Do I Have Rights? November

Join us this month for the 2015 GiveThanks!x7 challenge! Each day we will record seven things we are thankful for. Let’s lift our hearts in thanksgiving to the Lord for all of His blessings.

Give Thanks Challenge 2015

Do I Have Rights?
by Sarah Lee Bryant


“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

In today’s man-centered culture, we hear so much about “our rights.” We are bombarded constantly with this mentality. “You deserve it,” people tell us. And this often subtly creeps into our thoughts, as Christians.

However, God’s Word has something completely different to tell us.

Our life is not our own. As sinners saved by grace, our will has been crucified with Christ on the Cross. It is no longer “alive”—rather, we are to be a living manifestation of Jesus to the world. He died for us that we may live for Him. And so we are commanded to live out JESUS in our life. We do not have “rights,” for we are Christ’s bondservant.

Stop there—what does it mean I don’t have any rights? This goes so much against my nature, that it is almost impossible to fully comprehend. In my mind, I know this is true, because God’s Word teaches this. However—in daily life, I think this selfish mentality surfaces more than I realize.

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Let me share a real life example! Let’s say that a younger sibling was given permission to do something that I have never been able to do before. In my flesh, I feel injusticed. The thought secretly creeps in—Why can I not do that? This isn’t fair! I am several years older but have never been able to do that! I deserve to be able to! 

Yes, it’s humbling to admit that these thoughts actually did come to my mind in this situation. But maybe you can relate.

Only a few seconds after these selfish thoughts surfaced, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind this verse—I am crucified with Christ. And I remembered that in reality, as Christ’s, I don’t have any rights. I don’t deserve anything—in fact I do deserve eternal punishment for my sins, but the Lord Jesus Christ has freely given me new life. Because He gave His life on the Cross, I now live by faith of Him Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

“The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

As I thought on these truths, immediately the Lord corrected my attitude and I realize how selfish this issue was. Previously, in my flesh I felt shortchanged, but now in my spirit, I felt overwhelmingly grateful for this reminder of who I am in Christ. I was able to rejoice with my sibling in their privilege.

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Do you remember that as a daughter of the King, you too are crucified with the Lord? Your desires no longer reign, but your life is to be a living sacrifice for the Lord.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

Being a living sacrifice inevitably means pain and loss along the way. It is not natural. So when you are called by the Lord to die to self—do you remember that you are crucified with the Son of God? Are you willing to give up “your rights”?

Let’s evaluate our hearts together. I’d like to ask you what I have been considering: What do you perceive as your “right”?

  • Is it your personal space?
  • Is it a warm shower and clean body?
  • Is it respect and “fair treatment”?
  • Is it to be able to live without persecution for what is right?
  • Is it a quiet spot for uninterrupted time with the Lord?
  • Is it food you like?
  • Is it complete respect and obedience from your siblings?
  • Is it to have a “godly family”?
  • Is it the right to be able to drive at age 16?
  • Is it to make your own decisions at age 18?
  • Is it to live happily and comfortably?
  • Is it for life/your future to go according to your dreams (even if they are Biblical and good)?
  • Is it a healthy body?

What is it for you today? The world tells us that all of these things and thousands more are your right to have and experience. However, God tells us “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19)

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“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

“I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” (Philippians 3:19)

Are you willing to live 100% for Christ, that the life of Jesus and His will may be played out through your body?

When we realize we don’t deserve or have a right to anything, then we are so much happier. We don’t have unmet expectations, and we aren’t disappointed when someone crosses our path or has something we’d like. We realize that we have been given SO MUCH and only have reason to overflow with praise to God for His unbounding mercy! Which, by the way, we don’t deserve!

I would like to encourage you, dear sister, to memorize the following verses from 2 Corinthians 4. If possible, memorize the entire chapter; ask your sister or friend to do it with you. The Lord will bring it to mind as you strive to live all for Jesus.

