Keep Your Confidence

Having confidence in your identity in Christ can be challenging in our culture.  Society often discourages people from seeking to live a life that is godly.  Society loves to encourage us to be moral, but the morality is set by the standards of people who do not know Christ.  It can make a difference.  Knowing who you are in Christ and maintaining your confidence of who Jesus is to you will be a key to living a victorious Christian life.

Do Not Throw It Away

Faith 2Depending on the Bible translation you are reading, Hebrews 10:35 states that we are not to cast away, or throw away, our confidence.  The same verse goes on to say that our confidence has great reward.  Knowing who we are in Christ and knowing that He is for us will keep us from falling when trying times come.

If you continue reading, you will find that the writer of Hebrews encourages the readers to keep the faith and encourages the development of patience.  The believers to whom the book of Hebrews is addressed had faced a great deal of persecution.  Their homes, property, and personal belongings had been confiscated by the government because they proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many of them had been imprisoned.  Others had been martyred for the cause of Christ.  The writer of Hebrews commended these people because they had been through a great deal of persecution and remained strong and steadfast, but another trial of sorts had come upon them when the letter of Hebrews was written.

The Scriptures are not specific as to the trial these people were facing at that time, but the writer was encouraging them to keep their confidence.  They were encouraged to remember that God would reward them for their faithfulness.  They were reminded that the just must live by faith.

The Just Shall Live by Faith

Knowing who we are in Christ and keeping our confidence will require walking by faith.  God is pleased with our faith in Him.  He can and will do powerful works through us to bring glory to Himself if we will remain yielded to Him.

As you are reading this post, you might be discouraged.  You might be ready to throw in the towel, so to speak.  I am not necessarily talking about backsliding.  I am talking about giving up on your work for the Lord.faith 1

I am encouraging you to remain confident.  Be confident in Jesus!  Be confident in what He is doing in you.  He will continue the work he began in you when you first believed on Him.  Be confident in who you are in Him but aware of who you are without Him.  Living by faith requires more boldness than living a normal life, but you were not called to be normal.  You were called to stand out.  You were not called to throw away your confidence.  You were called to walk by faith and be confident in Christ.

Be Encouraged

Whatever you are facing, know that your faith pleases God.  Even when your faith is weak, keep pressing on, confessing it to the Lord.  He has ways of strengthening your faith.  He will not forsake you.  Do not give up because the Lord will bring you out victorious!  “The Lord is a warrior.  The Lord is His name (Exodus 15:3).”

Do not throw away your confidence.  There is much that would be thrown away with it if you did.  Keep going on this way because there is no other way that brings light and victory.

 

 

 

Pursue Holiness

What is true holiness?

In Hebrews 12:14, we are told to pursue holiness.  How does one pursue that lifestyle?  Of what does holiness truly consist?  Although much of the Christian teaching we hear would have us to believe that holiness is what we say, what we do, and how we behave, holiness is so much more!

Where is my righteousness?

During my experience as a Bible teacher, I have heard people make the following statement: “I would love to give my life to Jesus Christ, but there is no way I could live it.”  My reply is always this: “You are right.  You can’t.”  I have received some priceless facial expressions with this reply, but the fact is, I am right.  In myself, I am completely unable to live the Christian life as the Bible commands, and so are you.No Confidence in the Flesh

What is a person to do?  Should you just give up and sin recklessly because you are unable to live the life the Bible instructs you to live?  No, not at all.  It is at this point that you should look and see the source of your righteousness—Jesus Christ!

Christ in me!

Galatians 2:20 (MEV) contains an important truth about pursuing holiness.  It states the following: “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  What happens when I come to Christ?  My sinful nature dies, and I come alive to a new nature—Christ in me.  He is the one who makes me righteous.  It is impossible for me to make myself righteous, and that is why many Christians are in such religious bondage–from pursuing righteousness by their own merits.

No Confidence in the Flesh 2If you are in Christ, you will walk free from sin, but it will not be of your own goodness.  It will be Christ in you (see Romans 6).  If you or I were capable of living without sin on our own, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to leave heaven and come to Earth to live and die, then, live again.  We were hopelessly enslaved to the power of sin, but God gave us Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  He is holiness.

Pursue Christ!

Since Jesus Christ is my righteous, my holiness, then to pursue holiness as Hebrews 12:14 says is to pursue Christ!  Go after Him!  You will not have to go far.  He is waiting on you to draw near.  Because of the cross, you can approach Him with confidence.  He is in you if you have accepted Him as Savior.  If you haven’t accepted Him, there is no time like the present.

What good is it to try to pursue self-righteousness?  No good!  Self-righteousness is a pathetic attempt to glorify you.  The righteousness of Christ glorifies God, the Father.

If you pursue Christ, you let go of yourself and allow Him to live through you.  As a result, your life will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The life you live will be a result of Christ in you, and nothing of your nature! Amazing Grace is More than Enough for me!

 

Pursue Christ Himself!  Seek Him.  Love Him.  He will change you, completely transform you.  You will never be the same.  You will lose your self-righteous attitude because you will clearly see that your righteousness in Jesus Christ!

 

No Confidence in the Flesh

Once we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it seems that we should realize we have no righteousness in ourselves.  Deep down, we know, but our human nature tends to push the correct knowledge somewhere in the mind where we are not confronted with the facts.  Although we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we begin to think that we are responsible for our own righteousness, conveniently overlooking the fact that we are saved by grace through faith.

Paul’s Confidence

No Confidence in the FleshIn Philippians 3, Paul discusses the subject in great detail.  In verse 3, Paul states that he puts no confidence in the flesh as many Jews of his day did.  Insisting that new converts to Christ follow the Jewish law was a popular trend in Paul’s day.  Although popular among some Jewish people, it was controversial, and it was not biblical.

Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He followed the law to the letter.  He crossed all his t’s and dotted all his i’s, so to speak, before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Although he had great credentials, Paul acknowledged that his greatness was nothing compared to the greatness of Christ.

Our Confidence

Romans 3:23 clearly states that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Why is it that when we begin to gain victory over sin in our lives, which, by the way, only comes through Jesus, that we begin to get pride, a sin within itself?  Any accomplishments we make spiritually are only because of the grace of God poured out on us.  The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts and helps us.

My confidence cannot be in my good works.  No matter how many good deeds I do, they will neither make atonement for my sin nor allow me entrance into heaven.  If that were the case, Jesus would not have come to be the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  The good I do should be a result of my love for Jesus, not a pathetic self-righteousness.

Confidence in Christ

I clearly believe that we can be confident in who we are in Christ, but we also must have a realization of who we are without Christ.  This will keep the balance.  We will have godly confidence without self-righteousness.  We can be confident of who we are in Christ, who we are because of his death and resurrection.  Our confidence should not be in our works which represent a false ability to save ourselves.No Confidence in the Flesh 2

Just as the religious leaders of Paul’s day thought that being circumcised along with following the letter of the law made them righteous, we often think that we are righteous because we do good deeds.   No, our confidence is not in our flesh, but in who Jesus is through us.  We should not be doing good works to be righteous.  We will do good works as a result of the change that has been made inside of us because of Jesus Christ.  Anything else is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

 

What about you?  Where is your confidence?  Place your confidence in Christ, rather than yourself.  The righteousness of Christ is one that does not fail.

Overcomer

Soon to be Published

I am excited to share some news, and I hope you find it interesting.  Over the Summer, I wrote a book, Overcomer.  After I completed the book, it has been through an editing process.  Finally, it is almost complete and should be published by the end of September, if not sooner.

Living as an Overcomer

Overcomer Book Cover
Image by Nichole Cline

In the book, I dedicate one chapter to an area of struggle that many Christians face.  There are twenty chapters, nineteen of which concern various areas of struggle.  To begin with, I discuss identity in Christ which is essential to living as an overcomer. You must be confident in your identity in Christ to overcome areas of weakness.

Throughout the book I address other areas in which people struggle.  Some of these areas are patience, mercy, forgiveness, judgement, authenticity as a Christian, kindness, and so much more.  The reader is given practical steps to take in prayer and scripture to apply to the needed area.

Availability on Amazon

The manuscript will be available in Kindle format on Amazon for a low price.  It is my hope that people are blessed and encouraged through Overcomer. The Body of Christ needs encouragement, and I am thankful to be someone who might be able to bring it.

More Than a Conqueror
Image Via Google by Elizabeth Baptist Church

God never intended for us to live in total defeat, dominated by the sinful nature.  He sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice so we could consider ourselves dead to the sinful nature and alive to true, righteous, abundant living.  God did not cause our struggles, but He allows them to come so we will grow in our relationships with Him.  Overcomer gives practical guidance through the scriptures as to steps that can be taken to walk away from an area of sin and be totally free.

 

What about you?  Are you living in victory or total defeat?  You have been made more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.  You do not have to remain in defeat.

Developing Thicker Skin: How to Avoid Being Overly Sensitive

Are there days when your feelings are hurt easily?  Does it seem that everyone has something negative to say about something you are doing or failing to do?  I used to have those days quite often, and sometimes, I still have a few.  While it is perfectly normal to have hurt feelings in some situations, it can interfere with normal living to be overly sensitive.

Confidence 2
Image Via Google by Jill Conyers

It Happens Unexpectedly

Most of the time when I have been offended in some way by comments made, it was completely unexpected.  I would be going about my merry way, enjoying life when someone would hurt me with words or actions.  There was a time when I let it ruin my entire day.  Eventually, I learned that I was allowing my offender to control me, and that was something I did not want!

How long are you going to let the words and actions of others dictate your day and your joy?  As long as you allow it, you will never truly be happy.  You can not change other people.  You can not control the actions of others.  You can only control your reaction.

How Can I Change My Reaction?

What steps can you take to control your reaction to the negative behavior of others?  Know who you are in Christ.  If you begin to change the way you think about yourself, and see yourself as God sees you in Christ, your skin will become thicker, so to speak, and the negative behavior of others will affect you less and less.

Who are you in Christ?  Ephesians 1 tells us that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, forgiven, chosen, adopted, redeemed, and made acceptable to God.  2 Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that we are righteous because of Jesus Christ.  He bore our shame on the cross.  We no longer need to bear that shame.  When you allow this to get into your spirit, you will become confident, not arrogant.  That God-confidence will be the key that unlocks the door to the new level in which you love people but can enjoy life regardless of how those people feel toward you.

Use the Words

If someone is just being cruel or malicious toward you, the confidence you have in your new identity can cause the maliciousness to roll off you like water off the back of a duck; however, if there might be some hurtful truth in the words spoken, take that to God.  Allow Him to use it to make you better rather than allowing those same words to devastate you! Do you see how God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28)?  What people meant for your harm, God can use for good.

God never meant for us to live our lives bogged down by the opinions of others.  Of course, we do not have to go to another extreme and have no regard for people.  We are simply not allowing every word or action toward us that we perceive as negative control us, our day, or our lives.

EmilysQuotes.Com-upset-people-powerless-reaction-relationship.-unknown
Image Via Google by Emily’s Quotes

 

What about you?  Are you ready to get confident in who God made you to be?  Are you ready to use any truth in criticism to make yourself better?