You’re Already a Godly Person

Today's guest post by Mark Maulding, author of God's Best-Kept Secret

Just this morning, I finished savoring Mark Maulding’s book, God’s Best-Kept Secret: Christianity Is Easier Than You Think. I can honestly say this book is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Most of the time when I finish a book, it gets put on one of my library shelves. Not this one. It’s going to remain within arm’s reach of my little brown chair in my library sanctuary—the place where I spend most of my time reading, writing, and enjoying Jesus.

God’s Best-Kept Secret is Mark’s warm counselor’s heart in a book. A heart filled with compassion for hurting Christians who are unable to make the Christian life work. A heart that longs to share God’s best-kept secret with struggling believers who are in the ideal position to give up their self-efforts and to begin resting in and living from the luxuriant life of Christ within.

And now, without further ado, here is Mark’s guest post, “You’re Already a Godly Person.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Understanding and embracing your identity in Christ, can transform your life. A pastor friend of mine tells his congregation often, “Do you want to know how I grow spiritually? I spend a lot of time thinking about who I am in Christ.” That is my secret to spiritual growth.

For many years, because I had a skewed understanding of who God really is and who I am in Christ, I strove very hard to become a godly man. My erroneous belief was that if I could get better and better at the spiritual disciplines, make more and more wise decisions, and live a holy life, I would one day become that godly man. That was one of the reasons I felt so stressed out and anxious about the Christian life. It was a lot of hard work and even after years of hard work on it, I still felt like a failure.

After God began to show me the truth about him and me, I experienced more and more peace in my life, especially from letting my behavior define my identity. But there was still this nagging voice which whispered to me occasionally that I needed to become a godly man. It was like a mosquito that just will not leave you alone.

One day I was alone in my car headed to work and I was thinking again about becoming a godly man, as I had for many years. It was in that moment that God whispered to me a wonderful truth that set me free from this bondage. “Mark, you’re already a godly man.” When he said that, it was as if the car suddenly got brighter because I saw immediately what Jesus was saying to me. He wanted me to know that I had been a godly man since the day I was saved at age 9. I could stop trying to be a godly man because in my identity in Christ I already was one. To be quite honest, it was a great relief. I felt like I could relax before God. The striving was over.

In my counseling and teaching through the years, I’ve discovered that is where many Christians are. They don’t know they are already godly, holy, righteous, loving, patient and so much more in Christ. So they strive to become that person when they already are that person. That’s clear evidence of living with a false identity.

Are you ready to let go of your false identity based on your behavior, feelings, and the opinions of others and embrace your true identity in Christ? Why don’t you start right now? Here is a suggested prayer.

Father, I have spent all of my life searching for my stolen identity. As a result, I have developed a false identity which has controlled my life. I now give up my false identity and choose today to embrace my true identity in Christ by faith. Please make this more and more real in my life as I agree more and more with your opinion of me. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

Are you discouraged by feeling distant from God no matter how much you try to grow closer to him? Reclaim the life God intended for you with God’s Best-Kept Secret! Learn more + get freebies and a sample chapter: godsbestkeptsecret.com

 

 

 

Mark Maulding is founder of Grace Life International, one of the largest Christian counseling and teaching ministries in America. A speaker, counselor, and leadership coach, Maulding is a regular blogger who is passionate about sharing the transforming message of God’s grace with a world in desperate need of it. He and his wife, Ellen, have four adult children, including a daughter with Down syndrome who, along with her three brothers, recently finished college. They live near Charlotte, North Carolina. You can connect with Mark on Facebook or his blog.

Today’s Guest Post by Award-Winning Author Latayne C. Scott – Priska’s Betrothal

My initial contact with the award-winning author of my first guest post, Latayne C. Scott, was in January 2014 when I e-mailed her to ask her permission to use a quote from The Shout of the Bridegroom: Understanding Christ’s Intimate Love for the Church, a book she co-wrote with the late Dr. Glenn Greenwood.

Even though she didn’t know me personally, she asked me to let her know when my book was released and offered to help me with some publicity. That blessed my heart!

Over three years later, I e-mailed her again, this time asking her if she would read and consider writing an endorsement for my soon-to-be-released book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

She blessed my heart again by saying yes and giving my book a glowing endorsement.

She also asked if I would consider reading and endorsing her book, A Conspiracy of Breath, due to release September 1—one week from today.

