Archive for May, 2020

Do you see what I see?

May 29, 2020

Do you see what I see? A question Jesus asked his disciples many times. On one particular occasion, he was talking to Peter when He asked this question. Not in those exact words, but in Matthew 16:23 Jesus tells Peter that. He says until you can see what I see, the way I see it, get away from me because you are a distraction. He said that He views things from His Father’s divine eternal perspective but Peter sees through temporal human eyes with finite perspective.

What about you? Could you possibly be guilty of not seeing circumstances from God’s viewpoint. Perhaps this has caused you to be hardened by life’s deceitfulness. Beware, lest this turn into rebellion. Rebellion against the artist, the potter, the manufacturer of your soul and circumstance. God’s vantage point is sovereign and takes into account many aspects, more than we can fathom through our finite reasoning (Psalm 139:5-6). Do you think that when he created you, he was unaware of His plan and intents for you? It is an unfortunate reality that others He has created have chosen to not properly play the part He has set forth for them and that unfortunate happenstance has caused you to acclimate to your current condition, but you must not give in…Don’t stop there…You can’t stay there! There is still time for his plan to work for you. And those others as well. When He created you, He had eternity in mind. He chose a route for you to encounter your destiny and this is it. Nothing that you have endured was meant to destroy you, but instead it was meant to build you. If it was God-ordained to destroy you, then it would have. But it didn’t. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Your way out is through. That is what is meant when Jesus said, “take up your cross” (Matthew 16:24). This pain, this stronghold, this addiction, this chain will not be your defining shame. It’s purpose is to draw you nearer. There is hope. It is inside of you. It is the risen Christ (Colossians 1:27). “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). God’s love for you is that you recognize His work in your life. He sent His son Jesus to the cross for you. By that, if we acknowledge and accept His merciful sacrifice, “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5). And this is that time, “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 5:7). Pick up your pain, your rejection, your hurt, your disappointment and follow Him. Better yet, let go of it and just give it all to Him. He is pleading with you,“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Choose to encounter His love at this very moment and know His peace.

“Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm. Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. And as Christ himself is seen for who he really is, who you really are will also be revealed, for you are now one with him in his glory!” — Colossians 3:1-4 TPT

Choose to Believe

May 16, 2020

Have you ever picked up a discarded piece of paper that you thought was trash?

It was already crumpled up and left on the floor by the original owner, then you come along and figure it just needs to go in the garbage?

Maybe you have felt like you were that piece of paper? Just laying there on the floor getting stepped on and kicked around until someone finally comes to put you in the garbage can. Perhaps what you are living now is a garbage can life. Stinky and dirty, just waiting for the incinerator?
Well, I have felt like that. I endured great rejection and abuse throughout my childhood and as I became an adult, life just seemed overwhelming. I have felt kicked and stepped on an awful lot.
It wasn’t until I learned the reality of who my original owner was that I was able to overcome the life I had been living. I thought my original owners were my birth family, the ones who started the abuse and rejection cycle in my life. Things they did to me, said to me, and said about me were very hurtful, and that was powerful.
I allowed those things to shape what I thought about myself and how I lived.
But then I learned that God, creator of the whole world, also created me. That would mean that He was my original owner. And as my original owner, I began to learn of what He says and thinks about me. I learned to use His words as the Truth that I choose to believe. Though it was hard and is hard some days to wake up and keep making that choice, I recognize that His plan for my life far outweighs the pressure of the feet that kicked and stepped on me, then and now.

So, back to that piece of paper… I know people who have seen what they thought was trash on the floor, but upon closer inspection they realized that there was something very valuable inside (money, jewelry, important phone numbers…).
And that is what I learned about myself. And that is what I am saying to you and about you. You are not trash! You are not negligible! Neither am I. We are all valued by God and valuable to God. We are the piece of paper that he has written on. In fact, we are stamped with His image (Genesis 1:27) and sealed with His guarantee (Ephesians 1:3-14) if we make the conscious choice to believe that He is for us. He purchased us by sending His son to die for us. “For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life” (‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ TPT‬).
We are valuable to Him because He intends to use us as the advertisement of His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. “God chose those whom the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise, and God chose the puny and powerless to shame the high and mighty” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:27‬ TPT).
God brought me into this world and placed me in a family that was supposed to exercise good stewardship over me, but, unfortunately, they did not because they really didn’t know how to. They didn’t understand the depths of what  I am explaining to you.
Maybe you come from that same type of atmosphere? Please hear me say that I am very sorry that you had to go through that. But please also hear me say that we have an even better hope for the present and the future. We can “Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We are reborn into a perfect inheritance that can never perish, never be defiled, and never diminish. It is promised and preserved forever in the heavenly realm for you! Through our faith, the mighty power of God constantly guards us until our full salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy, even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials” (1 Peter‬ ‭1:3-6‬ ‭TPT‬‬).
It is God’s goodness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4), and His goodness is unconditional love. He has that for you today. He is reaching His hand out for you. You need only to grab hold and say, “I want you Jesus. I accept your sacrifice for me and I want you to be the Lord and Savior of my life.”
“This is GOD ’s Word on the subject…‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.’ GOD ’s Decree. ‘I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you’— GOD ’s Decree—‘bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen’” (Jeremiah‬ ‭29:10-14‬ MSG‬‬)