“Your Hearts Shall Live!”

“And you who seek God, your hearts shall live,” Psalm 69:32

How many go through their day complacent in the status quo?  No passion for life.  No zeal for better.  Just run the ordinary course of the ordinary life jogger, following the crowd, content with a heart that’s just beating but not alive.

A heart that is alive thrills at the unknown.  A heart that is alive craves to pump its life source throughout every crevice of its being.  Those who seek for God are not content with just the rhythmic beat of every other man.  Their heart wants to thump against the chest wall to express the life that lives in it through Him.

When one seeks God it stirs up something on the inside of them.  It stirs a wanting of more.  Kind of like a first love.  You seek to be near that person or to simply hear their voice.  When contact is made it makes the heart beat a little faster and you feel alive!  God promises those that look for Him with that same passion your hearts shall live.  Your heart will tell a story all its own about the love that dwells in it for the one you seek.

Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10).  He wants hearts alive; hearts that live for seeking Him more and more.  From that they will reap not the status quo rather an abundance of life that flows from Him.  If the beat of your heart is a little slower these days, or your faith is not getting as excited as it used at the first, check to see who or what you have been seeking after.  It may be that you have been looking for love, acceptance and passion everywhere but the right place.  But, we have this promise, “you who seek God, your hearts shall live!”

“The King to My Rescue!”

knight-1916411_1920

“Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” Psalm 20:9, NKJV

 I am definitely a girly girl, to an extent.  I love the idea of love.  I can bury myself in stories of romance and rescue.  What is a lovelier picture than that of a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress?  I’ll tell what a lovelier picture is, when the King himself gets personally involved in the rescue.

As long as we live in this earth days of trouble are never far from any of us.  There will always be an occasion that we need to be rescued, be it mind, body or spirit.  We will never be the end all of every answer to every trouble we face.  There will arise at one point or another a situation or a trial where nothing and no one can help unless the most powerful in the land intercedes on our behalf.

“Save, LORD!” becomes more of a desperate plea than a battle cry.  When adversity has made itself too comfortable in your presence and you don’t know how to rid this awful pest, a plea to the King to answer our most urgent request comes forth from the lips, seeking a life saver to lift us up out of the drowning depths.

Our King is not too high that He cannot hear.  Our King is not so secluded behind palace walls that He doesn’t see the plight of His people.  Our King has granted us an open access policy to be able to reach Him when hard times are weighing us down.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).  Therefore, we cry out, “Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” (Psalm 20:9).

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me,” (Psalm 86:7).  Over and over again we see the plea.  Over and over again we see the promise.  The King is waiting to hear from you and me.  Stop carrying the trouble alone.  Seek the King’s intervention in your life.

Sometimes a knight in shining armor just won’t do.  You need the King to come to the rescue.  Be blessed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

An Incomplete, Complete Mess | Word For Life Says

 

 

Incomplete really speaks to the idea that I, we, us, don’t really have it all together like we think we do at times.  I mean, really, we are often so short from where we need to be; from where God wants us that we can feel the dragging of lack in our spirits.  If we were really honest with ourselves we would see within us deficit upon deficit without any real way of adding up to that holy mark of perfection our soul longs for.  If left to ourselves and our own ingenuity we would find that we are an incomplete mess.

But, thanks be to God that our completeness is not dependent upon us.  Rather, it is in Christ alone where we find everything that makes us 100% whole in Him.  In our relationship with Jesus as our Savior, there is no lack.  The Bible assures us, “You are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power,” (Colossians 2:10, NKJV).  On the cross, Jesus secured everything we need to have a full relationship with God Almighty, leaving nothing out.  Jesus Christ really does become more than enough for believers to rest in His salvation.  Through Calvary’s sacrifice, Jesus turned our incomplete mess into something completely beautiful.

More encouraging verses:

2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”

John 1:16 “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.”

Colossians 1:19 “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”

“Don’t Change Your Glory!”

My Project 382-001

“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit,” Jeremiah 2:11, KJV

Changing your glory?! What does that even mean? It means anything that takes precedence over your worship of the one true God. It’s exchanging the life that was once rendered to service and obedience to God, to fulfill one’s own will and desires.

