Friday, December 28, 2012

Never fear about the future.

"Let us never fear as to the future! While we see our Lord and Representative sitting in quiet expectancy we too may sit in the attitude of peaceful assurance and with confidence await the grand outcome of all events. As surely as Jehovah liveth Jesus must reign, yea, even now He is reigning, though all His enemies are not yet subdued... Those rebels who now stand high in power, shall soon be in the place of contempt. They shall be His footstool. He shall with ease rule them. He shall sit and put His foot on them..."
-C. H. Spurgeon

Our King is sovereign over every single, itty-bitty thing. That's so comforting, isn't it?

So even though it may seem at moments, that life is going crazy and confusing and out of control, it isn't. The view ahead my be a complete fog to you and I, but it is intensely clear to our Lord. And these bumps in the road are sanctification tools, they leave us clinging closer to Christ and trusting His promises.

So if I really believe that God is God, that He is gracious... That He sent His son to be born of human flesh, to live, to know temptation, and be crushed on the cross for my sins... that when He looks at me He smiles because He sees His son...

...Then why, oh why, would I ever worry about the future? Ever feel hopeless? Ever feel forsaken? Ever be afraid?

Even when evil seems to triumph over good, that's all just temporary. Christ has won the ultimate victory.

In 2013 may we ever remember that His love for us is steady, His sovereignty is sure, and that we didn't earn this acceptance into this eternal family of God by any merit of our own.

We were chosen.  The Lord is in control. He has all our ways in His hand.


"...casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

"...fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." ~ Isaiah 41:10

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Why we were created.

"Why did God create man? To show God! He created little images so that they would talk and act and feel in a way that reveals the way God is. So people would look at the way you behave, look at the way you think, the way you feel, and say, God must be great, God must be real. That is why you exist. God didn't create you as an end in yourself. He's the end, you're the means. And the reason that's such good news is because the best way to show that God is infinitely valuable is to be supremely happy in Him. If God's people are bored with God, they are really bad images. God is not unhappy about Himself. He is infinitely excited about His own glory.

That's why the Son received the words: You are my beloved son. With you I am well pleased. Take those words, "Well pleased." God doesn't say He's okay with Jesus. He's not just okay with Jesus! He is absolutely thrilled with Jesus as the image of Himself  So if we go about the world making our choices in what we watch on television, do on the computer, handle money, use food, so that it communicates to the world that these things are our treasure, rather than God, that these things make us satisfied rather than God, He's getting the bad press, and we're not doing what we were created to do. We were created to image God. So, God predestined for His glory and He created for the display of His glory."

-John Piper, A Holy Ambition

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry, merry Christmas, friends! :) 
After praying about something I could share with you for Christmas day, I turned on my laptop this morning and found this poem in my inbox! A friend of mine, Lauren Bleser, had just written it and she gave me permission to share it here. 
May it be as much of a blessing to you, as it was to me. :)

"Saved from death.
Saved from sin.
But even more...
We are saved from meaninglessness.
Christ fills us with purpose.
A reason to sing.
A reason to love.
A reason to give.
He fills us with compassion for others.
No detail is too small for the God of the Universe.
No person insignificant.
No moment a waste.
Our time is an opportunity to impact eternity.
To know Him.
To show Him.
He fills us with hope because He is our hope.
Our trials.
Our hurts.
Our accomplishments.
He is in them and above them and will see us through them.
All things fade.
He remains.
He remains.
And our lives carry great purpose.
He asks us to lift feeble hands towards heaven.
To take someone else's hand and draw their eyes up.
To look beyond ourselves.
To go past our pains and our pleasures.
To see something bigger.
Our lives tell a greater story.
We are saved from being the center.
Only divinity can bear that.
We are saved from being slaves to our passions.
Only He satisfies.
We are saved from emptiness.
And our cold, dark hearts are traded in for His heart.
Our will aligned with His.
So rejoice!
Rejoice that we are not the beginning or the end.
Rejoice that we are not the judge. Rejoice that there is One much greater.
We are saved from ourselves.
Behold the only One worthy of our praise."
~ Lauren Bleser ~ December 24th, 2012
John 3:30
He must increase and I must decrease.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

No Detour from Calvary

During a mealtime each day my family and I have been going through the advent booklet that Desiring God provides called Good News of Great Joy. I found this portion to be amazing! Oh, how unwavering is Jesus' love for us! :)

And while they were there, the time came for her to 
give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and 
wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a 
manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
 —Luke 2:6–7

Now you would think that if God so rules the world as to use an empire-wide census to bring Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, he surely could have seen to it that a room was available in the inn. Yes, he could have. And Jesus could have been born into a wealthy family. He could have turned stone into bread in the wilderness. He could have called 10,000 angels to his aid in Gethsemane. He could have come down from the cross and saved himself. The question is not what God could do, but what he willed to do. God’s will was that though Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor. The “No Vacancy” signs over all the motels in Bethlehem were for your sake. “For  your sake he became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). 

