There are two theories based on some verses in the Bible about salvation. There are some scholars that believe that God has predestined His people- meaning that before time, God had already chosen those who would be saved into His kingdom. This theory also tends to support that once you are truly saved, you are always saved, and cannot lose your salvation. If someone turns from the faith, people would question whether they were truly the elect and truly saved. There are many verses that support or mention this theory:
Ephesians 1:3-5, 1:11, Mark 13:27, Luke 18:7, 2 Timothy 2:10, Titus 1:1, 2 Peter 1:10 and John 10:27-28- there may even be more.
The other theory is that you can lose your salvation if you turn from God and walk an unrepentant lifestyle. Here are some verses to support this theory:
1 John 3:6-10, 2 Peter 2:1, Galatians 5:4, Hebrews 10:26, Hebrews 6:4-6, Psalm 69:28 are a few of the verses I found on this theory.
Both of these theories are believed by the most honorable theologians- and should not be fought about or debated exhaustibly. The difference of theories have split up churches and parted relationships. I encourage you to study both sides if it is of interest to you, but don't let it outweigh your love for Jesus. Believing in either of these views will not determine your eternal destiny, only your love and devotion to Jesus will.
Verses to Remember:
15b-16 "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." So then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God, who has mercy.
What another great reminder that we can't do anything to win mercy or compassion from God, but through His loving self, shows compassion and mercy to us who don't deserve it. This reminds me of my life before freedom in Christ. There was nothing I did to deserve God's mercy. I was headed for eternal death- but God out of His great compassion and mercy for me, rescued me. I am so grateful for His undeserved, unattainable mercy.
Thank you again Lord for this awesome reminder of how amazing you are. Thank you for saving me from destruction and eternal death, even though I did absolutely nothing to deserve it. Thank you that you are so gracious.
20b Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
I remember a few years ago when I really struggled with what I looked like. For years, I didn't like who I was as a person either. I wished that I was thinner, bigger breasted, had a better complexion, had whiter teeth, had bigger eyes, wanted to have a better sense of humor, not so selfish, more success driven, more friendly, wished that I wasn't so bold and opinionated... as you can see I just wasn't happy with me. But it comes down to, my unapproving attitude toward what God had made. Granted, some of my personality issues, some not even mentioned, were things I could attain by working on my attitude. Some of my body disapprovals could have been changed if I got off the couch, stopped having frappicinos every other day (but oh they are so good...) and walked somewhere other than the garage to get in my car.
However, some of my issues were that of how God made me. Some of the envying traits my friends had, God hadn't given me for a reason. God gave me other traits for a reason. If you personally know me, you know that I am opinionated, passionate and bold. Sometimes it gets me into trouble (I am really working on that). It has been something that I am learning to harness, something I am surrendering to Him- to use purposefully. It is actually one of the underlying reasons this website started. I could share my opinions, boldly and passionately without personally offending anyone. I haven't been so bold yet- I have been holding back the reigns... but soon I will be writing about contentment, roles in the home, porn and other addictions, unhealthy relationships, finances, being a good wife, priorities and more. I feel that God has blessed this site as I am using what He DID create in me for His good.
How wrong of me though, to have the attitude of disapproval of how God made me. We are talking about God here- like we know better than Him? Yet that is exactly what our unhappiness portrays, that we could have done better than Him in creating us. He created us for His purposes, not our own, therefore, He knew exactly what He was doing when He made us. Psalm 139:13-16 says, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Even though we may still wonder how God is going to use this trait or that for His glory, He may reveal it to you in time. Honestly, there have been a few times, and I might be exaggerating, when my boldness, passion and opinions did any good. But I honestly feel that God has matured these traits in me that I might use them to exalt His name through this website. For once, I am content with how He created me because I can see the fruit of His creation. But that isn't a good example to follow- as I should have accepted how God made me, years ago, and surrendered all of myself to Him. Even though we might not always see the fruit of our character, God does use us, without us always seeing the fruit. And maybe, like me, God has to mature these traits over time before He will use them. That is what pruning is all about ladies and gentlemen- pruning out the weeds, so the fruit can grow maturely and effectively, therefore planting seeds to produce more. Pruning is not always a fun process- it sometimes hurts when weeds are picked out of us, especially if they have deep roots.
I know I went off on a rabbit trail a bit- but I think what it came to was important. I think that when we aren't happy with how God made us, it is because we see our faults and weaknesses and don't like to see them. We all have weaknesses and faults- some people are just really good at hiding them. When we surrender these to God though, we allow Him to change us. He is the only one that can effectively change us- and when He does, those "bad" traits turn into good ones that are used for His purposes.
As far as our bodies, we are all created equal in God's eyes- blond hair, black hair, blue eyes, green eyes, no hips, big hips, no boobs, big boobs, small butt, big butt, a face that can grow a beard, one that can't even grow a goatee- we were all created in His likeness and in His image. YES to the world we are too fat, too skinny, not tanned enough, not tall enough- and they have made so many things to change how God made us- colored contacts, hair color, spray on hair, tanning beds, weight loss drugs, surgeries etc. Please don't misunderstand my point, I am not against taking care of your body or coloring your hair. I am just challenging you on your acceptance of how God made you. If you are coloring your hair, getting surgeries, working out 24/7, wearing brown colored contacts when your eyes are green, wearing 4" heels and a bra that has more padding in it than your pillow because you aren't happy with how God made you, then I would advise you to not check the mirror again, but your heart. This grieves me, because I was this person a few years back, it consumed me, and it was not godly. I spent too much time trying to change how I looked and who I was, rather than learning how He did create me for His purposes.
Only reading a chapter so far of the book Cha-zone by Craig Groeschel, I don't know much of my recommendation. However, I really respect Craig's love for the Lord and the subjects of this book. It's all about finding your God created purpose for your life. http://www.chazown.com/
Another good one that I have read entirely is The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. http://www.purposedrivenlife.com/en-US/Home/home.htm
SERMON TO LISTEN TO:
http://newspring.cc/series/man-vs-wife/ : 4 Things Every Woman Needs to Focus On