In God, we have love and security. In Him, we find peace, refuge and salvation. Yet, every day the battle ensues for us to give it all up to follow after that which “does not profit.” It reminds me of the story of the prodigal son. He had a hard time seeing what he really had going for him at home where he was. He thought the grass was greener on the other side and his perception of the other side drew him away from the blessedness he already had. He gave up everything his father secured for him to go off in the wild blue yonder to pursue his own desires.

Such was the calamity that befell the Israelites also. They had exchanged the worship of the one true God to follow after idols. This same God, whom throughout history, has sought to love them, protect them and pour out His promises on them. He has stomped down enemies for them. He has overthrown kingdoms for them. He has multiplied them, blessed them, led them, covered them, fed them and saved them. Yet, they had reached a point when they decided in themselves that they needed more.

I once heard someone teach that grass is still grass, no matter what “side” it’s on. Here, the prodigal son and the Israelites have been deceived into believing more in the imagination of the “other side” than in the reality of the powerful love they already had. It’s a truth thing! We have to be sure that truth is not misinterpreted because it can hinder one’s growth or cause one to step all the way out of the faith to the point of changing their glory.

From the beginning of time truth has been under attack and glory has been fought against. But, Hebrews 10:35 tells us, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward,” (KJV). In the garden, Adam and Eve cast away their confidence and believed deception. The Israelites cast away their confidence and went after that which does not profit. The prodigal son cast his confidence away and broke the relationship between him and his father. The book of Hebrews was written to the saints – to the church – to them already in a relationship with God through Christ, and the yellow tape of “CAUTION” has been spread out! It is warning those who are thinking about following the footsteps of those I mentioned. Hebrews is encouraging them not to give up on their faith! Don’t break your relationship with God! Don’t exchange your glory!

There are a lot of things and imaginations that seek to draw you away. Hebrews teaches that if we will just hold on to the truth, to the confidence, the reward is coming! 1 Corinthians 15:58 supports this by admonishing us to “. . . be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, (KJV). If you stay rooted in the Lord, it will all pay off in a little while. It’s not in vain! Don’t change your glory!

Hold on! “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise,” (Hebrews 10:36, KJV). Wait for it! Do His will! Receive His promises! But, don’t change your glory! “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back into perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul,” (Hebrews 10:38-39, KJV).

There are many things that appear to profit but end in ruin. Ask Adam and Eve, or the prodigal son, or even the ancient Israelites. They suffered for the choices they made. Today, we can look at their examples and decide to do it differently. We don’t mock them, but we learn from them of what we don’t want to do. And, we don’t want to change our glory!

“Stand Your Ground!”

Stand your ground, be firm,
don’t settle or rest.
Wear your resolve as an emblem
mounted on your chest.

You know who you are.
You know Who knows you.
And, you know in your heart
you have nothing to prove.

Don’t let their words sway
how you feel about self.
Don’t let their thoughts control –
For time will tell.

Your character, your work,
will speak for your stand.
Believe in who He made you,
perfectly planned.

Opinions of others,
their views of you,
pale in comparison
to Creator of skies so blue.

Let them judge and baulk,
throw verbal stones at you.
You are committed in faith
and God will see you through.

So, stand in your beauty
from the inside out.
Rest your heart in God’s thoughts,
under your feet, place their doubts.

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).”  Hebrews 10:22-23

 

“Today I Believe I am Big Enough!”

motivational-1314519_1920

“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight,” Numbers 13:33

Feeling outsized in life?  The fact of the matter is that many of us feel too small for the task ahead.  Goals, dreams, and possibilities are alright to fantasize about, but when it actually comes down to implementing what needs to be done, we often feel inadequate, as if we don’t have enough in us to see it all the way through to the end.  We feel too small to go in and take hold of what we can be.

Too often we get stuck in a rut because of this line of thinking.  The pressure of what it actually takes to step out into something new, to believe there is a chance for you to be better and to have better, is a little overwhelming to most.  Dealing with the unusual and stepping into the unfamiliar takes a strong act of courage.  It involves one having enough strength and faith to look past what they view themselves as now and see something bigger.

