SFFC NEWSLETTER – February 2020
Hello Strong Faith Family,
YOUR PRIMARY PASSION
1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. But God’s love is not some warm, fuzzy feeling. God’s love is intense, like a brightly-burning fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (BBE) …we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. This does not mean that God is going to punish you with fire if you’re not properly serving Him! It means that when you allow God to burn brighter than anything in your life, you will find yourself walking in His love, reverencing and serving Him, and naturally doing all of the good works He’s designed you to do.
When you genuinely accept God’s love, you will see serving Him as a positive thing in your life – something that brings life, wisdom, health, prosperity, blessing, favor, honor, worth, dignity, etc – not as a negative thing that brings restriction of your freedom. As you recognize that God truly loves you at all times, you will welcome the instruction of His Word. The love of God is told about in The Bible (the written Word) and is demonstrated by Jesus (the Living Word). God’s love will instruct and correct you in all things when you let it do so.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
You’ve got to see surrendering your life to Jesus as “a gift so good you can’t even describe it” (2 Corinthians 9:15), not as some sort of sacrifice on your part. Jesus is the One Who gave it all. He sacrificed everything (His worth, dignity, honor, health, happiness – His very life!) so that you could be restored to living eternally in the light of God’s love and experiencing all the blessings that come from living there.
John 8:12 (NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying I am the light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
In order for God’s love and His Word to have its full, positive effect and be that Light which is Life for you, He has to be your primary passion. You must choose to walk in Jesus’ light by letting God be your all-consuming fire, constantly acknowledging that accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the best thing that ever happened to you.
Identity and Relationships
Pastor David’s series for this month is about Identity and Relationships. This is such an important topic because having the wrong identity is the #1 thing that destroys relationships.
Genesis 1:26 (NIV) God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule . . . .”
Don’t blame God for the world being messed up! He gave us (mankind, people) the rule and the authority over the earth. If things are messed up, it’s our fault. We rule the earth best when we allow God to rule in our hearts, letting Him show us our strengths and how we can use them to help others.
Genesis 2:25 (YLT) Both of them [were] naked, the man and his wife, and they [were] not ashamed of themselves.
Adam and Eve’s nakedness represents vulnerability. They both had strengths and weaknesses, but they chose to focus on their strengths and thereby fill each others’ weaknesses. God created all of us to complement each other. The body of Christ is supposed to fill each others’ weaknesses. We must each choose to be vulnerable and allow Christ (in other Christians) to be strong in our weakness. Just like with Adam and Eve after they ate of the forbidden fruit, God’s plan begins to break down when our focus comes off of God and onto self.
Wrong identity will always cause relationship problems. Many people throughout your life will try to tell you things (usually negative) about yourself, but God – the One Who created you – is the only One Who can truly tell you who you are. Press into God and allow the power of His love to “clean you up” and give you the right identity. Because having the wrong identity will:
- Rob you of joy, which will lead to all kinds of other problems. Ask God to show you who you are in Christ, then get happy about it!
- Make you hide yourself, because you feel ashamed. This causes you to sabotage potential relationships, because you want to run from people rather than having them “see who you really are.”
- Make you compare yourself, which is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). Comparing will cause you to unduly exalt or abase yourself, creating either pride or envy. Comparing yourself to others is simply focusing on self which will never set you free.
- Make you try to prove yourself. Don’t prove, just serve. When you find your “place of grace” you will be impressive doing what God created you to do and you will have no need to try to impress others.
The two most important things you can do in life are to get a right picture of God and get a right picture of who you are in Christ. When you choose to be a branch drawing from The Vine of Jesus, Who is the source of everything you need, Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. –Isaiah 61:7 (NIV). But if you have a wrong self-image – that is, a wrong identity – it will form self-imposed boundaries which will hinder God’s plan from being accomplished in your life.
In order to fulfill the destiny God has for you, you must see yourself the way God sees you.