God rules all things—even motel capacities—for the sake of his children. The Calvary road begins with a “No Vacancy” sign in Bethlehem and ends with the spitting and scoffing of the cross in Jerusalem. And we must not forget that he said, “He who would come after me must deny himself and take up his cross” (Matthew 16:24).

We join him on the Calvary road and hear him say, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:20). 

To the one who calls out enthusiastically, “I will follow you wherever you go!” (Matthew 8:19). Jesus responds, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has now here to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).Yes, God could have seen to it that Jesus have a room at his 
birth. But that would have been a detour off the Calvary road.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Father loves us.

After the fall in the garden of Eden, "this whole universe is now an orphanage." {Russell Moore}

Life here on earth is an adoption process. And this journey, though I trip and fall, time and time again as I learn to walk, is just a short piece of time until I am Home. {Romans 8:23}

On this journey I feel like my heart is so often numb to the wonder of the cross. I barely take the time to stop and taste His goodness, and fully grasp what Jesus did for me.

You see. In sin, in pride, I easily forget that it was my sins that killed my Savior. He died to redeem me, us, His chosen ones so that we might know Him.

My Savoir, my Father, was crushed for me. He took all of the penalty, and placed it on Him. A perfect sinless man dying for this destitute orphan.

"He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." ~Psalm 103:10

Amazing, amazing love! Amazing redemption. Amazing grace!

He knew disgrace so that I might know grace. He knew rejection so that I might be accepted in Him. He new death and Hell, so that I might know life and the glories of Heaven.

And I did nothing good to deserve this love. Nothing. And nothing can take me away from this love.

Because of His love I can repent, turn and run back into my Father's arms where I can rest in Him.

With such a Sovereign loving Father how do I even have the audacity to doubt His guiding hand in my life? To worry? To think that I can mess up my life by my own frailty? He has not left us orphans. Our life is hidden in Him... but, sanctification hurts.
"We don't fully believe that our new Father will feed us, so we hang on to our scraps and long for the regimented schedules of the orphanage from which we've come. And when our Father pushes us along to new tastes, we pout that he's not good to us. Bet he's readying us for glory, preparing us to take our place on thrones as heirs." ~Russell Moore
This life isn't about pacifying cries for what I think I may need. We have a hope that far surpasses anything we can even fathom here on this earth. And each stripping away of earthly pleasures is an act of love because all earthly cisterns take us to dry and dusty desert lands. Our Father, knows what we need most!

As my Pastor reminded during the sermon this morning... God's timing is always perfect. If you are His child, cling to Him, because He loves you more than you can even fathom! When we fall or sin or worry, we can repent and know that He loves us still "and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." {Romans 8:28}

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
~Romans 8:18-25

>Our Father loves us<

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Come To Me

I came across this on Together for Adoption's blog. This is a perfect reminder that the Lord is the only One who gives us rest and refreshment in everything we do! Always, always may we keep our focus on Him!

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

"The sacred center of Christianity is Christ himself. Coming personally to the Person. Coming directly to the Mediator. No one but Jesus can call us with such authority, and no one but Jesus can encourage us with such a promise. No one else can give us rest.

If our primary purpose in church is to connect with one another, that's what we'll get - one another. And we'll end up angry. Only Jesus gives us rest. If we put Him first and come to Him first, then we'll have something to give to one another.

If our primary purpose in church is outreach and mercy and justice, we'll end up exhausted. Only Jesus gives us rest. If we will put Him first and come to Him first we'll be renewed for endless missions.

There are as many false and disappointing centers as there are impulses in our hearts. Everything else will let us down. Everything.

Only One has ever said and can ever say "Come to me, and I will give you rest."

His offer stands. And we don't have to deserve it. He gives it. But he does come first."

~Author Unknown Source:  Together for Adoption