Tag Archives: Christianity

I am that important

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If you read my last post, you’re absolutely confused. 🙂 “Didn’t she just write about how we are just not that important?” Why yes, I did. But that was in the context of thinking too highly of myself. Desiring to be important and in the limelight. I want to address our worth in this post. God says we have worth, and it’s because of this that we are that important.

Haven’t you been there? Wondering if you even matter to anyone? Being entirely too critical of yourself when you fail in any form (small or great)? Thinking that you never measure up? This is the pendulum swinging the other way. And I hate to tell you, but it’s not opposite of pride (in other words, it’s not humility). It’s a difficult topic because it opens up the raw emotions of depression, anxiety, fear, shame…all the fun ones.

When you find yourself in this place, you can know you’re not alone. And you need to know that none of it is true of you.

You do matter. You aren’t a failure when you can’t do “x” or when you yell at your kids or when you make that mistake at work. You are enough in God’s eyes which means you don’t need to keep trying to measure up. You already do, and the fantastic part is that it’s because of Christ’s work (not something you did or have to do).

First, let’s tackle the issue about worth then we’ll get to the truth about Christ’s all sufficient work on the cross (making you sufficient before God). Remember in a previous post (https://ashleydfarmer.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/god-is-good-so-what-part-3/) I wrote about the dignity of human life – our self worth is found in the God who created us in His image. This means that every person matters to Him because He places His image in each one of us. No one, not even you, can say that what He has made is bad, because He already declared it as good. You can check out Isaiah 45:9-10 or  Is. 29:16 for a reference. God also says many times that He creates each individual with a purpose (Eph. 1:11, Phil. 2:13, 2 Tim. 1:9).

Now for the fun part. 🙂 To break down the theology, we have nothing in ourselves that can make us pure before God, and we can’t reconcile ourselves to Him by any effort on our part. We’ve all sinned, and so we need a Savior who hasn’t. God requires complete holiness and the life of the one who commits the sin must be surrendered through blood (because the life is in the blood – you’ll find that reference in Leviticus 17:11).

This is where Jesus comes in.

He’s my hero. 🙂

Because He is God, that means He’s perfect, and because He is Man, that means He can die on our behalf. Voila! It’s brilliant! Jesus Christ satisfies the demands of the Father so that when we come to Him, He sees the perfection of His Son in us. It’s called substitutionary atonement and involves the imputation of righteousness (fancy words for a Baptist girl, eh?). Those fancy words just mean that we are considered righteous because of His righteousness. He imputes it to us (see Phil. 3:9, my favorite 2 Cor. 5:21, Is. 53:11, 1 Pet. 2:24, Rom. 8:1-4, and let me tell you the list goes on…). For further reading on this whole topic, I’d recommend Hebrews 4 and beyond. 😉

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 2 Timothy 1:9

Did you catch it? You don’t measure up to God’s standard so He made a way that you could. The next time you feel incompetent or begin to be overly critical of yourself, remember what God says about you. You are that important to Him.

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God is good…so what? [Part 3]

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Your view of God as being a good Creator will have an influence on all areas of life. Take this for an example: how you view yourself. He only creates good things. (Remember Genesis, everything God created was good. He called it all good.) We are made in His image (also from Genesis 1:26). No, we can’t really say that we ourselves are good. We are sinful from birth. Yet when He calls us out of that past life into a life following Him, He gives us a new identity–one that is good. We see God as good, and this affects how we see ourselves.

How you view God influences how you view other people. This also relates to how you view yourself, as created in His image. All people are created in His image, and because of this we have dignity. We place high value on human life when we have the right perspective of our Good God because He values each and every life. We will treat people respectfully, kindly, better than ourselves, and all of the above because we know what value He has placed on their lives and how He has called us to serve and bless them. We see God as good, and this affects how we see others.

The way you perceive God has an effect on your values – how you parent, how you cultivate your marriage, how you feed your friendships. If I know that my God is good and has affection toward me even when I don’t deserve it, that informs the way I’m going to handle my children when they’re having a particularly bad day. He does not treat me harshly when I disobey nor does He yell and scream at me when I’ve made a mistake. He’s a perfect parent. Thank God we have Him as an example! We see God as good, and this affects how we live out our values.

My perspective on God has an effect on how I approach work. Knowing that God is good gives me a sense of confidence and cheer because I get to serve a God who loves me. I’m filled with gratitude that He pours out His love on me ESPECIALLY when I don’t deserve it. I’m overwhelmed by His goodness when He withholds punishment just because He desires to show mercy. I love much because I’ve been forgiven much and this fills my heart with joy. So as I go about my day at work whether at home or in an office, I can do my work as though I were doing it for Him. My perspective will be one of gratitude that He’s even provided me with the task at hand. We see God as good, and this affects how we approach our work.

There are so many examples of how our theology, our doctrine, or what we believe about God affects our actions every day. Let us be brave to believe the truth about God, search out that truth when we don’t know it, and rest in the truth when trials come our way. And may we put our knowledge into practice.

