The Ultimate Plan

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Our first post took us back to the beginning, Genesis, and the fact we are created to display God’s image. God created us in His likeness, our purpose is to put God on display!

The responsibility to reflect God’s image was not just given to us. Mankind was created as male and female in relationship-to display something about the divine relationship that exists within the triune God. Our relationships were created to tell the incredible story of God.

Being created in Gods image gives us dignity, privilege and responsibility. He has crowned us with glory and honor and given us authority over the earth. Its a awesome responsibility to go about our daily life and all the while reflect the image of the Almighty. However the image of God has been marred, it is begging for redemption…transformation…recreation. You see God knew from the beginning that sin would distort and destroy the male female relationship. Amazingly he patterned the first couple’s relationship to  correspond with the amazing relationship that would one day counter all of the horrible tragic consequences of sin

Gods eternal plan comes to light in Ephesians, chapter 3 and then in chapter 5. He ties the mystery of Christ loving the church to the earthly picture of male and female sexuality and marriage. According to scripture, the relationship between a husband and wife is powerfully linked to the story of Christ and his Church Bride. God created male and female to foreshadow and testify about that amazing relationship and event.

Men were created to reflect the strength love and self sacrifice of Christ. Women were created to reflect the responsiveness, grace and beauty of the bride He redeemed! Marriage was created to reflect the covenant union of Christ and His Bride!

Your womanhood has nothing to do with you, but displaying the glory of God and His powerful redemptive plan.

Male and female relationships has little to do with us, and much to do with God! Our marriages and relationships should be truly God ordained, mirroring the union of Christ and his Bride

I asked a fellow friend and my Boaz, his interpretation on Ephesians 5:23. Here are his thoughts…

From A Mans View:

When you look at Ephesians 5:23, it states that the man is the head, however we often take that scripture out of context. Many men take advantage of that scripture and use it to run their home negatively! Some men view that as ‘I am the head of this marriage, this house, I make all the decisions, and my wife must submit to them, regardless” However, if I as the man is not following God, that is a dictatorship and I as the head would be leading us to hell! When we read on further in Ephesians, it breaks down exactly what we as men should be doing as the man and head of our home.  My job as the head includes many things. I must honor my wife, nurture my wife, love her, take care of her, pray for her, seek God to make sound decisions for her and my family. I am responsible for her! God is really the head of our marriage, and we as men need to seek God to become a representation of a Godly head of our home!

Does your marriage or relationship with your significant other reflect that great redemptive plan of Christ?

Stephanie

Additional Readings  Ephesians 5:23, 1 Corinthians 11:3, Ephesians 5:30-32

 

On Display For God

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We start Divine Design at the beginning. Who are we as God’s creation, as women? What was God’s purpose for us?  Well Genesis gives us all the information we need to truly know who we are as men and women of God

Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that God made man in his own image and that he also gave them dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens…the lifestock and over all the earth. God gave man dominion over everything. God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him!

In the first Chapter of Genesis, God paused before his final and greatest creative act. There was no question in his mind about what he was about to do. He had settled on His plan long before the foundation of the world. It was already in motion.  God had made the galaxies and planets, the sun and the moon had all been formed and aligned. The earth had ripened with life, the ground had sprouted vegetation. The sky, sea and land now teemed with vegetation.

Everything was in place, everything was ready. It all led up to this moment. The moment! The significance of what God was about to do was deeper and more profound than even the angels could fathom. He was about to make man- and to make him male and female

Humans were the only creatures that God created in His Image and after his likeness. This included the ability to think and make moral choices. It means we share his nature. We have personalities, the capacity for creativity, truth, wisdom, love, holiness and justice. We display his image!

So in essence we are on display for God!. Its not about our ability to pretty ourselves up with makeup, be a size 8, dress beautifully or be what others want us to be. God wants us to put him on display, so that everyone who looks at us sees the beauty of HIS IMAGE. That is truly an honor and responsibility to bear the image of God!

So now that you know what God’s ultimate purpose was for us as women…

Do you feel that your womanhood displays God’s glory?

