“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
This is my favorite scripture. Ever since someone taught on it just after I was married. I made it mine. I lived my life with it as my motto. We have a loving, wonderful father who made us and knows everything about us. He made each of us unique, in all the world. No one is just like me. God knows the number of hairs on my head, that mix of colors in my eyes that is different with everything I wear, what makes me laugh, and why I think like I do. Before he ever designed me he had a particular mission for me to accomplish. I had devine appointments with many different people throughout my life and many events brought me this far in my journey. God always sees me as completing the mission , and he has given me everything to accomplish it. He is working everything, (the good, bad, and the ugly) for my best. If I had never had my stroke I would not be where I am with God. It is all worth it. I couldn’t be happier or more at peace than I am right now. God is using me! He always believed in me but now I know that he will work on me till the day I die. He never tires of my procrastination or my doubts. As long as I make time for him he continues to speak to me. Slowly I am hearing him. He speaks in everything I do. I just need to be alert. He has called me to write words of inspiration and encouragement to others. He will never give you a mission you can’t complete, with his help. This is my job and he is my employer and I need to be at his work. I set my time around his needs first. All else will wait. He is the most important to me. He also gives words of encouragement just for me in my life. We can learn so much when we set out to serve others. Some days I just can’t get inspired and that’s ok. When he inspires me I can’t type fast enough. I look back over my journey and see Gods loving, faithful hands. It’s exciting and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What has God called you to do?
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 NIV
Who wants to be disciplined? Nobody, but it is important. The other day someone told me how as a young kid they had stolen fireworks and when dad found out he showed them the stars all right. They were spanked so hard that they never did that again. But discipline is so that we learn to do right and to be safe. Our parents love us so much and they really want the very best for us. They don’t want to see us hurting ourselves in a life of crime or getting blown up. Our parents may not be perfect but they are doing the best they can with their limited knowledge. God, though, is all knowing. He has lovingly formed us with all we need to become all we can be. He is all knowing and knows our every thought and how we will behave. He also knows just what it will take to have a wonderful, full life. It was him who made us how we are so he knows our needs better than we do. He has promised to make all that happens to us work for our good. If he is always looking out for us he will never tell us to do something wrong, for us. If we want a full life we should listen to him and follow his commands. They are not there to hinder us but to help us be our best. God wants us free, happy, loved, respected, and successful. It may not be exactly what we want but it will make us happy. I am his creation and he knows best and following his design and what works best only makes me run better. I have done it both ways, my way, messing things up badly. I’ve done it his way, boy does that work better. Even doing it my way he didn’t reprimand me but kept loving me. He understands that the world is not perfect and neither are we. We may want to do good but we will never do it perfectly. We are all sinners saved by the grace of God. He will forgive us. He just hates to see us doing things that will not help us but only hurt us. Now I try to live like Jesus would. He wanted to be just like his dad and I do too. Each day I look into his mirror and see if I look more like him. Where do I need to work? I need more unconditional love for less than perfect people. I’m sure I’ll be a work in progress for some time but I can see improvement and that makes me happy.
Do you want to live a full life?
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NIV
To all who have been called, and trust in the name of Jesus Christ to be saved, you are special. We know that we were made with great love in the image of our creator to fellowship with him. We our precious children of our King. But what else? So much has been said about who we are in Christ. When we come to him his arms are open wide and there is great rejoicing in heaven. It is a big deal. We are no longer a slave to Satan, sin, longing, and striving. God has wiped the slate clean and we are now a new creature. The old person we used to be is gone. At that point God says he anoints us, he wants us to go out and spread his message to the lost in the world. He has also set a seal upon you that tells the enemy that you are his and nothing bad can happen to you without his okay. He works everything, both good and bad for your best. He is perfecting you every day for the rest of your lives. You are a jewel to him, priceless and valuable. He is working at drawing you closer. He wants to know you and for you to know him more and more every day. A close relationship of love, trust and respect. He has made a deposit into your life. Just as Jesus made a promise before he left this earth he has given his Holy Spirit to be with us always. That Spirit comes with great power and the guarantee of the future we will have with our father in his kingdom. To be heirs with Christ to all he has. Upon death we are no longer in this earthly body but given a brand new heavenly body that is perfect and we will live with him forever. While we are on this earth he promises to be with us always helping us and edifying us. Whenever we want anything he wants us to run to him. He does not want us to be anxious or worried. If it is important to us it is important. When we need wisdom and guidance he wants us to ask. He does not expect us to do this on our own. Actually he knows that we can’t do this on our own. He will give us words to speak when we need them. He has made everything just for us. The world is so full of wonderful things to discover and they are ours. Everything we will ever need. Every good gift comes from him. He really is a very good God. There are many gods in the world that people serve and worship but they don’t do anything but tell you how to live your life and none can offer eternal life. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
Do you want an abundant life with power?
