Faith means believing it even when you’re NOT feeling it.
Life is an amazing opportunity and blessing. Yes, it is full of challenges and true, we are all surrounded by others who don’t always choose to see the light, and who focus often LOUDLY on their own darkness. We can’t change other people, but we can pray for them and stay the course in our own lives and let Jesus take it from there. Please don’t give up. We all have a path to follow and regardless of our circumstances, there is a divine purpose for our lives. The Lord will lead us if we are willing to surrender to Him. This quote says it well:
Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.
– Richard Bach –
Why is the title to this post in quotes? Because I just said those words . . . my heart and my soul are sharing the good news or should I say GOOD NEWS with my mind and my mind is listening! I was just reading a passage from Ephesians 2 and wanted to share it with you for the message it contains is eye-opening if you, like me, have ever questioned whether you indeed are special. So, if you’ve ever doubted this read the following and then LOOK IN THE MIRROR and repeat after me “YOU are special!”
“21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. “
Do you ever consider what it means to be made in the image of God? I can’t say that I specifically meditate on it as a rule, but the question was posed at a meeting at church last night. I found it something very interesting to ponder . . . hard to answer, or at least hard to immediately react to. It brings up more questions, such as but what does He look like? Is my image not a representation of who I am? Is it not an authentic reflection of me?
That being said, if I have been made in the image of God, then, wouldn’t this mean that in some manner I am He and He is me? Surely that cannot be the case as it counters the first commandment as I understand it. I needed to unpack this further, so first I looked to His word and one verse which caught my eye was the following:
“But if we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
This one made me think, but I wanted more so I consulted the dictionary. That was illuminating for in it I learned that an image is a counterpart, a representation, a reproduction. Wow. I reread that and then reread it again. If I take that definition to define my being made in the likeness or image of God, then I am a reproduction . . . having attributes of the “real” and perhaps then being the only visible representation some with whom I interact may see at a given moment. That’s powerful stuff. Likewise, in the quote above from 1 John, by walking in the light, we are in fellowship or kinship with Him and through Him purified.
That takes my breath away. The notion of being pure . . . I’ve known since I was a wee one that my sins were forgiven, that I could repent knowing that if I truly did so, my sins were gone. Purified? Wow, who among us feels pure? I heard a friend describe his wife in those terms yesterday and it made me want to cry. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be so loved. I said as much to him. As I recall, he scolded for interrupting. lol It struck me, falsely, at that moment though that surely I have never been loved to that degree? I’m sure my friend knew the track my mind was on and thus his scolding was to draw me back onto the right track . . . a valiant effort. When he reads this he’ll know I have finally, perhaps, gotten there.
That look I saw in his eyes as he spoke of his wife so lovingly? That love I almost envied? I say almost because I don’t want love that belongs to another. I want my own. I only just now while I am putting these thoughts to paper finally connected with what it all really means. I do have that love, that lover, and I have been made pure and in the image of God. There is nothing greater.
We are instructed to love God with all our being and to love ourselves as we love one another. Oh, I know I said that in different order than we are accustomed to hearing. It’s easier to take hold of worded that way. It is the way our discussion leader worded it last night. I’ve been encountering the concept of self-love a lot lately. It sounded weird, wrong, and perhaps impossible. Yet, if I am made pure by the love my triune God and created in His image, and so are each of you, how can I fail to know and share that love? It’s part of my DNA!
What is it we are reflecting to the world? Are we living into what is real? Our help is within us!
Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.
– Steve Maraboli –
When I was formally baptized in the Holy Spirit, I came home so excited to share my Jesus with the world! I didn’t have a blog back then, wasn’t employed, and lived in a place full of strangers . . . I stayed home a lot since money needed to last. Some of those things are still true, but stay with me here, for there’s more.
You see, I prayed in frustration “Lord, you blessed me and I just want to share this with the world. I want them to know you, too, but how can I do that now? I don’t go anywhere but church and grocery shopping!”
He calmed me but I will admit there was no clear message in response. Shortly afterward, I did have to go to the grocery store. I will say it’s a chore I never liked. Nothing to do with money, I just never liked that particular chore. This time was different.
I didn’t think to pray for Him to place people in my path for me to reach for Him. He will if we ask. He likes it when we do. I didn’t think of it back then. He did. Before I even got in the store, He placed people in my path. Some were Christians who witnessed to me, and others were folks I found myself speaking to in ways I’d have never done before, but He gave me words and courage and I was able to do this through Him.
The people I spoke to were complete strangers to me. They weren’t wearing tee shirts proclaiming their beliefs, nor was I. It was all Him. I still don’t go out much but for necessary errands and church as I’m still walking a path toward provision . . . but I never go to the grocery store without seeing, hearing or speaking of Him! Know what? I love to grocery shop!
If you haven’t given Him your heart yet, I urge you to do so. You simply cannot imagine what you’re missing! If you know Jesus already, please share His love! The opportunities are everywhere. Your love, blessings, and compassion shared might be the only glimpse of Jesus someone sees that day!
I want to thank you all for your continued prayer support. Those of you far and near lift me up when the storms seem ready to overtake me and praise the Lord with me when I am back on track. So, I want to share some hugs and kisses . . .
Okay, most of you are too far away to join me for freshly baked cookies, but if you close your eyes maybe you can imagine us sitting down to tea in my diningroom . . . or a big glass of milk and some cookies!
We would have much to talk about! The Lord has been so very tender and loving and reassuring this last few days! The storm clouds receded, at least for a time, and He filled me with the most amazing love . . . and wrapped me in His arms where I felt so much peace and felt so cherished!
In the last day or so my eye sight has improved greatly. My eye condition is tricky so whether this healing is to be temporary or permanent depends on the Lord’s timing and His plan, but He has made Himself so very present it has almost taken my breath away.
We can get so involved in the battle when all these storms come that we miss the blessings, but of late I have been so surrounded by loving friends both near and far who are praying for me in this time of challenges physically, provisionally, and vocationally.
Just yesterday my ability to read was so weak. Other challenges wore me down some, but two special people came to see me just to encourage me, to talk, to listen, to pray . . . one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Another put me on the prayer list for his Prayer Group/Bible Study last evening. I woke up feeling so safe, loved, and “cozy in Jesus’ arms” and He kept reminding me of His love and my hope in Him all day.
It would take far too long to list all the ways He anointed me with His grace just today alone, but His love is amazing and I invite you to praise Him with me for His abundant love which I have experienced today and I hope that each and everyone of you will take a moment to slow down and notice the ways He is doing the same in your own lives.
He is always holding us close but like the disciples when they were in their fishing boat during a storm, there He was standing on the water so close by, yet they could only focus on the dreadful waves and angry clouds . . . It simply took a glance at Him to change everything, as we know from that story, but it’s not just a story. It’s a reality. It can be our reality today.
My eyes are tired now and I don’t know all the details of His plan for me. Storms come and go, but He is with me in the moment and each and every moment. Nothing that challenged me today could take that feeling of safety in His arms from me. I pray you all know that amazing love.
LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! REBLOGGING AND EVERYONE WHO SEES THIS POST SHOULD REBLOG IT AS WELL!