“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV
Sometimes, I think I get so stuck on a topic that everything I write seems redundant.
When it comes to knowing who God is and who we are, constant repetition is probably more than all right; it’s desirable.
There are so many sources that work to convince us that God is everything but who HE truly is. He’s “the universe” or the very distant, angry disciplinarian who does things arbitrarily. He loves us, but we have to jump through all sorts of hoops to earn His approval. He’s impotent: People and circumstances are bigger than He is; we have to fend for ourselves…. And on the lies go.
Then, there is the same army of voices after us about who we are: Nothing, a bother; wormly beings that deserve nothing but eternal punishment. Orphans who need to work at being better than we are. Good, if we really put in the effort. Broken wretches….
It’s all about identity. AS we come to know the Truth about who God is, we discover ourselves:
God is love. He is good all the time; He is always joyful. He is the Prince of Peace, Healer, Redeemer, Friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is not ashamed to call us His brothers and sisters; He likes us.
He is head over heels in love with us. He says we are precious, wonderful, glorious sons and daughters, made in His image. We are His creation, workmanship, children. He has wonderful plans for our lives; He has created good things for us to do. He loves to bless us; He thoroughly enjoys hanging out with us.
I’m His favorite.
But then, so are you.
He loves every individual as though he and she were the only person in the whole world to love.
He loves with His whole being; not just intellectually or with words alone.
His love is so powerful, nothing can separate us from it.
We are living epistles, reflections of His glory, His chosen ones, a royal priesthood, temples of the Holy Spirit.
In short, we are awesome and glorious because of Jesus.
The next time you look in the mirror, tell yourself who you are according to God; then give yourself a hug. Papa says you’re beautiful and awesome. Gents, He calls you noble, valiant and amazing.
God our loving Father Knows each of us intimately.
There is absolutely nothing, past, present or future that He can’t see.
“Oh, I never thought of that,” is never something He says;
“I know the plans I have for you to give you hope always.”
Single or married, professional, blue collar or trade;
Each person and walk of life is holy and for His loving purpose made.
No seconds in His Kingdom, each is precious in His sight.
Each child of His is destined to walk in His life-giving light.
Oh son and daughter of God, please listen to the words I say:
What He thinks, says and does for us exceeds expectations in every way.
If you were to name each star and count every grain of sand,
You’d fail at describing the blessings that come from God’s Hand.
Those of you who follow Lifehelps know that my nephew and Godson, John, went home to Jesus last Friday.
There is an aspect of his homecoming that I would like to share because it points to a beautiful truth about God.
I believe that Jesus heals today; in fact, he has healed me of things that were not medically treatable. I told my family this when we knew that John either needed to be healed or he would die.
As I was praying for him, I heard this word:
“I will let John choose and I will honor his decision.”
As soon as I heard that, I knew what John would choose. A physical healing would not have been enough because he was weary of soul. He had put everything he could into living a difficult, painful life; home to Heaven was the better choice.
How awesome is it that the Most High, Holy One, Creator of the universe honors our choices! If we want him to stay at a distance, he does. If we put up a wall, he doesn’t barge in through the door, bulldoze the wall or climb over it; he simply speaks from the place we have given him. If we ask him to protect, provide or heal, he does. Jesus often asked people what they wanted. He still asks us; then honors our choices.
Thank you, Jesus, for your deep, intimate love. Thank you that you honor us, even though you have the power to overcome us at any time. Your gentleness and goodness are beautiful. Amen.
The tapestry of life has colors
Of every shade and hue,
Some rich and bright;
Some flat and drab,
From red to deepest blue.
The tapestry of life has music
And sounds of every kind;
From loud and shrill
To barely heard,
Expressing heart and mind.
The tapestry of life can be touched,
Its textures rough and smooth;
Like rock and sand;
Or sun and snow,
To rouse us and to soothe.
The tapestry of life has been made
Of all humanity;
In every place,
All walks and times;
Of strangers, you and me.
The tapestry of life is from God,
Lord of all creation;
The breath of life,
The Holy One
Over every nation.
The creator of this tapestry
Embraces you and me;
Is not so big
That He can’t know and see.
Oh loving God of this tapestry,
Thank You for being near
To each of us
In all You’ve made,
For Your Presence so dear.
Jesus, I come to you
With my heart full of distress;
Knowing that you’re the solution;
That you redeem and bless.
Oh God, I trust in you
With all my heart, soul and mind;
Knowing your life-giving presence
Is what I come to find.
Lord, I give thanks to you
AS a sacrifice of praise;
Because you’re God, the Holy One,
Perfect in all your ways.
Now I receive from you
Such deep and wonderful peace;
Far greater than understanding;
Love that will never cease.
My neighbor and I agree: Our favorite prayer closet is the garden. Neither of us can explain exactly why; it just seems that, when we’re out in the sun and breeze, peace takes over and we are free to pray.
When the weather doesn’t permit, I will use housework as a way to get into deep prayer. Having my hands busy allows me to concentrate better. It’s not quite the same as being out in the garden, however. For one thing, there are more distractions indoors: The phone, computer, animals… Outside, I can focus on what is in front of me.
Admittedly, this won’t work for everyone. First of all, I live near the edge of a small town. There is some “civilized” noise: The occasional car; a dog; people strolling by; but for the most part, it is so quiet! The bustle of a city might not have the same effect.
Another thing that makes this oasis so pleasant is the fragrance. I live in a high mountain valley with plenty of pine, juniper, tamarack and sage. Add the scent of roses, petunias and other domestic plants: The perfume is extravagant.
Everybody needs to have that special place for deep prayer. IF it isn’t the garden, where might yours be?
Truth instead of plattitudes;
Living faith instead of doctrine;
Joy in place of a “stiff uper lip;”
A God who’s worth believing in.
Hope instead of mere wishing;
Courage, not just a “spine of steel;”
Peace that comes from trusting in Jesus,
Almighty God, loving and real.
Surrender to His perfect will,
Fruit of His affection and grace;
Life in the power of Holy Spirit;
Ever in the light of His face.
We are called to live in Him
Who redeems us and makes us whole;
This is true Kingdom reality:
Jesus is Lover of our souls.
How do I look
In the light of God’s love?
Does he see me at all
From his lofty throne above?
Does he know who I am
Or care about me?
In the light of Go’ds love,
What does he see?
How about you
As you stand in God’s light?
Does he know who you are;
Hold you precious in his sight?
Does he look at your soul
With love true and strong?
Does he sing over you
With joyful song?
Glorious are we,
God’s treasured creation;
Brought into his Kingdom
To be a roayl nation
Beloved sons and daughters,
Bought with Jesus’ blood;
That’s who we are in the
Light of God’s love.