For any area of life where we want to see improvement, there will always be barriers.  There will always be “giants,” whether real or imagined, that will say and make you believe that you are too little; that you don’t have enough in you to be big.

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4).  The world doesn’t want you to make it.  And, he that operates in the world wants your faith to diminish to the point that you feel like you’re a little “grasshopper.”  It is time for you to stop listening to the world and turn a deaf ear to the “giants.”  If God brought you to the edge of the promise, then, He is most certainly able to bring you all the way into it.  The main factor that can hinder you is you!  It is what you believe about yourself!   It is what you believe God can do in and through you!

“Greater is He that is in you!”  Our belief in ourselves and what God can do through us rises when we realize who it is on our side and what He can do.  That’s the beautiful thing about this.  Life may outsize us but it will never outsize God!  God dwarfs to nobody!  He is greater than all.  So much so, that when He was telling Abraham about his promises, “He could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” (Hebrews 6:13).

God is the greatest there is.  The buck stops with Him.  He can’t be outdone.  He can’t be belittled.  He is king and will be king forever.  And, He is “in you!”  That means you are big enough!  You are nobody’s grasshopper!  You can do it because of who you have on the inside of you!  Your job is to wholeheartedly believe, understand and know His bigness, so that you can believe, understand and know that today, “I am big enough!”

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Sunday School Lesson – “God Created Mankind” Genesis 1:26-2:3, 7

Photo Credit: Pixabay/Prawny

VERSE DISCOVERY: Genesis 1:26-2:3, 7 (KJV, Public Domain)

Do you know how special you are?  Do you know of the creative design that brought you here today?  Can you fully appreciate your uniqueness, being an altogether separate creature from all others God created?

As part of the human race, you are the climax of God’s design.  Oh, the stars and objects above serve their purpose and are beautiful to look at, but they are not you.  And, as we look out on the horizon to view nature, we may sigh pleasantly at the glorious way the panoramic view displays His beautiful scene before us – but no scene is more beautiful to Him than those who were made in His image, in His likeness.  These were specially designed for a relationship with the Father.

As the creation story unfolds, may we find our place in it, our origin in it, and may those findings render a new appreciation for how special you are in the eyes of God. 

God Created Man

Genesis 1:26-27 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

For six days, God had been creating.  With light created and darkness separated, both being defined for what they are; and with land, plant life, celestial bodies spoken into existence and put in their places, the Creation story of the beginning of everything we know is off to a beautiful start, and it is all good in the sight of the Creator.

With sea, land, and air creatures created and placed in their proper places, it is time for the crème de la crème of all His creation to be formed.  That apex of God’s design comes when He decides to inhabit this grand earth He made with mankind.

Mankind is the most unique of all God’s creation for several reasons (and we’ll discuss those reasons in a bit), but let’s hone in on the word “unique” for a moment in relation to all the elements of the Creation story already put in place.

Mankind has nothing like himself that dwells on the face of the earth outside of other members of the human race.  Yes, I know there is a scientific theory that tries to over-exaggerate similarities between humans and other species when, in fact, there are no other species identical to the man God formed out of the dust of the ground as his beginning origins (Genesis 2:7).  And, I know there are other theories that express many ideas of suppositions of how we came to be the people we are in the place that we are in, but the Bible gives the very straightforward facts of not only our origin but also why we are so special in our uniqueness among all other creation.

For we are made in the image/likeness of God.  God, Himself, spoke on that sixth day of creation and said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

The words us and our leaves many asking to whom God is talking to when He is speaking.  Now, again, while many people have theorized several answers to that questioning, the most biblically based, solid answer, revolves around the Trinity.  Biblical evidence shows clearly God the Father, the Son (John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:16-17), and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2) being present at the time of Creation.

With God having no physical likeness, the image/likeness we were made to be like has more to do with the way He created man from the inside out.  Though His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), God gave us the capacity to think or operate intellectually and emotionally as He does.  With that comes the ability to reason, to love, etc.  We are not God, but apart from all other creatures, we are His likeness upon the earth.