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father.” John 14:12 NIV
Very truly means most definitely, and you means me. The idea of me doing more and greater things than Jesus always blew my mind. He healed and restored sight and health, and he even raised the dead. This verse has always been just outside of my understanding. Lately I find myself pondering this verse more often. I have been reading the devotional, ‘Letters From God’, by Ivan Tait. It is small words every day that God has said in his word. Promises to us that he has declared over us and to us. It has been a great year. I have enjoyed this devotional. God is growing me in so many ways, but a big one is in the area of prayer. I have been praying for more and more people. It is so easy to tell someone that I will be praying for them. But how many times have we said that and then gotten distracted by our own personal problems and forgotten to pray. I’m guilty too. I have really made it personal now and I’m beginning to see their needs as my needs. When you do that you seem to pray more fervently and then when answers come it also feels personal and I feel the great victory. In this way I am doing great things. It might be a good friend trying to find her forever love. To spend her life with. Sharing in her struggles as she goes through different boy friends. Until that one man comes who shares her love of God. Or a friend at 58 who could not have children of her own and becomes a brand new mom of a brand new baby because a niece was not allowed to keep the child . Then her niece having another baby and giving it to her. Two precious gifts from God. These miracles are mine as I pray for my friends. God is good and he is always up to something big. He has given us so much and he just wants us to use our lives to help enrich the lives of others. We are not on a lone journey. We are all in this life together. The great commandment is to love others better then yourself. What better way than praying for their needs shows that I love them and care about what matters to them. I have committed to praying every Tuesday with our prayer team and they are all around the world and I have prayed for some difficult needs but God has come through with some truly amazing answers to prayer. It’s so exciting to be apart of what God’s doing.
Do you want to do even greater works?
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 NIV
Once we have accepted Christ as our savior we are just beginning. We are no longer powerless and weak. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts and will be with us always. He is there to help us and to guide us. With his help you can do anything. You should join a good church, start reading the Bible, and pray regularly. These all help us to get to know the God we serve. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We are no longer to live as we used to. We have been set free of the disease of sin. We now need to be like our Lord. There is no excuse because he lives in us to help us change. Do you want to go to heaven to see the Lord one day? This is a matter of life and death. You want to grow your relationship, and any relationship takes work. Spending time getting to know Christ and his characteristics. When you get to know him you will want to keep his commands. While you are keeping his commands your character will grow and you will begin to see fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Faithfulness. If we don’t have fruit then we weren’t really changed. We’re still dead sinners. Fruit is the proof that God is working in our lives. If there is no fruit he will chop our life down and throw it in the fire. That is not good. But so many people have 0 fruit and say they are Christians. But Christian means follower of Christ. Christ taught us to love and do good or show fruit. So to be a Christian you need to love and bear fruit in your life. No fruit, no Jesus. It’s that simple. So do all you can to genuinely love others. Helping them in all their needs and encouraging them to be better people. This kind of fruit keeps growing in us and then in others. It never ends. Don’t be like the Pharisees. They knew the law and even made some of their own but did not know Christ personally. They were not followers but wanted to be followed for who they were. They did not keep many of the laws themselves. They certainly did not love the less fortunate like Jesus did. He came to serve and they were too good to serve. A real servant serves not just those they like but those that can’t do anything in return. That’s true service.
Do you want to have fruit in your life?
