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2019 Abba, Father…

I am unique… that is a kind way to put it… it could also be called raw, embarrassing, too open and transparent… I can and have been called a lot of things. But, what matters is not what others call me, but what Abba calls me.

Often, I have three Bible studies I am working on at the same time. I work on one chapter in one, a chapter in another, then a bit on the other. Currently, I am studying Deuteronomy: God’s Love; Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited; and Lazarus Awakening. I got stuck on Lazarus and have been working on the other two more than that one. Today, I picked it up again to address that stuck area.

First, it asks us to give our testimony. Have done that a bunch of times, skip…. Wait… see really, my testimony is alive and growing… there is the first time God called me… when I was 11 and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I often qualify this with I accepted Him as Lord of my heart, but I really didn’t live as if He was Lord of my life. My 2nd testimony is that God would not let me go, he pursued me until that day when I hit rock bottom and said, “God, I can’t do this! I’m trying to be good and I keep failing!” and He said, “I know, child, let me do it through you!”

The ranch is a HUGE part of my testimony – really Stage 3. The miracles God did for us to even be here are amazing! The people He brings and His provision here – day to day – are still beyond my comprehension. When we first moved here, I thought, “how are we ever going to make it financially on a month to month basis?” And God said, “do you trust me? I brought you here, do you trust that I am still here, working?” My heart does, Lord… but that accounting side of me doesn’t know how it’s going to work. We have not had an abundance, but we have always had enough… and we trust month to month, day to day and God continues to amaze. We get up in the morning and say, “Ok, Lord, what would YOU have us do today?”

I so often feel there is none weaker than I, and yet God gives strength that fills me to overflowing… and causes my heart to leak out my eyes… Time after time I have gone to Him and said, “How is it Lord, that I am here, in this place, serving you, when you have so many other children who are more capable?” There are so many who are able, but there are few who are willing.  It is easier to tell others what to do, than to do. And so, I do not do, but still, Christ does in me what I cannot.

Stage 4 has been healing. As most of you know, when you accept Jesus not only as Lord of your heart, but also as Lord of your life, things change drastically, you LIVE differently. He challenges and grows you. I spent a lot of years living under shame of “not enough.” I am great at praying for others, but have not felt that I was worthy of God’s blessing. When we were praying about the ranch, I had an all nighter with God. I kept praying for His will and accepting that it might be “no.” At one point I asked him, “God, do I dare ask for this thing to actually happen? What if I fail?” I fell asleep with that prayer on my heart and woke to a dream of being a little girl running into daddy’s arms and He said, “of course, my child, I want to give you this gift…”

We have tried to live each day as that: this is God’s gift. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know that too will be God’s gift for that day. The testimony part of this lesson was not so hard. Where I got stuck was on the next page: “What I Am in Christ” – the suggested verses did not speak to me. I have struggled with this for over two weeks. During this time, what I have been given is this, “I am my Abba (daddy’s) girl”. I am NOT a child of shame… I am called to live as a Daughter of the King.

I share this, not because I alone am daddy’s girl… but because WE EACH are Abba/Daddy’s favorite child. Oh yes, He has a lot of favorites! We are not in bondage to sin, to the past, to whatever prevents us from fully experiencing our Father’s love… WE. ARE. FREE in Him! We are not defined by what others think, we are not confined by what we think… we are defined, we are His beloved… beloved… beloved… shame is washed away… pain is washed away… and HIS LOVE HEALS… this is the BOW, the adornment on the gift He has given of forgiveness for sin through Jesus Christ that the ugliness of what we have done does NOT define us. He has a new name for us, “His beloved child.”

This is the gift which God has wrapped up for me this week…The victory is already won by Jesus, we just have to choose to live in victory instead of bondage… and that is the other gift of Abba, the gift of choice… open? Or leave it wrapped in the closet? I can live as a child of shame, or a beloved Daddy’s girl (boy).

Deeper Still:

Philippians 2:12

Light Bearers ] Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out YOUR OWN salvation with fear and trembling;

Isaiah 61:7 

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

James 1:22-25 

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. …

Isaiah 62 [ Assurance of Zion’s Salvation ] For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name. You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the Lord, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 [Full Chapter]

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Romans 8
Sonship Through the Spirit

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba,[e] Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

From Suffering to Glory

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession [g]for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who ishe who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 40:29 
He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Revelation 3: New King James Version (NKJV)

11 [a]Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Galatians 4:6-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, [a]“Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir [b]of God [c]through Christ.