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Tag: sheep

God’s Way To Self-Esteem

Do you love yourself?

Written by GodLife on 02/08/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithGrowthIdentitySelf EsteemShame


A second [commandment] is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:39

When Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18, He was not teaching us to love ourselves. In stating that we already love ourselves, He was using the quality of that already-present love for ourselves to teach us how to love others. One who really loves is fully-invested in the loved one's best interests. Here are three ways that attitude towards self is supposed to be altered when God gives us a new heart (Psalm 51:10) with His love poured out (Romans 5:5) in it.

1. Practice repentance: Guilt brings shame and hopelessness.

The whole time God is working through the things which happen to you to conform you to Christ's image (Romans 8:28-29), the world is also trying to force you to conform to its own. (Romans 12:2) One of the ways this is done is through subtle reasoning meant to make you arrogantly ignore God and your obligation to obey Him. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Two equally harmful reactions to guilt feelings are often advised by the wisdom of this world. We can excuse them by labeling them "false guilt", or we can blame others (parents, teachers, or other authorities) for them. But the Bible warns us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Guilt feelings are usually due to real guilt. Our new nature still wars with an old one, (Galatians 5:17) and we still sin. Obeying God, (and loving ourselves His way), means confessing and agreeing with Him about our sin. (1 John 1:7-9)

2. Practice humility: We do not want to be judged by our actions.

An unhealthy self-image tends to bounce back and forth between the hopelessness of guilt and the pride of accomplishment. Spiritually speaking, you are in one of two categories. If you are "in Adam," you are destined to be judged by your works—and will perish. If you are in Christ, you are credited with His perfection—and destined for eternal life. (1 Corinthians 15:222 Corinthians 5:21) Embracing God's plan to conform you to His image (Romans 8:28-29again) means making God's will, (Christ's exaltation, not yours), the point of your life. (Matt. 5:16Luke 22:42Philippians 2:5-9)

3. Accept Assurance: We have value to God!

Look to Jesus to find your identity. To keep from bouncing back and forth from pride to shame, center on God Himself. He wants all people everywhere to turn away from sin and a selfish life, (Acts 17:30), and find security in Jesus' statement on the cross: "it is finished!" (John 19:30) Your sin has been paid for. Christ's sinless record can be credited to you.

Esteem means value. Value of self, apart from what God says about us or wants for us, is idolatry. On the other hand, God's investment in you is total. He has invested His image in you. (Genesis 1:27) He has invested His life's blood in you. (Acts 20:28) He is not ashamed to call you His children, brothers and sisters to Christ. (Hebrews 2:11-131 John 3:1) Will His investment in you bring a return?


Pray this week:

Father, I confess I have gone my own way like a straying sheep. I have no confidence in my own work but only in what Jesus has done for me. Show me His way, and help me to follow it, I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Where does your value come from?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Joseph’s Christmas Story: Full-On Faith

Joseph shows us how to react to surprising and difficult circumstances.

Written by GodLife on 18/12/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ChristmasFaithGraceHumilityJesusJoseph


When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:24-25

Considering the birth of Jesus, it’s an interesting exercise to put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. Think about it. As he is making preparations to marry his fiance, Mary, he learns that she has become pregnant even though they have not been together as man and wife.

What would your first reaction be? Rage? Sorrow? Disappointment? Shame? Any of these emotions would be certainly understandable. However, Joseph didn’t react like this at all!

Let’s look into what Joseph’s reaction was and how God was present, helping him all the way through one of the most difficult times in his life.

Humility and grace

Purity was a huge deal in the Jewish culture of the day, so marrying a woman who had become pregnant out of wedlock was not something that was seen as acceptable. Because of this, when Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy, the Bible says he decided to quietly separate from her and move on with his life.

“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19)

This act of grace alone shows that Joseph is a man of great integrity, because many young men in that culture would have put her to shame.

The power of faith

As the story continues, we see that Joseph has remained with Mary through her pregnancy, all while he contemplates what his next steps should be. Then he gets a visit from an angel of the Lord who tells Him that the baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit and commands him to stay with Mary and name her baby Jesus.

If this happened to you, what would you think? Would you say ‘Yes Lord!’ or would you be scared and doubt that what you heard was actually from God? I think most of us would doubt, but here’s how Joseph responded:

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.” (Matthew 1:24-25)

Extreme faith. That’s what it took for Joseph to listen to the angel of the Lord and believe that God was watching over him and directing his steps. 

Joseph’s story shows us the power of faith and what can be accomplished if we simply believe. Will you believe what the Lord is telling you today about your difficult life circumstances?


Pray this week:

Lord, thank you for showing me what it means to have complete faith in you, no matter how crazy the circumstances are around me. Help me to trust you like Joseph did and believe that you have the best for me. Amen.


When have you had a hard time trusting the Lord with a difficult circumstance in your life?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

How To Share Your Faith With Your Friends

Do you really love your friends if you don’t tell them about Jesus?

Written by GodLife on 12/04/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Heaven, Hell, Hope, Jesus
So I tell you today that I am not guilty if any of you don’t believe. I haven’t let anyone keep me from telling you everything God wants you to do.

Acts 20:26-27
My little daughter’s friend was playing at our home one day. Suddenly, I shouted “no!” and she burst into tears. Why? She was about to put a fork into a nearby electrical outlet. I hated to upset her, but her little life was too precious to risk, and her parents trusted me to protect her.

Are your friends precious to you? Do you know that God holds us responsible for one another? He tells us, “If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths.” (Ezekiel 3:18) If worries are keeping you from sharing your faith with your friends, these simple ideas can help overcome those fears:

Be Prepared
Think about how a discussion might go. You can’t expect to agree on everything, can you? A former U.S. President said, “If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.” Don't be afraid to disagree sometimes, especially about important things. Be ready to share hope with others. (1 Peter 3:15) God tells us to make a stand, “having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Good News of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15). Valuing friends means even more than this…

Be Compelling
It is good to memorize a gospel presentation, so that you include all the main points. But don't just repeat the words. Tell your friend that this news is too good to keep to yourself. Jesus said, “go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23). Don’t give up easily — and don’t be afraid to let your urgency show.

Be Creative
A standard approach may help with a stranger. But if you know someone well, share in a way that will relate best to them. “And have mercy on those who are wavering—save them by snatching them out of the fire; but on others have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23). Starting gently works best for some, while a warning about judgment works better for others.

Sharing Jesus with your friends can bring discomfort for a moment. But don’t let it keep you from telling them about God's love for them. Imagine the joy of seeing them embrace Jesus — or the regret of knowing you kept your hope a secret, locked behind silent lips.

Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, the love that sent you to the cross for my friend is the only hope he or she has. Please prepare me to bring that message, and prepare him or her to hear and receive it.

If a building was on fire, would anything keep you from warning those within? If a cure for a deadly disease was available, would you keep it secret? What keeps you from speaking to others about Jesus? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member