“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV
How much God does love us. Every day as I set out to write I seek God’s will for what to write about. So yesterday I felt led to write about his great love for us and how much he has done for us. I felt so overwhelmed by his goodness and just couldn’t come up with the words to express my feelings. Some days I just don’t have it. I can’t write and feel inadequate. But after spending time seeking him and remembering that it isn’t me that has any power to get it done, I relax. Our God loves us and we can see this through his words. In the very beginning he had a perfect plan to shower us with everything good and give us a perfect life with himself to share it. He made our amazing universe. Billions of stars and billions of galaxies. He doesn’t do things part way but in great abundance. A world that could sustain us and keep us safe and happy, but one that we could never get bored with. We could spend forever discovering it’s beauty and greatness. He made a garden that was more beautiful than any since. And he made man in his own image with everything needed to make us mighty and wise. It was very good to a perfect God. There was nothing evil. He also gave us free will to chose and we let that control us. We wanted what was good but let ourselves get in the way of what was great. “For no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 God still wanted man after he was banished from the garden and he had to make a way for us to be together again. His own son would come to earth as a poor helpless baby, giving up his place in glory. He would live a perfect life and freely give his life to be killed in a horrible way, just to save us. We did not deserve it, and we could never earn it. We were bought at such an exorbitant price and that price was God’s very own son. Now we could be free. Our salvation made it possible for God to see us as perfect again. We would no longer die but live with him in perfection forever. No, everything he does is to help us become perfect. He is in no hurry, but patiently and lovingly he will continue to work on us. We were never created for a mediocre life but a very good and awesome life. To be all that we can be. We have to sacrifice our desires for the one who knows better than us, what we really need. We need to love sacrificially. Loving God, our neighbor and even those we don’t want to love. Those that might not deserve it,. The more we give, the more he gives. It’s a win win situation.
How many want to be all you can be?
“Do you not know that all the runners in a race run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to win the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
“Thus, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 NIV
Are you living to your full potential? Very few people really give it their all. They care more about doing more than most or good enough compared to others. Many people will work hard to be successful. Have money or fame. That will surely make life good. Then they will be happy. Do you realize that we only have 70-90 years to enjoy this life and many don’t make it that long. If you are going all out to get rich, working long hours. What things will you let slip by you. We don’t live on earth all that long, but what about eternity? Where do you plan to spend eternity? That’s a very long time, forever, compared to just 70+ years. After I had my stroke I realized that I came very close to dying and I had wasted a lot of time. I was 45 but I was not the person I really wanted to be. I did have a husband of 25+ years, three wonderful children and a loving family, but was I a good person? Did my life matter? I started reading the Bible every day. I knew of God and I knew there was good advice in the Bible, but was I following it? I wanted to know more. I loved reading. So I started reading every religious thing I could get my hands on. I went to Savors and bought second hand books for near nothing and came home with bags of books. Time was all I had since I couldn’t do much. After seven years I made a vow to get to know God as much as I could by reading my Bible and praying, going to church and being as good as I could be. That’s about the time I published my first book, it was about my stroke. My life began changing for the better. God gave me two more books and I was making a difference in my life. I had a lot of good friends and I had eight grandkids. Life was good. Then I started a Bible group in my care home and a blog encouraging others on good biblical living. God has brought me so far and I have seen his glory more than I would ever have imagined. It is him and knowing him that has made me a good person. I could never have done it on my own. I read other books that got me excited about eating healthier, exercising and physically going for the best. Lately I’ve been watching more podcasts and sermons to help me grow and I still read all I can. I live deliberately moment by moment to win that prize. In heaven I want to be somebody. I want God to say, “Well done.”
Are you giving it your best?
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.” Acts 1:14 NIV
“All the believers were together and had everything in common.” Acts 2:44 NIV
Once you become a Christian it is important to feed your soul. Read the Bible and pray. But one thing is very important. Now you are a member of a very elite and important family. You are a member of the family of God. Continually be around others who are part of this family. People who believe as you believe. Don’t try to do life on your own. You will only feel empty and alone. The world is a tough place and we need all the help we can get. There are others just like you who are lost, lonely, scared, confused, and struggling. Together you will be complete and fulfilled. When we come together as family we can lift each other up. Where two or three of you (Gods family) come together, I am there with you. Although the Lord is always with us, having other family members around us is like armor against the enemy. We are stronger together and harder for the enemy to tear down. A three strand cord of us and our father is strong and will deter our enemies. When you are alone you are weaker and the enemy can come against you easier. When you are around others you learn to love and support them. Be open and transparent, others have the same struggles you do. This is a form of bonding that draws you together. It is very hard to betray someone you have grown to love and respect, and can relate to. Someone with similar struggles and fears. With a common goal of furthering the kingdom (the family). You are on the same team fighting for the same things. You lean on each other, family takes care of their own. You grow more when you are around others who are seeking God’s will for their lives. It is important to sing praises and enjoy each other. The presence of God is so empowering. Never take it for granted.
Do you seek out other Christians to bond with?
“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?