Oil of Joy (blog by me)

Isaiah 61:3 promises “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…” It is merely an act of our will to claim this gift daily. We tend to put on ashes every time our circumstances become unfavorable—when we are dashed on the rocks of rejection or come face-to-face with trouble or tumble down a hill of disappointment. Yet we forget to put on the crown of beauty every morning and embrace our identity as children of the living God. Even if we have to go through the motions of physically putting on an invisible crown to receive that identity, we should because we embrace our new nature when we do it.  

And continuing with Isaiah 61:3, “the oil of joy instead of mourning…” In the same way, we can choose to put on daily the oil of joy. Bathe in it! Shower in it! The stores of heaven are full of joy, vats of it, and it has been given to you. Receive it. Joy has a sweet aroma of life that will attract others who operate in a spirit of depression.  

Similarly, let us put on what is in the next verse… “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” We can cry with those who cry, but then we can lay that down at the cross with all of our earthly problems and put on that garment of praise in the midst of those challenges. Let us lift His Holy Name in praise when we are troubled. 

And finally, let’s turn once more to the promise in Isaiah 61:3, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” When I was unsaved, even my good intentions had bad outcomes, my decisions were poor when I was able to make a decision at all, and my free time was used up entertaining myself. That was my rotten fruit. With the Holy Spirit in me now, even my accidents have good outcomes, my decisions are based on the omniscient Lord’s guidance, and my free time is dedicated to being obedient to the One who loves others. That is my good fruit. The Lord has planted us to bear good fruit and not for our sakes or even for others, but for His own glory—for the display of splendor of Him who loved us first.   

Christians who are already wearing the armor of God can also put on the crown of beauty, oil of joy, and garment of praise. Then we have don’t rock on the waves of circumstance but stand firm on our identity and reflect the attitude that comes with being a child of God.    

Extraordinary Love (poem by me)

Is sugar cane less sweet when it grows in a field?
Is a cloud more majestic on a cloudy day?
Is a daisy less dainty in a pasture?

Nor are you less valued when there is no…
…spotlight…
…high five…
…congratulations…
…significant other…

God thinks you are extraordinary.
Today.
Just as you are.

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered….” —Luke 12:7

I Am (poem by me)

When I raise my voice to sing,
It sounds like a frog belching,
I forget important stuff,
It gets muddled in all the fluff,
I get lost en route to my job,
Even got lost on my path to God.

Still the Lord calls me his cohort,
In this I can take comfort,
I know the Prince of Peace,
and he says I’m his masterpiece,
In every storm I shall stand,
I am a child of the great I Am.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. —Colossians 2:9-10

©2016 Kim Bond

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Burdens & Confession

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Confession of sins is a great way to let go of burdens. Jesus’ blood on the cross makes payment for all sins by mankind. We accept this payment with our belief in Christ. This payment covers our eternal salvation. However, when Christians sin repeatedly they lose a certain closeness with God. In order to draw near to God, we should confess our sins directly to God in prayer.

Take a moment now to relax and ask God to bring your unconfessed sins to remembrance. As He lovingly surfaces them in your mind, just say something like this:

I confess I __________  (lied, mistreated my friend, etc.). Please purify me.

If this is your first time, your sin confession may take awhile. After today, make confession a regular part of your prayer time so you maintain that closeness with the Lord. Confession should not make you feel guilty. It is a humble step of repentance that actively gives God in control of your purification process. You will feel light as a feather and closer to our heavenly Father when you regularly confess sin to Him.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. –James 5:16

Confession to God should only be the beginning especially if you still struggle with the same sin over and over again. God’s Word calls us to confess to “one another” and receive prayer to be healed.

Here are some ways you might decide to confess sin to another:

  • On the phone with a Christian friend
  • During a call for prayer in church
  • Worked into natural conversation in a Bible study
  • Online in a Christian community or forum

Joining a support group may be necessary especially if you are caught in an addictive lifestyle, illegal sin, or sin that is harmful to yourself or others. I pray God will open up opportunities for you to confess your sins to trustworthy Christians who will pray for you and not judge you.

God has certainly called us to confess our sins to God and man, but there is another type of confession we should do, and that is to confess the truth of what the Bible says about us. It is critical to know in your heart and soul that God values you. If you agree that this is important, confess these aloud right now:

  • Christ died for ME while I was still a sinner. (From Romans 5:8)
  • I have been freed from ALL things. (From Acts 13:39)
  • I am a CHILD of GOD. (From Eph. 1:5)
  • God has not given me a spirit of fear. (From 2 Tim. 1:7)
  • I am L O V E D by the Father. (From John 16:27)

I pray your heart and soul would hear these truths from your mouth and draw you into a closer relationship with our Lord.

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. –Isaiah 55:11

Confession of sin to God and others along with confession of our true identity in Christ to yourself will help you align your viewpoint with God’s and help you draw near to Him who loves you unconditionally.

This blog includes some tough topics. If you have questions about the Bible, click here to find reliable answers.

© 2015 Kim Bond

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