“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV
This week was my yearly vacation to Special Touch Camp. Each year people with disabilities, whether cognitive or physical get to go to a Christ centered camp where for five days we get to do great things that we don’t normally get to do. If you have any handicaps and want to go where you are loved unconditionally and get to do many exciting and different things, I highly recommend it. My favorite is soaking in the hot tub and just relaxing. It is not easy getting me in or out, but whatever you want they make it happen. One year I rode a zip line through the trees and landing in the lake. This year a friend of mine went on the screaming swing, where they pull you way up in the air and let you go screaming all the way. We play games, do crafts, sing, hear great messages and eat great food. Everyone there loves God and loves to serve others. This week we talked about how we are made so perfectly and uniquely. God never makes anything poorly and we are perfect. No two people are alike and we are so loved. At one of the services the pastor gave out beautiful flowers, all different and unique. It made me remember one morning as I sat in the patio praying I had a vision, because I was awake but I saw a beautiful field of millions of different flowers . God told me that is how he sees the people he has made. It doesn’t matter if we have handicaps, addictions, or problems. No matter your color, nationality, or difference God sees you just how he made you. Whatever potential he sees in us makes him smile. Of everything he ever created we are his best work. Created just like him to think, reason and to do great things. He knows the beginning from the end. Though I once made big mistakes he saw just what I would become and do for him. We are all a messed up bunch having our own needs and wants. When we stop worrying about ourselves and start worrying about others and their needs, that’s when God can start meeting our needs beyond our expectations. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God put in my DNA everything I would ever need to fulfill his purposes for me. I may be in a wheelchair, unable to walk or stand,and to even care for myself. I can’t speak clearly but he has enabled me to do great things for him. Right where he has placed me he has given me many assignments and let me change lives.
Do you know how perfect and wonderful you are?
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I am awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18 NIV
God delights in us, his love for us will never fail. He made us for greatness on purpose and he thinks about us continually. When you have something like that on your side you have hope. This is a difficult life we live. We need someone who loves us unconditionally that will always be there for us. Even though we won’t always be there for ourselves. We are not perfect like God. We can get mad at ourselves , put ourselves down, and even lie to ourselves. God will not. You can not be happy until you have this unconditional love God gives. I see so much complaining and anger from people. People can be very selfish, thinking first and foremost of themselves. They even expect others to fulfill them and make them happy. Of course they can’t and it only angers people. There is something inside us from the time we are born that is searching for that unconditional love. Even if we find that for a time with a loved one, there will come a day when they will let us down and prove to be imperfect. Someone can love you but it is not their job to make you happy. Only a perfect God can do that. He wants to do that. But we do have to come to him first. Until you are finally loved unconditionally by God and following him. Doing his will, his way, you can not be truly happy. Until you are it is going to be difficult to get along with others, who are like yourself, imperfect. I am a very happy person and care very much about the people I come in contact with and try to be pleasant and helpful. But I wasn’t always that way. Things could easily bother me and upset me. I knew God all of my life but I didn’t really know him. I made it very personal in 2013 when I began to search for the Lord with my whole heart. The more I read my Bible and prayed the better I got to know him and how much he loved me. For the last year I have been reading a daily devotional called, ‘Letters From God’ by Ivan Tait. I love this book because it tells me some of the many thoughts God has for me and it is so empowering. Knowing how God sees you and all he has for you can fill you. The more love I get from God, the more love I have to give others. When you love God and yourself you can’t help but love others. God says to love others as yourself. But what if you cant love yourself? Until you know how unconditionally you are loved you can’t. You will try to earn that love and no one but God can give it.
Do you know just how much God loves you?
