October 14, 2015
It has recently come to my attention that the term ‘survivor’ is being used within the Christian community when referring to themselves and/or others in regards to some form of illness, disease, or sickness. However, I would like to challenge every believer in Jesus Christ to not only change their thinking but change their words (See Proverbs 18:21; Romans 12:2).
Nowhere in scripture are children of God considered or ever called ‘survivors.’ There is no evidence of any scripture references which supports that line of thinking and/or those kinds of words or terminology when referring to people who have overcome hardships, trials, and challenges in life. There are other words and terms used in the Bible though which describe those who have been through different challenges, hardships, and/or trials. They have endured and persevered through all of it. Not only that but they usually have come out better and stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually for having gone through everything.
Let’s see what God calls those kind of people by going to His word—His truth.
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39, NIV – emphasis added mine)
According to the previous scripture passage, we are more than conquerors—not survivors. Let’s check out more in God’s word.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4, NIV)
“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:5, NIV)
Those previous two scripture references make no mention of God’s children being survivors. In truth, they refer to all believers in Jesus Christ being overcomers instead.
Therefore, after looking into God’s word, now ask yourself this question—Are you a Survivor?!?! Or, will you choose to think and see yourself as God thinks and sees you? Will you only say what He says to you and about you?
When you are a child of God, you are more than a conqueror and an overcomer!
Copyright 2015. Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.
August 2, 2015
“Good Luck!” he said as I turned to leave a local bank awhile back.
Good Luck. That particular phrase seems to keep coming up almost everywhere I go nowadays. I am not as surprised to hear it from unbelievers as I am coming from believers in Jesus Christ.
Dictionary.com defines the specific term ‘luck’ as “good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance…a combination of circumstances, events…operating by chance…”
I have also tried looking up this specific word in the Bible. I have not found it anywhere in scripture.
No person in the Bible said, “Good Luck!” to another person when they were going out to do God’s work and will. Not even in passing did anyone in scripture say, “Good Luck!”
Therefore, I am wondering the reason for it today in this world. Yes, I know not everyone reads and/or studies the Bible. I know not everyone lives by God’s word either. Not everyone is a believer. However, for those who are believers, they should know better and do better.
I am just somewhat baffled how that kind of terminology has made into the Christian community. A community that should not be looking and acting like the rest of the world. A community which should not be saying the same things that society says today.
We are called to be set a part. We are called to be salt and light in this world. We called to stand out. That means we sound different. We look different. We act different. We say things differently than the rest of this world. (See Matthew 5:13-16; 1 Peter 1:15-16)
We do not tell a hospital patient, “Good Luck!” as they are being wheeled into surgery. We do not tell a young couple, “Good Luck!” as they are getting ready to be married and begin their life together. We do not tell a college graduate, “Good Luck!” as he is embarking on a professional career.
We who truly know God and live by His word know that there is no luck involved in our lives. We do not have to create our own circumstances or make things happen in our own limited human strength.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, NIV)
There is absolutely no luck involved in our lives. There is only God, the Creator of the entire universe, who created us and laid out His plans for us before the foundation of time. He has great plans for our lives. He has already made things happen for us. He has already laid out our individual paths for us. He has already given us favor with Himself and people. Now, we just walk in His favor and blessings. (See Genesis 1-2; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Luke 2:52; Hebrews 11)
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.
July 18, 2015
Do people ever call you by the incorrect name? I know that it has happened to me on more than one occasion. It seems like it has also happened more often lately for me.
This year my tax preparer incorrectly had my first name on my tax return. Even though, I always signed and went by my middle name through all of my communication with him and his office assistant.
In addition, I have been attending seminary for several months now. My particular seminary has my first name incorrectly in their system or database. As a result, my seminary advisor has incorrectly emailed me by my first name and left voicemails calling me by the incorrect name. My seminary instructors and classmates have also incorrectly called and messaged me by my first name.
I have always gone by my middle name. I know that it is unusual for a lot of people. However, that is the name my parents wanted me to be called by in my life. That’s my name! It suits me. It works. It fits.
As I grew up throughout my school life, often my teachers would incorrectly call me by my first name on the first day of school each year. I would normally have to correct them. After that, they would correctly call me by middle name.
I say all of this to say now…that our names are very important whether people realize it or not.
Throughout the Bible, God called different people by different names. He originally called Abram, Sarai, Jacob, and others by those specific names. He also changed their names. He changed Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, and Jacob to Israel.
There is significance, purpose, and meaning behind everybody’s names. Therefore, nobody has the right to call a person by any other name than their God-given name. Nobody has the right to change a person’s name either.
Even though, my parents picked out my name. I know that God gave them that name for me.
God is the only one who has the right to give us our specific names or to change our names.
Abram’s name was changed to Abraham by God. God made a covenant with Abraham to be the father of many nations. As a result, He decided to give Abram a new name. He went from Abram to Abraham. God chose the new name for him for a particular reason. (See Genesis 17:1-8)
Additionally, God changed Sarai’s name. God told her husband, Abraham, not to call her by her previous name anymore. He told Abraham to call her by her new name, Sarah. God desired to bless her and call her the mother of nations. Therefore, He chose the name change for a specific purpose. (See Genesis 17:15-22)
Jacob’s name was changed to Israel for a reason. He had previously wrestled with an angel of the Lord. Thus, his name was changed by the Lord’s angel because he had overcome the struggle. There was a purpose and significance behind the name change by God. (See Genesis 32:22-32)
When people call me by another name or try to change my name, my gut reaction is to say to them, “That’ not my name!” It really annoys, frustrates, and even irritates me at times. I know there is a reason, purpose, and meaning behind my God-given name. Our names have a great significance. We may never know the true amount of significance of our names.
However, I am not going to allow anyone other than God Himself to call me by another name or to change my name. How about you? What’s your name? What’s the meaning of your name? Do you know?
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.