Trusting God

by csnyder 12. February 2012 05:14
My only part in being conformed into the image of God is to yield to the creative work of God. In eternity He is finished, but in time on this earth He is in the process of conforming me to His image. He is not fixing flesh, He is showing me that I have died and been buried and been raised to walk in His newness of life.

We don’t need to resist being conformed to His image or to try and speed it up. Sarah Young said in her wonderful devotional book, Jesus Calling; “Just enjoy the tempo of God breathing Life, His life in you.” I just hold His hand in childlike trust. But know this; we are not holding on to Him, He is holding on to us. Trust is an area in which the flesh does not excel. To trust in one’s own efforts is to be assured of failure. I don’t want to even try and trust God myself. I am asking Him for His ability to trust Him.

YHWH spoke through the psalmist in Psalm 73:23-24 when He said, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by your right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” We must give up the illusion that we deserve a problem free life. This is false hope. Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble. Jesus did not promise a trouble free life, He said, “I will never desert you, nor forsake you.” He is not just giving me strength in every situation, He is my strength and in Him, in eternity it is already settled.

Jesus’ light shines most brightly through believers who trust Him in the dark. This is supernatural trust, a product of the indwelling Spirit. This is not something that can be worked up or prayed up. It is a gift that is given as He lives His life out in us. When things seem all wrong, by faith, we trust Him anyway. Faith, His faith, is a grace gift given to us. There is nothing wrong for asking Him to help me in my unbelief. Good news; He will.

He has spoken to me lately about trust. It is as if He smiles at me as if to say, “If you knew how mightily I am going to show myself in this situation, you would be smiling too!” We have a God that actually gets excited about the coming blessings that He is going to give us. I think it is like I felt when I had a wonderful surprise that I knew I was going to be giving my children. I knew how they would be reacting when the surprise was revealed to them and I enjoyed it ahead of time.

I want to go through life believing God that He is planning wonderful surprises for me and all those He loves. When we realize just who it is that He loves, this is huge. I want to be excited about being excited for the coming blessings from God to me and those I love. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

My trust and hopefully yours is not in a circumstance, good or bad, but in the ONE who has already overcome the world.

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I Look Just Like Jesus

by csnyder 10. February 2012 01:43
This is another blog written by David Martin a gifted painter (artist) and writer. You will be hearing more about David in the coming days. He and I are writing our first book together, The Finished Work Of The Cross.

My Portrait

A friend of ours’ three year old girl told me the other day that she looked just like Jesus. I replied to her, “You sure do!” As an artist, I sometimes get asked to draw portraits of folks. I also draw senior portraits for family members. As I study their faces from photographs, I notice details that I may have overlooked in times past. I may notice an eye that is slightly smaller than the other or a dimple in the cleft of the chin or a freckle in the upper corner of the left eyebrow. But, those details are what make that person unique. There are no two alike. I especially notice, in my relatives, the similarities of our facial structures. The cheekbones, the nose flares and the eyebrows all seem to speak that of generations gone by. As I draw each one, I think of their personalities and how it is reflected on their faces. When I draw my children, I see features of my wife and myself as well as their grandparents and great grandparents. They are of the same lineage.

Just as that three year old girl looks like Jesus, so do we. Sure, we have unique features that He has placed in each of us. Some of us are quiet while others are loud. Some of us can sing and some of us can’t….very well. But, all of us look just like Him. Isn’t that amazing?

On February 5th, Pastor Jim Holmes of the First Baptist Church in Helen, Georgia spoke on “My Portrait: How He (Jesus) sees us.” His text came from II Corinthians 3:17-18: 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NIV)

Pastor Holmes emphasized that Christ defines us, not our behavior. He asked the question,”When does our value change?” “Does our value diminish when we fail or does our value increase when we do well?” No. Our value is not based on us, but on Jesus. You see, there is liberation in the cross of Christ and the transformation is done by Him and not by us. Freedom equals liberation. That liberation results in transformation! I Corinthians 1:2 states that we are “called to be His holy people.” God defines us!

So, next time you look in the mirror, know that you look just like Jesus!

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About the author

Craig Snyder has been married to Jonni Gooden Snyder for 37 years.  He has three grown sons and one grown daughter.  He has eight grandchildren.

Craig has been in full time ministry since 1974, having been on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has pastored for over 25 years.

Craig has ministered  with Grace Walk Ministries since 2001 and serves as Director of Missions and also pastors a home church.  He travels extensively in Latin America, and the U.S. and Canada sharing the Grace Walk of our Lord Jesus Christ.