Stephanie,

Additional Reading: Psalm 8:4-6, Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24

 

Day 18: Dare to Live With A New Focus

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Most of the time, our day starts out fine and then we may find ourselves in a funk of some sort. We start to feel emotional, discouraged, out of sorts and even a little depressed. Webster defines the word “funk” as a cowering fear or a dejected mood. The definition of funky is to be overcome with great fear, terrified or having a bad smell. Most of us can truly say, when we are in a funk…our attitude stinks!

The funk always starts with a focus problem. Every emotional hole we find ourselves in, starts with a circumstance that disrupts our faith focus. Once our focus is skewed, we begin to spin out of control. Instead of living above our circumstances as an over-comer, we begin to live down under the mess. A place where we find ourselves scared, needy and dependent on others to fix things for us.

Its time to truly fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God- Hebrews 12:2-3

So how do we fix our eyes on Jesus? How can we repair our vision? Shift our focus?

Read his word, and truly study each scripture. A funk happens when you lose perspective, by losing focus. It happens when we take our eyes off Jesus and the faithful God that He is

Focus, FOCUS AND FOCUS. Nothing can snatch you from the Father’s hand…unless you allow it. When life gets you down…LOOK UP to the God, who picks you up!

Today’s Dare: Take your position as a woman who belongs to God. Stand firm, be solid in who you are and whose you are. Don’t be afraid, do not lose hope. Redirect your focus on the one who is faithful! Dare to make any decision that will get you up and out in order to have a change of focus. Pray and ask God to help you learn from the funky place and help you move out of it!

Prayer:Lord you are the Lord of freedom, of life and of liberty!. Help me to learn how to recognize a funk when it is headed towards me. Help me guard against it. When I am tempted to slip, help me stand firm in my position as a person loved by you!

All I can say is AMEN to that!

Stephanie

Day 14: Dare To Believe You Are Not Enough In Yourself

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Meditate on 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, 3:12 and 3:17-18

The words “Not enough” can haunt us for a lifetime! Some of us live with that mantra all of all lives. We strive to always be more than enough…more of who we are…more of what others perceive us as.

Many Christian women have it worst, because we always trying to be perfect in a world than constantly places us under a magnifying class. As long as we are trying to be enough, we will always be about self instead of God.

Insecurities keep us at arm’s distance from others and from God. We often distance ourselves without even realizing it, believing that we can never measure up. Some women quit trying to be all that God has dared us to be and all that he has planned us to be. When this happens the enemy has won!. He celebrates and we suffer. Once was a light of hope in the promise of Christ has been reduced to a dependence of self to try to make ourselves good enough.

We can not do it on our own…it is not God’s plan for us. He never created us to be enough. He wants us to know that we are enough- because of him and his life in us!

Its time to quit stressing and look to God. He is enough for us in ALL THINGS. His spirit , which is powerful within us, changes us and transforms us from a woman of self focus and insecurity to a God focus woman with confidence.

The word competent means good, worthy, sufficient, adequate, or enough..so all though we may not not be all these of ourselves…WITH GOD, we can totally rely on Him and look to Him for everything!

God is our letter of recommendation, and he is forever writing our story

Today’s Dare: Think on this question

If I believed I am enough because Christ lives in me and makes me enough… How would I view myself differently? Would I live a different kind of life? What risks would I take? Would I be less afraid and more daring to follow Christ? Would I quit putting myself down?

Prayer: Lord deliver me from self focus and insecurity. I want to understand the significance of your life within me. I want to be changed into your likeness and to live in confidence that in you. I am enough for anything and everything you have mapped out for my life!

Dare to believe today, refuse any negative talk and thought for the next 24 hours. Be as kind to yourself as Christ is to you!

I dare you, because YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Stephanie

Day 11: Dare To Live No Longer For Self

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Meditate on Psalm 23:1-6, John 10:10, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

I no longer live, Christ lives in me!

Sometimes we get a mindset of rebellion, “I’m grown, no one can tell me what to do!”  When we try to protect ourselves, we often put up walls that keep even God’s voice out. We want to do things our way. Yet we were created for something bigger and better than our way. Being in control is a key component in many peoples lives, and when we feel out of control….wooooooooooooooooooooooo

The saints of old leaned towards a a different kind of life. The love of Christ influenced them in such a dramatic way, they no longer desired self interest. They longed for the influence of God.