I was honored that she asked me and gladly said yes. Below is my endorsement of her captivating work:

“Until I savored Latayne C. Scott’s A Conspiracy of Breath, I believed the apostle Paul to be the most likely candidate for authorship of the epistle to the Hebrews. Not anymore. Scott provides a convincing argument through her use of vivid, page-turning imagery that Priscilla, wife of Aquila, could have very well been this enigmatic New Testament book’s inspired recipient. In the future, I will be reading Hebrews through exquisite new lenses!”—Kim K. Francis

And now, without further ado, let’s enjoy award-winning author Latayne C. Scott’s guest post, “Priska’s Betrothal”:

One of the wonderful things about social media is how we can discover deep connections with people we discover there. This was definitely the case when I met Kim! Her book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, struck so many chords with me, since I also wrote a book on that theme.

The symbolism and implications of the way the Bible shows Christ’s passionate love for His bride, the Church, are ideas that people today crave. They feed their souls.

In my newest book, A Conspiracy of Breath, I tried to flesh out, in a fictional way, some of those ancient customs. In one scene, my heroine Priscilla, who is a Roman by birth, enters into her betrothal with Aquila and waits, as all biblical brides did, for him to come by night and abduct her. (How romantic is that?)

Here is the scene where she is waiting along with some Jewish and Roman friends and singing love songs:

The three of them began to sing in the pendulous rhythm of Jewish song, one girl stopping to giggle or the other putting her hand over her mouth as she sang.

Not knowing Hebrew, we Roman women had absolutely no idea what they were singing. We sat politely for a long time, until Tirzah began to pantomime as she sang.

A table for eating …

Something hanging above …

Raisin cakes (which Shiprah produced from yet another basket and ate with gusto) …

Apples …

“I know!” I shouted. “It’s the Song of Solomon.”

The women nodded, smiling now, but did not stop singing. I began to recite in Greek to Akantha and Cordelia:

Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,

so is my dearest compared to other men.

I love to sit in its shadow,

and its fruit is sweet to my taste.

He brought me to his banquet hall

and raised the banner of love over me.

Restore my strength with raisins

and refresh me with apples!

I am weak from passion.

His left hand is under my head,

and his right hand caresses me.

Promise me, women of Jerusalem;

swear by the swift deer and the gazelles

that you will not interrupt our love.

They came every night but the Sabbath, and sang the same songs, until our necks jerked us awake again and again and the Jewish women, yawning and stretching, gathered up their baskets and went home in the darkness, carrying their tiny oil lamps out in front of them, in their outstretched palms.

I dreamt each night of gazelles on mountaintops, of turtledoves seeking their mates, of lilies and honey and milk; of furious north winds and spice breezes;

Of ornaments of silver set with studs of gold, of cedar and fir rafters high above my head;

Of eyes at a window, looking through a lattice;

Of green grapes and their perfumes;

Do not stir up nor awaken love, the women sang to me in my dreams, until it pleases…. They murmured of secret places of the cliff, of sealed fountains and enclosed gardens scented with calamus and cinnamon, of little foxes running.

I dreamed melodious dreams of hair black and iridescent as raven wings, of eyes like doves by rivers of water and cheek-banks of scented herbs; of hands like rods of gold set with beryl and legs as marble pillars;

Of the excellence of cedars;

Of the handles of a lock on a door, dripping with myrrh,

His mouth most sweet,

Altogether lovely

My beloved

My friend

(from A Conspiracy of Breath by Latayne C. Scott, TSU Press, 2017.)

Of course, this isn’t just a first-century love story, because we are all waiting for the Lover of our souls to come and get us. May this help us understand to be spotless as we wait!

Bio:
Dr.  Latayne C. Scott (Distinguished Christian Service Award, Pepperdine University) writes controversial books. Her newest one, the critically acclaimed A Conspiracy of Breath, is based on the scholarly theory that a woman wrote part of the Bible. Her first book, The Mormon Mirage—also controversial—has stayed in print almost continuously for almost 40 years. She has nearly two dozen other published books. One notable recent book is about the discovery of the ancient Biblical city of Sodom (Discovering the City of Sodom). Her first novel is a murder mystery revolving around a code developed by the early Mormon church. Both are … controversial.

She’s also won a national award for humor. Her kids say she’s not so funny, but she just holds up the prize check.

Latayne blogs at Latayne.com.