Reframe Your Confidence

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Growing in Knowledge
In marriage, the more facts you know about your spouse, the more likely you are to have a successful marriage. But it seems that's exactly what Paul is saying about our relationship with Christ too. The more we know about God, the more we're connected to God, and at the baseline of knowing God is knowing Scripture. Are you growing in knowledge on a regular basis? Because if you are, God's not done working in your life.  When you grow in knowledge of the Lord and realize all his promises are true throughout Scripture, we discover that we can trust in all his words. When you place your faith on Christ, your sin goes onto the cross and the perfection of Jesus goes on to you, so that when the Father looks at you, he does not see the sins you have committed. He only sees instead the righteousness, holiness, and perfection of Jesus Christ. Upon baptism, the Holy Spirit is placed inside you to begin his good work that will be finished on the day that Jesus returns. If you lack self-confidence, you don't need a self-help book, you don't even need a good church service, you need the power of God to save your soul and begin a good work inside you.  Satan, our enemy, wants you to give up. He wants you to think that what you face is final, that God cannot redeem it, and that everything will always be this way. But God is not done with your marriage. God is not done with your addiction. God is not done with your dating. God is not done with your career. God is not done with your grief. You may not know how or when it will end but, you know, because of the empty tomb that Philippians 1 is true: God is not done! Reflection/Discussion Question: What area of your life to do you need to remember that God is not finished with?
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Be on Mission
One of the best ways to be on mission is to focus on one lost person that you can reach whom God has put in your path. When you focus on one lost person, when you're explaining the gospel to them, when you're defending Scripture, when you're on your knees praying for that one person, you know God's not done with them because he says so in 1 Timothy 2. In verses 3 and 4, we read, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” God desires for every person to come know the saving truth of Jesus, no matter how lost a person might be or difficult of a past that person may have. God is never done with anyone; no one is beyond redemption. The byproduct of that is that you realize if God's not done with them, then he is probably not done with you either. You can keep going because God is still working in your life. Make no mistake, the primary mission of the church is not to feed the hungry, care for the sick, or teach the saved; it is to join Jesus's mission of seeking and saving the lost, and with him storm the gates of hell. And that mission is not primarily driven by a well-produced church service, by opening another campus, or by a neat discipleship formula. It is primarily driven when you decide to reach one person at a time. People of the world need to know God's not done with them. Reflection/Discussion Questions: Is there a person you know who may have given up on God’s work in their life? How can you encourage that person today?
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Choose Gratitude
If you do some research on gratitude, the data is really striking and remarkable. People who write in a gratitude journal actually sleep better and longer. When soldiers come home for war, those who practice gratitude have fewer instances of PTSD. People who are grateful are happier, get better grades, have better friendships, have more energy, and have fewer illnesses and less pain than others. Basically, it seems gratitude is the answer to life. But it doesn’t simply come down to if you're grateful person or you're not. The question is, do you practice being grateful? If so, all those things we just mentioned are available to you! Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Do you ever find yourself asking what’s God's will for me? It's this: Be thankful in all circumstances. Another way to say it is to choose gratitude or to count your blessings. Take some time to look back over the past year and see how God has provided, the people he's placed in your life, and the new experiences you've had. Yes, we need to grieve our losses, but we can learn so much through the trials. Searching for the positives, even if it's little things, will remind you that God is still with you in the midst of tragedy. Gratitude is a choice. God's will is for you to be thankful in all circumstances. Reflection/Discussion Question: What is a way that you can incorporate choosing gratitude in your life more regularly?
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The Enemy's Strategy
Whether we want to acknowledge him or not, Satan is a very real enemy who only wants and yearns for our destruction and downfall. He knows that his ultimate win is to convince as many people as possible that Jesus and all his promises aren’t true; that Jesus was just a good man with some nice things to say who did some neat things. However, once you have seen past this lie, accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and started following Jesus, Satan has to change up his strategy to get you to fall away from everything God has intended for you. We are often told when we get baptized that your entire life will change – and that’s completely true. But what if our enemy is able to whisper the lies that nothing in your life changes after accepting Jesus? We may still struggle with the some of the things that we did before we came to know and follow Jesus and we undoubtedly will still go through pain and hurt, but our perspective on situations has totally changed once we know who we belong to, that our future in Heaven in secure, and that God is always going to carry his good work in your life.  By reframing where we find our confidence, we discover that everything does indeed change once you surrender your life to Jesus. Our confidence is no longer in our jobs, our money, our abilities, our gifts, our families, etc., but our confidence about our path rests unwaveringly with our King and Savior. Reflection/Discussion Question: What is a lie that the enemy has told you regarding your life after accepting Jesus?