Only God Knows the Real You!

Christ renamed several of His disciples to give them a new identity, demonstrating their new creature in Christ. While our names may not have changed, we, like Peter, battle the old man-the natural man, while maturing into the new man. The process is worth examining.

Lisa Blair

Christians, as with the case of most people today, question who we are. We know we are new creatures in Christ, but that does not magically eliminate our carnal or natural being. This is only the beginning of our evolution. Before being saved, our values are variables that change depending upon conditions and circumstances. We are comparable to chameleons.

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This Post is a short study on the evolutionary growth of Peter, who was born Simon Peter, the natural man, and transformed into Peter, the new man. It highlights his struggles, weaknesses, strengths, as well as his growth. Examining Peter’s life should give any believer hope. Simon Peter evolved into Peter over time, it was not miraculous, or immediate, it was an expansive timeline. Our evolutionary process may take as long or longer than Peters took. The important things to note are: have hope, stay in prayer, and allow God to direct your path, always examining if it is the old man operating or the new man of God moving forward.

The Evolution of Simon Peter

Peter’s birth name was Simon Peter. He was outspoken, strong-willed, and impulsive. He was a husband, father of two, and a partner in a thriving fishery; he was a fisherman. It could be said, his life was full. He knew himself as Simon Peter, the man, was a practicing Jew and followed the Law of Moses. Was he content with his natural self? We do not know. Was he seeking his real self? Who knows. Did he innately know he would one day leave everything, to follow Christ, and become his real self, Simon Peter, probably not? Do we know who we really are in God’s eyes, or the plans He has for us, probably not?

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Simon Peter didn’t stand out. He was an uneducated Jew, Acts 3:13. He was a Hebrew, a follower of The Mosaic Law, like most. However, despite his failings and his strengths, the Lord chose to mold Simon Peter into whom He created him to become – Peter, a member of Christ’s inner circle of disciples. As time progressed and Peter accepted Christ as His Lord, Peter walked, learned, and loved Christ. He was a witness to miracles and wonders. But, despite his first-hand knowledge and witness to these events, Simon Peter continued to resurface. The transformed Peter, (Christ, gave him the new name indicating he was a follower and believer), became a new man but remained brash and impulsive. He was the person that stepped out of the boat and onto the surface of the sea to walk to Jesus.

~It was Simon Peter, not Peter, who looked down as he was walking on water (a sign and wonder), lost faith, and began to sink, Matthew 14:28-30.

~It was Simon Peter who calls us to serve but stayed seated and did not join Christ when he washed the disciples’ feet, 1 Peter 5:2.

~It was Simon Peter that told the believers to stay clear-minded and have self-control at all times to pray, 1 Peter 4:7.

~It was Simon Peter who rebuked Christ for speaking of his death, Matthew 16:22.

~It was Simon Peter who fell asleep while Jesus was praying and sweating blood, 1 Peter 2:13.

~It was Simon Peter who slipped back into the Law and suggested they erect three tabernacles, one for each—Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, clustering Jesus with the Old Testament prophets, Matthew 17:4.

~It was Simon Peter who grew angry drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest, John 18:10.

~It was Simon Peter who swore that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did, and you know the story, he denied Christ three times when he was arrested, Matthew 26:70-74.

~It was Simon Peter who fled when Christ was hung on the cross and hid in fear, 1 Peter 5:1.

How often do we capitulate under challenging times and employ our old values and behavior like Peter? Usually, the conversion is so indistinct we are there before we were aware of slipping. At that moment, we become blind to who we are in Christ, we regress to our old man. Thank God for redemption because we can repent and once again take on the behaviors of Christ who knows our true selves and is molding us to become more like Him.

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Despite Peter’s shortcomings, Jesus continued to affirm Peter as the “Rock,” Matthew 16:18-19 and promised him that he, Peter, would become instrumental in establishing Jesus’ Church. After Christs’  resurrection, he named Peter as the one who needed to hear the good news, Matthew 16:7. Jesus made a point of forgiving and restoring Simon Peter to accept and regain his new name, Peter, and recommissioned him as Christ’s’ Apostle, and high priest, John 21,6, 15-17; Hebrews 3:1.

Even after being restored, Peter, who preached on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2, was present when the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit, Acts 8, and was summoned to the home of Roman centurion Cornelius, Acts 10, initially resisted following the instructions to go to Cornelius’ home. Simon Peter struggled with the transformation of his old man to the new man – Peter. We are no different, there is a raging battle between our old man and new.

Peter, the new man, who was not wrought with doubt and fear, ultimately obeyed and went to Cornelius’ home. If Peter had not gone to his home, we might not have witnessed Cornelius receiving the Holy Spirit, Acts 10. Only God knows why he is directing our path. Seemingly at this point, the new man, Peter, should be steadfast. However, that is not the case.