In an article I previously published, Our True Image, I wrote:

“I believe when God spoke in the beginning that we were made in His image (see Genesis 1:27), He spoke of more than just our facial features, our physique, our height, weight, and so on.  He spoke of our representation of something the boundaries of those outer measurements can’t comprehend.  He spoke of our likeness of Him.  At that point of creation, when it came time for humanity to be put on the earth, God looked to Himself to snap a portrait of who we are truly designed to be.

Now, do I mean that you are supposed to be God sitting on the throne in heaven?  No.  But, what I do mean is we are carriers of so much more.  The portrait of our lives is made to expose and reflect His glory of the greater.” (WordForLifeSays.com)

Another part of the uniqueness of created humanity is he is to reign and have dominion over all other creatures created.  David expressed in the Psalms the reign of man over all “the works of thy hands,” (Psalm 8:6-8), and Hebrews agrees (Hebrews 2:7-8).

What this means is, as representatives of God on this earth, we are to diligently care for and steward the things of the earth.  One day, the earth will pass way in the great finale of the end times, but until then, every human being is given the order to care for this temporary home of ours, and all the other creatures in it.

Through the years, the word dominion has become synonymous with words like power, authority, and control.  And, that’s a right interpretation of the word.  But, what’s more important is how that word is being carried out.  Are we abusing, taking for granted, and treating recklessly those things placed under our control?  Or, are we managing everything in a godly fashion and taking proper care of what has been given us?  As His image-bearers, we have the responsibility to be responsible with His creation.

Both men and women carry this responsibility for both are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).  Each bears their own qualities that set them apart as male and female, but each are image-bearers created by God and His perfect design for all humans.  There are separate identifying markers for each sex, but as part of the human race they are made in his own image.  Jesus once said, “Have you not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” (Matthew 19:4).  Both have important roles in His creation.

Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Then God spoke His blessings over them with the charge to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.  God blessed them to be productive that the earth might be filled, the same way He called all other creatures to multiply (Genesis 1:20, 25).  As God placed in all other living species of His creation the ability to produce (procreate) that the earth may teem with life, so did He with humanity.  Multiplication equals increase.  Increase equals a filled earth.

And, with that blessing of fruitfulness, came also the reiteration of their responsibility to subdue and have dominion… over every living thing…  God placed mankind in charge.  This may make us special, and some may abuse that top-of-the-food-chain-status, but the greater reminder is that with such a heavy charge there comes more to answer for on how things/creatures/nature was used under our control/charge.  Our job is to be righteous rulers over everything God has placed in our care.

Genesis 1:29-30 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.”

As God has called us to the position of caring for other creatures in creation, He shows mankind some of the ways He cares for them and all living things as He supplies for their needs.  Specified seeds, fruits, herbs, and vegetation would be the meat or food nutritional source for all creatures such as beasts… fowls… and everything that creepeth upon the earth along with mankind which God created.  He gave or furnished every living thing with all that they need to survive, flourish, and multiply.

Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

When God took in the scope of everything He created, He saw it was very good.  Everything was perfectly original, perfectly created, and perfectly placed.  There was no intrusion in the tranquility of His beautiful design.  Sin was not present, and the earth was as glorious as He envisioned it – unstained and unaffected by the mess we see today.

Once I wrote, “Our original design was not to live in an environment of sin and decay.  It was not designed to exist with dead and dreary things.  It was designed to behold the beauty of God through His creation.  We were designed to live in God’s best!” (Made for Green/WordForLifeSays.com). 

And, when He saw His best on display, God viewed it as very good, culminating the sixth day of creation.

God Rested After Creation

Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

After everything was finished, God rested on the seventh day.  This day would later be referred to as Sabbath, which means “rest” or “cease.”  It would be a day set aside out of the week that demanded nothing but rest and time to worship (Exodus 20:8-11).  It also became a sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:13).

This holy precedent started with God Himself.  There are fewer things in the world than that which brings one the satisfaction of a job well done.  What God did was perfect.  There was no further need for work, therefore work ended, and He ordained the seventh day as a time of rest.

