I Have a Maker

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter shaped it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:4 NIV

God is the ultimate designer. Before we were ever born he knew us. He knows who we will be and all we will do and become. He designed our personalities and all the life experiences that end up making us who we were meant to be. We don’t ever need to think of ourselves as mistakes or worthless because great thought and planning went into all of us.

He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Who our parents will be. Where we will be born and when. We are all well thought out. God does not make junk. His is only perfection. Just what he wanted all along. He knows what you will do and everyone you will meet. You were made for a reason. The number one reason is to get to know Jesus and to learn to love and worship him with all you are.

He wants to be in every area of your life. But to do this he will have to purge out some of the junk. Sin, hurts and trials that have consumed us. He wants to take them for us. Give them to him and he will carry them. Don’t try to take them back just because you weren’t done fretting over them he needs room for his presence to dwell.

Helping you discover all you can be. That is the Holy Spirits job in you. He has a career all planned out for you and gives you the wisdom you will need to do it well. Maybe he wanted you to be a scientist and you discover cures for disease that will change many lives for the better. Maybe you were meant to be a chef. Creating awesome new meals that others will love and rave about.

Will you have children? Helping them discover all that God has for them throughout their lives is a rewarding job. I know from having three beautiful daughters that are wonderful inside and out how blessed I am to have them. Then they have grandchildren for you and the blessings in this cycle of life just continue on.

Each and every person makes a big difference in each life they touch. It can be in positive ways or in negative ones and the choice is up to you. Every area of our lives was well thought out and how it will work to make the best of our lives come from it. We are not here just for ourselves but to be a blessing to other lives as well. We need to make an effort to make a difference in every life we come in contact with. Saying a kind word or a simple act of kindness. The more I learn how much I am loved, the more I want to show others how much they are loved.

What can you do today to make a difference in your world?

Being a Disciple

“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.

You Can’t Out-give God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 3:5 NIV

” And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:19 NIV

God spoke to me this morning as I was talking to him. He has been opening my eyes to his ways a lot in the last fourteen years. I can understand how blind we can be at times. Going through life day by day it’s easy to get focused on ourselves and our daily struggles. It took him bringing me to a place where my every breath was up to him.

He has taught me so much about how he works. As I was growing up my father and grandfather taught me so much about giving to God first. Tithing was something they had learned was very important and they always saw his blessings through it. So as I began working I tried to continue that tradition.

When I got married and it was no longer just my money I felt it was more important to submit to my husband and let him be the head of the house. He always felt there were so many bills and never enough left over for God. That’s where he was wrong. But it wasn’t up to me to correct him. That’s God’s job.

What we need to understand is that God has commanded us to give and he has very good reasons. We also need to understand that God knows everything. He is not ever going to ask us to do anything that is not good for our best. He has promised to work everything for our best. That’s all the good and bad.

I had to get to a place where I had nothing so I could see that the little I gave was blessed.

I remember the story of the widows mites from when I was a child. This poor widow gave two copper coins as her offering, they were only worth less than a penny but it was all she had. Jesus saw how much it was to her when others gave large amounts and didn’t even miss it.

Many people have been blessed with a lot of money. Some aren’t Christians and know nothing about tithing but they give large amounts away to hospitals, research, even feeding children in other countries. They have learned the blessings of giving. God can use them just as easily as Christians.

First we need to understand it is not our money anyway. When we were born we had nothing and when we die we take nothing. Who was the first person? Adam but everything he ever had was given to him by God. God promised to always give us all we need. He knows all so he knows how to do it. We don’t need to know how.

If you try to make a budget first it will never make sense. His economy does not work the way we can understand. He is looking out for billions of people’s needs all at once. This last week I got to go to a convention for leadership training. They spoke of a need in one of our churches for a food pantry. This remote city had limited resources and great needs.

I felt God speak to me to give an amount. My mind told me how will you do that? My heart told me, ‘God can use me as well as anyone else and I want the blessings he has for my life. He obviously knows more than me. So I gave.

He can bring blessings into my life through unexpected sources. Gifts, inheritance, unexpected money from many places. I am supported by social security. They pay for all of my needs since I became disabled. Leaving me with $100 a month for clothes and miscellaneous needs.