When Peter, the new man, went to Antioch to fellowship with the Gentiles, all was good until the Jews appeared. However, when the legalistic Jews, of which he was as Simon Peter, arrived, he sought to appease them and separated himself from the believing Gentiles, Galatians 2:11-14. Paul admonished him for being a hypocrite. None of us can merge our old man and the new man. We are either one or the other. The battle will continue through this life, but when the old man surfaces, we must repent and pick up our cross in the new man.

Jesus forgives our unfaithfulness. He sees us as He intends us to be, not who we may currently be or were in our pre-redemptive life. Jesus knows our birth/carnal name and receives us as his own, the new man. In today’s times, He may not actually rename us, but he does give us a new life.

Jesus was patient with Peter through his disobedience, arrogance, fear, and denial. Peter was a fisherman and became a fisher of men, who matured into one of the Lord’s most dedicated apostles. He is known as one of the most well-known disciples and was instrumental in establishing the church in Samaria, Act 8. He brought the gospel to the Gentiles, Acts 10-11. He preached the sermon at Pentecost, where three thousand believers received the Holy Spirit, Acts 3.

The point is, God is patient and will wait until he can change you. If He does not give up on us, neither should we give up on ourselves. He created us to do His work. To paraphrase the scripture, God has plans for us that will prosper us and not destroy us. God, is patient and monitors us as we evolve into the person He envisioned. God knows our challenges, our setbacks, and our victories.

As we mature in the Word and obey God, our story will unfold just as Peters did. Was Peter perfect? No, absolutely not. Were there moments when the natural man won out? Yes. We were born into sin, we all fall short of the glory of God. None of us is perfect; only Jesus is perfect. God could have created us as automatons. He chose to create us in His likeness and instilled us with his own will and desires. Why, because God wants a relationship with us. He sacrificed His only Son to save us from sin. He knows we are a work in progress, He created us to desire His will and not our own, and that is all God requires that we surrender, depend on Him and be obedient to the Word. He wants us to evolve from our natural man to our new man.

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The Bible is replete with sinners who received salvation after leading destructive lives. I also find it interesting that these examples clearly exemplify God’s expectations for all believers. No excuses, God laid the foundation demonstrated in Peter’s character study. Now it is time to become who we really are; we are His workmanship, ever-changing in His likeness. This leads back to – only God knows the real you and through prayer and obedience we will learn who we are in Christ.

Images – Google Images. LAB Photos

Resources – Who is Peter in the Bible? GotQuestions.org; Bible.com; Peter: A Case Study in Character, KenBoa.org; Peter, studyandobey.com

The Ugly Truth, Lies, and Exposure

 

God’s Promise – I am the Truth

The ugly truth is being exposed every day, and the quick response from corporate owners is, we were there for you until we weren’t, we’ve made mistakes, and the consequence is that you no longer trust us. We want to earn your trust back.

Can we earn truth, or is it something given with the hope that it will be fulfilled? Our society is caught in a truth debacle. This is not a new phenomenon.  The difference now is that we are in a principality war that has been waged in cyberspace. The definitive nature of truth has become nothing more than exposing of what is deemed right and expedient to meet carnal (worldly) needs.

The arrival of the twenty-first century ushered us into a technology-based reality. The onset of fake news exposes the question of ‘truth.’ Is truth determined by the conveyor or the recipient of what has been shared? There are so many factors in determining the truth. But these factors only affect this plane, Satan’s home. Absolute truth is only available to followers of Christ. Those of us that have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, know that truth is revealed throughout the Bible. Truth is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It begins with God who is the Word, and the Word which is (all) truth.

The Word (Christ) was in the beginning. The Word was with God. The Word was God. John 1:1 NLV

My followers do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Make them holy for Yourself by the truth. Your Word is truth. 18 “As You sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world also. 19 I set Myself apart to be holy for them. Then they may be made holy by the truth. John 17:16-19 NLV

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. James 1:18 NKJV

He chose to give us birth through the Word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:18 ESV

God is the Word, the Word is truth, and he created us to share the truth. Why you may ask? God created us to replicate Him on earth and to share the truth. The Armor of God speaks to wearing the belt of truth as part of our daily armor to protect ourselves from false truth known today as fake news, to expose the fake truth and to share the Word which is (all) truth, also known as the ‘Good News.’

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth. Ephesians 6:14 KJV

Stand then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Ephesians 6:14 ESV

Earlier posts focused on the fact that as Christians we cannot be careless about who we are. We cannot allow carnal truths affect what we know to be the real truth, and we cannot become fearful of chaos created by fake news. We are to stand fast, not waver, and rest in the Word.

We have been commanded to reflect the qualities of Christ, to choose to emulate Him, allow his righteousness to flow through us and share the truth by exposing the (fake) carnal truth. We must share that God is the truth.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Chaos is of Satan, the truth is of God. Our salvation is through the acceptance of Christ which not only sets us free but sets us apart from the carnal lies and deceit of man.