“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”
(II Corinthians 4:10-12)

You can download this image as a reminder

The Lord knows what trials and situations we need to go through so that we would grow more selfLESS and more like Christ. That we may bear in our bodies the life of the Lord Jesus. Let’s be faithful in the tests that come our way daily, and remember we are here for the glory of God. Life is about Him. It is not about you. It is not about me. It is not about our comfort and pleasure. It is about glorifying our Savior Who has ransomed us with His own blood.

Let’s remember true freedom is found when we realize I do not have rights.

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:24)

-Sarah Lee


Sharing Love with the Lost (October)


by Andrea N.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
{1 Corinthians 13:4-6}

If you don’t know her now, she is someone that you probably have known in the past. She is a girl who laughs loudly, dresses inappropriately, and is obnoxious.

While our first reaction may be repulsion, the truth is that she needs love. Most often, love is the very last thing we want to give. Though we may not admit it, to you and me, a girl like this seems irritating, and sometimes just plain wicked!

However, honestly, we are the first to need a change of heart. We must realize that the thing a girl like this needs most is love, and that if we were in her place, we would want someone to reach out and encourage us. But how do we change our mindset from that of disgust, to a mindset of love?

We must first understand that “but for the grace of God” I would be her. It is not of my own power or goodness, but because God in His wisdom chose to place me in a Christian home and give me salvation.

“By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace
which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.”

{1 Corinthians 15:10} 


I am blessed to work on a church bus route and bring folks of all ages to our church each Sunday morning. Through this ministry, I have been able to meet several girls, and I get to see some of the “why” behind the way they act. I visit her home each Saturday. I have heard her parents yell at her. I have smelled the filth and seen the clutter in her home. All this leads me to realize two things.

First, there is a reason behind her behavior. She is loud, not only to get attention, but also to try to block out some of her world. She dresses atrociously to get attention and maybe just to fit in. She doesn’t even feel like she fits in in her own home. She is clingy because she feels that she has found someone who truly thinks of her as a person and she is starved for that love.

Secondly, I see that she is in desperate need of love. At some point, I had to come to the realization that God put these girls in my path for a reason. He doesn’t want me to turn my back to their need. It is more comfortable for me to stick with my little group of friends, but the Christian life isn’t about our personal comfort. Jesus certainly stepped out of His comfort zone when He died on the cross.

“Above all these things put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness.”
{Colossians 3:14}

That being said, what are some practical ways we can reach out to these precious souls?

Smile straight at her. You will be delighted at the beautiful countenance you can pull from a seemingly hard, sullen girl. It sends a message that you care.

Take an interest in her. Fire questions until you find a subject she will talk about. Once she starts talking, listen! Try to have an interest in the things she is talking about, even if you don’t have an interest in it! (If the subject is inappropriate, gently lead the conversation elsewhere.)


After you have won her confidence, you can start encouraging her in the Lord, but do not “preach.” One of the best times to encourage is when she asks you a question. When she says, “Why do you wear skirts?” Explain that you use the Bible as your foundation for everything including dress, or that you desire to honor your parents’ standards, or whatever direction you need to take it. Direct any question into the plan of salvation. If she is saved, a good way to encourage and direct the conversation is to ask about her Bible reading. That accountability is so important.

Let us not be classified is as “Christian snobs.” If others don’t see Jesus in us as His daughters, where else will they see Him? So the next time you feel repulsed by a worldly girl, let me encourage you to try to reach out to her instead. May God bless you as you show His love!

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
{Matthew 25:45}

-Andrea N. (19)

Be Still (September)


By Rachel L.

God had been leading the Israelites by the pillars of cloud and fire for only a little while now. They could see Him right in front of them, leading them. For the freed captives, life was going great. And then, Pharaoh decides he wants his slaves back and chases after them. As soon as they see him coming, all the Israelite’s faith goes out the window. No matter how many times God reminds them, “I am the Lord,” they shrink back from the challenge.

Joshua prepares to lead God’s chosen people across an uncrossable river and into an undefeatable city. At this time, the people don’t think he’s a trustworthy leader.