Lay your self aside, believe that God’s love is powerful enough to protect us, keep us, guide us and move us into everything we will ever need in our lifetime.  When we really start to believe this, we begin to live differently

Jesus said “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry” John 6:35

“I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” John 10:11

“I have come that they  may have life, and have it more abundantly” John 10:10

Full life is not merely a figment of the imagination. Do you really want to be free, to live a different life? Then you must go back to the basics, the essentials of faith and learn what it means to put all your faith in the truths of the scripture

God loves us unconditionally

He wants the best life for us and is always working in our lives!

He will never leave us or forsake us

He is committed to providing for us, caring for us!

He came to give us the best life

…..the promises go on and on and on…..

Isn’t it time to live free?

Today’s Dare: Ask God to show you how you can experience abundance by living differently. Ask God for the grace to live bigger than the smallness of yourself. Thank him today and everyday for the provisions He has already provided! Trust him for strength. Give him the details that are heart your heart today. Praise Him over and over again for being your Good Shepherd!

Prayer: Jesus, I often forget that you are my Good Shepherd. Thank you that you desire to offer mercy, grace and compassion to me. Remind me daily to bring everything before you, because you desire to bring me to a place that is bigger than just me and filled completely with you!

Freedom awaits!

Stephanie

Day 10: Dare To Guard Your Thoughts and Fill Your Mind With Good

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Psalm 3:3-6, 8, Romans 8:6, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:2 are the scriptures to meditate on today…

My, my , my ..the peril of negative thinking!

How many times have you had to fight bad thoughts? How many hours a day do you have to shift focus and commit yourself to thinking on good thoughts?

It surely takes a committed focus on God to live differently from the world. The struggle of life can have us thinking we have completely lost our mind!

we must take our thoughts captive. Anytime a negative thought creeps  in, we must seek to destroy it with positive thinking. God’s word is the divine power that can destroy the places in our mind that are held in a stronghold by our own negative thinking, worldly perceptions and the lies from satan himself!

None can control where you dwell mentally but you. Learn to manage your mind, by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. It can often be like looking for flowers in a field of weeds, but they are there…

Even in the testings that you will endure, your elevation to another level spiritually makes it all worth it.

Today’s Dare: recognize the negative thoughts and practice putting a positive there. Put up barriers of truth so that when negative thoughts come, they cannot penetrate the wall.

Prayer: Father I surrender my mind to you. Teach me how to cast down, tear down and disassemble every thought that does not honor you or your word.

Be at peace mentally on a daily basis

Stephanie

Day 9: Dare to Believe that God Gives Good Gifts To His Children

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Meditate on Psalm 116:1-4, Matthew 7:7-11

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know – Jeremiah 33:3

Too often we go to God about a situation or a circumstance, we pray, we ask, we seek, we knock…and when we do not receive, we become anxious, irritated and distressed. Our conversations with God consist of “why?” and “how?”

May times, we forget that God gives good gifts. God gives bread, not stones. You can rest assured that your prayers have been heard, yet the doors will only be opened, when it is time for you to receive what is behind the door. Keep claiming it and standing on Gods word and wait in anticipation of the “good” thing that you shall receive and at the right time!

Even when you cant see or fathom what you have been praying and standing on, know that the God you serve is GOOD! and what he has in store for you is marvelous!

Its coming! Believe it!

Todays Dare: Truly believe that God has heard your prayer and it is coming in his timing. Begin to thank God for it, even what you can not see manifesting in the physical realm…is truly being manifested in the spiritual realm. If you still have an unanswered prayer, then the good thing is not available yet. Wait on it, too often we are anxious and what we receive maybe what we wanted, but Lord knows its not always GOOD for us….we get a stone…yet we find out too late. Learn to trust God’s timing!

Prayer: Lord give me patience! I choose to trust that doors will be open when you are ready to bless me with all the good that you have for me. I am trusting you in control of my life and every circumstance. I wont fret, I wont worry, I wont get anxious. I will thank you in the waiting season of my life.

That good thing is surely on its way to you!

Stephanie