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The Apple of His Eye

It seems that many people these days have low self-esteem and self-worth and are lacking self confidence However, according to the Bible that should not be the case. Genesis 1:27 tells us that, “God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created them “(AMPC). We are made in God’s image and God doesn’t make junk! In Psalm 139:15 we learn that we are, “fearfully and wonderfully made” (ESV). Because God created us, we are precious to Him (Isa 43:4) and Isa 49:16 says, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands “(AMPC). In the New Testament we are told that, “we are His masterpiece” (Eph 2:19; NLT). Wow! God made us all special! We don’t need to compare ourselves to others, we are all different and unique.
Not only did God create us but He also chose us as we read in Ephesians 1:4. In addition we see that in Jeremiah 29:11 God said, “I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (AMPC). God has good thoughts towards us and wants good things for us.
Because God loves us so much, He sent His son to die for us so that we could live in constant fellowship with Him. That is how important you are to God! That being the case never underestimate yourself, you are valuable and precious to God, “the apple of His eye” (Zech 2:8).

Colossians 3:12-17

Have you ever stopped to think what people should see when they look at us Christians? Colossians 3:12-17 is a good place to find the answer; we encourage you to study these few verses. Let’s summarize what we can see. We are to be holy, that is to be set apart for God, blameless and pure. Our lives should show tender, heartfelt mercy and compassion for others, just as God does for us. Kindness or a desire to do good to others, should characterize Christians, even if people try our patience.
We are to walk in humility, that is to be humble minded, realizing we are nothing without God and that all we are is because of Him. Meekness is listed next in our verses. A meek person has their strength and emotions under control, they are mild and gentle but most importantly, submitted to God’s teaching. We are also called to be longsuffering and patient, bearing with one another. A paramount character trait of Christians is forgiveness, we are also to walk in God’s unconditional love and His peace. God’s peace is best described as perfect well-being. We must have thankful hearts and God’s word should be a major focus in our lives, something that dominates our conversation and interactions. Our lives, all that we do and say, should reflect God’s grace. God’s grace is His unmerited favour and goodwill.
Finally, we are to: “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17; NKJV). Wow! That is a tall order you may say, but God is patient and we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens” us (Phil 4:13; NKJV). Let’s all commit to be open to fulfill Colossians 3:12-17. What a church we will be.

Self Control

Self-control is the last in the fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:23 and it’s one that we don’t hear too much about! One of the synonyms for self-control is self-discipline; it’s not a word that gives people warm fuzzies but it is one that is important.
When our spirits were recreated at the new birth our bodies and minds were not and so our bodies and minds therefore need self-control. As Paul said, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should” (1 Cor 9:27; NLT). Paul also told us that our bodies are “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 6:19; NKJV), and we were “bought with a price” (1 Cor 6:20; NKJV). For that reason, it is of utmost importance that we discipline them. We need self-control in every area of our lives: Spiritually, to establish and maintain prayer and Bible reading times. Physically, in our eating habits (1 Cor 10:31), exercise (Prov 31:17), our speech (Ps 141:3), and our tempers (Eph 4:26) to name a few areas. Mentally, in controlling our thoughts and emotions (2 Cor 10:5). We also need self-control with regard to spending, what we watch and listen to and much more.
A lack of self-control in any of these areas begins with thoughts in the mind, so it is important to find Bible verses to renew our minds (Rom 12:2) and replace these thoughts. We also need to remind ourselves that we are victorious because of Jesus (Rom 8:37) and we can do all things with His help (Phil 4:13). Don’t forget that the development of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is a work of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22) so the more we walk sensitive to the Spirit (Gal 5:16) the easier it will be to develop self-control.

The Holy Spirit in us

When Jesus came to the earth, He gave up the privilege of heaven, coming as a man and as a servant (Phil 2:7). To be empowered to minister in the supernatural wisdom and miracles that He did, He had to receive the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:16-17; Acts 10:38). I sometimes wonder if we as Christians truly realize that the same Holy Spirit power lives in each one of us (2 Cor 1:22). “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16; NKJV). Jesus said “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12; NKJV). The Father sent us the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) and a primary role of the Holy Spirit is to empower us to share Jesus with others (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit also makes the word come alive to us (John 14:26) and with that revelation can enable us to walk in the life and godliness the Father has for us (2 Peter 1:3-4). In addition, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, the apostle Paul taught us that as the Holy Spirit unveils the word to us, we see the character and nature of Jesus more clearly and that growing understanding allows the Holy Spirit to change us to be more like Jesus. (2 Cor 3:18). “And all of us, with unveiled face, (because we) continued to behold (in the Word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another (for this comes) from the Lord (Who is) the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18; NKJV). The net result “We can live like Jesus in the world” (1 John 4:17; NLT). Yes?

God’s Secret Counsel

“The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them” (Ps 25:14; CSB). That is pretty amazing, God shares His secrets with us His Christian people! This is confirmed in Proverbs 3:32, “The upright are in His confidence” (RSV). I find it interesting that in some translations of Psalm 25:14 it says the “friendship of the Lord” instead of the “secret counsel.” In other words, God is calling us His friends and that is why He can share His secrets with us.
This is confirmed by Jesus in the New Testament when talking to His disciples, “Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me” (John 15:15; NLT). We too are disciples of Jesus and therefore this applies to us too. Jesus also said in Luke 8:10, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God” (NLT). Paul told the Ephesians that “God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ” (Eph 1:9; NLT), the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ, all He taught us, all He did for us, has been revealed to us in scripture, praise the Lord!
How do we hear these secrets from God? We read in 1 Cor 2:10 that “God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit” (CSB). We need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit, having our spiritual ears open, especially when reading the word and praying. God will share His heart with us and give us “revelation knowledge” or understanding of His word.
God wants to converse with you today, make sure you are listening!