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
It does not say to not get angry. We all naturally feel anger when someone is cruel, thoughtless or selfish. It says, when you are angry, do not sin. So being angry is not the sin. But what we do with that anger can be. Holding on to anger is like tying an anchor around you neck. It will only get heavier , dragging you down as long as you refuse to let it go. It really seems stupid if you think about it. I watched another movie the other night. I am sure you can see by now that I love to watch uplifting movies before I fall asleep at night. And I have had some really good nights of sleep lately. The people had some bad things happen to them that should have caused great bitterness , but instead they tried to find love and acceptance for the one who hurt them. Oh, it was not easy. One woman was shot by an attacker who became a very close friend. It turned his life around. Then when he was killed in an accident by someone who was mad at him his father had to learn how to forgive the man who killed his son. But in doing that he built a friendship with this man and his young daughter that was so special. Each person had to come to a place where they could see this anger was only hurting them and that it was giving the devil control. They had to make a decision to forgive. To forgive does not mean you forget, but gives you the peace to move forward. To think of someone with anger is the same thing to God as murder. It harms everyone involved. Anger and hate are wrong and they damage everyone. The devil loves it when we are angry because then he is in control. Whatever you do as long as it depends on you, be peaceable with all people. This is something Jesus said while he was alive and it is very good advice. The world we live in has enough hate and anger and we don’t need to add to it, we need to make this ugly world better and love, love freely. The attitude you hold onto does make a difference in yours and others happiness. Be a difference maker.
Do you need to forgive someone ?
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful because he cannot disown himself .” 2 Timothy 2:13 NIV
We are flawed and sinful. But God is perfect. He cannot sin, it’s not his nature. We can trust that he will be faithful to do all that he promises. His promises are so good that it seems too good to be true. At one time I knew of his promises and believed they were true, but I had doubts. But now I have such a good relationship with him and I know him. He has proven true time and time again throughout the years. Being 61 years old he has always taken good care of me. I still have pain, heartaches and trials but I know he is there with me through it all and is helping and encouraging me through it all. He also teaches me so much about his ways through it. I no longer just believe, I have seen with my own heart his goodness for myself and he is faithful. Lately I have been so easily touched by him. I hear a song or someone says something good about God, and I get all choked up. I just get so blessed because he’s not just good he’s awesome. You can get to know him better for yourself. He promises as we seek more of him he will give it. But we need to make the first move to get to know him better. Pray! To get to know anyone better you need to talk to them. Read God’s word! We need to read all about him. His ways and his character. Why he does what he does. You can only get to know him by reading about him every day. You can read the same things over and over and always get something different out of it. That’s why the word is alive. The spirit shows you something different each time. Listen to praise music! Hearing others sing about how great he is rubs off. I hear myself singing in my sleep and I do sleep peacefully. Go to church! Being around other Christians and hearing them talk about his goodness inspires and relationships are strong. Pray and intercede for others! Praying for others needs encourages you when you hear answers to their prayers. He will also take care of your needs. I have come so far in my walk with him in just a short time. I find myself excited for each new day of his blessings. He is so very good.
Do you know the one who is always faithful?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
I have learned to be grateful for everything. It is very important for your happiness to see the good around you. The world we live in can be very hard and negative, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive and ignore the negativity, or at least downplay it, the better it is. Life has a way of taking over and purposeful thoughts make a big difference. I want to enjoy life. To make the best of every moment. The very first thoughts out of my mind are deliberate and matter so much. I say God, this is the day you have made just for me. I choose to rejoice and be glad in it. This is first because I believe in the power of positive thinking. I choose the outcome I want and reinforce it in my mind. I know that God already has this day all planned out for me. And it will be the best for me. I may have trials and trouble but I believe they are for teaching me and making me stronger. I believe my God is always with me, and will help me. He really loves me. He has divine appointments for me. I will do my part and he will do his part. I take every opportunity to thank him for every good gift. I may really like what’s for breakfast, the eggs are just the way I like them. Or I love raisin toast, thanks! It may not be great, but I always thank him for hot coffee, which I love. I do think he puts ideas in people’s minds when they are planning their menus or their day. I also say it is good because everything coming from God is good even if it’s not great. As I pray each morning I thank him for everything because he has been so good to me and my family. I have a great life but it helps to be truly grateful. I love to have fun with everyone. They may do something I don’t like but I ignore it and find something to laugh about or share that’s good. I compliment others and thank them often. I like to play scrabble a lot and when I play a good word I say thanks. I believe he gives me words. I may be simple minded but it works for me. I will do whatever it takes to have the best day possible. Also help everyone I can to have the best day they can too. To be all I can be. That needs to be intentional to make a difference.
