Last year I got things very wrong….
You see last year I spent a huge amount of time emailing church leaders and Christian organisations in fact anyone I could think of who I thought would be interested in my therapy. I even organised an open day inviting people from my church and neighbouring churches to attend. Trying to make things happen in your own strength is always doomed to failure, so it’s no surprise to tell you that no doors opened for me.
What I am offering is innovative and unique, and at a time when churches are only beginning to appreciate the benefits of Counselling let alone Cognitive Therapy. Yet ironically my therapy utilises very similar techniques to current trends in Counselling practices.
Of late my studies have been concentrating on unmerited favour, more commonly known as grace and its implications it offers to us as believers. I wanted to share some revelations that God has been showing me to encourage others who are seeking God’s direction this year
Friends we do not and cannot ever earn Jesus’s grace (unmerited favour), it comes by us understanding his sacrifice on the cross. Faith in the finished work of Christ at Calvary qualifies you to receive God’s blessings. God’s favour exists and is multiplied in our lives due to the revelation that as his favour was on Christ his precious son so is also on us as his children, made possible by the cross. By declaring God’s favour toward us we can move into the realm of experiencing it in our lives. (Psalm 5:12)
This year let us desire to be cross-conscious so we can visualise Jesus and what he did for us, taking the ultimate punishment. Did you know that Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ was reported to be far too graphic, and yet Christ was so beaten that his bones were exposed through the gaping flesh. In Isaiah 52:14 it says that Jesus’s “visage was marred beyond that of any man”. It’s no wonder that when he was in the Garden just before his arrest he sweated beads of blood. Yet he remained obedient despite knowing the agony he faced. It’s poignant that on the cross Jesus addresses his father as God, the father -son relationship was severed by the sin Jesus bore. Jesus was forsaken by God at the very hour he needed him most.
Being cross-conscious is to fix our eyes on Jesus who provided a way for our deliverance of sin and sickness once and for all. To see how much love nailed him there, offering his own body for punishment so that our own body can be free from punishment. Being cross-conscious is seeing Jesus’s outstretched arms reminding us of just how much he loves us.
At the start of 2016 we do not have to struggle for God’s favour. We are found in Christ and by believing in Jesus and the work he accomplished on the cross we automatically can enjoy God’s favour and blessing in our lives. By declaring his word we can move and experience it for this year and for the rest of our days. Psalm 5:2 says God’s favour surrounds me as with a shield. Romans 5:19 tells us that by Jesus’s obedience we are made righteous, being conscious of this will enable us to reign over sin, over negative thoughts, over sickness and anything that holds us back from a victorious life.
Precious Lord by your obedience and overwhelming love for me you took the punishment on Calvary. Thank you that because of this we can freely enjoy your blessing and unmerited favour this year and in the years to come. Forgive me for trying to make things happen in my own strength instead of relying on your Holy Spirit to lead and guide me. I ask for your anointing this year that I will be able to serve you for your glory. Amen