God is good…so what? [Part 2]

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C.S.-Lewis

Many of you may be wondering, how is this girl going to tell me everything I should know about God in just 3 posts? Well, I’m not. But I do want you to take away one important characteristic about God that is crucial for our perspective on life. If you learn one thing today about God, it is that He is GOOD.

His goodness translates into kindness, love, moral uprightness. It really crosses over into a lot of areas. A definition of God’s goodness in my Systematic Theology book says it is,

“that perfection of God which prompts Him to deal bountifully and kindly with all His creatures. It is the affection which the Creator feels towards His…creatures.” (Berkhof, p. 70)

That one word. Did you catch it? Affection. His goodness is His affection that He feels toward us, and as you well know it produces a response in the Creator to act in kind ways toward us, not because we deserve it but because He WANTS to do it. He loves us for His own sake. How good can you get?

Can you see how your perspective may differ from the person who thinks God is malevolent and vindictive, desiring to punish and do harm to the people He’s created? You wouldn’t trust such a god. You would actually think that god had nothing good in mind for you or anyone else. So when a trial came your way, you might see God as punishing you because He certainly wouldn’t be looking at you in your trial with affection and concern, eager to work good in your situation or through your trial. A bad God, who can trust?

But a good God? Well we can trust Him! If you know deep in your heart that His intentions toward you are good because there is nothing else He can be but good, how could you question His heart when a trial came your way? Out of His goodness comes grace (unmerited goodness or love to those under condemnation) and mercy (the goodness or love of God shown to those who are in misery or distress, ready to relieve their distress).

This is not to say that you don’t have moments of doubt or wonder what God is doing. But it is in those moments that you go back to what you know to be true of Him. You KNOW that He is GOOD. You KNOW that His intentions toward you are GOOD. And you know that He cannot act in a way that is contrary to His nature. So you’re left with the choice…do you believe what His word says about Him?

[Stay tuned for Part 3]

God is good…so what? [Part 1]

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I am very nerdy.

I really like theology and doctrine and learning things. I would be a professional student if it weren’t for the pesky fees you have to pay to actually attend classes.

With every class I’ve ever taken, the theology lesson always starts with God. That’s like the cop out answer everyone gives in Sunday School.

{Who loves you? “Jesus!” We all say in unison}

Ever since my husband and I began teaching youth I’m fully convinced that the only way to start any program or class is by teaching about God. Who He is, what He’s done, what His character is, how He relates to us.

Because ultimately what you think about God affects EVERY aspect of your life- what you think about yourself, how you view others, how you parent, how you do your work, etc.

So we begin with God. This can get tricky because some people grew up learning the truth about God, some learned half-truths, and some learned untruths about Him. Let’s just make one thing clear, there is a God and He wants you to know Him…deeply know Him. This means that if you are confused about Him, take heart because He desires you to know the truth about Him and He makes Himself known through His word ALL THE TIME.

Stay tuned for more on “God is good…so what?”

What is the meaning of this?

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Light shines

Let me begin by saying, I hate blogs. Ok, hate is maybe too strong of a word. I never thought I would end up as another blogger out in cyberspace. I didn’t understand why all of these blogger people put out all their thoughts for everyone to read.

Was it because they’re all just obsessed with themselves? (No, I’ve learned this isn’t true…at least not for everyone.) Was it because they thought they were so smart or witty or important than people would actually read what they had to say? (Again, no, most blogger people I know don’t view themselves this way.) Was it just to have an outlet for their creativity or a catalog of their thoughts? (Perhaps that yes, this is getting closer to the real reason.)

I recently learned that a majority of blogger people do this because God has given them a message and this is the quickest and easiest way to share it with everyone else. This probably isn’t much of a revelation to some of you out there because you already got it. I guess I’m just the slow one. 🙂

For years I’ve wrestled with the idea that one day I would be writing books. What kind of books, you ask? The kind with words. I don’t know! Just books. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. And why did I have this idea, or rather dream, in my mind? I guess it’s because of the reason I mentioned for all of those blogger people doing what they’re doing. God gives us a ministry, and so we figure out how we’re supposed to be obedient with that gift.

So THAT is the reason for this blogger person to be added to the countless other blogger people out there.

And why “Heart Soil”? Well I’m glad you asked. 🙂 A good friend of mine came up with the idea. Psalm 97:11 says,

“Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, / Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.”

(It’s the Message which I personally don’t like but it actually made sense this time…sorry for all you Message lovers, I’m just more a fan of ESV or NLT even.)

More than anything I want to know God and handle His word correctly. As I search the Scriptures, I get too excited not to share! I want you to know the truth I’m finding. And since I’m a Farmer, I get to use the analogy of sowing His word in “good heart-soil”.

Planting seeds in the souls of God’s people sounds like a good plan to me. Too many seeds get planted in our hearts which aren’t of Him, and I’m ready to help dig those out and plant His truth.