Thursday, October 3, 2013

I choose abundant life!

John 15: 14 – 16 (NCV) You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name.

A few years ago I attended a Cleaning Stream seminar. This seminar is comprised of several weeks of classes, homework assignments, and a retreat. Each Sunday mornings I'd attend class and I throughout the week I spent time completing the assignments and scripture reading. Prior to attending this class, I had been told of the healing and freedom that comes as a result. I had witnessed first hand the change in my friends’ lives… and I wanted that too.

The retreat I have to tell you… was a life-changing weekend for me. I walked into the host church on Friday night chained by the lies the enemy had been feeding me for far too long. By the retreat’s end, I walked out with my face and hands lifted high in praise and thanksgiving. The chains I walked in were gone! I had been set free!

In my quiet time the first morning after the retreat I read John 15: 14 – 16. Reading the words to these verses out loud, tears fell from my eyes as I allowed the truth “I am a friend of God” to wash over me. Letting that truth sink in this morning blew me away like it never had before. Me… a friend of the Most High God. Even more, He chose me before I was even conceived in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:16). He accepted me first. I am not rejected because of anything that I have said or done in my life.

This truth that He had a plan for me before I even existed was a not a new concept for me. In fact, I had heard it several times. I had even talked, written, and encouraged other’s to believe it. But God revealed something to me during that retreat weekend; I hadn’t allowed myself to believe that simple truth about myself. I never realized I hadn’t really allowed myself to accept and open the precious "gift of acceptance" from God. Instead, I had believed the lie of the enemy telling me that I couldn’t possibly do anything for God because I wasn’t good enough.

The truth is I am good enough! I am a friend of God... the creator of the universe.  You can be a friend of His too if you believe that He sent His son to die on the cross for your sin. 1 John 1:9 tells us that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Jesus’ choice was made long before he took one step on this earth. He chose to love and to die for us so that we could have eternal life. It is up to us to make the next choice; we can either accept or reject his offer.  

Today I choose to accept the abundant life Christ promises.

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