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:15-18

And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they also do the rest of the Scriptures. You, therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.2 Peter 3:15-18 NKJV

Apologies are not a form of repentance. The world apologizes, makes visual changes and continues down its path of deception. Christians understand God’s truth and repent for committing sin. Christians seek redemption and renewal.

Do not be trapped in the lies perpetrated by the world. Do not be led away with the error of the wicked. Know our Lord is truth, and whether we suffer the world’s attacks here on earth, we are living our lives to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness.” Matthew 25: 23

 

 

Images – Free Google Images

Scriptures – BibleGateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

Is God Holding Out on Us?

Who has your ear? Who do you trust snd believe?

Study from: BibleStudyTools.com

Mark Altrogge

Friday, March 9, 2018

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

Satan can’t force us to sin. So he tries the next best thing – to get us to doubt God’s word and character.

Photo Courtesy: Lightstock

He tempted Eve to doubt God’s word.

God had warned Adam and Eve that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they’d die. Satan said, “You will not surely die.” He says to us, “Go ahead and sin, nothing will happen to you.” “You can sin just this once and it will be okay.” “Only one more time and you can quit tomorrow”  “God will forgive you.” “You’re saved, you won’t go to hell.” “No one will see you.”  “Everybody else does it, and nothing happens to them.”

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

He tempted Eve to doubt God’s character.

“God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” In other words, “God’s holding out on you. Lying to you. He’s not good. He knows if you eat you’ll become like him and he doesn’t want that.”

God’s word is filled with promises which reflect his character. Promises to never cease doing good to us. To never leave nor forsake us. To be with us in trials, to be near us and hear us. To protect and deliver us from evil. To sustain, provide for, counsel and guide us.

But life throws things at us that seem to contradict God’s word and character. We lose a job or a loved one. We feel incredibly weak and helpless. We can’t see any possible solution to our dilemma.

“God doesn’t love you,” Satan whispers. “A loving God wouldn’t do this to you.” “If he were good he could have prevented this.” “God doesn’t answer prayer. After all, how many times have you asked and he hasn’t come through?”

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

A Few Truths…

We don’t have to be going through tough times for the enemy to attack God’s word and character.

After all, Eve was in paradise. Satan will tempt us when things are going great. Perhaps he’ll tell us to ignore one of God’s warnings or commands to flee evil.

The devil doesn’t announce himself with a bullhorn.

“Satan here, feeding you lies to destroy you!” No – he presents these thoughts as our own. They are the “fiery darts” we must put out with the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:1-23). If they aren’t directly from Satan, they arise from our own unbelief. Either way, these thoughts challenge God’s character.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

A Charge for You…

Will we believe Satan’s lies or God’s word?

Will we believe God’s promises or our own interpretation of things? Eve looked at the fruit, and it appeared to be good for wisdom. So she believed her senses instead of God’s word.

Cling to God’s promises, no matter what fiery darts the enemy shoots at you.

Believe God’s promises even if all creation seems to contradict it. Believe God’s word over your strongest feelings. Of course to believe God’s promises, you must regularly take them in, for “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17).

So what are you believing about God today?

Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter. Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.

Editor’s note: This article has been adapted from “Is God Holding out on You,” found here.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Good Fight of Faith

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I remember the days when I said, ”thank God, it’s Friday.” Finally, the end of the work week. I could sleep in a little longer and take it easy. Not really easy, my work duties were taken over by weekend chores. I’m a mother of 3 sons, a household of four males, and me.

The point is, I, like most felt the weekend was a time for (relative) rest. And, in secular terms, it is a time for rest, but in the spiritual realm, we have no time off. The truth is – to relax in the spiritual realm is dangerous. Why? Satan ramps up his attack on our lives when we are not alert. Fighting the ‘good fight of faith’ is a 24/7 commitment. God’s grace, our faith, and the scriptures are our weapons.

As Christians, we are called to share the Good News through word and deed. Setting this commitment aside for a few days weakens our spiritual health.

It is called the good fight because we are sharing the Word about God and Truth.

Each morning I prepare to fight the good fight (which is a battle) by putting on the Whole Armor of God (every warrior wears armor) and call my angel to duty. We can never relax to the point of leaving ourselves open to attack.

The Good Fight of Faith is a lifelong calling. We can never let down our guard. We should say, “Thank you God for waking me up at the appointed time every day because this is the day that You have made, and I am  ready and prepared for whatever lies ahead.”

We are blessed to be Gods children and warriors. My mantra is – “Armor Up and Fight the Good Fight of Faith every day.”

Have a great weekend.

Images – Google Images; YouVersion, Bible.com; LAB Photography
Scripture References – Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.