God made this day a priority and sanctified it, which means He set is apart as holy.  He did this because of or in honor of the fact that he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

There is something uniquely beautiful in the idea of the Creator of all sitting back and being pleased with everything before Him in perfectness.  I can’t help but imagine how happy His heart must have been at that time.  Did it all put a smile on His face?  Does it put a smile on your face thinking about it?  It does for me.

Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

As chapter 2 progresses, it describes and reiterates, with additional detail, certain aspects of the creation story, including the specifics on mankind being formed… of the dust of the ground (compare Genesis 3:19, 23).   

Opposite of everything that was spoken in creation, or the way the animals were called forth from the ground (Genesis 1:24; 2:19), mankind was the only uniquely one formed to be an image-bearer of God.  This one, he was special, and he required a special design.

See, I told you that you were unique and special in His design.  Then, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.  Mankind is alive because of God.  Should God take away or withhold that precious breath, mankind would cease to live (see Psalm 104:21; Job 34:14-15).  “Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein,” (Isaiah 42:5). 

God created mankind, and that’s the one and only true answer for our existence on this earth.  You and I are living souls because of God!

PDF Printable Sunday School Lesson Pack (With easy to read instructions following the P.E.A.R.L. format on how to conduct each lesson with areas for adding personal notes): Sunday School Lesson – God Created Mankind

Suggested Activities:

Fingerprints uniquely tell who we are. There are no two sets alike, not even for identical twins.  Your fingerprints tell of the individual God made you to be; that you are individually special to God.  Using a stamper and the fingers of students, have each rub a thumb or ink on the stamper pad and stamp a clear paper with their fingerprint.  Have them look carefully at it.  Students can even exchange them with one another to see their own uniqueness in the way God created them.  Tie this example into today’s lesson.

Younger students can work with moldable playing dough. For this example, homemade is best (I like the idea of using it organically, with no colors for the forming of man effect), but of course, any kind of moldable dough for playing will do.  Have students form “man” from the blob you give them.  Discuss how easy or hard it was.  Discuss the intricate details it took for God to make us. (Note: if you are using homemade dough and if time allows, let the children help you make the dough, to really get involved in the “creation” of the people they make.  Find a recipe for a non-cooking version.  There are many online to choose from.)

Younger students can also put together a Made in God’s Image people necklace. Print from the outlines (found online at wordforlifesays.com) the people templates on cardstock or glue to construction paper.  Decorate each one as you want.  Punch a hole in the top and string through with yard or something similar.  You can even add beads or cut up straws for a nice decorated effect.  They can wear it proudly around their neck because they are Made in God’s Image. PDFMade In God’s Image Craft

Adult Journal Page: Adult Journal Page – Made in the Image of God

Kid’s Journal Page: Kid’s Journal Page – Made in the Image of God

Draw the Scene: God Created Mankind Draw the Scene

Memory Verse: God Created Mankind Memory Verse

Word Search: God Created Mankind Word Search  Answers: God Created Mankind Word Search Answers

Crossword: God Created Mankind Crossword  Answers: God Created Mankind Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: God Created Mankind Word Scramble  Answers: God Created Mankind Word Scramble Answers

 

 

 

Believe in Me | Devotional

Although it’s nice to get support and high fives from those around you, it’s not always going to happen. That’s okay because God believes in you. He knows you can do it. He is the one that has planted the vision and gifts in you. He has already seen the beginning from the end and the view is phenomenally pleasant when His children walk in their divine purpose.

Word For Life Says...

believe in me

Support.  The look in another’s eye that says they see the potential in your dreams.  The interest there in seeing you excel greater than where you are; the prompting that pushes you into your destiny further than you ever believed you could possibly be.

To have one backing you in such a way means the world.  An earthly companion who hooks themselves to the future they see in you – marvellous!  But, what if it’s not there?  What if there is none who holds your hand and speaks words of encouragement to strengthen you to power through the fight, and press on?

As much as those pats on the back mean, they pale in comparison to the God who gave you the vision in the first place.  Often raising above the norm to see higher heights becomes a lonesome climb.  Despite the difficulties one faces in the process, God has…

View original post 130 more words