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from ? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 121:1-2 NIV
The Lord is so faithful. On our own we can do nothing, we are just useless sinners. All good comes from the Lord and all bad comes from our enemy the devil. Everyone is created by God in the womb. Our looks, our personalities, our abilities, and our desires. He knows us so very well. He also loves each and every one of us. He promises to help us through our journey on this earth. To make it joyful, happy, fulfilling and useful. He gives us just what we need to know to do everything that he has called us to do. We were separated from this good and loving father at birth by death and sin but he is always drawing us back to himself. There is a whole in each and everyone of us that we will try to fill, it’s a God sized whole that only God can fill. When we find him he brings so much help to satisfy our lives. We are each called to be somebody special. Those that reject him will never know that wonderful peace, contentment, strength and joy that he can bring. The only way to get it is to know the godhead, all three. They each bring so much to our lives. I spend so much time studying scripture and how it relates to our lives. Do you know how much you can learn from just one scripture? Every scripture is important and says so much. I have read the same scriptures over so many times but I always seem to see something new. I was just reading in Exodus about the tabernacle and it was a very beautiful place. But the Lord in his great wisdom wanted it just so for good reasons. He gave special knowledge to certain people to build it perfectly. In just how it would come together. It was also very functional in how it easily came apart to be carried on their journeys in the wilderness. God thinks of every detail. He even chose certain individuals to carry certain parts so nothing was left behind. And no one was left out. It commanded awe and respect when you were inside. Did you know that now our bodies our that temple ? We no longer need to go to the temple to have access to God. We have continual access. We have a direct line. God has a perfect job all planned for us . He also gives us the knowledge we will need to do that job well. He has a perfect place for us in society and in ministry as well. He gives me inspired words of great help to others.
Do you know why you have been called and to what?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 NIV
Oh, how God loves us! He could not let one little mistake condemn the world to a dead life and then death. He loved us so much that he wanted to share everything with us and enjoy life together forever. He can not condone sin but he planned a way to do away with that sin so we could be together. He paid a very large price to see that accomplished. He had to watch his own son suffer and die taking on all the sins of the world in our place. He had to turn away from his precious son because of all that sin. Even though he had lived a perfect life. He was so proud of his son, but he carried all that sin so we wouldn’t have to. After three days of torment he was raised to his rightful place in glory at the right hand of his father. Now God sees us just like his son. We are joint heirs to everything that he has and part of his family, brothers and sisters of Jesus, of God. He never wants to be a taskmaster or will he look on us with contempt. He just wants us to take him up on his offer to always love and care for us by just believing that he is who he says he is. He has proved it by fulfilling so many prophecies over thousands of years. He has also shown such great love by helping and meeting the needs of his children over and over again. Miracle after miracle, again and again. I’m just one daughter in billions but after sixty years he has done so much for me and anointed me to make a difference in my world. I feel so small and insignificant at most times. I am in a wheelchair and can’t walk, I do not talk very clearly and have trouble being understood. I have plenty of negatives in my life but he doesn’t care. He wants me to be great. He has enabled me to touch so many lives. I am important in his eyes and he keeps confirming that to me. I have such a hard time accepting that at times but he has shown the (FOG) favor of God in my life. I do not know how people who don’t know him get by. This is a very difficult life we live but I have hope. I accept all the help I get and will do whatever my creator says will help. He knows best and he’s proved it over and over again.
Do you want the FOG over your life?
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us that are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV
How can you prove that the Bible is true? I watched a debate about this subject and it is hard to explain. I think a better question would be, “how can you prove that the Bible is not true?” If the Bible is not true than nothing is really true and there is no absolute truth. Scientists have had their theories for many years, but they are just that they are just man’s theories. And we know that no man is perfect. We all make mistakes. I look at this complex world and know with every fiber of my being that something so intricate and amazing did not just happen. A designer is the only thing that makes sense to me. I believe in an all knowing, perfect creator. Because to me the perfection in all life is too elaborate for any other scenario. Random chance seems just ludicrous to me. If there is an all knowing creator then the fact that he knows everything makes sense. It may be relative but I believe that the Holy Bible is a gift from our creator to help us live a perfect life. If we know how life works best than we can learn how to understand life and how to be perfect. We may fall short but we are made in our creator’s image with all it would take to be like him. Who is perfect. He promises to help us, because on our own that is impossible. With him nothing is impossible. He has told us that all truth is his and that he can’t lie. Jesus is the truth. He is the only way to the truth. Men like to think that they know everything. Their pride can blind them and make it impossible to see truth. The true Biblical message in its entirety is a love story so powerful it beats all love stories. If someone really seeks the truth they will find it in Jesus. But those who believe their version of the truth are perishing and will probably never be able to see truth. I believe that if someone really tried to find all the flaws in the Bible they would find Jesus who is the truth and the truth would set them free. I don’t think you can really pick apart all the details of this amazing love letter and not be changed. When you know the truth it will set you free. It is easy to say that the Bible isn’t relative and that those stories just can’t be true. That it is just outdated, which makes no sense if God is the same always, never changing. He is also right and perfect. He would know what we would do back then as well as tomorrow. He can even predict our behaviors perfectly. He knows our every thought and why we would think it.
