our mouths. (Psalm 141:3) Be careful what you say and don't say with your mouth. We speak those things into their existence.

We certainly do not want to call those things that are as they are. We don't want to agree with this world's view of us. We don't need to agree with anybody else's view of us, our temporary circumstances, or our lives.

We need to only say what God says about us. Therefore, begin speaking those things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) Start calling forth all of the hopes, dreams, purposes, and plans that God has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) It will make all the difference---not only to you, but to others, and ultimately to this world.

 
Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Jesus is Our Peace

At times in my life, I haven't had peace. I have also heard people say that they don't have any peace. They can't get any peace.  Why?

Let me share a story with you...

Jesus had just finished teaching a crowd by the lake.  Afterwards, He said to His disciples...“Let us go over to the other side.”  He left the crowd behind.  His disciples took him into the boat.  A huge storm came.  The waves beat up over the boat where it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus calmly got up.  He told the wind, "Stop!"  The wind stopped.  Then, He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  The wave became completely calm.  He turned to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”  (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus' disciples were so afraid during the storm even with Jesus right there in their midst.  Jesus wasn't afraid though.  Even in the midst of those turbulent circumstances, Jesus was at rest.  He was calm and peaceful.  He literally calmed down those natural, physical cirumstances for them.

There are many lessons for us to learn from this story. 

First of all---when we are afraid during specific situations in our lives---we can rest assured that Jesus is right there with us. 

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6, NIV)

Jesus was in the boat with His disciples then.  He is in our 'boat' with us now.

Next, He wasn't afraid during that physical storm.  When we depend on Jesus, we don't need to be fearful either.  We can put our hope and trust in Him.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3, NIV)

Thirdly, Jesus was calm and restful.  He was at peace in the midst of the violent storm. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NIV)

We also can experience the calm even during natural circumstances.  When we depend on Jesus, He will help us to be at peace and rest---no matter what's going on around us.

Finally, we can know that we will have problems or hardships in this world. 

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NIV)

However, Jesus overcame all of the troubles that the world threw at Him.  We can also remember that we are overcomers when we rely on Him. 

Most of all, know that Jesus is our peace in the midst of every so-called storm in our lives.  He is the only one to go to whenever and wherever we are located physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.  He calms us.  He also calms down any physical circumstances around us.  We can only be at rest and peace with Him.


Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.