That is not much but after Christmas last year I felt so blessed. I got so much I did not expect from others that I have no needs. The food has been great lately and I haven’t even needed the snacks I used to buy and keep around. My shampoo and other supplies seem to go a lot farther than normal.

I give my tithe every month and wish I could do more. Some months he does ask me to do more. I give and he supplies the need. It is so much more blessed to give than to receive. You can even test God in this one area and see just how impossible it is to outlive God.

Heritage

‘And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers.’ Acts 3: 25 NIV

‘It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes through faith.’ Romans 4:13 NIV

‘If you belong to Christ, you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’ Galatians 3:29 NIV

‘So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.’ Galatians 4:7 NIV

‘This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.’ Ephesians 3:6 NIV

We are chosen to be heirs of this great world. Not everyone but those who have believed by faith in the one true King ‘Jesus Christ ‘.

Just think about it. The true king, creator of heaven and earth. Everything that ever was or will be. He has called us to himself. He loves us soooo much and wants us together forever. He is drawing us closer to himself each day.

I looked into royalty as a definition. It means status, dignity, power, prestige and belonging to a royal family. We are nothing special on our own. We are after all just sinners condemned to die from those sins. But we were ‘called’. Just as thousands of years ago God called Abraham to leave his home and family and to follow him. We have been called.

We are not heirs by blood from birth. But as heirs we are special to the King. Not being British I can’t really understand what it means to be royalty but I do see the favor and power on children in the royal family.

Since I was young I have followed those in Queen Elizabeth’s family. Kings, queens, princes and princesses. Dukes, duchesses, lords and earls. Being given an important heritage that follows you through life. Their actions are highly scrutinized. Their position warrants it.

I am a child of God. Not just a famous family. An heir with Jesus Christ to inherit this world and live in it forever with a select few. This is very much an honor and I do not take it lightly.

My behavior is also watched by many. I want to be as much like my King as I can be. Doing what my King has asked of me. It is always possible with his help.

How many of you realize how important that we really are to the final outcome of the kingdom of this royal family.

Being Blessed

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived ” — the things God has prepared for those who love him –” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

We all want good things for our lives and will spend all our time and money trying to get just that. It really is much simpler than that. Our Heavenly Father wants just that for us already. He has told us in his word how much he loves each and everyone of us. With a love we could never begin to imagine.

Before we ever were he thought of us and every day he had prepared for us. How he would bless our lives. Destined for a good and blessed life if we just follow him and his ways. He is after all the wisest most powerful creator that ever was. Everything that ever was or will be was created by him for us. He is also our father.

As our father he wants to bless us and see us happy. Have you known any good parents that didn’t want so much for their kids. We want so much to give them way more than we had and see their excitement when we give it. As a parent I always enjoyed Christmas morning when they had been begging for that special gift and I knew they were getting it.

Seeing the joy on their face when they opened that gift was priceless. We couldn’t always afford to give them everything they wanted but God can afford anything that is good for us. He has no spending limit. We are priceless to him and nothing is too good for us.

Growing up we may have picked some bad ways of seeing our God. Thinking we don’t deserve his love because we are not good enough is the worst. Even on our worst day he looked down on us and decided to make a way to be together forever. As parents whose kids act out. We know how frustrated we can get. We don’t like their behavior but we could never stop loving them.

We are not perfect and can make mistakes but he is perfect and could never want anything but the best for each of us individually.

So many people come to God with a list of I wants … That good job, that perfect spouse, or to win the lottery. We bombard God with constant requests. Have you ever stopped to think how much this might be limiting him? We may be dead set on one important want. And wanting it just how we see it.

But what if God wants something so much better for us. It is like asking God for $5000 and getting so adamant about it, that you just have to have it. When all along he wanted to give you $1,000,000.

That is why he taught us to pray: “…thy will be done…”. We do not know all he wants to bless us with, but it is more than our simple minds can fathom. I have never known anyone who walked with God who was disappointed in God. I have known others who preferred to do it their way that have had major regrets.

Even when I was living life my way and going for all I could get it was never enough. I had my stroke in 2005 and thought it was the worst thing I could ever face. I lost everything that I saw as important to have a good and happy life. Now I know he gave me the best thing ever. It was a time I sought after him and meaning in life. He gave that to me and so much more.

My life is so good right now and I have been so happy lately. For Christmas I had a list of wants but when it was all over I got so much that I hadn’t even begun to think about. I had been so blessed again. This is going to be a good and blessed year.

God is Good

“For God So loved the world that he Gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son in to the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16&17. NIV

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans’ 6:23. NIV

These passages speak of the love God has for everyone. He soooo loves us not just when we are good or do what he wants. But everyone and all the time. He does not want anyone ever to perish. He wants to save the whole world. He gave us his one and only son to be born just so he would be condemned to die a horrible humiliating death so nobody else would ever have to die.

That is love. He is a perfect and holy God who can not dwell among sin. They made a way for us to live with them in paradise forever. But they also gave us free will to choose what we want. They have made it very clear what they want. They have given us their words written out for all to discover.

Even if something is Gods will, and it is the very best thing for us, he will not force it on us. It is totally our free will to decide on our own. By doing nothing and making no decision we have decided the answer is no. “I do not want your gift God.” Even though saying yes has made me happier than I can ever imagine. At one time in my life I said yes.

They have given us a gift. Just like every gift you have ever been given it is free. You have to do nothing but accept it. It takes faith to accept it because it is not something we can see or feel. We have to believe we have it. With that gift comes the promise of their help. This is not all us but we have help.

Once we believe we need to practice what we believe and turn away from sin. We are no longer a slave to sin and the way to death but are made new. Many people choose to believe the parts of the Bible that they like. It is historically accurate and has been proven to be true. If it is true it is to be believed. All of it.

If we believe all the good things like how much God knows us and loves us. Knowing our every thought and always wanting what is best for us. Then we ought to believe when he tells us what not to do. Sin is not just wrong it is not good for us if it brings our eternal death. He has warned us time and time again. But this is one thing he doesn’t have control over.

We do though. So nobody can say that a righteous God would not send someone to hell. He doesn’t. We do by not believing and obeying. We have the final say over our actions. We can use any excuse we want but not doing his will puts it on us not him. He is a very loving and just God.

He tells us in his word how to be blessed. He tells us how to live a full and abundant life. How to have fullness of joy. Bubbling over in our lives. He wants what every good father wants for his children. The best. Every good parent will do everything they can to see their children happy, healthy, and safe. They will discipline them and at times say no if what they want is not best for them.

They don’t serve ice cream for breakfast and candy for lunch. If we ate like that we wouldn’t live to see our teens. Running free in the streets is not allowed because it’s not safe. We expect those things even though eating our veggies is a drag we want to be healthy. So we do things we dislike.

Shouldn’t we be glad to do things that bring joy, happiness, and blessings. We want a good happy life? Right.

‘For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’    2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I so much hate that people see Christians as weak and powerless. The devil is a liar. People are so deceived and I have been there. I thought at one time that it was all about me and what I could have. It didn’t matter who it might hurt if it was good for me. I was in charge of my destiny.

I had gotten away from God and his ways and focused just on me and my ways. It is not a time I am proud of. But I was blinded by pride. That roaring lion that at some time controls all of us.

We believe the lies in our minds. Lies that tell us we ‘deserve it,’ or worse yet, ‘we don’t deserve it (happiness), ‘we are not getting it’. Lies that make us focus on how bad it is. This makes us just focus more and more on us. What we want or want others to feel sorry for that we don’t have.

People can blame God, say he is not good to us. But the problem is that we have shut him and his ways out. We have not given him a chance. He is good and getting to know him personally and read about all his ways has just let me see all the more blessings and power he longs to give me.

We have been given a good mind. The mind of Christ to be exact. With this mind we have power. All the power to have a full and abundant life. Full of happiness, love, fulfillment and a disciplined life. These are things that all people want or should want.

All that we have been called to do is possible for us if we believe.

By listening to God and obeying his words this power is available to us. My eyes have been so opened and when others are hurting or struggling I see how deceived they have become and it is the lies they believe, or at least a lot of it is. We all have trials to overcome. And we can have power to do just that when our eye is on him.

Lately I have come to see just how blessed I am. I also have been given favor with man. Maybe that’s just because I am a better and more loving person. I love people and will do all I can to help the lives of others. The more I love others the more love I have to give.

It all comes from following the two greatest commandments given to man. First, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love all others more than yourself.

When you are focused on just these two commandments in your life everything else falls into place. You may not be rich or famous but you will be completely satisfied with the life you have and sleep peacefully at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘ What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:31-33 NIV