Do you really think you can prove him wrong?
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV
It has been the number one best seller for a long time. The most read book out there. It is in more homes throughout the world and is written in many different languages. it is our owner’s manual for living a full and abundant life. When we buy a new car or an appliance they come with an owner’s manual telling you everything you need to know to keep it running at its best. Trouble-shooting tips for every problem. Things you need to do and not to do. Who knows that item better than the one who designed it. I can remember when microwaves first came out. Oh, I had to have one. Just heating up a glass of water was an exciting experience. We tried everything that book said. We read all about this new invention. Learning what to do and what you should not do. We lived by that little book. Well the Bible is alive and active. It gives guidance for our most important possession, our life! It has advice, wisdom, what things to do and not to do. Things to do to get along peaceably with those around us. The more you do what it says the happier you become. It can tell you that it is normal to want what you want when you want it. Our flesh desires many things but not all are good for us. Even if they may satisfy for a moment. From the day you are born you want food when you are hungry, comfort when you are uncomfortable, and pleasure when you are bored. We want whatever will make us happy. There are billions of people living on this earth and we all need to live happily together. We all want to be happy and loved. God has promised each of us that he wants to give us the very best life, full and abundant, but we need to listen to him to know how to have that. He knows each and every one of us. He knows just what can make us truly happy. He can show us when others need help. Living by rules and commandments seems so rigid but it is more than that. It is a loving father wanting the very best for his children. Not wanting to see them hurting or struggling. Wanting the best for them always in this scary and dangerous world. God is A God of perfect love for he invented love. He loves each of us completely no matter who we are or what we have done. He wants to really get to know you and for you to really know him. He has things we should do and not do because he cares and if we just get to know him we will want to do them out of love knowing they are what is best. He has offered a free gift to everyone that will accept it. It is the way to life. Perfect life. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I am learning more every day and happiness is ours for the asking. Power like you have never known. He doesn’t expect us to just obey. On our own we can’t. He promises to help us each step of the way. I have never known a friend so sweet.
Will you get to know him through his words?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 NIV
What does it take to be a disciple? First you need to know what a disciple means. This is someone who is a pupil or a student learning the principles and disciplines of another. Not just an interested bystander or a follower. You have to become a student. Learning to be just like your teacher. Following all their ways.
Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived on this earth. Can you think of anyone else worthy to try to be just like? He told us while he was here on earth that he was here for one reason. That was to do all God told him to do and say. Can there be anything more important.
None of us will ever be perfect. We have all sinned. No matter how hard we try we will still make mistakes. God knows that but he still loves us. He just wants us to try. We do not have to do it alone. He has promised to be with us always. Never will he leave us or forsake us. He has promised to send his Holy Spirit to live in us and to help us.
We need to read his words regularly because these are his ways. How can we keep his commandments and what he thinks is important if we do not read what he has said in his written word. What would Jesus do? This is what we need to ask ourselves every day of our lives.
If you want to know in every circumstance this question can direct you back to his words and his ways if you ponder that question. While he was here on earth, Jesus was a living example of what God is like. He showed great love for everyone he ever met. They were very important and so were their problems.
We should act the same way. Loving others more than ourselves and seeking to help others in any way we can. He saw those with sickness and infirmities with great compassion. He never worried that he might get sick or that their problems might rub of on to him. He just wanted to help.
When Lazarus died he knew the outcome of what he was about to do. He was planning to bring him back to life. He still wept when he saw the grief and pain on the faces of his sisters. He had more compassion. The more you follow his words and his ways the easier it becomes and the more you have that same compassion.
I know myself I get emotional over the simplest things when God is involved or someone else is hurting. Being a disciple is not attending church or reading your Bible just so you can check them off your to do list. An obligation done. We do it because we truly love him.