How is your day?
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move on the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27 NIV
I have been learning so much lately about the creation of the world. So many things were explained so clearly. Things I hadn’t really thought about but now made so much more sense. God is awesome. I am so excited about these new incites and just had to share what I have learned. I believe the Bible is 100% true but I had missed so many details, I guess I just never pondered them. Now that I have I can see the whole picture more clearly. As a child I was always questioning things that I learned in school. They just did not always make complete sense to me. And now some scientists are seeing that the Bible really does make more sense. Holding more truths than we thought possible. Well God should know, he was there through it all. Science tried to tell us how things happened that made sense to man. But man is far from perfect and doesn’t understand God’s ways. I believe in a perfect creator that planned everything precisely ahead of time and doesn’t make mistakes. Because I’ve seen him working mightily throughout my life and I believe. He says he made man in his image. That means we are perfect and have everything we need to live an abundant and good life doing all he made us for. We can think and reason even create things with the intelligence he has given us. If we follow him and his commandments I believe we are unstoppable. He did create many animals for us to enjoy and rule over. But did you know at one time we were all herbivores. We all lived in peace together. Animals were for us even dinosaurs could be ours. The weather was moderate so we didn’t really need clothes. We had everything we needed. Water seepage from the earth watered everything and gave us water. It wasn’t till sin came into the garden that things changed. God had to kill one of the animals so he could make clothes for man and the climate changed causing different weather patterns. Animals had to change and adapt to the new climate by growing more fur. Man began eating animals and animals began eating each other which caused them to fear humans. They grew sharp teeth, claws and fangs so they could defend themselves. God still cared for his creatures but life was no longer perfect and hard at times. God gave them defense mechanisms to help them survive. But everything is here that we could ever need. God thought of everything.
Can you see how big God is?
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures for eternal life, which the son of man will give you. For on him God the father has placed his seal of approval.” John 6:27 NIV
Why do we feel that we need to strive for all we need. We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows what we really need and wants to give it to us. He does a really good job of supplying needs for billions of people every day. All he asks is that we love him first and best. He wants a real relationship with us. He has also asked us to love others. We don’t need to worry or demand what we want. God has promised to give us our daily needs. This world has created people who are consumed with their needs or wants. To have more than everyone else. We are very self centered and self absorbed. Do we really need just to be happy? I have met homeless and poor people who are very content and thankful for what they have. I also knew a very wealthy man who lived poorly because it was more than what he needed. I don’t need a big fancy car, fancy clothes or a mansion. I have all I need and that makes me happy. Just having more does not make you happy. Things will not make your life. We should be going after things that truly bring happiness like peace and joy. God gives that freely to those who seek him. These are not worldly things but things that he has told us in his word that we need. First and foremost is a relationship with the one who has everything we need and can give us eternal life. This should be our top goal because everything comes from him. Then if we follow his commands and his ways he will meet our needs. There is something so rewarding about caring for others. Loving others is fulfilling. As we help to meet the needs of others we receive love in return and our needs are surprisingly being met. I am still so amazed every time I shower that my shampoo is always enough and never runs out. It has been that way for months. Praise God. Miraculously I don’t need much. There is so much joy in not thinking about it but seeing God provide. Do you know that God, the creator of the universe, has told us that Jesus has his stamp of approval and that he will be our everything. I can tell you how great Jesus is but who am I? God, the main guy, now he is everything and has everything. He wants us to know his son. He has given everything to him and he wants to give everything to us.
Do you want to strive or know the one who has everything you need?