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Liberating Grace

Monday, August 22, 2011

How to break free from perfectionism

Galatians 3:1-3. (all following Scripture is New International Version – NIV)
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”

What perfectionism does to us:

It defeats my initiative.
Ecclesiastes 11:4 “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
If we regard circumstances, we’ll never do anything.

It damages my relationships.
Proverbs 17:9 “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
In this case, the word translated ‘offense’ means an error or mistake. Love forgives mistakes.

It destroys my happiness.
Ecclesiastes 7:16 “Do not be over righteous, neither be over wise – why destroy yourself.”
‘over wise’ in the flesh. Don’t be so caught up in perfection you cannot enjoy the real.

How to R.E.L.A.X. in God’s grace
R-Realize that nobody is perfect.
Psalm 119:96 “To all perfection I see a limit; but your (God’s) command are boundless.”
Nothing is perfect but God and His Word.

E-Enjoy God’s unconditional love.
I John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”
We are not God’s slaves, we are His children (once we have accepted Christ as our Savior).

L-let God handle all things.
I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
The root of perfectionism is always trying to be in control.
Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

A-act in faith, not in fear.
Ephesians 2:8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

X-Exchange my perfectionism for God’s perfect peace.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 8/22/2011 8:42PM

    Recently I saw an episode of Hoarders that I related to. The psychologist on the show said many hoarders are perfectionists. Her client that show had a box springs and mattress on the floor with the wooden headboard leaning against a wall. When asked why he didn't put up the new headboard he replied that he was waiting to have time to sand it and stain it a different color. So, instead of enjoying what he had, not having it how he wanted it caused him stress.

While I am not a hoarder in the classic sense, I saw myself and the papers and things from Mom and Dad that still need sorted and decluttered years after their passing because I keep thinking I need to get new plastic bins and labels and the image I have of everything being perfectly organized keeps me from making as much progress as I would like.

Your message has further enlightened me. Thank you. -- Lou

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PURPLELVR7 8/22/2011 9:23AM


Thanks for sharing

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Is God Obligated?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We had a guest preacher today - a missionary who has lived and worked in the Alaskan Arctic Circle for 29 years. I'm frozen just thinking about that! : )

I want to share today's devotional from "Our Daily Bread" because it spoke to me.

"Is God Obligated?"

"A friend sent me photographs of 20 beautiful churches in the world. Located as far apart as Iceland and India, each of them is architecturally unique.

The most beautiful place of worship in Jeremiah's day was the temple in Jerusalem, which King Josiah had recently repaired and restored (2 Chron. 34-35). The people were fixated on the magnificent building (Jer. 7:4), and they foolishly thought that having the temple there meant that God would protect them from their enemies.

Instead, Jeremiah pointed out the sin in their lives (vv 3, 9-10). God is not impressed by beautiful buildings constructed in His name if there is no inward beauty in the hearts of those who go there. He is not interested in an outward legalistic worship that is not matched by inward holiness. And it is wrong to think that God protects people just because of the religious things they do.

Just because we're reading the Bible, praying, and fellowshiping with other believers doesn't mean that God is somehow then obligated to do something for us. He cannot be manipulated. The purpose of those external activities is to develop our relationship with the Lord and to help us live differently than those in the world around us. --C.P. Hia

Lord, help me to remember that You are most interested in an obedient heart. Change me when I think You're obligated to me because of my religious acts of worship or service. Give me a pure heart. Amen.

Remember -- God cannot and will not be manipulated."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 8/22/2011 8:45PM

    When we think of the times Jesus walked the earth, without fancy places of worship and complicated worshiping "rules" it shows us that these things are not as important as an honest and believing heart. You have given us another good message. -- Lou

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    I just love grace! Nothing we DO can earn it!

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STANBUSH 8/14/2011 8:01PM

    Good post...... all about GRACE!!!
Press On!!! emoticon

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Two year anniversary

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I've learned so much, and gained friends and guidance in becoming more healthy. Thank you SP, and especially my SP friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Mine is October 21st, and coming fast! Hard to believe, isn't it, that we would find a web site that would provide so much for us, most especially our SparkFriends! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEN169 8/9/2011 10:48PM

    My 2 year anniversary is on the 15th, and I also am truly grateful for all the support I have received on SparkPeople! Happy SparkVersary!! emoticon emoticon

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GRATEFULBOB 8/9/2011 6:15PM


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God's Healing Grace

Sunday, August 07, 2011

This week's sermon was "Healing Grace" - but it was about the healing of your mind/soul/spirit rather than physical healing. Not that there's anything wrong with asking God for physical healing. All the Scriptures below are from the New International Version (NIV).