The enemies of the living God that are still in the land have come up against the king Jehoshaphat to war with him. The armies are terrified, forgetting that the battle is not theirs, forgetting the true King’s everlasting mercy.

The two sisters weep, as their brother Lazarus has been dead four days, with no sign of the Messiah. It seems all hope is gone.


These are only a few of the stories in the Bible that tell of the children of God coming up against what we today call stress. My definition of stress is anything that overwhelms me, anything I let steal my faith and joy only to replace it with anger, anything that I allow to make me doubt the Father.

Many of us are familiar with this verse: “Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10. But has it become only a catchphrase to us?

It is easier to be still when we meditate on who God is. Psalm 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield…” He lights our way and protects us through the raging waves.

Quite simply, He is our Everything. Without Him, there is no us.

“For who in the heaven can be compared to the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?”
Psalm 89:6)

God leads us through our trials. Nothing is too big or too small for God. He sees and hears us, and He cares. He is ever guiding us through the valley of the shadow towards the hope and joy in the morning.

We just have to trust God. We have to step out onto the waters in faith, knowing that we hold our Savior’s hand. When Moses raised his staff, God split the Red Sea and destroyed the Egyptians. When Joshua had the priests take that first step, the Jordan stopped and they crossed to a victory on the other side. When Jehoshaphat went out to war praising God with psalteries and harps and trumpets, the Lord won the battle for them without them so much as lifting a sword. When Mary and Martha believed, their brother was raised to them. And when we remain still and trust Him, He will do great things for us, too.

How has this concept impacted me? Recently, I was really uncertain about what next step I should take. It was only after I put my future and my dreams in His Hands and prayed about the options, that I felt His leading.

I have five siblings and I often babysit them. This job often leaves me feeling stressed, and I have to turn to Jesus to take away my overwhelmed feelings and help me to act as Christ would act.

I don’t know where your path may lead. But whatever you come up against, just be still, and ponder God. He knows what is best, so praise Him even when the rain threatens to drown out your praise. He is Who He says He is.

Be still and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10)

-Rachel L. (14)

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper:

Can I Give Up? (August)


by Sarah Lee Bryant

“Charity suffereth long… Beareth all things,
believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

(I Corinthians 13)

That morning…I was feeling discouraged.

“Lord, this is so hard. It just hurts so much to extend love and kindness when it’s returned with scorn. How long must I keep trying? It would be so much easier just to let it go, to not try anymore…to say I’ve done my part.”

Have you ever experienced these feelings? The point when you felt ready to give up and recoil into the safety of your own comfort zone? When you wonder—What’s the use? Is it worth the pain? Will there ever be fruit?

In my quiet time, I flipped to Hebrews 12.

I began reading the familiar words…

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Although I have read this passage countless times, this morning that phrase in verse three struck me afresh. “Lest ye be wearied…” What did it say I should do? I was all ears!


Consider Christ. Two powerful, life- and attitude-changing words!

Mentally, I began to lift my eyes from my circumstances and up to the beaten Savior being led to the hill of Calvary. He was carrying a heavy cross, barely able to bear the burden. Even worse yet, He was bearing the insults, hatred, curses, and immeasurable pain from those who had rejected Him and insulted Him beyond comprehension. Jesus had met with more opposition than any other human on earth. And oh, how it must have penetrated the depths of His soul, the One Who could feel perfectly and Whose heart loved more deeply than we can imagine.

Yet those pains were light compared with the weight of sin He bore, as He suffered and died for His people. My sin! “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Corinthians 5:21).

Oh—I inwardly groaned.


As I considered the love He poured out to the uttermost, I saw how light my difficulty was.

How little I really had given. It wasn’t even worth calling a loss. Hebrews continued:

“Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”

I have not resisted unto blood striving against my sin. As I thought about it, I saw I’d not really fought very vigilantly at all. Maybe I’d not really tried very long (although it sure felt like it). Maybe this situation wasn’t as dramatic as I had imagined it to be! Maybe the Lord was actually trying to refine and humble me through this.

