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Whose are you ... and who is He?

Do you know who you are? And do you know Whose you are? Maybe we need to be reminded, every once in a while, just how blessed we are to be created and loved by the Maker of the universe, the Lord of all lords, and the mighty Ancient of Days.

Recently, while attending a Bible study titled Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed (by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur), I was struck by this soliloquy, delivered by Shirer (who happens to be Tony Evans’ daughter and clearly received some pass-along of his dynamic personality and preaching/teaching giftings).

Take a look and a listen.

Who are you in Christ? 

I agree, Priscilla Shirer. This is worth getting fired up about. And we are not alone there.

Joyce Meyer talked about this in her Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing book (among others). Rick Warren discussed it in The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? Mark Driscoll aimed at it in Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ. Henry Blackaby focused on the same biblical principles in his Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.

Charles Stanley wrote a Bible study guide titled Discovering Your Identity in Christ.

Innumerable pastors and Christian leaders have offered sermons and teachings on the topic of who we are in Christ.

If you are a Christian believer, then your identity in Christ is the bedrock of your daily life.

How might simply knowing to Whom we belong and by Whom we are loved beyond measure can change everything we do … and how we do it?

Thank you, Priscilla Shirer, for the inspiring and encouraging reminder of who God is and who we are by belonging to Him.
Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer
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Sometimes God's just gotta cut through the static

Tuning in to hear God’s voice can be challenging sometimes, especially in those moments when life seems extra noisy. Concerns, deadlines, distractions, and our own racing thoughts may battle for our attention.

That’s exactly what happened to me this morning.

I have a beloved prodigal. She’s a testimony in the making. I know this. I believe it. I am holding onto that with all I’ve got.

But this season we’re going through is really tough. And I need an encouraging word from God every now and then – a reminder that He has got this thing.

This morning, I was driving to a local appointment. The route took me past the house where my beloved prodigal stayed last night at her friend’s house. I saw her car parked outside.

I have been praying late into the night for this one for a while, and I am still waiting for God’s answer to appear. So I was feeling a little mopey right then.

I believe our Father God cherishes a mother’s fretful prayers.
I like to picture Him tucking each heart-wrenching entreaty into a special treasure box.

That’s when God stepped in. Something curious happened.

My car radio was on. I hit the “scan” button to switch to a new music station. But it stopped on a number I’d not seen before. I heard a quick advertising message for a car dealership located in a city located two hours from here. And the reception was as clear as can be.

I only heard a few minutes of a Christian radio broadcast. I cannot tell you who the speaker was. But she was recapping a broadcast interview with an author who had spoken about parents praying for their kids to return to God.

Here’s the gist.

This author, a mother of a long-time beloved prodigal, said God started turning things around when she changed the way she prayed. She began asking Him to build a longing inside her loved one. She pleaded with God to rekindle a desire for Him – to lead her beloved prodigal to desire something more in life than his current pursuits.

Isn’t that what the prophet Amos meant, when he spoke of a famine for God’s Word? Why not personalize that prophecy in a prayer for loved ones?

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land - not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.” (Amos 8:11, NIV)

What a powerful way for a parent to pray.

God, please stir up a famine in my loved one’s heart for You,
a hunger for Your presence and a thirst for Your Word.

I want that for my beloved prodigal. I want that for all my loved ones. I want that for myself. I want to want God more.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. (Psalm 73:25, NIV)

I spread out my hands to You; I thirst for You like a parched land. (Psalm 143:6, NIV)

It sounds simple. But it may just be the secret we’ve needed.

Go to it, God.

Fire up that hunger that only You can feed.

Here’s an after-note.

When my appointment ended, I climbed back into my car, which was still tuned to the same radio station number. But it was only static. I’m pretty sure God was smiling, right about then.
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 including public domain artwork

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Pictures of Jesus: Zoetic

Jesus is zoetic. OK, what does zoetic even mean?

The word “zoetic” is related to “Zoe,” which means “life” in Greek.

“Zoetic” refers to something that is alive, real, and vital. It sort of implies something that is so full of life that it makes living more real and complete.

That’s Jesus.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
(John 14:6, NIV)

Can you imagine how the 12 apostles must have felt, sitting in a boat and suddenly seeing Jesus, waving to them from the shore? Sure, He appeared to them in the Upper Room in Jerusalem after His resurrection, but there He was again. What a sight!

Italian Renaissance artist Tintoretto painted this sight in his work titled Christ at the Sea of Galilee. I love seeing Peter, climbing out of the boat, like he couldn’t wait to walk on water again.

And there’s Jesus, full of life and ready to fill His followers with abundant life as well. That’s zoetic.

[Jesus said] “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10, NIV)
Christ at the Sea of Galilee
by Tintoretto

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The Scripture memory tips series is ongoing, but the April A to Z Blogging Challenge has started, and Heart of a Ready Writer is participating again this year. Watch for the Bible memory series posts, which may be interspersed with the Pictures of Jesus series during the month of April.

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