Psalm 147:3-6 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.”

How does God heal a broken heart?
How does God perform miracles in your life?
By changing the way we think. Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

I. Because of God’s grace you are accepted. Romans 15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

God accepts us with no strings attached.

I Peter 2:7 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, (so) that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

Psalm 27:10 “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive (accept) me.”

II. Because of God’s grace you are valuable. I John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Luke 12:15 “Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”

Value is determined: 1. By who owns something, and 2. By what somebody is willing to pay for it. God owns us, and Jesus gave His life to pay for our sin.

III. Because of God’s grace you are lovable. Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

There are two characteristics that make God’s love different than human love:
1. God’s love is always consistent
2. God’s love is always unconditional – you do not have to do anything to earn God’s love.

IV. Because of God’s grace you are forgivable. Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” God not only forgives your sin, but He forgets it.

V. Because of God’s grace you are capable. Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Him, who gives me strength.”

How much more precious is God heart-healing grace than physcial healing.

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IAMWINNING 8/7/2011 7:13PM

    I would add that I wish I'd heard this sermon every few months during my growing up years. I was not acceptable to my parents, growing up; and it took awhile after I became an adult before I could grasp that I had (have) value and am acceptable just because God made me.

I was finally able to forgive my parents for making me the family scapegoat, and I even wrote my Dad a letter to that effect. (We were living in different countries at that point). He never mentioned it, and neither did I, but the first time I saw him again after that letter, Dad gave me an extra long hug, and I knew God had worked in his heart to take my letter as it was intended.

Due to my upbringing, I firmly believe that perhaps the most important thing a parent can do is to make sure their child knows (s)he is valuable and acceptable.

Is there any doubt why I found this message so close to my heart? God loves each one of us, very much.

God see us as we can (become) but loves us as we are.

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MISTYRIVER64 8/7/2011 4:31PM

    Thank you so much Nancy - beautiful!

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 8/7/2011 2:12PM

    "How does God perform miracles in your life?
By changing the way we think." I ABSOLUTELY love this!!!!!! I'm going to be sharing this with my kids! WONDERFUL words and thank you so, so much for sharing!!!!

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God's Sustaining Grace

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We're in a series of sermons on God's Grace. Today's was entitled "Sustaining Grace"
The basic Bible reference was Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ." (NIV - as are all the verses below).

God's Sustaining Grace....

I. Helps me to keep standing when I am tempted. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." {Note to self: this means that even when I'm tempted by food - which is all the time - God provides a way that I do not have to yield to that temptation}
I Peter 5:8-9 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

II. Helps me to keep standing when I am tired. II Corinthians 1:21-22 "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He appointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." Don't be weary in well-doing. It is Supernatural power that enables us to keep on. Isaiah 40:30-31 "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

III. Helps me to keep standing when I am troubled. Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

How to Receive God's Sustaining Grace

I. Call out for God's help. James 4:6-10 "But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' [see also Psalms 138:6; Proverbs 3:34; and Matthew 23:12] Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."
Jeremiah 33:3"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. "

II. Fill your mind with God's word. Psalms 119:25 "I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word."
Psalms 119:165 "Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."

III. Accept support from God's people. Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

IV. Hold on to God's promises. II Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. "

The sermon ended with these thought-provoking questions:
Where do you need God's sustaining grace today?
Where are you being tempted? Being pounded and can't seem to get rid of the temptation?
Where are you tired? You don't think you have the strength to put one foot in front of the other?
Where are you under tension - in trials and troubles that you cannot fix?

Praise the Lord!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYCLINGSANDY 8/1/2011 2:12AM

    His grace is always enough just like His strength. I just always need to call on the help when I first need it instead of waiting until I am frustrated. His grace keeps me daily!

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MEYLOSE 7/31/2011 4:27PM

    Wonderful Pastor to give such a sermon, TY so much for sharing.

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ANNROMINES 7/31/2011 3:20PM

  I truly wish I could have been there to hear the sermon. Thank you for posting this.

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