Maybe He wanted me to truly reflect one tiny shimmer of Calvary love. A love that knows no end, a bottomless abyss wider than the universe. A love that Christ has been shown me undeservedly innumerable times.


That morning, I bowed in humble realization.

He has borne my sin on Calvary: me—a wretch, while I was yet in sin, completely undeserving and totally unable to return that love. So instead of calling this situation impossible and giving up, I can see it as a small way to reflect that Calvary love.

Even when it’s hard. Even when they’re hard to love. Even when I feel they don’t deserve it. Even when it seems it’s their “turn.” I must not notice the cost, but instead keep my eyes on Jesus, and leave the results to Him.

If I’m looking for results that would make me feel like my sacrifices are repaid, I would soon feel justified giving up.

But if I look to Jesus, the One Who has loved me despite all my failures, I can never give enough.

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”

And so, through His Word, He has given me what I need for this day…

…to set my hands and heart to anew to His will. Yes, it’s much easier said than done—but for this day, God had given me the wisdom I need to press on. I can’t give up.

I don’t know what you are facing today. But remember that God’s Word certainly does contain the remedy for weariness. Don’t give up – consider Christ!

Sarah Lee

Looking to Jesus (July)


by Allison N.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
{Hebrews 12:1-2}

I love these verses, and I think they capture so well the goal of the Christian life. We have heard them so often however, that sometimes we glaze over them as something we’ve already heard, and is already familiar, and therefore can hold no new meaning to our lives. But I’d like you to read them again, this time out loud, and slowly.

We must lay aside every weight, everything that binds us to this earth. Wealth, power, reputation, television, computer, phones—anything that chains us to the ground on which we stand and prevents us from running towards Christ—this must be laid aside so that we can run to Jesus. Remember that this world is not our home, and we are only passing through.

Just like a traveler would not invest millions of dollars into a hotel room that he will only be staying in for a few nights before returning to his home, so we must not invest and tie ourselves to this world. We are but poor travelers, headed for the kingdom. Trophies and earthly rewards will pass away. Good health and a fit body will too pass away. We must invest in things that will not pass away—our relationship with the Lord and our investment in His kingdom.


We must run with endurance the race that is set before us. My friends, I know this may seem like a long race, I know it seems like we are constantly falling, but keep running! Keep going and never give up. The world will try to pull you down, but keep running. “Toward what?” you ask. The next part of the verses reveal the answer.

Toward Jesus! When we run toward Him, keeping our eyes upon Him, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, He will give us the strength and endurance we need to run. When we look to Him, we can do it! Remember, as Peter was walking out on water towards Jesus, when he was looking at Jesus, he remained steadfast, and could actually walk on water, but as soon as he took his eyes off his destination, he started to sink. It is the same for us. As long as we look to Jesus Christ, we will be upheld, but the minute we take our eyes off the prize, we will begin to sink.

Moses took this concept to heart as well. He looked to Jesus. “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). He forsook Egypt—recognizing that it was only his temporary homeland. So must we embrace this idea and live with our real home in mind. He endured as seeing Him Who is invisible. His sights were always set on God. He was meditating on the Scriptures. He constantly communed with his Creator.


This is what I challenge you to do today. Look to Jesus. Meditate on His greatness as outlined in the last part of this verse: “the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” How amazing is our God! How worthy of our praise and adoration! He has run the race, He has endured the cross, He has finished well! He will help us do the same.

There’s a song I love that says

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

The song is so simple, yet so full of meaning. This is my challenge for you today. Leave this world behind and turn your eyes upon our beautiful and glorious Savior, Jesus.

Allison is a 16-year-old daughter of the King.  Her aim in life is to be pleasing and honoring to Him.  She has a passion for God’s Word and has begun a ministry dedicated to encouraging others in its pursuit.

This Month’s Desktop Wallpaper: