TLM Blog - Page 3 of 11 - Transforming Love Ministries

21
Aug

Nicaraguan Adventures – For His Glory!

Hi all!

Our missions team got back from our Nicaraguan adventures last Sunday, after an extra day of unscheduled travel (i.e., flight cancellation in Miami). But all is well that ends well, right?

This year’s team was exceptional. They were so open and willing to have God use them that we accomplished much in His name (in just a few short days)! So this week, I just want to share some snippets from the trip! If you follow me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack), I was posting pictures from Nicaragua in real time! If you haven’t seen them yet, feel free to check out those photos as well!

The first stop on our trip was a stay over in Managua. Sometimes we have to stay over in Managua for one night before getting to Puerto Cabezas. However, we were well taken care of by Henry and Elizabeth. They built this beautiful home for the express purpose to house traveling missionaries coming to Nicaragua!

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Then we got to Puerto Cabezas and got down to business!

First up, we went to an extension of the Verbo church in a nearby community and took part in a good, old fashion baptism in the river!

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Then we helped to build a section of the wall surrounding the complex that houses Pastor Earl’s house, the living quarters for visitors, the orphanage, and the church. No small task! It has been worked on for the last 15 months and is nearing completion. We were blessed to work along side the work crew on this very important safety need!

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During the orphanage staff meeting, Pastor Doug and I had the privilege of speaking about caring for self – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.13907080_10210778005714081_2783050050475216337_n 13892260_10210778007274120_4095720760209696609_n

 

 

 

 

 

We spent time at the feeding center and with the kids at the orphanage. So much love, so little time!!!

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Feeding Center – feeds over 600 kids a day!

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Orphanage kids! -just over 100 kids cared for daily by Verbo Church.

 

 

And at night, we would have porch time. The team had some great insights and stories to share.

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One night at porch time, we had the privilege of hearing Ricardo’s story. This 17-year-old is answering the call on his life to be a pastor! He is being mentored by Pastor Earl and others.

 

 

Of course, we took some time to go to the beach with all the kids at the orphanage! Who could pass that up?

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And then, as quick as the week started, it was over! It was my honor to co-leader this great team of people.

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We learn as much from these trips as we teach during them! We see God’s fingerprints everywhere. We are honored and humbled by the people we serve there. And we continue the mission in Jesus’ name!!!

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:19-20 NIV

Until next year’s trip, we pray for Verbo Church and the community of Puerto Cabezas!!!

PS: It is never too late to start planning to go with us next year!!! If interested, let me know!

 

 

31
Jul

Standing without Stopping

Are you standing in the will of God?

That simple question for many is extremely complex. What is God asking you to do, and are you willing to step out?

Over the years, I have battled that question myself. But this week, a dear friend text me these words: “You are positioned for God’s purpose. You are prepared for God’s plan. Stopping is NOT an option.”

How the last part of that statement rang out – stopping is NOT an option!

There are many Bible characters that come to mind when I think on this topic, but none more than Joshua. Joshua was Moses’ second in command, assisting him to lead the people of Israel to the Promise Land.

He had witnessed the many miracles performed by God, which brought them to the edge of this bountiful land. And he had seen firsthand the lack of faith throughout the people. But Joshua knew his God was faithful and that His power was great. After all, God had answered Joshua’s request to make the sun stand still in the heat of battle (Joshua 10:12).

Now, he stood alone with instructions by the Lord to take the people into the land promised them:

After Moses, the servant of the Lord, had died, the Lord spoke to Nun’s son Joshua, announcing to him, “My servant Moses is dead. Now get ready to cross the Jordan River—you and all the people—to the land that I’m giving the Israelis. I’m giving you every place where the sole of your foot falls, just as I promised Moses. Your territorial border will extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon Mountains, to the river—that great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—as far as the Mediterranean Sea where the sun sets. No one will be victorious against you for the rest of your life. I’ll be with you just like I was with Moses—I’ll neither fail you nor abandon you. Joshua 1:1-5

I can only imagine the thoughts that went through Joshua’s mind, if even for a split second. “Are you sure I am the person for the job God? Will the people obey? Once we are there, what next?” But then I imagine this thought pushed its way to the forefront of Joshua’s mind as he took his first step forward–stopping is NOT an option.

How about us? How do we get to the point that we know that we know we are standing in God’s will? I believe there are two things that must happen:

  1. We must believe with all of our heart, God can do what He says He can do!

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” John 11:40

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

  1. We must be willing to do whatever He asks!

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:17

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

What is God asking you to do? Have you determined that stopping is NOT an option when it comes to both seeking and standing in the will of God?

One of the areas that God has placed on my heart is missions. During the year, I go out with the church to do Servant Evangelism projects. But once a year I also go to Nicaragua. This year is no exception! Our team is leaving THIS Saturday, August 6th, to travel down to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Will you pray for our team? And will you pray for the hearts and minds that we will touch during our time there?

We know great things will happen if we stand in the will of God during this trip! We have seen them happen trip after trip! BTW, I will be posting photos to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack/, if you want to follow along!

But back to our overall discussion!

What is that thing that God has asked you to do? Does it line up with the scriptures? Will it bring Him glory? Chances are if you answered “yes” to the last two questions, you are indeed standing in God’s will.

Remember, stopping is NOT an option! Step forward into God’s will and know that I will be praying for you!

While I am away, drop me a line here! Tell me what you feel God is asking you to do and how you feel about it. “Talk” to you in two weeks!


Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

24
Jul

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

As young girls, our feelings of infatuation for specific boys would rise and fall as fast as ocean waves crashing on the shore. Does he like me? Could he possibly love me? Remember grade school, when we would use the check box method to figure out the answer to this life-altering issue. You know, that little note with the check boxes for yes or no. You would pass that note to the person you liked and wait anxiously for its return! As we grew older, our methods changed and became way more scientific. That’s right, we turned to daisies. Yep, one petal at a time we considered the possible outcome – he loves me, he loves me not. And if the last petal pulled off the flower stem represented he loves me not, we were devastated. Well, at least until we found another daisy and started the process over again!

As Christians, we struggle to understand how such a loving and amazing God could love us. In our spirit, if we are being completely honest, we struggle almost daily with the notion: He loves me, He loves me not. A Chinese proverb states: I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

I hear and I forget. We have heard over and over that we are loved by God. We can recite John 3:16 on demand. However, in our humanity, we so easily forget the depth of the Savior’s love. And when we fail Him, we immediately question whether we are truly loveable.

I see and I remember. The cross is so integral to our faith because at the site of the cross we remember what Jesus did for us. Standing in the presence of the cross, we are reminded what lengths He went to save us and how great His love is for us.

I do and I understand. What really drives home the reality of Jesus’ love for us is when we can share that love with someone else. When we are doers of the word, we start to understand Christ just a little more. In those moments, we are changing and transforming into the person He has created us to be.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

Today, let’s stop struggling with that question. Let’s resolve ourselves that we are loved -every.single.day. Be encouraged by Paul’s words, a man who stood firmly on the conviction that his Savior loved him:

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. … And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:16, 18 NLT

Ladies, we welcome you to a one-day event October 1st – He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not. Come rest at His feet. Hear stories of His great love. Worship with us, and strengthen your belief in the Savior’s love for YOU.  http://believerschurch.org/home/whats-happening

10
Jul

Seven Verses for Your Week!

Let’s take a few minutes to start our week off right. This post has seven scriptures – one for each day! Let these verses speak to you and create a sense of peace and hope within you that you may not have experienced last week.

Sunday – The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Monday – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Tuesday – For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

Wednesday – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Friday – So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

I believe God never wastes a word. When we read scripture, we sometimes think that we have happened upon them. But I believe they are put before us for a reason. When we slow down and allow God to work on our hearts through the words we read, something changes on the inside of us. Each change brings us closer and closer to Him. And that is just where I want to be! How about you? 


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

3
Jul

Who Are You Hanging Out with These Days?

Do you remember the simpler days of your childhood? Remember those long summer days where playtime went late into the evening? Whether you lived in the country or a dense neighborhood, there was most likely someone to hang out with. And if not, we just made a friend up! Sometimes, those made up friends were better friends than our real friends, right?

As we grew and started school, we came into contact with all kinds of children. Some we would become really good friends with and some we would just kind of know. Others, if we are being honest, we would just avoid.

Then high school or college came and we learned the real meaning of peer pressure. We either were ruled by it or totally resisted it. I wonder, are you still friends with the one you labeled your “very best friend in the world”? I know a few people who have been able to maintain real, lifelong relationships with friends, but a lot of us don’t.

I do, however, have some really great memories of some old friends, and I hope their life turned out great, but I really don’t see them anymore. In fact, if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have a clue what happened to some of them. Now, I have some really good friends that became friends of mine when we all worked together, and yet, we don’t see each other day-to-day either.

So who do I surround myself with these days? Well, today it is God, my immediate family, and my church family – in that order. Am I isolating myself? No, not at all. The truth is you and I may have 600 friends on Facebook, but we can’t really have true, close, honest friendships with all those people.

According to the Bible, those who surround us, interacting with us day-to-day, should have certain qualifications. What? You mean Jesus wants to pick my friends? No, He wants YOU to pick your friends, but He hopes they will be WISE friends.

Aren’t we supposed to be salt and light? Yes, but we should always be seeking wisdom so that we can represent Christ to the best of our ability. We can’t do that if we are unwise or allow the unwise to influence us. The Bible states:

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Prov. 13:20 NIV

That is just one of hundreds of verses in the Bible that refers to wisdom.

Now, when we talk about seeking wisdom among peers, I can’t help but think about Job. You remember Job – a godly man who lost family, wealth, and health all at once. Remember those “friends” who sat down around him as he mourned. Instead of helping the situation, they only inflicted more pain by sharing their “wisdom” with Job on how he was a sinner and must have played a role in his current situation. And I love this response from Job:

“You people really know everything, don’t you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you! Well, I know a few things myself—and you’re no better than I am. Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying?” Job 12: 1-3 NLT

That just makes me giggle! What is Job saying? He’s basically saying: “With friends like you, who needs an enemy!”

Hopefully, you and I have better friends. Friends we can really count on. Friends who are there exactly when we need them. Friends who speak wisdom into our life!

Here are verses from Proverbs written by Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, on how important wisdom is:

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Prov. 13:10

 

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! Prov. 16:16

 

A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Prov. 17:24

 

Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Prov. 28:26

 

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Prov. 29:18

Having considered these scriptures, do your friends bring out the best in you? Are they wisdom seekers themselves? Today, take inventory of those in your life and decide if each person brings wisdom to your life or just the opposite. Hopefully you are surrounded by wisdom, if not, it may be time to make some new friends!!

Who is the wisest person you know, and what is the best piece of advice he/she has given you?


Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

26
Jun

Will the Real God Please Stand Up?!

I have to tell you; I have often wondered why people in Biblical times, and even now in modern times, believed in the possibility of more than one god existing. It isn’t surprising though, because society has always look to “something else” and changed what that “something else” is to chase what they think will make them happy.

What I really think they are saying is: “You can believe what you want, but don’t mess with me. I like my god, the one I think I control.” Ironic, isn’t it?

And then, there are those who think one higher being exists, some will even label this being God. However, they also reason that you can get to him many ways. I think I feel for this person the most, because the logic he/she is following starts out in the right direction, but then strays completely off course.

So why am I so sure there is only one true God?

Creation proclaims Him. As I sit back and look at some of the most beautiful things in creation – various landscapes, rainbows, and those little people we call babies – I am convinced chaos did not bring them forth.

God Himself makes it known in Scripture. Just one example of this is in Isaiah:

I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. Isa. 45:5-6 NIV

Yes, the God of the Bible is who I believe in. Interestingly, as science moves on to higher levels of discovery, and architectural finds continue to unearth more and more ruins, the Bible is only more justified in its claims of the one true God.

God and I are connected through Jesus.

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. John 3:16 NIV

Not only did He leave a very detailed record for me to study, but my connection with Him is unmistakable. It is not a head issue for me, it’s a heart issue. Once Jesus comes into your heart, there is no denying His presence nor that of the Father’s.

So how can you and I help those around us know the one true God?

First, we must be clear on what we believe. The foundational belief of Christianity is that Jesus is the one true son of the living God. He lived, He died, and He rose again to offer salvation for all mankind. Those who are true followers of Christ are convinced He is the reflection of the one true God.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Esp. 4:4-6 NIV

Second, we have to know what makes Christianity different from other religions. No other religion teaches that God reached down to humanity. They instead teach the need for humanity to reach up to God. But John makes it clear that God made the connection for us.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17 NIV

Third, we must be both lifelong students and daily reflections of Him. We will not be able to articulate what makes God stand out above other so called gods if we don’t have a direct and active relationship with Him ourselves. If we know little about what is written in the Bible, we will not have enough to go on. And if I say I believe God is kind and compassionate, I should be kind and compassionate as well. Knowledge linked with action is powerful.

One of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis is this:

I believe in Christianity as I believe in the rising sun; not because I see it, but by it I can see all else.

Today, let’s work toward telling others about the one true God! Remember, be clear on what you believe and be able to present that to others, know the key difference between Christianity and other religions, and strive to be both a lifelong student as well as a daily reflection Him.

What experiences have you had with others that believe in a different version of God than the God of the Bible?


Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

19
Jun

Five Practical Ways to Answer God’s Calling

Have you ever thought about God’s calling on your life? Does the prospect of God using you seem so intimidating that you can’t possibly see it working out right? Are you still contemplating how you would even pull off what He has put in your heart?

I can tell you, years ago, I was in your shoes. I clearly heard from God: “You will speak in my name.” And yet, all the details were not truly revealed at that time. He gave me just enough to know that what He was speaking to me was His assignment for me. Not my friends, not my neighbor, but little ol’ 5’2” me.

And yes, I was filled with self-doubt. But my doubts didn’t surround what God could do, rather they were a reflection of my inability to conceive how I would carry it out.

“Lord, my background has been in nursing. I know I lead small group on Friday nights, but that is only eight to ten people, and most of them are close friends at this point. I have no degree in theology. There are still scriptures I have a hard time interpreting.”

So why would a big and powerful God use mixed-up, broken people like you and I to carry out some really great things in His name? Simply put – relationship. God is all about relationship, and we were created for relationship with God and with others.

Relationship doesn’t occur in isolation. It is a give and take, a back and forth, an exchange of thoughts, feelings, and actions. When strong, healthy relationships are in place –us and God, us and others –big things do happen!

Our relationships are the vehicle God uses to help us fulfill the calling on our life. And although everyone has their own specific and unique way to contribute to that calling, our joint efforts help to carry out the overall calling that God has given the followers of Christ:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. 28:19 AMP

I hope some of the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place for you now. And as you are considering all of this, let’s talk about some practical ways we can answer God’s call on our life:

  1. Love God. We can’t be disconnected from the power source and expect anything to happen. So the first thing we must do is check in on our relationship with God.

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’” Matt. 22:37 NLT

  1. Pray consistently. If you want God to provide further details on your assignment over time, there has to be an ongoing dialogue with Him. That’s what prayer is all about.

Never stop praying. 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT

  1. Know why we do what we do. Several times in the Bible, we are commanded to love. Love our neighbors, love our enemies, and simply to love others. We can do this only within the context of these words written by John:

We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19 NLT

  1. Be brave. When we go out in Jesus’ name, we never go out alone. One of the most gracious things the Lord does in scripture is to remind us over and over not to be afraid. My favorite go-to verse when I feel dread creeping in is:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7 NLT

  1. And lastly, praise Him for the end result (even if we don’t see it). We don’t always get to see the immediate result of our work for Christ, but we can count on our efforts contributing to His overall plan and that His will – will.be.done!

With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever. Ps. 86:12 NLT

Were you expecting something different? Perhaps a more scholarly discussion. Nope! It really isn’t necessary. One thing we need to remember is God simply asks that we ‘do.’ When we obey His instructions, He does all the heavy lifting. None of us can change another person’s heart, only Jesus can do that. But praise Him that we get to be a part of the process.

I heard that sigh of relief you just let out! That’s great!

I hope the weight of the world has been removed from your shoulders, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy. No doubt, there’s a lot of work to do. But when we take practical steps: love God, pray consistently, remember why we do what we do, be brave, and praise Him for the end result, the work goes much smoother!

I would love to hear from you! What has God called you to do? What part of this writing really blessed you? Which area(s) do you need to work on so that the load seems lighter?


Amplified Bible (AMP). Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

15
Jun

It All Starts with Dad

As part of the Strong Family Project, you can read this post and more! Come join us as we learn how to strengthen our families through God’s word!

It All Starts with Dad

As mothers in general, we have big dreams for our children. As Christian moms, we have an added desire to see our children come to the Lord. We hustle on Sunday mornings to get them up, feed, dressed, and out the door to church. We take them to Awana on Wednesday nights and attempt to get a Bible story and prayer in each night at bedtime. It helps us feel we have our checklist in order and our hearts aligned correctly. We lean on Proverbs 22:6:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Today, however, I want to encourage the moms out there to slow down a little. If you are like me, you go through your daily routine at the speed of light, and before you know it, the day is gone. So let’s sit back for just a couple minutes, take a deep breath, and recognize we may have left something undone. But don’t panic! You know that task will still be there when we are done! Soak in these moments with God, and let all the distractions go.

Read the rest of this post at Faith Along the Way

14
Jun

Can You Pass the Tissue Test?

Have you seen the commercial for Crest toothpaste that states: “Can you pass the tissue test?” Now, the commercial has to do with the whiteness of our teeth, but I can’t help relating this to our spiritual life.

Jesus has come to save those who are lost, and in that process He forgives us of our sins. In the Bible, sins are equated with “a red stain.” Yet through the forgiveness offered by Jesus, we are cleansed and made “white.”

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isa. 1:18 NLT

Now Isaiah is talking about a shade of white that is not described as off white, eggshell, magnolia, or any other shade. No, he is talking about a very bright, very clean white. And the Bible describes Jesus and his believers as represented by white. Why this color? White is a significant color meaning clean, pure, and righteous. Let’s look at some scriptures that include the color “white” in the description:

  1. Jesus’ transfiguration. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Matt. 17:2
  2. Inside Jesus’ tomb post resurrection. She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying. John 20:12
  3. Jesus’ ascension. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. Acts 1:10
  4. Jesus’ appearance per John’s vision. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were like flames of fire. Rev. 1:14
  5. Jesus’ giving of a new name to believers. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. Rev. 2:17
  6. Jesus’ followers in End Times. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Rev. 3:5
  7. Again Jesus’ followers in End Times. After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. Rev. 7:9

Are you getting the picture? 

Through Him we are unsoiled, unstained, and without fault. Nothing represents that better than the color white.

Today, let’s think about what we can do to show the righteousness of our Savior. When our lives are compared to His, let’s hope we can pass the tissue test because our spirits so closely reflect His love and nature.

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Esp. 5:1-2 NKJV


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

28
May

Let God Unearth the Diamond in You!

Let’s admit it girls, we like bright and shiny things! Especially little diamond-embedded trinkets because they make us smile –a lot! And I don’t think we are alone in how we feel about them. I believe God is a fan of jewels too!

I mean if you read through the Bible, you will sense God’s take on bright and shiny things:

  1. David speaking of the building of the Lord’s temple: “Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance.” 1 Chron. 29:2 NIV
  2. John speaking of the appearance of Jesus in Heaven: And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Rev. 4:3 NIV
  3. John speaking of the appearance of God’ kingdom: The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. Rev. 21:19-20 NIV

See what I mean! For God, however, these precious stones resemble something to be admired, not in the worldly ‘I got bling’ kind of way, but as reflections of transparency, flawlessness, and purity.

And for the children of God, those who are Christ followers, He sees us as just that – flawless and pure. Yet long before we ever feel like we are someone to be admired, if we ever do, we feel more like a diamond in the rough. But God sees us differently and has already spotted the thing within us that He is working to bring out –a pure, flawless, shimmering diamond.

Zechariah gives this picture of God’s people:

The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. Zech. 9:16 NIV

To think, one day we will be ‘like jewels in a crown.’ That’s pretty awesome!

But how are diamonds made? Contrary to your old science book, diamonds do NOT come from the breakdown of coal. Diamonds form in the deepest depths of the earth’s mantle. You see, the earth is divided into three layers, and the mantle is the middle layer. It is considered more than two thousand miles thick! It makes up over 80% of the earth’s volume. Think on that for a moment, and compare it to the depths of our souls. How far down do we bury our emotions? Some days, it feels about two thousand miles deep, doesn’t it?

But back to diamond development. In simplest terms, diamonds form inside this layering under high pressure and even higher temperatures. Sounds uncomfortable right? In comparison, God uses this same method to bring those things He has set inside of us to the surface. He uses terminology like trials (pressure) and refinement (high temperature) when speaking of how He transforms us.

Paul speaks about the process like this:

2 Corinthians 4_8-9

Yep, the process isn’t easy, but its results are magnificent!

I don’t think I have ever run into a Christian whose life has been transformed that hasn’t undergone the process a few times. And once you have been transformed a time or two, you understand that on this side of life it will continue. Sometimes our trials will be short and our refinement light, and other times we will feel like we are never going to see the end of the process. But God’s timing in these things are perfect. Our job is to believe in Him, and what He is doing, even when it doesn’t make sense to us.

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:17 AMP

For today, don’t look in the mirror and see only the surface of your body looking back at you, but go to your jewelry box and pick out your best piece of jewelry. As you gaze upon it, know that what God is doing on the inside of you will make your presence among others glisten. And in that day when we stand before Him, we will sparkle like a perfect diamond!

So tell me, what is your favorite piece of jewelry, and why?


Amplified Bible (AMP). Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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