The Overcoming Believer's Life

    John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
    overcome the world."

Dear reader, God wants you to live an overcoming life!  Please read the following lesson with faith, not in yourself, but in God.
The Believer's life
is an overcoming life.
Even though we will definitely have problems and personal struggles in this life, we will be able to overcome because of
Jesus. Because of Him, we have victory over the world, including sinful habits, bitterness, loneliness, guilt, fear, and discouragement.

This "Daily Maintenance" is
essential for all believers, not just beginners in hopes of becoming a new creature fashioned by the Holy Spirit.  
The proof is in what John was told to tell the church of Ephesus:  

    "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are
    apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and
    have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you
    have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place unless you
    repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit
    says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.''  
    NKJ Revelation 2:2-7

The Nicolaitans were the early Gentile syncretists, who felt they could build communities of believers with the mortar of compromise or political
correctness.  These were the false teachers that crept into the church, who disguised themselves as followers of Christ – who professed to be His
ministers and servants – but who led the people astray.  

Our prayer is to become "Overcomers" through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The "Overcomer's Series" is a gem written by
Tyson S from scribd.
com.

Lesson 6 – Overcoming low self-esteem

    Romans 8:1, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus …"

Introduction
   
Everyone has feelings of inferiority, condemnation, and hopelessness from time to time. Many people cannot fully enjoy life because they feel
inferior and guilty. This burden causes depression, discouragement, and fear. Christians should not feel inferior or condemned because God
redeemed them from sin and its effects by the sacrifice of His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

What causes low self-esteem?
   
We are all sinners. It is natural for us to feel guilty. However, there are several factors that especially cause feelings of condemnation and
inferiority.

1. Accusations of Satan
   
The Bible says that Satan constantly accuses God’s people. Even the name Satan means “accuser” in the Hebrew language. When Satan
accuses us, we feel a general condemnation that leads to hopelessness, since there is nothing we can do about it. This is different than the
conviction of sin that comes by the Holy Spirit, which targets specific sin and leads us to repentance.

Revelation 12:10, "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
      “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,
         and the authority of his Christ.
      For the accuser of our brothers,
         who accuses them before our God day and night,
         has been hurled down.”

2. Unrealistic stereotypes

Society puts pressure on people to conform to stereotypes, and we may feel something is wrong with us if we don’t match those stereotypes. If we
accept those stereotypes, we will compare ourselves unfavorably with others who match those stereotypes better.

3. Harsh words

Many people look down on themselves because of something said to them in the past. Perhaps their parents, relatives, classmates, friends, or
teachers said something that made a lasting impression. They may carry those words around as though they were branded on their forehead.

4. Wrong perspective of God

Some people come from a home where there is little praise for success, but lots of punishment for failure. If we come from these types of
environments, it is easy to have a wrong perception of God. We may see Him as a cruel master who demands perfection and is ready to punish
us when we fall short of His standard.

5. Past failure
   
Our past experiences of failure may make us feel inferior. If we sinned terribly, that sin may haunt us. Whenever we have an opportunity to
succeed or be happy, we may remember our past and feel that we are unworthy or doomed to fail.

How to overcome low self-esteem

1. Resist Satan’s lies
   
Ever since the Garden of Eden, Satan has used lies to destroy people and drive them further away from God. Satan will accuse us and do
everything he can to steal our joy and make us feel defeated. But we need to remember what Jesus said about Satan in John 8:44.

John 8:44, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not
holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

We need to recognize the lies and accusations of Satan. Whenever we feel condemned in a general sense and as though there is nothing we
can do, that is the accusation of Satan. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, He will always direct us toward a solution or specific action that we
can take. Conviction from Holy Spirit is specific and guides us to the right actions, but accusation from Satan is general and leads us to further
defeat.

2. Stand firm on God’s promises
   
When Jesus died on the cross, He paid for all our sins. We do not need to pay for our own sins because His sacrifice was once for all. We simply
need to repent and believe.

    Hebrews 9:14, "How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse
    our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

    Hebrews 10:10, "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

He extends this forgiveness to us by grace—not by our own merit. It is a free gift that we cannot earn, but simply receive by faith when we repent.

    Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works,
    so that no one can boast."

   We need to remember these truths. It doesn’t matter what we feel because we aren’t saved by our emotions. We are cleansed from sin by God’
s actions.

    Romans 8:1-2, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the
    Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

3. See ourselves as valuable in the church
   
The Bible says that all Christians are valuable to God. God has prepared a role for each one of us to play in His church. We are like parts of the
body that function together in different ways.

    Romans 12:3-8, "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to
    the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to
    the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If
    the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them,
    just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

    The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts
    of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the
    parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has
    combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body,
    but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part
    rejoices with it.

    Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

4. See ourselves as valuable to God
   
Apart from our usefulness in the church, God loves us simply for who we are. As the author Philip Yancey writes, “There is nothing we can do to
make God love us more, and nothing we can do to make God love us less.” God loves us as a Father. We are His special, unique creation,
whose purpose is to live in close fellowship with Him.

    Luke 15:11-20, "Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of
    the estate.' So he divided his property between them. "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant
    country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and
    he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to
    fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

    When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set
    out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called
    your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father.    

    But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him
    and kissed him."

5. Accept our shortcomings
    
We need to realize that only Jesus was sinless. We all fall from time to time, but by God’s grace we can get up again. Paul realized that his
weaknesses were actually opportunities for God to show His power. We should accept that we cannot overcome our weaknesses on our own, but
instead wait on the Lord for His strength.

    2 Corinthians 12:9, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

6. Respond to correction or accusation with love and forgiveness
   
Invariably, someone will say something to us that could make us feel guilty or condemned. Maybe they are warning us out of love, or
exaggerating our sin out of spite. Whatever the reason, we need to respond in the right way. We should imitate Jesus, who forgave those who
condemned Him to death on the cross. When we can respond to correction or accusation in this way, we will close the door to Satan’s work in our
hearts.

7. Leave the past behind
   
Christians do not need to be burdened with their past sins once they have repented and made restitution. God has removed our sins from us and
does not remember them any longer.

    Psalm 103:12, "… As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

Discussion Questions
1. Have you had experiences with low self-esteem?
2. What are some of the accusations that Satan made against you?
3. How has God assured you of your worth and His love?
4. Why do you think it is important for your self-esteem to respond to criticism with love and forgiveness?
Daily Maintenance:  Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
"Balancing the Goodness of Torah with the Grace and Mercy of Messiah"
Congregation T’shuvat Yisrael-Daily Maintenance: Low Self-esteem
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