Sunday, November 15, 2015

NO SHODDY WORKMANSHIP

     No one likes to be "had". Sometimes we need to take a closer look. I have a sweater (known by different names in other cultures - You may call it a jumper?) that looks good on the outside. Inside it's something else. Lengths of yarn that have not been interwoven catch and snag. The manufacturer has taken shortcuts.

     I want top quality inside and out, but if I have to choose I will go for the inside. A house that looks great on the outside may catch a buyer's eye. If the builder has cut corners in construction and materials, it won't stand up over the years no matter how attractive the exterior is.

     When the prophet, Samuel, was sent to anoint the man who was to succeed Saul as King, Jesse's eldest son looked like the prime candidate. Eliab was not the one and God told  Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (ISamuel 16:7)

     Our loving Father sees us from the inside out. When we receive the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, God recreates the spirit within us. Our spirit is brand new and just like His. God looks at us and sees us forgiven and righteous, filled with His authority and power, made whole in every respect. Every attribute of His Holy Spirit is deposited in His child. The love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control of the Holy Spirit is ours.

     Our souls - our minds, wills, and emotions - are affected by what we encounter in the natural world. If those influences don't line up with what God has said in His Word, we are able to refuse them and choose to live in our spiritual inheritance. Our bodies experience the benefits of the good things He has provided if the Spirit is allowed first place. If we tune into the world and the enemy's message our physical man suffers.

     Father God is in the business of transforming believers' minds, wills and emotions. Paul encourages us to "be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2 NKJV) The Holy Spirit can enable us to live in victory as we allow the Word of God to do a work within us. Our God does not produce anything of inferior quality. In Philippians 1:6 Paul says we can be confident, "that He who has begin a good work in you will complete it." (NKJV) 

     As we co-operate with His Spirit within us, God will strengthen us to become all He has destined us to be. We won't look one way on the outside, but entirely different within. We can have the ability to live in this world according to  what we believe in our hearts. I want to be the real deal in this life, not ashamed when others catch a glimpse of what's inside of me.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

FOREVER

     Have you ever tried to get your mind around the idea of "forever"? Most dictionaries connect "for" with "relating to" or "in reference to", and "ever" with "always". This could imply that "forever" is not just "without end", but also "without beginning". The whole concept almost nudges my thinker to "tilt".

     Everything we know in this natural world has a beginning and an end. I love watching the antics of wee kittens, full of new life, tumbling over each other. Cute as they are, they will grow, mature and die.Our physical bodies will as well, but Jesus said, "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:15 NKJV) 

     Eternal, forever, always existing... Always is more than without beginning or ending. It also has a middle, a now! In John 17:3 we read, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (NKJV) We can know God now. We can enjoy a relationship today with Father who loves us and is able to help us with everything in this life,

      I wish I could adjust the "now" for some kittens that live down the road. A lady has fed their mother for at least two years and, last I heard, has still not been able to get close to her. The mom and her kittens eat the food that Carolee puts out for them. I would love to cuddle those little ones, but they run to a hiding place when I try to go near.

     Father God provides for our needs too, but that does not create an especially close relationship. If we can set aside anything untrue that we've believed about Him, anything that may cause us to keep our distance, we can enjoy a parent-son and parent-daughter bond right now. What He's prepared for us after this part of "forever" is over will be greater than we can imagine, but I'm claiming all that He wants me to enjoy with Him in the "now" phase. How about you?